About this Research Topic
Neglected diseases are a group of chronic disabling infections affecting more than 1 billion people worldwide, mainly in Africa and mostly those living in remote rural areas, urban slums or conflict zones. Beyond their negative impact on health, neglected diseases contribute to an ongoing cycle of poverty and stigma that leaves people unable to work, go to school or participate in family and community life. Severe Dengue, Chagas disease, Leishmaniasis, Schistosomiasis, Strongyloidiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis are some of the neglected diseases with high priority for the control programmes. The control of these infections represents a largely untapped development opportunity to alleviate poverty in the world’s poorest populations. With the goal of allowing the easy management of these diseases within the primary health-care system and ultimately eliminated as a public health problem, the focus of this Research Topic is the introduction of innovative tools that can promote a sensitive diagnosis, even for hard to detect patients, that make it feasible to implement preventive and medicinal chemotherapy. Also including treatment approaches and control of cure of the neglected diseases. Endemic regions are currently circumscribed in certain core areas where re-infection and repeated chemotherapy are frequent and, as consequence, are related to residents with low parasite load. At present, diagnosis is predominately a key step for final disease control although low endemicity area residents are hardly detected by most of the available assays. Undoubtedly, it is urgent to make efforts aiming the improvement of diagnostic tools for neglected diseases including high, medium but, especially, low endemicity infections. The establishment of diagnostic assays - simple, affordable, sensitive, and specific for field diagnosis - is essential and should be given high priority.
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