Tropical Medicine & International Health

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1365-3156
Publications
Article
This prospective and descriptive study was conducted to evaluate the growth and survival of 105 low birthweight (LBW, 1,000-2,000 g) infants discharged during a 4-year period from Agogo Hospital, Ghana, and followed from birth until the age of 4-9 years. Thirty-two babies were very low birthweight children (VLBW, 1,000-1,500 g) and 73 (70%) were of moderately low birthweight (MLBW, 1,501-2,000 g). At the age of 3 years, 15 children (14.2%) had not come for follow-up; of the remaining 90 children, nine (10%) had died, five during the first 3 months of life. At follow-up from 4 to 9 years of age, two more children could not be traced and another two had died. Compared to a local reference population and the WHO standard, growth of survivors lagged behind and caught up only slightly during the first 3 years of life. From 3 to 9 years of age, median growth impairment increased, which either suggests impaired growth potential or poor health and inadequate nutrition. This long-term study confirms that LBW (1,000-2,000 g) infants, particularly VLBW children, are at high risk.
 
Article
Objective: To evaluate the accuracy of a peptide, corresponding to the variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) LiTat 1.5 amino acid (AA) sequence 268–281 and identified through alignment of monoclonal antibody selected mimotopes, for diagnosis of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness. Methods: A synthetic biotinylated peptide (peptide 1.5/268–281), native VSG LiTat 1.3 and VSG LiTat 1.5 were tested in an indirect ELISA with 102 sera from patients with HAT and 102 endemic HAT-negative controls. Results: The area under the curve (AUC) of peptide 1.5/268–281 was 0.954 (95% confidence interval 0.918–0.980), indicating diagnostic potential. The areas under the curve of VSG LiTat 1.3 and LiTat 1.5 were 1.000 (0.982–1.000) and 0.997 (0.973–1.000), respectively, and significantly higher than the AUC of peptide 1.5/268–281. On a model of VSG LiTat 1.5, peptide 1.5/268–281 was mapped near the top of the VSG. Conclusions: A biotinylated peptide corresponding to AA 268–281 of VSG LiTat 1.5 may replace the native VSG in serodiagnostic tests, but the diagnostic accuracy is lower than for the full-length native VSG LiTat 1.3 and VSG LiTat 1.5.
 
Article
The Minimus Complex of Anopheles subgenus Cellia is composed of two sibling species, A and C, on the Southeast Asian mainland, and a third allopatric species E that occurs in the Ryukyu Archipelago (Japan), a malaria-free region. Anopheles minimus s.l. is considered to be one of the main malaria vector in the hilly forested regions of Southeast Asia. Despite a large number of studies over its range of distribution, it is difficult to have a global view of the ecological and bionomical characteristics of the individual species as different identification methods were used, generally without specific identification of the sibling species. (1) To review the main malaria studies on An. minimus s.l.; (2) to discuss recently published data on the biology and ecology of each sibling species; and (3) to identify gaps in our understanding of the Minimus Complex. Major biological and ecological trends are addressed, such as the high plasticity of trophic behaviour and the sympatry of species A and C over the Southeast Asian mainland. Despite the availability of rapid molecular identification methods, we still lack important information concerning the biological characteristics of each sibling species. These gaps must be filled in the future because An. minimus species A and C may exhibit different abilities to transmit malaria. We expect that entomological surveys will employ molecular methods to clearly identify these two species, and thus elucidate the biological characteristics of each species. As a consequence, current vector control strategies will be improved by targeting the most efficient vectors.
 
Article
A series of 1048 Leishmania strains from Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis foci, isolated between 1981 and 2005, were studied by isoenzyme analysis. The strains were obtained from humans, rodents, dogs and sandflies from 33 countries. The four typically dermotropic species, Leishmania major, L. tropica, L. aethiopica and L. killicki, were found. The viscerotropic species L. donovani and L. infantum, which can occasionally be responsible for cutaneous leishmaniasis, are not considered in this paper. Leishmania major was the least polymorphic species (12 zymodemes, 638 strains). Leishmania tropica was characterized by a complex polymorphism varying according to focus (35 zymodemes, 329 strains). Leishmania aethiopica, a species restricted to East Africa, showed a high polymorphism, in spite of a limited number of strains (23 zymodemes, 40 strains). Leishmania killicki, mainly restricted to Tunisia had a single zymodeme for 39 strains. Recently a parasite close to L. killicki (one zymodeme, two strains) was isolated in Algeria, which lead us to revise the taxonomic status of this taxon.
 
