• Identifying the snake: First scoping review on practices of communities and healthcare providers confronted with snakebite across the world

      Bolon, I; Durso, A; Botero Mesa, S; Ray, N; Alcoba, G; Chappuis, F; Ruiz de Castañeda, R (Public Library of Science, 2020-03-05)
      BACKGROUND: Snakebite envenoming is a major global health problem that kills or disables half a million people in the world's poorest countries. Biting snake identification is key to understanding snakebite eco-epidemiology and optimizing its clinical management. The role of snakebite victims and healthcare providers in biting snake identification has not been studied globally. OBJECTIVE: This scoping review aims to identify and characterize the practices in biting snake identification across the globe. METHODS: Epidemiological studies of snakebite in humans that provide information on biting snake identification were systematically searched in Web of Science and Pubmed from inception to 2nd February 2019. This search was further extended by snowball search, hand searching literature reviews, and using Google Scholar. Two independent reviewers screened publications and charted the data. RESULTS: We analysed 150 publications reporting 33,827 snakebite cases across 35 countries. On average 70% of victims/bystanders spotted the snake responsible for the bite and 38% captured/killed it and brought it to the healthcare facility. This practice occurred in 30 countries with both fast-moving, active-foraging as well as more secretive snake species. Methods for identifying biting snakes included snake body examination, victim/bystander biting snake description, interpretation of clinical features, and laboratory tests. In nine publications, a picture of the biting snake was taken and examined by snake experts. Snakes were identified at the species/genus level in only 18,065/33,827 (53%) snakebite cases. 106 misidentifications led to inadequate victim management. The 8,885 biting snakes captured and identified were from 149 species including 71 (48%) non-venomous species. CONCLUSION: Snakebite victims and healthcare providers can play a central role in biting snake identification and novel approaches (e.g. photographing the snake, crowdsourcing) could help increase biting snake taxonomy collection to better understand snake ecology and snakebite epidemiology and ultimately improve snakebite management.
    • Illness in Returned Travelers and Immigrants/Refugees: The 6-Year Experience of Two Australian Infectious Diseases Units.

      O'Brien, D P; Leder, K; Matchett, E; Brown, G V; Torresi, J; Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, Centre for Clinical Research Excellence, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia. obrien@amsterdam.msf.org (2008-02-21)
      BACKGROUND: Data comparing returned travelers and immigrants/refugees managed in a hospital setting is lacking. METHODS: We prospectively collected data on 1,106 patients with an illness likely acquired overseas who presented to two hospital-based Australian infectious diseases units over a 6-year period. RESULTS: Eighty-three percent of patients were travelers and 17% immigrants/refugees. In travelers, malaria (19%), gastroenteritis/diarrhea (15%), and upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) (7%) were the most common diagnoses. When compared with immigrants/refugees, travelers were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with gastroenteritis/diarrhea [odds ratio (OR) 8], malaria (OR 7), pneumonia (OR 6), URTI (OR 3), skin infection, dengue fever, typhoid/paratyphoid fever, influenza, and rickettsial disease. They were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with leprosy (OR 0.03), chronic hepatitis (OR 0.04), tuberculosis (OR 0.05), schistosomiasis (OR 0.3), and helminthic infection (OR 0.3). In addition, travelers were more likely to present within 1 month of entry into Australia (OR 96), and have fever (OR 8), skin (OR 6), gastrointestinal (OR 5), or neurological symptoms (OR 5) but were less likely to be asymptomatic (OR 0.1) or have anaemia (OR 0.4) or eosinophilia (OR 0.3). Diseases in travelers were more likely to have been acquired via a vector (OR 13) or food and water (OR 4), and less likely to have been acquired via the respiratory (OR 0.2) or skin (OR 0.6) routes. We also found that travel destination and classification of traveler can significantly influence the likelihood of a specific diagnosis in travelers. Six percent of travelers developed a potentially vaccine-preventable disease, with failure to vaccinate occurring in 31% of these cases in the pretravel medical consultation. CONCLUSIONS: There are important differences in the spectrum of illness, clinical features, and mode of disease transmission between returned travelers and immigrants/refugees presenting to hospital-based Australian infectious diseases units with an illness acquired overseas.
    • Immune Responses to an Oral Cholera Vaccine in Internally Displaced Persons in South Sudan

