• Access to health care for undocumented migrants in Italy

      Ravinetto, R; Lodesani, C; D'Alessandro, U; De Filippi, L; Pontiroli, A; Médecins Sans Frontières, Rome, Italy; Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium (2009-06-20)
    • Antimalarial efficacy of chloroquine, amodiaquine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, and the combinations of amodiaquine + artesunate and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine + artesunate in Huambo and Bie provinces, central Angola.

      Guthmann, J P; Ampuero, J; Fortes, F; Van Overmeir, C; Gaboulaud, V; Tobback, S; Dunand, J; Saraiva, N; Gillet, P; Franco, J; et al. (Elsevier, 2005-07)
      We studied three antimalarial treatments in Caala and Kuito, Angola, in 2002 and 2003. We tested chloroquine (CQ), amodiaquine (AQ) and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Caala, and AQ, SP and the combinations AQ+artesunate (AQ+AS) and SP+artesunate (SP+AS) in Kuito. A total of 619 children (240 in Caala, 379 in Kuito) with uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria were followed-up for 28 days, with PCR genotyping to distinguish recrudescence from reinfection. PCR-corrected failure proportions at day 28 were very high in the CQ group (83.5%, 95% CI 74.1-90.5), high in the SP groups (Caala: 25.3%, 95% CI 16.7-35.8; Kuito: 38.8%, 95% CI 28.4-50.0), around 20% in the AQ groups (Caala: 17.3%, 95% CI 10.0-27.2; Kuito: 21.6%, 95% CI 14.3-30.6) and very low in the artemisinin-based combination groups (1.2%, 95% CI 0.0-6.4 for each combination AQ+AS and SP+AS). These results show that CQ and SP are no longer efficacious in Caala and Kuito and that the moderate efficacy of AQ is likely to be compromised in the short term if used as monotherapy. We recommend the use of AQ with AS, though this combination might not have a long useful therapeutic life because of AQ resistance.
    • Competing risk events in antimalarial drug trials in uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria: a WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network individual participant data meta-analysis.

      Dahal, P; Simpson, JA; Abdulla, S; Achan, J; Adam, I; Agarwal, A; Allan, R; Anvikar, AR; Arinaitwe, E; Ashley, EA; et al. (BioMed Central, 2019-07-05)
      BACKGROUND: Therapeutic efficacy studies in uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria are confounded by new infections, which constitute competing risk events since they can potentially preclude/pre-empt the detection of subsequent recrudescence of persistent, sub-microscopic primary infections. METHODS: Antimalarial studies typically report the risk of recrudescence derived using the Kaplan-Meier (K-M) method, which considers new infections acquired during the follow-up period as censored. Cumulative Incidence Function (CIF) provides an alternative approach for handling new infections, which accounts for them as a competing risk event. The complement of the estimate derived using the K-M method (1 minus K-M), and the CIF were used to derive the risk of recrudescence at the end of the follow-up period using data from studies collated in the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network data repository. Absolute differences in the failure estimates derived using these two methods were quantified. In comparative studies, the equality of two K-M curves was assessed using the log-rank test, and the equality of CIFs using Gray's k-sample test (both at 5% level of significance). Two different regression modelling strategies for recrudescence were considered: cause-specific Cox model and Fine and Gray's sub-distributional hazard model. RESULTS: Data were available from 92 studies (233 treatment arms, 31,379 patients) conducted between 1996 and 2014. At the end of follow-up, the median absolute overestimation in the estimated risk of cumulative recrudescence by using 1 minus K-M approach was 0.04% (interquartile range (IQR): 0.00-0.27%, Range: 0.00-3.60%). The overestimation was correlated positively with the proportion of patients with recrudescence [Pearson's correlation coefficient (ρ): 0.38, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.30-0.46] or new infection [ρ: 0.43; 95% CI 0.35-0.54]. In three study arms, the point estimates of failure were greater than 10% (the WHO threshold for withdrawing antimalarials) when the K-M method was used, but remained below 10% when using the CIF approach, but the 95% confidence interval included this threshold. CONCLUSIONS: The 1 minus K-M method resulted in a marginal overestimation of recrudescence that became increasingly pronounced as antimalarial efficacy declined, particularly when the observed proportion of new infection was high. The CIF approach provides an alternative approach for derivation of failure estimates in antimalarial trials, particularly in high transmission settings.
    • The duration of chemoprophylaxis against malaria after treatment with artesunate-amodiaquine and artemether-lumefantrine and the effects of pfmdr1 86Y and pfcrt 76T: a meta-analysis of individual patient data

