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Antwerpen, Belgium

The Institute of Tropical Medicine , previously known as Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine is located in Antwerp, Belgium. ITM is one of the world's leading institutes for training and research in tropical medicine and the organisation of health care in developing countries. It also delivers outpatient, clinical and preventive services in tropical pathologies and sexually transmitted diseases. The institute has a strong reputation in research, travel medicine, public health issues, neglected tropical diseases. Peter Piot and colleagues at the institute were the first to demonstrate that AIDS was a tropical African disease. ITM has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a reference centre for AIDS research. ITM also is a national and international reference centre for a series of tropical diseases.At ITM, some 400 scientists and technicians do research on pathogens, patients and populations. Yearly, an average of 500 medical doctors, nurses and scientists follow advanced courses; some 120 young researchers are completing their PhD. Each year, the medical services handle around 35 000 consultations. The website www.travelhealth.be services more than 100 000 visitors a year.More than 75% of its publications appear in the top-25% of journals in its field. ITM also carries out an extensive capacity strengthening program in developing countries, and is part of a large network of institutions in Africa, South America and Asia. Wikipedia.

Palomino J.C.,Institute of Tropical Medicine
Future Microbiology

TB persists as a global epidemic with high morbidity and mortality, especially in low-income countries. It is the only infectious disease ever declared as a global emergency by the WHO. The HIV pandemic and the emergence of drug resistance represent two additional obstacles to better control of the disease. Important progress has been made in the last decade in TB diagnostics. Major needs still exist, such as the availability of a real point-of-care test, a better diagnosis of TB in immune-compromised populations and in children, and the possibility to predict progression to disease in latently infected people. This review will summarize the current developments in TB diagnostics and the perspectives for future developments in the field. Source

Romero G.A.S.,University of Brasilia | Boelaert M.,Institute of Tropical Medicine
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Background: While three countries in South Asia decided to eliminate anthroponotic visceral leishmaniasis (VL) by 2015, its control in other regions seems fraught with difficulties. Is there a scope for more effective VL control in the Americas where transmission is zoonotic? We reviewed the evidence on VL control strategies in Latin America - diagnosis, treatment, veterinary interventions, vector control - with respect to entomological and clinical outcomes. Methodology/Principal Findings: We searched the electronic databases of MEDLINE, LILACS, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, from 1960 to November 2008 and references of selected articles. Intervention trials as well as observational studies that evaluated control strategies of VL in the Americas were included. While the use of rapid diagnostic tests for VL diagnosis seems well established, there is a striking lack of evidence from clinical trials for drug therapy and few well designed intervention studies for control of vectors or canine reservoirs. Conclusion: Elimination of zoonotic VL in the Americas does not seem a realistic goal at this point given the lack of political commitment, gaps in scientific knowledge, and the weakness of case management and surveillance systems. Research priorities and current strategies should be reviewed with the aim of achieving better VL control. © 2010 Romero, Boelaert. Source

Guzman M.G.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Harris E.,University of California at Berkeley
The Lancet

Summary Dengue viruses have spread rapidly within countries and across regions in the past few decades, resulting in an increased frequency of epidemics and severe dengue disease, hyperendemicity of multiple dengue virus serotypes in many tropical countries, and autochthonous transmission in Europe and the USA. Today, dengue is regarded as the most prevalent and rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease of human beings. Importantly, the past decade has also seen an upsurge in research on dengue virology, pathogenesis, and immunology and in development of antivirals, vaccines, and new vector-control strategies that can positively impact dengue control and prevention. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Laga M.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Piot P.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

HIV spread has reached a turning point following decades of increasing and sustained incidence. An effective vaccine has not been developed, but critical breakthroughs with prevention based on antiretroviral treatment are promising. The new prevention technologies will have to be combined with condoms and incorporated into the mixes of combination prevention approaches that are tailored to the local epidemic and context. To address the implementation gap, more political will and leadership will be needed to overcome the socio-cultural, legal or religious barriers to prevention. We have learned that the generation of demand for HIV prevention is not easy, as for health promotion in general. Despite optimism about treatment as prevention, many western countries are facing an increase in new HIV cases, and HIV is no longer a collective concern. If we manage to find common ground on combination prevention, customize approaches to people's needs and exercise technical and political leadership, our decade may see the beginning of the end of the epidemic. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Ooms G.,Institute of Tropical Medicine
BMC international health and human rights

DISCUSSION: Global health researchers with a background in empirical disciplines seem reluctant to clarify the normative starting point they use, perhaps because normative statements cannot be derived directly from empirical evidence, or because there is a wide gap between present policies and the normative starting point they personally support. Global health researchers with a background in normative disciplines usually do not present their work in ways that help their colleagues with a background in empirical disciplines to distinguish between what is merely personal opinion and professional opinion based on rigorous normative research. If global health researchers with a background in empirical disciplines clarified their normative starting point, their recommendations would become more useful for their colleagues with a background in normative disciplines. If global health researchers who focus on normative issues used adapted qualitative research guidelines to present their results, their findings would be more useful for their colleagues with a background in empirical disciplines. Although a single common paradigm for all scientific disciplines that contribute to global health research may not be possible or desirable, global health researchers with a background in empirical disciplines and global health researchers with a background in normative disciplines could present their 'truths' in ways that would improve dialogue. This paper calls for an exchange of views between global health researchers and editors of medical journals.BACKGROUND: Public health recommendations are usually based on a mixture of empirical evidence and normative arguments: to argue that authorities ought to implement an intervention that has proven effective in improving people's health requires a normative position confirming that the authorities are responsible for improving people's health. While public health (at the national level) is based on a widely accepted normative starting point - namely, that it is the responsibility of the state to improve people's health - there is no widely accepted normative starting point for international health or global health. As global health recommendations may vary depending on the normative starting point one uses, global health research requires a better dialogue between researchers who are trained in empirical disciplines and researchers who are trained in normative disciplines. Source

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