[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Models describing dengue epidemics are parametrized on disease incidence data and therefore high-quality data are essential. For Thailand, two different sources of long-term dengue data are available, the hard copy data from 1980 to 2005, where hospital admission cases were notified, and the electronic files, from 2003 to the present, where clinically classified forms of disease, i.e. dengue fever, dengue haemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome, are notified using separate files. The official dengue notification data, provided by the Bureau of Epidemiology, Ministry of Public Health in Thailand, were cross-checked with dengue data used in recent publications, where an inexact continuous time-series was observed to be consistently used since 2003, affecting considerably the model dynamics and its correct application. In this paper, numerical analysis and simulation techniques giving insights on predictability are performed to show the effects of model parametrization by using different datasets.
Epidemiology and Infection 11/2014; 142(11):2447-59. · 2.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An expert conference on Dengue in Africa was held in Accra, Ghana, in February 2013 to consider key questions regarding the possible expansion of dengue in Africa. Four key action points were highlighted to advance our understanding of the epidemiology of dengue in Africa. First, dengue diagnostic tools must be made more widely available in the healthcare setting in Africa. Second, representative data need to be collected across Africa to uncover the true burden of dengue. Third, established networks should collaborate to produce these types of data. Fourth, policy needs to be informed so the necessary steps can be taken to provide dengue vector control and health services.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue is a major international public health concern, and the number of outbreaks has escalated greatly. Human migration and international trade and travel are constantly introducing new vectors and pathogens into novel geographic areas. Of particular interest is the extent to which dengue virus (DENV) infections are subclinical or inapparent. Not only may such infections contribute to the global spread of DENV by human migration, but also seroprevalence rates in naïve populations may be initially high despite minimal numbers of detectable clinical cases. As the probability of severe disease is increased in secondary infections, populations may thus be primed, with serious public health consequences following introduction of a new serotype. In addition, pre-existing immunity from inapparent infections may affect vaccine uptake, and the ratio of clinically apparent to inapparent infection could affect the interpretation of vaccine trials. We performed a literature search for inapparent DENV infections and provide an analytical review of their frequency and associated risk factors. Inapparent rates were highly variable, but "inapparent" was the major outcome of infection in all prospective studies. Differences in the epidemiological context and type of surveillance account for much of the variability in inapparent infection rates. However, one particular epidemiological pattern was shared by four longitudinal cohort studies: the rate of inapparent DENV infections was positively correlated with the incidence of disease the previous year, strongly supporting an important role for short-term heterotypic immunity in determining the outcome of infection. Primary and secondary infections were equally likely to be inapparent. Knowledge of the extent to which viruses from inapparent infections are transmissible to mosquitoes is urgently needed. Inapparent infections need to be considered for their impact on disease severity, transmission dynamics, and vaccine efficacy and uptake.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primaquine is essential for malaria control and elimination since it is the only available drug preventing multiple clinical attacks by relapses of Plasmodium vivax. It is also the only therapy against the sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum infectious to mosquitoes, and is thus useful in preventing malaria transmission. However, the difficulties of diagnosing glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PDd) greatly hinder primaquine's widespread use, as this common genetic disorder makes patients susceptible to potentially severe and fatal primaquine-induced haemolysis. The risk of such an outcome varies widely among G6PD gene variants.
A literature review was conducted to identify surveys of G6PD variant frequencies among representative population groups. Informative surveys were assembled into two map series: (1) those showing the relative proportions of the different variants among G6PDd individuals; and (2) those showing allele frequencies of G6PD variants based on population surveys without prior G6PDd screening.
Variants showed conspicuous geographic patterns. A limited repertoire of variants was tested for across sub-Saharan Africa, which nevertheless indicated low genetic heterogeneity predominated by the G6PD A-202A mutation, though other mutations were common in western Africa. The severe G6PD Mediterranean variant was widespread across western Asia. Further east, a sharp shift in variants was identified, with high variant heterogeneity in the populations of China and the Asia-Pacific where no single variant dominated.
