Timeline of deworming

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This is a timeline of deworming, and specifically mass deworming.


Big picture

Time periodKey developments
Late 17th centuryBirth of modern helminthology as European physicians first detail anatomy of parasitic worms.
1851–1915Understanding of and interest in schistosomiasis deepens as more people come in contact with the disease.
1948–presentFollowing World War II, the World Health Organization "has been the principal body concerned with the international support of research and control programmes" of schistosomiasis. [1] :266 However, despite this and the implementation of programs, prevalence of schistosomiasis increases in many areas. [1] :262
1949–1997Both Japan and South Korea successfully implement national programs to essentially eliminate soil-transmitted helminthiasis.
2001–presentThe World Health Assembly declares deworming as a focus. Various deworming organizations form.

Full timeline

YearEvent typeEventDisease nameGeographic location
16th century BC Schistosome parasites thought to first evolve in the Great Lakes of East Africa around this period. [1] Schistosomiasis Africa
16th century BCGuinea Worm is described in several ancient Egyptian texts, and is thought to be common in the area [2] DracunculiasisEgypt
1st Century 7th CenturyDiscoveryRoman and Byzantine physicians are familiar with human roundworms and tapeworms and the infections that they cause. [3] Roundworm, tapewormRoman Empire
1683-1684DiscoveryBirth of modern helminthology. Detailed anatomy of the roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) is described, first by English physician Edward Tyson (1683), and shortly afterward by the Italian Francesco Redi (1684). [3] RoundwormEngland, Italy
1799–1801Crisis Napoleon's soldiers almost certainly suffer from haematuria caused by schistosomiasis infection. [1] Schistosomiasis
1851Discovery Theodor Bilharz discovers the parasite responsible for schistosomiasis. [1] Schistosomiasis
1882PublicationFirst mention of schistosomiasis in The Lancet . [1] Schistosomiasis
1883Interest in schistosomiasis heightens in England (and Europe more generally) due to more frequent encounter with the disease following English occupation of Egypt. [1] SchistosomiasisEngland, Egypt
1893–1918Program launchFour commissions designed to understand schistosomiasis are sent to North Africa. [1] SchistosomiasisAfrica
1898DiscoveryScientist Arthur Looss discovers that hookworms enter the body by boring through the skin when he accidentally infects himself. [3] Hookworm
1909OrganizationThe Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease (RSC) is founded. One of RSC's main goals is to eradicate hookworm disease in Southern United States. [4] [5] The RSC is active from 1910–1914, and closes in 1915. [6] It is replaced by the International Health Division (IHD), another Rockefeller Foundation initiative, which tackled public health concerns on a global level. [7] Hookworm United States
1914–1934Overdose of oil of chenopodium, administered as part of the Rockefeller hookworm eradication program, causes over 200 documented deaths. More than 80% of deaths occur in children under 12. [8] Hookworm
1915Discovery Robert Thomson Leiper works out the life-cycle of schistosomiasis. [1] Schistosomiasis
1926–1931Successful eradicationGuinea Worm is eradicated in Uzbekistan through a series of health education and sanitation measures. [2] DracunculiasisUzbekistan
1927–1951Attempts are made to kill the intermediate hosts for schistosomiasis (i.e. snails) using copper sulfate instead of sanitation and health education. The reasoning here is to prevent the schistosomiasis life-cycle from being completed. However it is unclear if these measures reduced the prevalence of schistosomiasis. [1] Schistosomiasis
1938Schistosomiasis Commission proposed by Hilmy Bey; the League of Nations Health Committee suggests more research on the disease, but nothing is done due to the imminence of World War II (among other reasons). [1] Schistosomiasis
1939–1945Crisis Allied soldiers affected by schistosomiasis in China, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands. This brings the disease to international attention. [1] Schistosomiasis
1942Program launchSchistosomiasis control program begins in Venezuela. [1] SchistosomiasisVenezuela
1947PublicationFirst assessment of the distribution of schistosomiasis in the world by Norman Stoll. [1] Schistosomiasis
1948Program launchThe first World Health Assembly decides to establish an "Expert Committee" to deal with schistosomiasis. [1] Schistosomiasis
1949Program launchVolunteer organizations for deworming form in Tokyo and Osaka, which implement "biannual school-based mass screening and treatment". [6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasisJapan
1955Program launch Japan Association of Parasite Control (JAPC) forms. JAPC is a consolidation of several previous deworming groups that existed. [6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasisJapan
1965–1995Program launch Korea Association for Parasite Eradication models their deworming program (a "biannual school-based mass screening and treatment program") off Japanese programs. [6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasis, hookworm, etc.South Korea
1971Successful eradicationIran eliminates dracunculiasis. [2] DracunculiasisIran
mid-1980sUnder Japan Association of Parasite Control, deworming efforts lead to "very minimal levels" of Ascaris . [6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasisJapan
1986–presentOrganizationThe Carter Foundation begins a campaign to eradicate Guinea worm. The incidence of guinea worm infection declines sharply, from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to 22 reported cases in 2015. [9] Dracunculiasis
1997The World Health Organization declares South Korea "essentially worm-free". [6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasisSouth Korea
2001The World Health Assembly declares the goal of 75% of schoolchildren in endemic areas receiving deworming treatment. [5] :2Schistosomiasis, Soil-transmitted helminthiasis [10]
2002OrganizationThe Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) established after being funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. [11] Since 2013 SCI has been a GiveWell top charity.Schistosomiasis
2007Organization Deworm the World Initiative is founded. [12] Since 2014 Deworm the World Initiative has been a GiveWell top charity.Soil-transmitted helminthiasis
2012Program launchVarious organizations announce a coordinated effort to eliminate or control 10 neglected tropical diseases, including both schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. [13] Schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis
2015The "deworming debate" takes place starting in July on whether deworming is effective. [14]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trichuriasis</span> Infection by Trichuris trichiura (whipworm)