Article
To describe mothers' satisfaction with perinatal care received during hospitalization for delivery, and to identify sociodemographic and health-care-related factors associated with satisfaction. A cross-sectional study of 446 mother-newborn pairs from five hospitals in Puttalam district, Sri Lanka, was carried out by stratified randomization. Client satisfaction was measured using a 16-item survey instrument with high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha=0.81), through exit interview. The proportion of mothers who were fully satisfied varied from 10.8% to 31.4% for interpersonal aspects, and from 10.1% to 28.9% for technical aspects of care. The satisfaction rates were lower with physical environment (6.1-10.1%) and higher with outcome of care (41.0-48.0%). Multivariate analyses indicated that mothers were more satisfied with the services available from lower level hospitals. Multiparae were more satisfied than primiparae. Determinants of satisfaction included providing immediate mother-newborn contact, information after examination and counselling on family planning. Higher satisfaction with the physical environment was associated with being Moor or Tamil as opposed to Sinhalese and with lower family income. The factors associated with client satisfaction identified in this study may be helpful in improving quality of care. Hospital staff should ensure that these are addressed and develop interpersonal relationships, especially with the first-time mothers and in higher level hospitals. Maternity units of lower level institutions should be upgraded with essential facilities.
 
Article
Previous studies have found that in Africa, a greater risk of HIV infection is often found in groups with higher educational attainment. However, some serial cross-sectional studies have found greater reductions in HIV prevalence among more educated groups, especially in cohorts of young adults. More recent studies have found some instances where higher schooling levels are associated with lower HIV prevalence. We describe changes in the association between schooling levels, HIV prevalence and condom use in a rural population-based cohort between 1989/1990 and 1999/2000, in Masaka District, Uganda. In 1989-1990, higher educational attainment was associated with higher risk of HIV-1 infection, especially among males, but once odds ratios are adjusted for age, no significant relation between schooling and HIV infection remains. In 1999-2000, there is, for females aged 18-29 years, a significant relationship between higher educational attainment and lower HIV prevalence, even after adjustment for age, gender, marital status and wealth (P for trend 0.01). Tests for interaction, significant for males and both genders combined, show that more schooling has been shifting towards an association with less HIV infection between 1989-1990 and 1999-2000, especially for young individuals. Condom use increased during the study period and this increase has been concentrated among more educated individuals. These findings suggest that over a decade more educated young adults, especially females, have become more likely to respond to HIV/AIDS information and prevention campaigns by effectively reducing their sexual risk behaviour.
 
Article
To identify correlates of self-reported antiretroviral therapies (ART) interruptions among people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) in Cameroon. Analyses were based on data collected in the national survey EVAL (ANRS 12-116) among 533 ART-treated PLWHA in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon, and its neighbourhood. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with self-reported ART interruptions longer than two consecutive days during the previous 4 weeks. ART interruptions were reported by 68 patients (12.8%). After adjustment for gender, education and household income, characteristics independently associated with interruptions were pharmacy stock shortages [OR (95%CI):3.25 (1.78-5.90)], binge drinking [2.87 (1.39-5.91)] and the number of self-reported slimming symptoms [1.23 (1.02-1.48)]. In poor-resource settings where access to second and third-line regimens is still limited, food supply programs and interventions to minimise ART shortage may reduce the risk of ART interruptions.
 
