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Medical News & Perspectives
July 3, 2013

Scientists Celebrate Successes, New Tools in Fight Against Human Parasitic Worms

JAMA. 2013;310(1):19-20. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7665

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.

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