Special Issue "One Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases"

A special issue of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease (ISSN 2414-6366).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Claire J Standley
Website
Guest Editor
Center for Global Health Science and Security, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C., United States
Interests: infectious disease control; multisectoral collaboration; health systems; One Health; public health emergency preparedness and response; neglected tropical diseases
Dr. Jared Bakuza
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, Dar es Salaam University College of Education, Tanzania
Interests: schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases; wildlife/zoonotic diseases assessment; species/ecosystem vulnerability to climate change; parasite diagnostic tools; geospatial analysis of disease risks
Dr. Jennifer K. Peterson
Website
Guest Editor
University Honors College, Portland State University
Interests: global health; neglected tropical disease; vector-borne disease; eco-epidemiology; chagas disease; triatomine bugs

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

“One Health” is defined as an approach to achieve better health outcomes for humans, animals, and the environment through collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts. Increasingly, a One Health framework is being applied to the management, control, and even elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a set of infectious diseases that, collectively, affect more than one billion people in almost 150 countries.

NTDs are some of the most common infections in the world; they cause substantial morbidity and mortality, particularly in regions with little access to medical care and other resources. Although there is increasing recognition of the major public health threat presented by NTDs, the ecological complexities of their transmission continue to pose challenges for control and elimination. Zoonotic NTDs such as Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, rabies, taeniasis/cysticercosis, schistosomiasis, and echinococcosis present obstacles for public health and veterinary services in addition to wildlife conservation. Vector-borne NTDs such as lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, dengue virus, and chikungunya necesitate measures that integrate consideration of the environment into public health strategies in order to sustainably reduce disease transmission.

Considering the multitude of complex dynamics inherent to their transmission, NTDs are ideally suited for consideration within a “One Health” approach. This Special Issue will explore the process by which the One Health concept is being applied to NTD control around the world, with an emphasis on multisectoral and integrated approaches at the regional, national, and/or subnational levels.

Dr. Claire J. Standley
Dr. Jared Bakuza
Dr. Jennifer K. Peterson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Neglected tropical diseases
  • Zoonotic diseases
  • One Health
  • Disease mapping
  • Diagnostics
  • Training
  • Multisectoral interventions
  • Pesticides
  • Integrated vector management
  • Integrated pest management
  • Infectious diseases
  • Epidemiology
  • Reservoir hosts
  • Emerging diseases
  • Vector-borne diseases

