[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: White blood cells count (WBCc) is a bedrock in the estimation of malaria parasite density in malaria field trials, interventions and patient management. White blood cells are indirectly and relatively used in microscopy to estimate the density of malaria parasite infections. Due to frequent lack of facilities in some malaria-endemic countries, in order to quantify WBCc of patients, an assumed WBCc of 8.0 X 10(9)/L has been set by the World Health Organization to help in estimating malaria parasite densities.
This comparative analysis study, in Central Ghana, compiled laboratory data of 5,902 Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite positive samples. Samples were obtained from consented participants of age groups less than five years. Full blood counts (FBC) of participants' samples were analysed using the ABX Micros 60 Haematology Analyzer. Blood slides were read by two competent microscopists to produce concordant results. All internal and external quality control measures were carried out appropriately. Parasite densities were calculated using participants' absolute WBCc and assumed WBCc of 5,000 to 10,000 per microlitre of blood.
From the 5,902 Pf malaria positive samples, the mean (SD) WBCc and geometric mean parasite density were 10.4 (4.6) × 10(9)/L and 7,557/μL (95% CI 7,144/μL to 7,994/μL) respectively. The difference in the geometric mean parasite densities calculated using absolute WBCs and compared to densities with assumed WBCs counts were significantly lower for 5.0 × 10(9)/L; 3,937/μL, 6.0 × 10(9)/L; 4,725/μL and 8.0 × 10(9)/L; 6,300/μL. However, the difference in geometric mean parasite density, 7,874/μL (95 % CI, 7,445/μL to 8,328/μL), with assumed WBCc of 10.0 × 10(9)/L was not significant.
Using the assumed WBCc of 8.0 X 10(9)/L or lower to estimate malaria parasite densities in Pf infected children less than five years old could result in significant underestimation of parasite burden. Assumed WBCc of 10.0 × 10(9)/L at 95 % CI of geometric mean of parasite density statistically agreed with the parasite densities produce by the absolute WBCc of participants. The study suggests where resources are limited, use of assumed WBCc of 10.0 × 10(9)/L of blood to estimate malaria parasite density in central Ghana. Preferably, absolute WBCc should be used in drug efficacy and vaccine trials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemorrhage is the leading direct cause of maternal death globally. While oxytocin is the drug of choice for postpartum hemorrhage prevention, its use has generally been limited to health facilities. This trial assesses the effectiveness, safety, and feasibility of expanding the use of prophylactic intramuscular oxytocin to peripheral health care providers at home births in four predominantly rural districts in central Ghana.
This study is designed as a community-based cluster-randomized trial in which Community Health Officers are randomized to provide (or not provide) an injection of oxytocin 10 IU via the Uniject™ injection system within one minute of delivery of the baby to women who request their presence at home at the onset of labor. The primary aim is to determine if administration of prophylactic oxytocin via Uniject™ by this cadre will reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage by 50 % relative to deliveries which do not receive the prophylactic intervention. Postpartum hemorrhage is examined under three sequential definitions: 1) blood loss ≥500 ml (BL); 2) treatment for bleeding (TX) and/or BL; 3) hospital referral for bleeding and/or TX and/or BL. Secondary outcomes address safety and feasibility of the intervention and include adverse maternal and fetal outcomes and logistical concerns regarding assistance at home births and the storage and handling of oxytocin, respectively.
Results from this trial will build evidence for the effectiveness of expanding the delivery of this established prophylactic intervention to peripheral settings. Complementary data on safety and logistical issues related to this intervention will assist policymakers in low-income countries in selecting both the best uterotonic and service delivery strategy for postpartum hemorrhage prevention. Results of this trial are expected in mid-2013. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01108289.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 06/2012; 12:42. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background / Purpose:
The problem of antimicrobial resistance in developing countries is escalating. Surveillance systems need to be established to help control the problem of antimicrobial resistance. Here, Kintampo Health Research Centre was assessed in this light for surveillance studies.
Kintampo Health Research Centre is suitable as a site for the establishment of a surveillance system.
