Now showing items 21-40 of 3144

    • Clinical profile and factors associated with COVID-19 in Cameroon: a prospective cohort study

      Mbarga, NF; Emilienne, E; Mbarga, M; Ouamba, P; Nanda, H; Kengni, A; Joseph, G; Eyong, J; Tossoukpe, S; Sosso, NS; et al. (medRxiv, 2021-02-23)
      Objectives This study explores the clinical profiles and factors associated with COVID-19 in Cameroon. Research design and methods In this prospective cohort study, we followed patients admitted for suspicion of COVID-19 at Djoungolo Hospital between 01st April and 31st July 2020. Patients were categorised by age groups and disease severity: mild (symptomatic without clinical signs of pneumonia pneumonia), moderate (with clinical signs of pneumonia without respiratory distress) and severe cases (clinical signs of pneumonia and respiratory distress not requiring invasive ventilation). Demographic information and clinical features were summarised. Multivariable analysis was performed to predict risk. Results A total of 323 patients were admitted during the study period; 262 were confirmed cases of COVID-19 by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Among the confirmed cases, the male group aged 40 to 49 years (13.9%) was predominant. Disease severity ranged from mild (77%; N=204) to moderate (15%; N=40) to severe (7%; N=18); the case fatality rate was 1% (N=4). Dysgusia (46%; N=111) and hyposmia/anosmia (39%; N=89) were common features of COVID-19. Nearly one-third of patients had comorbidities (29%; N=53), of which hypertension was the most common (20%; N=48). Participation in a mass gathering (OR=5.47; P=0.03) was a risk factor for COVID-19. Age groups 60 to 69 (OR=7.41; P=0.0001), 50 to 59 (OR=4.09; P=0.03), 40 to 49 (OR=4.54; P=0.01), male gender (OR=2.53; P=0.04), diabetes (OR= 4.05; P= 0.01), HIV infection (OR=5.57; P=0.03), lung disease (OR= 6.29; P=0.01), dyspnoea (OR=3.70; P=0.008) and fatigue (OR=3.35; P=0.02) significantly predicted COVID-19 severity. Conclusion Unlike many high-income settings, most COVID-19 cases in this study were benign with low fatality. Such findings may guide public health decision-making.
    • Comparison of Lung Ultrasound versus Chest X-ray for Detection of Pulmonary Infiltrates in COVID-19.

      Mateos Gonzalez, M; Garcia de Casasola Sanchez, G; Munoz, FJT; Proud, K; Lourdo, D; Sander, JV; Oritz Jaimes, GE; Mader, M; Lebrato, JC; Restrepo, MI; et al. (MDPI, 2021-02-22)
      Point-of-care lung ultrasound (LUS) is an attractive alternative to chest X-ray (CXR), but its diagnostic accuracy compared to CXR has not been well studied in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. We conducted a prospective observational study to assess the correlation between LUS and CXR findings in COVID-19 patients. Ninety-six patients with a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 underwent an LUS exam and CXR upon presentation. Physicians blinded to the CXR findings performed all LUS exams. Detection of pulmonary infiltrates by CXR versus LUS was compared between patients categorized as suspected or confirmed COVID-19 based on reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Sensitivities and correlation by Kappa statistic were calculated between LUS and CXR. LUS detected pulmonary infiltrates more often than CXR in both suspected and confirmed COVID-19 subjects. The most common LUS abnormalities were discrete B-lines, confluent B-lines, and small subpleural consolidations. Most important, LUS detected unilateral or bilateral pulmonary infiltrates in 55% of subjects with a normal CXR. Substantial agreement was demonstrated between LUS and CXR for normal, unilateral or bilateral findings (Κ = 0.48 (95% CI 0.34 to 0.63)). In patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, LUS detected pulmonary infiltrates more often than CXR, including more than half of the patients with a normal CXR.
    • AI-based mobile application to fight antibiotic resistance.

