jueves, 4 de agosto de 2011

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Leishmaniasis: Middle East and North Africa Research and Development Priorities

Leishmaniasis: Middle East and North Africa Research and Development Priorities

Mary Ann McDowell1#*, Sima Rafati2#, Marcelo Ramalho-Ortigao3#, Afif Ben Salah4#

1 Eck Institute for Global Health, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, United States of America, 2 Molecular Immunology and Vaccine Research Laboratory, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran, 3 Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, United States of America, 4 Pasteur Institute of Tunis, Laboratory of Medical Epidemiology, Tunis, Tunisia

Citation: McDowell MA, Rafati S, Ramalho-Ortigao M, Ben Salah A (2011) Leishmaniasis: Middle East and North Africa Research and Development Priorities. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 5(7): e1219. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001219

Editor: Serap Aksoy, Yale School of Public Health, United States of America

Published: July 26, 2011

Copyright: © 2011 McDowell et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: The sponsor is NIH. This is a manuscript that puts forth policy recommendations as a result of a scientific workshop. The organizers of NIH asked the authors to prepare and submit a manuscript outlining these policy recommendations. The funders had not role in the development of the recommendations or the preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

* E-mail: mcdowell.11@nd.edu

# These authors contributed equally to this work.

“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.”—Louis Pasteur

Leishmaniasis remains one of the world's most devastating neglected tropical diseases, causing substantial mortality and contributing to nearly 2 million disability-adjusted life years. The true global burden of leishmaniasis, however, is unknown. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is endemic for many forms of leishmanisis and has hosted many recent epidemic outbreaks. A research and policy conference, LEISHMANIA: Collaborative Research Opportunities in North Africa and the Middle East, was held in June 2009 in Tunisia to promote international collaboration between the United States (US) and the countries most affected by Old World leishmaniasis (see Table 1 for a list of participating countries). Supported by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and hosted locally by the Institute Pasteur de Tunis, approximately 100 scientists and administrators from the US and MENA countries met to share critical information and to identify the major obstacles for translating scientific breakthroughs into innovative strategies for reducing the burden of leishmaniasis. The participants identified three crucial areas as requiring reinforcement and growth: translation of laboratory discoveries into field-applications, increased research capacity in endemic countries, and the creation of a leishmaniasis reagent repository (Figure 1). Our hope is that these recommendations will be adopted by research, funding, and policy institutions alike to have a greater impact at controlling leishmaniasis throughout the world.

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PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Leishmaniasis: Middle East and North Africa Research and Development Priorities

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