1st Global Forum on Bacterial Infections: Balancing Treatment Access and Antibiotic Resistance 2011; 02/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives To assess the effect of vitamin A supplementation in women of reproductive age in Ghana on cause- and age-specific infant mortality. In addition, because of recently published studies from Guinea Bissau, effects on infant mortality by sex and season were assessed. Design Double-blind, cluster-randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Setting 7 contiguous districts in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana. Participants All women of reproductive age (15-45 years) resident in the study area randomised by cluster of residence. All live born infants from 1 June 2003 to 30 September 2008 followed up through 4-weekly home visits. Intervention Weekly low-dose (25 000 IU) vitamin A. Main outcome measures Early infant mortality (1-5 months); late infant mortality (6-11 months); infection-specific infant mortality (0-11 months). Results 1086 clusters, 62 662 live births, 52 574 infant-years and 3268 deaths yielded HRs (95% CIs) comparing weekly vitamin A with placebo: 1.04 (0.88 to 1.05) early infant mortality; 0.99 (0.84 to 1.18) late infant mortality; 1.03 (0.92 to 1.16) infection-specific infant mortality. There was no evidence of modification of the effect of vitamin A supplementation on infant mortality by sex (Wald statistic =0.07, p=0.80) or season (Wald statistic =0.03, p=0.86). Conclusions This is the largest analysis of cause of infant deaths from Africa to date. Weekly vitamin A supplementation in women of reproductive age has no beneficial or deleterious effect on the causes of infant death to age 6 or 12 months in rural Ghana. Trial registration number http://ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00211341.
BMJ Open 01/2012; 2(1):e000658. · 1.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: WHO now recommends test-based management of malaria across all transmission settings. The accuracy of rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and the outcome of treatment based on the result of tests will influence acceptability of and adherence to the new guidelines.
We conducted a study at the Kintampo hospital in rural Ghana to evaluate the performance of CareStart, a HRP-2 based RDT, using microscopy as reference. We applied IMCI treatment guidelines, restricted ACT to RDT-positive children and followed-up both RDT-positive (malaria) and RDT-negative (non-malaria) cases over 28 days.
436 children were enrolled in the RDT evaluation and 391 (children with haemoglobin >8.0 gm/dl) were followed-up to assess treatment outcomes. Mean age was 25.4 months (s.d. 14.6). Sensitivity and specificity of the RDT were 100.0% and 73.0% respectively. Over the follow-up period, 32 (18.5%) RDT-negative children converted to positive, with 7 (4.0%) of them presenting with fever. More children in the non-malaria group made unscheduled visits than children in the malaria group (13.3% versus 7.7%) On all scheduled follow-up visits, proportion of children having a temperature higher than that recorded on day 0 was higher in the non-malaria group compared to the malaria group. Reports of unfavourable treatment outcomes by caregivers were higher among the non-malaria group than the malaria group.
The RDT had good sensitivity and specificity. However a minority of children who will not receive ACT based on RDT results may develop clinical malaria within a short period in high transmission settings. This could undermine caregivers' and health workers' confidence in the new guidelines. Improving the quality of management of non-malarial febrile illnesses should be a priority in the era of test-based management of malaria.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e34073. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Many sub-Saharan countries, including Ghana, have introduced policies to provide free medical care to pregnant women. The impact of these policies, particularly on access to health services among the poor, has not been evaluated using rigorous methods, and so the empirical basis for defending these policies is weak. In Ghana, a recent report also cast doubt on the current mechanism of delivering free care - the National Health Insurance Scheme. Longitudinal surveillance data from two randomized controlled trials conducted in the Brong Ahafo Region provided a unique opportunity to assess the impact of Ghana's policies. METHODS: We used time-series methods to assess the impact of Ghana's 2005 policy on free delivery care and its 2008 policy on free national health insurance for pregnant women. We estimated their impacts on facility delivery and insurance coverage, and on socioeconomic differentials in these outcomes after controlling for temporal trends and seasonality. RESULTS: Facility delivery has been increasing significantly over time. The 2005 and 2008 policies were associated with significant jumps in coverage of 2.3% (p = 0.015) and 7.5% (p<0.001), respectively after the policies were introduced. Health insurance coverage also jumped significantly (17.5%, p<0.001) after the 2008 policy. The increases in facility delivery and insurance were greatest among the poorest, leading to a decline in socioeconomic inequality in both outcomes. CONCLUSION: Providing free care, particularly through free health insurance, has been effective in increasing facility delivery overall in the Brong Ahafo Region, and especially among the poor. This finding should be considered when evaluating the impact of the National Health Insurance Scheme and in supporting the continuation and expansion of free delivery care.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e49430. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Injuries rank high among the leading causes of death and disability annually, injuring over 50 million and killing over 5 million people globally. Approximately 90% of these deaths occur in developing countries.
