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Scholars Day: April 11, 2012

Epidemiology of Onchocerciasis: A Neglected Tropical Disease

This research traces the epidemiology of Onchocerciasis, a major parasitic disease transmitted by infected Simulium black flies living near bodies of water in Africa. This disease is widespread in 30 African countries, 6 Latin American countries and Yemen. The infective larvae mature under the skin into adult worms forming visible nodules throughout the body (United Front 2005). Five hundred thousand of those infected with the illness are severely visually impaired, and another 270,000 have been rendered permanently blinded from this disease (Global Network 2011). No vaccine exists for Onchocerciasis, however, treatment with Ivermectin coupled with spraying insecticides on the black fly breeding sites has been found to be the most effective method of control (Global Network 2011). The strategy to control this disease is to interrupt the life cycle of the parasite, Onchocerca volvulus. The use of insecticides kills the microfilariae with agents (United Front, 2005).

Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenters: Priya Banerjee (Faculty)
Melissa Navarro (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Health Science
Location: 30 Hartwell
Time: 10:45 am Session II