Dengue hemorrhagic fever is characterized by the presence of a capillary leak syndrome. Its pathogenesis is presumed to differ from that of classical dengue fever (DF) and to be associated with secondary dengue infection. Returning travelers given a diagnosis of DF were evaluated for capillary leakage with abdominal sonography. Data were compared between travelers with primary/secondary infection defined by epidemiologic and serologic parameters. A total of 12 (34.3%) of 35 patients had sonographic signs of capillary leakage. Most (85%) patients with capillary leakage had classical DF. Capillary leak was diagnosed in 32% of primary dengue cases and in 40% of secondary dengue cases (P = 0.69). The two patients given a diagnosis of dengue hemorrhagic fever had primary infections. The high prevalence of capillary leakage among travelers, most of them with primary exposure to dengue, calls into question the importance of secondary infection in causing capillary leakage in dengue infection.
Immigrants returning home to visit friends and relatives (VFR travelers) are at higher risk of travel-associated illness than other international travelers. We evaluated 3,707 VFR and 17,507 non-VFR travelers seen for pre-travel consultation in Global TravEpiNet during 2009–2011; all were traveling to resource-poor destinations. VFR travelers more commonly visited urban destinations than non-VFR travelers (42% versus 30%, P < 0.0001); 54% of VFR travelers were female, and 18% of VFR travelers were under 6 years old. VFR travelers sought health advice closer to their departure than non-VFR travelers (median days before departure was 17 versus 26, P < 0.0001). In multivariable analysis, being a VFR traveler was an independent predictor of declining a recommended vaccine. Missed opportunities for vaccination could be addressed by improving the timing of pre-travel health care and increasing the acceptance of vaccines. Making pre-travel health care available in primary care settings may be one step to this goal.
Enteric infections are associated with linear growth failure in children. To quantify the association between intestinal inflammation and linear growth failure three commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (neopterin [NEO], alpha-anti-trypsin [AAT], and myeloperoxidase [MPO]) were performed in a structured sampling of asymptomatic stool from children under longitudinal surveillance for diarrheal illness in eight countries. Samples from 537 children contributed 1,169 AAT, 916 MPO, and 954 NEO test results that were significantly associated with linear growth. When combined to form a disease activity score, children with the highest score grew 1.08 cm less than children with the lowest score over the 6-month period following the tests after controlling for the incidence of diarrheal disease. This set of affordable non-invasive tests delineates those at risk of linear growth failure and may be used for the improved assessments of interventions to optimize growth during a critical period of early childhood.
Cure rates for American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) range between 60% and 90%. Early evidence suggests lower cure rates for early ACL before the development of the ulceration. We evaluated risk factors for treatment failure in patients with early and classic ulcerative ACL. Patients (n = 136) were 13–60 years of age and had lesions with a duration of 15–90-days. Patients were treated with antimony (20 mg/kg/day for 20 days). The primary outcome was lesion cure by 90 days without recurrence. Patients with early ACL (n = 16) had papules, nodules, plaques, or superficial ulcerations with less than 30 days of illness. Patients with classic ulcerative ACL (n = 120) had ulcerated classic lesions, longer duration, larger lesions, and higher levels of interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α (P ≤ 0.01 for all comparisons). Ulcerated lesions were associated with a lower treatment failure rate compared with early ACL (25.8% versus 75.0%; P < 0.001). Early treatment of ACL does not prevent lesion ulceration and is associated with higher rates of treatment failure.
Antimicrobials are used primarily to treat infectious disease, but they have other effects. Here, we assess anthropometry measurements in children 6–60 months in 24 communities randomized to one or two mass azithromycin distributions over a 1-year period in Niger. We compared the prevalence of wasting, low mid-upper arm circumference, stunting, and underweight in communities in the two treatment arms. We were unable to prove that there was a difference in the prevalence of wasting in the 12 communities that received one mass azithromycin distribution versus the 12 communities that received two mass azithromycin distributions (odds ratio = 0.75, 95% confidence interval = 0.46–1.23). Likewise, we were unable to detect a difference in the two treatment arms for low mid-upper arm circumference, stunting, and underweight. There may not be an association between antibiotic use and improved growth in humans, or this trial was not powerful enough to detect an association if it exists.
