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1.  Is Universal HBV Vaccination of Healthcare Workers a Relevant Strategy in Developing Endemic Countries? The Case of a University Hospital in Niger 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44442.
Exposure to hepatitis B virus (HBV) remains a serious risk to healthcare workers (HCWs) in endemic developing countries owing to the strong prevalence of HBV in the general and hospital populations, and to the high rate of occupational blood exposure. Routine HBV vaccination programs targeted to high-risk groups and especially to HCWs are generally considered as a key element of prevention strategies. However, the high rate of natural immunization among adults in such countries where most infections occur perinatally or during early childhood must be taken into account.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We conducted a cross sectional study in 207 personnel of 4 occupational groups (medical, paramedical, cleaning staff, and administrative) in Niamey’s National Hospital, Niger, in order to assess the prevalence of HBV markers, to evaluate susceptibility to HBV infection, and to identify personnel who might benefit from vaccination. The proportion of those who declared a history of occupational blood exposure ranged from 18.9% in the administrative staff to 46.9% in paramedical staff. Only 7.2% had a history of vaccination against HBV with at least 3 injections. Ninety two percent were anti-HBc positive. When we focused on170 HCWs, only 12 (7.1%) showed no biological HBV contact. Twenty six were HBsAg positive (15,3%; 95% confidence interval: 9.9%–20.7%) of whom 8 (32%) had a viral load >2000 IU/ml.
The very small proportion of HCWs susceptible to HBV infection in our study and other studies suggests that in a global approach to prevent occupational infection by bloodborne pathogens, a universal hepatitis B vaccination of HCWs is not priority in these settings. The greatest impact on the risk will most likely be achieved by focusing efforts on primary prevention strategies to reduce occupational blood exposure. HBV screening in HCWs and treatment of those with chronic HBV infection should be however considered.
PMCID: PMC3436880  PMID: 22970218
2.  Mycobacterium marinum infection 
BMJ Case Reports  2009;2009:bcr12.2008.1311.
PMCID: PMC3027957  PMID: 21691387
3.  Molecular Study of Microsporidiosis Due to Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis among Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Patients from Two Geographical Areas: Niamey, Niger, and Hanoi, Vietnam▿ †  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(9):2999-3002.
Microsporidiosis cases due to Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis are emerging opportunistic infections associated with a wide range of clinical syndromes in humans. The aim of this study was to specify microsporidial epidemiology in two different geographical areas. From November 2004 to August 2005, 228 and 42 stool samples were collected in Niamey, Niger, and Hanoi, Vietnam, respectively. Screening for microsporidia was performed using UV-light microscopy. Detection was confirmed by molecular biology using two methods specific for E. bieneusi and E. intestinalis. All samples positive for E. bieneusi were subjected to genotyping. In this study, we found high prevalences of microsporidiosis among human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients, 10.5% and 9.5%, respectively, in Niamey and Hanoi. These levels of prevalence are similar to those recorded in European countries before highly active antiretroviral therapy was introduced. In the samples positive for E. bieneusi, we found seven distinct genotypes, including two genotypes not previously described. The E. bieneusi genotype distributions in the two geographical areas suggest different routes of infection transmission, person-to-person in Niger and zoonotic in Vietnam.
PMCID: PMC2045311  PMID: 17634305
4.  Epidemiological, clinical and biological features of malaria among children in Niamey, Niger 
Malaria Journal  2005;4:10.
Malaria takes a heavy toll in Niger, one of the world's poorest countries. Previous evaluations conducted in the context of the strategy for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness, showed that 84% of severe malaria cases and 64 % of ordinary cases are not correctly managed. The aim of this survey was to describe epidemiological, clinical and biological features of malaria among <5 year-old children in the paediatric department of the National Hospital of Niamey, Niger's main referral hospital.
The study was performed in 2003 during the rainy season from July 25th to October 25th. Microscopic diagnosis of malaria, complete blood cell counts and measurement of glycaemia were performed in compliance with the routine procedure of the laboratory. Epidemiological data was collected through interviews with mothers.
256 children aged 3–60 months were included in the study. Anthropometrics and epidemiological data were typical of a very underprivileged population: 58% of the children were suffering from malnutrition and all were from poor families. Diagnosis of malaria was confirmed by microscopy in 52% of the cases. Clinical symptoms upon admission were non-specific, but there was a significant combination between a positive thick blood smear and neurological symptoms, and between a positive thick blood smear and splenomegaly. Thrombopaenia was also statistically more frequent among confirmed cases of malaria. The prevalence of severe malaria was 86%, including cases of severe anaemia among < 2 year-old children and neurological forms after 2 years of age. Overall mortality was 20% among confirmed cases and 21% among severe cases.
The study confirmed that malaria was a major burden for the National Hospital of Niamey. Children hospitalized for malaria had an underprivileged background. Two distinctive features were the prevalence of severe malaria and a high mortality rate. Medical and non-medical underlying factors which may explain such a situation are discussed.
PMCID: PMC549526  PMID: 15703076

Results 1-5 (5)