[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Lymphedema of the leg and its advanced form, known as elephantiasis, are significant causes of disability and morbidity in areas endemic for lymphatic filariasis (LF), with an estimated 14 million persons affected worldwide. The twin goals of the World Health Organization's Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis include interrupting transmission of the parasitic worms that cause LF and providing care to persons who suffer from its clinical manifestations, including lymphedema-so-called morbidity management and disability prevention (MMDP). Scaling up of MMDP has been slow, in part because of a lack of consensus about the effectiveness of recommended hygiene-based interventions for clinical lymphedema.
Methods and findings:
We conducted a systemic review and meta-analyses to estimate the effectiveness of hygiene-based interventions on LF-related lymphedema. We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, ISI Web of Knowledge, MedCarib, Lilacs, REPIDISCA, DESASTRES, and African Index Medicus databases through March 23, 2015 with no restriction on year of publication. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they (1) were conducted in an area endemic for LF, (2) involved hygiene-based interventions to manage lymphedema, and (3) assessed lymphedema-related morbidity. For clinical outcomes for which three or more studies assessed comparable interventions for lymphedema, we conducted random-effects meta-analyses. Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria and two meta-analyses were possible. To evaluate study quality, we developed a set of criteria derived from the GRADE methodology. Publication bias was assessed using funnel plots. Participation in hygiene-based lymphedema management was associated with a lower incidence of acute dermatolymphagioadenitis (ADLA), (Odds Ratio 0.32, 95% CI 0.25-0.40), as well as with a decreased percentage of patients reporting at least one episode of ADLA during follow-up (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.12-0.47). Limitations included high heterogeneity across studies and variation in components of lymphedema management.
Available evidence strongly supports the effectiveness of hygiene-based lymphedema management in LF-endemic areas. Despite the aforementioned limitations, these findings highlight the potential to significantly reduce LF-associated morbidity and disability as well as the need to develop standardized approaches to MMDP in LF-endemic areas.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
Episodes of acute adenolymphangitis (ADL) are often the first clinical sign of lymphatic filariasis (LF). They are often accompanied by swelling of the affected limb, inflammation, fever, and general malaise and lead to the progression of lymphedema. Although ADL episodes have been studied for a century or more, questions still remain as to their etiology. We quantified antibody levels to pathogens that potentially contribute to ADL episodes during and after an episode among lymphedema patients in Léogâne, Haiti. We estimated the proportion of ADL episodes hypothesized to be attributed to specific pathogens.
We measured antibody levels to specific pathogens during and following an ADL episode among 41 lymphedema patients enrolled in a cohort study in Léogâne, Haiti. We calculated the absolute and relative changes in antibody levels between the ADL and convalescent time points. We calculated the proportion of episodes that demonstrated a two-fold increase in antibody level for several bacterial, fungal, and filarial pathogens.
Our results showed the greatest proportion of two-fold changes in antibody levels for the carbohydrate antigen Streptococcus group A, followed by IgG2 responses to a soluble filarial antigen (BpG2), Streptococcal Pyrogenic Exotoxin B, and an antigen for the fungal pathogen Candida. When comparing the median antibody level during the ADL episode to the median antibody level at the convalescent time point, only the antigens for Pseudomonas species (P-value = 0.0351) and Streptolysin O (P-value = 0.0074) showed a significant result.
Although our results are limited by the lack of a control group and few antibody responses, they provide some evidence for infection with Streptococcus A as a potential contributing factor to ADL episodes. Our results add to the current evidence and illustrate the importance of determining the causal role of bacterial and fungal pathogens and immunological antifilarial response in ADL episodes.
PLoS ONE 10/2015; 10(10):e0141047. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0141047 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Limiting the environmental transmission of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), which infect 1.5 billion people worldwide, will require sensitive, reliable, and cost-effective methods to detect and quantify STHs in the environment. We review the state-of-the-art of STH quantification in soil, biosolids, water, produce, and vegetation with regard to four major methodological issues: environmental sampling; recovery of STHs from environmental matrices; quantification of recovered STHs; and viability assessment of STH ova. We conclude that methods for sampling and recovering STHs require substantial advances to provide reliable measurements for STH control. Recent innovations in the use of automated image identification and developments in molecular genetic assays offer considerable promise for improving quantification and viability assessment.
Trends in Parasitology 10/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.pt.2015.08.007 · 6.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Programs for control of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are increasingly evaluating national mass drug administration (MDA) interventions. However, "unprogrammed deworming" (receipt of deworming drugs outside of nationally-run STH control programs) occurs frequently. Failure to account for these activities may compromise evaluations of MDA effectiveness.
