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The role of research in viral disease eradication and elimination programs: Lessons for malaria eradication

Breman, JG and de Quadros, CA and Dowdle, WR and Foege, WH and Henderson, DA and John, TJ and Levine, MM (2011) The role of research in viral disease eradication and elimination programs: Lessons for malaria eradication. PLoS Medicine, 8 (1). ISSN 1549-1277

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By examining the role research has played in eradication or regional elimination initiatives for three viral diseases-smallpox, poliomyelitis, and measles-we derive nine cross-cutting lessons applicable to malaria eradication. In these initiatives, some types of research commenced as the programs began and proceeded in parallel. Basic laboratory, clinical, and field research all contributed notably to progress made in the viral programs. For each program, vaccine was the lynchpin intervention, but as the programs progressed, research was required to improve vaccine formulations, delivery methods, and immunization schedules. Surveillance was fundamental to all three programs, whilst polio eradication also required improved diagnostic methods to identify asymptomatic infections. Molecular characterization of pathogen isolates strengthened surveillance and allowed insights into the geographic source of infections and their spread. Anthropologic, sociologic, and behavioural research were needed to address cultural and religious beliefs to expand community acceptance. The last phases of elimination and eradication became increasingly difficult, as a nil incidence was approached. Any eradication initiative for malaria must incorporate flexible research agendas that can adapt to changing epidemiologic contingencies and allow planning for posteradication scenarios. © 2011 Breman et al.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Breman, JG
de Quadros, CA
Dowdle, WR
Foege, WH
Henderson, DA
John, TJ
Levine, MM
Date: 21 February 2011
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS Medicine
Volume: 8
Number: 1
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000405
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1549-1277
Article Type: Review
MeSH Headings: Africa--epidemiology; Americas--epidemiology; Animals; Communicable Disease Control--organization & administration; Communicable Disease Control--trends; Humans; Malaria--prevention & control; Malaria Vaccines; Measles--epidemiology; Measles--prevention & control; Models, Theoretical; Molecular Epidemiology; Mosquito Control; Poliomyelitis--epidemiology; Poliomyelitis--prevention & control; Politics; Population Surveillance; Research; Smallpox--epidemiology; Smallpox--prevention & control; Socioeconomic Factors; Viral Vaccines; Virus Diseases--prevention & control; World Health; World Health Organization
Other ID: NLM PMC3026693
PubMed Central ID: PMC3026693
PubMed ID: 21311582
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2012 16:01
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 00:55


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