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This Week in PLOS NTDs: Schistosomiasis and HIV’s Deadly Link, Pest Control in the Bolivian Chaco, and More

The following new articles are publishing in PLOS NTDs this week:

Ndeffo Mbah ML, Poolman EM, Atkins KE, Orenstein EW, Meyers LA, et al. (2013). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(8): e2346. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002346
Ndeffo Mbah ML, Poolman EM, Atkins KE, Orenstein EW, Meyers LA, et al. (2013). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(8): e2346. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002346

Numerous studies confirm that genital infection with Schistosoma haematobium increases the risk of becoming infected with HIV among women in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Martial Ndeffo Mbah and colleagues present here a mathematical model of female genital schistosomiasis and HIV calibrated using epidemiological data from Zimbabwe that they’ve used to explore the potential cost-effectiveness of mass drug administration with praziquantel as an intervention strategy for reducing HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Robert Gilman and colleagues conducted a census, seroprevalence, and epidemiologic study in a rural area of the Bolivian Chaco, known for high Chagas rates, and discovered that, after an insecticide spray program, transmission appeared to fall transiently, but then increased again quickly. Their findings suggest improved housing and regular spray programs are the most effective strategies for reducing transmission rates.

With adequate treatment, most Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi-infected patients recover from their illness. However, a small percentage of individuals develop a chronic, but asymptomatic, infection in the biliary tract that can persist for decades. Correctly identifying and treating asymptomatic chronic carriers could be critical for ultimate control of typhoid fever. Using an immunoscreening technique called in vivo-induced antigen technology (IVIAT), Dr. Richelle Charles and colleagues have identified potential biomarkers unique to S. Typhi chronic carriers.

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