Article
Onchocerca volvulus polypeptides in the molecular mass range of 2.2 to 12.5 kD were separated by Tricine-SDS-PAGE and the serological recognition of these very low molecular weight antigens (VLMW-OvAg) was then investigated by immuno-blotting. Sera from 21 onchocerciasis patients as well as from 53 individuals with other filariases were used to determine the sensitivity and specificity of detection of individual VLMW-OvAg. In onchocerciasis patients, up to 16 VLMW-OvAg were recognized predominantly by IgG1 and IgG4, while only few antigens were recognized by IgG2 and IgG3. The antigen recognition pattern varied individually, but 4 VLMW-OvAg of 8.6, 6.2, 5.4, and 5.1 kD, respectively, were bound by IgG4 from more than 90% of the onchocerciasis patients. Six VLMW-OvAg of 7.3, 5.8, 5.4, 4.0, 3.8, and 3.6 kD were recognized exclusively by IgG1 from onchocerciasis patients. In amicrofilaraemic filariasis patients with lymphatic pathology, a strong reactivity of IgG3 to an OvAg of 2.2 kD was observed, indicating a possible contribution of this antigen to the pathogenesis. In the molecular mass range below 13 kD, no specific carbohydrate residues or phosphorylcholine-containing (PC) determinants could be identified by lectin-blotting or PC-specific immunoblotting, respectively. Two-dimensional separation and immunoblotting distinctly resolved more than 40 antigenic polypeptides, the majority focusing at acidic isoelectric points. In O. volvulus-infected chimpanzees the IgG1- and IgG4-reactivity against OvAg below 13 kD appeared concurrently with onset of patent infection. These data suggest that some of these VLMW-OvAg might be associated with the production and release of microfilariae from gravid female worms as well as be involved in immune-mediated pathogenesis during filarial infections.
 
Article
To investigate the relationship between unsafe sexual behaviours and poor self-perceived health among people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) in western Africa. In March 2006, a survey was conducted among patients continuing their participation in the TRIVACAN trial (ANRS 1269) in Côte d'Ivoire, in which patients had been randomized to either continuous or interrupted antiretroviral therapy (ART) (2-months-off/4-months-on cycles [2/4-ART]) after 6-18 months of continuous ART (C-ART). Socio-demographic and psychosocial information, including data on sexual behaviours during the previous 6 months, was collected using face-to-face interviews. Sexually active patients with either a steady partner (serodiscordant or of unknown HIV status) or casual partners were considered to have unsafe sexual behaviours if they reported inconsistent condom use (ICU). Seventy-seven of the 192 patients reported ICU. In multivariate logistic regression, men were significantly less likely to report ICU than women (OR [95% CI] = 0.45 [0.20-0.98]). After adjustment for educational level and reduced sexual activity since ART initiation, concealment of HIV status (2.08 [1.02-4.25]) and poor self-perceived health (2.32 [0.97-5.52]) were independently associated with ICU. HIV prevention strategies in resource-limited settings should take into account self-perceived health and difficulties to disclose HIV status. Counselling interventions need to be developed to help PLWHA to adopt or negotiate safe behaviours respecting their individual cultures.
 
of 26 HAT patients and 16 controls: Mean age, sex ration presence of trypanosome in CSF, cell count, presence of neurological sign and IgM synthesis
Article
To determine the role of the B-cell attracting chemokine CXCL-13, which may initiate B-cell trafficking and IgM production in diagnosing HAT meningo-encephalitis. We determined CXCL-13 levels by ELISA on paired sera and CSF of 26 patients from Angola and of 16 controls (six endemic and ten non-endemic). Results were compared to standard stage determination markers and IgM intrathecal synthesis. CXCL-13 levels in patients' sera had a median value of 386.6 pg/ml and increased levels were associated with presence of trypanosomes in the CSF but not with other stage markers. CXCL-13 levels in patients' CSF had a median value of 80.9 pg/ml and increased levels were associated with all standard stage determination markers and IgM intrathecal synthesis. CXCL-13 levels in CSF increased significantly during the course of HAT. Hence the value of CXCL-13 for diagnosis, follow-up or as a marker of disease severity should be tested in a well-defined cohort study.
 