G6PD variants exhibited distinctive region-specific distributions with important primaquine policy implications. Relative homogeneity in the Americas, Africa, and western Asia contrasted sharply with the heterogeneity of variants in China, Southeast Asia and Oceania. These findings will inform rational risk assessments for primaquine in developing public health strategies for malaria control and elimination, and support the future development of regionally targeted policies. The major knowledge gaps highlighted here strongly advocate for further investigation of G6PD variant diversity and their primaquine-sensitivity phenotypes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There exists great disparity in the number of clinical P. falciparum episodes among children of the same age and living in similar conditions. The epidemiological determinants of such disparity are unclear. We used a data-mining approach to explore a nineteen-year longitudinal malaria cohort study dataset from Senegal and identify variables associated with increased risk of malaria episodes. These were then verified using classical statistics and replicated in a second cohort. In addition to age, we identified a novel high-risk group of children in whom the history of P. falciparum clinical episodes greatly increased risk of further episodes. Age and a high number of previous falciparum clinical episodes not only play major roles in explaining the risk of P. falciparum episodes but also are risk factors for different groups of people. Combined, they explain the majority of falciparum clinical attacks. Contrary to what is widely believed, clinical immunity to P. falciparum does not de facto occur following many P. falciparum clinical episodes. There exist a sub-group of children who suffer repeated clinical episodes. In addition to posing an important challenge for population stratification during clinical trials, this sub-group disproportionally contributes to the disease burden and may necessitate specific prevention and control measures.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e55666. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the impact of atopy and allergy on the risk of clinical malaria.
A clinical and immunological allergy cross-sectional survey in a birth cohort of 175 children from 1 month to 14 years of age followed for up to 15 years in a longitudinal open cohort study of malaria in Senegal. Malaria incidence data were available for 143 of these children (aged 4 months to 14 years of age) for up to 15 years. Mixed-model regression analysis was used to determine the impact of allergy status on malaria incidence, adjusting for age, gender, sickle-cell trait and force of infection.
Asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis status, the number of clinical Plasmodium falciparum malaria episodes since birth and associated parasite density.
12% of the children were classified as asthmatic and 10% as having atopic dermatitis. These groups had respectively a twofold (OR 2.12 95%; CI 1.46 to 3.08; p=8×10(-5)) and threefold (OR 3.15; 1.56 to 6.33; p=1.3×10(-3)) increase in the risk of clinical P falciparum malaria once older than the age of peak incidence of clinical malaria (3-4 years of age). They also presented with higher P falciparum parasite densities (asthma: mean 105.3 parasites/μL±SE 41.0 vs 51.3±9.7; p=6.2×10(-3). Atopic dermatitis: 135.4±70.7 vs 52.3±11.0; p=0.014). There was no effect of allergy on the number of non-malaria clinical presentations. Individuals with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis did not have an increased risk of clinical malaria nor any difference in parasite densities.
These results demonstrate that asthma and atopic dermatitis delay the development of clinical immunity to P falciparum. Despite the encouraging decrease in malaria incidence rates in Africa, a significant concern is the extent to which the increase in allergy will exacerbate the burden of malaria. Given the demonstrated antiparasitic effect of antihistamines, administration to atopic children will likely reduce the burden of clinical malaria in these children, increase the efficacy of first-line treatment antimalarials and alleviate the non-infectious consequences of atopy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An immunomodulatory role of arthropod saliva has been well documented, but evidence for an effect on Plasmodium sp. infectiousness remains controversial. Mosquito saliva may orient the immune response toward a Th2 profile, thereby priming a Th2 response against subsequent antigens, including Plasmodium. Orientation toward a Th1 versus a Th2 profile promotes IgG and IgE proliferation, respectively, where the former is crucial for the development of an efficient antiparasite immune response. Here we assessed the direct effect of mosquito bites on the density of Plasmodium falciparum asexual parasites and the prevalence of gametocytes in chronic, asymptomatic infections in a longitudinal cohort study of seasonal transmission. We additionally correlated these parasitological measures with IgE and IgG antiparasite and anti-salivary gland extract titers. The mosquito biting density was positively correlated with the asexual parasite density but not asexual parasite prevalence and was negatively correlated with gametocyte prevalence. Individual anti-salivary gland IgE titers were also negatively correlated with gametocyte carriage and were strongly positively correlated with antiparasite IgE titers, consistent with the hypothesis that mosquito bites predispose individuals to develop an IgE antiparasite response. We provide evidence that mosquito bites have an impact on asymptomatic infections and differentially so for the production of asexual and sexual parasites. An increased research focus on the immunological impact of mosquito bites during asymptomatic infections is warranted, to establish whether strategies targeting the immune response to saliva can reduce the duration of infection and the onward transmission of the parasite.
Infection and immunity 03/2012; 80(6):2240-6. · 4.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue has emerged as the most important vector-borne viral disease in tropical areas. Evaluations of the burden and severity of dengue disease have been hindered by the frequent lack of laboratory confirmation and strong selection bias toward more severe cases.
