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Concept: Dracunculiasis

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Dracunculiasis was rediscovered in Chad in 2010 after an apparent absence of 10 years. In April 2012 active village-based surveillance was initiated to determine where, when, and how transmission of the disease was occurring, and to implement interventions to interrupt it. The current epidemiologic pattern of the disease in Chad is unlike that seen previously in Chad or other endemic countries, i.e., no clustering of cases by village or association with a common water source, the average number of worms per person was small, and a large number of dogs were found to be infected. Molecular sequencing suggests these infections were all caused by Dracunculus medinensis. It appears that the infection in dogs is serving as the major driving force sustaining transmission in Chad, that an aberrant life cycle involving a paratenic host common to people and dogs is occurring, and that the cases in humans are sporadic and incidental.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Disease, Infectious disease, Molecular biology, Infection, Transmission and infection of H5N1, Dracunculiasis, Dracunculus medinensis

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A third-stage (infective) larva of Dracunculus medinensis, the causative agent of Guinea worm disease, was recovered from a wild-caught Phrynobatrachus francisci frog in Chad. Although green frogs (Lithobates clamitans) have been experimentally infected with D. medinensis worms, our findings prove that frogs can serve as natural paratenic hosts.

Concepts: Infection, Parasitic diseases, Newt, Frogs, Dracunculiasis, Dracunculus medinensis

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Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) is caused by Dracunculus medinensis, a parasitic worm. Approximately 1 year after a person acquires infection from drinking contaminated water, the worm emerges through the skin, usually on the leg. Pain and secondary bacterial infection can cause temporary or permanent disability that disrupts work and schooling. The campaign to eradicate dracunculiasis worldwide began in 1980 at CDC. In 1986, the World Health Assembly called for dracunculiasis elimination (1), and the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program, led by the Carter Center and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), CDC, and other partners, began assisting ministries of health in countries where dracunculiasis was endemic. In 1986, an estimated 3.5 million cases were occurring each year in 20 countries in Africa and Asia (1,2). Since then, although the goal of eradicating dracunculiasis has not been achieved, substantial progress has been made. Compared with the 1986 estimate, the annual number of reported cases in 2015 has been reduced by >99%, and cases are confined to four countries with endemic disease. This report updates published (3-5) and unpublished surveillance data reported by ministries of health and describes progress toward dracunculiasis eradication during January 2015-June 2016. In 2015, a total of 22 cases were reported from four countries (Chad [nine cases], Mali [five], South Sudan [five], and Ethiopia [three]), compared with 126 cases reported in 2014 from the same four countries (Table 1). The overall 83% reduction in cases from 2014 to 2015 is the largest such annual overall reduction ever achieved during this global campaign. During the first 6 months of 2016, however, cases increased 25% compared with the same period in 2015. Continued active surveillance and aggressive detection and appropriate management of cases are essential eradication program components; however, epidemiologic challenges and civil unrest and insecurity pose potential barriers to eradication.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Malaria, Infection, World Health Organization, Carter Center, Dracunculiasis, Dracunculus medinensis

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Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) is caused by Dracunculus medinensis, a parasitic worm. Approximately 1 year after a person acquires infection from contaminated drinking water, the worm emerges through the skin, usually on a lower limb (1). Pain and secondary bacterial infection can cause temporary or permanent disability that disrupts work and schooling. The campaign to eradicate dracunculiasis worldwide began in 1980 at CDC. In 1986, the World Health Assembly called for dracunculiasis elimination,* and the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program, led by the Carter Center and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund, CDC, and other partners, began assisting ministries of health in countries with endemic dracunculiasis. In 1986, an estimated 3.5 million cases occurred each year in 20 countries in Africa and Asia (2). Since then, although the goal of eradicating dracunculiasis has not been achieved, considerable progress has been made. Compared with the 1986 estimate, the annual number of reported cases in 2016 has declined by >99%, and cases are confined to three countries with endemic disease. This report updates published (3-4) and unpublished surveillance data reported by ministries of health and describes progress toward dracunculiasis eradication during January 2016-June 2017. In 2016, a total of 25 cases were reported from three countries (Chad [16], South Sudan [six], Ethiopia [three]), compared with 22 cases reported from the same three countries and Mali in 2015 (Table 1). The 14% increase in cases from 2015 to 2016 was offset by the 25% reduction in number of countries with indigenous cases. During the first 6 months of 2017, the overall number of cases declined to eight, all in Chad, from 10 cases in three countries (Chad [four], South Sudan [four] and Ethiopia [two]) during the same period of 2016. Continued active surveillance, aggressive detection, and appropriate management of cases are essential eradication program components; however, epidemiologic challenges, civil unrest, and insecurity pose potential barriers to eradication.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Malaria, World Health Organization, Sudan, Carter Center, Dracunculiasis, Dracunculus medinensis

6

Of the three diseases targeted for eradication by WHO, two are so-called Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)-guinea worm disease (GWD) and yaws. The Guinea Worm Eradication Programme (GWEP) is in its final stages, with only 25 reported in 2016. However, global eradication still requires certification by WHO of the absence of transmission in all countries. We analyze the cost-effectiveness of the GWEP in the end game, when the number of cases is lower and the cost per case is higher than at any other time. Ours is the first economic evaluation of the GWEP since a World Bank study in 1997.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Economics, Neglected diseases, Tropical disease, Tropical diseases, Carter Center, Dracunculiasis

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Despite being certified guinea worm free in 2007, Cameroon continues surveillance efforts to ensure rapid verification of any suspected reoccurrence. This includes the investigation of every rumor and confirmation of each suspicious expulsed worm. This paper presents fieldwork carried out to investigate a guinea worm rumor in Cameroon which turned out to be an Onchocerca volvulus mimicking Dracunculus medinensis.