Plasmodium falciparum resistance to the primary drugs used for treatment of malaria has become the main obstacle to malaria control. Artemisinin combination therapies are the current treatment strategy, and it has been suggested that resistance to artemisinin derivatives may be related to mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum sarcoplasmic-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase ortholog of the mammalian sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase gene, known as the pfatp6 gene. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in pfatp6. The presence of different SNPs was detected by polymerase chain reaction amplification of the pfatp6 gene, and then sequencing to identify all possible alleles of the gene. A total of 20 SNPs were detected, including eight SNPs that have not been previously described: K481R in Malabo; R801H on Annobon Island; and the synonymous SNPs a141t, c1788t, a2211g, t2739g, a2760c, and g2836a. The genotypic profile of pfatp6 in samples from Equatorial Guinea, may be a useful epidemiologic tool for monitoring local efficacy of artemisinin combination therapies.
Controlled human malaria infection with sporozoites is a standardized and powerful tool for evaluation of malaria vaccine and drug efficacy but so far only applied by exposure to bites of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf)-infected mosquitoes. We assessed in an open label Phase 1 trial, infection after intradermal injection of respectively 2,500, 10,000, or 25,000 aseptic, purified, vialed, cryopreserved Pf sporozoites (PfSPZ) in three groups (N = 6/group) of healthy Dutch volunteers. Infection was safe and parasitemia developed in 15 of 18 volunteers (84%), 5 of 6 volunteers in each group. There were no differences between groups in time until parasitemia by microscopy or quantitative polymerase chain reaction, parasite kinetics, clinical symptoms, or laboratory values. This is the first successful infection by needle and syringe with PfSPZ manufactured in compliance with regulatory standards. After further optimization, the use of such PfSPZ may facilitate and accelerate clinical development of novel malaria drugs and vaccines.
Two formulations of a new live tetravalent dengue virus (DENV) vaccine produced using re-derived master seeds from a precursor vaccine and that same precursor vaccine as a control were compared in a placebo-controlled, randomized, observer-blind, phase II trial of 86 healthy adults. Two vaccine doses were administered 6 months apart; a third dose was offered to a subset. Symptoms and signs of dengue-like illness reported after vaccination were mild to moderate, transient, and occurred with similar frequency among recipients of the new DENV vaccine and placebo, except for rash. Neither dengue nor vaccine-related serious adverse events were reported. The first DENV vaccine dose was moderately immunogenic; the second dose increased the potency and breadth of the neutralizing antibody response. Tetravalent response rates to the new formulations were 60% and 66.7% in unprimed subjects. A third dose did not increase tetravalent antibody rates. The new DENV vaccine candidates merit additional evaluation.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is characterized by a unique vascular leakage syndrome. The mechanisms of endothelial barrier dysfunction in dengue hemorrhagic fever are not well understood. We examined the modulation of endothelial barrier function in dengue virus type 2 (DENV2) infections using primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells. We demonstrated that the increase in endothelial barrier function within 72 hours after DENV2 infection is mediated by type I interferon–dependent CD73 up-regulation. After 72 hours, DENV2 slowed the recovery of endothelial barrier function in response to tumor necrosis factor-α or vascular endothelial growth factor. This phenomenon was likely caused by type I interferon receptor signaling inhibition and lower CD73 levels in DENV2-infected endothelial cells. Our findings suggest that during DENV2 infection, endothelial barrier homeostasis is maintained by a balance between pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic cytokines, and type I interferon–dependent CD73 expression and activity.