To estimate and identify the risk factors for injury mortality in the Rufiji Health and Demographic Surveillance System (RHDSS) in Tanzania.
Secondary data from the RHDSS covering the period 2002 and 2007 was examined. Verbal autopsy data was used to determine the causes of death based on the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Trend and Poisson regression tests were used to investigate the associations between risk factors and injury mortality.
The overall crude injury death rate was 33.4/100 000 population. Injuries accounted for 4% of total deaths. Men were three times more likely to die from injuries compared with women (adjusted IRR (incidence risk ratios)=3.04, p=0.001, 95% CI (2.22 to 4.17)). The elderly (defined as 65+) were 2.8 times more likely to die from injuries compared with children under 15 years of age (adjusted IRR=2.83, p=0.048, 95% CI (1.01 to 7.93)). The highest frequency of deaths resulted from road traffic crashes.
Injury is becoming an important cause of mortality in the Rufiji district. Injury mortality varied by age and gender in this area. Most injuries are preventable, policy makers need to institute measures to address the issue.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The dearth of health and demographic data in sub-Saharan Africa from vital registration systems and its impact on effective planning for health and socio-economic development is widely documented. Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems have the capacity to address the dearth of quality data for policy making in resource-poor settings. Objective: This article demonstrates the utility of the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance System (KHDSS) by showing the patterns and trends of population change from 2005 to 2009 in the Kintampo North Municipality and Kintampo South districts of Ghana through data obtained from the KHDSS biannual update rounds. Design: Basic demographic rates for fertility, mortality, and migration were computed by year. School enrolment was computed as a percentage in school by age and sex for 6-18 year-olds. Socio-economic status was derived by use of Principal Components Analysis on household assets. Results: Over the period, an earlier fertility decline was reversed in 2009; mortality declined slightly for all age-groups, and a significant share of working-age population was lost through out-migration. Large minorities of children of school-going age are not in school. Socio-economic factors are shown to be important determinants of fertility and mortality. Conclusion: Strengthening the capacity of HDSSs could offer added value to evidence-driven policymaking at local level.
Global Health Action 01/2012; 5:1-11. · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural immunity to Plasmodium falciparum has been widely studied, but its effects on parasite dynamics are poorly understood. Acquisition and clearance rates of untreated infections are key elements of the dynamics of malaria, but estimating these parameters is challenging because of frequent super-infection and imperfect detectability of parasites. Consequently, information on effects of host immune status or age on infection dynamics is fragmentary.
An age-stratified cohort of 347 individuals from Northern Ghana was sampled six times at 2 month intervals. High-throughput capillary electrophoresis was used to genotype the msp-2 locus of all P. falciparum infections detected by PCR. Force of infection (FOI) and duration were estimated for each age group using an immigration-death model that allows for imperfect detection of circulating parasites.
Allowing for imperfect detection substantially increased estimates of FOI and duration. Effects of naturally acquired immunity on the FOI and duration would be reflected in age dependence in these indices, but in our cohort data FOI tended to increase with age in children. Persistence of individual parasite clones was characteristic of all age-groups. Duration peaked in 5-9 year old children (average duration 319 days, 95% confidence interval 318;320).
