Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Deadly soil-borne hookworm may have met its match

This UPI article is inspiring. Appreciate the dedication of the subject and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting this work.

Peter Hotez has spearheaded a 25-year fight to eradicate hookworm, and 12 other neglected diseases, illnesses of the poor and powerless. These ailments bear frightening names such as leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis and schistosomiasis. Some are vector-borne diseases, spread through animals or mosquitoes, others are bacterial, and many more are caused by worm infections.
"When you work on a neglected disease, you're neglected by your scientific colleagues. It's hard to be taken seriously sometimes," Hotez says.
"He's the ideal scientist -- someone who is honest, works hard, and is passionate about what he is doing," says H.R. Shepherd, the chairman of the Sabin Institute who has known Peter for almost 10 years.
Hotez is developing the world's first hookworm vaccine, now in Phase 1 trials, and he'll know for sure if it works by 2011.
The above excerpts were rearranged a tad.

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