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PLoS Biol. 2017 Nov 9;15(11):e2004186. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2004186. eCollection 2017 Nov.

The poverty-related neglected diseases: Why basic research matters.

Author information

1
Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America.
2
Department of Biology, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, United States of America.

Abstract

Together, malaria and the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) kill more than 800,000 people annually, while creating long-term disability in millions more. International support for mass drug administration, bed nets, and other preventive measures has resulted in huge public health gains, while support for translational research is leading to the development of some new neglected disease drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines. However, funding for basic science research has not kept up, such that we are missing opportunities to create a more innovative pipeline of control tools for parasitic and related diseases. There is an urgent need to expand basic science approaches for neglected diseases, especially in the areas of systems biology and immunology; ecology, evolution, and mathematical biology; functional and comparative OMICs; gene editing; expanded use of model organisms; and a new single-cell combinatorial indexing RNA sequencing approach. The world's poor deserve access to innovation for neglected diseases. It should be considered a fundamental human right.

PMID:
29121043
PMCID:
PMC5679514
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.2004186
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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