Disease Indication Overviews

Learn how infectious diseases are discovered, diagnosed and treated with our indication fact sheets, and read about our partnerships with companies developing and deploying vaccines, treatments and preventive devices worldwide in our overview sheets.

CHAGAS Disease

Chagas disease (aka American trypanosomiasis) is a tropical parasitic disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that is found mostly in triatomine insects (aka “kissing bugs”) and in the Americas. Infection is life-long, with symptoms ranging from fever and headaches to enlarged internal organs.  


CHIKV outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean in 2013 and has spread throughout most of the Americas. It has since been identified in over 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. No commercially available vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat CHIKV infection is currently available.


Discovered in the 1960s, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large group of RNA viruses in the family Coronaviridae that cause disease in humans and animal species. Human illness includes respiratory infections that range from the common cold to viral (direct) or bacterial (indirect) pneumonia and are especially serious in infants and at-risk adults. There are seven known coronavirus types/strains.


Cryptosporidium infection (cryptosporidiosis) is a diarrheal disease caused by tiny, one-celled Cryptosporidium parasites representing at least 15 genotypically and phenotypically diverse species. When these parasites enter the body, they travel to the distal small intestine and burrow into the intestinal walls. After 1-2 weeks, they are shed and excreted in feces. Infection can also occur in the respiratory tract.

dengue fever

Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne tropical disease, is the most common and important arthropod-borne (arboviral) illness in humans. It is caused by four serotypes of the dengue virus, of which more than one can circulate during an epidemic. Infection with one serotype confers lifelong homotypic immunity to that serotype and a brief period (~2 years) of partial heterotypic immunity to other serotypes. However, an individual can eventually be infected by all four serotypes.


Since 1976, Ebola virus disease outbreaks have primarily occurred in eleven countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda. Although it is generally rare, it is often fatal, with death rates ranging from 25 to 90% in past outbreaks (average case fatality rate, 50%). No treatment or vaccine is currently approved, but there are several promising vaccines and treatments under development.

Lassa Fever

Lassa fever is a type of hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus and is mainly transmitted by rodents. The virus was first detected in 1969 in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria; hence, its name. Lassa is endemic to West Africa, specifically Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. A significant number of individuals infected by the Lassa virus (~80%) do not appear to develop symptoms. The case fatality rate (CFR) has been reported to be upwards of 70%


Nearly half a million deaths worldwide annually result from malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Ongoing malaria transmission was present in 87 countries and areas in 2017. Five countries account for nearly half of all malaria cases worldwide (listed in descending order): Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, India and Uganda.


Also known as snail fever, schistosomiasis is caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes. It is spread through contact with contaminated fresh water. Most human cases are caused by specific species of flatworms. In tropical countries, it is second only to malaria among parasitic diseases with the greatest economic impact. Schistosomiasis affects almost 200 million individuals per year, with most cases occurring in Africa, Asia and South America.

Sickle cell disease

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited disorder of the red blood cells (RBCs). Sickle cell anemia is the most common type of SCD. RBCs carry oxygen throughout the body via hemoglobin. With SCD, defective hemoglobin replaces normal hemoglobin. Over time, this causes many RBCs to become rigid and sickle-shaped and die earlier than normal RBCs, leading to a constant shortage.