      Pascucci, M; Royer, G; Adamek, J; Al Asmar, M; Aristizabal, D; Blanche, L; Bezzarga, A; Boniface-Chang, G; Brunner, A; Curel, C; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-02-19)
      Antimicrobial resistance is a major global health threat and its development is promoted by antibiotic misuse. While disk diffusion antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST, also called antibiogram) is broadly used to test for antibiotic resistance in bacterial infections, it faces strong criticism because of inter-operator variability and the complexity of interpretative reading. Automatic reading systems address these issues, but are not always adapted or available to resource-limited settings. We present an artificial intelligence (AI)-based, offline smartphone application for antibiogram analysis. The application captures images with the phone's camera, and the user is guided throughout the analysis on the same device by a user-friendly graphical interface. An embedded expert system validates the coherence of the antibiogram data and provides interpreted results. The fully automatic measurement procedure of our application's reading system achieves an overall agreement of 90% on susceptibility categorization against a hospital-standard automatic system and 98% against manual measurement (gold standard), with reduced inter-operator variability. The application's performance showed that the automatic reading of antibiotic resistance testing is entirely feasible on a smartphone. Moreover our application is suited for resource-limited settings, and therefore has the potential to significantly increase patients' access to AST worldwide.
    • Evaluation of MicroScan Bacterial Identification Panels for Low-Resource Settings.

      Ombelet, S; Natale, A; Ronat, JB; Vandenberg, O; Hardy, L; Jacobs, J (MDPI, 2021-02-19)
      Bacterial identification is challenging in low-resource settings (LRS). We evaluated the MicroScan identification panels (Beckman Coulter, Brea, CA, USA) as part of Médecins Sans Frontières' Mini-lab Project. The MicroScan Dried Overnight Positive ID Type 3 (PID3) panels for Gram-positive organisms and Dried Overnight Negative ID Type 2 (NID2) panels for Gram-negative organisms were assessed with 367 clinical isolates from LRS. Robustness was studied by inoculating Gram-negative species on the Gram-positive panel and vice versa. The ease of use of the panels and readability of the instructions for use (IFU) were evaluated. Of species represented in the MicroScan database, 94.6% (185/195) of Gram-negative and 85.9% (110/128) of Gram-positive isolates were correctly identified up to species level. Of species not represented in the database (e.g., Streptococcus suis and Bacillus spp.), 53.1% out of 49 isolates were incorrectly identified as non-related bacterial species. Testing of Gram-positive isolates on Gram-negative panels and vice versa (n = 144) resulted in incorrect identifications for 38.2% of tested isolates. The readability level of the IFU was considered too high for LRS. Inoculation of the panels was favorably evaluated, whereas the visual reading of the panels was considered error-prone. In conclusion, the accuracy of the MicroScan identification panels was excellent for Gram-negative species and good for Gram-positive species. Improvements in stability, robustness, and ease of use have been identified to assure adaptation to LRS constraints.
    • Treatment outcomes of children and adolescents receiving drug-resistant TB treatment in a routine TB programme, Mumbai, India.

