Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned about a ‘deadly flesh-eating parasite’ that could spread from pet dogs to humans.
“Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease carried by sand flies that, until now, had only been detected in the US among people returning from countries where it’s endemic in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America,” the Daily Mail reports.
However, the researchers said they’ve detected the infection in people with no travel history to those countries, suggesting its spreading domestically.
Talk about unleashing the latest fear campaign!
Chief Nerd shared the report:
“Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease carried by sand flies that, until now, had only been detected in the US among people returning from countries where it’s endemic in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Now researchers at the CDC have warned they are detecting the infection – which causes sufferers to erupt in sores – in people with no travel history to those countries, suggesting it’s spreading domestically.
Dr Mary Kamb, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, told USA Today: ‘This is a disease that we in the United States don’t really think about. It’s really a disease that belongs to other countries.’
Dr Kamb and her team have detected leishmaniasis in a number of tissue samples from patients who have not traveled outside the US.
The majority of the skin samples in the CDC study came from Texas”
“Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease carried by sand flies that, until now, had only been detected in the US among people returning from countries where it's endemic in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Now researchers at the CDC have warned they are detecting… pic.twitter.com/fnillpQ2sN
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) October 21, 2023
Daily Mail reports:
It has raised concerns that the pathogen’s deadlier cousin, which causes internal organ damage to the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, could also start spreading in the US – though there are no confirmed cases yet.
The deadlier version – visceral leishmaniasis – can be spread by dogs, which are being imported into the US at record numbers.
The most common form of the disease and the one suspected to be endemic in the US, cutaneous leishmaniasis, causes a skin infection with oozing ulcers and open sores.
Visceral leishmaniasis, on the other hand, can cause bouts of fever, weight loss, anemia and swelling of the liver and spleen. If left untreated, it can be fatal.
Once in insects, it is transmitted in the same way as the skin-related leishmaniasis, through sand fly bites.
Visceral leishmaniasis contains a related parasite, leishmania infantum, which affects organs and causes more than 50,000 deaths every year in regions where the parasite thrives, with cases mainly in India, Bangladesh, Sudan Brazil.
In the Americas, around 3,800 cases of visceral leishmaniasis are recorded each year, with a fatality rate of roughly seven percent.
They had skin infections, which being with a small bump from a sand fly bite that erupts into ulcerous sores.
Is it a coincidence that the U.S. military is working on a vaccine for this disease?
The principal investigator is Dr. Peter Hotez.
Texas’s Dr. Peter Hotez is working with the US military to create a vaccine for this. Looks like they are testing it (in military labs in Maryland) on mice.
— @restonvirus (@restonvirus) October 21, 2023
The 33-page report prepared for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command reads:
Building on extensive preliminary data and an established consortium of academic, government, military, and product development partners, we propose to develop a production process for a novel, bivalent vaccine against leishmaniasis, a serious neglected tropical disease (NTD) of military and civilian personnel now spreading rapidly in conflict zones of the Middle East and Central Asia. The proposed Cutaneous Leishmania Vaccine (CL-Vax) is a bivalent, recombinant protein-based vaccine that will be comprised of a specific Leishmania parasite antigen together with a novel sand fly salivary antigen, co-administered at bedside with an adequate adjuvant. The components of the vaccine will be extensively characterized, and their immunogenicity and efficacy will be confirmed in animal models.
This proposal seeks to develop an effective, safe, and innovative vaccine to combat cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), a neglected tropical disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania and transmitted to humans by the bite of a phlebotomine sand fly. Building on extensive preliminary data, we are developing a production process for a novel, bivalent vaccine against leishmaniasis and test its immunogenicity and efficacy in a mouse model of disease. The Cutaneous Leishmania Vaccine, CL-Vax, is based on recombinant proteins and is comprised of a specific Leishmania parasite antigen (LdNH36) together with a novel sand fly salivary antigen (PpSP15), co-administered at bedside with an adequate adjuvant (GLA-SE). Our hypothesis is that vaccination with CL-Vax is much more efficacious in reducing the lesion size caused by the infection and in reducing the parasite count at the infection site, than vaccination with just the Leishmania vaccine antigen alone. CL-Vax would induce a robust immune response to two independent antigens that are co-localized at the site of infected bites. Our approach builds on more than a decade of preliminary studies and publications.Advertisement
A 2021 interview with Peter Hotez published in Future Microbiology states:
Peter J Hotez, MD, PhD is Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized physician–scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development. As head of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development, he leads a team and product development partnership for developing new vaccines for hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and SARS/MERS/SARS-2 coronavirus. Dr Hotez has authored more than 500 original papers and is the author of four single-author books. Most recently as both a vaccine scientist and autism parent, he has led national efforts to defend vaccines and to serve as an ardent champion of vaccines going up against a growing national ‘antivax’ threat.