The main age-dependence is on parasite densities, with only small age-variations in the FOI and persistence of infections. This supports the hypothesis that acquired immunity controls transmission mainly by limiting blood-stage parasite densities rather than changing rates of acquisition or clearance of infections.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e45542. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reference values are very important in clinical management of patients, screening participants for enrollment into clinical trials and for monitoring the onset of adverse events during these trials. The aim of this was to establish gender-specific haematological and biochemical reference values for healthy adults in the central part of Ghana.
A total of 691 adults between 18 and 59 years resident in the Kintampo North Municipality and South District in the central part of Ghana were randomly selected using the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance System and enrolled in this cross-sectional survey. Out of these, 625 adults made up of 316 males and 309 females were assessed by a clinician to be healthy. Median values and nonparametric 95% reference values for 16 haematology and 22 biochemistry parameters were determined for this population based on the Clinical Laboratory and Standards Institute guidelines. Values established in this study were compared with the Caucasian values being used currently by our laboratory as reference values and also with data from other African and western countries.
REFERENCE VALUES ESTABLISHED INCLUDE: haemoglobin 113-164 g/L for males and 88-144 g/L for females; total white blood cell count 3.4-9.2 × 10(9)/L; platelet count 88-352 × 10(9)/L for males and 89-403 × 10(9)/L for females; alanine aminotransferase 8-54 U/L for males and 6-51 U/L for females; creatinine 56-119 µmol/L for males and 53-106 µmol/L for females. Using the haematological reference values based on the package inserts would have screened out up to 53% of potential trial participants and up to 25% of the population using the biochemical parameters.
We have established a panel of locally relevant reference parameters for commonly used haematological and biochemical tests. This is important as it will help in the interpretation of laboratory results both for clinical management of patients and safety monitoring during a trial.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e36308. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent drive towards accreditation of clinical laboratories in Africa by the World Health Organization-Regional Office for Africa (WHO-AFRO) and the U.S Government is a historic step to strengthen health systems, provide better results for patients and an improved quality of results for clinical trials. Enrollment in approved proficiency testing (PT) programs and maintenance of satisfactory performance is vital in the process of accreditation. Passing proficiency testing surveys has posed a great challenge to many laboratories across sub-Saharan Africa. Our study was aimed at identifying the causes of unsatisfactory PT results in clinical research laboratories conducting or planning to conduct malaria vaccine trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
PT reports for 2009 and 2010 from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) for the laboratories were reviewed as part of the process. Errors accounting for unsatisfactory results were classified into clerical, methodological, technical, problem with PT materials, and random errors. A training program on good clinical laboratory practices (GCLP) was developed for each center to address areas for improvement.
The major cause of PT failure in the four centers was methodological. The application of GCLP improved the success rate in the PT surveys from 58% in 2009 to 88% in 2010. It also decreased the error rate on PT by 35%.
A previous report from the CAP- PT participating laboratories indicated that the major causes of error were clerical. These types of errors were predominantly made in laboratories in the US, with much more experience in quality control, and varied significantly from what we found. In our centers in sub-Saharan Africa, methodological errors, and not clerical errors, accounted for the vast majority of errors. A process was started for continuous improvement which has decreased methodological errors by 35%, but more improvement is needed.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e39098. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: WHO now recommends test-based management of malaria (TBMM) across all age-groups. This implies artemisinin-based combination treatment (ACT) should be restricted to rapid diagnostic test (RDT)-positive cases. This is a departure from what caregivers in rural communities have been used to for many years.
We conducted a survey among caregivers living close to 32 health centres in six districts in rural Ghana and used logistic regression to explore factors likely to influence caregiver acceptability of RDT based case management and concern about the denial of ACT on account of negative RDT results. Focus group discussions were conducted to explain the quantitative findings and to elicit further factors.
