• [A foci of Schistosomiasis mekongi rediscovered in Northeast Cambodia: cultural perception of the illness; description and clinical observation of 20 severe cases]

      Biays, S; Stich, A H; Odermatt, P; Long, C; Yersin, C; Men, C; Saem, C; Lormand, J D; Médecins sans Frontières, Suisse. Odermatt_Biays@hotmail.com (Wiley-Blackwell, 1999-10)
      RésuméLa découverte en 1992 d'une population présentant des signes cliniques d'hypertension portale très évoluée a permis la redécouverte d'un foyer de bilharziose 'oublié' pendant plus de vingt ans dans la province de Kracheh au nord-est du Cambodge. Des éléments de la perception culturelle de la maladie par la population et des observations cliniques sur la morbidité grave provoquée par Schistosoma mekongi sont présentés. Les entretiens avec les patients et la population des villages alentours révèlent que la bilharziose a de lourdes conséquences psychosociales: angoisse de la mort, infirmité, invalidité. Les symptômes sont bien identifiés et auraient augmenté ces vingt dernières années. Ils font l'objet de dénominations et de traitements traditionnels spécifiques. Les descriptions cliniques de 20 patients illustrent la pathologie grave observée dans l'hôpital de Sambour, au nord de la province de Kracheh. Elles montrent le pouvoir pathogène de S. mekongi aux différents âges de la vie (de 7 à 58 ans): cachexie, hépatosplénomégalie, retard de croissance et pubertaire, décompensation d'hypertension portale avec ascite et rupture de varices oesophagiennes. L'efficacité du traitement à ces stades avancés de la maladie est inconstant: le suivi des patients sur 30 mois montre que 5 d'entre eux sont décédés, 5 se sont améliorés puis ont récidivés, 3 étaient dans des états stationnaires et 5 se sont nettement améliorés, 2 ont été perdus de vus. Les observations cliniques et les entretiens montrent qu'une pathologie très sévère, aux graves conséquences individuelles et communautaires, est présente dans la province de Kracheh. Cette maladie est liée à une infection par S. mekongi mais l'aggravation des symptômes par d'éventuelles infections associées est à préciser. A un stade avancé de la maladie le pronostic vital est très réservé même après traitement. Ces observations démontrent l'importance d'une intervention globale à long-terme sur toute la population touchée, à des degrés divers, par cette maladie. SUMMARY: In 1992 a foci of Schistosomiasis mekongi was rediscovered in the province of Kracheh in Northeast Cambodia. Severe clinical signs due to portal hypertension, which were frequently observed in this population, allowed the discovery of this 'forgotten' focus. Elements of the perception of the population and clinical observations of 20 severe cases due to S. mekongi infections are presented. Interviews with patients and villagers of the area of Kracheh showed severe psychosocial impact including fear from death, infirmity and invalidity. The symptoms of schistosomiasis were well known by the population and were reported to have increased in frequency in the last two decades. They have received traditional names and specific traditional treatment. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)
    • Anthropometry and Clinical Features of Kashin-Beck Disease in Central Tibet.

      Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Suetens, C; De Maertelaer, V; Hinsenkamp, M; Médecins Sans Frontières, Département Médical, Bruxelles, Belgium. (Springer, 2001)
      We compared two different populations living in central Tibet with the purpose of establishing standard values for different anthropometric parameters in a rural population. Later on, these values were used as references for a similar study on a KBD population. One group (KBD) (n=1,246) came from the endemic areas, and the other group, serving as the control population (n=815), came from non-endemic areas. Both groups included children and adults and were of the Mongoloid type; they were farmers or semi-nomads. Height, weight, segment length, joint perimeter, joint diameter, joint movement were recorded. Also more subjective information such as general feeling of tiredness, rapid fatigue at work, work limitation, joint pain, muscle weakness, muscular atrophy, dwarfism, flatfoot, and waddling gate was also collected. Those variables were compared between the two groups.
    • Antibiotic Sensitivity of Endemic Shigella in Mbarara, Uganda.

