Neglected tropical diseases include a group of infections which are present in different countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. They are considered “neglected” due to the lower degree of funding and research focus received compared to malaria and other diseases.
Individually these diseases have a lower incidence and impact than malaria and dengue but collectively the impact of these diseases is highly significant. The most significant neglected diseases are:
- Trypanosomiasis (Chagas Disease in South and Central America and African Sleeping Sickness)
- Yellow Fever
- 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.
While 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 portfolio of vector control tools available in order to achieve the best results.