[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Anemia affects most pregnant African women and is predominantly due to iron deficiency, but antenatal iron supplementation has uncertain health benefits and can increase the malaria burden. OBJECTIVE To measure the effect of antenatal iron supplementation on maternal Plasmodium infection risk, maternal iron status, and neonatal outcomes. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Randomized placebo-controlled trial conducted October 2011 through April 2013 in a malaria endemic area among 470 rural Kenyan women aged 15 to 45 years with singleton pregnancies, gestational age of 13 to 23 weeks, and hemoglobin concentration of 9 g/dL or greater. All women received 5.7 mg iron/day through flour fortification during intervention, and usual intermittent preventive treatment against malaria was given. INTERVENTIONS Supervised daily supplementation with 60 mg of elemental iron (as ferrous fumarate, n = 237 women) or placebo (n = 233) from randomization until 1 month postpartum. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Primary outcome was maternal Plasmodium infection at birth. Predefined secondary outcomes were birth weight and gestational age at delivery, intrauterine growth, and maternal and infant iron status at 1 month after birth. RESULTS Among the 470 participating women, 40 women (22 iron, 18 placebo) were lost to follow-up or excluded at birth; 12 mothers were lost to follow-up postpartum (5 iron, 7 placebo). At baseline, 190 of 318 women (59.7%) were iron-deficient. In intention-to-treat analysis, comparison of women who received iron vs placebo, respectively, yielded the following results at birth: Plasmodium infection risk: 50.9% vs 52.1% (crude difference, −1.2%, 95% CI, −11.8% to 9.5%; P = .83); birth weight: 3202 g vs 3053 g (crude difference, 150 g, 95% CI, 56 to 244; P = .002); birth-weight-for-gestational-age z score: 0.52 vs 0.31 (crude difference, 0.21, 95% CI, −0.11 to 0.52; P = .20); and at 1 month after birth: maternal hemoglobin concentration: 12.89 g/dL vs 11.99 g/dL (crude difference, 0.90 g/dL, 95% CI, 0.61 to 1.19; P < .001); geometric mean maternal plasma ferritin concentration: 32.1 μg/L vs 14.4 μg/L (crude difference, 123.4%, 95% CI, 85.5% to 169.1%; P < .001); geometric mean neonatal plasma ferritin concentration: 163.0 μg/L vs 138.7 μg/L (crude difference, 17.5%, 95% CI, 2.4% to 34.8%; P = .02). Serious adverse events were reported for 9 and 12 women who received iron and placebo, respectively. There was no evidence that intervention effects on Plasmodium infection risk were modified by intermittent preventive treatment use. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Among rural Kenyan women with singleton pregnancies, administration of daily iron supplementation, compared with administration of placebo, resulted in no significant differences in overall maternal Plasmodium infection risk. Iron supplementation led to increased birth weight.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 09/2015; 314(10):1009-1020. DOI:10.1001/jama.2015.9496 · 35.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both iron deficiency (ID) and malaria are common among African children. Studies show that the iron-regulatory hormone hepcidin is induced by malaria, but few studies have investigated this relationship longitudinally. We measured hepcidin concentrations, markers of iron status, and antibodies to malaria antigens during two cross-sectional surveys within a cohort of 324 Kenyan children ≤8 years old who were under intensive surveillance for malaria and other febrile illnesses. Hepcidin concentrations were the highest in the youngest, and female infants, declined rapidly in infancy and more gradually thereafter. Asymptomatic malaria and malaria antibody titres were positively associated with hepcidin concentrations. Recent episodes of febrile malaria were associated with high hepcidin concentrations that fell over time. Hepcidin concentrations were not associated with the subsequent risk of either malaria or other febrile illnesses. Given that iron absorption is impaired by hepcidin, our data suggest that asymp-tomatic and febrile malaria contribute to the high burden of ID seen in African children. Further, the effectiveness of iron supplementation may be sub-optimal in the presence of asymptomatic malaria. Thus, strategies to prevent and eliminate malaria may have the added benefit of addressing an important cause of ID for African children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seasonal variations are rarely considered a contributing component to human tissue function or health, although many diseases and physiological process display annual periodicities. Here we find more than 4,000 protein-coding mRNAs in white blood cells and adipose tissue to have seasonal expression profiles, with inverted patterns observed between Europe and Oceania. We also find the cellular composition of blood to vary by season, and these changes, which differ between the United Kingdom and The Gambia, could explain the gene expression periodicity. With regards to tissue function, the immune system has a profound pro-inflammatory transcriptomic profile during European winter, with increased levels of soluble IL-6 receptor and C-reactive protein, risk biomarkers for cardiovascular, psychiatric and autoimmune diseases that have peak incidences in winter. Circannual rhythms thus require further exploration as contributors to various aspects of human physiology and disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In populations of European ancestry, the genetic contribution to body mass index (BMI) increases with age during childhood but then declines during adulthood, possibly due to the cumulative effects of environmental factors. How the effects of genetic factors on BMI change with age in other populations is unknown.