      Legros, D; Ochola, D; Lwanga, N; Guma, G; Epicentre, Kampala, Uganda. (1998-03)
      We analysed the chimio-sensitivity to antibiotics of endemic strains of Shigella isolated in Mbarara district, southwest Uganda. Twenty four strains were isolated, of which none was sensitive to cotrimoxazole and eight (33.4%, 95% CI [15.6-55.3]) to ampicillin, the two antibiotics recommended to treat dysentery during non epidemic periods in Uganda. Two isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and none was resistant to the fluoroquinolones (Ciprofloxacin, Norfloxacin). It is concluded that the results of this survey could be used to facilitate the elaboration of a new treatment protocol to treat endemic dysentery cases in Uganda.
    • Behavioural characteristics, prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis and antibiotic susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in men with urethral discharge in Thyolo, Malawi.

      Zachariah, R; Harries, A D; Nkhoma, W; Arendt, V; Nchingula, D; Chantulo, A; Chimtulo, F; Kirpach, P; Médecins sans Frontières-Luxembourg, Thyolo District, Malawi. zachariah@internet.lu (Elsevier, 2008-01-25)
      A study was carried out in 2000/2001 in a rural district of Malawi among men presenting with urethral discharge, in order to (a) describe their health-seeking and sexual behaviour, (b) determine the prevalence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis, and (c) verify the antibiotic susceptibility of N. gonorrhoeae. A total of 114 patients were entered into the study; 61% reported having taken some form of medication before coming to the sexually transmitted infections clinic. The most frequent alternative source of care was traditional healers. Sixty-eight (60%) patients reported sexual encounters during the symptomatic period, the majority (84%) not using condoms. Using ligase chain reaction on urine, N. gonorrhoeae was detected in 91 (80%) and C. trachomatis in 2 (2%) urine specimens. Forty five of 47 N. gonorrhoeae isolates produced penicillinase, 89% showing multi-antimicrobial resistance. This study emphasizes the need to integrate alternative care providers and particularly traditional healers in control activities, and to encourage their role in promoting safer sexual behaviour. In patients presenting with urethral discharge in our rural setting, C. trachomatis was not found to be a major pathogen. Antimicrobial susceptibility surveillance of N. gonorrhoeae is essential in order to prevent treatment failures and control the spread of resistant strains.
    • Characteristics of a cholera outbreak, patterns of Vibrio cholerae and antibiotic susceptibility testing in rural Malawi.

      Zachariah, R; Harries, A D; Arendt, V; Nchingula, D; Chimtulo, F; Courteille, O; Kirpach, P; Department of Infectious Diseases, Reference Centre, Central Hospital, Rue Barble, Luxembourg. msflblantyre@malawi.net (2002)
      The cumulative cholera attack rate in an epidemic in Malawi in 1999/2000 was 59/100,000 population, case-fatality rate 4%, and 98% of all cases presenting to health facilities required intravenous therapy. Microbiological studies showed high resistance of Vibrio cholerae to commonly recommended antibiotics, predominant Ogawa serotypes and no O139 isolates.
    • Clinical Manifestations of Kashin-Beck Disease in Nyemo Valley, Tibet.

      Mathieu, F; Begaux, F; Lan, Z Y; Suetens, C; Hinsenkamp, M; Médecins sans Frontières, Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. (Springer, 1997)
      Clinical manifestations of Kashin-Beck disease have been studied in Central Tibet. Statistical analysis of physical signs allowed a definition of the clinical diagnosis and a scale for the functional severity for the disease to be drawn up. This classification is used for the assessment of patients who received palliative physical treatment. A group of 136 patients have been examined and their disabled joints classified according to pain, bony enlargement and restriction of movement. 57% were between 20 and 35 years of age. The patients mainly complained about their distal weightbearing joints. The clinical evolution of the disease is described from childhood to adult life.
    • Clinical Presentation of Louse-Borne Relapsing Fever Among Ethiopian Refugees in Northern Somalia.

