DeWorm3

Girl receiving deworming pill, in Cameroon.

Girl receiving deworming pill, in Cameroon. © Johnson & Johnson

deworm-logo-hti-single

Project summary

Focus: Testing the feasibility of integrated approaches to eliminating soil-transmitted helminths

Funding: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Data and Project managers wanted

DeWorm3 is currently seeking experienced project managers with neglected tropical disease programme and research expertise and a data manager with experience of harmonising data collection, cleaning, sharing and storage of data across multiple trial sites. 

The positions provide a unique opportunity to be a part of a series of rigorous, community-based randomised controlled trials that aim to inform future global health policies on the elimination of soil-transmitted helminthiasis.

Download full job descriptions:

Applications

For all details on how to apply for 

  • Project manager DeWorm3 project (3 positions)
  • Data manager DeWorm3 project

please go to the full adverts listed on the Museum's current vacancies.

Call for research partners

Having received a large number of Letters of intent (LOIs) of a high standard we are very pleased to announce that we have made the first step in the selection process.

The following six applications have been selected for a site visit.

  • Benin
  • Cameroon
  • India
  • Ivory Coast
  • Malawi
  • Sri Lanka 

All complete, eligible applications were reviewed by an independent, external panel of experts with experience in leading large trials and reviewing applications for large funding agencies.

The panel was comprised of the following members:

Chair: Professor Jimmy Whitworth (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Members:

  • Professor Dan Colley (University of Georgia)
  • Professor John Gyapong (University of Ghana)
  • Dr. Harriet Mpairwe (Medical Research Council Uganda/Uganda Virus Research Institute)
  • Professor Ric Price (Menzies School of Health Research/ University of Oxford)

(Please note: these individuals should not be contacted directly regarding the review process; all communication should go through Dr Judd Walson.)

Site visits 

The site visits will be an opportunity for the DeWorm3 project team to meet with the shortlisted group of applicants and their partners to discuss the roles and responsibilities of the sites and to further assess the applicants’ abilities to conduct large field trials.

If your site is shortlisted and selected for a visit, the Natural History Museum will provide a small amount of funding to cover costs associated with hosting the visit.

We expect these site visits to occur in May or June of 2016.

Research partners will be announced in July 2016.

If you have any further questions please contact the DeWorm3 team.

We will test the feasibility of eliminating soil-transmitted helminths (STHs, or intestinal worms) and developing cost-effective methods for scaling up elimination programs.

Over 1.45 billion people are infected with soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), including 845 million children, in some of the world’s poorest communities.

The project will be led by a team at the Natural History Museum in London and will last for five-years, in the first instance. Museum scientists have a long history of researching disease and understanding the identity, nature and diversification of parasites and vectors.

Aims

The DeWorm3 project aims to

  • demonstrate the feasibility of eliminating STHs using existing and intensified mass drug administration (MDA) strategies, specifically by leveraging existing lymphatic filariasis elimination platforms
  • inform the guidelines, policies, and operational plans needed to successfully achieve STH elimination
  • link qualitative and operational studies of the acceptability and feasibility of different strategies to ongoing field trials, guiding future implementation and scale-up plans.

Background

Disease

STHs reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins. This can exacerbat malnutrition and lead to anaemia, increased susceptibility to other infectious diseases, stunted growth and impaired cognitive development.

Parasites

STHs are a group of intestinal parasites that thrive in areas with warm, humid soil and poor sanitation. The most common STH parasites are nematodes, including roundworm (Ascaris), whipworm (Trichuris), and hookworm (Ancylostoma and Necator).

Treatment

STHs are controlled primarily through school-based mass drug administration (MDA) programmes where albendazole or mebendazole are given to children.

However, recent studies suggest that successfully interrupting the transmission of STHs may require broadening treatment to pre-school-age children and adults through community-based MDA platforms.

In addition, alternative combinations or delivery schedules of antihelminthic drugs may be required to break transmission of these diseases.

STHs share a co-indicated drug (albendazole) and are geographically congruent with other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including lymphatic filariasis. This creates the potential for a coordinated elimination approach.

However, strategies to inform guidelines in countries transitioning from disease control to elimination in an integrated fashion have not been fully evaluated.

Ascaris lumbricoides worms from a child in Kenya

Ascaris lumbricoides worms from a child in Kenya © CDC/ James Gathany

Principal investigator

Dr Judd Walson

Museum team

Dr Peter Jourdan

Iain Gardiner

Dr Tim Littlewood

Dr David Rollinson

Project goals

  • Conduct field trials to assess optimal strategies for interrupting disease transmission and reducing morbidity.
  • Develop implementation strategies to achieve successful STHs elimination at scale.
  • Develop clear definitions (epidemiologic and operational) of STHs transmission interruption.

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