In a rural Gambian population (N=2535), we used a combined allele risk score, comprising genotypes at 28 'Caucasian adult BMI-associated' single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), as a marker of the genetic influence on body composition, and related this to internally-standardised z-scores for birthweight (zBW), weight-for-height (zWT-HT), weight-for-age (zWT), height-for-age (zHT), and zBMI cross-sectionally and longitudinally.
Cross-sectionally, the genetic score was positively associated with adult zWT (0.018±0.009 per allele, p=0.034, N=1426) and zWT-HT (0.025±0.009, p=0.006), but not with size at birth or childhood zWT-HT (0.008±0.005, p=0.11, N=2211). The effect of the genetic score on zWT-HT strengthened linearly with age from birth through to late adulthood (age interaction term: 0.0083 z-scores/allele/year; 95% CI 0.0048 to 0.0118, p=0.0000032).
Genetic variants for obesity in populations of European ancestry have direct relevance to bodyweight in nutritionally deprived African settings. In such settings, genetic obesity susceptibility appears to regulate change in weight status throughout the life course, which provides insight into its potential physiological role.
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Journal of Medical Genetics 04/2015; 52(6). DOI:10.1136/jmedgenet-2014-102784 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vitamin D is well known for its role in promoting skeletal health. Vitamin D status is determined conventionally by circulating 25-dihydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) concentration. There is evidence indicating that circulating 25OHD concentration is affected by variation in Gc, the gene encoding the vitamin D binding protein (DBP). The composite genotype of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs7041 and rs4588) results in different DBP isotypes (Gc1f, Gc1s and Gc2). The protein configurational differences among DBP isotypes affect DBP substrate binding affinity.
The aims of this study were to determine 1) Gc variant frequencies in a population from an isolated rural region of The Gambia, West Africa (n = 3129) with year-round opportunity for cutaneous vitamin D synthesis and 2) the effects of Gc variants on 25OHD concentration (n = 237) in a genetically representative sub-group of children (mean (SD) age: 11.9 (4.8) years).
The distribution of Gc variants was Gc1f: 0.86, Gc1s: 0.11 and Gc2: 0.03. The mean (SD) concentration of 25OHD was 59.6 (12.9) nmol/L and was significantly higher in those homozygous for Gc1f compared to other Gc variants (60.7 (13.1) vs. 56.6 (12.1) nmol/L, P = 0.03). Plasma 25OHD and 1,25(OH)2D concentration was significantly associated with parathyroid hormone in Gc1f-1f but not in the other Gc variants combined.
This study demonstrates that different Gc variants are associated with different 25OHD concentrations in a rural Gambian population. Gc1f-1f, thought to have the highest affinity for 25OHD, had the highest 25OHD concentration compared with lower affinity Gc variants.
The considerable difference in Gc1f frequency observed in Gambians compared with other non-West African populations and associated differences in plasma 25OHD concentration, may have implications for the way in which vitamin D status should be interpreted across different ancestral groups.
Bone 01/2015; 74. DOI:10.1016/j.bone.2014.12.068 · 3.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. There are large data gaps in the epidemiology of diseases caused by Salmonella enterica in West Africa. Regional surveillance of Salmonella infections is necessary, especially with the emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant clones.
Methods. Data on Salmonella isolated from various clinical specimens from patients from across The Gambia were collected and analyzed retrospectively from 2005 to April 2015. Antibiotic sensitivity testing of Salmonella isolates was performed by disk diffusion method. Serotyping and serogrouping of Salmonella isolates was performed using standard microbiology techniques.
Results. Two hundred three Salmonella isolates were isolated from 190 patients: 52% (106/203) from blood and 39% (79/203) from stool specimens. Salmonella was also isolated from urine, aspirates, cerebrospinal fluid, wounds, and abscesses. The prevalence of Salmonella in blood cultures was 0.8% (106/13 905). Of the serotyped salmonellae, 14% (21/152) were Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, whereas 86% (131/152) were serovars other than Typhi (nontyphoidal Salmonella). Of the 102 typed NTS isolates, 40% (41) were Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, 10% (10) were Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis, and 3% (3) were Salmonella enterica serovar Arizonae. Overall, 70% (142/203) of the salmonellae were pansusceptible. Multidrug resistance was found in 4% (9/203) of the isolates, 3 of which were Salmonella Enteritidis.