Concepts: Nematodes, Peter Slabakov, Dracunculiasis, Dracunculus medinensis

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To inform Dracunculus medinensis (Guinea worm) eradication efforts, we evaluated the role of fish as transport hosts for Dracunculus worms. Ferrets fed fish that had ingested infected copepods became infected, highlighting the importance of recommendations to cook fish, bury entrails, and prevent dogs from consuming raw fish and entrails.

Concepts: Fish, Coprophagia, Pacific Ocean, Seafood, Worm, Dracunculiasis, Dracunculus medinensis, Computer worm

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The long time needed for global eradication of dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) was not anticipated at the outset. The successful eradication of smallpox in 10 years compares with the target date set in 1985 for dracunculiasis eradication - 1995. Seventeen years after that date, transmission continues. Why? Various factors are responsible, mainly lack of resources, or resources ineffectively used. The example of Ghana, where the programme stagnated for a decade, sheds light on this delay. When more resources were put into Ghana’s programme in 2007, transmission of the disease was interrupted in 3 years. The variable success of dracunculiasis eradication in different countries provides lessons for future disease eradication programmes.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Smallpox, Carter Center, Dracunculiasis, Eradication of infectious diseases

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Guinea worm disease, dracunculiasis or dracontiasis, is an ancient disease with records going back over 4500 years, but until the beginning of the 20th century, little was known about its life cycle, particularly how humans became infected. In 1905, Robert Thomas Leiper was sent by the British colonial authorities to West Africa to investigate the spread of Guinea worm disease and to recommend measures to prevent it. While carrying out his investigations, he made important contributions to the aetiology, epidemiology and public health aspects of Guinea worm disease and provided definitive answers to many outstanding questions. First, he tested the validity of previous theories; second, he confirmed the role of water fleas, which he identified as Cyclops, as the intermediate hosts in the life cycle; third, he investigated the development of the parasite in its intermediate host; and fourth, he recommended measures to prevent the disease. [The crustacean Order Cyclopoida in the Family Cyclopidae contains 25 genera, including Cyclops which itself contains over 400 species and may not even be a valid taxon. It is not known how many of these species (or indeed species belonging to related genera) can act as intermediate hosts of Dracunculus medinensis nor do we know which species Fedchenko, Leiper and other workers used in their experiments. It is, therefore, best to use the terms copepod, or copopoid crustacean rather than Cyclops in scientific texts. In this paper, these crustaceans are referred to as copepods except when referring to an original text.] Leiper described the remarkable changes that took place when an infected copepod was placed in a dilute solution of hydrochloric acid; the copepod was immediately killed, but the Dracunculus larvae survived and were released into the surrounding water. From this, he concluded that if a person swallowed an infected copepod, their gastric juice would produce similar results. He next infected monkeys by feeding them copepods infected with Guinea worm larvae, and thus conclusively demonstrated that humans became infected by accidentally ingesting infected crustaceans. Based on these conclusions, he advocated a number of control policies, including avoidance of contaminated drinking water or filtering it, and these preventive measures paved the way for further research. The challenge to eradicate Guinea worm disease was not taken up until about seven decades later since when, with the support of a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations, the number of cases has been reduced from an estimated 3ยท5 million in 1986 to 25 in 2016 with the expectation that this will eventually lead to the eradication of the disease.

Concepts: Crustacean, Waterborne diseases, Copepod, Maxillopoda, Krill, Carter Center, Dracunculiasis, Dracunculus medinensis

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Global eradication of the Guinea worm (Dracunculus medinensis) is near, although perhaps delayed a little by the discovery of a transmission cycle in dogs. It is, therefore, an appropriate time to reflect on the severe impact of this infection on the life of the communities where it was endemic prior to the start of the global eradication programme in 1981. From 1971-74, we conducted a series of unpublished studies on Guinea worm in a group of villages in Katsina State, northern Nigeria, where the infection was highly endemic. These studies demonstrated the high rate of infection in affected communities, the frequent recurrence of the infection in some subjects and the long-standing disability that remained in some infected individuals. Immunological studies showed a high level of immediate hypersensitivity to adult worm and larval antigens but a down-regulation of TH1 type T cell responses to worm antigens. Freeing communities such as those described in this paper from the scourge of Guinea worm infection for good will be an important public health triumph. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Immune system, Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Nigeria, Copyright, Dracunculiasis, Katsina, Dracunculus medinensis