      Iyer, AS; Bouhenia, M; Rumunu, J; Abubakar, A; Gruninger, RJ; Pita, J; Lino, RL; Deng, LL; Wamala, JF; Ryan, ET; et al. (Nature Publishing Group, 2016-10-24)
      Despite recent large-scale cholera outbreaks, little is known about the immunogenicity of oral cholera vaccines (OCV) in African populations, particularly among those at highest cholera risk. During a 2015 preemptive OCV campaign among internally displaced persons in South Sudan, a year after a large cholera outbreak, we enrolled 37 young children (1-5 years old), 67 older children (6-17 years old) and 101 adults (≥18 years old), who received two doses of OCV (Shanchol) spaced approximately 3 weeks apart. Cholera-specific antibody responses were determined at days 0, 21 and 35 post-immunization. High baseline vibriocidal titers (>80) were observed in 21% of the participants, suggesting recent cholera exposure or vaccination. Among those with titers ≤80, 90% young children, 73% older children and 72% adults seroconverted (≥4 fold titer rise) after the 1(st) OCV dose; with no additional seroconversion after the 2(nd) dose. Post-vaccination immunological endpoints did not differ across age groups. Our results indicate Shanchol was immunogenic in this vulnerable population and that a single dose alone may be sufficient to achieve similar short-term immunological responses to the currently licensed two-dose regimen. While we found no evidence of differential response by age, further immunologic and epidemiologic studies are needed.
    • The Impact of Control Strategies and Behavioural Changes on the Elimination of Ebola from Lofa County, Liberia

      Funk, S; Ciglenecki, I; Tiffany, A; Gignoux, E; Camacho, A; Eggo, RM; Kucharski, AJ; Edmunds, WJ; Bolongei, J; Azuma, P; et al. (Royal Society Publishing, 2017-05-26)
      The Ebola epidemic in West Africa was stopped by an enormous concerted effort of local communities and national and international organizations. It is not clear, however, how much the public health response and behavioural changes in affected communities, respectively, contributed to ending the outbreak. Here, we analyse the epidemic in Lofa County, Liberia, lasting from March to November 2014, by reporting a comprehensive time line of events and estimating the time-varying transmission intensity using a mathematical model of Ebola transmission. Model fits to the epidemic show an alternation of peaks and troughs in transmission, consistent with highly heterogeneous spread. This is combined with an overall decline in the reproduction number of Ebola transmission from early August, coinciding with an expansion of the local Ebola treatment centre. We estimate that healthcare seeking approximately doubled over the course of the outbreak, and that isolation of those seeking healthcare reduced their reproduction number by 62% (mean estimate, 95% credible interval (CI) 59-66). Both expansion of bed availability and improved healthcare seeking contributed to ending the epidemic, highlighting the importance of community engagement alongside clinical intervention.This article is part of the themed issue 'The 2013-2016 West African Ebola epidemic: data, decision-making and disease control'.
    • Implementation and Utilisation of Community-based Mortality Surveillance: a case study from Chad

      Bowden, Sarah; Braker, Kai; Checchi, Francesco; Wong, Sidney; School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK. BowdenS1@cardiff.ac.uk. (2012-11-27)
    • Implementation of low-cost, point-of-care cardiovascular diagnostics by non-healthcare professionals in rural Uganda

      Kim, J.; Hemphill, L.C.; Boum, Y.; Bangsberg, D.R.; Siedner, M.J. (Elsevier, 2015-01)
    • Improving mapping for Ebola response through mobilising a local community with self-owned smartphones: Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone, January 2015

      Nic Lochlainn, LM; Gayton, I; Theocharopoulos, G; Edwards, R; Danis, K; Kremer, R; Kleijer, K; Tejan, SM; Sankoh, M; Jimissa, A; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2018-01-03)
      During the 2014-16 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, the Magburaka Ebola Management Centre (EMC) operated by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone, identified that available district maps lacked up-to-date village information to facilitate timely implementation of EVD control strategies. In January 2015, we undertook a survey in chiefdoms within the MSF EMC catchment area to collect mapping and village data. We explore the feasibility and cost to mobilise a local community for this survey, describe validation against existing mapping sources and use of the data to prioritise areas for interventions, and lessons learned.
    • In vitro susceptibility of 120 strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated in Kyrghyzstan.

