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Thomas R Unnasch
Professor Strategic Area Lead

University of South Florida



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World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Onchocerciasis Diagnostics
University: University of South Florida
Director: Thomas Unnasch, Ph.D, Distinguished USF Health Professor
Address: College of Public Health
13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MDC 56
Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: (813) 974-7807 or (813) 974-0507(lab)
Type: University Institute or Center

Our collective mission is to provide excellence in public health education, leadership, advocacy, research and service; to nurture and motivate our students; and to deliver enhanced health and well-being to all humankind through collaborative partnerships with researchers, educators, health professionals and administrators.

The WHO Collaborating Center for Onchocerciasis Diagnostics was established in 2018. The Centre is the culmination of over 25 years of collaboration between the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Unnasch and various laboratories supported by international agencies and programs including the WHO, the Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa, the Onchocerciasis Elimination Programme for the Americas, the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control, the Carter Center Onchocerciasis Elimination Program and the WHO Expanded Special Programme for the Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases. The overall goals of the WHO Collaborating Centre are as follows:

  1. To provide advice in obtaining essential assay specific reagents to endemic laboratories involved in onchocerciasis elimination.
  2. To provide quality control assurance activities to said laboratories
  3. To provide training as needed in the techniques needed to verify onchocerciasis elimination.
  4. To provide technical assistance to said laboratories as needed
  5. The Centre will provide critical reagents (Ov16 antigen, O-150 PCR freeze dried reaction mixes) at cost to laboratories involved in onchocerciasis elimination
Research Descriptors: Onchocerciasis

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