Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Kansenshogaku Zasshi. 2006 Sep;80(5):469-74.

[Endemic tropical diseases: comtemporary health problem due to abandoned diseases in the developing world].

[Article in Japanese]

Author information

  • 1Section of Environmental Parasitology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University.


There are two kinds of infectious diseases in the world; diseases being paid attention and neglected diseases. The former diseases include HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, the latter group include many parasitic, fungal, bacterial and some of viral infections. "Neglected Infectious Diseases", which have been renamed as Endemic Tropical Diseases by WHO, are endemic in the developing world are not newly appeared diseases, but diseases affecting humans in these decades. In fact, DALYs for several diseases in the category are big enough; more than 300 millions for soil-transmitted helminthiasis, 5 millions for lymphatic filariasis, 4-5 millions for schistosomiasis and so forth. However, those diseases were not recognized as serious health problems because of socio-economical and/or scientific reasons. Furthermore, those diseases are no fatal in the acute phases; therefore, no big attention is raised by policy makers in the world. From the view point of basic medical sciences, however, there is no enough reason for neglecting the issues of those diseases: no improved diagnostics and therapeutics have been developed in spite of the urgent necessities in endemic areas. Considering those situations, WHO has started to take action for solving the problems since beginning of the 21st century. Recently, many of developed countries are recognizing that the imbalanced input of human and financial resources only for 3 major infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and then, various international schemes for supporting research on Neglected diseases. DNDi, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, is one of the examples and it's scope is only focusing on drug development for Neglected diseases. African trypanosomiasis is one of Neglected diseases and causing serious health problem both for humans and domestic animals in Africa. No safe and effective medicine has been available but a drug with serious side effects is only the drug of choice even nowadays. Under the grant support from DNDi, a Japanese group is developing a new drug, ascofuranone, for African trypanosomiasis without any detectable side effects. Developing new prophylactic drugs for schistosomiasis and new diagnostic tools for lymphatic filariasis are underway under the support of grant for Neglected or Re-emerging infectious diseases in Japan. Considering that issues of "Neglected Infectious Diseases" are urgent to be solved and also are challenging for modern medicine and medical sciences, researchers in the developed countries including Japan should make efforts to promote more active researches in this field.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk