Mycetoma, selected by Global Health Now as the most neglected disease in 2015, is a disease whose mode of transmission in unclear. It may be caused by bacteria (actinomycetoma), in particular Nocardia spp., or by fungi (eumycetoma), of which Madurella mycetomatis is the most common. It's a slow and chronic disease associated with poor and rural populations, and a lack of health care facilities in the endemic areas. Although the causative organisms occur worldwide, mycetoma mainly affects populations in the tropical and subtropical areas in the ‘Mycetoma belt’, which includes the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Chad, Ethiopia, India, Mauritania, Mexico, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

The choice of drugs is very limited, and recurrence rates are high. It does not yet feature in WHO's list of NTDs (http://www.who.int/buruli/mycetoma/en/), although it seems to meet all the criteria.

This  month, PLOS NTDs have published have published a series of articles on Mycetoma, an editorial by Ziljstra et al (http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0004244) and have announced a Mycetoma Collection (accessible via http://collections.plos.org/mycetoma) by Peter Hotez and Serap Aksoy: http://blogs.plos.org/speakingofmedicine/2016/01/21/mycetoma-the-plos-ntds-collection/ 

This Week in Global Health (TWiGH) features a video on Mycetoma by Amy Maxmen: https://globalntdresearch.tghn.org/articles/week-global-health-mycetoma-video/

 

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