Prevention is better than cure: Elimination of parasitic infections

This year’s World Health Day focuses on combating drug resistance, which is a growing concern throughout the world, as antimicrobial resistance renders once powerful drugs useless in the fight against certain diseases. However, treatment is not the only answer to combating disease. Eradicating a disease is the ultimate goal of many health organisations, and the new series Elimination of parasitic infections, published in Parasites and Vectors will highlight campaigns from around the world where parasitic infections are being targeted for elimination

The targets of these elimination campaigns can be the parasite, the vector or both. The first article in the series reports the successful progress towards the elimination of the Tsetse fly in Guinea. Tsetse flies are the main vectors of sleeping sickness, a disease that is endemic in 36 sub-Saharan countries. Interestingly, the campaign used relatively low-cost control measures such as deltamethrin impregnated traps and netting and insecticide pour-ons to coat livestock (pigs), making this campaign easily affordable and repeatable in other endemic areas. The results of the campaign show 100% suppression of the Tsetse fly and the authors are now investigating further to ascertain whether eradication status has been achieved.

Ultimately, the series will illustrate how much has been, and still can be, achieved to reduce the scourge of parasitic diseases around the world.

Please contact the Editor-in-Chief of Parasites and Vectors, Professor Chris Arme, if you would like to contribute to the series.  

 

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