Month: April 2019

New focus on intestinal schistosomiasis: Emergence of Biomphalaria snails and transmission of Schistosoma mansoni in Lake Malawi

Schistosoma mansoni egg. Source: Centre for Disease Control Background to schistosomes and snails Schistosomiasis is also known as snail fever or Bilharzia, caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes that live within the bloodstream. Schistosoma haematobium infects the urogenital tract while Schistosoma mansoni infects the intestinal tract. Transmission of schistosomiasis has become a major public health concern in many developing countries. Certain freshwater snails play a crucial role in the life-cycle of schistosomiasis and serve as obligatory intermediate hosts. In Africa, Bulinus and Biomphalaria snails are involved in the transmission of S. haematobium and S. mansoni, respectively. Schistosomiasis is a...

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Hot topics in tropical medicine: Approval of Ivermectin by Health Canada

Filariform larva of Strongyloides. Strongyloidiasis is a worm infection of the gut which can be treated with Ivermectin. Flickr, Yale Rosen As we move further into 2019, reflection on the successes and challenges of 2018 enables us to better understand the landscape of tropical medicine, prioritize initiatives that capitalize on last year’s successes, and identify areas for renewed focus. As Editor-in-Chief of Tropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines, I am delighted to post this series of blogs, which will count down five hot topics in tropical medicine that made an impact in our field last year. Approval of Ivermectin...

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Airborne viruses inside “germ factories”

The researchers studied the airborne bacterial and viral microbiome of a daycare center throughout the course of a year. © ChiccoDodiFC / When my daughter was born more almost six years ago and started daycare, I noticed a seasonal pattern of illnesses (e.g. colds, norovirus in winter; hand, foot, and mouth disease in fall), which were eventually passed to my wife and me, causing numerous missed workdays. Knowing that many childhood diseases are caused by viruses that can be transported either through the air or the oral-fecal route, I became obsessed with determining which viruses were actually floating...

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BMC Geriatrics – Highlights of 2018

Staying active: how older adults choose to exercise For any regular at the gym, there’s a noticeable phenomenon around the beginning of the year: an influx of new members followed by a quick drop-off just a few weeks later. Exercising more is a perennially common New Year’s resolution, but it can be difficult to stick with. For older adults, regular exercise has multiple benefits, including helping to maintain muscle strength, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and aiding the management of depression. But just as with those new gym members, older adults too face challenges starting and staying with...

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Commonly Held Myths of Head and Neck Cancers

Myth: Decreased smoking rates have had no impact on incidence of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) © buenaventura13 / Fact: Between 1974 to 1999, there was a decrease in oral cavity, laryngeal, and hypopharyngeal cancers in the United States. This was largely attributed to a decreasing incidence in smoking. Notably, there was no significant difference in the incidence of nasopharyngeal cancers and there has been an increase in the incidence of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). The increase in OPSCC has been attributed to the human papilloma virus (HPV). Myth: With the development of the HPV vaccination,...

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