river blindness


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river blindness

or

onchocerciasis,

disease caused by the parasitic nematode worm Onchocerca volvulus. The worm larvae are transmitted by the bites of blackflies (genus Simulium) that live in fast moving streams. Inside the body the worms form disfiguring skin nodules, where they mate. Their tiny larvae, or microfilariae, migrate through the skin, causing severe itching. If the infection reaches the area of the eye, allergic reaction to the microfilariae can cause blindness.

Tests can now detect infestation before the disease has progressed, and the new drugs ivermectin, which kills the larvae, and amocarzine, which kills adult forms, have begun to help control the disease. Blackfly eradication programs have had limited success because the flies can quickly develop resistance to pesticides.

River blindness, which occurs primarily in Africa, Central and South America, and Yemen, affects an estimated 18 million people. In Africa, two strains have been identified, a savanna strain and a forest strain. The forest strain does not usually lead to blindness, but it does cause severe skin symptoms (lesions, itching, discoloration, change in texture) that can result in social ostracism.

References in periodicals archive ?
An important part of the agreement between Medicines Development and GHIF is the contractual requirement to ensure accessibility of moxidectin for river blindness should the drug be approved, a goal consistent with the aims of each of the WHO, GHIF and Medicines Development.
The last front for river blindness in Colombia was Naiciona, a community of about 1,370 residents.
These days river blindness is gone from this region, thanks partly to work by the Carter Center, run by former President Jimmy Carter, and to vast contributions of medicine by Merck, the pharmaceutical company.
River blindness is caused by thread-like filarial nematode worms, Onchocerca volvulus, which are transmitted among humans through the bite of a black fly.
An African community can be protected against river blindness by the distribution of the drug Mectizan with a donation of pounds 19.
A STUDY by the UN's health body has shown that the disease onchocerciasis - also known as river blindness - could be wiped out using drugs.
Although the summit, co-sponsored by the government of Benin, the WHO and the NGO, Water for all Children, focused on one of the rarer NTDs, Burili ulcer (the third most occurring mycrobacterial disease in humans, after leprosy and tuberculosis), the participants also discussed NTDs in general, which include elephantiasis, river blindness, guinea worm, leprosy, and trachoma.
Noor Dubai is funding the foundation's fight against river blindness and other preventable vision loss in Africa, and has so far healed more than 400,000 in Ethiopia, Mali, Cameroon and Uganda.
Summary: DUBAI - Noor Dubai, the UAE-based charity initiative focused on preventing and treating poor vision and curable forms of blindness, has partnered with the Lions Club International Foundation and ORBIS International to fight river blindness and other forms of vision loss across Africa.
The State Ministry of Health of Gombe, which is located in northeastern Nigeria, Africa, in conjunction with Upper Benue River Basin Development Area office and local government, have taken measures to control the area's black flies, whose bite causes onchocerciasis or river blindness, the world's second leading cause of infectious blindness.
350-million plan to fight such ignored scourges as elephantiasis and river blindness.
This collection of nine new articles on Wolbachia includes a historical perspective of its relationship with arthropods and nematodes, an assessment of its significance to the evolution of nematodes, its behavior as endosymbient and the effect on filarial nematodes and the long-term effects of the relationship, the ramifications of the Wolbachia genome sequence and the new discoveries about Wolbachia biology related to it, arthropods and their symbiotic relationship with Wolbachia, and the relationship of Wolbachia to river blindness and veterinary filariasis.