Trichuriasis, also known as whipworm infection, is an infection by the parasitic worm Trichuris trichiura (whipworm). If infection is only with a few worms, there are often no symptoms. In those who are infected with many worms, there may be abdominal pain, fatigue and diarrhea. The diarrhea sometimes contains blood. Infections in children may cause poor intellectual and physical development. Low red blood cell levels may occur due to loss of blood.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Intestinal parasite infection</span> Condition in which a parasite infects the gastro-intestinal tract of humans and other animals

An intestinal parasite infection is a condition in which a parasite infects the gastro-intestinal tract of humans and other animals. Such parasites can live anywhere in the body, but most prefer the intestinal wall.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ascariasis</span> Disease caused by the parasitic roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides

Ascariasis is a disease caused by the parasitic roundworm Ascaris lumbricoides. Infections have no symptoms in more than 85% of cases, especially if the number of worms is small. Symptoms increase with the number of worms present and may include shortness of breath and fever in the beginning of the disease. These may be followed by symptoms of abdominal swelling, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Children are most commonly affected, and in this age group the infection may also cause poor weight gain, malnutrition, and learning problems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Helminthiasis</span> Any macroparasitic disease caused by helminths

Helminthiasis, also known as worm infection, is any macroparasitic disease of humans and other animals in which a part of the body is infected with parasitic worms, known as helminths. There are numerous species of these parasites, which are broadly classified into tapeworms, flukes, and roundworms. They often live in the gastrointestinal tract of their hosts, but they may also burrow into other organs, where they induce physiological damage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hookworm infection</span> Disease caused by intestinal parasites

Hookworm infection is an infection by a type of intestinal parasite known as a hookworm. Initially, itching and a rash may occur at the site of infection. Those only affected by a few worms may show no symptoms. Those infected by many worms may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and tiredness. The mental and physical development of children may be affected. Anemia may result.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Parasitic worm</span> Large type of parasitic organism

Parasitic worms, also known as helminths, are large macroparasites; adults can generally be seen with the naked eye. Many are intestinal worms that are soil-transmitted and infect the gastrointestinal tract. Other parasitic worms such as schistosomes reside in blood vessels.

The soil-transmitted helminths are a group of intestinal parasites belonging to the phylum Nematoda that are transmitted primarily through contaminated soil. They are so called because they have a direct life cycle which requires no intermediate hosts or vectors, and the parasitic infection occurs through faecal contamination of soil, foodstuffs and water supplies. The adult forms are essentially parasites of humans, causing soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH), but also infect domesticated mammals. The juveniles are the infective forms and they undergo tissue-migratory stages during which they invade vital organs such as lungs and liver. Thus the disease manifestations can be both local and systemic. The geohelminths together present an enormous infection burden on humanity, amounting to 135,000 deaths every year, and persistent infection of more than two billion people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lymphatic filariasis</span> Medical condition

Lymphatic filariasis is a human disease caused by parasitic worms known as filarial worms. Usually acquired in childhood, it is a leading cause of permanent disability worldwide. While most cases have no symptoms, some people develop a syndrome called elephantiasis, which is marked by severe swelling in the arms, legs, breasts, or genitals. The skin may become thicker as well, and the condition may become painful. Affected people are often unable to work and are often shunned or rejected by others because of their disfigurement and disability.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Neglected tropical diseases</span> Diverse group of tropical infectious diseases which are common in developing countries