Article
CDRI Compound 92/138, a synthetic analogue of aplysinopsin, was evaluated in experimental filarial infections, Litomosoides carinii in cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) and Acanthocheilonema viteae in Mastomys coucha. The compound killed 63.8 and 90% of adult L. carinii and A. viteae at doses of 30 and 50 mg/kg (i.p.) respectively given for 5 days. By the oral route, at 100 mg/kg for 5 days the compound caused 50.9 and 57% mortality of adult L. carinii and A. viteae, respectively. At 200 mg/kg administered orally on days 0, 10 and 25 post-infection, it reduced establishment of adult A. viteae by 68.5%. We also found 43.7 and 37.8% effect in vivo respectively on L3 and L4 stages of A. viteae at a single dose of 250 mg/kg, p.o. The compound was active in vitro at 100 micrograms/ml concentration and caused a significant decline in MTT reduction and 14C-glucose uptake by adult filariids. Thus synthetic marine aplysinopsin could provide a new pharmacophore for the development of antifilarial agents.
 
Article
Ivermectin has been and continues to be extensively used to control onchocerciasis in areas of hyper and mesoendemicity within the African Programme of Onchocerciasis Control. As programmes to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) caused by Wuchereria bancrofti expand, areas of coendemicity with onchocerciasis will be incorporated into LF programmes. This study reports that in villages which were hyperendemic for onchocerciasis after some 14 years of treatment with ivermectin, no W. bancrofti could be detected in a population of 1210 individuals whilst in adjacent villages a prevalence of around 3% was found. Despite the long period of ivermectin treatment Mansonella perstans did not appear to respond to ivermectin in this setting.
 
Article
DNA polymorphism of Blastocystis hominis isolates was examined by the amplification of a gene fragment coding for the 16S-like rDNA. Using identical primers, fragments of approximately 850 bp were amplified from 110 B. hominis isolates and fragments of 1.1 kbp were amplified from 48 isolates. Digestion of the amplification products with the restriction enzymes HinfI, RsaI, and AluI revealed different profiles for each fragment length. Subgroup I and II, resulting from digestion of the smaller 850 bp fragment, have identical HinfI and AluI restriction bands, subgroup III and IV have identical RsaI fragments after digestion of the 1.1 kbp DNA. Subgroup V resembles subgroup III in a few bands after the RsaI and AluI restriction, respectively. Ninety (54%) of the isolates studied were assigned to subgroup I, 20 (12%) to subgroup II, 35 (21%) to subgroup III, 12 (7%) to subgroup IV, and 1 (1%) to subgroup V. Five (3%) of the examined people were coinfected with B. hominis of the subgroup III, 3 (2%) carried B. hominis of the subgroup I and II. These results show that there are 5 B. hominis subgroups none of which was found to be significantly correlated with the reported disease.
 
AUC0-24 in fast (t1/2 < 1.8 h) and slow (t1/2 > 1.8 h) metabolisers. The boxplot shows the median AUC0-24 and the interquartile range. The whiskers represent the highest and lowest values.
Recommended first-line drug dosages for children as currently recommended and as previously recommended by WHO
Characteristics of 30 TB patients
Article
Objectives: The World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued revised first-line antituberculosis (anti-TB) drug dose recommendations for children, with dose increases proposed for each drug. No pharmacokinetic data are available from South American children. We examined the need for implementation of these revised guidelines in Venezuela. Methods: Plasma isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol concentrations were assessed prior to and at 2, 4 and 8 h after intake of TB drugs by 30 TB patients aged 1-15 years. The effects of dose in mg/kg, age, sex, body weight, malnutrition and acetylator phenotype on maximum plasma drug concentrations (Cmax) and exposure (AUC0-24) were determined. Results: 25 patients (83%) had an isoniazid Cmax below 3 mg/l and 23 patients (77%) had a rifampicin Cmax below 8 mg/l. One patient (3%) had a pyrazinamide Cmax below 20 mg/l. The low number of patients on ethambutol (n = 5) precluded firm conclusions. Cmax and AUC0-24 of all four drugs were significantly and positively correlated with age and body weight. Patients aged 1-4 years had significantly lower Cmax and AUC0-24 values for isoniazid and rifampicin and a trend to lower values for pyrazinamide compared to those aged 5-15 years. The geometric mean AUC0-24 for isoniazid was much lower in fast acetylators than in slow acetylators (5.2 vs. 12.0, P < 0.01). Conclusion: We provide supportive evidence for the implementation of the revised WHO pediatric TB drug dose recommendations in Venezuela. Follow-up studies are needed to describe the corresponding plasma levels that are achieved by the recommended increased doses of TB drugs.
 
