Josef Amann

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, MI, United States

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Publications (10)28.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The lymphatic filariasis elimination program aims not only to stop transmission, but also to alleviate morbidity. Although geographically limited morbidity projects exist, few have been implemented nationally. For advocacy and planning, the program coordinators need prevalence estimates that are currently rarely available. This article compares several approaches to estimate morbidity prevalence: (1) data routinely collected during mapping or sentinel site activities; (2) data collected during drug coverage surveys; and (3) alternative surveys. Data were collected in Plateau and Nasarawa States in Nigeria and in 6 districts in Togo. In both settings, we found that questionnaires seem to underestimate the morbidity prevalence compared with existing information collected through clinical examination. We suggest that program managers use the latter for advocacy and planning, but if not available, questionnaires to estimate morbidity prevalence can be added to existing surveys. Even though such data will most likely underestimate the real burden of disease, they can be useful in resource-limited settings.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 02/2008; 78(1):153-8. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endosymbionic Wolbachia bacteria inside adult Onchocerca volvulus worms (causing river blindness) are necessary for female worm fertility. We evaluated whether rifampin and/or azithromycin used in a five-day course could kill Wolbachia. In an open-label trial in Guatemala, 73 patients with 134 palpable onchocercal nodules were randomized into four treatment groups: rifampin, azithromycin, a combination of the two drugs, and controls (multivitamins). After five days of antibiotic treatment, all participants received a single dose of ivermectin on day 6. Nine months after treatment, the nodules were removed and the worms were examined. Skin snips to determine microfilariae were obtained at baseline and nine months. There were no significant differences between any of the treatment groups in the condition of the worms in the nodules, the presence of Wolbachia surface protein, or the number of microfilariae in skin. Short courses with these antibiotics will not clear Wolbachia from O. volvulus.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 12/2007; 77(5):878-82. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the epidemiology of kala-azar and asymptomatic leishmanial infection measured by serologic and leishmanin skin test results in a Bangladeshi community. In a subset, we measured serum retinol, zinc and C-reactive protein (CRP). Kala-azar and seroconversion incidence were 15.6 and 63.1 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. Proximity to a previous kala-azar case increased the likelihood of both kala-azar and asymptomatic infection. Bed net use protected against kala-azar (rate ratio = 0.35, P < 0.01), but not subclinical infection (rate ratio = 1.1, P = 0.82). Kala-azar patients were younger (P < 0.001) and reported lower red meat consumption (P < 0.01) than asymptomatic seropositive individuals. Retinol and zinc levels were lower in current kala-azar patients and those who later developed kala-azar compared with uninfected and asymptomatically infected subjects. The CRP levels were higher in kala-azar patients compared with the other two groups. Low red meat intake and poor zinc and retinol status may characterize a group at higher risk of symptomatic disease.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 05/2007; 76(5):909-14. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: World Health Organization certification criteria for onchocerciasis elimination use anterior segment eye lesion prevalence as an indicator of mass ivermectin treatment program success. Lesions either contain visible microfilaria (noninflammatory punctate keratitis [PK] or microfilariae in anterior chamber [MFAC]), or microfilaria obscured by inflammation (inflammatory PK). To assess the utility of these disease indicators, two experienced ophthalmologists independently examined persons from endemic (N = 325) and nonendemic (N = 348) Guatemalan communities. Thirty-six (11.1%) and nine (2.6%) persons from endemic and nonendemic areas respectively had lesions found by either ophthalmologist (prevalence ratio = 4.3, 95% CI 2.1-8.8, P < 0.001). All lesions in nonendemic areas were inflammatory PK in whom no persons were seropositive for onchocerciasis. Overall, observer agreement was moderate (Kappa = 0.49), and most (61%) discordance occurred with inflammatory PK lesions. Our findings suggest that inflammatory punctate keratitis is neither a specific nor a reliable indicator of onchocercal eye disease. Future prevalence surveys should rely upon noninflammatory lesions as disease indicators.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 01/2007; 75(6):1058-62. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Annual leishmanin skin test (LST) surveys were conducted in a visceral leishmaniasis-endemic Bangladeshi community from 2002 through 2004, using Leishmania infantum antigen from the same manufacturer and batch. In 2002, 530 (35%) of 1,532 had positive LST results; the prevalence increased with increasing age. The LST result was positive in 24 (51%) of 47, 18 (72%) of 25, and 11 (85%) of 13 kala-azar patients treated in the previous 1-11, 12-23, and 24-35 months. A positive LST result in 2002 was associated with protection against subsequent kala-azar (P < 0.0001). In 2003-2004, decreased antigen sensitivity was observed. Among 686 participants, 34% were LST-positive in 2002, 29% in 2003, and 19% in 2004. Of 63 cured kala-azar patients, 70% were positive in 2002, 53% in 2003, and only 30% in 2004. Among 171 participants tested with both antigens, L. infantum study antigen sensitivity was 70% compared with L. amazonensis antigen. Our data underscore the need for better production, standardization, and documentation of sensitivity, potency, and stability of leishmanin antigens.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 11/2006; 75(4):744-8. