Scientific working group on Leishmaniasis
Meeting report. 2-4 February 2004, Geneva, Switzerland
The goal of the Scientific Working Group (SWG) meeting was to identify leishmaniasis research priorities for the next five years. In addition, the group was to identify strategic emphases, based on TDR’s comparative advantage, to add to the current ones. The discussions were to be focused on how to cope with and prevent drug resistance, and how to optimize the use of genomic information to improve drug, diagnostics and vaccine discovery. Additionally, the group was requested to consider if leishmaniasis should remain on the list of TDR category I diseases (emerging and uncontrolled; worsening epidemiological situation; increasing incidence of infection and disease).
The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the tools needed to control leishmaniasis, i.e. diagnostics, drugs, vector control, and vaccines, and to assess their adequacy as well as the new knowledge and new tools needed to improve the current tools and control measures.
The SWG reiterated that control of leishmaniasis is achievable, although current tools have proved insufficient for dealing with the biological complexity of the disease and with the unmanageable changes caused by environmental, societal, political and behavioural factors.