AAHI Collaborates to Protect Against

Neglected Tropical Diseases


AAHI’s immune enhancing platform technologies enable cost-effective and temperature stable vaccines that can be delivered to rural, remote, and low-resource parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America that are most burdened by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). 

NTDs are debilitating, chronic, and sometimes fatal diseases found primarily in impoverished areas.  Caused by a variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and toxins, NTDs have devasting impact, especially in remote and rural communities, where access to vaccines is limited by cost and lack of infrastructure for temperature-controlled storage and delivery.  AAHI reduces NTD vaccine costs through pragmatically creative product development to make efficient use of limited raw materials and to streamline manufacturing processes, enabling production of more vaccine doses with less raw material and reduced manufacturing costs. All three of AAHI’s platforms – adjuvant formulations, self-amplifying RNA, and delivery vehicles – are designed to be stable for months at ambient (even tropical) temperatures to support ‘last-mile’ delivery to the people who are most burdened by NTDs.

AAHI collaborates with partners around the world to develop affordable, temperature-stable vaccines and diagnostics to fight NTDs:

Bovine TB in humans

AAHI scientists supported development of a bovine TB diagnostic for detection of the bacteria in cattle to prevent transmission from contaminated milk products to humans.

Bovine tuberculosis is a type of TB that primarily affects animals, such as cattle and deer, but can be transmitted to humans through consumption of raw milk products containing the bacteria. People who work with cattle and on ranches are particularly susceptible. In areas where milk is typically not pasteurized to eliminate bacteria, one hundred and forty thousand people each year are infected by, and more than twelve thousand people lose their lives to, this zoonotic form of tuberculosis. While the disease is curable with a cocktail of antibiotics administered over 6 months to a year, if not treated quickly, it can cause permanent disability and/or death. It is difficult to provide access to effective diagnostics and treatments for bovine TB in rural areas with sprawling farmlands, where infection is most likely to occur.

AAHI collaborated with Chembio Diagnostic Systems to create an innovative highly sensitive recombinant protein diagnostic for bovine TB in animals.  The test identifies infected animals, and thus makes it possible to eliminate transmission to humans by decontaminating or avoiding milk products from those animals. Development of this important diagnostic test was supported by the National Animal Disease Center of the US Department of Agriculture.


AAHI is developing a cryptosporidium vaccine candidate on its temperature-stable self-amplifying RNA platform.

Cryptosporidium, or “crypto,” are microscopic parasites found in all areas of the world but posing a particularly high risk to people living in communities with poor water treatment and inadequate food sanitation. Crypto resides in human intestines and causes watery diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and dehydration.  While crypto symptoms are quite inconvenient and uncomfortable, most otherwise healthy adults will recover by drinking plenty of fluids to flush the parasites out of the body.  Infection with cryptosporidium is a far more serious, even life-threatening, matter for people with weak immune systems, pre-existing health conditions, malnutrition, and/or dehydration.

AAHI is collaborating with the University of Virginia to develop a self-amplifying RNA vaccine against cryptosporidium.  AAHI’s RNA platform enables development of a vaccine that addresses the most prominent barriers to global protection against cryptosporidium.  AAHI’s RNA vaccines can be stored at ambient temperatures, so they can be transported to parts of the world without deep cold chain infrastructure, such as the remote and rural areas of the world without safe drinking water where cryptosporidium is a threat.  AAHI is developing intranasal and dry powder formulations of its RNA vaccines that do not require trained medical personnel for administration, so they can more effectively be made available in impoverished or remote areas without well-developed health infrastructure.  And finally, AAHI’s RNA vaccines have demonstrated safety and efficacy in immunocompromised patients, those for whom cryptosporidium infection poses the gravest risk.

2023 Campaign