Spotlight Series: Neglected, Tropical and Zoonotic Diseases

PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series 

Reference Number: CAN-88

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Research and Training in Parasite Epidemiology and Control  
Institution: Department of Epidemiology, McGill University

Reference Number: USA-182

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Dracunculiasis Eradication
Institution: Elimination and Control (Epidemiology) Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Reference Number: USA-427*

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Research and Training for Schistosomiasis Elimination
Institution: Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University

Reference Number: USA-442

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Onchocerciasis Diagnostics
Institution: Department of Global Health, University of South Florida (USF)


Category 1 (SP 14-19)

Outcome 17 (SP 20-25)

Dr. Nicholls

Dr. Ruben Nicholls, Advisor, Neglected Infectious Diseases, is the PAHO staff member who supports the WHO focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institutions and the Organization.

The main activities of these Centres include: (1) providing expertise relating to surveys protocols on schistosomiasis; (2) analyzing blood and vector samples for onchocerciasis; (3) collaborating with PAHO for the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas; (4) providing technical advice, training and quality control; (5) providing laboratory supplies including antigens and vector samples; and (6) participating in PAHO’s regional meetings on neglected, tropical and zoonotic diseases.

The Centre at McGill University participated in PAHO’s regional meetings on neglected, tropical and zoonotic diseases to deliver presentations and share expertise and has produced several publications for the Region related to soil-transmitted control programs:

Reaching girls and women of reproductive age with deworming. Report of the Advisory Group on deworming in girls and women of reproductive age

Systematic review of exposure to albendazole or mebendazole during pregnancy and effects on maternal and child outcomes, with particular reference to exposure in the first trimester

Challenges and opportunities for control and elimination of soil-transmitted helminth infections beyond 2020

The Centre at Case Western Reserve University has participated in regional meetings on schistosomiasis and provides technical expertise to PAHO regarding protocols for surveys on schistosomiasis and technical questions regarding diagnostic tests.

The Centre at USF collaborates with PAHO through the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas. This program is a regional initiative with the goal of eliminating morbidity and interrupting transmission of river blindness. This Centre also analyzes and processes blood and black fly samples for countries in the Region (i.e. Brazil and Venezuela), providing technical advice and training to Brazilian staff (i.e. training on Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) processing of black flies and serology) and providing laboratory supplies including antigens. The Centre participates in quality control, processing samples in Brazil and Florida, with results then analyzed to evaluate the country’s performance. On a global level, the Centre also supports the WHO with onchocerciasis related activities in Africa.

Currently, the Centre at the Elimination and Control (Epidemiology) Team at CDC works mainly with WHO and there are no deliverables to report within the Region.

Webnotes such as these serve to inform on how CCs are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.

*CC expired.