MICROBIO 494NI Neglected Tropical Disease

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a set of infectious diseases arising from a diverse group of parasitic worms, bacteria, and vector-borne protozoa that affect an estimated 1.4 billion people worldwide. These diseases affect the world’s most vulnerable populations, almost exclusively poor and powerless people living in rural areas and urban slums of low-income countries. NTDs coexist with poverty because they thrive where access to clean water and sanitation are limited and people live without protection from insects that transmit disease. They also contribute to poverty since they can impair intellectual development in children, reduce school enrollment, and hinder economic productivity by limiting the ability of infected individuals to work. Current control efforts focus primarily on mass drug administration (MDA) to treat the seven most common NTDs and has become one of the most cost effective global health programs to treat multiple diseases at once, in large part because major pharmaceutical companies are donating the needed medicines for free. End 7 is a global campaign to deworm the world and bring an end to 7 of the NTDs. Important questions exist related to this global health strategy: what might be the long-term benefits (and possible detriments) to a sustained global deworming effort? What other measures should be implemented in combination with MDA for sustained control? Satisfies one of the three required modules for the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-MicBio or BS-MicBio majors.