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of tropical infections that are common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They are caused by a variety of pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and parasitic worms (helminths). These diseases are contrasted with the "big three" infectious diseases, which generally receive greater treatment and research funding. In sub-Saharan Africa, the effect of neglected tropical diseases as a group is comparable to that of malaria and tuberculosis. NTD co-infection can also make HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis more deadly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eradication of infectious diseases</span> Complete extermination of disease-causing agent to reduce its incidence to zero

The eradication of infectious diseases is the reduction of an infectious disease's prevalence in the global host population to zero.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deworming</span> Use of anthelmintic drugs

Deworming is the giving of an anthelmintic drug to a human or animals to rid them of helminths parasites, such as roundworm, flukes and tapeworm. Purge dewormers for use in livestock can be formulated as a feed supplement that is eaten, a paste or gel that is deposited at the back of the animal's mouth, a liquid drench given orally, an injectable, or as a pour-on which can be applied to the animal's topline. In dogs and cats, purge dewormers come in many forms including a granular form to be added to food, pill form, chew tablets, and liquid suspensions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anthelmintic</span> Antiparasitic drugs that expel parasitic worms (helminths) from the body

Anthelmintics or antihelminthics are a group of antiparasitic drugs that expel parasitic worms (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body by either stunning or killing them and without causing significant damage to the host. They may also be called vermifuges or vermicides. Anthelmintics are used to treat people who are infected by helminths, a condition called helminthiasis. These drugs are also used to treat infected animals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Unlimit Health</span> Unlimit Health is an international organisation working to end parasitic disease.

Unlimit Health (previously known as SCI Foundation and as the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative), is an international organisation working to end parasitic disease. The organisation partners with affected countries, sharing evidence and expertise to eliminate preventable infections, through technical and financial support to ministries of health, in line with their strategies and plans, to strengthen health systems within affected communities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Soil-transmitted helminthiasis</span> Roundworm infection contracted from contaminated soil

Soil-transmitted helminthiasis is a type of helminth infection (helminthiasis) caused by different species of roundworms. It is caused specifically by those worms which are transmitted through soil contaminated with faecal matter and are therefore called soil-transmitted helminths. Three types of soil-transmitted helminthiasis can be distinguished: ascariasis, hookworm infection and whipworm infection. These three types of infection are therefore caused by the large roundworm A. lumbricoides, the hookworms Necator americanus or Ancylostoma duodenale and by the whipworm Trichuris trichiura.

The London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases was a collaborative disease eradication programme launched on 30 January 2012 in London. It was inspired by the World Health Organization roadmap to eradicate or prevent transmission for neglected tropical diseases by the year 2020. Officials from WHO, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's 13 leading pharmaceutical companies, and government representatives from US, UK, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mozambique and Tanzania participated in a joint meeting at the Royal College of Physicians to launch this project. The meeting was spearheaded by Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Children Without Worms (CWW) is a program of the Task Force for Global Health and envisions a world in which all at-risk people, specifically targeting children, are healthy and free of worm infections (helminthiases) so they can develop to their full potential. To accomplish the vision of a worm-free world, CWW works closely with the World Health Organization, national Ministries of Health, nongovernmental organizations and private-public coalitions such as Uniting to Combat NTDs. It acts as an intermediary for the pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson in distributing the latter's mebendazole for mass deworming of children to reduce or end soil-transmitted helminthiasis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mass deworming</span> Treating large numbers of people for helminthiasis and schistosomiasis

Mass deworming, also called preventive chemotherapy, is the process of treating large numbers of people, particularly children, for helminthiasis and schistosomiasis in areas with a high prevalence of these conditions. It involves treating everyone – often all children who attend schools, using existing infrastructure to save money – rather than testing first and then only treating selectively. Serious side effects have not been reported when administering the medication to those without worms, and testing for the infection is many times more expensive than treating it. Therefore, for the same amount of money, mass deworming can treat more people more cost-effectively than selective deworming. Mass deworming is one example of mass drug administration.

Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin), located in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit organization promoting global vaccine development, availability, and use. Through its work, Sabin hopes to reduce human suffering by preventing the spread of vaccine-preventable, communicable disease in humans through herd immunity and mitigating the poverty caused by these diseases.

Neglected tropical diseases in India are a group of bacterial, parasitic, viral, and fungal infections that are common in low income countries but receive little funding to address them. Neglected tropical diseases are common in India.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Russell Stothard</span>

John Russell Stothard is a British scientist, professor of parasitology at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and well known for his teaching and research into schistosomiasis and neglected tropical diseases. He was the recipient of the Bicentenary Medal of the Linnean Society of London in 2004, and the C.A. Wright Memorial Medal of the British Society for Parasitology in 2019. He has previously held positions at London’s Natural History Museum, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and at Imperial College London between 1992 and 2010.


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