Onchocerciasis is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. It is transmitted through bites by blackflies and it is common in Africa. The worm attacks the eyes and causes visual impairment or blindness. The World Health Organization (WHO) would like to eradicate this preventable and treatable condition by 2030.
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame conducted a study that involved mathematic modeling which found that a combination of mass drug distribution and removing vegetation may be the most effective method of curbing transmission.
“Modeling is a powerful tool to synthesize myriad information about parasite transmission,” said lead author Edwin Michael, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Notre Dame. “Once we obtain a working model, we have the capability to do forecasting into the future, and we can also use the available short-term, limited data to present decision makers with new information that is not otherwise available.”
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“Study: Transmission of river blindness may be reduced when vegetation is removed”