      Dorlencourt, F; Boireaux, C; Sednaoui, P; Danilenko, N V; Legros, D; Epicentre, Paris. (2002-07)
      BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization has established a worldwide program for gonococcal antimicrobial surveillance, but so far no data on gonococcal susceptibility in Central Asia are available. GOAL: The need for biological data on the susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Kyrghyzstan, to enable adaptation of the national treatment protocol for gonococcal infections, led Médecins Sans Frontières and Epicentre to conduct a survey in collaboration with the Alfred Fournier Institute in Paris and the health authorities in Bishkek. STUDY DESIGN: In vitro susceptibility of N gonorrhoeae strains was determined with use of the reference agar-plate dilution technique. RESULTS: Results for 11 antibiotics tested on 120 strains of gonococci showed a low proportion (11.7%) of penicillinase-producing N gonorrhoeae and high proportions of intermediate or resistant strains to the majority of the antibiotics tested, including fluoroquinolones (>or=25% of strains resistant). All the strains were susceptible to spectinomycin, and only two strains had decreased susceptibility to cefixime. CONCLUSION: The therapeutic choices available in Kyrghyzstan appear to be limited to cephalosporins and spectinomycin.
    • [In Vivo Drug Sensitivity of Plasmodium Falciparum in the Tabou Region of Ivory Coast]

      Villadary, I; Paquet, C; Hemelsdael, E; Blanchard, G; Saki, Z M; Epicentre, Paris. (1997)
      Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum is one of the major health problems in West-Africa, mainly affecting young children. This situation is further complicated by the emergence and rapid progression of resistance to chloroquine, the recommended first line treatment. In order to document the level of resistance of P. falciparum to chloroquine, pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine (Fansidar) and quinine, we performed a survey in Tabou district, Côre d'Ivoire, from June to August 1995. This area has been hosting some 100,000 Liberian refugees since September 1994. Children aged 1 to 15 years old attending the dispensary with a complain of fever or suspected malaria, were included into the study, diagnosed and followed for 7 days according to the WHO Standard Field (in vivo) Tests. Overall proportion of P. falciparum resistant to chloroquine reached 45.1% and was made of 34.3% type II and 10.8% type III resistance. Being less than 5 years of age and having received a lower dose of drug were 2 factors associated with the risk of resistance to chloroquine. Levels of R II resistance to pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine and quinine (3-day treatment) were respectively 5.4% and 4.2%. No R III resistance was found in neither pyrimethaminelsulfadoxine or quinine treatment groups. These results challenge the current chloroquine-based first line malaria treatment in Côre d'Ivoire. Alternative based on pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine could be considered, especially in high risk populations during transient situation (refugees). However, elaborating new treatment policy must take into consideration cost, side-effects, compliance and acceptability. Further studies are needed to evaluate the cost-benefit of alternative strategies.
    • Incidence, clinical spectrum, diagnostic features, treatment and predictors of paradoxical reactions during antibiotic treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans infections

      O Brien, Daniel P; Robson, Mike; Friedman, N Deborah; Walton, Aaron; McDonald, Anthony; Callan, Peter; Hughes, Andrew; Rahdon, Richard; Athan, Eugene (BioMed Central Ltd., 2013-09-05)
      Paradoxical reactions from antibiotic treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans have recently been recognized. Data is lacking regarding their incidence, clinical and diagnostic features, treatment, outcomes and risk factors in an Australian population.
    • Increased Hepatitis C Virus Co-infection and Injection Drug Use in HIV-infected Fishermen in Myanmar

      Ousley, J; Nesbitt, R; Kyaw, NTT; Bermudez, E; Soe, KP; Anicete, R; Mon, PE; Le Shwe Sin Ei, W; Christofani, S; Fernandez, M; et al. (BioMed Central, 2018-12-14)
      In Southeast Asia, though fishermen are known to be a key population at high risk of HIV, little is known about their co-infection rates with Hepatitis C virus (HCV), or how illness and risk behaviors vary by occupation or type of fishermen. In Myanmar, this lack of knowledge is particularly acute, despite the fact that much of the country's border is coastline.
    • Increased risk of acquisition and transmission of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in malnourished children exposed to amoxicillin