      Bretscher, M; Dahal, P; Griffin, J; Bassat, Q; Baudin, E; D'Alessandro, U; Djimde, AA; Dorsey, G; Espié, E; Fofana, B; et al. (BioMed Central, 2020-02-25)
      BACKGROUND: The majority of Plasmodium falciparum malaria cases in Africa are treated with the artemisinin combination therapies artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and artesunate-amodiaquine (AS-AQ), with amodiaquine being also widely used as part of seasonal malaria chemoprevention programs combined with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. While artemisinin derivatives have a short half-life, lumefantrine and amodiaquine may give rise to differing durations of post-treatment prophylaxis, an important additional benefit to patients in higher transmission areas. METHODS: We analyzed individual patient data from 8 clinical trials of AL versus AS-AQ in 12 sites in Africa (n = 4214 individuals). The time to PCR-confirmed reinfection after treatment was used to estimate the duration of post-treatment protection, accounting for variation in transmission intensity between settings using hidden semi-Markov models. Accelerated failure-time models were used to identify potential effects of covariates on the time to reinfection. The estimated duration of chemoprophylaxis was then used in a mathematical model of malaria transmission to determine the potential public health impact of each drug when used for first-line treatment. RESULTS: We estimated a mean duration of post-treatment protection of 13.0 days (95% CI 10.7-15.7) for AL and 15.2 days (95% CI 12.8-18.4) for AS-AQ overall. However, the duration varied significantly between trial sites, from 8.7-18.6 days for AL and 10.2-18.7 days for AS-AQ. Significant predictors of time to reinfection in multivariable models were transmission intensity, age, drug, and parasite genotype. Where wild type pfmdr1 and pfcrt parasite genotypes predominated (<=20% 86Y and 76T mutants, respectively), AS-AQ provided ~ 2-fold longer protection than AL. Conversely, at a higher prevalence of 86Y and 76T mutant parasites (> 80%), AL provided up to 1.5-fold longer protection than AS-AQ. Our simulations found that these differences in the duration of protection could alter population-level clinical incidence of malaria by up to 14% in under-5-year-old children when the drugs were used as first-line treatments in areas with high, seasonal transmission. CONCLUSION: Choosing a first-line treatment which provides optimal post-treatment prophylaxis given the local prevalence of resistance-associated markers could make a significant contribution to reducing malaria morbidity.
    • Efficacy of chloroquine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine for treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria among children under five in Bongor and Koumra, Chad.

      Grandesso, F; Bachy, C; Donam, I; Ntambi, J; Habimana, J; D'Alessandro, U; Maikere, J; Vanlerberghe, V; Kerah, C H; Guthmann, J P; et al. (Elsevier, 2006-05)
      We report two 28-day in-vivo antimalarial efficacy studies carried out in the urban centres of Bongor and Koumra, southern Chad. We assess chloroquine (CQ), sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and amodiaquine (AQ) to treat Plasmodium falciparum uncomplicated malaria. Methods and outcome classification complied with latest WHO guidelines. Out of the 301 and 318 children aged 6-59 months included in Bongor and Koumra, respectively, 246 (81.7%) and 257 (80.8%) were eligible for analysis. In Bongor and Koumra, the 28-day PCR-adjusted failure rates for CQ were 23.7% (95% CI 14.7-34.8%) and 32.9% (95% CI 22.1-45.1%), respectively, and those for SP were 16.3% (95% CI 9.4-25.5%) and 4.3% (95% CI 1.2-10.5%). AQ failure rates were 6.4% (95% CI 2.1-14.3%) and 2.2% (95% CI 0.3-7.6%). The current use of CQ in Bongor and Koumra is questionable, and a more efficacious treatment is needed. Considering the reduced efficacy of SP in Bongor, AQ seems to be the best option for the time being. Following WHO recommendations that prioritize the use of artemisinin-based combinations, artesunate plus amodiaquine could be a potential first-line treatment. Nevertheless, the efficacy of this combination should be evaluated and the change carefully prepared, implemented and monitored.
    • Molecular markers of resistance to amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in an area with seasonal malaria chemoprevention in south central Niger

