Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is transmitted to humans from pigs or birds by mosquitoes. In this study, the association between urban pig keeping and mosquito vectors was analyzed. A total of 7, 419 mosquitoes were collected overnight in urban households with and without pigs in Can Tho City, Vietnam. The most prevalent vectors were Culex tritaeniorhynchus (36%), Cx. gelidus (24%), and Cx. quinquefasciatus (15%), which were present in all parts of the city. Pigs were associated with increased numbers of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus. Traps close to pigs had higher numbers of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus and Cx. gelidus than traps close to humans. Increased number of persons in the household was associated with increased numbers of Cx. quinquefasciatus. We demonstrate that JEV vector species are present at urban households with and without pigs, and show that keeping pigs in an urban area increase the number of mosquitoes competent as vectors for JEV.
Lymphedema is the edema that results from chronic lymphatic insufficiency. Lymphatic filariasis is caused by the filarial nematodes Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori. Lymphatic filariasis is common in tropical and subtropical regions. Early diagnosis and prompt therapy can be implemented using lymphoscintigraphy. Our patient is a 15-year-old boy presenting with a 3-month history of hydrocele. The patient was referred to us to rule out any lower limb lymphatic obstruction as the patient is from an endemic area. Tc Sulfur colloid (filtered) lymphoscintigraphy showed abnormal tracer collection in the scrotum and penis. There is associated dermal backflow or stasis in the left thigh region extending just above the knee, suggesting partial obstruction of left inguinal lymphatic channels.
The Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) committed to pandemic detection and response preparations when faced with the threat of avian influenza. Since 2006, the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology of Lao PDR has developed credible laboratory, surveillance, and epidemiological (human) capacity and as a result was designated a World Health Organization National Influenza Center in 2010. The Lao PDR experience in building influenza capacities provides a case study of the considerable crossover effect of such investments to augment the capacity to combat emerging and re-emerging diseases other than influenza.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection occurs among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) because of shared routes of transmission. To assess the association between HCV and HIV infection among MSM in Peru, we conducted a matched case-control study (162 HIV-positive cases and 324 HIV-negative controls) among participants of an HIV sentinel surveillance survey in six urban cities. The HCV infection was initially screened using anti-HCV ELISA and immunoblot assay, and thereafter confirmed by the HCV RNA qualitative assay. Among cases, no confirmed HCV infection was found while among controls, only two confirmed HCV infections were reported (0.62%). This matched case-control reports a very low probability of association between HCV and HIV co-infection and suggests a very low prevalence of HCV infection among MSM in Peru.
The Jolivert Safe Water for Families program has sold sodium hypochlorite solution (chlorine) and conducted household visits in rural Haiti since 2002. To assess the impact of the program on diarrheal disease, in 2010 we conducted a survey and water quality testing in 201 program participants and 425 control households selected at random. Fifty-six percent of participants (versus 10% of controls) had free chlorine residuals between 0.2 and 2.0 mg/L, indicating correct water treatment. Using intention-to-treat analysis, we found that significantly fewer children < 5 in participant households had an episode of diarrhea in the previous 48 hours (32% versus 52%; P < 0.001) with 59% reduced odds (odds ratio = 0.41, 95% confidence interval = 0.21–0.79). Treatment-on-treated estimates of the odds of diarrhea indicated larger program effects for participants who met more stringent verifications of participation. Diarrheal disease reduction in this long-term program was comparable with that seen in short-term randomized, controlled interventions, suggesting that household chlorination can be an effective long-term water treatment strategy.
Dengue represents a substantial burden in many tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. We estimated the economic burden of dengue illness in Malaysia. Information about economic burden is needed for setting health policy priorities, but accurate estimation is difficult because of incomplete data. We overcame this limitation by merging multiple data sources to refine our estimates, including an extensive literature review, discussion with experts, review of data from health and surveillance systems, and implementation of a Delphi process. Because Malaysia has a passive surveillance system, the number of dengue cases is under-reported. Using an adjusted estimate of total dengue cases, we estimated an economic burden of dengue illness of US$56 million (Malaysian Ringgit MYR196 million) per year, which is approximately US$2.03 (Malaysian Ringgit 7.14) per capita. The overall economic burden of dengue would be even higher if we included costs associated with dengue prevention and control, dengue surveillance, and long-term sequelae of dengue.