      Dhakulkar, S; Das, M; Sutar, N; Oswal, V; Shah, D; Ravi, S; Vengurlekar, D; Chavan, V; Rebello, L; Meneguim, AC; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2021-02-18)
      Background: Childhood and adolescent drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) is one of the neglected infectious diseases. Limited evidence exists around programmatic outcomes of children and adolescents receiving DR-TB treatment. The study aimed to determine the final treatment outcomes, culture conversion rates and factors associated with unsuccessful treatment outcome in children and adolescents with DR-TB. Methods: This is a descriptive study including children (0-9 years) and adolescents (10-19 years) with DR-TB were who were initiated on ambulatory based treatment between January 2017-June 2018 in Shatabdi hospital, Mumbai, India where National TB elimination programme(NTEP) Mumbai collaborates with chest physicians and Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF) in providing comprehensive care to DR-TB patients. The patients with available end-of-treatment outcomes were included. The data was censored on February 2020. Result: A total of 268 patients were included; 16 (6%) of them were children (0-9 years). The median(min-max) age was 17(4-19) years and 192 (72%) were females. Majority (199, 74%) had pulmonary TB. Most (58%) had MDR-TB while 42% had fluoroquinolone-resistant TB. The median(IQR) duration of treatment (n = 239) was 24(10-25) months. Median(IQR) time for culture-conversion (n = 128) was 3(3-4) months. Of 268 patients, 166(62%) had successful end-of-treatment outcomes (cured-112; completed treatment-54). Children below 10 years had higher proportion of successful treatment outcomes (94% versus 60%) compared to adolescents. Patients with undernutrition [adjusted odds-ratio, aOR (95% Confidence Interval, 95%CI): 2.5 (1.3-4.8) or those with XDR-TB [aOR (95% CI): 4.3 (1.3-13.8)] had higher likelihood of having unsuccessful DR-TB treatment outcome. Conclusion: High proportion of successful treatment outcome was reported, better than global reports. Further, the nutritional support and routine treatment follow up should be strengthened. All oral short and long regimens including systematic use of new TB drugs (Bedaquiline and Delamanid) should be rapidly scaled up in routine TB programme, especially for the paediatric and adolescent population.
    • Some lessons that Peru did not learn before the second wave of COVID-19.

      Herrera-Anazco, P; Uyen-Cateriano, A; Mezones-Holguin, E; Taype-Rondan, A; Mayta-Tristan, P; Malaga, G; Hernandez, AV (Wiley, 2021-02-17)
    • How to ensure a needs-driven and community-centred vaccination strategy for COVID-19 in Africa.

      Boum, Y; Ouattara, A; Torreele, E; Okonta, C (BMJ Publishing Group, 2021-02-15)
    • Copan eNAT Transport System to Address Challenges in COVID-19 Diagnostics in Regions with Limited Testing Access.

      Richard-Greenblatt, M; Comar, CE; Flevaud, L; Berti, M; Harris, RM; Weiss, SR; Glaser, L (American Society for Microbiology, 2021-02-12)
      Community-based healthcare clinics and hospital outreach services have the potential to expand coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnostics to rural areas. However, reduced specimen stability during extended transport, the absence of cold chain to centralized laboratories, and biosafety concerns surrounding specimen handling has limited this expansion. In the following study, we evaluated eNAT (Copan Italia, Brescia, Italy) as an alternative transport system to address the biosafety and stability challenges associated with expanding COVID-19 diagnostics to rural and remote regions. In this study, we demonstrated that high titer severe acute respiratory virus syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lysate placed into eNAT medium cannot be propagated in cell culture, supporting viral inactivation. To account for off-site testing in these settings, we assessed the stability of contrived nasopharyngeal (NP) specimens stored for up to 14 days in various transport medium (eNAT, eSwab, viral transport media [VTM], saline and phosphate-buffered saline [PBS]) at 4°C, 22-25°C, and 35°C. Molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 was unaffected by sample storage temperature over the 2 weeks when stored in eNAT or PBS (change in cycle threshold [ΔCT ] ≤ 1). In contrast, variable stability was observed across test conditions for other transport media. As eNAT can inactivate SARS-CoV-2, it may support COVID-19 diagnostics at the point-of-care (POC). Evaluation of compatibility of eNAT with Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay demonstrated equivalent diagnostic accuracy and sensitivity compared to VTM. Taken together, these findings suggest that the implementation of eNAT as a collection device has the potential to expand COVID-19 testing to areas with limited healthcare access.
    • Novel transdisciplinary methodology for cross-sectional analysis of snakebite epidemiology at national scale.