      Brown, V; Larouze, B; Desve, G; Rousset, J J; Thibon, M; Fourrier, A; Schwoebel, V; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France. (Published by: Maney Publishing, 1988-10)
      Louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) is still endemic among Ethiopian populations. In order to assess the clinical presentation of LBRF in an Ethiopian refugee camp in northern Somalia, a referral system was organized for all pyrexias of unknown origin. Among the 134 patients referred, 37 showed Borrelia in fresh and stained blood smears. Common clinical features were: high fever (above 39 degrees C in 73% of the cases), headache and general body pain (88%), liver tenderness (62%), petechia (54%), nausea and vomiting (46%), chills and rigors (30%) and epistaxis (11%). Jaundice was absent. No fatalities were observed. The clinical picture was less severe than in previous studies on LBRF. This difference might be due to the fact that the present study was community-based as opposed to the previous studies which were hospital-based.
    • Clinical, Microbiological and Antibiotic Susceptibility Patterns of Diarrhoea in Korem, Ethiopia.

      Desenclos, J C; Zergabachew, A; Desmoulins, B; Chouteau, L; Desve, G; Admassu, M; Médecins sans Frontières, Paris, France. (1988-12)
      Two hundred patients with diarrhoea in a rehabilitation camp in Ethiopia were studied in October 1985 to determine the presence of pathogens in the stool and their susceptibility to antibiotics. A total of 42 (21.1%) patients had a positive culture with enterobacteriaceae, the isolation rate was 15.6% for Escherichia coli, 3.5% for Shigella spp. and 2.01% for Salmonella spp. In-vitro antibiotic resistance was frequent among the 42 isolates: 53% of E. coli strains were found to be resistant to ampicillin, 47% to chloramphenicol, 30% to co-trimoxazole and 67% to tetracycline. Of the seven Shigella, three were resistant to chloramphenicol and four to tetracycline. Multidrug resistance (two or more antibiotics) was observed in 52.3% of the 42 isolates. The protocols used for the screening of dysenteric patients for Shigella spp. or Salmonella spp. were found to be specific but poorly sensitive. The opposite was observed for amoebiasis and giardiasis. The responsibility of widespread use of common oral antibiotics is discussed as one of the major factors of antibiotic resistance occurrence at Korem.
    • Clonal reconquest of antibiotic-susceptible Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi in Son La Province, Vietnam.

      Weill, F X; Tran, H H; Roumagnac, P; Fabre, L; Minh, N B; Stavnes, T L; Lassen, J; Bjune, G; Grimont, P A D; Guerin, P J; et al. (2007-06)
      In the last three decades, high rates of resistance to common first-line antimicrobial agents have been reported in Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi (Typhi), the causative organism of typhoid fever (TF), in many regions of the world, especially in South East Asia. Analysis of Typhi strains isolated from outbreaks and sporadic cases of TF in Son La province, northwest Vietnam, in 2002 revealed that 94.5% (85/90) of the isolates were fully susceptible to amoxicillin, chloramphenicol, cotrimoxazole, tetracycline, and nalidixic acid. There was a clear decline in the occurrence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) Typhi isolates collected in this province in 2002 (4.4%) compared with the period 1995-1999 in the same province (30.8-100%). By using molecular (IS200 profiling, PstI-ribotyping, XbaI-pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and haplotyping) and phage-typing methods, we showed that the Typhi isolates from Son La province in 2002 were genetically related; however, they were unrelated to the previous MDR clones established in Vietnam.
    • CMV retinitis screening and treatment in a resource-poor setting: three-year experience from a primary care HIV/AIDS programme in Myanmar

