||Malaria is the name given to infection with of a group of parasites belonging to the Plasmodium family. Humans are infected by being bitten by mosquitoes that are infected with malaria parasites.
Malaria infections can occur worldwide, but most commonly occur in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Malaria infection can range from a mild illness with few symptoms to severe and overwhelming disease
which leads to death. Worldwide, there are 300-500 million cases and 1.5 - 2.7 million deaths annually from this disease. Much of the malaria now seen in the world has become resistant to drugs used in the past.
Researchers are working to develop a vaccine against malaria, which would be beneficial to military personnel and civilians living in and traveling to areas where it is commonly found.
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||Dengue Fever is a human infection caused by one of four varieties of the dengue virus. Infection occurs when a human is bitten by a mosquito carrying one or more of
these viruses. Dengue fever in adults is a disease that can cause high fever, severe headache, muscle and joint pain, pain behind the eyes, fatigue, abdominal pain or
vomiting. A severe form of the disease called dengue hemorrhagic fever may result in bleeding and a fall in blood pressure (shock) sometimes resulting in death. This
severe form usually occurs in children who have had a prior dengue infection. Tens of millions of cases of dengue fever occur worldwide each year, mostly in Central and
South America, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Researchers are currently working to develop vaccines against all forms of the dengue virus, which would
benefit both military and civilian populations.
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Shigella is the name of a family of bacteria which can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal illnesses in humans. Also known as shigellosis, this infection is found
throughout the world, being particularly common in developing countries where sanitation methods are poor. In the United States, over 14,000 cases of shigellosis are
diagnosed each year, with the majority occurring in small children. Diarrheal disease due to Shigella impacts U.S. forces by limiting their mobility and decreasing their
efficiency and functional capacity at critical times soon after their deployment. Researchers are currently working to develop a safe and effective vaccine against
Shigella to help protect deployed military personnel, travelers and young children in areas of the world where Shigellosis is endemic.
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Meningococcus, also known as Neisseria meningitides, is a type of bacteria responsible for many forms of human infection, some fatal, though it is probably best known as
a cause of meningitis (an infection of the brain and spinal cord). Meningitis can occur at any age or in any population, but is particularly common in young children and
in young adult populations sharing close quarters, such as college students living in dorms and military recruits living in barracks.
Over the past 40 years vaccines have been developed that are effective in providing protection against four of the five types of this bacteria that cause disease.
However, there is still no vaccine for serogroup B, which causes about one-half of all meningococcal infections in the United States. Researchers are currently working to
develop such a vaccine, in order to benefit both military and civilian populations.
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Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is a special protein, known as an enzyme, found in certain types of human cells. This particular enzyme helps to protect red
blood cells against damage from certain chemicals. A deficiency, or reduced amount, of this enzyme can lead to red blood cell destruction when an at-risk person is
exposed to certain medications or foods. This in turn, could result in anemia (low blood levels), injury or death. Worldwide, G6PD deficiency is the most common human
enzyme deficiency, affecting over 200 million persons. Many of the medicines which could cause problems, including certain medications for malaria and antibiotics, are in
wide use throughout the world, and have few or no safe alternatives for G6PD deficient individuals. Researchers are working to better understand this condition and to
formulate alternative medications which do not place such individuals at risk.
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