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Open Access Highly Accessed Scoping Review

Control of malaria and other vector-borne protozoan diseases in the tropics: enduring challenges despite considerable progress and achievements

Denis Zofou1*, Raymond B Nyasa1, Dickson S Nsagha2, Fidele Ntie-Kang34, Henry D Meriki1, Jules Clement N Assob5 and Victor Kuete6

Author Affiliations

1 Biotechnology Unit, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, P.O. Box 63, Buea, South West Region, Cameroon

2 Department of Public Health and Hygiene, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon

3 CEPAMOQ, Faculty of Science, University of Douala, P.O. Box 8580, Douala, Cameroon

4 Chemical and Bioactivity Information Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63, Buea, Cameroon

5 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon

6 Department of Biochemistry, University of Dschang, P.O. Box 67, Dschang, Cameroon

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Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2014, 3:1  doi:10.1186/2049-9957-3-1

Published: 8 January 2014

Abstract

Vector-borne protozoan diseases represent a serious public health challenge, especially in the tropics where poverty together with vector-favorable climates are the aggravating factors. Each of the various strategies currently employed to face these scourges is seriously inadequate. Despite enormous efforts, vaccines—which represent the ideal weapon against these parasitic diseases—are yet to be sufficiently developed and implemented. Chemotherapy and vector control are therefore the sole effective attempts to minimize the disease burden. Nowadays, both strategies are also highly challenged by the phenomenon of drug and insecticide resistance, which affects virtually all interventions currently used. The recently growing support from international organizations and governments of some endemic countries is warmly welcome, and should be optimally exploited in the various approaches to drug and insecticide research and development to overcome the burden of these prevalent diseases, especially malaria, leishmaniasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), and Chagas disease.

Keywords:
Malaria; Vector-borne protozoan diseases; African trypanosomiasis; Chagas disease; Leishmaniasis; Vector control; Chemotherapy; Vaccine development