Zoonotic intestinal helminthiasis affects
more than 949 million people globally, collectively contributing to an
estimated 9.68 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost per annum. Endemicity
is focused in rural and poor urban areas of low-and-middle-income countries,
where access to sanitation, hygiene, health care and education on parasite
transmission is lacking.
Zoonotic intestinal helminths include the
. (Schistosoma japonicum
helminths, foodborne trematodes, and Taenia
. each having varying degrees of lifecycle complexity, but all utilising
animal reservoirs as well as human definitive hosts to maintain transmission,
complicating control strategies.
Historically the mainstay of control for
helminth infections has been mass drug administration of a handful of donated anthelmintic
chemotherapies (praziquantel, and benzimidazoles). However, the new World Health
Organisation roadmap for neglected tropical diseases directs the need for more holistic,
One Health approaches to control, in order to successfully eliminate helminthiasis as a
public health problem completely.
project focuses on intestinal helminth endemicity in southeast Asia, applying a
multidisciplinary approach to investigate the prevalence of zoonotic intestinal
helminthiasis in the Philippines. Sampling from animals, humans and the
environment has been integrated with both parasitological, and molecular
diagnostics. Further work will utilise genomics and mathematical modelling
approaches to investigate helminth transmission dynamics. The ultimate aim is to
determine whether a One Health approach involving integrated human/animal
control and surveillance programmes can provide more effective management
options than solely human-focused control.