A multinational, prospective clinical study was carried out in South-East Asia (SEA) and Latin America (LA), to ascertain the proportion of inapparent dengue infections in households of febrile dengue cases, and to compare clinical data and biological markers from subjects with various dengue disease patterns. Dengue infection was laboratory-confirmed during the acute phase, by virus isolation and detection of the genome. The four participating reference laboratories used standardized methods.
Among 215 febrile dengue subjects-114 in SEA and 101 in LA-28 (13.0%) were diagnosed with severe dengue (from SEA only) using the WHO definition. Household investigations were carried out for 177 febrile subjects. Among household members at the time of the first home visit, 39 acute dengue infections were detected of which 29 were inapparent. A further 62 dengue cases were classified at early convalescent phase. Therefore, 101 dengue infections were found among the 408 household members. Adding these together with the 177 Dengue Index Cases, the overall proportion of dengue infections among the study participants was estimated at 47.5% (278/585; 95% CI 43.5-51.6). Lymphocyte counts and detection of the NS1 antigen differed significantly between inapparent and symptomatic dengue subjects; among inapparent cases lymphocyte counts were normal and only 20% were positive for NS1 antigen. Primary dengue infection and a specific dengue virus serotype were not associated with symptomatic dengue infection.
Household investigation demonstrated a high proportion of household members positive for dengue infection, including a number of inapparent cases, the frequency of which was higher in SEA than in LA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A total of 136 matched serum and urine samples obtained from 55 patients with dengue infection and 30 other febrile illnesses were assayed for dengue nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) antigen. The urine NS1 ELISA was positive in patients with dengue fever (68.4%) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (63.9%), whereas the strip method showed a lower positive rate.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypovolemic shock (dengue shock syndrome (DSS)) is the most common life-threatening complication of dengue. We conducted a genome-wide association study of 2,008 pediatric cases treated for DSS and 2,018 controls from Vietnam. Replication of the most significantly associated markers was carried out in an independent Vietnamese sample of 1,737 cases and 2,934 controls. SNPs at two loci showed genome-wide significant association with DSS. We identified a susceptibility locus at MICB (major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I polypeptide-related sequence B), which was within the broad MHC region on chromosome 6 but outside the class I and class II HLA loci (rs3132468, P(meta) = 4.41 × 10(-11), per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.34 (95% confidence interval: 1.23-1.46)). We identified associated variants within PLCE1 (phospholipase C, epsilon 1) on chromosome 10 (rs3765524, P(meta) = 3.08 × 10(-10), per-allele OR = 0.80 (95% confidence interval: 0.75-0.86)). We identify two loci associated with susceptibility to DSS in people with dengue, suggesting possible mechanisms for this severe complication of dengue.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previously, we have shown that pyruvate kinase, liver and red cell isoform (PKLR) deficiency protects mice in vivo against blood-stage malaria, and observed that reduced PKLR function protects human erythrocytes against Plasmodium falciparum replication ex vivo. Here, we have sequenced the human PKLR gene in 387 individuals from malaria-endemic and other regions in order to assess genetic variability in different geographical regions and ethnic groups. Rich genetic diversity was detected in PKLR, including 59 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and several loss-of-function variants (frequency 1.5%). Haplotype distribution and allele frequency varied considerably with geography. Neutrality testing suggested positive selection of the genein the sub-Saharan African and Pakistan populations. It is possible that such positive selection involves the malarial parasite.
