Neglected Tropical Diseases

Chagas disease, African Sleeping Sickness, Leishmaniasis, and yellow fever are included in this group of diseases receiving lower levels of funding compared to others.

Neglected tropical diseases include a group of infections which are present in different countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. They are regarded as neglected due to the lower degree of funding and research focus received compared to malaria, HIV/AIDs and Tuberculosis. They encompass parasitic diseases involving helminths (worms) or protozoa as well as bacterial diseases such as leprosy, cholera and trachoma. Arthropod vectors are involved in the transmission of a number of these diseases, the most significant of which are Trypanosomiasis (Chagas Disease in South and Central America and African Sleeping Sickness), Leishmaniasis, Yellow Fever, Filariasis and Japanese Encephalitis.  Various species of mosquitoes are involved in the transmission of some of these diseases; tsetse flies transmit African Sleeping Sickness; Triatomine bugs of the Reduviidae family transmit the protozoa that cause Chagas Disease and Phlebotomid sandflies transmit the parasites that cause Leishmaniasis.  Snails are also important intermediate hosts of the helminth parasites which cause Schistosomiasis.

Individually these diseases have a lower incidence and impact than malaria and dengue but collectively the impact of these diseases is highly significant. Whilst vaccines and effective drug therapy exist for some of these pathogens, vector control is often the only practical method for limiting the impact of the disease.  

Given the large range of situations where this spectrum of diseases occurs, as well as the different groups of vector arthropods involved, it is important to have a range of vector control tools available in order to achieve the best results. Bayer Environmental Science is well positioned in this regard, with a broad portfolio of solutions offering flexibility in choice to suit most situations.