      Grais, RFF; Laminou, IM; Woi-Messe, L; Makarimi, R; Bouriema, SH; Langendorf, C; Amambua-Ngwa, A; D'Alessandro, U; Guérin, PJ; Fandeur, T; et al. (BioMed Central, 2018-02-27)
      In Niger, malaria transmission is markedly seasonal with most of the disease burden occurring in children during the rainy season. Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) with amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (AQ + SP) is recommended in the country to be administered monthly just before and during the rainy season. Moreover, clinical decisions on use of SP for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) now depend upon the validated molecular markers for SP resistance in Plasmodium falciparum observed in the local parasite population. However, little is known about molecular markers of resistance for either SP or AQ in the south of Niger. To address this question, clinical samples which met clinical and biological criteria, were collected in Gabi, Madarounfa district, Maradi region, Niger in 2011-2012 (before SMC implementation). Molecular markers of resistance to pyrimethamine (pfdhfr), sulfadoxine (pfdhps) and amodiaquine (pfmdr1) were assessed by DNA sequencing.
    • Paediatric pharmacovigilance: use of pharmacovigilance data mining algorithms for signal detection in a safety dataset of a paediatric clinical study conducted in seven african countries

      Kajungu, D K; Erhart, A; Talisuna, A O; Bassat, Q; Karema, C; Nabasumba, C; Nambozi, M; Tinto, H; Kremsner, P; Meremikwu, M; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2014-05)
      Pharmacovigilance programmes monitor and help ensuring the safe use of medicines which is critical to the success of public health programmes. The commonest method used for discovering previously unknown safety risks is spontaneous notifications. In this study we examine the use of data mining algorithms to identify signals from adverse events reported in a phase IIIb/IV clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of several Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) for treatment of uncomplicated malaria in African children.
    • The relationship between the haemoglobin concentration and the haematocrit in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

      Lee, S J; Stepniewska, K; Anstey, N; Ashley, E; Barnes, K; Binh, T Q; D'Alessandro, U; Day, N; de Vries, P J; Dorsey, G; et al. (BioMed Central, 2008-08)
      BACKGROUND: Malaria is a very important cause of anaemia in tropical countries. Anaemia is assessed either by measurement of the haematocrit or the haemoglobin concentration. For comparisons across studies, it is often necessary to derive one measure from the other. METHODS: Data on patients with slide-confirmed uncomplicated falciparum malaria were pooled from 85 antimalarial drug trials conducted in 25 different countries, to assess the haemoglobin/haematocrit relationship at different time points in malaria. Using a linear random effects model, a conversion equation for haematocrit was derived based on 3,254 measurements from various time points (ranging from day 0 to day 63) from 1,810 patients with simultaneous measurements of both parameters. Haemoglobin was also estimated from haematocrit with the commonly used threefold conversion. RESULTS: A good fit was obtained using Haematocrit = 5.62 + 2.60 * Haemoglobin. On average, haematocrit/3 levels were slightly higher than haemoglobin measurements with a mean difference (+/- SD) of -0.69 (+/- 1.3) for children under the age of 5 (n = 1,440 measurements from 449 patients). CONCLUSION: Based on this large data set, an accurate and robust conversion factor both in acute malaria and in convalescence was obtained. The commonly used threefold conversion is also valid.
    • The risk of Plasmodium vivax parasitaemia after P. falciparum malaria: An individual patient data meta-analysis from the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network

