Another Gates grant for UGA


The UGA Research Foundation received a $3.4 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its operational research on how best to eliminate schistosomiasis, a debilitating and neglected tropical disease affecting millions of people in countries throughout much of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.

This recent award adds to an $18.7 million grant awarded to UGA by the Gates Foundation in 2008, bringing the funding total to more than $22 million. Researchers will use this additional money to find out how to move from repeatedly treating infected people to eliminating the disease.

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by several species of worms. Larval parasites burrow into the skin of humans who swim or wash in the water. Once inside people they develop into adult worms. While it has a relatively low mortality rate, schistosomiasis can damage internal organs and impair physical and cognitive development in children.

UGA researchers are looking at how a drug that kills the parasites, combined with improved hygiene and sanitation practices could eliminate the disease.

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