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Concept: Parasitic diseases

5

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) not only cause health and life expectancy loss, but can also lead to economic consequences including reduced ability to work. This article describes a systematic literature review of the effect on the economic productivity of individuals affected by one of the five worldwide most prevalent NTDs: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths (ascariasis, trichuriasis, and hookworm infection) and trachoma. These diseases are eligible to preventive chemotherapy (PCT).

Concepts: Parasitic diseases, Filariasis, Neglected diseases, Ivermectin, Tropical disease, Hookworm, Tropical diseases, Albendazole

5

The London Declaration (2012) was formulated to support and focus the control and elimination of ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), with targets for 2020 as formulated by the WHO Roadmap. Five NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths and trachoma) are to be controlled by preventive chemotherapy (PCT), and four (Chagas' disease, human African trypanosomiasis, leprosy and visceral leishmaniasis) by innovative and intensified disease management (IDM). Guinea worm, virtually eradicated, is not considered here. We aim to estimate the global health impact of meeting these targets in terms of averted morbidity, mortality, and disability adjusted life years (DALYs).

Concepts: Infectious disease, Parasitic diseases, African trypanosomiasis, Vector, Neglected diseases, Tropical disease, Insect-borne diseases, Tropical diseases

5

Quantitative analysis and mathematical models are useful tools in informing strategies to control or eliminate disease. Currently, there is an urgent need to develop these tools to inform policy to achieve the 2020 goals for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). In this paper we give an overview of a collection of novel model-based analyses which aim to address key questions on the dynamics of transmission and control of nine NTDs: Chagas disease, visceral leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis, leprosy, soil-transmitted helminths, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and trachoma. Several common themes resonate throughout these analyses, including: the importance of epidemiological setting on the success of interventions; targeting groups who are at highest risk of infection or re-infection; and reaching populations who are not accessing interventions and may act as a reservoir for infection,. The results also highlight the challenge of maintaining elimination ‘as a public health problem’ when true elimination is not reached. The models elucidate the factors that may be contributing most to persistence of disease and discuss the requirements for eventually achieving true elimination, if that is possible. Overall this collection presents new analyses to inform current control initiatives. These papers form a base from which further development of the models and more rigorous validation against a variety of datasets can help to give more detailed advice. At the moment, the models' predictions are being considered as the world prepares for a final push towards control or elimination of neglected tropical diseases by 2020.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Parasitic diseases, African trypanosomiasis, Vector, Neglected diseases, Tropical disease, Tropical diseases

4

In 2000, the World Health Organization established the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF), with the goal of eliminating the disease as a public health problem by 2020. Since the start of the programme, a cumulative total of 6.2 billion treatments have been delivered to affected populations - with more than 556 million people treated in 2015 alone. In this paper, we perform a rigorous systematic review of the economic evaluations of lymphatic filariasis interventions have been conducted. We demonstrate that the standard interventions to control lymphatic filariasis are consistently found to be highly cost-effective. This finding has important implications for advocacy groups and potential funders. However, there are several important inconsistencies and research gaps that need to be addressed as we move forward towards the 2020 elimination goals. One of the most important identified research gaps was a lack of evaluation of new interventions specifically targeting areas co-endemic with onchocerciasis and Loa loa - which could become a major barrier to achieving elimination.

Concepts: Medicine, Public health, Parasitic diseases, World Health Organization, Filariasis, Neglected diseases, Ivermectin, Loa loa filariasis

4

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set ambitious time-bound targets for the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Investing in NTDs is not only seen as good value for money, but is also advocated as a pro-poor policy since it would improve population health in the poorest populations. We studied the extent to which the disease burden from nine NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths, trachoma, Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis, leprosy, visceral leishmaniasis) was concentrated in the poorest countries in 1990 and 2010, and how this would change by 2020 in case the WHO targets are met.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Chagas disease, Parasitic diseases, African trypanosomiasis, Filariasis, Neglected diseases, Tropical disease, Tropical diseases