      Hossain, MS; Commons, RJ; Douglas, NM; Thriemer, K; Alemayehu, BH; Amaratunga, C; Anvikar, AR; Ashley, EA; Asih, PBS; Carrara, VI; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2020-11-19)
      Background: There is a high risk of Plasmodium vivax parasitaemia following treatment of falciparum malaria. Our study aimed to quantify this risk and the associated determinants using an individual patient data meta-analysis in order to identify populations in which a policy of universal radical cure, combining artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) with a hypnozoitocidal antimalarial drug, would be beneficial. Methods and findings: A systematic review of Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews identified efficacy studies of uncomplicated falciparum malaria treated with ACT that were undertaken in regions coendemic for P. vivax between 1 January 1960 and 5 January 2018. Data from eligible studies were pooled using standardised methodology. The risk of P. vivax parasitaemia at days 42 and 63 and associated risk factors were investigated by multivariable Cox regression analyses. Study quality was assessed using a tool developed by the Joanna Briggs Institute. The study was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO: CRD42018097400). In total, 42 studies enrolling 15,341 patients were included in the analysis, including 30 randomised controlled trials and 12 cohort studies. Overall, 14,146 (92.2%) patients had P. falciparum monoinfection and 1,195 (7.8%) mixed infection with P. falciparum and P. vivax. The median age was 17.0 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 9.0-29.0 years; range = 0-80 years), with 1,584 (10.3%) patients younger than 5 years. 2,711 (17.7%) patients were treated with artemether-lumefantrine (AL, 13 studies), 651 (4.2%) with artesunate-amodiaquine (AA, 6 studies), 7,340 (47.8%) with artesunate-mefloquine (AM, 25 studies), and 4,639 (30.2%) with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP, 16 studies). 14,537 patients (94.8%) were enrolled from the Asia-Pacific region, 684 (4.5%) from the Americas, and 120 (0.8%) from Africa. At day 42, the cumulative risk of vivax parasitaemia following treatment of P. falciparum was 31.1% (95% CI 28.9-33.4) after AL, 14.1% (95% CI 10.8-18.3) after AA, 7.4% (95% CI 6.7-8.1) after AM, and 4.5% (95% CI 3.9-5.3) after DP. By day 63, the risks had risen to 39.9% (95% CI 36.6-43.3), 42.4% (95% CI 34.7-51.2), 22.8% (95% CI 21.2-24.4), and 12.8% (95% CI 11.4-14.5), respectively. In multivariable analyses, the highest rate of P. vivax parasitaemia over 42 days of follow-up was in patients residing in areas of short relapse periodicity (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] = 6.2, 95% CI 2.0-19.5; p = 0.002); patients treated with AL (AHR = 6.2, 95% CI 4.6-8.5; p < 0.001), AA (AHR = 2.3, 95% CI 1.4-3.7; p = 0.001), or AM (AHR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-1.9; p = 0.028) compared with DP; and patients who did not clear their initial parasitaemia within 2 days (AHR = 1.8, 95% CI 1.4-2.3; p < 0.001). The analysis was limited by heterogeneity between study populations and lack of data from very low transmission settings. Study quality was high. Conclusions: In this meta-analysis, we found a high risk of P. vivax parasitaemia after treatment of P. falciparum malaria that varied significantly between studies. These P. vivax infections are likely attributable to relapses that could be prevented with radical cure including a hypnozoitocidal agent; however, the benefits of such a novel strategy will vary considerably between geographical areas.
    • Short report: molecular markers associated with Plasmodium falciparum resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

      Cohuet, S; Bonnet, M; Van Herp, M; Van Overmeir, C; D'Alessandro, U; Guthmann, J P; Epicentre, Paris, France; Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium; Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. (2006-07)
      Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is the first line antimalarial treatment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Using polymerase chain reaction, we assessed the prevalence of mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) (codons 108, 51, 59) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) (codons 437, 540) genes of Plasmodium falciparum, which have been associated with resistance to pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine, respectively. Four hundred seventy-four patients were sampled in Kilwa (N = 138), Kisangani (N = 112), Boende (N = 106), and Basankusu (N = 118). The proportion of triple mutations dhfr varied between sites but was always > 50%. The proportion of dhps double mutations was < 20%, with some sites as low as 0.9%. A quintuple mutation was present in 12.8% (16/125) samples in Kilwa; 11.9% (13/109) in Kisangani, 2.9% (3/102) in Boende, and 0.9% (1/112) in Basankusu. These results suggest high resistance to pyrimethamine alone or combined with sulfadoxine. Adding artesunate to SP does not seem a valid alternative to the current monotherapy.
    • Short Report: Molecular Markers Associated with Plasmodium Falciparum Resistance to Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