Hospital facility characteristics and resources
Surgical, obstetrical and anaesthesia care providers
Availability of hospital supplies and equipment
Overview of procedures and referral patterns
Article
To survey infrastructure characteristics, personnel, equipment and procedures of surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia care in 17 hospitals in Ghana. The assessment was completed by WHO country offices using the World Health Organization Tool for Situational Analysis to Assess Emergency and Essential Surgical Care, which surveyed infrastructure, human resources, types of surgical interventions and equipment in each facility. Overall, hospitals were well equipped with general patient care and surgical supplies. The majority of hospitals had a basic laboratory (100%), running water (94%) and electricity (82%). More than 75% had the basic supplies needed for general patient care and basic intra-operative care, including sterilization. Almost all hospitals were able to perform major surgical procedures such as caesarean sections (88%), herniorrhaphy (100%) and appendectomy (94%), but formal training of providers was limited: a few hospitals had a fully qualified surgeon (29%) or obstetrician (36%) available. The greatest barrier to improving surgical care at district hospitals in Ghana is the shortage of adequately trained medical personnel for emergency and essential surgical procedures. Important future steps include strengthening their number and qualifications.
 
Article
To assess the impact of seasonal variation on the distribution of the eba-175 allelic forms in the area where malaria transmission is markedly seasonal. Blood samples were collected from 291 and 239 children under 5 years of age during the low and the high malaria transmission season, respectively, in four villages named Dawelgué, Kounda, Tanghin and Watenga of Saponé Health District, then screened for eba 175 F- and C- alleles by nested PCR analysis. F- alleles were more prevalent than C-alleles in the low [0.66 vs. 0.34 (P < 0.0001)] and high transmission season [0.67 vs. 0.33 (P < 0.0001)]. No significant seasonal variation was observed in the distribution of the two alleles. However, according to Sewall Wright rules, the population pairwise F(ST) values, between Dawelgué and Tanghin during the low transmission season (F(ST_) value = 0.10415, P-value = 0.0090 and during the high season (F(ST_)value = 0.08244, P-value < 0.00001), between Tanghin and Watenga during the low season (F(ST) value = 0.07414, P-value = 0.009) indicated a moderate but statistically significant genetic differentiation. Although there was a moderate but significant genetic differentiation between some study villages at different times of the year, this study result in the seasonal stability of eba-175 allele's distribution in the study area.
 
Article
We have designed primers to the conserved region of the erythrocyte binding antigen (EBA)-175 gene which amplify specifically the two alleles by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and by nested PCR. This approach provides a specific, sensitive and rapid method for genotype determination in a large number of Plasmodium falciparum field isolates.
 
Article
The idea of "the tropics' as a region distinct from the "temperate' world has a long history and derives from European expansion and environmental theories especially from about 1750 onwards. Although the tropics were ascribed some positive attributes, the dominant concept was a negative one and the idea of distinctive tropical disease and the corresponding need for a separate specialty of tropical medicine largely grew out of this.
 
Article
Objective: In Northeast Brazil, large domestic containers used to store water are important breeding sites of Aedes aegypti, the main vector of dengue fever. The objective of this study was to estimate the survival of Betta splendens (Perciformes: Osphronemidae) fish in domestic containers in Fortaleza (Ceará State), as well as its effectiveness in the control of premature A. aegypti stages. Methods: The use of B. splendens was compared to Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) in domestic containers. In a first home visit, B. splendens or Bti were applied to water containers. Two follow-up visits were conducted after 3-4 and 5-6 months to assess the presence of viable fish in the containers and infestation by larvae. Betta splendens fish were still present in 97.6% of containers 45-60 days after application. When the fish was present, the infestation rate was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in the Bti group (IR ratio= 21.60; 95% CI: 6.46-72.28). In deposits where the fish remained, efficacy was 85% better than Bti. The permanence of fish was higher in concrete tanks (48.5%) located outside the house (47.5%) and at ground level (53.3%). We conclude that B. splendens may be suitable for biological control of A. aegypti larvae in large domestic water containers, but that appropriate measures should be taken to assure prolonged survival and the presence of fish in the containers.
 
