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Commentary

Control of Tungiasis in Absence of a Roadmap: Grassroots and Global Approaches

1
Dabaso Tujengane CBO, Watamu 80202, Kenya
2
Spatial Sciences Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA90089, USA
3
Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité University Medicine, 12203 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030033
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 23 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
Tungiasis 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
Keywords: tungiasis; Tunga penetrans; jiggers; neglected tropical disease; dimethicone; neem; web GIS; elibrary; Esri; geographic information science tungiasis; Tunga penetrans; jiggers; neglected tropical disease; dimethicone; neem; web GIS; elibrary; Esri; geographic information science
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MDPI and ACS Style

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030033

AMA Style

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030033

Chicago/Turabian Style

Elson, Lynne, Katherine Wright, Jennifer Swift, and Herman Feldmeier. 2017. "Control of Tungiasis in Absence of a Roadmap: Grassroots and Global Approaches" Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 2, no. 3: 33. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030033

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