      Tun, Nini; London, Nikolas; Kyaw, Moe Kyaw; Smithuis, Frank; Ford, Nathan; Margolis, Todd; Drew, W Lawrence; Lewallen, Susan; Heiden, David; Medical Action Myanmar, Yangon, Myanmar; Wills Eye Institute, Retina Service, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Médecins Sans Frontières OCA, Yangon, Myanmar; Médecins Sans Frontières, London, UK; Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, University of Cape Town, South Africa; University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA; Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, Moishe, Tanzania; California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA; Seva Foundation, Berkeley, CA, USA. (BioMed Central, 2011-08-15)
      Cytomegalovirus retinitis is a neglected disease in resource-poor settings, in part because of the perceived complexity of care and because ophthalmologists are rarely accessible. In this paper, we describe a pilot programme of CMV retinitis management by non-ophthalmologists. The programme consists of systematic screening of all high-risk patients (CD4 <100 cells/mm3) by AIDS clinicians using indirect ophthalmoscopy, and treatment of all patients with active retinitis by intravitreal injection of ganciclovir. Prior to this programme, CMV retinitis was not routinely examined for, or treated, in Myanmar.
    • Cryptococcal antigen screening by lay cadres using a rapid test at the point of care: A feasibility study in rural Lesotho

      Rick, F; Niyibizi, AA; Shroufi, A; Onami, K; Steele, SJ; Kuleile, M; Muleya, I; Chiller, T; Walker, T; Van Cutsem, G (Public Library of Science, 2017-09-06)
      Cryptococcal meningitis is one of the leading causes of death among people with HIV in Africa, primarily due to delayed presentation, poor availability and high cost of treatment. Routine cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) screening of patients with a CD4 count less than 100 cells/mm3, followed by pre-emptive therapy if positive, might reduce mortality in high prevalence settings. Using the cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) lateral flow assay (LFA), screening is possible at the point of care (POC). However, critical shortages of health staff may limit adoption. This study investigates the feasibility of lay counsellors conducting CrAg LFA screening in rural primary care clinics in Lesotho.
    • Dracunculiasis in South Sudan

      Fabiansen, Christian; Harboe, Zitta Barrella; Christensen, Vibeke; Médecins Sans Frontières, Copenhagan, Denmark (2010-05-01)
    • Effects of Physical Therapy on Patients with Kashin-Beck Disease in Tibet.

      Mathieu, F; Suetens, C; Begaux, F; De Maertelaer, V; Hinsenkamp, M; Médecins Sant Frontières, Département Médical, Brussels, Belgium. francoise.mathieu@msf.be (Springer, 2001)
      A clinical trial of physical therapy treatment for patients suffering from Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) has been carried out in Tibet. One-hundred and thirty-five patients with Kashin-Beck disease were allocated to either physical therapy (72 patients) or prescription of multivitamins (63 patients). The patients were followed for 4 years. This study suggested a beneficial effect of physical treatment.
    • Efficacy of artesunate-amodiaquine for treating uncomplicated falciparum malaria in sub-Saharan Africa: a multi-centre analysis.

      Zwang, Julien; Olliaro, Piero; Barennes, Hubert; Bonnet, Maryline; Brasseur, Philippe; Bukirwa, Hasifa; Cohuet, Sandra; D'Alessandro, Umberto; Djimdé, Abdulaye; Karema, Corine; et al. (2009-11)
      BACKGROUND: Artesunate and amodiaquine (AS&AQ) is at present the world's second most widely used artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). It was necessary to evaluate the efficacy of ACT, recently adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and deployed over 80 countries, in order to make an evidence-based drug policy. METHODS: An individual patient data (IPD) analysis was conducted on efficacy outcomes in 26 clinical studies in sub-Saharan Africa using the WHO protocol with similar primary and secondary endpoints. RESULTS: A total of 11,700 patients (75% under 5 years old), from 33 different sites in 16 countries were followed for 28 days. Loss to follow-up was 4.9% (575/11,700). AS&AQ was given to 5,897 patients. Of these, 82% (4,826/5,897) were included in randomized comparative trials with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) genotyping results and compared to 5,413 patients (half receiving an ACT). AS&AQ and other ACT comparators resulted in rapid clearance of fever and parasitaemia, superior to non-ACT. Using survival analysis on a modified intent-to-treat population, the Day 28 PCR-adjusted efficacy of AS&AQ was greater than 90% (the WHO cut-off) in 11/16 countries. In randomized comparative trials (n = 22), the crude efficacy of AS&AQ was 75.9% (95% CI 74.6-77.1) and the PCR-adjusted efficacy was 93.9% (95% CI 93.2-94.5). The risk (weighted by site) of failure PCR-adjusted of AS&AQ was significantly inferior to non-ACT, superior to dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP, in one Ugandan site), and not different from AS+SP or AL (artemether-lumefantrine). The risk of gametocyte appearance and the carriage rate of AS&AQ was only greater in one Ugandan site compared to AL and DP, and lower compared to non-ACT (p = 0.001, for all comparisons). Anaemia recovery was not different than comparator groups, except in one site in Rwanda where the patients in the DP group had a slower recovery. CONCLUSION: AS&AQ compares well to other treatments and meets the WHO efficacy criteria for use against falciparum malaria in many, but not all, the sub-Saharan African countries where it was studied. Efficacy varies between and within countries. An IPD analysis can inform general and local treatment policies. Ongoing monitoring evaluation is required.
    • Epidemiological and clinical aspects of human Brucella suis infection in Polynesia