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are known to yield false-positive results, and their use in epidemiologic surveys will overestimate infection prevalence and potentially hinder efficient targeting of interventions. To examine the consequences of using RDTs in school surveys, we compared three RDT brands used during a nationwide school survey in Kenya with expert microscopy and investigated the cost implications of using alternative diagnostic approaches in identifying localities with differing levels of infection. Overall, RDT sensitivity was 96.1% and specificity was 70.8%. In terms of classifying districts and schools according to prevalence categories, RDTs were most reliable for the < 1% and > 40% categories and least reliable in the 1–4.9% category. In low-prevalence settings, microscopy was the most expensive approach, and RDT results corrected by either microscopy or polymerase chain reaction were the cheapest. Use of polymerase chain reaction-corrected RDT results is recommended in school malaria surveys, especially in settings with low-to-moderate malaria transmission.
Evidence shows that malaria risk maps are rarely tailored to address national control program ambitions. Here, we generate a malaria risk map adapted for malaria control in Sudan. Community Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) data from 2000 to 2010 were assembled and were standardized to 2–10 years of age (PfPR2–10). Space-time Bayesian geostatistical methods were used to generate a map of malaria risk for 2010. Surfaces of aridity, urbanization, irrigation schemes, and refugee camps were combined with the PfPR2–10 map to tailor the epidemiological stratification for appropriate intervention design. In 2010, a majority of the geographical area of the Sudan had risk of < 1% PfPR2–10. Areas of meso- and hyperendemic risk were located in the south. About 80% of Sudan’s population in 2011 was in the areas in the desert, urban centers, or where risk was < 1% PfPR2–10. Aggregated data suggest reducing risks in some high transmission areas since the 1960s.
In Vietnam, Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax are responsible for most malaria infections, and P. malariae and P. ovale infections are rarely reported. Nevertheless, species-specific polymerase chain reaction analysis on 2,303 blood samples collected during a cross-sectional survey conducted in a forest area of central Vietnam identified 223 (9.7%) P. falciparum, 170 (7.4%) P. vivax, 95 (4.1%) P. malariae, and 19 (0.8%) P. ovale mono-infections and 164 (7.1%) mixed infections. Of the 671 Plasmodium-positive samples by polymerase chain reaction, only 331 were detected by microscopy. Microscopy poorly diagnosed P. malariae, P. ovale, and mixed infections. Clinical and sub-clinical infections occurred in all age groups. The risk for infection and disease decreased with age, probably because of acquired partial immunity. The common occurrence of sub-patent infections seems to indicate that the malaria burden is underestimated and that diagnostic and therapeutic policies should be adapted accordingly.
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are known to yield false-positive results, and their use in epidemiologic surveys will overestimate infection prevalence and potentially hinder efficient targeting of interventions. To examine the consequences of using RDTs in school surveys, we compared three RDT brands used during a nationwide school survey in Kenya with expert microscopy and investigated the cost implications of using alternative diagnostic approaches in identifying localities with differing levels of infection. Overall, RDT sensitivity was 96.1% and specificity was 70.8%. In terms of classifying districts and schools according to prevalence categories, RDTs were most reliable for the < 1% and > 40% categories and least reliable in the 1–4.9% category. In low-prevalence settings, microscopy was the most expensive approach, and RDT results corrected by either microscopy or polymerase chain reaction were the cheapest. Use of polymerase chain reaction–corrected RDT results is recommended in school malaria surveys, especially in settings with low-to-moderate malaria transmission.
Evidence shows that malaria risk maps are rarely tailored to address national control program ambitions. Here, we generate a malaria risk map adapted for malaria control in Sudan. Community Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) data from 2000 to 2010 were assembled and were standardized to 2–10 years of age (PfPR2–10). Space-time Bayesian geostatistical methods were used to generate a map of malaria risk for 2010. Surfaces of aridity, urbanization, irrigation schemes, and refugee camps were combined with the PfPR2–10 map to tailor the epidemiological stratification for appropriate intervention design. In 2010, a majority of the geographical area of the Sudan had risk of < 1% PfPR2–10. Areas of meso- and hyperendemic risk were located in the south. About 80% of Sudan's population in 2011 was in the areas in the desert, urban centers, or where risk was < 1% PfPR2–10. Aggregated data suggest reducing risks in some high transmission areas since the 1960s.
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.
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.
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.