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Research and Development

Our Target: Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

Neglected Tropical Diseases are a group of parasitic bacterial and viral diseases that cause substantial illness for more than 1.4 billion people globally. Affecting the world's poorest people, NTDs impair physical and cognitive development, contribute to mother and child illness and death, and trap the poor in a cycle of poverty and disease. Schistosomiasis, foodborne trematodiases and taeniasis/cysticercosis are prioritized and listed among 17 common NTDs by WHO, as shown below:

Protozoa Helminthes Bacteria Virus
Chagas disease Cysticercosis/Taeniasis Buruli ulcer Dengue and Chikungunya
Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease) Leprosy (Hansen disease) Rabies
Leishmaniases Echinococcosis Trachoma  
  Foodborne trematodiases Yaws  
  Lymphatic filariasis    
  Onchocerciasis (river blindness)    
  Soil-transmitted helminthiases    

Among these diseases, schistosomiasis is one of the most ‘‘neglected’’ tropical diseases, affecting an estimated 200-600 million people in 76 countries, causing chronic anemia and inflammation associated with severe disability among children, adolescents and young adults. Foodborne trematodiases include infections with liver fluke (clonorchiasis and opisthorchiasis) and lung fluke (Paragonimiasis). Moreover, liver fluke is a major foodborne zoonosis affecting an estimated 200 million people at risk globally, among which 35 million are infected, mostly in Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia, and known to cause cholangiocarcinoma (hepatobilliary cancer) in humans.