      Guerrier, G; Daronat, J M; Morisse, L; Yvon, J F; Pappas, G; Epicentre, Paris, France; Agence de Santé, Mata Utu, Wallis, France; Institute of Continuing Medical Education of Ioannina, Greece; International Society of Chemotherapy Zoonoses Working Group, London, UK (Cambridge University Press, 2011-06-21)
      High brucellosis seroprevalence rates in domestic swine herds have been reported in Wallis and Futuna Islands and are associated with a significant burden of human infection by Brucella suis, a species that is rarely incriminated in human disease. Between 2003 and 2010, seven patients had a positive blood culture for B. suis biovar 1, 11 symptomatic patients had a positive Rose Bengal test (RBT) and a positive serum agglutination test (SAT) and three asymptomatic cases were found to be positive for RBT, SAT or ELISA IgM (after systematic screening of 52 family members of 15 index cases). Overall, Brucella infection was diagnosed in 21 people, corresponding to a mean annual incidence of 19 cases/100 000 inhabitants. Compared to series of patients infected with other more commonly encountered Brucella spp. such as B. melitensis and B. abortus, clinical presentation and percentage and distribution of complications were similar, apart from a marked observation of significantly increased median alanine aminotransferase levels, 20 times greater than upper normal rates, but not accompanied by any particular hepatic pathology. Wallis and Futuna, where people live in close proximity to animals and where the cultural significance of pig-raising precludes the implementation of adequate veterinary preventive measures, thus represents one of the few known B. suis foci worldwide and allows for evaluation of the peculiarities of this infection.
    • Epidemiology and mortality of burns in a general hospital of Eastern Sri Lanka.

      Laloë, V; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France. veronique.laloe@bigfoot.com (Elsevier, 2002-12)
      This 2-year prospective study examined the epidemiology and mortality of 345 patients admitted with burn injuries. Sixty-four percent of all burns were accidental in nature and at least 25% were self-inflicted. The rest were due to assaults or had a doubtful cause. The median age was 22 years. Forty-one percent of the accidents were due to the fall of a homemade kerosene bottle lamp. The main cause was flames, followed by scalds. Females outnumbered males in all categories of burns except cases of assault, and suffered from a higher mortality. Most at risk of accidental burns were children between 1 and 4 years, who suffered primarily from scalds. Self-inflicted burns were most common among women aged 20-29 years. The overall median total body surface area (TBSA) burned was 16%. Self-inflicted and 'doubtful' burns were much more extensive and more often fatal than accidental ones. The overall mortality rate was 27%. Burns involving more than 50% of the body surface area were invariably fatal. Mortality was highest in the elderly and in the 20-29 years age group. Burns were the first single cause of mortality in the surgical wards. The case is made for the establishment of more Burns Units.
    • Epidemiology of Cholera Outbreak in Kampala, Uganda.