Genes and immunity 08/2011; 13(1):98-102. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite considerable success of genome wide association (GWA) studies in identifying causal variants for many human diseases, their success in unraveling the genetic basis to complex diseases has been more mitigated. Pathogen population structure may impact upon the infectious phenotype, especially with the intense short-term selective pressure that drug treatment exerts on pathogens. Rigorous analysis that accounts for repeated measures and disentangles the influence of genetic and environmental factors must be performed. Attempts should be made to consider whether pathogen diversity will impact upon host genetic responses to infection.We analyzed the heritability of two Plasmodium falciparum phenotypes, the number of clinical malaria episodes (PFA) and the proportion of these episodes positive for gametocytes (Pfgam), in a family-based cohort followed for 19 years, during which time there were four successive drug treatment regimes, with documented appearance of drug resistance. Repeated measures and variance components analyses were performed with fixed environmental, additive genetic, intra-individual and maternal effects for each drug period. Whilst there was a significant additive genetic effect underlying PFA during the first drug period of study, this was lost in subsequent periods. There was no additive genetic effect for Pfgam. The intra-individual effect increased significantly in the chloroquine period.The loss of an additive genetic effect following novel drug treatment may result in significant loss of power to detect genes in a GWA study. Prior genetic analysis must be a pre-requisite for more detailed GWA studies. The temporal changes in the individual genetic and the intra-individual estimates are consistent with those expected if there were specific host-parasite interactions. The complex basis to the human response to malaria parasite infection likely includes dominance/epistatic genetic effects encompassed within the intra-individual variance component. Evaluating their role in influencing the outcome of infection through host genotype by parasite genotype interactions warrants research effort.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e26364. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complex, high-dimensional data sets pose significant analytical challenges in the post-genomic era. Such data sets are not exclusive to genetic analyses and are also pertinent to epidemiology. There has been considerable effort to develop hypothesis-free data mining and machine learning methodologies. However, current methodologies lack exhaustivity and general applicability. Here we use a novel non-parametric, non-euclidean data mining tool, HyperCube®, to explore exhaustively a complex epidemiological malaria data set by searching for over density of events in m-dimensional space. Hotspots of over density correspond to strings of variables, rules, that determine, in this case, the occurrence of Plasmodium falciparum clinical malaria episodes. The data set contained 46,837 outcome events from 1,653 individuals and 34 explanatory variables. The best predictive rule contained 1,689 events from 148 individuals and was defined as: individuals present during 1992-2003, aged 1-5 years old, having hemoglobin AA, and having had previous Plasmodium malariae malaria parasite infection ≤10 times. These individuals had 3.71 times more P. falciparum clinical malaria episodes than the general population. We validated the rule in two different cohorts. We compared and contrasted the HyperCube® rule with the rules using variables identified by both traditional statistical methods and non-parametric regression tree methods. In addition, we tried all possible sub-stratified quantitative variables. No other model with equal or greater representativity gave a higher Relative Risk. Although three of the four variables in the rule were intuitive, the effect of number of P. malariae episodes was not. HyperCube® efficiently sub-stratified quantitative variables to optimize the rule and was able to identify interactions among the variables, tasks not easy to perform using standard data mining methods. Search of local over density in m-dimensional space, explained by easily interpretable rules, is thus seemingly ideal for generating hypotheses for large datasets to unravel the complexity inherent in biological systems.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e24085. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies on human genetic factors associated with malaria have hitherto concentrated on their role in susceptibility to and protection from disease. In contrast, virtually no attention has been paid to the role of human genetics in eliciting the production of parasite transmission stages, the gametocytes, and thus enhancing the spread of disease.
We analysed four longitudinal family-based cohort studies from Senegal and Thailand followed for 2-8 years and evaluated the relative impact of the human genetic and non-genetic factors on gametocyte production in infections of Plasmodium falciparum or P. vivax. Prevalence and density of gametocyte carriage were evaluated in asymptomatic and symptomatic infections by examination of Giemsa-stained blood smears and/or RT-PCR (for falciparum in one site). A significant human genetic contribution was found to be associated with gametocyte prevalence in asymptomatic P. falciparum infections. By contrast, there was no heritability associated with the production of gametocytes for P. falciparum or P. vivax symptomatic infections. Sickle cell mutation, HbS, was associated with increased gametocyte prevalence but its contribution was small.
The existence of a significant human genetic contribution to gametocyte prevalence in asymptomatic infections suggests that candidate gene and genome wide association approaches may be usefully applied to explore the underlying human genetics. Prospective epidemiological studies will provide an opportunity to generate novel and perhaps more epidemiologically pertinent gametocyte data with which similar analyses can be performed and the role of human genetics in parasite transmission ascertained.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(6):e11358. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency--the most common known enzymopathy--is associated with neonatal jaundice and hemolytic anemia usually after exposure to certain infections, foods, or medications. Although G6PD-deficient alleles appear to confer a protective effect against malaria, the link with clinical protection from Plasmodium infection remains unclear. We investigated the effect of a common G6PD deficiency variant in Southeast Asia--the G6PD-Mahidol(487A) variant--on human survival related to vivax and falciparum malaria. Our results show that strong and recent positive selection has targeted the Mahidol variant over the past 1500 years. We found that the G6PD-Mahidol(487A) variant reduces vivax, but not falciparum, parasite density in humans, which indicates that Plasmodium vivax has been a driving force behind the strong selective advantage conferred by this mutation.