We used a cross-sectional study design to evaluate STH infection and unprogrammed deworming among infants (aged 6-11 months), preschool-aged children (PSAC, aged 1-4 years), and school-aged children (SAC, aged 5-14 years) in Kibera, Kenya, an informal settlement not currently receiving nationally-run MDA for STH. STH infection was assessed by triplicate Kato-Katz. We asked heads of households with randomly-selected children about past-year receipt and source(s) of deworming drugs. Local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and school staff participating in school-based deworming were interviewed to collect information on drug coverage.
Of 679 children (18 infants, 184 PSAC, and 477 SAC) evaluated, 377 (55%) reported receiving at least one unprogrammed deworming treatment during the past year. PSAC primarily received treatments from chemists (48.3%) or healthcare centers (37.7%); SAC most commonly received treatments at school (55.0%). Four NGOs reported past-year deworming activities at 47 of >150 schools attended by children in our study area. Past-year deworming was negatively associated with any-STH infection (34.8% vs 45.4%, p = 0.005). SAC whose most recent deworming medication was sourced from a chemist were more often infected with Trichuris (38.0%) than those who received their most recent treatment from a health center (17.3%) or school (23.1%) (p = 0.05).
Unprogrammed deworming was received by more than half of children in our study area, from multiple sources. Both individual-level treatment and unprogrammed preventive chemotherapy may serve an important public health function, particularly in the absence of programmed deworming; however, they may also lead to an overestimation of programmed MDA effectiveness. A standardized, validated tool is needed to assess unprogrammed deworming.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) – a class of parasites that affect billions of people – can be mitigated using mass drug administration, though reinfection following treatment occurs within a few months. Improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) likely provide sustained benefit, but few rigorous studies have evaluated the specific WASH components most influential in reducing infection. There is a need for alternative analytic approaches to help identify, characterize and further refine the WASH components that are most important to STH reinfection. Traditional epidemiological approaches are not well-suited for assessing the complex and highly correlated relationships commonly seen in WASH.
We introduce two recursive partitioning approaches: classification and regression trees (C&RT) and conditional inference trees (CIT), which can be used to identify complex interactions between WASH indicators and identify sub-populations that may be susceptible to STH reinfection. We illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches utilizing school- and household-level WASH indicators gathered as part of a school-based randomized control trial in Kenya that measured STH reinfection of pupils 10 months following deworming treatment.
C&RT and CIT analyses resulted in strikingly different decision trees. C&RT may be the preferred approach if interest lies in using WASH indicators to classify individuals or communities as STH infected or uninfected, whereas CIT is most appropriate for identifying WASH indicators that may be causally associated with STH infection. Both tools are well-suited for identifying complex interactions among WASH indicators.
C&RT and CIT are two analytic approaches that may offer valuable insight regarding the identification, selection and refinement of WASH indicators and their interactions with regards to STH control programs; however, they represent solutions to two distinct research questions and careful consideration should be made before deciding which approach is most appropriate.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preventive chemotherapy represents a powerful but short-term control strategy for soil-transmitted helminthiasis. Since humans are often re-infected rapidly, long-term solutions require improvements in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The purpose of this study was to quantitatively summarize the relationship between WASH access or practices and soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the associations of improved WASH on infection with STH (Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, hookworm [Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus], and Strongyloides stercoralis). PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and LILACS were searched from inception to October 28, 2013 with no language restrictions. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they provided an estimate for the effect of WASH access or practices on STH infection. We assessed the quality of published studies with the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. A total of 94 studies met our eligibility criteria; five were randomized controlled trials, whilst most others were cross-sectional studies. We used random-effects meta-analyses and analyzed only adjusted estimates to help account for heterogeneity and potential confounding respectively. Use of treated water was associated with lower odds of STH infection (odds ratio [OR] 0.46, 95% CI 0.36-0.60). Piped water access was associated with lower odds of A. lumbricoides (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.39-0.41) and T. trichiura infection (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.45-0.72), but not any STH infection (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.28-3.11). Access to sanitation was associated with decreased likelihood of infection with any STH (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.57-0.76), T. trichiura (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.50-0.74), and A. lumbricoides (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.44-0.88), but not with hookworm infection (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.61-1.06). Wearing shoes was associated with reduced odds of hookworm infection (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.18-0.47) and infection with any STH (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.11-0.83). Handwashing, both before eating (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.26-0.55) and after defecating (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.35-0.58), was associated with lower odds of A. lumbricoides infection. Soap use or availability was significantly associated with lower infection with any STH (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.29-0.98), as was handwashing after defecation (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.24-0.90). Observational evidence constituted the majority of included literature, which limits any attempt to make causal inferences. Due to underlying heterogeneity across observational studies, the meta-analysis results reflect an average of many potentially distinct effects, not an average of one specific exposure-outcome relationship.