A total of 3047 caregivers were interviewed. Nearly all (98%) reported a preference for TBMM over presumptive treatment. Caregivers who preferred TBMM were less likely to be concerned about the denial of ACT to their test-negative children (O.R. 0.57, 95%C.I. 0.33-0.98). Compared with caregivers who had never secured national health insurance cover, caregivers who had valid (adjusted O.R. 1.30, 95% CI 1.07-1.61) or expired (adjusted O.R. 1.38, 95% CI 1.12-1.73) insurance cover were more likely to be concerned about the denial of ACT to their RDT-negative children. Major factors that promote TBMM acceptability include the perception that a blood test at health centre level represents improvement in the quality of care, leads to improvement in treatment outcomes, and offers opportunity for better communication between health workers and caregivers. Acceptability is also enhanced by engaging caregivers in the procedures of the test. Apprehensions about negative health worker attitude could however undermine acceptance.
Test (RDT)-based management of malaria in under-five children is likely to be acceptable to caregivers in rural Ghana. The quality of caregiver-health worker interaction needs to be improved if acceptability is to be sustained.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e45556. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An ongoing phase 3 study of the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of candidate malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01 is being conducted in seven African countries.
From March 2009 through January 2011, we enrolled 15,460 children in two age categories--6 to 12 weeks of age and 5 to 17 months of age--for vaccination with either RTS,S/AS01 or a non-malaria comparator vaccine. The primary end point of the analysis was vaccine efficacy against clinical malaria during the 12 months after vaccination in the first 6000 children 5 to 17 months of age at enrollment who received all three doses of vaccine according to protocol. After 250 children had an episode of severe malaria, we evaluated vaccine efficacy against severe malaria in both age categories.
In the 14 months after the first dose of vaccine, the incidence of first episodes of clinical malaria in the first 6000 children in the older age category was 0.32 episodes per person-year in the RTS,S/AS01 group and 0.55 episodes per person-year in the control group, for an efficacy of 50.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 45.8 to 54.6) in the intention-to-treat population and 55.8% (97.5% CI, 50.6 to 60.4) in the per-protocol population. Vaccine efficacy against severe malaria was 45.1% (95% CI, 23.8 to 60.5) in the intention-to-treat population and 47.3% (95% CI, 22.4 to 64.2) in the per-protocol population. Vaccine efficacy against severe malaria in the combined age categories was 34.8% (95% CI, 16.2 to 49.2) in the per-protocol population during an average follow-up of 11 months. Serious adverse events occurred with a similar frequency in the two study groups. Among children in the older age category, the rate of generalized convulsive seizures after RTS,S/AS01 vaccination was 1.04 per 1000 doses (95% CI, 0.62 to 1.64).
The RTS,S/AS01 vaccine provided protection against both clinical and severe malaria in African children. (Funded by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative; RTS,S ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00866619 .).
New England Journal of Medicine 11/2011; 365(20):1863-75. · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative are working in partnership to develop a malaria vaccine to protect infants and children living in malaria endemic regions of sub-Saharan Africa, which can be delivered through the Expanded Programme on Immunization. The RTS,S/AS candidate vaccine has been evaluated in multiple phase I/II studies and shown to have a favourable safety profile and to be well-tolerated in both adults and children. This paper details the design of the phase III multicentre efficacy trial of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine candidate, which is pivotal for licensure and policy decision-making.
The phase III trial is a randomized, controlled, multicentre, participant- and observer-blind study on-going in 11 centres associated with different malaria transmission settings in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A minimum of 6,000 children in each of two age categories (6-12 weeks, 5-17 months) have been enrolled. Children were randomized 1:1:1 to one of three study groups: (1) primary vaccination with RTS,S/AS01 and booster dose of RTS,S/AS01; (2) primary vaccination with RTS,S/AS01 and a control vaccine at time of booster; (3) primary vaccination with control vaccine and a control vaccine at time of booster. Primary vaccination comprises three doses at monthly intervals; the booster dose is administered at 18 months post-primary course. Subjects will be followed to study month 32. The co-primary objectives are the evaluation of efficacy over one year post-dose 3 against clinical malaria when primary immunization is delivered at: (1) 6-12 weeks of age, with co-administration of DTPwHepB/Hib antigens and OPV; (2) 5-17 months of age. Secondary objectives include evaluation of vaccine efficacy against severe malaria, anaemia, malaria hospitalization, fatal malaria, all-cause mortality and other serious illnesses including sepsis and pneumonia. Efficacy of the vaccine against clinical malaria under different transmission settings, the evolution of efficacy over time and the potential benefit of a booster will be evaluated. In addition, the effect of RTS,S/AS01 vaccination on growth, and the safety and immunogenicity in HIV-infected and malnourished children will be assessed. Safety of the primary course of immunization and the booster dose will be documented in both age categories.
