Although there has been an intensive research effort focused on diseases caused by kinetoplastid parasites, there has been little success in developing effective ways of treating them. The launch of the online journal Kinetoplastid Biology and Disease represents the practical first step in tackling some of the communication difficulties that face those concerned with the eradication of kinetoplastid parasites that cause diseases like sleeping sickness, Chargas disease and Leishmaniasis.
Kinetoplastid parasites affect millions of people in the developing world every year. They are responsible for a range of diseases that infect humans, animals and plants, adversely affecting human health and agricultural development in less developed countries. In sub-Saharan Africa there is currently an epidemic of sleeping sickness, and in some regions, it is a more serious threat to public health than HIV/AIDS. Leishmaniasis threatens 350 million people in 88 countries around the world, whilst Chagas disease is the leading cause of infectious cardiomyopathy in the world.
Analysis of kinetoplastid research literature from the last 35 years shows that 25,000 articles were published, however, during this period there has been little success in developing therapeutics, prophylactics or even cheap effective diagnostics. This is caused in part by poor communication between the different groups of people who investigate the disease.
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