Today marks the first day of vaccinations for Phase I, Part II clinical testing of Sabin's human hookworm vaccine in Brazil.

Earlier this week 13 pharmaceutical companies*, together with several government and nongovernmental organizations**, pledged to find solutions to eliminate or control 10 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by the year 2020. At an event in London, pharmaceutical companies committed to invest in research and development (R&D) to find new treatments for NTDs along with increasing donations of existing drugs.

 Last century, the invention of the outhouse helped to eliminate hookworm and other parasites in the United States. Now new research shows that the lowly latrine could be a powerful tool in controlling these diseases, which remain widespread among the world's poorest people.