This pivotal phase III study of the RTS,S/AS01 candidate malaria vaccine in African children was designed and implemented by the Clinical Trials Partnership Committee. The study will provide efficacy and safety data to fulfil regulatory requirements, together with data on a broad range of endpoints that will facilitate the evaluation of the public health impact of the vaccine and will aid policy and implementation decisions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains endemic in sub-Saharan Africa including Ghana. The epidemiology of malaria in special areas, such as mining areas needs to be monitored and controlled. Newmont Ghana Gold Limited is conducting mining activities in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana that may have an impact on the diseases such as malaria in the mining area.
Prior to the start of mining activities, a cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2006/2007 to determine malaria epidemiology, including malaria parasitaemia and anaemia among children < 5 years and monthly malaria transmission in a mining area of Ghana.
A total of 1,671 households with a child less than five years were selected. About 50% of the household heads were males. The prevalence of any malaria parasitaemia was 22.8% (95% CI 20.8-24.9). Plasmodium falciparum represented 98.1% (95% CI 96.2-99.2) of parasitaemia. The geometric mean P. falciparum asexual parasite count was 1,602 (95% CI 1,140-2,252) and 1,195 (95% CI 985-1,449) among children < 24 months and ≥ 24 months respectively. Health insurance membership (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.45-0.80, p = 0.001) and the least poor (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.37-0.90, p = 0.001) were protected against malaria parasitaemia. The prevalence of anaemia was high among children < 24 months compared to children ≥ 24 months (44.1% (95% CI 40.0-48.3) and 23.8% (95% CI 21.2-26.5) respectively. About 69% (95% CI 66.3-70.9) of households own at least one ITN. The highest EIRs were record in May 2007 (669 ib/p/m) and June 2007 (826 ib/p/m). The EIR of Anopheles gambiae were generally higher than Anopheles funestus.
The baseline malaria epidemiology suggests a high malaria transmission in the mining area prior to the start of mining activities. Efforts at controlling malaria in this mining area have been intensified but could be enhanced with increased resources and partnerships between the government and the private sector.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The RTS,S/AS01(E) candidate malaria vaccine is being developed for immunisation of infants in Africa through the expanded programme on immunisation (EPI). 8 month follow-up data have been reported for safety and immunogenicity of RTS,S/AS01(E) when integrated into the EPI. We report extended follow-up to 19 months, including efficacy results.
We did a randomised, open-label, phase 2 trial of safety and efficacy of the RTS,S/AS01(E) candidate malaria vaccine given with EPI vaccines between April 30, 2007, and Oct 7, 2009, in Ghana, Tanzania, and Gabon. Eligible children were 6-10 weeks of age at first vaccination, without serious acute or chronic illness. All children received the EPI diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (inactivated whole-cell), and hepatitis-B vaccines, Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, and oral polio vaccine at study months 0, 1, and 2, and measles vaccine and yellow fever vaccines at study month 7. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive three doses of RTS,S/AS01(E) at 6, 10, and 14 weeks (0, 1, 2 month schedule) or at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, and 9 months (0, 2, 7 month schedule) or placebo. Randomisation was according to a predefined block list with a computer-generated randomisation code. Detection of serious adverse events and malaria was by passive case detection. Antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein and HBsAg were monitored for 19 months. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00436007.