Article
To determine the effect of an HIV-1 counselling programme on rates of HIV-1 infection and pregnancy in a large group of married couples in Kinshasa, DRC with discordant HIV-1 infection status, we conducted a baseline cross-sectional HIV-1 seroprevalence study in two large Kinshasa businesses. We identified 178 married couples (mean duration of marriage = 12.3 years) with discordant HIV-1 serostatus (92 M+F-/86 M-F+). Seroincidence and pregnancy rates were observed during 310 person-years of follow-up (PYFU). The 92 M+F- couples had an HIV-1 incidence of 3.7/100 PYFU and a pregnancy rate of 8.6/100. The 86 M-F+ couples had a pregnancy rate of 6.8/100 PYFU and an HIV-1 incidence of 6.8/100 PYFU. Couples seeking to have children but minimize their HIV-1 transmission risk frequently had unprotected sex only during the woman's perceived monthly fertility period. This strategy resulted in the birth of 24 live-born children and only one (4%; 95% CL = 0.0-21.6%) new HIV infection in couples having a child. Only 1 of 6 women who developed HIV-1 infection (16. 7%; 95 C.L. = 0-40.4%) became pregnant. While seronegative men had more extramarital sex once their wives' positive HIV-1 infection status became known, most of these episodes involved safe sex. Divorce was rare. This study provides additional information concerning issues of safe sex in married couples with discordant HIV-1 infection status, the dynamics of HIV transmission within couples and the effect of serostatus notification on the marriage and on intramarital and extramarital sexual behaviour in Kinshasa, Congo.
 
Article
We analysed serum samples of 209 subjects immunized with yellow fever vaccine 17D by different assays: neutralization test, immunofluorescence assay, haemagglutination inhibition test and ELISA, for presence of 17D-specific antibodies. Serum samples were taken from a few weeks up to 35 years after vaccination. The neutralization test had the highest sensitivity. There was no correlation of results between the serological assays. Considering NT titres > 1:10 as indicating protection, we found that about 75% of subjects remained immune even 10 years after vaccination, with a median NT titre of 1:40 in reactive sera.
 
Article
To report on activities and lessons learned during the first 18 months of a rural programme of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Zimbabwe. The PMTCT services were introduced in Murambinda Mission Hospital (120 beds), Buhera, in 2001. Programme strategies consisted in recruiting counselling staff, training health professionals, improving mother-child health (MCH) facilities and conducting information, education and communication activities within the community to address HIV/AIDS awareness and stigma. The following components were implemented within MCH services: voluntary counselling and testing of HIV using rapid testing, nevirapine short regimen proposed to all HIV-infected mothers identified and their newborns, support to exclusive breastfeeding for 6- and 18-month mother-child follow-up. Routine monitoring data collected from August 2001 to February 2003 were used to estimate programme uptake. Of 2471 pregnant women using antenatal services, 2298 were pre-test counselled, the acceptance of HIV testing reached 92.9%. Of the women who decided to take an HIV test, 1588 (74.3%) returned to collect their result. Overall HIV prevalence was 20.4% (n = 437); 326 of the HIV-positive women were counselled and 104 (24%) received complete mother-child antiretroviral prophylaxis. Acceptability of HIV testing after counselling has remained above 90% since the onset of the programme. Collection of test results and mother-child follow-up are among the most challenging activities of the programme. A district approach and community participation are critical to develop PMTCT programmes in rural settings, even with reasonably good MCH services.
 
