Research priorities on Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis released

TDR news item
27 November 2012

The third report of the WHO/TDR technical series on research priorities has been published, this time on Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis. These diseases afflict the poorest and most isolated populations, disfiguring, stigmatizing and killing. Drugs used to treat the diseases are toxic and drug resistance is emerging, while the programmes to control the insect vectors that carry the diseases have been difficult to sustain, especially in regions of conflict.

The Reference Group recommends further research in the following areas:

  • Diagnostics for case detection and characterization, including drug resistance and tests of cure;
  • Therapeutics to avoid drug resistance, including exploring combinations of approved anti-kinetoplastid drugs, repurposing of existing approved drugs, and developing new drugs;
  • Vector control technologies, including markers of successful vector control;
  • Vector population characteristics, including insecticide resistance;
  • Operational research on integrated disease and vector control.
  • Vaccines to prevent Leishmania infection and disease; and vaccines to block transmission of Leishmania;
  • Assessing the importance of asymptomatic infection.

The WHO Technical Report Series makes available the findings of various international groups of experts that provide WHO with the latest scientific and technical advice on a broad range of medical and public health subjects. This is the first research report series, which came out of the TDR think tank of international experts who identify key research priorities through systematic review of research evidence and input from stakeholder consultations. Ten disease and thematic reference groups were established and this report is from one of those groups – the Disease Reference Group on Chagas disease, human African Trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis.

For more information, please contact:

Fabio Zicker