      Alcoba, G; Ochoa, C; Martins, SB; Ruiz de Castaneda, R; Bolon, I; Wanda, F; Comte, E; Subedi, M; Shah, B; Ghimire, A; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2021-02-12)
      Background: Worldwide, it is estimated that snakes bite 4.5-5.4 million people annually, 2.7 million of which are envenomed, and 81,000-138,000 die. The World Health Organization reported these estimates and recognized the scarcity of large-scale, community-based, epidemiological data. In this context, we developed the "Snake-Byte" project that aims at (i) quantifying and mapping the impact of snakebite on human and animal health, and on livelihoods, (ii) developing predictive models for medical, ecological and economic indicators, and (iii) analyzing geographic accessibility to healthcare. This paper exclusively describes the methodology we developed to collect large-scale primary data on snakebite in humans and animals in two hyper-endemic countries, Cameroon and Nepal. Methodology/principal findings: We compared available methods on snakebite epidemiology and on multi-cluster survey development. Then, in line with those findings, we developed an original study methodology based on a multi-cluster random survey, enhanced by geospatial, One Health, and health economics components. Using a minimum hypothesized snakebite national incidence of 100/100,000/year and optimizing design effect, confidence level, and non-response margin, we calculated a sample of 61,000 people per country. This represented 11,700 households in Cameroon and 13,800 in Nepal. The random selection with probability proportional to size generated 250 clusters from all Cameroonian regions and all Nepalese Terai districts. Our household selection methodology combined spatial randomization and selection via high-resolution satellite images. After ethical approval in Switerland (CCER), Nepal (BPKIHS), and Cameroon (CNERSH), and informed written consent, our e-questionnaires included geolocated baseline demographic and socio-economic characteristics, snakebite clinical features and outcomes, healthcare expenditure, animal ownership, animal outcomes, snake identification, and service accessibility. Conclusions/significance: This novel transdisciplinary survey methodology was subsequently used to collect countrywide snakebite envenoming data in Nepal and Cameroon. District-level incidence data should help health authorities to channel antivenom and healthcare allocation. This methodology, or parts thereof, could be easily adapted to other countries and to other Neglected Tropical Diseases.
    • The Impact of Same-Day Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation under the WHO Treat-All Policy.

      Kerschberger, B; Boulle, A; Kuwengwa, R; Ciglenecki, I; Schomaker, M (Oxford University Press, 2021-02-12)
      Rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is recommended for people living with HIV, with the option to start treatment on the day of diagnosis (same-day-ART). However, the effect of same-day-ART remains unknown in realistic public sector settings. We established a cohort of ≥16-year-old patients who initiated first-line ART under Treat-All in Nhlangano (Eswatini) between 2014-2016, either on the day of HIV care enrolment (same-day-ART) or 1–14 days thereafter (early-ART). Directed acyclic graphs, flexible parametric survival analysis and targeted maximum likelihood estimation (TMLE) were used to estimate the effect of same-day-ART initiation on the composite unfavourable treatment outcome (loss to follow-up;death;viral failure). Of 1328 patients, 839 (63.2%) initiated same-day ART. The adjusted hazard ratio of the unfavourable outcome was increased by 1.48 (95% CI:1.16–1.89) for same-day-ART compared with early-ART. TMLE suggested that after 1 year, 28.9% of patients would experience the unfavourable outcome under same-day-ART compared with 21.2% under early-ART (difference: 7.7%; 1.3–14.1%). This estimate was driven by loss to follow-up and varied over time, with a higher hazard during the first year after HIV care enrolment and a similar hazard thereafter. We found an increased risk with same-day-ART. A limitation was possible silent transfers that were not captured.
    • Cardiac safety of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment: moving towards individualised monitoring.

