• Changes in Health-Seeking Behavior Did Not Result in Increased All-Cause Mortality During the Ebola Outbreak in Western Area, Sierra Leone

      Vygen, S; Tiffany, A; Rull, M; Ventura, A; Wolz, A; Jambai, A; Porten, K (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2016-07-25)
      Little is known about the residual effects of the west African Ebola virus disease (Ebola) epidemic on non-Ebola mortality and health-seeking behavior in Sierra Leone. We conducted a retrospective household survey to estimate mortality and describe health-seeking behavior in Western Area, Sierra Leone, between May 25, 2014, and February 16, 2015. We used two-stage cluster sampling, selected 30 geographical sectors with probability proportional to population size, and sampled 30 households per sector. Survey teams conducted face-to-face interviews and collected information on mortality and health-seeking behavior. We calculated all-cause and Ebola-specific mortality rates and compared health-seeking behavior before and during the Ebola epidemic using χ(2) and Fisher's exact tests. Ninety-six deaths, 39 due to Ebola, were reported in 898 households. All-cause and Ebola-specific mortality rates were 0.52 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.29-0.76) and 0.19 (95% CI = 0.01-0.38) per 10,000 inhabitants per day, respectively. Of those households that reported a sick family member during the month before the survey, 86% (73/85) sought care at a health facility before the epidemic, compared with 58% (50/86) in February 2015 (P = 0.013). Reported self-medication increased from 4% (3/85) before the epidemic to 23% (20/86) during the epidemic (P = 0.013). Underutilization of health services and increased self-medication did not show a demonstrable effect on non-Ebola-related mortality. Nevertheless, the residual effects of outbreaks need to be taken into account for the future. Recovery efforts should focus on rebuilding both the formalized health system and the population's trust in it.
    • Development of a Prediction Model for Ebola Virus Disease: A Retrospective Study in Nzérékoré Ebola Treatment Center, Guinea

      Loubet, P; Palich, R; Kojan, R; Peyrouset, O; Danel, C; Nicholas, S; Conde, M; Porten, K; Augier, A; Yazdanpanah, Y (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2016-12-07)
      The 2014 Ebola epidemic has shown the importance of accurate and rapid triage tools for patients with suspected Ebola virus disease (EVD). Our objective was to create a predictive score for EVD. We retrospectively reviewed all suspected cases admitted to the Ebola treatment center (ETC) in Nzérékoré, Guinea, between December 2, 2014, and February 23, 2015. We used a multivariate logistic regression model to identify clinical and epidemiological factors associated with EVD, which were used to create a predictive score. A bootstrap sampling method was applied to our sample to determine characteristics of the score to discriminate EVD. Among the 145 patients included in the study (48% male, median age 29 years), EVD was confirmed in 76 (52%) patients. One hundred and eleven (77%) patients had at least one epidemiological risk factor. Optimal cutoff value of fever to discriminate EVD was 38.5°C. After adjustment on presence of a risk factor, temperature higher than 38.5°C (odds ratio [OR] = 18.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.6-42.9), and anorexia (OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.1-6.1) were independently associated with EVD. The score had an area under curve of 0.85 (95% CI = 0.78-0.91) for the prediction of laboratory-confirmed EVD. Classification of patients in a high-risk group according to the score had a lower sensitivity (71% versus 86%) but higher specificity (85% versus 41%) than the existing World Health Organization algorithm. This score, which requires external validation, may be used in high-prevalence settings to identify different levels of risk in EVD suspected patients and thus allow a better orientation in different wards of ETC.
    • Emerging Filoviral Disease in Uganda: Proposed Explanations and Research Directions

      Polonsky, Jonathan A; Wamala, Joseph F; de Clerck, Hilde; Van Herp, Michel; Sprecher, Armand; Porten, Klaudia; Shoemaker, Trevor (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2014-02-10)
      Outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg virus diseases have recently increased in frequency in Uganda. This increase is probably caused by a combination of improved surveillance and laboratory capacity, increased contact between humans and the natural reservoir of the viruses, and fluctuations in viral load and prevalence in this reservoir. The roles of these proposed explanations must be investigated to guide appropriate responses to the changing epidemiological profile. Other African settings in which multiple filoviral outbreaks have occurred could also benefit from such information.
    • High Hepatitis E Seroprevalence Among Displaced Persons in South Sudan