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Characterization of Triatomine Bug Blood Meals on the Island of Trinidad Reveals Opportunistic Feeding Behavior on Both Human and Animal Hosts
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(4), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5040166 - 04 Nov 2020
Abstract
Chagas disease is a neglected tropical disease caused by infection with Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite is endemic to the Americas, including the Caribbean, where it is vectored by triatomine bugs. Although Chagas disease is not considered a public health concern in the Caribbean [...] Read more.
Chagas disease is a neglected tropical disease caused by infection with Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite is endemic to the Americas, including the Caribbean, where it is vectored by triatomine bugs. Although Chagas disease is not considered a public health concern in the Caribbean islands, studies in Trinidad have found T. cruzi-seropositive humans and T. cruzi-infected triatomine bugs. However, little is known about triatomine bug host preferences in Trinidad, making it difficult to evaluate local risk of vector-borne T. cruzi transmission to humans. To investigate this question, we collected triatomine bugs in Trinidad and diagnosed each one for T. cruzi infection (microscopy and PCR). We then carried out a blood meal analysis using DNA extracted from each bug (PCR and sequencing). Fifty-five adult bugs (54 Panstrongylus geniculatus and one Rhodnius pictipes) were collected from five of 21 sample sites. All successful collection sites were residential. Forty-six out of the 55 bugs (83.6%) were infected with T. cruzi. Fifty-three blood meal hosts were successfully analyzed (one per bug), which consisted of wild birds (7% of all blood meals), wild mammals (17%), chickens (19%), and humans (57%). Of the 30 bugs with human blood meals, 26 (87%) were from bugs infected with T. cruzi. Although preliminary, our results align with previous work in which P. geniculatus in Trinidad had high levels of T. cruzi infection. Furthermore, our findings suggest that P. geniculatus moves between human and animal environments in Trinidad, feeding opportunistically on a wide range of species. Our findings highlight a critical need for further studies of Chagas disease in Trinidad in order to estimate the public health risk and implement necessary preventative and control measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Study of Toxocara Infection in Honduran Children: Human Seroepidemiology and Environmental Contamination in a Coastal Community
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(3), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5030135 - 23 Aug 2020
Abstract
(1) Background: Infections caused by Toxocara canis and T. cati are considered zoonoses of global importance. Reports from North and South America indicate that human infections are widespread in both continents, but epidemiological information from Central America is still lacking. (2) Methodology: In [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Infections caused by Toxocara canis and T. cati are considered zoonoses of global importance. Reports from North and South America indicate that human infections are widespread in both continents, but epidemiological information from Central America is still lacking. (2) Methodology: In the present cross-sectional multi-year study, we aimed to undertake the first seroepidemiological and environmental study on toxocariasis in Honduras. This included the determination of seroprevalence of anti-Toxocara spp. antibodies in children using a Toxocara spp. purified excretory-secretory antigens enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (TES-ELISA) and a confirmatory Western blot. As well, through statistical analysis including logistic regression we aimed at identifying relevant biological and epidemiological factors associated with seropositivity. The study also entailed detection of parasites’ eggs in the soil samples both through Sheather’s concentration method and a nested polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method. (3) Results: The study was undertaken in a coastal community of Honduras in 2 different years, 2015 and 2017. A total of 88 healthy schoolchildren completed the study, with participation of 79% (73/92) and 65% (46/71) of the student body in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Thirty-one children participated in both years (i.e., dual participants). Through both serological tests, seropositivity was confirmed in 88.6% (78/88) of children. Due to the high number of seropositives, logistic regression analysis was not possible for most socio-economic and epidemiological variables. Eosinophilia, on the other hand, was associated with seropositivity, independently of other intestinal helminthic infections. Continued seropositivity was observed in most of the dual participants, while seroconversion was determined in 8 of these children. Microscopic examination of soil samples did not yield any positive results. Through nested PCR-RFLP, 3 of the 50 samples (6%) were positive for Toxocara spp.; two were identified as T. canis and one as T. cati. (4) Conclusions: This work documents for the first time, high levels of human exposure to Toxocara spp. in Honduras. These findings, along with the country’s favorable epidemiological conditions for this zoonosis, emphasize the need for more research to determine whether this infection is underreported in the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Rapid Extraction Methods Coupled with a Recombinase Polymerase Amplification Assay for Point-of-Need Diagnosis of Post-Kala-Azar Dermal Leishmaniasis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020095 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
To detect Post-kala-azar leishmaniasis (PKDL) cases, several molecular methods with promising diagnostic efficacy have been developed that involve complicated and expensive DNA extraction methods, thus limiting their application in resource-poor settings. As an alternative, we evaluated two rapid DNA extraction methods and determined [...] Read more.
To detect Post-kala-azar leishmaniasis (PKDL) cases, several molecular methods with promising diagnostic efficacy have been developed that involve complicated and expensive DNA extraction methods, thus limiting their application in resource-poor settings. As an alternative, we evaluated two rapid DNA extraction methods and determined their impact on the detection of the parasite DNA using our newly developed recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay. Skin samples were collected from suspected PKDL cases following their diagnosis through national guidelines. The extracted DNA from three skin biopsy samples using three different extraction methods was subjected to RPA and qPCR. The qPCR and RPA assays exhibited highest sensitivities when reference DNA extraction method using Qiagen (Q) kit was followed. In contrast, the sensitivity of the RPA assay dropped to 76.7% and 63.3%, respectively, when the boil & spin (B&S) and SpeedXtract (SE) rapid extraction methods were performed. Despite this compromised sensitivity, the B&S-RPA technique yielded an excellent agreement with both Q-qPCR (k = 0.828) and Q-RPA (k = 0.831) techniques. As expected, the reference DNA extraction method was found to be superior in terms of diagnostic efficacy. Finally, to apply the rapid DNA extraction methods in resource-constrained settings, further methodological refinement is warranted to improve DNA yield and purity through rigorous experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Rabies as a Public Health Concern in India—A Historical Perspective