WASH access and practices are generally associated with reduced odds of STH infection. Pooled estimates from all meta-analyses, except for two, indicated at least a 33% reduction in odds of infection associated with individual WASH practices or access. Although most WASH interventions for STH have focused on sanitation, access to water and hygiene also appear to significantly reduce odds of infection. Overall quality of evidence was low due to the preponderance of observational studies, though recent randomized controlled trials have further underscored the benefit of handwashing interventions. Limited use of the Joint Monitoring Program's standardized water and sanitation definitions in the literature restricted efforts to generalize across studies. While further research is warranted to determine the magnitude of benefit from WASH interventions for STH control, these results call for multi-sectoral, integrated intervention packages that are tailored to social-ecological contexts. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
PLoS Medicine 03/2014; 11(3):e1001620. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001620 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trachoma is the world's leading cause of infectious blindness. The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the SAFE strategy in order to eliminate blindness due to trachoma by 2020 through "surgery," "antibiotics," "facial cleanliness," and "environmental improvement." While the S and A components have been widely implemented, evidence and specific targets are lacking for the F and E components, of which water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are critical elements. Data on the impact of WASH on trachoma are needed to support policy and program recommendations. Our objective was to systematically review the literature and conduct meta-analyses where possible to report the effects of WASH conditions on trachoma and identify research gaps.
We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, ISI Web of Knowledge, MedCarib, Lilacs, REPIDISCA, DESASTRES, and African Index Medicus databases through October 27, 2013 with no restrictions on language or year of publication. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they reported a measure of the effect of WASH on trachoma, either active disease indicated by observed signs of trachomatous inflammation or Chlamydia trachomatis infection diagnosed using PCR. We identified 86 studies that reported a measure of the effect of WASH on trachoma. To evaluate study quality, we developed a set of criteria derived from the GRADE methodology. Publication bias was assessed using funnel plots. If three or more studies reported measures of effect for a comparable WASH exposure and trachoma outcome, we conducted a random-effects meta-analysis. We conducted 15 meta-analyses for specific exposure-outcome pairs. Access to sanitation was associated with lower trachoma as measured by the presence of trachomatous inflammation-follicular or trachomatous inflammation-intense (TF/TI) (odds ratio [OR] 0.85, 95% CI 0.75-0.95) and C. trachomatis infection (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.55-0.78). Having a clean face was significantly associated with reduced odds of TF/TI (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.32-0.52), as were facial cleanliness indicators lack of ocular discharge (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.23-0.61) and lack of nasal discharge (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.52-0.72). Facial cleanliness indicators were also associated with reduced odds of C. trachomatis infection: lack of ocular discharge (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.31-0.49) and lack of nasal discharge (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.37-0.76). Other hygiene factors found to be significantly associated with reduced TF/TI included face washing at least once daily (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.57-0.96), face washing at least twice daily (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.80-0.90), soap use (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.59-0.93), towel use (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.53-0.78), and daily bathing practices (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.53-0.99). Living within 1 km of a water source was not found to be significantly associated with TF/TI or C. trachomatis infection, and the use of sanitation facilities was not found to be significantly associated with TF/TI.
We found strong evidence to support F and E components of the SAFE strategy. Though limitations included moderate to high heterogenity, low study quality, and the lack of standard definitions, these findings support the importance of WASH in trachoma elimination strategies and the need for the development of standardized approaches to measuring WASH in trachoma control programs. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
PLoS Medicine 02/2014; 11(2):e1001605. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001605 · 14.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mass drug administration (MDA) for lymphatic filariasis (LF) programs has delivered more than 2 billion treatments of albendazole, in combination with either ivermectin or diethylcarbamazine, to communities co-endemic for soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH), reducing the prevalence of both diseases. A transmission assessment survey (TAS) is recommended to determine if MDA for LF can be stopped within an evaluation unit (EU) after at least five rounds of annual treatment. The TAS also provides an opportunity to simultaneously assess the impact of these MDAs on STH and to determine the frequency of school-based MDA for STH after community-wide MDA is no longer needed for LF.
Pilot studies conducted in Benin and Tonga assessed the feasibility of a coordinated approach. Of the schools (clusters) selected for a TAS in each EU, a subset of 5 schools per STH ecological zone was randomly selected, according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, for the coordinated survey. In Benin, 519 children were sampled in 5 schools and 22 (4.2%) had STH infection (A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura, or hookworm) detected using the Kato-Katz method. All infections were classified as light intensity under WHO criteria. In Tonga, 10 schools were chosen for the coordinated TAS and STH survey covering two ecological zones; 32 of 232 (13.8%) children were infected in Tongatapu and 82 of 320 (25.6%) in Vava'u and Ha'apai. All infections were light-intensity with the exception of one with moderate-intensity T. trichiura.