      Hewison, C; Guglielmetti, L (Elsevier, 2021-02-12)
      We are not alone in welcoming the study by Kelly E Dooley and colleagues 1 that sheds light on the QT prolonging effects of the combination of bedaquiline and delamanid, two key drugs for the treatment of multidrug-resistant or rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis. Clinicians treating multidrug-resistant or rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis worldwide only recently started losing sleep over the fear of QT interval prolongation, a well-known adverse event of many drugs. A heart rate-corrected QT interval (QTc) of 500 ms or more increases the risk of potentially fatal ventricular arrhythmias, including torsade de pointes. 2 Despite the frequent, long-term use of QT interval-prolonging drugs, including moxifloxacin, which is used as a positive control in thorough QT studies, 3 ECG monitoring became routine during multidrug or rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis treatment only after the first phase 2 trials showed QT prolongation during treatment with bedaquiline and delamanid. These concerns initially led WHO to formulate conservative recommendations regarding their use in combination. 4 Many of these fears have since been dispelled by increasing evidence. 5 , 6 , 7 In particular, WHO guidelines, based on a review of data done in 2019 including the results of the study by Dooley and colleagues, showed no additional safety concerns related to this combination. 8
    • The Effect of Conflict on Obstetric and Non-Obstetric Surgical Needs and Operative Mortality in Fragile States.

      Rahman, AS; Chao, TE; Trelles, M; Dominguez, L; Mupenda, J; Kasonga, C; Akemani, C; Kondo, KM; Chu, KM (Springer Nature, 2021-02-09)
      Background Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides surgical care in fragile states, which are more vulnerable to conflict. The primary objective of this study was to compare the indications for operative intervention in surgical projects in fragile states during periods of active conflict (CON) and non-conflict (NON-CON). In addition, risk factors for non-obstetric and obstetric operative mortality were identified. Methods This was a retrospective analysis of MSF surgical projects in fragile states January 1, 2008–December 31, 2017. Variables considered in the analysis include age, gender, American Society of Anesthesiology physical status, emergency status, re-intervention status, indication for surgical intervention, and conflict/non-conflict time period. Results There were 30 surgical projects in 13 fragile states with 87,968 surgical interventions in 68,667 patients. Obstetric needs were the most common indication for surgical intervention (n = 28,060, 31.9%) but were more common during NON-CON (n = 23,142, 35.7%) compared to CON periods (n = 4,918, 21.2%, p < 0.001). Trauma was more common during CON (42.0%) compared to NON-CON (23.0%) periods (p < 0.001). Non-obstetric operative mortality was similar during CON (0.2%) compared to NON-CON (0.2%, p = 0.920), but obstetric operative mortality was higher (0.5%) during CON compared to NON-CON (0.2%, p < 0.001) periods. Risk factors for obstetric and non-obstetric mortality included age ≥ 30 years, ASA greater than 1, and emergency intervention. Conclusion Humanitarian surgeons working in fragile states should be prepared to treat a range of surgical needs including trauma and obstetrics during conflict and non-conflict periods. The mortality in obstetric patients was higher during conflict periods, and further research to understand ways to protect this vulnerable group is needed.
    • Self-perceived workplace discrimination and mental health among immigrant workers in Italy: a cross-sectional study.

      Di Napoli, A; Rossi, A; Baralla, F; Ventura, M; Gatta, R; Perez, M; Sarchiapone, M; Mirisola, C; Petrelli, A (BMC, 2021-02-09)
      Background: The process of immigration is associated with poor mental and physical health. While the workplace represents an important context of social integration, previous studies evaluating the effect of discrimination experienced in the workplace found worse mental health status among immigrants. The aim of this study was to investigate whether self-perceived workplace discrimination has any role in the mental health status of immigrants living and working in Italy, evaluating the contribution of other personal experiences, such as loneliness and life satisfaction. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 12,408 immigrants (aged 15-64) living and working in Italy. Data were derived from the first national survey on immigrants carried out by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat). Mental health status was measured through the Mental Component Summary (MCS) of the SF-12 questionnaire. A linear multivariate linear regression was carried out to evaluate the association between mental health status, self-perceived workplace discrimination, and sociodemographic factors; path analysis was used to quantify the mediation effect of self-perceived loneliness, level of life satisfaction, and the Physical Component Summary (PCS). Results: Mental health status was inversely associated (p < 0.001) with self-perceived workplace discrimination (β:-1.737), self-perceived loneliness (β:-2.653), and physical health status (β:-0.089); it was directly associated with level of life satisfaction (β:1.122). As confirmed by the path analysis, the effect of self-perceived workplace discrimination on MCS was mediated by the other factors considered: self-perceived loneliness (11.9%), level of life satisfaction (20.7%), and physical health status (3.9%). Conclusions: Our study suggests that self-perceived workplace discrimination is associated with worse mental health status in immigrant workers through personal experiences in the workplace and explains the effect of the exposure to workplace discrimination on immigrants' psychological well-being. Our findings suggest that an overall public health response is needed to facilitate the social integration of immigrants and their access to health services, particularly those services that address mental health issues.
    • Outcomes with a shorter multidrug-resistant tuberculosis regimen from Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.

