Control of Tungiasis in Absence of a Roadmap: Grassroots and Global Approaches
AbstractTungiasis is a tropical skin disease caused by the sand flea Tunga penetrans. It inflicts misery upon tens of millions of people, mostly children, across Central and South America and sub-Saharan Africa, and yet there is no globally accepted roadmap for its control. Here we review how research in the last 15 years has developed control methods and report on new grassroots and digital mapping approaches. Treatment is now possible with a two-component dimethicone, used for the treatment of headlice in Europe, Asia and Canada, but not yet available in most tungiasis-endemic areas. Prevention is possible through the daily use of repellents based on coconut oil. A Kenyan coastal community has successfully controlled tungiasis using a neem and coconut oil mix produced locally to treat cases, combined with spraying floors with neem solution and distributing closed shoes. Development of affordable hard floor technology is underway, although not yet widely available, but is a priority to control off-host stages in the floors of homes. A new web-based digital mapping application will enable researchers and health officials to collaborate, share data and map the prevalence of tungiasis. We conclude that tungiasis can be controlled through a multi-disciplinary, One Health approach. View Full-Text
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Elson, L.; Wright, K.; Swift, J.; Feldmeier, H. Control of Tungiasis in Absence of a Roadmap: Grassroots and Global Approaches. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2, 33.
Elson L, Wright K, Swift J, Feldmeier H. Control of Tungiasis in Absence of a Roadmap: Grassroots and Global Approaches. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. 2017; 2(3):33.Chicago/Turabian Style
Elson, Lynne; Wright, Katherine; Swift, Jennifer; Feldmeier, Herman. 2017. "Control of Tungiasis in Absence of a Roadmap: Grassroots and Global Approaches." Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2, no. 3: 33.