Conclusions. Salmonellae are associated with a wide spectrum of invasive and noninvasive infections across all ages in The Gambia. There is evidence of multidrug resistance in salmonellae that warrants vigilant monitoring and surveillance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ready-to-use supplementary food supplements improve endothelial function, hemoglobin and growth in Tanzanian children with sickle cell anaemia: The Vascular Function Intervention Study (V-FIT), a random order crossover trial
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepcidin inhibits ferroportin-mediated iron efflux, leading to intracellular macrophage iron retention, possibly favoring Mycobacterium tuberculosis iron acquisition and tuberculosis (TB) pathogenesis. Plasma hepcidin was measured at human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnosis in a retrospective HIV-prevalent, antiretroviral-naïve African cohort to investigate the association with incident pulmonary and/or extra-pulmonary TB. One hundred ninety-six participants were followed between 5 August 1992 and 1 June 2002, with 32 incident TB cases identified. Greater hepcidin was associated with significantly increased likelihood of TB after a median time to TB of 6 months. Elucidation of iron-related causal mechanisms and time-sensitive biomarkers that identify individual changes in TB risk are needed.
The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 11/2014; 18(11). DOI:10.5588/ijtld.14.0143 · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ethnic differences in renal calcium and phosphate excretion exist, which may depend on differences in their dietary intakes and regulatory factors. We report highly significant differences in urinary calcium and phosphate excretion between white British and Gambian adults after statistical adjustment for mineral intakes, indicating an independent effect of ethnicity.
Osteoporosis International 10/2014; 26(3). DOI:10.1007/s00198-014-2926-8 · 4.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summary Predictors of 25(OH)D3 half-life were factors associated with vitamin D metabolism, but were different between people in The Gambia and the UK. Country was the strongest predictor of plasma 25(OH)D concentration, probably as a marker of UVB exposure. 25(OH)D3 half-life may be applied as a tool to investigate vitamin D expenditure. Introduction The aim of this study was to investigate predictors of 25(OH)D3 half-life and plasma 25(OH)D concentration. Methods Plasma half-life of an oral tracer dose of deuterated-25(OH)D3 was measured in healthy men aged 24–39 years, resident in The Gambia, West Africa (n = 18) and in the UK during the winter (n = 18), countries that differ in calcium intake and vitamin D status. Plasma and urinary markers of vitamin D, calcium, phosphate and bone metabolism, nutrient intakes and anthropometry were measured. Results Normally distributed data are presented as mean (SD) and non-normal data as geometric mean (95 % CI). Gambian compared to UK men had higher plasma concentrations of 25(OH)D (69 (13) vs. 29 (11) nmol/L; P 2D (181 (165, 197) vs. 120 (109, 132) pmol/L; P P 3 half-life (14.7 (3.5) days vs. 15.6 (2.5) days) between countries (P = 0.2). In multivariate analyses, 25(OH)D, 1,25(OH)2D, vitamin D binding protein and albumin-adjusted calcium (Caalb) explained 79 % of variance in 25(OH)D3 half-life in Gambians, but no significant predictors were found in UK participants. For the countries combined, Caalb, PTH and plasma phosphate explained 39 % of half-life variability. 1,25(OH)2D, weight, PTH and country explained 81 % of variability in 25(OH)D concentration; however, country alone explained 74 %. Conclusion Factors known to affect 25(OH)D metabolism predict 25(OH)D3 half-life, but these differed between countries. Country predicted 25(OH)D, probably as a proxy measure for UVB exposure and vitamin D supply. This study supports the use of 25(OH)D half-life to investigate vitamin D metabolism.
Osteoporosis International 10/2014; 26(3). DOI:10.1007/s00198-014-2905-0 · 4.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During HIV type-1 (HIV-1), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections, altered iron balance correlates with morbidity. The liver-produced hormone hepcidin dictates systemic iron homeostasis. We measured hepcidin, iron parameters, cytokines, and inflammatory markers in three cohorts: plasma donors who developed acute HIV-1, HBV, or HCV viremia during the course of donations; HIV-1-positive individuals progressing from early to chronic infection; and chronically HIV-1-infected individuals (receiving antiretroviral therapy or untreated). Hepcidin increased and plasma iron decreased during acute HIV-1 infection, as viremia was initially detected. In patients transitioning from early to chronic HIV-1 infection, hepcidin in the first 60 d of infection positively correlated with the later plasma viral load set-point. Hepcidin remained elevated in individuals with untreated chronic HIV-1 infection and in subjects on ART. In contrast to HIV-1, there was no evidence of hepcidin up-regulation or hypoferremia during the primary viremic phases of HCV or HBV infection; serum iron marginally increased during acute HBV infection. In conclusion, hepcidin induction is part of the pathogenically important systemic inflammatory cascade triggered during HIV-1 infection and may contribute to the establishment and maintenance of viral set-point, which is a strong predictor of progression to AIDS and death. However, distinct patterns of hepcidin and iron regulation occur during different viral infections that have particular tissue tropisms and elicit different systemic inflammatory responses. The hypoferremia of acute infection is therefore a pathogen-specific, not universal, phenomenon.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2014; 111(33). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1402351111 · 9.67 Impact Factor