      du Cros, Philipp; Khamraev, Atadjan; Tigay, Zinaida; Abdrasuliev, Tleubergen; Greig, Jane; Cooke, Graham; Herboczek, Krzysztof; Pylypenko, Tanya; Berry, Catherine; Ronnachit, Amrita; et al. (2021-02-08)
      Background In 2016, World Health Organization guidelines conditionally recommended standardised shorter 9–12-month regimens for multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) treatment. We conducted a prospective study of a shorter standardised MDR-TB regimen in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan. Methods Consecutive adults and children with confirmed rifampicin-resistant pulmonary TB were enrolled between September 1, 2013 and March 31, 2015; exclusions included prior treatment with second-line anti-TB drugs, and documented resistance to ofloxacin or to two second-line injectable agents. The primary outcome was recurrence-free cure at 1 year following treatment completion. Results Of 146 enrolled patients, 128 were included: 67 female (52.3%), median age 30.1 (interquartile range 23.8–44.4) years. At the end of treatment, 71.9% (92 out of 128) of patients achieved treatment success, with 68% (87 out of 128) achieving recurrence-free cure at 1 year following completion. Unsuccessful outcomes during treatment included 22 (17.2%) treatment failures with fluoroquinolone-resistance amplification in 8 patients (8 out of 22, 36.4%); 12 (9.4%) lost to follow-up; and 2 (1.5%) deaths. Recurrence occurred in one patient. Fourteen patients (10.9%) experienced serious adverse events. Baseline resistance to both pyrazinamide and ethambutol (adjusted OR 6.13, 95% CI 2.01; 18.63) and adherence <95% (adjusted OR 5.33, 95% CI 1.73; 16.36) were associated with unsuccessful outcome in multivariable logistic regression. Conclusions Overall success with a standardised shorter MDR-TB regimen was moderate with considerable treatment failure and amplification of fluoroquinolone resistance. When introducing standardised shorter regimens, baseline drug susceptibility testing and minimising missed doses are critical. High rates globally of pyrazinamide, ethambutol and ethionamide resistance raise questions of continued inclusion of these drugs in shorter regimens in the absence of drug susceptibility testing-confirmed susceptibility.
    • "It's a secret between us": a qualitative study on children and care-giver experiences of HIV disclosure in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

      Sumbi, EM; Venables, E; Harrison, R; Garcia, M; Iakovidi, K; van Cutsem, G; Chalachala, JL (BMC, 2021-02-06)
      Background: It is estimated that 64,000 children under 15 years of age are living with HIV in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Non-disclosure - in which the child is not informed about their HIV status - is likely to be associated with poor outcomes during adolescence including increased risk of poor adherence and retention, and treatment failure. Disclosing a child's HIV status to them can be a difficult process for care-givers and children, and in this qualitative study we explored child and care-giver experiences of the process of disclosing, including reasons for delay. Methods: A total of 22 in-depth interviews with care-givers and 11 in-depth interviews with HIV positive children whom they were caring for were conducted in one health-care facility in the capital city of Kinshasa. Care-givers were purposively sampled to include those who had disclosed to their children and those who had not. Care-givers included biological parents, grandmothers, siblings and community members and 86% of them were female. Interviews were conducted in French and Lingala. All interviews were translated and/or transcribed into French before being manually coded. Thematic analysis was conducted. Verbal informed consent/assent was taken from all interviewees. Results: At the time of interview, the mean age of children and care-givers was 17 (15-19) and 47 (21-70) years old, respectively. Many care-givers had lost family members due to HIV and several were HIV positive themselves. Reasons for non-disclosure included fear of stigmatisation; wanting to protect the child and not having enough knowledge about HIV or the status of the child to disclose. Several children had multiple care-givers, which also delayed disclosure, as responsibility for the child was shared. In addition, some care-givers were struggling to accept their own HIV status and did not want their child to blame them for their own positive status by disclosing to them. Conclusions: Child disclosure is a complex process for care-givers, health-care workers and the children themselves. Care-givers may require additional psycho-social support to manage disclosure. Involving multiple care-givers in the care of HIV positive children could offer additional support for disclosure.
    • Seroprevalence and risk factors of exposure to COVID-19 in homeless people in Paris, France: a cross-sectional study.

