tropical medicine

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Related to tropical medicine: Tropical diseases

tropical medicine,

study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of certain diseases prevalent in the tropics. The warmth and humidity of the tropics and the often unsanitary conditions under which so many people in those areas live contribute to the development and dissemination of many infectious diseases and parasitic infestations. Much has been achieved in combating such typical tropical diseases as yellow feveryellow fever,
acute infectious disease endemic in tropical Africa and many areas of South and Central America. Yellow fever is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in stagnant water near human habitations.
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, amebic dysenterydysentery
, inflammation of the intestine characterized by the frequent passage of feces, usually with blood and mucus. The two most common causes of dysentery are infection with a bacillus (see bacteria) of the Shigella group, and infestation by an ameba,
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, and filariasis (elephantiasiselephantiasis
, abnormal enlargement of any part of the body due to obstruction of the lymphatic channels in the area (see lymphatic system), usually affecting the arms, legs, or external genitals.
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). Better public health measures and therapeutic agents have assisted in the fight. The World Health Organization and philanthropic foundations have worked with local and international efforts to bring about medical advances. The deployment of American troops in malaria-infested regions spurred the search for more efficient synthetic antimalarial drugs. DDT, introduced in World War II to eradicate the malaria-carrying mosquito, has been found to have lingering toxic effects in the environment, and the persistent use of DDT in China for rice pests has produced DDT-resistant mosquitoes that now carry malaria. Resistance of the malarial parasite to chloroquine and Fansidar, the most widely used drugs for the protection of travelers in the tropics, has made both drugs virtually useless in most of Asia, Africa, and South America. A new drug, mefloquine, is effective in some areas but has many serious side effects. Current research is directed at making a vaccine against malaria. There have also been advances against hookworm, leprosy, and other tropical maladies. The emergence in central Africa of the Ebola virusEbola virus
, a virus of the genus Ebolavirus, which belongs to a family (Filoviridae) of RNA viruses that cause hemorrhagic fevers. The viruses, named for a river in Congo (Kinshasa) near where the first species was first identified in 1976, emerged from the rain
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, which exists in an as yet unknown host and is fatal to 50%–90% of those infected, has been especially challenging to medical personnel in underequipped hospitals where outbreaks have occurred.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tropical Medicine


a branch of medicine concerned with human health in tropical and subtropical regions. It deals with the etiology, diagnosis, therapy, epidemiology, and prevention of tropical diseases, as well as with the prevention of their spread in temperate countries. Other concerns of tropical medicine are adaptation, acclimatization, the clinical course of diseases prevalent in the tropics, and the influence of natural and social factors on the health and susceptibility of inhabitants of tropical regions and of visitors to these regions.

The rapid development and increasing importance of tropical medicine in the second half of the 20th century result from the emergence of many recently independent developing countries in tropical regions and the creation of effective means of preventing and treating many tropical diseases. Modern tropical medicine is no longer a clinical specialty concerned with exotic diseases but a complex branch of medicine that places a strong emphasis on prevention.

The scientific, organizational, and methodological center for tropical medicine in the USSR is the E. I. Martsinovskii Institute of Medical Parasitology and Tropical Medicine in Moscow. Tropical medicine is also studied in republic-level institutes of tropical medicine, in subdepartments of parasitology at institutes for advanced training in medicine, in other scientific establishments in the USSR, and in similar organizations abroad, as well as in the World Health Organization and various other international organizations.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The historical period of the STM (1926-1949) was coeval with the STM-Journal (1925-1950), which comprised of the full-blown era of tropical medicine on the Island during the second quarter of the 20th century.
Naval medical activities accordingly shifted to the cities of Bordeaux, Marseille, and Paris, marking a new moment in the history of French imperialism as well as the emergence of a new "universal tropical medicine" (10).
aureus infections, nosocomial infections, outbreak investigations and tropical medicine.
The Madonna Institute of Tropical Medicine (Hygiene, Blood) and Pandemics is an education and research institution operating at the Madonna University, founded by the Rev.
"We used DNA technology to compare the parasites from 56 patients with ovale malaria, from across the tropical world," Dr Colin Sutherland, lead researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said.
This nucleus was destined to become the future London School of Tropical Medicine. In this room in 1890 Romanowsky described a stain for separating the features of the cell.
It has been set up by scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, working with colleagues at the Health Protection Agency and the EU's Seventh Framework Programme.
Following a chapter on the history of tropical medicine, the chapters are presented in sections covering underlying factors in tropical medicine such as primary care, epidemiology, traditional medicine, the economics and financing of disease control, and ethical considerations; symptoms and signs and the general approach to the patient; system- oriented disease; specialties in the tropics, including pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics, radiology and imaging services, oral health, and travel health; environmental/genetic disorders; viral infections; rickettsial infections; bacterial infections; mycotic infections; protozoan infections; helminthic infections; and ectoparasites.
A team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said birth size might explain 5% of all breast cancers.
The death rate among adults in rural Malawi has declined by 10% since the introduction of antiretroviral therapy, and in areas with the highest death rate it may have declined by up to 35%, according to findings from a London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine study published in the 10 May edition of The Lancet.
Foley was recently published in the December edition of the "American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene." Mr.

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