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Neglected Tropical Diseases: The Potential Application of microRNAs for Monitoring NTDs in the Real World

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 1 ]


Supat Chamnanchanunt*, Saovaros Svasti, Suthat Fucharoen and Tsukuru Umemura   Pages 41 - 48 ( 8 )


Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a common health problem and require an efficient campaign to be eradicated from tropical countries. Almost a million people die of NTDs every year in the world, and almost forty percent of the patients are under 20 years. Mass Drug Administration (MDA) is an effective tool for eradication of this health condition. However, a monitoring system is required to evaluate treatment-response and early detection of the re-emerging NTD. The relevance of current tests depends on good quality of the specimen. Thus, new molecular methods with high sensitivity and specificity are required. In this review, we focus on microRNAs (miRNAs) as biomarkers of NTDs through a narrative review on human research. We searched for reliable search engines using a systematical literature review algorithm and included studies that fit the criterion. Five NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, and trachoma) were set as our target diseases. Later on, the data were extracted and classified as monitoring response and early detection. Four miRNAs were studied in filariasis as a monitoring response. There were 12 miRNAs related to onchocerciasis infection, and 6 miRNAs with schistosomiasis infection. Six miRNAs showed a link to soil-transmitted helminths. Only 3 miRNAs correlated with trachoma infection. In conclusion, circulating miR is a less invasive and promising approach to evaluate NTDs. Further field study may translate those candidate miRs to clinical application of the prevention and control of NTDs.


Clinical application, lymphatic filariasis, microRNAs, neglected tropical diseases, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, trachoma.


Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thalassemia Research Center, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thalassemia Research Center, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Department of Medical Technology and Sciences, International University of Health and Welfare, Ohkawa

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