Implications of asymptomatic infection for the natural history of selected parasitic tropical diseases

by Alvar J, Alves F, Bucheton B, Burrows L, Büscher P, Carrillo E, Felger I, Hübner M, Moreno J, Pinazo M-J, Ribeiro I, Sosa-Estani S, Specht S, Tarral A, Strub-Wourgaft N, Bilbe G. Seminars in Immunopathology 2020, doi: 10.1007/s00281-020-00796-y

Summary: Progress has been made in the control or elimination of tropical diseases, but there is a risk of re-emergence if the factors fuelling transmission are not dealt with. While it is essential to understand the underlying factors for each disease, asymptomatic carriers (people infected with the parasite, but without symptoms) are a common element that may promote resurgence. The authors review the current evidence on whether to treat asymptomatic carriers given the differing context of each disease. Safer drugs with good risk/benefit profiles are needed in order to allow treatment of both symptomatic and non-symptomatic infected persons.

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