      Maataoui1, M; Et al (Oxford University Press, 2019)
      Objectives: Routine amoxicillin for children with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition raises concerns of increasing antibiotic resistance. We performed an ancillary study nested within a double-blind, placebocontrolled trial in Niger testing the role of routine 7 day amoxicillin therapy in nutritional recovery of children 6 to 59 months of age with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition. Methods: We screened 472 children for rectal carriage of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) as well as their household siblings under 5 years old, at baseline and Week 1 (W1) and Week 4 (W4) after start of therapy, and characterized strains by WGS. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01613547. Results: Carriage in index children at baseline was similar in the amoxicillin and the placebo groups (33.8% versus 27.9%, P = 0.17). However, acquisition of ESBL-E in index children at W1 was higher in the amoxicillin group than in the placebo group (53.7% versus 32.2%, adjusted risk ratio = 2.29, P = 0.001). Among 209 index and sibling households possibly exposed to ESBL-E transmission, 16 (7.7%) had paired strains differing by 10 SNPs, suggesting a high probability of transmission. This was more frequent in households from the amoxicillin group than from the placebo group [11.5% (12/104) versus 3.8% (4/105), P = 0.04]. Conclusions: Among children exposed to amoxicillin, ESBL-E colonization was more frequent and the risk of transmission to siblings higher. Routine amoxicillin should be carefully balanced with the risks associated with ESBL-E colonization.
    • Increased risk of acquisition and transmission of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in malnourished children exposed to amoxicillin

      Maataoui, N; Langendorf, C; Berthe, F; Bayjanov, JR; van Schaik, W; Isanaka, S; Grais, RFF; Clermont, O; Andremont, A; Armand-Lefevre, L; et al. (Oxford University Press We regret that this article is behind a paywall., 2019-12-10)
      Objectives Routine amoxicillin for children with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition raises concerns of increasing antibiotic resistance. We performed an ancillary study nested within a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Niger testing the role of routine 7 day amoxicillin therapy in nutritional recovery of children 6 to 59 months of age with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition. Methods We screened 472 children for rectal carriage of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) as well as their household siblings under 5 years old, at baseline and Week 1 (W1) and Week 4 (W4) after start of therapy, and characterized strains by WGS. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01613547. Results Carriage in index children at baseline was similar in the amoxicillin and the placebo groups (33.8% versus 27.9%, P = 0.17). However, acquisition of ESBL-E in index children at W1 was higher in the amoxicillin group than in the placebo group (53.7% versus 32.2%, adjusted risk ratio = 2.29, P = 0.001). Among 209 index and sibling households possibly exposed to ESBL-E transmission, 16 (7.7%) had paired strains differing by ≤10 SNPs, suggesting a high probability of transmission. This was more frequent in households from the amoxicillin group than from the placebo group [11.5% (12/104) versus 3.8% (4/105), P = 0.04]. Conclusions Among children exposed to amoxicillin, ESBL-E colonization was more frequent and the risk of transmission to siblings higher. Routine amoxicillin should be carefully balanced with the risks associated with ESBL-E colonization.
    • Increased risk of acquisition and transmission of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in malnourished children exposed to amoxicillin

      Maataoui, N; Langendorf, C; Berthe, F; Grais, RF; van Schaik, W; Isanaka, S; Clermont, O; Bayjanov, J; Andremont, A; Armand-Lefevre, Laurence; et al. (Oxford University Press (OUP) We regret that this article is behind a paywall., 2019-12-10)
      OBJECTIVES: Routine amoxicillin for children with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition raises concerns of increasing antibiotic resistance. We performed an ancillary study nested within a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Niger testing the role of routine 7 day amoxicillin therapy in nutritional recovery of children 6 to 59 months of age with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition. METHODS: We screened 472 children for rectal carriage of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) as well as their household siblings under 5 years old, at baseline and Week 1 (W1) and Week 4 (W4) after start of therapy, and characterized strains by WGS. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01613547. RESULTS: Carriage in index children at baseline was similar in the amoxicillin and the placebo groups (33.8% versus 27.9%, P = 0.17). However, acquisition of ESBL-E in index children at W1 was higher in the amoxicillin group than in the placebo group (53.7% versus 32.2%, adjusted risk ratio = 2.29, P = 0.001). Among 209 index and sibling households possibly exposed to ESBL-E transmission, 16 (7.7%) had paired strains differing by ≤10 SNPs, suggesting a high probability of transmission. This was more frequent in households from the amoxicillin group than from the placebo group [11.5% (12/104) versus 3.8% (4/105), P = 0.04]. CONCLUSIONS: Among children exposed to amoxicillin, ESBL-E colonization was more frequent and the risk of transmission to siblings higher. Routine amoxicillin should be carefully balanced with the risks associated with ESBL-E colonization.
    • The incubation period of hepatitis E genotype 1: insights from pooled analyses of travellers