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5040162 - 21 Oct 2020
Abstract
India bears the highest burden of global dog-mediated human rabies deaths. Despite this, rabies is not notifiable in India and continues to be underprioritised in public health discussions. This review examines the historical treatment of rabies in British India, a disease which has [...] Read more.
India bears the highest burden of global dog-mediated human rabies deaths. Despite this, rabies is not notifiable in India and continues to be underprioritised in public health discussions. This review examines the historical treatment of rabies in British India, a disease which has received relatively less attention in the literature on Indian medical history. Human and animal rabies was widespread in British India, and treatment of bite victims imposed a major financial burden on the colonial Government of India. It subsequently became a driver of Pasteurism in India and globally and a key component of British colonial scientific enterprise. Efforts to combat rabies led to the establishment of a wide network of research institutes in India and important breakthroughs in development of rabies vaccines. As a result of these efforts, rabies no longer posed a significant threat to the British, and it declined in administrative and public health priorities in India towards the end of colonial rule—a decline that has yet to be reversed in modern-day India. The review also highlights features of the administrative, scientific and societal approaches to dealing with this disease in British India that persist to this day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
A One Health Approach for Guinea Worm Disease Control: Scope and Opportunities
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(4), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5040159 - 13 Oct 2020
Abstract
Guinea worm disease (GWD) is a neglected tropical disease that was targeted for eradication several decades ago because of its limited geographical distribution, predictable seasonality, straightforward diagnosis, and exclusive infection of humans. However, a growing body of evidence challenges this last attribute and [...] Read more.
Guinea worm disease (GWD) is a neglected tropical disease that was targeted for eradication several decades ago because of its limited geographical distribution, predictable seasonality, straightforward diagnosis, and exclusive infection of humans. However, a growing body of evidence challenges this last attribute and suggests that GWD can affect both humans and animal populations. The One Health approach emphasizes the relatedness of human, animal, and environmental health. We reviewed epidemiological evidence that could support the utility of a One Health approach for GWD control in the six countries that have reported human GWD cases since 2015—Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan. Human GWD cases have dramatically declined, but recent years have seen a gradual increase in human case counts, cases in new geographies, and a rapidly growing number of animal infections. Taken together, these suggest a need for an adjusted approach for eradicating GWD using a framework rooted in One Health, dedicated to improving disease surveillance and in animals; pinpointing the dominant routes of infection in animals; elucidating the disease burden in animals; determining transmission risk factors among animals and from animals to humans; and identifying practical ways to foster horizontal and multidisciplinary approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Intestinal Schistosomiasis and Giardiasis Co-Infection in Sub-Saharan Africa: Can a One Health Approach Improve Control of Each Waterborne Parasite Simultaneously?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(3), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5030137 - 25 Aug 2020
Abstract
Both intestinal schistosomiasis and giardiasis are co-endemic throughout many areas of sub-Saharan Africa, significantly impacting the health of millions of children in endemic areas. While giardiasis is not considered a neglected tropical disease (NTD), intestinal schistosomiasis is formally grouped under the NTD umbrella [...] Read more.
Both intestinal schistosomiasis and giardiasis are co-endemic throughout many areas of sub-Saharan Africa, significantly impacting the health of millions of children in endemic areas. While giardiasis is not considered a neglected tropical disease (NTD), intestinal schistosomiasis is formally grouped under the NTD umbrella and receives significant advocacy and financial support for large-scale control. Although there are differences in the epidemiology between these two diseases, there are also key similarities that might be exploited within potential integrated control strategies permitting tandem interventions. In this review, we highlight these similarities and discuss opportunities for integrated control of giardiasis in low and middle-income countries where intestinal schistosomiasis is co-endemic. By applying new, advanced methods of disease surveillance, and by improving the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives, (co)infection with intestinal schistosomiasis and/or giardiasis could not only be more effectively controlled but also better understood. In this light, we appraise the suitability of a One Health approach targeting both intestinal schistosomiasis and giardiasis, for if adopted more broadly, transmission of both diseases could be reduced to gain improvements in health and wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Insights into the Control and Management of Human and Bovine African Trypanosomiasis in Zambia between 2009 and 2019—A Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(3), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5030115 - 11 Jul 2020
Abstract
Tsetse transmitted trypanosomiasis is a fatal disease commonly known as Nagana in cattle and sleeping sickness in humans. The disease threatens food security and has severe economic impact in Africa including most parts of Zambia. The level of effectiveness of commonly used African [...] Read more.
Tsetse transmitted trypanosomiasis is a fatal disease commonly known as Nagana in cattle and sleeping sickness in humans. The disease threatens food security and has severe economic impact in Africa including most parts of Zambia. The level of effectiveness of commonly used African trypanosomiasis control methods has been reported in several studies. However, there have been no review studies on African trypanosomiasis control and management conducted in the context of One Health. This paper therefore seeks to fill this knowledge gap. A review of studies that have been conducted on African trypanosomiasis in Zambia between 2009 and 2019, with a focus on the control and management of trypanosomiasis was conducted. A total of 2238 articles were screened, with application of the search engines PubMed, PubMed Central and One Search. Out of these articles, 18 matched the required criteria and constituted the basis for the paper. An in-depth analysis of the 18 articles was conducted to identify knowledge gaps and evidence for best practices. Findings from this review provide stakeholders and health workers with a basis for prioritisation of African trypanosomiasis as an important neglected disease in Zambia and for formulation of One Health strategies for better control and/or management of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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Other