Synchronous assessment of STH with TAS is feasible and provides a well-timed evaluation of infection prevalence to guide ongoing treatment decisions at a time when MDA for LF may be stopped. The coordinated field experiences in both countries also suggest potential time and cost savings. Refinement of a coordinated TAS and STH sampling methodology should be pursued, along with further validation of alternative quantitative diagnostic tests for STH that can be used with preserved stool specimens.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a longitudinal analysis of 117 lymphedema patients in a filariasis-endemic area of Haiti during 1995-2008. No difference in lymphedema progression between those who received or did not receive mass drug administration (MDA) was found on measures of foot (P = 0.24), ankle (P = 0.87), or leg (P = 0.46) circumference; leg volume displacement (P = 0.09), lymphedema stage (P = 0.93), or frequency of adenolymphangitis (ADL) episodes (P = 0.57). Rates of ADL per year were greater after initiation of MDA among both groups (P < 0.01). Nevertheless, patients who received MDA reported improvement in four areas of lymphedema-related quality of life (P ≤ 0.01). Decreases in foot and ankle circumference and ADL episodes were observed during the 1995-1998 lymphedema management study (P ≤ 0.01). This study represents the first longitudinal, quantitative, leg-specific analysis examining the clinical effect of diethylcarbamazine on lymphedema progression and ADL episodes.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 11/2013; 90(1). DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0317 · 2.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Improvements of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and appropriate health-seeking behavior are necessary for achieving sustained control, elimination, or eradication of many neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Indeed, the global strategies to fight NTDs include provision of WASH, but few programs have specific WASH targets and approaches. Collaboration between disease control programs and stakeholders in WASH is a critical next step. A group of stakeholders from the NTD control, child health, and WASH sectors convened in late 2012 to discuss opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration. The group agreed on a common vision, namely "Disease-free communities that have adequate and equitable access to water and sanitation, and that practice good hygiene." Four key areas of collaboration were identified, including (i) advocacy, policy, and communication; (ii) capacity building and training; (iii) mapping, data collection, and monitoring; and (iv) research. We discuss strategic opportunities and ways forward for enhanced collaboration between the WASH and the NTD sectors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In areas endemic for lymphatic filariasis, progression of lymphoedema is associated with recurrent bacterial acute dermatolymphangioadenitis (ADLA). The role of antibacterial soap in preventing ADLA is unknown. In a randomized double-blinded clinical trial in Leogane, Haiti, lymphoedema patients washed affected legs with antibacterial (n = 97) or plain soap (n = 100). Reported ADLA incidence (by recall) before the study was 1.1 episodes per person-year, compared to 0.40 assessed during the 12-month study. ADLA incidence was significantly associated with age, illiteracy and lymphoedema stage, but not with soap type. Washing with soap, regardless of its antibacterial content, can help decrease ADLA incidence. (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier number NCT00139100.).
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 01/2011; 105(1):58-60. DOI:10.1016/j.trstmh.2010.08.011 · 1.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphatic filariasis (LF) has been endemic in Haiti for over 250 years with a current estimate of 8 million people at risk of infection. In Léogane Commune, up to 30% of adult males suffer from hydrocele, the most common manifestation of chronic LF. Since 2001, a surgical program providing hydrocelectomy has been in operation at Hôpital Sainte Croix and Hôpital Cardinal Légère in Léogane. We assessed clinical data and surgical outcomes for 491 men who underwent hydrocelectomy between 2001 and 2008. Patients ranged in age from 14-85 years (mean, 42 years) and reported an average of 5.6 years with the hydrocele (range, 3 days - 26 years). Over this eight year period, a total of 792 hydrocelectomies were performed (bilateral hydrocelectomies were counted as two procedures) with the majority (98%) of these procedures utilizing the ‘excision technique’ where complete excision of the tunica vaginalis is performed. The average hydrocele volume was 510 cc (range 3-2,100 cc) and 116/390 (30%) men were positive for filarial antigen by ICT card test prior to surgery. Variability of hydrocele fluid types were noted intraoperatively including pure hydrocele (n=478) (60.4%), lymphocele (n=269) (34.0%), chylocele (n=23) (2.9%), hematochylocele (n=17) (2.1%), and hematocele (n=5) (0.6%). Only 32/491 (6.5%) men had a negative outcome following surgery, defined as hydrocele recurrence, development of a new hydrocele, post-operative infection, or hematoma formation. Potential predictors of negative clinical outcome will be highlighted and discussed. These results illustrate the clinical variability of filarial hydrocele and the success of the Léogane hydrocelectomy program.
59th American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting 2010, Atlanta, GA; 11/2010