Infectious diseases are responsible for >25% of the global disease toll. The new Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries Project (DCPP) aims to decrease the burden of these diseases by producing science-based analyses from demographic, epidemiologic, disease intervention, and economic evidence for the purpose of defining disease priorities and implementing control measures. The DCPP recently reviewed selected tropical infectious diseases, examined successful control experiences, and defined unsettled patient treatment, prevention, and research issues. Disease elimination programs against American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, leprosy, trachoma, and measles are succeeding. Dengue, leishmaniasis, African trypanosomiasis, malaria, diarrheal diseases, helminthic infections, and tuberculosis have reemerged because of inadequate interventions and control strategies and the breakdown of health delivery systems. Application of technologies must be cost-effective and intensified research is essential if these and other scourges are to be controlled or eliminated in the 21st century.
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