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Open Access Open Badges Editorial

Elimination of tropical disease through surveillance and response

Xiao-Nong Zhou12*, Robert Bergquist3 and Marcel Tanner45

Author Affiliations

1 National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shanghai, 200025, People’s Republic of China

2 WHO Collaborating Centre for Malaria, Schistosomiasis and Filariasis, Key Laboratory of Parasite and Vector Biology, Ministry of Health, Shanghai, 200025, People’s Republic of China

3 Ingerod, 407, Brastad, Sweden

4 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, Basel, CH-4002, Switzerland

5 University of Basel, P.O. Box, Basel, CH-4003, Switzerland

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Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2013, 2:1  doi:10.1186/2049-9957-2-1

Published: 3 January 2013


Surveillance and response represent the final crucial steps in achieving effective control and particularly elimination of communicable diseases as recognized in the area of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), applied in increasing numbers in endemic countries with ongoing control and elimination programmers. More and more national NTD elimination initiatives are scheduled based on the innovative and effective One world-One health perspective to detect pockets of transmission and disease reintroduction. Resource-constrained countries, which carry the heaviest NTD burdens, face various challenges how to strengthen the health system as well as developing effective and novel tools for surveillance and response tailored to local settings. Surveillance-response approaches take place in two different stages corralling the basic components of the surveillance-response system for NTD elimination. Six different research priorities have been identified:1)dynamic mapping of transmission, 2) near real-time capture of population dynamics, 3) modelling based on a minimum essential database/dataset, 4) implementation of mobile health (m-health) and sensitive diagnostics, 5) design of effective response packages tailored to different transmission settings and levels, and 6) validation of approaches and responses packages.