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Tropical infectious diseases and the skin: Diagnostic and treatment updates since the WHO's integrated campaign against neglected tropical skin diseases


Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO) initiated a unified effort to address skin‐related neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in 2017. This effort increased attention and resources allocated toward decreasing the burden of tropical skin diseases. It emphasized an “integrated approach” to detect and treat multiple co‐existing NTDs at once. This article will outline new diagnostic tests, treatment options, and vaccine development for neglected tropical skin diseases since the initiative began.

Data Sources: A PubMed search of clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta‐analyses published since 2017 was performed.

Results: The WHO's initiative has already seen success, increasing the surveillance of leprosy and the distribution of treatment for yaws. It has encouraged the development of new point‐of‐care tests and better‐tolerated treatment options. It has also brought new challenges, with the rise of resistant organisms. Development of point‐of‐care DNA‐RNA‐based testing may improve drug resistance monitoring. New vaccines are needed for long‐term control of skin NTDs in areas with high transmission rates.

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Journal Article
Kim JH
Burningham K
Tyring SK