The World Health Organization has released a new public health publication titled Research Priorities for Chagas Disease, Human African Trypanosomiasis and Leishmaniasis. This report presents an evaluation and listing of research priorities for three insect-borne diseases:
- Chagas disease
- Human African trypanosomiasis
These diseases disproportionately afflict poor and remote populations with limited access to health services, and the pathogenic mechanisms are poorly understood but typically entail immunological processes. The work is the output of the disease reference group on Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis (DRG3), which was part of an independent think tank of international experts established by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) to identify key research priorities through systematic review of research evidence and input from stakeholder consultations.
The research priorities fall into the general areas of diagnostics, drugs, vaccines, vector control and health systems. They include:
- Diagnostics for case detection and characterization, including tests for drug resistance and tests of cure.
- Therapeutics to avoid drug resistance, including exploration of combinations of approved anti-kinetoplastid drugs, re-purposing of existing approved drugs, and development of new drugs.
- Vector control technologies, including markers of successful vector control.
- Vector population characteristics, including insecticide resistance.
- Operations for integrated disease and vector control.
- Vaccines to prevent infection and disease and to block transmission of leishmania.
- The importance of asymptomatic infection.
The mandate for DRG3 was to identify priority areas for future research and investment, including areas common to the three diseases as well as disease-specific priorities that are useful to researchers, policy and decision-makers, funding bodies, implementation organizations, and civil society. This is one of ten disease and thematic reference group reports that have come out of the TDR Think Tank, all of which have contributed to the development of the Global Report for Research on Infectious Diseases of Poverty.
A full English version of the book is available here: http://www.who.int/tdr/publications/research_priorities/en/.
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Jennifer Kern, Marketing Associate
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