Dr Katja Fischer has been awarded a €850 000 grant from the Stichting Dioraphte Foundation to lead further international research into the molecular biology of scabies.
Dr Fischer heads QIMRBerghofer’s Scabies Lab, one of the few groups worldwide providing crucial biomedical research to investigate new options towards reducing scabies incidence and improving disease outcomes.
Scabies is a highly contagious skin disease that impacts millions and creates a significant global health burden. Prevalent in tropical regions and common in children, infection with parasitic scabies mites promotes bacterial infections, which can lead to severe kidney and heart disease. Scabies is a neglected tropical disease with no vaccine or diagnostic tools and limited treatment options.
A central challenge in fighting the disease is to comprehend mite biology and scabies pathogenesis, which are poorly understood, resulting in a lack of knowledge of specific drug targets in the parasite.
The project will provide a foundation to develop new treatments, intervention strategies and policies for the prevention and control of the disease and we are grateful to the Dioraphte Foundation for funding the research.