      Roederer, T; Mollo, B; Vincent, C; Nikolay, B; Llosa, AE; Nesbitt, R; Vanhomwegen, J; Rose, T; Goyard, S; Anna, F; et al. (2021-02-06)
      Between June 23 and July 2, 2020, 426 (52%) of 818 individuals recruited tested positive in 14 sites. Seroprevalence varied significantly by type of recruitment site (χ2 p<0·0001), being highest among those living in workers' residences (88·7%, 95% CI 81·8-93·2), followed by emergency shelters (50·5%, 46·3-54·7), and food distribution sites (27·8%, 20·8-35·7). More than two thirds of COVID-19 seropositive individuals (68%, 95% CI 64·2-72·2; 291 of 426) did not report any symptoms during the recall period. COVID-19 seropositivity was strongly associated with overcrowding (medium density: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2·7, 95% CI 1·5-5·1, p=0·0020; high density: aOR 3·4, 1·7-6·9, p<0·0001).
    • Heat-stability study of various insulin types in tropical temperature conditions: New insights towards improving diabetes care.

      Kaufmann, B; Boulle, P; Berthou, F; Fournier, M; Beran, D; Ciglenecki, I; Townsend, M; Schmidt, G; Shah, M; Cristofani, S; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2021-02-03)
      Strict storage recommendations for insulin are difficult to follow in hot tropical regions and even more challenging in conflict and humanitarian emergency settings, adding an extra burden to the management of people with diabetes. According to pharmacopeia unopened insulin vials must be stored in a refrigerator (2-8°C), while storage at ambient temperature (25-30°C) is usually permitted for the 4-week usage period during treatment. In the present work we address a critical question towards improving diabetes care in resource poor settings, namely whether insulin is stable and retains biological activity in tropical temperatures during a 4-week treatment period. To answer this question, temperature fluctuations were measured in Dagahaley refugee camp (Northern Kenya) using log tag recorders. Oscillating temperatures between 25 and 37°C were observed. Insulin heat stability was assessed under these specific temperatures which were precisely reproduced in the laboratory. Different commercialized formulations of insulin were quantified weekly by high performance liquid chromatography and the results showed perfect conformity to pharmacopeia guidelines, thus confirming stability over the assessment period (four weeks). Monitoring the 3D-structure of the tested insulin by circular dichroism confirmed that insulin monomer conformation did not undergo significant modifications. The measure of insulin efficiency on insulin receptor (IR) and Akt phosphorylation in hepatic cells indicated that insulin bioactivity of the samples stored at oscillating temperature during the usage period is identical to that of the samples maintained at 2-8°C. Taken together, these results indicate that insulin can be stored at such oscillating ambient temperatures for the usual four-week period of use. This enables the barrier of cold storage during use to be removed, thereby opening up the perspective for easier management of diabetes in humanitarian contexts and resource poor settings.
    • Ethics of emerging infectious disease outbreak responses: Using Ebola virus disease as a case study of limited resource allocation.