      Cohuet, S; Bonnet, M; Van Herp, M; Van Overmeir, C; D'Alessandro, U; Guthmann, J P P; Epicentre, Paris, France; Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium; Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. (2006-07)
      Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is the first line antimalarial treatment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Using polymerase chain reaction, we assessed the prevalence of mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) (codons 108, 51, 59) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) (codons 437, 540) genes of Plasmodium falciparum, which have been associated with resistance to pyrimethamine and sulfadoxine, respectively. Four hundred seventy-four patients were sampled in Kilwa (N = 138), Kisangani (N = 112), Boende (N = 106), and Basankusu (N = 118). The proportion of triple mutations dhfr varied between sites but was always > 50%. The proportion of dhps double mutations was < 20%, with some sites as low as 0.9%. A quintuple mutation was present in 12.8% (16/125) samples in Kilwa; 11.9% (13/109) in Kisangani, 2.9% (3/102) in Boende, and 0.9% (1/112) in Basankusu. These results suggest high resistance to pyrimethamine alone or combined with sulfadoxine. Adding artesunate to SP does not seem a valid alternative to the current monotherapy.
    • A significant increase in kdr in Anopheles gambiae is associated with an intensive vector control intervention in Burundi highlands.

      Protopopoff, N; Verhaeghen, K; Van Bortel, W; Roelants, P; Marcotty, T; Baza, D; D'Alessandro, U; Coosemans, M; Department of Parasitology, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. nprotopopoff@itg.be (2008-12)
      OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: In Burundi, the occurrence of the knock down resistance (kdr) mutation in Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) was determined for six consecutive years within the framework of a vector control programme. Findings were also linked with the insecticide resistance status observed with bioassay in An. gambiae s.l. and An. funestus. RESULTS: The proportion of An. gambiae s.l. carrying the East Leu-Ser kdr mutation was 1% before the spraying intervention in 2002; by 2007 it was 86% in sprayed valleys and 67% in untreated valleys. Multivariate analysis showed that increased risk of carrying the kdr mutation is associated with spraying interventions, location and time. In bioassays conducted between 2005 and 2007 at five sites, An. funestus was susceptible to permethrin, deltamethrin and DDT. Anopheles gambiae s.l. remained susceptible or tolerant to deltamethrin and resistant to DDT and permethrin, but only when kdr allele carriers reached 90% of the population. CONCLUSIONS: The cross-resistance against DDT and permethrin in Karuzi suggests a possible kdr resistance mechanism. Nevertheless, the homozygous resistant genotype alone does not entirely explain the bioassay results, and other mechanisms conferring resistance cannot be ruled out. After exposure to all three insecticides, homozygote individuals for the kdr allele dominate among the surviving An. gambiae s.l. This confirms the potential selection pressure of pyrethroids on kdr mutation. However, the high occurrence of the kdr mutation, even at sites far from the sprayed areas, suggests a selection pressure other than that exerted by the vector control programme.
    • Single low-dose primaquine for blocking transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria - a proposed model-derived age-based regimen for sub-Saharan Africa

      Taylor, WR; Naw, HK; Maitland, K; Williams, TN; Kapulu, M; D'Alessandro, U; Berkley, JA; Bejon, P; Okebe, J; Achan, J; et al. (BioMed Central, 2018-01-18)
      In 2012, the World Health Organization recommended blocking the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum with single low-dose primaquine (SLDPQ, target dose 0.25 mg base/kg body weight), without testing for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PDd), when treating patients with uncomplicated falciparum malaria. We sought to develop an age-based SLDPQ regimen that would be suitable for sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Spatial targeted vector control in the highlands of Burundi and its impact on malaria transmission.

