Expression, purification, and characterization of the Necator americanus aspartic protease-1 (Na-APR-1 (M74)) antigen, a component of the bivalent human hookworm vaccine

. . .the achievements and obstacles encountered during process development as well as characterization and stability of the purified Na-APR-1 (M74) protein and formulated vaccine. The expression, purification and analysis of purified Na-APR-1 (M74) protein obtained from representative 5 kg reproducibility runs is also presented. Open access:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21645515.2015.1036207#abstract

Worms

New published information reveals that intestinal worm infections rank among the most common afflictions of people living in extreme poverty. The numbers are quite astonishing. More than 800 million people are currently believed to harbor Ascaris roundworms in their gastrointestinal tract, while around 450 million people are infected with either hookworms or Trichuris whipworms. Frequently a single individual, especially a child, is simultaneously infected with two or three of these types of intestinal worms at the same time, so that the term “unholy trinity” has been used to describe them.

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China’s Hookworms Redux

My visits to Shanghai and the Chinese National Institute of Parasitic Diseases (IPD) began almost 20 years ago in the winter of 1994. I was eager to work at the IPD – then a component of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine (CAPM) later the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) –- following their publication of an extraordinary parasite epidemiology study of incredible magnitude that may never be repeated. Beginning late in the 1980s and into the early 1990s Chinese parasitologists conducted fecal examinations on almost 1.5 million people across all provinces. The study first published in the English biomedical literature in the Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health found that hundreds of millions of Chinese were infected with soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), including 194 million people with hookworm infection (‘hookworm’). Most of these infections were south of the Yangtze River, cutting across all of the southern provinces from East to West, and I felt the IPD was an ideal institute to begin the co-development of a prototype human hookworm vaccine.

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Neglected Tropical Diseases of Oceania

Among Oceania’s population of 35 million people, the greatest number living in poverty currently live in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands. These impoverished populations are at high risk for selected NTDs, including Necator americanus hookworm infection, strongyloidiasis, lymphatic filariasis (LF), balantidiasis, yaws, trachoma, leprosy, and scabies, in addition to outbreaks of dengue and other arboviral infections including Japanese encephalitis virus infection. Through the Pacific Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, enormous strides have been made in eliminating LF in Oceania through programs of mass drug administration (MDA), although LF remains widespread in PNG. There are opportunities to scale up MDA for PNG’s major NTDs, which could be accomplished through an integrated package that combines albendazole, ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine, and azithromycin, in a program of national control. Australia’s Aboriginal population may benefit from appropriately integrated MDA into primary health care systems. Several emerging viral NTDs remain important threats to the region.

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Nigeria: “Ground Zero” for the High Prevalence Neglected Tropical Diseases

Nigeria has the greatest number of intestinal helminth infections, i.e., ascariasis, hookworm, and trichuriasis, among all African nations, ranking fourth or fifth globally behind only the much higher populated middle-income Asian nations, such as China, India, and Indonesia. Nigeria also has the greatest number of cases of schistosomiasis worldwide, with both intestinal schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma mansoni and the urogenital schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma haematobium endemic to that country. In terms of the high prevalence vector-borne NTDs, Nigeria has the greatest number of cases of LF and onchocerciasis in Africa, ranking globally third and first, respectively, and accounting for one-fourth or more of the global disease burden from these two NTDs.

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