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Open AccessOpinion
Assessing Climate Change Impact on Ecosystems and Infectious Disease: Important Roles for Genomic Sequencing and a One Health Perspective
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020090 - 03 Jun 2020
Abstract
Changes in the Earth’s climate and weather continue to impact the planet’s ecosystems, including the interface of infectious disease agents with their hosts and vectors. Environmental disasters, natural and human-made activities raise risk factors that indirectly facilitate infectious disease outbreaks. Subsequently, changes in [...] Read more.
Changes in the Earth’s climate and weather continue to impact the planet’s ecosystems, including the interface of infectious disease agents with their hosts and vectors. Environmental disasters, natural and human-made activities raise risk factors that indirectly facilitate infectious disease outbreaks. Subsequently, changes in habitat, displaced populations, and environmental stresses that affect the survival of species are amplified over time. The recurrence and spread of vector-borne (e.g., mosquito, tick, aphid) human, animal, and plant pathogens to new geographic locations are also influenced by climate change. The distribution and range of humans, agricultural animals and plants, wildlife and native plants, as well as vectors, parasites, and microbes that cause neglected diseases of the tropics as well as other global regions are also impacted. In addition, genomic sequencing can now be applied to detect signatures of infectious pathogens as they move into new regions. Molecular detection assays complement metagenomic sequencing to help us understand the microbial community found within the microbiomes of hosts and vectors, and help us uncover mechanistic relationships between climate variability and pathogen transmission. Our understanding of, and responses to, such complex dynamics and their impacts can be enhanced through effective, multi-sectoral One Health engagement coupled with applications of both traditional and novel technologies. Concerted efforts are needed to further harness and leverage technology that can identify and track these impacts of climate changes in order to mitigate and adapt to their effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue One Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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