• New filovirus disease classification and nomenclature

      Kuhn, JH; Adachi, T; Adhikari, NKJ; Arribas, JR; Bah, IE; Bausch, DG; Bhadelia, N; Borchert, M; Brantsæter, AB; Brett-Major, DM; et al. (Nature Research, 2019-03-29)
      The recent large outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Western Africa resulted in greatly increased accumulation of human genotypic, phenotypic and clinical data, and improved our understanding of the spectrum of clinical manifestations. As a result, the WHO disease classification of EVD underwent major revision.
    • The potential public health consequences of COVID-19 on malaria in Africa.

      Sherrard-Smith, E; Hogan, AB; Hamlet, A; Watson, OJ; Whittaker, C; Winskill, P; Ali, F; Mohammad, AB; Uhomoibhi, P; Maikore, I; et al. (Nature Research, 2020-08-07)
      The burden of malaria is heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 are rising1. In response, countries are implementing societal measures aimed at curtailing transmission of SARS-CoV-22,3. Despite these measures, the COVID-19 epidemic could still result in millions of deaths as local health facilities become overwhelmed4. Advances in malaria control this century have been largely due to distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs)5, with many SSA countries having planned campaigns for 2020. In the present study, we use COVID-19 and malaria transmission models to estimate the impact of disruption of malaria prevention activities and other core health services under four different COVID-19 epidemic scenarios. If activities are halted, the malaria burden in 2020 could be more than double that of 2019. In Nigeria alone, reducing case management for 6 months and delaying LLIN campaigns could result in 81,000 (44,000-119,000) additional deaths. Mitigating these negative impacts is achievable, and LLIN distributions in particular should be prioritized alongside access to antimalarial treatments to prevent substantial malaria epidemics.
    • Prevalence and risk factors of brucellosis among febrile patients attending a community hospital in south western Uganda

      Migisha, R; Dan N; Boum, Y; Page, AL; Zúñiga-Ripa, A; Conde-Álvarez, R; Bagenda, F; Bonnet, M (Nature Research, 2018-10-18)
      Human brucellosis, a chronic disease contracted through contact with animals and consuption of unpasteurized dairy products is underreported in limited-resource countries. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence and risk factors of brucellosis among febrile patients attending a community hospital in South western Uganda. A questionnaire that captured socio-demographic, occupational and clinical data was administered. Blood samples were tested for Brucella antibodies using Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT) and blood culture with standard aerobic BACTEC bottle was done. Of 235 patients enrolled, prevalence of brucellosis (RBPT or culture confirmed) was 14.9% (95% CI 10.6-20.1) with a culture confrmation in 4.3% of the participants. The factors independently associated with brucellosis were consumption of raw milk (aOR 406.15, 95% CI 47.67-3461.69); history of brucellosis in the family (aOR 9.19, 95% CI 1.98-42.54); and selling hides and skins (aOR 162.56, 95% CI 2.86-9256.31). Hepatomegaly (p < 0.001), splenomegaly (p = 0.018) and low body mass index (p = 0.032) were more common in patients with brucellosis compared to others. Our findings reveal a high prevalence of brucellosis among febrile patients and highlight a need for implementing appropiate tests, public awareness activities and vaccination of animals to control and eliminate the disease.
    • Prior vaccination with rVSV-ZEBOV does not interfere with but improves efficacy of postexposure antibody treatment

      Cross, RW; Bornholdt, ZA; Prasad, AN; Geisbert, JB; Borisevich, V; Agans, KN; Deer, DJ; Melody, K; Fenton, KA; Feldmann, H; et al. (Nature Research, 2020-07-27)
      A replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus vaccine expressing the Ebola virus (EBOV) glycoprotein (GP) (rVSV-ZEBOV) was successfully used during the 2013-16 EBOV epidemic. Additionally, chimeric and human monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against the EBOV GP have shown promise in animals and humans when administered therapeutically. Uncertainty exists regarding the efficacy of postexposure antibody treatments in the event of a known exposure of a recent rVSV-ZEBOV vaccinee. Here, we model a worst-case scenario using rhesus monkeys vaccinated or unvaccinated with the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine. We demonstrate that animals challenged with a uniformly lethal dose of EBOV one day following vaccination, and then treated with the anti-EBOV GP mAb MIL77 starting 3 days postexposure show no evidence of clinical illness and survive challenge. In contrast, animals receiving only vaccination or only mAb-based therapy become ill, with decreased survival compared to animals vaccinated and subsequently treated with MIL77. These results suggest that rVSV-ZEBOV augments immunotherapy.