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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Oct;1026:41-6.

Tropical diseases, pathogens, and vectors biodiversity in developing countries: need for development of genomics and bioinformatics approaches.

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DBBM, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz. Av. Brasil 4365, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, CEP 21045-900, Brazil.


The world's biodiversity, including many infectious, parasitic disease agents and their vectors whose impact on both human and animal health is significant, is largely retained in the developing countries of the tropics. Owing to the number of species involved and the relatively low-level exploration of pathogens and vectors biodiversity, several organisms are still waiting to be discovered and consequently explored in terms of genomics. Although some parasitic species of humans and animals have been studied through genomics and bioinformatics approaches, a significant number of relevant species are still to be addressed. Through the use of modern technologies, such as genomics and bioinformatics, for assessment of biodiversity and targeting tropical diseases, other relevant advantages of these initiatives for developing countries would be technology transfer and capacity building. Consequently, these initiatives could be critical to the development of the respective countries. Moreover, intra- and interhemispheric scientific collaboration should be encouraged and supported to increase the chances for success. In Brazil, the Ministry of Science and Technology has stepped forward to further such initiatives, co-supporting collaborative genomics and bioinformatics projects. The need for the establishment of working groups on genomics and bioinformatics in developing countries as well as the improvement and strengthening of collaborative research projects between developed and developing countries is discussed from our point of view. As these discussions remain open to debate, we encourage colleagues to promote further discussion on the subject.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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