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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    Improving control of African schistosomiasis: towards effective use of rapid diagnostic tests within an appropriate disease surveillance model.

    Stothard JR

    Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2009 Apr; 103(4):325-32.

    Contemporary control of schistosomiasis is typically reliant upon large-scale administration of praziquantel (PZQ) to school age children. Whilst PZQ treatment of each child is inexpensive, the direct and indirect costs of preventive chemotherapy for the whole school population are more substantive and, at the national level where many schools are targeted, maximising cost effectiveness and the health impact are essential requirements for ensuring longer-term sustainability (i.e. >5 years). To this end, the WHO has issued a set of treatment guidelines, inclusive of re-treatment schedules, such that, where possible, treatment decisions by school are based upon local disease prevalence as determined by parasitological and/or questionnaire methods. As each diagnostic method has known shortcomings, presumptive treatment of at-risk schools may initially be preferred, especially if the existing infrastructure for disease surveillance is poor. It is against this background of school-based preventive chemotherapy that a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for schistosomiasis is most urgently needed, not only to improve initial disease surveillance but also to focus drug delivery better through time. In this paper, the development, evaluation and application of selected diagnostic tests are reviewed to identify barriers that impede progress, foremost of which is that a new disease surveillance and evaluation model is required where the in-country price of each RDT ideally needs to be less than US$1 to be cost effective both in the short- and long-term perspective.
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  2. 2

    [Interests and limits of immunocontraception] Interets et limites de l’immunocontraception.

    Abdennebi-Najar L

    Gynecologie, Obstetrique and Fertilite. 2003 Sep; 31(9):774-777.

    Recent studies from WHO indicated that a large proportion of human contraceptive needs cannot be covered by the already existing means for different reasons (medical, economical, political, and cultural). Therefore, development of new effective methods targeting birth control methods affordable by under-privileged populations turns out to be necessary. Over the last 20 years, a large number of strategies have been used for contraceptive vaccines and thus multiple antigens have been identified as potential targets for immunocontraception. Nowadays, the most acute researches are based on suppression of the secretion and the activity of gonadotropic hormones (GnRH, LH/hCG, FSH) or the targeting of antibodies specific to sperm surface (RSA-1, SP10, SP17, TCLe-1, PH-20) and oocyte antigens (ZP1, ZP2, ZP3).We developed a contraceptive vaccine against FSH receptor. Adult male monkeys (Macaca radiata) were immunized with filamentous phages displaying at their surface N-terminal peptides of the FSH receptor. Long term male contraception has been achieved without any alteration of circulating testosterone levels, sexual behaviour or of any other discernable metabolic changes. Interruption of vaccination resulted in full recovery of sperm production and male fertility. Contraceptive vaccines are aimed to block an essential step in the reproductive process. From this point of view, efforts have to be focused on the challenge to raise is to ally our knowledge on reproductive physiology and protein biochemistry for a better understanding of the target antigen's function. (author's)
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  3. 3

    The use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests.

    Bell D

    Manila, Philippines, WHO, Regional Office for the Western Pacific, 2004. 19 p. (USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse DocID / Order No: PN-ADC-611)

    Misdiagnosis of malaria results in significant morbidity and mortality. Rapid, accurate and accessible detection of malaria parasites has an important role in addressing this, and in promoting more rational use of increasingly costly drugs, in many endemic areas. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) offer the potential to provide accurate diagnosis to all at risk populations for the first time, reaching those unable to access good quality microscopy services. The success of RDTs in malaria control will depend on good quality planning and implementation. This booklet is designed to assist those involved in malaria management in this task. While this new diagnostic tool is finding its place in management of this major global disease, there is a window of opportunity in which good practices can be established by health services and become the norm. (excerpt)
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