      Nichol, AA; Antierens, A (Public Library of Science, 2021-02-02)
      Emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Nipah Virus Encephalitis and Lassa fever pose significant epidemic threats. Responses to emerging infectious disease outbreaks frequently occur in resource-constrained regions and under high pressure to quickly contain the outbreak prior to potential spread. As seen in the 2020 EVD outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is a continued need to evaluate and address the ethical challenges that arise in the high stakes environment of an emerging infectious disease outbreak response. The research presented here provides analysis of the ethical challenges with regard to allocation of limited resources, particularly experimental therapeutics, using the 2013-2016 EVD outbreak in West Africa as a case study. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior healthcare personnel (n = 16) from international humanitarian aid organizations intimately engaged in the 2013-2016 EVD outbreak response in West Africa. Interviews were recorded in private setting, transcribed, and iteratively coded using grounded theory methodology. A majority of respondents indicated a clear propensity to adopt an ethical framework of guiding principles for international responses to emerging infectious disease outbreaks. Respondents agreed that prioritization of frontline workers' access to experimental therapeutics was warranted based on a principle of reciprocity. There was widespread acceptance of adaptive trial designs and greater trial transparency in providing access to experimental therapeutics. Many respondents also emphasized the importance of community engagement in limited resource allocation scheme design and culturally appropriate informed consent procedures. The study results inform a potential ethical framework of guiding principles based on the interview participants' insights to be adopted by international response organizations and their healthcare workers in the face of allocating limited resources such as experimental therapeutics in future emerging infectious disease outbreaks to ease the moral burden of individual healthcare providers.
    • Long Duration and Resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 in Cameroonian Population

      Buri, D; Njuwa, FKG; Matchim, L; Akendji, B; Eteki, L; Fouda, NM; Bebbel, L; Ndifon, M; Hamadou, A; Tchiasso, D; et al. (BMC, 2021-02-02)
      Background Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can lead to a detectable serological immune response even though extent of its protection is still not yet well known. We report long duration and resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 in patients with COVID-19. Methods We included a cohort of 99 participants from our non-blinded non-randomized evaluation of COVID-19 tests in Cameroon. Demographic and clinical information was collected from participants including self-reported age, race, ethnicity, and gender. Qualitative data was described as proportions while quantitative data was described with means and accompanying ranges. Results Duration of PCR for SARS-CoV-2 positivity was found to range from 4 – 81 days, with mean duration of 32.8 days in patients with PCR-positive. We also identified 4 participants who also had SARS-CoV-2 resurgence within a three-month period. Conclusion These observations raise questions on clinical decision to release COVID-19 cases from isolation after 14 days.
    • Populations précaires et Covid-19 : innover et collaborer pour faire face aux besoins sociaux et de santé

      Jackson, Y; Sibourd-Baudry, S; Regard, S; Petrucci, R (Medecine & Hygiene, 2021-02-02)
      La crise liée au Covid-19 a fragilisé les populations en situation préalable de précarité. L’émergence de l’insécurité alimentaire et de logement a poussé les acteurs de la santé, du travail social et les autorités à mettre en place des mesures innovantes et intersectorielles permettant de répondre rapidement et efficacement aux besoins essentiels de ces populations. Cet article présente trois de ces mesures, à savoir une équipe mobile interprofessionnelle de dépistage, un dispositif d’hébergement et d’encadrement sanitaire pour les personnes sans-abri et un programme de distribution alimentaire à large échelle. Ces trois exemples illustrent la nécessité d’une approche transversale et collaborative et le besoin d’agir sur les déterminants sociaux et politiques sous-tendant ces vulnérabilités. The COVID-19 crisis has rapidly increased the vulnerability of groups of population already facing precarious living conditions. The emergence of food and housing insecurity have forced health and social actors along with the local authorities to implement innovative responses in order to respond to these unmet needs. This article presents some of these responses, such as an interdisciplinary mobile COVID-19 screening team, an emergency housing program and a large-scale food assistance program. These examples highlight the need for an intersectoral, coordinated and collaborative response simultaneously targeting different domains of insecurity in parallel to actions on the underpinning social and political determinants of these vulnerabilities.