      Azman, A; Bouhenia, M; Iyer, A; Rumunu, J; Laku, R; Wamala, J; Rodriguez-Barraquer, I; Lessler, J; Gignoux, E; Luquero, F; et al. (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2017-06)
      AbstractLarge protracted outbreaks of hepatitis E virus (HEV) have been documented in displaced populations in Africa over the past decade though data are limited outside these exceptional settings. Serological studies can provide insights useful for improving surveillance and disease control. We conducted an age-stratified serological survey using samples previously collected for another research study from 206 residents of an internally displaced person camp in Juba, South Sudan. We tested serum for anti-HEV antibodies (IgM and IgG) and estimated the prevalence of recent and historical exposure to the virus. Using data on individuals' serostatus, camp arrival date, and state of origin, we used catalytic transmission models to estimate the relative risk of HEV infection in the camp compared with that in the participants' home states. The age-adjusted seroprevalence of anti-HEV IgG was 71% (95% confidence interval = 63-78), and 4% had evidence of recent exposure (IgM). We estimated HEV exposure rates to be more than 2-fold (hazard ratio = 2.3, 95% credible interval = 0.3-5.8) higher in the camp than in the participants' home states, although this difference was not statistically significant. HEV transmission may be higher than previously appreciated, even in the absence of reported cases. Improved surveillance in similar settings is needed to understand the burden of disease and minimize epidemic impact through early detection and response.
    • High Prevalence of Shigella or Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli Carriage among Residents of an Internally Displaced Persons Camp in South Sudan

      Bliss, J; Bouhenia, M; Hale, P; Couturier, BA; Iyer, AS; Rumunu, J; Martin, S; Wamala, JF; Abubakar, A; Sack, DA; et al. (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2017-12-04)
      Displaced persons living in camps are at an increased risk of diarrheal diseases. Subclinical carriage of pathogens may contribute to the spread of disease, especially for microbes that require a low infectious dose. Multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to detect a panel of 20 bacterial, viral, and protozoal targets, and we report a high prevalence of enteropathogen carriage, including Shigella spp. or enteroinvasive Escherichia coli in 14%, among a sample of 88 asymptomatic individuals in an internally displaced persons camp in South Sudan. Further studies are needed to determine the contribution of such carriage to the spread of disease.
    • Screening for Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency Using Three Detection Methods: A Cross-Sectional Survey in Southwestern Uganda

      Roh, ME; Oyet, C; Orikiriza, P; Wade, M; Mwanga-Amumpaire, J; Boum, Y; Kiwanuka, GN; Parikh, S (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2016-09-26)
      Despite the potential benefit of primaquine in reducing Plasmodium falciparum transmission and radical cure of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale infections, concerns over risk of hemolytic toxicity in individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PDd) have hampered its deployment. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2014 to assess the G6PDd prevalence among 631 children between 6 and 59 months of age in southwestern Uganda, an area where primaquine may be a promising control measure. G6PDd prevalence was determined using three detection methods: a quantitative G6PD enzyme activity assay (Trinity Biotech(®) G-6-PDH kit), a qualitative point-of-care test (CareStart(™) G6PD rapid diagnostic test [RDT]), and molecular detection of the G6PD A- G202A allele. Qualitative tests were compared with the gold standard quantitative assay. G6PDd prevalence was higher by RDT (8.6%) than by quantitative assay (6.8%), using a < 60% activity threshold. The RDT performed optimally at a < 60% threshold and demonstrated high sensitivity (≥ 90%) and negative predictive values (100%) across three activity thresholds (below 60%, 30%, and 40%). G202A allele frequency was 6.4%, 7.9%, and 6.8% among females, males, and overall, respectively. Notably, over half of the G202A homo-/hemizygous children expressed ≥ 60% enzyme activity. Overall, the CareStart(™) G6PD RDT appears to be a viable screening test to accurately identify individuals with enzyme activities below 60%. The low prevalence of G6PDd across all three diagnostic modalities and absence of severe deficiency in our study suggests that there is little barrier to the use of single-dose primaquine in this region.