This work will result in publically available environmental analytical methods that presents uniformity and consistency in assessing and quantifying the global problem with Soil Transmitted Helminthes and their detection.
The project aims to set up a co-ordinary QA/QC (quality assurance and quality control) system for environmental assessment and quantification of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) with special focus on Ascaris . Various samples will be used including but not limited to: Faecal sludge, UDDT fecal matter, sewage sludge, Soil and wastewater/water. This will involve selected laboratories on different continents that either have ongoing or recently finished agreements with the Gates Foundation or have a well-defined track record of environmental investigations . Comparative methodological assessments will be done focusing on different sampling regimes as well as on recovery, precision, accuracy and sensitivity aiming towards a standardized and recognized reference method. Additionally the coordinated efforts will create a network of global partners in the area of methodology for assessing risks with soil transmitted helminths.
Currently there are various methods employed globally for the detection of STHs ova in environmental samples, the sensitivity of these methods vary from one researcher/laboratory to the other. This leads to the lack of uniformity in the estimation of risk to exposed populations. Therefore there is the need to assess the sensitivity and selectivity of the various methods used in STHs detection and possibly develop a uniform method that can be applied in both developing and developed countries to assess STHs ova concentrations.
The methods should be able to identify STHs eggs in general and also determine if they are viable: Other STHs include Trichuris trichuira, Hookworms (Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus), Teania spp.
This work will result in publically available environmental analytical methods that presents uniformity and consistency in assessing and quantifying the global problem with Soil Transmitted Helminthes and their detection
The main focus is on quantifying STHs in the environmental samples, no epidemiological studies are planned as part of this project.
Research or implementation partners: University of Kwazulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Enabling environment and institutional strengthening Global Health and hygiene Sub-Saharan Africa University, education or research institution WASH and nutrition
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