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To explore current patterns of diagnosis and treatment, quantify household economic impact and identify household strategies to cover the costs of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) care in rural Bangladesh. Structured interviews with 113 VL patients from 87 households documenting all provider visits and expenditures for health care for VL, and the ways in which the expenditures were covered. Patients paid a median of 7 visits to six different providers before beginning VL treatment. All visited the subdistrict government hospital at least once. While health care, including antileishmanial drug therapy, is officially available free of charge at government facilities, 79% of patients reported making informal payments for provider access, diagnostics and drug administration; only 14% of patients received their full drug course from this source. For the 58% of patients who purchased the full treatment course, drug cost constituted 34% of direct expenditure. Median direct expenditure for one VL patient was US$87 and median income lost was $40; median total expenditure was 1.2 times annual per capita income of our study population. Households employed multiple coping strategies to cover expenditures, most commonly sale or rental of assets (62%) and taking out loans (64%). Visceral leishmaniasis treatment causes a major economic burden in affected families. Control strategies for VL should facilitate timely, affordable diagnosis and treatment of patients to decrease the infection reservoir and to alleviate the economic burden of VL on households.
    Tropical Medicine & International Health 06/2006; 11(5):757-64. · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several serology-based immunoassays are used to diagnose visceral leishmaniasis (VL), a chronic protozoan parasitic disease caused by the Leishmania donovani complex. These tests are primarily designed to diagnose the most severe clinical form of VL, known as kala-azar. However, leishmanial infection is frequently asymptomatic and may manifest only as a positive serologic response or positive leishmanin skin test. We modified a previously described enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that detects patient antibodies reactive with the recombinant Leishmania protein K39 (rK39) to confirm suspected kala-azar and to detect asymptomatic infection in a community study in Bangladesh. With the inclusion of a standard curve on each ELISA plate, the rK39 ELISA was more repeatable (kappa coefficient of agreement=0.970) and more reliable compared to the original method (kappa=0.587, P<0.001). The cutoff point for a positive antibody response was chosen based on the 99th percentile of the ELISA distribution for the negative-control sera. However, we found that sera from all patients with active kala-azar yielded values more than twice the magnitude of this cutoff. Using receiver-operator characteristic curves, we determined a second cutoff value predictive of kala-azar. Using these criteria, the sensitivity and specificity of the modified ELISA for kala-azar were 97.0% and 98.9%, respectively, for sera from our study population. We hypothesize that individuals with antibody levels greater than the 99th percentile of the negative controls but less than the cutoff point for kala-azar have asymptomatic leishmanial infections.
    Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology 01/2006; 12(12):1410-5. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since 1990, South Asia has experienced a resurgence of kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis). To determine risk factors for kala-azar, we performed cross-sectional surveys over a 3-year period in a Bangladeshi community. By history, active case detection, and serologic screening, 155 of 2,356 residents had kala-azar with onset from 2000 to 2003. Risk was highest for persons 3-45 years of age, and no significant difference by sex was seen. In age-adjusted multivariable models, 3 factors were identified: proximity to a previous kala-azar patient (odds ratio [OR] 25.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 15-44 within household; OR 3.2 95% CI 1.7-6.1 within 50 m), bed net use in summer (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.53-0.93), and cattle per 1,000 m2 (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.70-0.94]). No difference was seen by income, education, or occupation; land ownership or other assets; housing materials and condition; or keeping goats or chickens inside bedrooms. Our data confirm strong clustering and suggest that insecticide-treated nets could be effective in preventing kala-azar.
    Emerging infectious diseases 06/2005; 11(5):655-62. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or kala-azar (KA) affects the rural poor, causing significant morbidity and mortality. We examined the epidemiological and social impact of KA in an affected village in Bangladesh. A population-based survey of the village residents showed a case fatality rate of 14.7% among females and 5.3% among males. Before initiation of the study, female patients were ill longer than males before they received treatment. Future work needs to focus on understanding the implications of KA on women and to develop sustainable strategies for appropriate and timely access to treatment.
    Journal of Women's Health 06/2004; 13(4):360-4. · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Visceral leishmaniasis, or kala azar (KA), affects the rural poor, causing significant morbidity and mortality. We examined the epidemiologic, social, and economic impact of KA in a village in Bangladesh. A population-based survey among 2,348 people demonstrated a KA incidence of 2% per year from 2000 to 2002, with a case-fatality rate of 19% among adult women, compared with 6-8% among other demographic groups. Kala azar cases were geographically clustered in certain sections of the village. Anti-leishmanial drug shortages and the high cost of diagnosis and treatment caused substantial emotional and economic hardship for affected families. Communities wanted to learn more about KA, and were willing to take collective action to confront the problems it causes. To decrease the KA burden in endemic areas, community efforts should be supplemented with effective treatment programs to ensure access to appropriate and affordable diagnosis and case management.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 01/2004; 69(6):624-8. · 2.53 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

233 Citations
28.55 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2006
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • • Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
      • • National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
      Atlanta, MI, United States