Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neglected Tropical Diseases Burden Those Overseas, But Travelers Also At Risk

Date:
December 28, 2007
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
A new paper by NIAID scientist Thomas Nutman, M.D., and colleagues reviews network data collected between 1997 and 2004 to determine demographic and travel characteristics of travelers diagnosed with parasitic worm (filarial) infections.

Though little known to most Americans, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and other so-called neglected tropical diseases are responsible for severe health burdens, especially among the world's poorest people. Together, it is estimated that these illnesses, most of which are caused by worms or other parasites, rank sixth among all conditions worldwide in robbing people of quality of life and life itself through disability or premature death, respectively.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has a long-standing, robust program of research and clinical trials devoted to better understanding and combating neglected tropical diseases, most notably those caused by parasites. In 2006, NIAID devoted $117 million to these projects, which are carried out both in the United States and in countries where the diseases are endemic.

While most sufferers of neglected tropical diseases reside permanently in tropical regions, Americans and other travelers to such areas may also be exposed to these disease-causing organisms. To better gauge illnesses following travel to the tropics and subtropics, the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, a network of travel/tropical medicine clinics on six continents, was established in 1995.

A new paper by NIAID scientist Thomas Nutman, M.D., and colleagues reviews network data collected between 1997 and 2004 to determine demographic and travel characteristics of travelers diagnosed with parasitic worm (filarial) infections. The researchers found that filarial infections responsible for such diseases as onchocerciasis (river blindness), lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) and loiasis (African eyeworm illness) made up 271 (0.62 percent) of the 43,722 medical conditions reported to the network during that time period.

Additionally, the data showed that immigrants from filarial-endemic regions were most likely to come to the travel/tropical diseases clinics, and that long-term travel of more than one month was more likely to be associated with filarial infection than were shorter trips. The most commonly acquired filarial infection (37 percent) was Onchocerca volvulus, the worm that causes river blindness.

While clinical presentation of filarial disease is known to differ between visitors to and natives of endemic regions, this new analysis provides a quantitative assessment of the characteristics of those who acquire filarial infections following travel. Furthermore, the information collected by the GeoSentinel network can be used to assess not only acute but also chronic infections. Ultimately, the authors write, these data will provide a comprehensive backdrop to pre-travel advice and post-travel treatment for those at risk of acquiring a filarial infection.

The new paper is but one example of a number of NIAID-supported projects involving tropical diseases caused by parasitic worms. For more than 30 years, for example, NIAID has supported the Schistosome Resource Center and the Filaria Resource Center, where investigators worldwide can obtain schistosome or filarial samples for research or teaching purposes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Neglected Tropical Diseases Burden Those Overseas, But Travelers Also At Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071226003700.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2007, December 28). Neglected Tropical Diseases Burden Those Overseas, But Travelers Also At Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071226003700.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Neglected Tropical Diseases Burden Those Overseas, But Travelers Also At Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071226003700.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins