Podoconiosis – cross-disciplinary research updates in the year of NTDs

In December 2020, we published a special issue of Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene on podoconiosis, or nonfilarial elephantiasis; a neglected tropical disease (NTD), which causes massive swelling of the lower limbs due to chronic exposure to irritant soils.

The WHO NTD road map, which was officially endorsed in November 2020, will offer a plan to accelerate progress with countries, communities and people at the centre. However, there is still much to be done to leave no one with podoconiosis is left behind.

All the articles, which are open access and free to read, have been written by world-renowned global health experts, including Dr Mwelecele Malecela, director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases at the World Health Organization.

Guest editors

The guest editors for the special issue, Podoconiosis – cross-disciplinary research updates in the year of NTDs, are: 

Dr Louise Kelly-Hope:

Louise Kelly-Hope is the Head of Monitoring and Evaluation Operational Research at the Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases. 

Dr Kebede Deribe:

Kebede Deribe is an epidemiologist and a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellow in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Professor Gail Davey:

Professor Davey is a medical epidemiologist specialising in skin-related NTDs and RSTMH President.




> Podoconiosis, skin-NTDs and global health

Kingsley Asiedu, Michael Marks, Roderick Hay

> Podoconiosis: key priorities for research and implementation

Kebede Deribe, Charles D Mackenzie, Melanie J Newport, Daniel Argaw, David H Molyneux, Gail Davey


> Using ethnographic film in tackling podoconiosis 

A L Cremers, B J Visser, Z Getahun, M Borku, E Meskele, J Ahmed, M van Vugt, E Birnie

Original Articles

> ‘Far from the views of decision-makers’: podoconiosis instruction at medical schools across endemic countries in Africa

Kelly Fowler, Lilian Nantume Wampande, Agazi Gebreselassie, Ursin Bayisenge, Chany Uwase, Adilson de Oliveira, Janna M Schurer

> Developing consensus of evidence to target case finding surveys for podoconiosis: a potentially forgotten disease in India

Hope Simpson, K N Panicker, Leyanna Susan George, Jorge Cano, Melanie J Newport, Gail Davey, Kebede Deribe

> Developing and validating a clinical algorithm for the diagnosis of podoconiosis

Kebede Deribe, Lyndsey Florence, Abebe Kelemework, Tigist Getaneh, Girmay Tsegay, Jorge Cano, Emanuele Giorgi, Melanie J Newport, Gail Davey

> Multiplexed gene expression analysis of HLA class II-associated podoconiosis implicates chronic immune activation in its pathogenesis 

Diana R Alcantara, Christopher I Jones, Daniel M Altmann, Rosemary J Boyton, Muzlifah Haniffa, Melanie J Newport

> Linking soils and human health: geospatial analysis of ground-sampled soil data in relation to community-level podoconiosis data in North West Cameroon

H Gislam, N G Burnside, M Brolly, K Deribe, G Davey, S Wanji, C E Suh, S J Kemp, M J Watts, J S Le Blond

> Individual and familial characteristics of patients with podoconiosis attending a clinic in Musanze District, Rwanda: A retrospective study

Jean Paul Bikorimana, Ursin Bayisenge, Tonya Huston, Eugene Ruberanziza, Jean Bosco Mbonigaba, Marie Josee Dukuzimana, Gail Davey 

> Clinical, haematological and biochemical profiling of podoconiosis lymphoedema patients prior to their involvement in a clinical trial in the Northwest Region of Cameroon

Bertrand Lontum Ndzeshang, Randy Tchachoua Mbiakop, Gordon Takop Nchanji, Chi Anizette Kien, Glory Ngongeh Amambo, Raphael Awah Abong, Timothy Yuyun, Amuam Andrew Beng, John Bonekeh, Manuel Ritter, Mathias Eyong Esum, Jerome Fru Cho, Abdel Jelil Njouendou, Ignatius Nde Ndifor, Kebede Deribe, Fanny Fri Fombad, Peter Enyong, Ute Klarmann-Schulz, Achim Hoerauf, Samuel Wanji

> Antimicrobial susceptibility of bacteria isolated from the infected wounds of patients with lymphoedema in East Wollega, Ethiopia

Dereje Nigussie, Eyasu Makonnen, Belete Adefris Legesse, Abebaw Fekadu, Gail Davey

> High levels of depressive symptoms among people with lower limb lymphoedema in Rwanda: a cross-sectional study

Maya Semrau, Gail Davey, Ursin Bayisenge, Kebede Deribe

> A cross-sectional study to evaluate depression and quality of life among patients with lymphoedema due to podoconiosis, lymphatic filariasis and leprosy 

Oumer Ali, Kebede Deribe, Maya Semrau, Asrat Mengiste, Mersha Kinfe, Abraham Tesfaye, Stephen Bremner, Gail Davey, Abebaw Fekadu

> A cross-sectional survey to assess the risk factors associated with stigmatizing attitudes towards patients with podoconiosis among rural youth in southern Ethiopia

Kibur Engdawork, Gail Davey, Desta Ayode, Colleen M McBride, Getnet Tadele An exploration of family quality of life in persons with leprosy-, lymphatic filariasis– and podoconiosis-related disabilities and their family members in Ethiopia 

> An exploration of family quality of life in persons with leprosy-, lymphatic filariasis– and podoconiosis-related disabilities and their family members in Ethiopia  

Anna T van't Noordende, Moges Wubie Aycheh, Alice P Schippers  Severely stigmatised skin neglected tropical diseases: a protocol for social science engagement 

> Severely stigmatised skin neglected tropical diseases: a protocol for social science engagement  

Shahaduz Zaman, Papreen Nahar, Hayley MacGregor, Tom Barker, Jeannette Bayisenge, Clare Callow, James Fairhead, Ahmed Fahal, Natalia Hounsome, Anne Roemer-Mahler, Peter Mugume, Getnet Tadele, Gail Davey

> Economic assessment of a community-based care package for people with lower limb disorder caused by lymphatic filariasis, podoconiosis and leprosy in Ethiopia 

Natalia Hounsome, Mersha Kinfe, Maya Semrau, Oumer Ali, Abraham Tesfaye, Asrat Mengiste, Stephen Bremner, Abdulkadir Ahmed, Abebaw Fekadu, Gail Davey Excess mortality among people with podoconiosis: secondary analysis of two Ethiopian cohorts 

> Excess mortality among people with podoconiosis: secondary analysis of two Ethiopian cohorts  

Hannah Masraf, Temesgen Azemeraw, Meseret Molla, Christopher Iain Jones, Stephen Bremner, Moses Ngari, James A Berkley, Esther Kivaya, Greg Fegan, Abreham Tamiru,  Abebe Kelemework, Trudie Lang, Melanie J Newport, Gail Davey