      Legros, D; McCormick, M; Mugero, C; Skinnider, M; Bek'Obita, D D; Okware, S I; Epicentre, P.O. Box 2362, Kampala, Uganda. (2000-07)
      OBJECTIVE: To provide epidemiological description of the cholera outbreak which occurred in Kampala between December 1997 and March 1998. DESIGN: A four-month cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Kampala city, Uganda. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of cases reported per day, attack rate per age group and per parish, case fatality ratio. RESULTS: The cholera outbreak was due to Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor, serotype Ogawa. Between December 1997 and March 1998, 6228 cases of cholera were reported, of which 1091 (17.5%) were children under five years of age. The overall attack rate was 0.62%, similar in the under-fives and five and above age groups. The case fatality ratio among hospitalised patients was 2.5%. The peak of the outbreak was observed three weeks after the report of the first case, and by the end of January 1998 (less than two months after the first case), 88.4% of the cases had already been reported. The occurrence of cases concentrated in the slums where the overcrowding and the environmental conditions resembled a refugee camp situation. CONCLUSION: The explosive development of the cholera outbreak in Kampala, followed by a rapid decrease of the number of cases reported is unusual in a large urban setting. It appeared that each of the affected slums developed a distinct outbreak in a non immune population, which did not spread to contiguous areas. Therefore, we believe that, a decentralised strategy, that would focus the interventions on each heavily affected area, should be considered in these circumstances.
    • Field research in humanitarian medical programmes. Treatment of neuropathic pain in Sierra Leone.

      Lacoux, P A; Lassalle, X; McGoldrick, P M; Crombie, I K; Macrae, W A; Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France. phil@lacoux.u-net.com (Elsevier, 2008-01-31)
      A pilot study was carried out among 223 war wounded and amputees in Sierra Leone in 2001 to investigate whether an intervention using proven medication for clinically diagnosed neuropathic pain would work in a developing country with limited health services. Compliance with medication was assessed in 79 patients and their pain and mood scores were assessed by questionnaire before medication and 6-10 months later. The pain and mood scores of 33 patients who stopped taking medication were compared for the initial and follow-up assessments indicating that, although the scores showed an improvement at follow-up, there was no significant improvement. Compliance was reasonable in 46 patients who continued with their medication, with 86.5% of possible doses collected although many had difficulty understanding how to take the drugs properly. Their pain and mood scores showed significant improvement at reassessment indicating that pain will be reduced with a longer duration of treatment. This study showed that it is possible to run an effective intervention for neuropathic pain in Sierra Leone with intermittent expert involvement and MSF have been able to develop a protocol for the assessment and treatment of neuropathic pain that may be useful in other difficult settings in which they work.
    • Foci of Schistosomiasis mekongi, Northern Cambodia: II. Distribution of infection and morbidity.

