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The techniques of modern molecular biology are opening promising avenues for the World Health Organization's long-sought goal for the ultimate control of six major tropical diseases—malaria, filariasis, trypanosomiasis, leprosy, schistosomiasis, and leishmaniasis. Among the recent advances in some of these diseases:
A candidate vaccine against leprosy is currently undergoing clinical trials;
A vaccine against malaria is in sight, and improved drugs, including a new agent from the People's Republic of China, are under active investigation;
A new drug for the management and perhaps even prevention of onchocerciasis, or river blindness, is undergoing an extended field trial;
Finally, a well-studied and highly promising candidate vaccine against the rotavirus responsible for diarrheal diseases of infants and children is at hand and may be ready for use in a year or two.
In addition, novel strategies are being instituted for the better control of many of the
Marwick C. Benevolent 'world war' declared humanity's longtime disease foes. JAMA. 1984;252(22):3071–3080. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350220001001
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