Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers call for better public health campaigns to control and eliminate river blindness

11.10.2005


An international team of researchers are calling for better public health campaigns to reduce the numbers affected by river blindness.



River blindness is a disease transmitted by biting flies, affecting areas such as West Africa, Nigeria, Congo, the Central African Republic and Central and South America, and causing significant health problems for at least 18 million people. The flies carry a parasite called Onchocerca volvulus, which lays microscopic worms in the human host. The body’s immune response towards these worms can lead to eye opacities, eventually causing blindness, and in some cases, skin disease.

The team have developed a mathematical model, published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which measures exposure by looking at how often people were bitten by the flies carrying the parasite. The new model can also be applied globally, unlike previous models which only looked at one geographical area, limiting how well they could be applied.


Dr João Filipe, from Imperial College London, and first author of the paper said: “This new model could be an important tool in developing effective health campaigns to reduce the numbers affected by river blindness. Currently there are at least 18 million people worldwide affected by this parasite, and more action is urgently needed. This model will help in the fight against the disease by providing a better understanding of the role of exposure to the biting flies that transmit river blindness”

The new model uses data from three regions, Cameroon, Central Guatemala, and Southern Venezuela, and looks at human age and sex. The team estimated entomological factors, such as the number of times people were bitten. This could be affected by anthropological factors, such as the level of protection against bites afforded by clothing.

Dr María-Gloria Basáñez, from Imperial College London, and senior author of the paper, said: “Although river blindness is a major cause of ill health round the world, it is an often overlooked disease as it only affects the poorest tropical areas. Greater investment needs to be made in public awareness campaigns to reduce exposure to it in the affected countries.”

The researchers are from Imperial College London, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France, Institut für Tierphysiologie, Germany, Universidad Central de Venezuela, and the Centro Amazónico de Enfermedades Tropicales, Venezuela.

The work was supported by the Medical Research Council.

Tony Stephenson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>