511 children were enrolled. Serious adverse events occurred in 57 participants in the RTS,S/AS01(E) 0, 1, 2 month group (34%, 95% CI 27-41), 47 in the 0, 1, 7 month group (28%, 21-35), and 49 (29%, 22-36) in the control group; none were judged to be related to study vaccination. At month 19, anticircumsporozoite immune responses were significantly higher in the RTS,S/AS01(E) groups than in the control group. Vaccine efficacy for the 0, 1, 2 month schedule (2 weeks after dose three to month 19, site-adjusted according-to-protocol analysis) was 53% (95% CI 26-70; p=0·0012) against first malaria episodes and 59% (36-74; p=0·0001) against all malaria episodes. For the entire study period, (total vaccinated cohort) vaccine efficacy against all malaria episodes was higher with the 0, 1, 2 month schedule (57%, 95% CI 33-73; p=0·0002) than with the 0, 1, 7 month schedule (32% CI 16-45; p=0·0003). 1 year after dose three, vaccine efficacy against first malaria episodes was similar for both schedules (0, 1, 2 month group, 61·6% [95% CI 35·6-77·1], p<0·001; 0, 1, 7 month group, 63·8% [40·4-78·0], p<0·001, according-to-protocol cohort).
Vaccine efficacy was consistent with the target put forward by the WHO-sponsored malaria vaccine technology roadmap for a first-generation malaria vaccine. The 0, 1, 2 month vaccine schedule has been selected for phase 3 candidate vaccine assessment.
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health Malaria Vaccine Initiative; GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases 07/2011; 11(10):741-9. · 19.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The duration of untreated Plasmodium falciparum infections in naturally exposed human populations is of interest for rational planning of malaria control interventions as it is related to the duration of infectivity. The extent of variability in duration is relevant where transmission is seasonal, and for the planning of elimination efforts. Methods for measuring these quantities from genotyping data have been restricted to exponential models of infection survival, as implied by constant clearance rates. Such models have greatly improved the understanding of infection dynamics on a population level but likely misrepresent the within-host dynamics of many pathogens. Conversely, the statistical properties of the distribution of infection durations, and how these are affected by exposure, should contain information on within-host dynamics.
We extended existing methods for the analysis of longitudinal genotyping data on P. falciparum infections. Our method simultaneously estimates force of infection, detectability, and the distribution of infection durations. Infection durations are modeled using parametric survival distributions. The method is validated using simulated data, and applied to data from a cohort study in Navrongo, Northern Ghana. Distribution estimates from exponential, Weibull, lognormal, and gamma models are compared with the distribution of durations in malariatherapy data.
The Weibull model fitted the data best. It estimated a shorter mean duration than the exponential model, which gave the worst fit. The distribution estimates appeared positively skewed when compared with the distribution of durations in malariatherapy data, suggesting that a significant proportion of infections is cleared shortly after inoculation. We conclude that malariatherapy data, the most important source of information on P. falciparum within-host dynamics, may not be representative of the actual processes in natural populations, and should be used with care. Further, conclusions from transmission models assuming exponential infection survival may be biased.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Plasmodium falciparum pre-erythrocytic stage candidate vaccine RTS,S is being developed for protection of young children against malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. RTS,S formulated with the liposome based adjuvant AS01(E) or the oil-in-water based adjuvant AS02(D) induces P. falciparum circumsporozoite (CSP) antigen-specific antibody and T cell responses which have been associated with protection in the experimental malaria challenge model in adults.
This study was designed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity induced over a 19 month period by three vaccination schedules (0,1-, 0,1,2- and 0,1,7-month) of RTS,S/AS01(E) and RTS,S/AS02(D) in children aged 5-17 months in two research centers in Ghana. Control Rabies vaccine using the 0,1,2-month schedule was used in one of two study sites.
Whole blood antigen stimulation followed by intra-cellular cytokine staining showed RTS,S/AS01(E) induced CSP specific CD4 T cells producing IL-2, TNF-α, and IFN-γ. Higher T cell responses were induced by a 0,1,7-month immunization schedule as compared with a 0,1- or 0,1,2-month schedule. RTS,S/AS01(E) induced higher CD4 T cell responses as compared to RTS,S/AS02(D) when given on a 0,1,7-month schedule.
These findings support further Phase III evaluation of RTS,S/AS01(E). The role of immune effectors and immunization schedules on vaccine protection are currently under evaluation.
PLoS ONE 04/2011; 6(4):e18891. · 3.53 Impact Factor