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Trends Ecol Evol. 2007 Oct;22(10):497-503. Epub 2007 Sep 27.

Parasites, people and policy: infectious diseases and the Millennium Development Goals.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, Oxford University, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK.


Here, I briefly review past history and present patterns in the interactions between parasites (defined broadly to include viruses and bacteria along with protozoan, helminth and arthropod parasites) and human populations in developed and developing countries. Against this background, I offer thoughts on current public health initiatives at national and international levels, with particular reference to the Millennium Development Goals. The news is both good and bad: mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases in the developing world are significantly lower than they were 50 years ago, but we should and could be doing better, particularly in relation to neglected tropical diseases.

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