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Public health approaches to infectious disease
Public health approaches to infectious disease

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5.4.5 A final thought about dracunculiasis eradication

To conclude Section 5, you should consider the following ethical problem that may indeed have already occurred to you.

As the deliberately targeted extinction of D. medinensis approaches, there are concerns about the inadequate biological characterisation of a species that will soon be extinct. Very few female worms have been collected in a suitable condition for research and no males have ever been recovered from humans. The fourth meeting of the International Commission for the Certification of Dracunculiasis Eradication (WHO, 2000) recommended that strenuous efforts be made to collect intact specimens and send them to European laboratories for genome sequence analysis and the preservation of a Dmedinensis gene library before it is too late.