Joint attack on disease

October 24, 1997

ISRAELI scientists from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School and their colleagues from a Palestinian university in east Jerusalem are planning joint research on a parasite that causes a skin disease and, in some cases, a systemic disease including a swollen spleen.

The scientists have submitted their proposal for a three-year project to European funding sources.

Leishmaniasis is caused by a bite from an infected sand fly, which injects the parasite into the skin. It is carried by infected dogs and rodents and is found mostly in the West Bank and northern Israel. However, it has recently been found more frequently in central Israel and the Jerusalem area. Researchers are interested in finding out the reasons for the spread of the disease.

The research will include risk assessment profiles. The Palestinian team will work in the Palestinian areas and the Israelis in the Israeli areas because of the political situation.

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