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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. Research

    Malaria elimination in Botswana, 2012–2014: achievements and challenges

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2016 9:99

    Published on: 24 February 2016

  2. Letter to the Editor

    Challenges facing the elimination of sleeping sickness in west and central Africa: sustainable control of animal trypanosomiasis as an indispensable approach to achieve the goal

    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...

    Gustave Simo and Jean Baptiste Rayaisse

    Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:640

    Published on: 16 December 2015

  3. Research

    Estimation of changes in the force of infection for intestinal and urogenital schistosomiasis in countries with schistosomiasis control initiative-assisted programmes

    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...

    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

    Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:558

    Published on: 24 October 2015

  4. Research

    Modelling control of Schistosoma haematobium infection: predictions of the long-term impact of mass drug administration in Africa

    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...

    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

    Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:529

    Published on: 22 October 2015

  5. Research

    Required duration of mass ivermectin treatment for onchocerciasis elimination in Africa: a comparative modelling analysis

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:552

    Published on: 22 October 2015

  6. Research

    Global elimination of leprosy by 2020: are we on track?

    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....

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:548

    Published on: 22 October 2015

  7. Research

    The potential impact of moxidectin on onchocerciasis elimination in Africa: an economic evaluation based on the Phase II clinical trial data

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:167

    Published on: 19 March 2015

  8. Research

    Mapping hotspots of malaria transmission from pre-existing hydrology, geology and geomorphology data in the pre-elimination context of Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania

    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...

    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

    Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:41

    Published on: 22 January 2015

  9. Research

    Schistosoma haematobium detection in snails by DraI PCR and Sh110/Sm-Sl PCR: further evidence of the interruption of schistosomiasis transmission in Morocco

    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 ...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:288

    Published on: 24 June 2014

  10. Research

    Schistosoma mansoni infection after three years of mass drug administration in Sierra Leone

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:14

    Published on: 9 January 2014

  11. Research

    Interruption of Onchocerca volvulus transmission in Northern Venezuela

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:289

    Published on: 7 October 2013

  12. Research

    A practical strategy for responding to a case of lymphatic filariasis post-elimination in Pacific Islands

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:218

    Published on: 26 July 2013

  13. Review

    Eliminating malaria vectors

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:172

    Published on: 7 June 2013

  14. Research

    Challenges for malaria elimination in Zanzibar: pyrethroid resistance in malaria vectors and poor performance of long-lasting insecticide nets

    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 ...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:82

    Published on: 28 March 2013

  15. Review

    Lymphatic filariasis in Brazil: epidemiological situation and outlook for elimination

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:272

    Published on: 26 November 2012

  16. Review

    Diversity and transmission competence in lymphatic filariasis vectors in West Africa, and the implications for accelerated elimination of Anopheles-transmitted filariasis

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:259

    Published on: 14 November 2012

  17. Research

    Malaria transmission after five years of vector control on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea

    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...

    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

    Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:253

    Published on: 12 November 2012

  18. Review

    The burden of neglected tropical diseases in Ethiopia, and opportunities for integrated control and elimination

    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 ...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:240

    Published on: 24 October 2012

  19. Review

    Elimination of Rhodnius prolixus in Central America

    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...

    Ken Hashimoto and Christopher J Schofield

    Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:45

    Published on: 22 February 2012

  20. Review

    Onchocerciasis in the Americas: from arrival to (near) elimination

    Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is a blinding parasitic disease that threatens the health of approximately 120 million people worldwide. While 99% of the population at-risk for infection from onchocerciasis l...

    Ken Gustavsen, Adrian Hopkins and Mauricio Sauerbrey

    Parasites & Vectors 2011 4:205

    Published on: 25 October 2011

  21. Research

    Progress towards the eradication of Tsetse from the Loos islands, Guinea

    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...

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

    Parasites & Vectors 2011 4:18

    Published on: 10 February 2011