Neglected Tropical Diseases

World Health Organization has identified several diseases as 'Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD)', among which vector-borne diseases (Dengue, Chikungunya, Leishmaniasis, Lymphatic filariasis), Leprosy, Rabies, foodborne trematodiases, Soil-transmitted helminth infections and Taeniasis/ Cysticercosis are of major concern to India. Dengue, Chikungunya, lymphatic filariasis have become major problems in many parts of Karnataka and neighbouring states. Japanese encephalitis (JE) has been causing epidemics in several parts of Karnataka and more recently Kysaniur forest disease (KFD) has invaded the villages of the Goa-Karnataka border areas. Moreover, Rickettsial infections are re-emerging in many parts of Karnataka as a result of environmental changes, and Malaria is endemic to many districts of the State. In view of this, the Centre has been conducting and planned to take up epidemiological studies on some of these diseases viz., malaria, lymphatic filariasis, dengue, and JE. Different diagnostic facilities for these diseases have been established at the Centre and is providing these services to State Health Departments, Medical Institutions and Hospitals, regularly. The Centre is also working on developing diagnostics for some of these diseases. The Centre participated in the 'Transmission Assessment Survey (TAS)' for Lymphatic Filariasis under the National Elimination Programme, conducted by the NVBDCP in Udupi Dist. A study on the antifilarial immune status of the endemic communities in Bijapur dist., in collaboration with Medical School, Illinois University, Illinois, USA was undertaken. The Centre also conducted a study to investigate the occurrence of strains/genotypes of Lymaphtic Filarial parasite, Wuchereriabancrofti in two endemic dists of Nepal, in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Nepal.