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Apart from Dengue fever, leishmaniasis presumably is the most important of the „neglected diseases“. In the past years, WHO made particular efforts to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry price reductions for the most needed drugs. Of concern is the increasing drug resistance of leishmania.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder prevalent only in populations from malaria endemic areas. Affected children may suffer from pneumonias and other life-threatening complications early in life.
Mycobacteria like Mycobacterium tuberculosis reside and multiply inside our cells. While their invasion and survival are under intense investigation, it is largely unknown how they leave the cells – something they need to do to spread the infection.
Although it is usually very hot in their homelands, parasites that are transmitted by insects must survive a heat shock when they encounter humans or other warm-blooded organisms. With temperatures exceeding 40°C, our bodies are much hotter than the insects’ or the tropics.
In a survey in Central Africa, ophthalmologists found a series of eye infections by parasites. After surgical removal of suspicious material, DNA tests identified parasites of the genus Armillifer, also called pentastomes.
Scrub typhus is prevalent in large areas of Asia and Oceania. It is caused by particularly small bacteria (Orientia tsutsugamushi), which are transmitted by the bites of mites.
A 30-year-old farmer from Savannakhet Province in Laos had developed on his right foot a large, brownish-coloured, painless swelling from which oozed a discharge containing bacteria of the Nocardia aobensis species.
In sub-Saharan Africa, it is common practice to treat all children with fever for malaria. If they don’t get better within a few days, other causes for the disease are considered.