4

Since its initiation in 1995, the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) has had a substantial impact on the prevalence and burden of onchocerciasis through annual ivermectin mass treatment. Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum anti-parasitic agent that also has an impact on other co-endemic parasitic infections. In this study, we roughly assessed the additional impact of APOC activities on the burden of the most important off-target infections: soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH; ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm, and strongyloidiasis), lymphatic filariasis (LF), and scabies. Based on a literature review, we formulated assumptions about the impact of ivermectin treatment on the disease burden of these off-target infections. Using data on the number of ivermectin treatments in APOC regions and the latest estimates of the burden of disease, we then calculated the impact of APOC activities on off-target infections in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) averted. We conservatively estimated that between 1995 and 2010, annual ivermectin mass treatment has cumulatively averted about 500 thousand DALYs from co-endemic STH infections, LF, and scabies. This impact comprised approximately an additional 5.5% relative to the total burden averted from onchocerciasis (8.9 million DALYs) and indicates that the overall cost-effectiveness of APOC is even higher than previously reported.

Concepts: Health economics, Disease, Infectious disease, Parasitic diseases, Neglected diseases, Ivermectin, Disability-adjusted life year, Disease burden

3

Snail-borne parasitic diseases, such as angiostrongyliasis, clonorchiasis, fascioliasis, fasciolopsiasis, opisthorchiasis, paragonimiasis and schistosomiasis, pose risks to human health and cause major socioeconomic problems in many tropical and sub-tropical countries. In this review we summarize the core roles of snails in the life cycles of the parasites they host, their clinical manifestations and disease distributions, as well as snail control methods.

Concepts: Medicine, Health, Epidemiology, Disease, Infectious disease, Death, Parasitic diseases, Personal life

3

The human helminth infections include ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm infections, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis (LF) and onchocerciasis. It is estimated that almost 2 billion people worldwide are infected with helminths. Whilst the WHO treatment guidelines for helminth infections are mostly aimed at controlling morbidity, there has been a recent shift with some countries moving towards goals of disease elimination through mass drug administration, especially for LF and onchocerciasis. However, as prevalence is driven lower, treating entire populations may no longer be the most efficient or cost-effective strategy. Instead, it may be beneficial to identify individuals or demographic groups who are persistently infected, often termed as being “predisposed” to infection, and target treatment at them.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Disease, Demography, Parasitic diseases, Neglected diseases, Hookworm, Parasitic worm, Parasitic animals

3

Endemic to Central Africa, loiasis - or African eye worm (caused by the filarial nematode Loa loa) - affects more than 10 million people. Despite causing ocular and systemic symptoms, it has typically been considered a benign condition, only of public health relevance because it impedes mass drug administration-based interventions against onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis in co-endemic areas. Recent research has challenged this conception, demonstrating excess mortality associated with high levels of infection, implying that loiasis warrants attention as an intrinsic public health problem. This review summarises available information on the key parasitological, entomological, and epidemiological characteristics of the infection and argues for the mobilisation of resources to control the disease, and the development of a mathematical transmission model to guide deployment of interventions.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Parasitic diseases, Filariasis, Neglected diseases, Loa loa filariasis, Loa loa, Calabar swellings, Deer fly

3

Neglected tropical diseases cause significant morbidity and mortality and are a source of poverty in endemic countries. Only a few drugs are available to treat diseases such as leishmaniasis, Chagas' disease, human African trypanosomiasis and malaria. Since drug development is lengthy and expensive, a drug repurposing strategy offers an attractive fast-track approach to speed up the process. A set of 100 registered drugs with drug repositioning potential for neglected diseases was assembled and tested in vitro against four protozoan parasites associated with the aforementioned diseases. Several drugs and drug classes showed in vitro activity in those screening assays. The results are critically reviewed and discussed in the perspective of a follow-up drug repositioning strategy where R&D has to be addressed with limited resources.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Infectious disease, Chagas disease, Parasitic diseases, African trypanosomiasis, Neglected diseases, Tropical disease, Tropical diseases