It’s a proud moment for Tarig B. Higazi, PhD, associate professor of biology at Ohio University in Zanesville, and his colleagues: they recently reported on the apparent elimination of the parasitic disease onchocerciasis in Abu Hamed, Sudan (Higazi TB et al. Am J Trop Med Hyg. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0112 [published online May 20, 2013]). That’s a rare accomplishment among those seeking to curb the spread of neglected tropical diseases, and one worth savoring.
Higazi’s study and a second that found less success for efforts to eliminate the same disease in Uganda were highlighted in a recent issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. These studies, and another report published in the same issue that demonstrates a new test for lymphatic filariasis, reveal some of the challenges facing researchers combating neglected parasitic diseases and the ways scientists are trying to overcome them.
Kuehn BM. Scientists Celebrate Successes, New Tools in Fight Against Human Parasitic Worms. JAMA. 2013;310(1):19-20. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7665