Rapid and accurate identification of the prevalence of schistosomiasis is key for control and eradication of this devastating disease. The current screening standard for intestinal schistosomiasis is the Katz-Kato method, which look for eggs on slides of fecal matter. Although work has been done to estimate prevalence using the number of eggs on a slide, the procedure is much faster if the laboratory only reports the presence or absence of eggs on each slide. To further help reduce screening costs while maintaining accuracy, we propose a pooled method for estimating prevalence. We compare it to the standard individualed method, investigating differences in efficiency, measured by the number of slides read, and accuracy, measured by mean square error of estimation. Complication is introduced by the unknown and varying sensitivity of the procedure with population prevalence. The DeVlas model for the worm and egg distributions in the population describes how test sensitivity increases with age of the epidemic, as prevalence and intensity of infection increase, making the problem fundamentally different from earlier work in pooling. Previous literature discusses varying sensitivity with the number of positive samples within a pool, known as the “dilution effect.” We model both the dilution effect and varying sensitivity with population prevalence. For model parameter values suited to younger age groups, the pooled method has less than half the mean square error of the individualed method. Thus, we can use half as many slides while maintaining accuracy. Such savings might encourage more frequent measurements in regions where schistosomiasis is a serious but neglected problem.
Podoconiosis is a non-infectious tropical disease caused by exposure of bare feet to irritant alkalic clay soils. This causes an asymmetrical swelling of the feet and lower limbs due to lymphoedema. This swelling is called “elephantiasis” and may lead to severe disability of the patient. It is found in areas of tropical Africa, Central and South America and north-west India, where such soils coexist with high altitude, high seasonal rainfall and low income. Social stigmatization of people with the disease is widespread and economic losses are enormous. Podoconiosis is unique in being an entirely preventable non-communicable tropical disease. However, so far it has received little attention from health care policy makers.
As a result of widespread antimalarial drug resistance, all African countries with endemic malaria have, in recent years, changed their malaria treatment policy. In Senegal, the health authorities changed from chloroquine (CQ) to a combination of sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine (SP) plus amodiaquine (AQ) in 2003. Since 2006, the artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) artemether–lumefantrine (AL) and artesunate plus amodiaquine (AS/AQ) were adopted for uncomplicated malaria treatment. After several years of CQ withdrawal, the current study wished to determine the level of CQ resistance at the molecular level in selected sites in Senegal, because the scientific community is interested in using CQ again. Finger prick blood samples were collected from Plasmodium falciparum-positive children below the age of 10 years (N = 474) during cross-sectional surveys conducted in two study sites in Senegal with different malaria transmission levels. One site is in central Senegal, and the other site is in the southern part of the country. All samples were analyzed for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the P. falciparum CQ resistance transporter gene (Pfcrt; codons 72–76) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) sequence-specific oligonucleotide probe (SSOP) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real-time PCR methods. In total, the 72- to 76-codon region of Pfcrt was amplified in 449 blood samples (94.7%; 285 and 164 samples from the central and southern sites of Senegal, respectively). In both study areas, the prevalence of the Pfcrt wild-type single CVMNK haplotype was very high; in central Senegal, the prevalence was 70.5% in 2009 and 74.8% in 2010, and in southern Senegal, the prevalence was 65.4% in 2010 and 71.0% in 2011. Comparing data with older studies in Senegal, a sharp decline in the mutant type Pfcrt prevalence is evident: from 65%, 64%, and 59.5% in samples collected from various sites in 2000, 2001, and 2004 to approximately 30% in our study. A similar decrease in mutant type prevalence is noted in other neighboring countries. With the continued development of increased CQ susceptibility in many African countries, it may be possible to reintroduce CQ in the near future in a drug combination; it could possibly be given to non-vulnerable groups, but it demands close monitoring of possible reemergence of CQ resistance development.
