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Onchocerciasis Control: Vision for the Future from a Ghanian perspective

Mark J Taylor1*, Kwablah Awadzi2, María-Gloria Basáñez3, Nana Biritwum4, Daniel Boakye5, Boakye Boatin6, Moses Bockarie7, Thomas S Churcher3, Alex Debrah8, Geoffrey Edwards1, Achim Hoerauf9, Sabine Mand9, Graham Matthews10, Mike Osei-Atweneboana11, Roger K Prichard11, Samuel Wanji12 and Ohene Adjei8

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK

2 Onchocerciasis Chemotherapy Research Centre (OCRC), Hohoe Hospital, Hohoe, Ghana

3 Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College, London, UK

4 Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme, Health Research Unit, Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana

5 Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana

6 TDR, World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland

7 Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (incorporating the Lymphatic Filariasis Support Centre), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK

8 Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana

9 Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology & Parasitology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

10 Department of Biological Sciences, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK

11 Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, Québec, Canada

12 Research Foundation for Tropical Diseases and the Environment (REFOTDE), Buea, Cameroon

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Parasites & Vectors 2009, 2:7  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-2-7

Published: 21 January 2009


Since 1987 onchocerciasis control has relied on the donation of ivermectin (Mectizan®, Merck & Co., Inc.) through the Mectizan Donation Programme. Recently, concern has been raised over the appearance of suboptimal responses to ivermectin in Ghana – highlighting the potential threat of the development of resistance to ivermectin. This report summarises a meeting held in Ghana to set the research agenda for future onchocerciasis control. The aim of this workshop was to define the research priorities for alternative drug and treatment regimes and control strategies to treat populations with existing evidence of suboptimal responsiveness and define research priorities for future control strategies in the event of the development of widespread ivermectin resistance.