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Elimination of parasitic infections

The idea that elimination of parasites and vectors in certain settings is achievable is gaining momentum. This is being driven, in part, by an increasing awareness that much can be done to reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by parasite infections by deploying existing tools, often based on drug donations from the pharmaceutical industry. In the past, targeted local elimination in isolated or island populations has been achieved, for example, hydatid disease (echinococcosis) in Iceland, Cyprus and New Zealand or sleeping sickness in São Tomé and Principe.

Encouraging examples of successful control and elimination of parasites and their vectors are now being reported in other settings and at a larger scale, including filariasis in China, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea and onchocerciasis in the Americas and in some settings in West Africa. Whilst successful control may be restricted initially to isolated pockets within an endemic area, or to the boundaries of a parasite’s range, where the life cycle may be more easily disrupted and where the prospect of reintroduction is limited, epidemiological evidence suggests that local elimination can be achieved. The role of animal reservoir hosts can be a critical factor for the prospects of elimination of some diseases and reservoir hosts may severely limit the chances of success.

In some cases, as with dracunculiasis, global eradication is the goal, that is the permanent certified reduction of incidence to zero globally. Dracunculiasis is now only endemic in 5 countries in Africa, transmission having been eliminated from Asia. Most importantly, there is a commitment from national health authorities in endemic countries to subscribe to World Health Assembly Resolutions for elimination of parasitic infections. This commitment, together with improved methods of vector and transmission control, wider availability of existing treatments, better health education, improved water quality and sanitation, increased knowledge of parasite and vector interactions, are all contributing to driving down prevalence and incidence of many parasitic infections and thus reducing disease morbidity and mortality.

In this Series, we aim to feature articles that highlight some of the important steps that need to be taken to eliminate both parasites and vectors in different regions of the world, and by bringing together these important contributions, we hope to illustrate how much can be achieved in reducing the burden of parasitic diseases.

Edited by Professor David Rollinson

Collection published: 10 February 2011

View all collections published in Parasites & Vectors

  1. Content type: Research

    Botswana significantly reduced its malaria burden between 2000 and 2012. Incidence dropped from 0.99 to 0.01 % and deaths attributed to malaria declined from 12 to 3. The country initiated elimination strategi...

    Authors: Simon Chihanga, Ubydul Haque, Emmanuel Chanda, Tjantilili Mosweunyane, Kense Moakofhi, Haruna Baba Jibril, Mpho Motlaleng, Wenyi Zhang and Gregory E. Glass

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2016 9:99

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  2. Content type: Letter to the Editor

    African trypanosomiases are infectious diseases caused by trypanosomes. African animal trypanosomiasis (AAT) remains an important threat for livestock production in some affected areas whereas human African tr...

    Authors: Gustave Simo and Jean Baptiste Rayaisse

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:640

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  3. Content type: Research

    The last decade has seen an expansion of national schistosomiasis control programmes in Africa based on large-scale preventative chemotherapy. In many areas this has resulted in considerable reductions in infe...

    Authors: Michael D. French, Thomas S. Churcher, Joanne P. Webster, Fiona M. Fleming, Alan Fenwick, Narcis B. Kabatereine, Moussa Sacko, Amadou Garba, Seydou Toure, Ursuline Nyandindi, James Mwansa, Lynsey Blair, Elisa Bosqué-Oliva and Maria-Gloria Basáñez

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:558

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  4. Content type: Research

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has set ambitious targets for the elimination of onchocerciasis by 2020–2025 through mass ivermectin treatment. Two different mathematical models have assessed the feasibili...

    Authors: Wilma A. Stolk, Martin Walker, Luc E. Coffeng, María-Gloria Basáñez and Sake J. de Vlas

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:552

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  5. Content type: Research

    Every year more than 200,000 new leprosy cases are registered globally. This number has been fairly stable over the past 8 years. WHO has set a target to interrupt the transmission of leprosy globally by 2020....

    Authors: David J. Blok, Sake J. De Vlas and Jan Hendrik Richardus

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:548

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  6. Content type: Research

    The virulent vector-borne disease, Gambian human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), is one of several diseases targeted for elimination by the World Health Organization. This article utilises human case data from ...

    Authors: Kat S. Rock, Steve J. Torr, Crispin Lumbala and Matt J. Keeling

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:532

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  7. Content type: Research

    Effective control of schistosomiasis remains a challenging problem for endemic areas of the world. Given knowledge of the biology of transmission and past experience with mass drug administration (MDA) program...

    Authors: David Gurarie, Nara Yoon, Emily Li, Martial Ndeffo-Mbah, David Durham, Anna E. Phillips, H. Osvaldo Aurelio, Josefo Ferro, Alison P. Galvani and Charles H. King

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:529

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  8. Content type: Research

    Mathematical models of parasite transmission can help integrate a large body of information into a consistent framework, which can then be used for gaining mechanistic insights and making predictions. However,...

    Authors: Brajendra K. Singh and Edwin Michael

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:522

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  9. Content type: Research

    Spurred by success in several foci, onchocerciasis control policy in Africa has shifted from morbidity control to elimination of infection. Clinical trials have demonstrated that moxidectin is substantially mo...

