Neglected Tropical Disease Ontology

Abstract: 

"The Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a set of diseases which persist in exactly the physical, psychosocial and economic situation of the poorest, most marginalized populations of the developing world. Most NTDs diseases are chronic diseases which are related to poverty as a promoter of parasitic, bacterial, and also viral or fungal infections. Although of major healthcare impact in developing and threshold countries NTDs are still seen as a rare event in developed countries.
In the main target countries of Latin America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the distribution of NTD is controlled by climatic conditions like Temperature (15° C and 40° C), humidity and altitude (below 2200 meters). In these regions, most of the population (around 2.7 billion people) lives on the basis of about $ 2.00 per day. This population is considered the poorest in the world, and is also listed as most vulnerable to NTDs.
Among the NTDs, the vector-borne diseases (Dengue fever, Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, American Trypanosomiasis, African Trypanosomiasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Yellow Fever, among others) have resulted in a high level of mortality in poorer regions. These infections persist for a long time and can cause severe disability and disfigurement, resulting in fundamental economic, social and political burden. Some of these diseases affect developed countries as well.
Envisioning the maintenance of health quality through health policy efforts, ontologies could play an important role in the management of information processed by health systems. If data in Clinical Information Systems and health databases would be standardized via ontologies data mining and even secondary data usage would be easier. Ontologically accessed data is integratively queryable and hence easy to compare. In particular such formalized data, if grouped, could produce new epidemiological information, to help in decision-making process. As keys challenges for infectious disease management the World Health Organization indicated an urgent need for diagnostic tools, new more effective medicines and pesticides, and the promotion of integrated vector management.
A prerequisite in the fight against vector-borne diseases it has recently been recognized that efforts are needed to facilitate the access to epidemiological knowledge about these diseases in a structured way. Controlled terminologies supported by ontologies help the user to systematically use this knowledge and permit large scale automated analysis approaches like logical and rule-based machine reasoning. At this level our effort concentrates on the most important point for vector-borne disease control is the transmission path, as it drives prevention strategies and decision support. It is also important to have an integration with tools to improve health policy related outcomes."

Alternative Title: 
NTDO
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Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
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Avenida Prof. Moraes Rego, 123, Cidade Universitari, PE, 50670-901, Brazil