There is a need for field-applicable markers to assess morbidity associated with intestinal schistosomiasis, especially in the context of preventive chemotherapy in young children. We investigated whether fecal occult blood (FOB) point-of-care tests could be used to assess intestinal pathology over a 12-month period in a cohort of 382 children (< 5 years of age). We found a strong association between egg-patent schistosomiasis and FOB at baseline (odds ratio [OR] = 3.1, P < 0.0001), 6 months (OR = 3.4, P < 0.0001), and 12 months (OR = 3.5, P < 0.0001), despite repeated chemotherapy. There were tendencies for prevalence of FOB to decrease in children who became egg negative and increase in those who became egg positive. Our results demonstrate overt disease in children less than five years of age. We therefore propose that FOB is useful for assessing dynamics of intestinal morbidity in young children at the community level and monitoring changes in morbidity after mass chemotherapy.
The immunogenicity and safety of three novel host-range vaccines containing deletions in the transmembrane domain of dengue virus serotype 2 (DV2) E glycoprotein were evaluated in African green monkeys. The shorter transmembrane domains are capable of functionally spanning an insect but not a mammalian cell membrane, resulting in production of viral mutants that have reduced infectivity in mammalian hosts but efficient growth in insect cells. Groups of four monkeys received one dose each of test vaccine candidate with no booster immunization. After immunization, levels of viremia produced by each vaccine were determined by infectious center assay. Vaccine recipient immune response to wild-type DV2 challenge was measured on Day 57 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and plaque reduction neutralization test. Two vaccines, DV2ΔGVII and DV2G460P, generated neutralizing antibody in the range of 700–900 50% plaque reduction neutralization test units. All three vaccine strains decreased the length of viremia by at least two days. No safety concerns were identified.
The antimalarial susceptibility of ring stage (> 80%) Plasmodium vivax from the Republic of Korea, where long incubation-period strains are prevalent, was evaluated using the schizont maturation inhibition technique. During 2005–2007, susceptibility to seven antimalarial drugs was evaluated with 24 fresh isolates. The geometric mean (95% confidence interval) 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) were quinine 60 (54-75) ng/mL, chloroquine 39 (22–282) ng/mL, piperaquine 27 (17–58) ng/mL, mefloquine 39 (35–67) ng/mL, pyrimethamine 138 (89–280) ng/mL, artesunate 0.6 (0.5–0.8) ng/mL, and primaquine 122 (98-232) ng/mL. Positive correlations were found between quinine and mefloquine (r = 0.6, P = 0.004), piperaquine and chloroquine (r = 0.6, P = 0.008), and piperaquine and primaquine IC50 values (r = 0.5, P = 0.01). Compared with P. vivax in Thailand, P. vivax in the Republic of Korea was more sensitive to quinine and mefloquine, but equally sensitive to chloroquine and artesunate.
Handwashing with soap effectively reduces exposure to diarrhea-causing pathogens. Interventions to improve hygiene and sanitation conditions in schools within low-income countries have gained increased attention; however, their impact on schoolchildren's exposure to fecal pathogens has not been established. Our trial examined whether a school-based water, sanitation, and hygiene intervention reduced Escherichia coli contamination on pupils' hands in western Kenya. A hygiene promotion and water treatment intervention did not reduce risk of E. coli presence (relative risk [RR] = 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.54–1.56); the addition of new latrines to intervention schools significantly increased risk among girls (RR = 2.63, 95% CI = 1.29–5.34), with a non-significant increase among boys (RR = 1.36, 95% CI = 0.74–2.49). Efforts to increase usage of school latrines by constructing new facilities may pose a risk to children in the absence of sufficient hygiene behavior change, daily provision of soap and water, and anal cleansing materials.