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Guinea Worm Disease: A Neglected Diseases on the Verge of Eradication


Background: Dracunculiasis, also known as Guinea worm disease (GWD), is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by a parasite (Dracunculus medinensis). In the past, dracunculiasis was known as “the disease of the empty granary” because of the difficulties patients had in going to work in fields or to school when affected by this disease. In tropical areas, the condition has been widespread in economically disadvantaged communities, and has been associated with reduced economic status and low levels of education. Methods: we searched PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and WHO websites for literature addressing dracunculiasis published in the last 50 years. Results: by development and optimization of multi-layered control measures, transmission by the vector has been interrupted, but there are foci in several African countries with a high risk of compromising the results obtained in the control of this neglected disease. Conclusion: this review features state-of-the-art data on the infection prevalence, geographical distribution, diagnostics, parasite–host interactions, and the pathology of dracunculiasis. Also described are the current state and future perspectives for vector control and elimination strategies.

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Journal Article
Pellegrino C
Patti G
Camporeale M
Belati A
Novara R
Papagni R
Frallonardo L
Diella L
Guido G
De Vita E
Totaro V
Segala FV
Veronese N
Cotugno S
Bavaro DF
Putoto G
Bevilacqua N
Castellani C
Nicastri E
Saracino A
Di Gennaro F