      Azman, AS; Ciglenecki, I; Oeser, C; Said, B; Tedder, RS; Ijaz, S (Cambridge University Press, 2018-05-24)
      Hepatitis E virus genotype 1 (HEV G1) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa and Asia. HEV G1's natural history, including the incubation period, remains poorly understood, hindering surveillance efforts and effective control. Using individual-level data from 85 travel-related HEV G1 cases in England and Wales, we estimate the incubation period distribution using survival analysis methods, which allow for appropriate inference when only time ranges, rather than exact times are known for the exposure to HEV and symptom onset. We estimated a 29.8-day (95% confidence interval (CI) 24.1-36.0) median incubation period with 5% of people expected to develop symptoms within 14.3 days (95% CI 10.1-21.7) and 95% within 61.9 days (95% CI 47.4-74.4) of exposure. These estimates can help refine clinical case definitions and inform the design of disease burden and intervention studies.
    • Infection control during filoviral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks:

      Vanessa N. Raabe; Imaam Mutyaba; Paul Roddy; Julius J. Lutwama; Wenzel Geissler; Matthias Borchert; LSHTM, MSF-Spain, others (Elsevier Ltd, 2009-09-23)
      Interviews were conducted with health workers and community members in Masindi, Uganda on improving the acceptability of infection control measures used during an Ebola outbreak. Measures that promote cultural sensitivity and transparency of control activities were preferred and should be employed in future control efforts. We suggest assessing the practicality of body bags with viewing windows, and face shields with or without chin protectors, in future outbreaks.
    • Infection Prevention and Control in Health Facilities in Post-Ebola Liberia: Don't Forget the Private Sector!

      Tremblay, N; Musa, E; Cooper, C; Van den Bergh, R; Owiti, P; Baller, A; Siafa, T; Woldeyohannes, D; Shringarpure, K; Gasasira, A (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2017-06-21)
      Setting: Recognising the importance of infection prevention and control (IPC), a minimum standards tool (MST) was developed in Liberia to guide the safe (re-) opening and provision of care in health facilities. Objectives: To analyse the implementation of specific IPC measures after the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak between June 2015 and May 2016, and to compare the relative improvements in IPC between the public and private sectors. Design: A retrospective comparative cohort study. Results: We evaluated 723 (94%) of the 769 health facilities in Liberia. Of these, 437 (60%) were public and 286 (40%) were private. There was an overall improvement in the MST scores from a median of 13 to 14 out of a maximum possible score of 16. While improvements were observed in all aspects of IPC in both public and private health facilities, IPC implementation was systematically higher in public facilities. Conclusions: We demonstrate the feasibility of monitoring IPC implementation using the MST checklist in post-Ebola Liberia. Our study shows that improvements were made in key aspects of IPC after 1 year of evaluations and tailored recommendations. We also highlight the need to increase the focus on the private sector to achieve further improvements in IPC.
    • Influence of temperature and rainfall on the evolution of cholera epidemics in Lusaka, Zambia, 2003-2006: analysis of a time series.

      Luque Fernández, M A; Bauernfeind, A; Jiménez, J D; Gil, C L; El Omeiri, N; Guibert, D H; National Centre of Epidemiology (CNE), Programa de Epidemiología Aplicada de Campo, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, C/Sinesio Delgado 6, Pabellón 12, 28029 Madrid, Spain. fmiguelangel@isciii.es (2009-02-13)
      In this study, we aimed to describe the evolution of three cholera epidemics that occurred in Lusaka, Zambia, between 2003 and 2006 and to analyse the association between the increase in number of cases and climatic factors. A Poisson autoregressive model controlling for seasonality and trend was built to estimate the association between the increase in the weekly number of cases and weekly means of daily maximum temperature and rainfall. All epidemics showed a seasonal trend coinciding with the rainy season (November to March). A 1 degrees C rise in temperature 6 weeks before the onset of the outbreak explained 5.2% [relative risk (RR) 1.05, 95% CI 1.04-1.06] of the increase in the number of cholera cases (2003-2006). In addition, a 50 mm increase in rainfall 3 weeks before explained an increase of 2.5% (RR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.04). The attributable risks were 4.9% for temperature and 2.4% for rainfall. If 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the rainy season an increase in temperature is observed followed by an increase in rainfall 3 weeks later, both exceeding expected levels, an increase in the number of cases of cholera within the following 3 weeks could be expected. Our explicative model could contribute to developing a warning signal to reduce the impact of a presumed cholera epidemic.