    Authors: Hugo C Turner, Martin Walker, Simon K Attah, Nicholas O Opoku, Kwablah Awadzi, Annette C Kuesel and María-Gloria Basáñez

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:167

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  10. Content type: Research

    Larval source management strategies can play an important role in malaria elimination programmes, especially for tackling outdoor biting species and for eliminating parasite and vector populations when they ar...

    Authors: Andrew Hardy, Zawadi Mageni, Stefan Dongus, Gerry Killeen, Mark G Macklin, Silas Majambare, Abdullah Ali, Mwinyi Msellem, Abdul-Wahiyd Al-Mafazy, Mark Smith and Chris Thomas

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:41

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  11. Content type: Research

    This is the first study in Morocco to estimate snail infection rates at the last historic transmission sites of schistosomiasis, known to be free from new infection among humans since 2004. Screening of large ...

    Authors: Fatima Amarir, Faiza Sebti, Ibrahim Abbasi, Abderrahim Sadak, Hajiba Fellah, Haddou Nhammi, Btissam Ameur, Abderrahman Laamrani El Idrissi and Mohamed Rhajaoui

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:288

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  12. Content type: Research

    Schistosoma mansoni was moderately-highly endemic in the northeast of Sierra Leone. The national neglected tropical disease control program started mass drug administration (MDA) with praziquantel (PZQ) in six di...

    Authors: Santigie Sesay, Jusufu Paye, Mohamed S Bah, Florence Max McCarthy, Abdulai Conteh, Mustapha Sonnie, Mary H Hodges and Yaobi Zhang

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:14

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  13. Content type: Research

    Onchocerciasis is caused by Onchocerca volvulus and transmitted by Simulium species (black flies). In the Americas, the infection has been previously described in 13 discrete regional foci distributed among six c...

    Authors: Jacinto Convit, Harland Schuler, Rafael Borges, Vimerca Olivero, Alfredo Domínguez-Vázquez, Hortencia Frontado and María E Grillet

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:289

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  14. Content type: Research

    Lymphatic filariasis (LF) due to Wuchereria bancrofti is being eliminated from Oceania under the Pacific Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis Programme. LF was endemic in Solomon Islands but in the 2010-2020 Strat...

    Authors: Humpress Harrington, James Asugeni, Christopher Jimuru, John Gwalaa, Elmer Ribeyro, Richard Bradbury, Hayley Joseph, Wayne Melrose, David MacLaren and Rick Speare

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:218

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  15. Content type: Review

    Malaria vectors which predominantly feed indoors upon humans have been locally eliminated from several settings with insecticide treated nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying or larval source management. Recen...

    Authors: Gerry F Killeen, Aklilu Seyoum, Chadwick Sikaala, Amri S Zomboko, John E Gimnig, Nicodem J Govella and Michael T White

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:172

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  16. Content type: Research

    Long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) and indoor residual house spraying (IRS) are the main interventions for the control of malaria vectors in Zanzibar. The aim of the present study was to assess the ...

    Authors: Khamis A Haji, Bakari O Khatib, Stephen Smith, Abdullah S Ali, Gregor J Devine, Maureen Coetzee and Silas Majambere

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:82

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  17. Content type: Review

    Since the World Health Assembly’s (Resolution WHA 50.29, 1997) call for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis by the year 2020, most of the endemic countries identified have established programmes to meet th...

    Authors: Gilberto Fontes, Anderson Brandão Leite, Ana Rachel Vasconcelos de Lima, Helen Freitas, John Patrick Ehrenberg and Eliana Maria Mauricio da Rocha

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:272

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  18. Content type: Review

    Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) is targeted for elimination by the Global Programme for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF). The strategy adopted is based on the density dependent phenomenon of Facilitat...

    Authors: Dziedzom K de Souza, Benjamin Koudou, Louise A Kelly-Hope, Michael D Wilson, Moses J Bockarie and Daniel A Boakye

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:259

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  19. Content type: Research

    Malaria is endemic with year-round transmission on Bioko Island. The Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP) started in 2004 with the aim to reduce malaria transmission and to ultimately eliminate malaria...

    Authors: Hans J Overgaard, Vamsi P Reddy, Simon Abaga, Abrahan Matias, Michael R Reddy, Vani Kulkarni, Christopher Schwabe, Luis Segura, Immo Kleinschmidt and Michel A Slotman

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:253

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  20. Content type: Review

    Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of chronic parasitic diseases and related conditions that are the most common diseases among the 2·7 billion people globally living on less than US$2 per day. In ...

    Authors: Kebede Deribe, Kadu Meribo, Teshome Gebre, Asrat Hailu, Ahmed Ali, Abraham Aseffa and Gail Davey

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:240

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  21. Content type: Review

    Rhodnius prolixus is one of the main vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, causative agent of Chagas disease. In Central America, it was first discovered in 1915 in El Salvador, from where it spread northwest to Guatemal...

    Authors: Ken Hashimoto and Christopher J Schofield

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:45

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  22. Content type: Research

    The tsetse fly Glossina palpalis gambiensis is the main vector of sleeping sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis - HAT) in West Africa, in particular in littoral Guinea where this disease is currently very acti...

    Authors: Moise S Kagbadouno, Mamadou Camara, Jérémy Bouyer, Fabrice Courtin, Mory F Onikoyamou, Chris J Schofield and Philippe Solano

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2011 4:18

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