      Stich, A H; Biays, S; Odermatt, P; Men, C; Saem, C; Sokha, K; Ly, C S; Legros, P; Philips, M; Lormand, J D; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 1999-10)
      In the province of Kracheh, in Northern Cambodia, a baseline epidemiological survey on Schistosoma mekongi was conducted along the Mekong River between December 1994 and April 1995. The results of household surveys of highly affected villages of the East and the West bank of the river and of school surveys in 20 primary schools are presented. In household surveys 1396 people were examined. An overall prevalence of infection of 49.3% was detected by a single stool examination with the Kato-Katz technique. The overall intensity of infection was 118.2 eggs per gram of stool (epg). There was no difference between the population of the east and west shore of the Mekong for prevalence (P = 0.3) or intensity (P = 0.9) of infection. Severe morbidity was very frequent. Hepatomegaly of the left lobe was detected in 48.7% of the population. Splenomegaly was seen in 26.8% of the study participants. Visible diverted circulation was found in 7.2% of the population, and ascites in 0.1%. Significantly more hepatomegaly (P = 0.001), splenomegaly (P = 0. 001) and patients with diverted circulation (P = 0.001) were present on the west bank of the Mekong. The age group of 10-14 years was most affected. The prevalence of infection in this group was 71.8% and 71.9% in the population of the West and East of the Mekong, respectively. The intensity of infection was 172.4 and 194.2 epg on the West and the East bank, respectively. In the peak age group hepatomegaly reached a prevalence of 88.1% on the west and 82.8% on the east bank. In the 20 schools 2391 children aged 6-16 years were examined. The overall prevalence of infection was 40.0%, ranging from 7.7% to 72.9% per school. The overalls mean intensity of infection was 110.1 epg (range by school: 26.7-187.5 epg). Both prevalence (P = 0.001) and intensity of infection (P = 0.001) were significantly higher in schools on the east side of the Mekong. Hepatomegaly (55.2%), splenomegaly (23.6%), diverted circulation (4. 1%), ascites (0.5%), reported blood (26.7%) and mucus (24.3%) were very frequent. Hepatomegaly (P = 0.001), splenomegaly (P = 0.001), diverted circulation (P = 0.001) and blood in stool (P = 0.001) were significantly more frequent in schools of the east side of the Mekong. Boys suffered more frequently from splenomegaly (P = 0.05), ascites (P = 0.05) and bloody stools (P = 0.004) than girls. No difference in sex was found for the prevalence and intensity of infection and prevalence of hepatomegaly. On the school level prevalence and intensity of infection were highly associated (r = 0. 93, P = 0.0001). The intensity of infection was significantly associated only with the prevalence of hepatomegaly (r = 0.44, P = 0. 05) and blood in stool (r = 0.40, P = 0.02). This comprehensive epidemiological study documents for the first time the public health importance of schistosomiasis mekongi in the Province of Kracheh, Northern Cambodia and points at key epidemiological features of this schistosome species, in particular the high level of morbidity associated with infection.
    • High mortality associated with an outbreak of hepatitis E among displaced persons in Darfur, Sudan

      Boccia, Delia; Guthmann, Jean-Paul; Klovstad, Hilde; Hamid, Nuha; Tatay, Mercedes; Ciglenecki, Iza; Nizou, Jacques-Yves; Nicand, Elisabeth; Guerin, Philippe Jean; European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training, Stockholm, Sweden; Health Protection Agency–Centre for Infection, London, United Kingdom; Epicentre, Paris, France; Medecins Sans Frontieres, Paris, France; National Reference Centre of Enterically Transmitted Hepatitis (Hepatitis E Virus), Teaching Military Hospital Val de Grace, Paris, France; Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; Norwegian Field Epidemiology Training Programme, Oslo, Norway; World Health Organization, Khartoum, Sudan (2006-05-12)
      BACKGROUND: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) causes acute onset of jaundice and a high case-fatality ratio in pregnant women. We provide a clinical description of hospitalized case patients and assess the specific impact on pregnant women during a large epidemic of HEV infection in a displaced population in Mornay camp (78,800 inhabitants), western Darfur, Sudan. METHODS: We reviewed hospital records. A sample of 20 clinical cases underwent laboratory confirmation. These patients were tested for immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody to HEV (serum) and for amplification of the HEV genome (serum and stool). We performed a cross-sectional survey in the community to determine the attack rate and case-fatality ratio in pregnant women. RESULTS: Over 6 months, 253 HEV cases were recorded at the hospital, of which 61 (24.1%) were in pregnant women. A total of 72 cases (39.1% of those for whom clinical records were available) had a diagnosis of hepatic encephalopathy. Of the 45 who died (case-fatality ratio, 17.8%), 19 were pregnant women (specific case-fatality ratio, 31.1%). Acute hepatitis E was confirmed in 95% (19/20) of cases sampled; 18 case-patients were positive for IgG (optical density ratio > or =3), for IgM (optical density ratio >2 ), or for both, whereas 1 was negative for IgG and IgM but positive for HEV RNA in serum. The survey identified 220 jaundiced women among the 1133 pregnant women recorded over 3 months (attack rate, 19.4%). A total of 18 deaths were recorded among these jaundiced pregnant women (specific case-fatality ratio, 8.2%). CONCLUSIONS: This large epidemic of HEV infection illustrates the dramatic impact of this disease on pregnant women. Timely interventions and a vaccine are urgently needed to prevent mortality in this special group.