      Protopopoff, N; Van Bortel, W; Marcotty, T; Van Herp, M; Maes, P; Baza, D; D'Alessandro, U; Coosemans, M; Department of Parasitology, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000 Antwerp, Belgium. nprotopopoff@itg.be (BMC, 2007)
      BACKGROUND: Prevention of malaria epidemics is a priority for African countries. The 2000 malaria epidemic in Burundi prompted the government to implement measures for preventing future outbreaks. Case management with artemisinin-based combination therapy and malaria surveillance were nationally improved. A vector control programme was initiated in one of the most affected highland provinces. The focal distribution of malaria vectors in the highlands was the starting point for designing a targeted vector control strategy. The objective of this study was to present the results of this strategy on malaria transmission in an African highland region. METHODS: In Karuzi, in 2002-2005, vector control activities combining indoor residual spraying and long-lasting insecticidal nets were implemented. The interventions were done before the expected malaria transmission period and targeted the valleys between hills, with the expectation that this would also protect the populations living at higher altitudes. The impact on the Anopheles population and on malaria transmission was determined by nine cross-sectional surveys carried out at regular intervals throughout the study period. RESULTS: Anopheles gambiae s.l. and Anopheles funestus represented 95% of the collected anopheline species. In the valleys, where the vector control activities were implemented, Anopheles density was reduced by 82% (95% CI: 69-90). Similarly, transmission was decreased by 90% (95% CI: 63%-97%, p = 0.001). In the sprayed valleys, Anopheles density was further reduced by 79.5% (95% CI: 51.7-91.3, p < 0.001) in the houses with nets as compared to houses without them. No significant impact on vector density and malaria transmission was observed in the hill tops. However, the intervention focused on the high risk areas near the valley floor, where 93% of the vectors are found and 90% of the transmission occurs. CONCLUSION: Spatial targeted vector control effectively reduced Anopheles density and transmission in this highland district. Bed nets have an additional effect on Anopheles density though this did not translate in an additional impact on transmission. Though no impact was observed in the hilltops, the programme successfully covered the areas most at risk. Such a targeted strategy could prevent the emergence and spread of an epidemic from these high risk foci.
    • Spatial targeted vector control is able to reduce malaria prevalence in the highlands of Burundi.

      Protopopoff, N; Van Bortel, W; Marcotty, T; Van Herp, M; Maes, P; Baza, D; D'Alessandro, U; Coosemans, M; Department of Parasitology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. nprotopopoff@itg.be (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2008-07)
      In a highland province of Burundi, indoor residual spraying and long-lasting insecticidal net distribution were targeted in the valley, aiming also to protect the population living on the hilltops. The impact on malaria indicators was assessed, and the potential additional effect of nets evaluated. After the intervention--and compared with the control valleys--children 1-9 years old in the treated valleys had lower risks of malaria infection (odds ratio, OR: 0.55), high parasite density (OR: 0.48), and clinical malaria (OR: 0.57). The impact on malaria prevalence was even higher in infants (OR: 0.14). Using nets did not confer an additional protective effect to spraying. Targeted vector control had a major impact on malaria in the high-risk valleys but not in the less-exposed hilltops. Investment in targeted and regular control measures associated with effective case management should be able to control malaria in the highlands.
    • Vector control in a malaria epidemic occurring within a complex emergency situation in Burundi: a case study.

      Protopopoff, N; Van Herp, M; Maes, P; Reid, T; Baza, D; D'Alessandro, U; Van Bortel, W; Coosemans, M; Department of Parasitology, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. nprotopopoff@itg.be (BMC, 2007)
      BACKGROUND: African highlands often suffer of devastating malaria epidemics, sometimes in conjunction with complex emergencies, making their control even more difficult. In 2000, Burundian highlands experienced a large malaria outbreak at a time of civil unrest, constant insecurity and nutritional emergency. Because of suspected high resistance to the first and second line treatments, the provincial health authority and Médecins Sans Frontières (Belgium) decided to implement vector control activities in an attempt to curtail the epidemic. There are few reported interventions of this type to control malaria epidemics in complex emergency contexts. Here, decisions and actions taken to control this epidemic, their impact and the lessons learned from this experience are reported. CASE DESCRIPTION: Twenty nine hills (administrative areas) were selected in collaboration with the provincial health authorities for the vector control interventions combining indoor residual spraying with deltamethrin and insecticide-treated nets. Impact was evaluated by entomological and parasitological surveys. Almost all houses (99%) were sprayed and nets use varied between 48% and 63%. Anopheles indoor resting density was significantly lower in treated as compared to untreated hills, the latter taken as controls. Despite this impact on the vector, malaria prevalence was not significantly lower in treated hills except for people sleeping under a net. DISCUSSION: Indoor spraying was feasible and resulted in high coverage despite being a logistically complex intervention in the Burundian context (scattered houses and emergency situation). However, it had little impact on the prevalence of malaria infection, possibly because it was implemented after the epidemic's peak. Nevertheless, after this outbreak the Ministry of Health improved the surveillance system, changed its policy with introduction of effective drugs and implementation of vector control to prevent new malaria epidemics. CONCLUSION: In the absence of effective drugs and sufficient preparedness, present study failed to demonstrate any impact of vector control activities upon the course of a short-duration malaria epidemic. However, the experience gained lead to increased preparedness and demonstrated the feasibility of vector control measures in this specific context.