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All Parties’ Contribution Is Essential For Interventions To Be Successful

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By Author: doris zhang
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The productivity losses that they entail are therefore inextricably connected with the continent’s food insecurity, especially considering that the largest bulk of Africa’s food production is used for local consumption . With food insecurity being recognised as a global health challenge , all its major causes in the animal sources should be thoroughly investigated and tackled under the One Health lens. This applies also to animals’ and livestock parasitic infections, given the burden they pose, ultimately,mobile vertical rack to human sustainment and nutrition. As the OIE puts it, “pathogens of animal origin that are not transmissible to humans, but which have a severe impact on the production of animal protein, should not be neglected either, particularly in developing countries.

In fact, they can lead to production losses and a reduction in the available food supply, leading to serious public health problems caused by food shortages and protein deficiencies".The field of research and development of parasiticides provides perhaps the most blatant concrete examples of ...
... the One Health approach in parasitology, spanning across human and veterinary medicine. The possibly most renowned case in point in this respect is represented by the “wonder drug” ivermectin. Discovered in the late 1970s and initially developed for veterinary use as a broad-spectrum endectocide targeting gastro-intestinal nematodes and several ectoparasitic arthropods, ivermectin has then been largely employed in human medicine for the control of onchocerciasis, lymphatic fifilariasis , certain soil-transmitted helminthiases and scabies . This drug still represents the mainstay of two global campaigns aiming to eliminate onchocerciasis and LF, by the means of Mass Drug Administration , made possible through donations of the active ingredient by Merck & Co., Inc.. Recently, the use of ivermectin was proposed for MDAs in both humans and livestock as a complementary strategy to control malaria mosquito vectors.

Also discovered in the 1970s, it is used to control cestodes and trematodes in dogs,cats,horses and sometimes even cattle,and it represents the only currently available option for the control of schistosomiasis in humans.Over the years, praziquantel has indeed been used for MDA-based preventative chemotherapy campaigns targeting school aged children in schistosomiasis-endemic areas in Africa .However,risks of emergence and/or spreading of resistance or reduced effificacy in human parasites addressed towards ivermectin and praziquantel,together with the need for effective drugs and/or vaccines against NTDs and malaria,have paved the way for initiatives aiming to fifill the void in R&D pipelines against these diseases.Indeed,from the early 2000s onwards, several “Product Development Partnerships” started being established, under the model of “Public–Private Partnerships”.These include, among others, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative,Medicines for Malaria Venture and the Global Health Innovation Technology,focused on drug and/or vaccine development; the Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics devoted to diagnostics; the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health dedicated to vaccine R&D, primary health care and advocacy;and the Innovative Vector Control Consortium , developing vector control tools.

Such PDPs are non-profifit entities that collaborate with human pharmaceutical and biotech fifirms to support them in the development of solutions to address NTDs and malaria .Within this framework, the substantial funding provided by multilateral, bilateral and philanthropic donors ,allows for the “de-risking”of R&D projects that would otherwise be prohibitive for industry alone, due to the limited return on investment that they may generate .The execution of the London Declaration on NTDs in 2012,which gathered initially the world’s 13 leading pharmaceutical companies, generated a major momentum in the fifight against NTDs, catalysing an investment of more US$785 million to support R&D programmes.For example,hydroponic grow system DNDi's target conditions include several parasitic NTDs that are endemic to the African continent such as leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness,LF and onchocerciasis.With respect to the latter condition, DNDi's efforts are currently focused on evaluating emodepside, an anthelminthic veterinary drug used to control nematodes in cats and dogs, for the development of an oral macrofifilaricidal treatment for onchocerciasis in humans,to be delivered as a tablet . Following successful Phase I studies in healthy volunteers, this project will soon undergo a Phase II proof-of-concept clinical trial in Ghana, aiming to assess the safety and effificacy of emodepside for people living with onchocerciasis.

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