Article
OBJECTIVES: To gain understanding of care pathways and induced mobility patterns of obstetric fistula patients in French-speaking West African fistula repair centres. METHODS: We followed prospectively during 18 months a cohort of obstetric fistula patients in Mali and Niger (2008-2009). 120 patients were recruited at different stages of their care process in 5 reference fistula repair centres. Follow-up was carried out in repair centres and communities. Quantitative data were collected through close-ended questionnaires at three time points. Medico-social pathways were explored through a longitudinal analysis focusing on six indicators: fistula duration, care process duration, patients' mobility, marital status, number of surgeries and continence status. RESULTS: Patients' pathways were characterised by their length: fistula duration (median 4 years), care process duration (median 2.7 years), aggregated time spent in repair centres during study (median 7 months). Patients developed four mobility patterns (homebound, itinerant, institutionalised and urbanised). Adverse marital status change continued over time. Sample stratification according to number of previous surgeries revealed differences in care process duration and outcome: 23/31 new cases (≤1 surgery) gained continence with a mean of 1.5 surgeries in a median of 0.6 year while only 17/78 old cases (≥2 surgeries) became continent with a mean of 4 surgeries in a median time of 4.9 years. CONCLUSION: The quest for continence does not end with admission to a fistula repair centre. Analysing fistula care experience across time within the varying settings highlights the twofold population and mixed medico-social outcomes that should prompt new development in obstetric fistula care management and research.
 
Article
Unlabelled: SUMMARY METHODS: Mosquito aquatic stages were collected in domestic and peri-domestic areas, and epidemic risk indexes (Breteau, Container) were calculated for each prospected location. Adult female mosquitoes were captured by human landing catches, while larvae were sampled by inspecting artificial and natural breeding sites in randomly selected premises. Results: Seventy-eight adults Aedes albopictus were collected in Bangui and Bayanga. Mosquito biting rate and abundance were, respectively, 0.33-1.70 bites/human/hour and 14.6% in Bangui and 0.04-0.16 and 0.4% in Bayanga. Larval sampling revealed a large diversity of water container harbouring the species in Bangui, Bayanga, Nola and Salo including unused containers, old tires, vehicle carcasses, buckets, barrels and stem of bamboo. The epidemic risk indices were erratic according to the location, ranging between 1.5-27.6 for Breteau and 1.3-47.1 for Container. Conclusion: This is the first record of Ae. albopictus in two bioclimatic zones of CAR This observation emphasizes the need to further investigate its potential impact on dengue and chikungunya viruses transmission regarding their recent emergencies in Africa (Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Mali, Somalia, Gabon, Cape Verde Islands).
 
Article
To determine the effect of maternal anaemia on pregnancy outcome and describe its impact on infant haemoglobin level in the first 18 months of life, we conducted a prospective study of 617 pregnant women and their children in Benin. Prevalence of maternal anaemia at delivery was 39.5%, and 61.1% of newborns were anaemic at birth. Maternal anaemia was not associated with low birth weight [OR = 1.2 (0.6-2.2)] or preterm birth [OR = 1.3 (0.7-2.4)], whereas the newborn's anaemia was related to maternal anaemia [OR = 1.8 (1.2-2.5)]. There was no association between an infant's haemoglobin level until 18 months and maternal anaemia. However, malaria attacks during follow-up, male gender and sickle cell trait were all associated with a lower infant haemoglobin level until 18 months, whereas good infant feeding practices and a polygamous family were positively associated with a higher haemoglobin level during the first 18 months of life.
 
Article
In 1733 an unknown deadly disease broke out in Batavia (now Jakarta), then the main seat of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in Asia. Mortality among its personnel rose alarmingly and caused serious shortages of sailors, soldiers and craftsmen. Ever-growing numbers of people had to be sent from the Netherlands to Batavia to make up for the high losses. In the end, military posts could no longer be filled, homeward-bound vessels no longer be manned and precious cargo had to remain in Batavia. The unhealthiness of the town, 'so deadly for the growth and prosperity of the colony [and] ruinous for the interests and finances of the Company' (Nederburgh 1794), claimed more than 85,000 victims among VOC personnel. The 'unhealthiness of Batavia' remained unexplained through the ages. In this paper reasons for its origin and aftermath are proposed.
 
Article
To determine the prevalence of iodine deficiency in children in Eastern Province, Cameroon. Urinary iodine (I) and thiocyanate (SCN) excretion levels were assessed in 158 children (62 boys and 96 girls) aged 7-19 years. Mean urinary iodine excretion was 4.49 microg/dl for girls and 4.71 microg/dl for boys, lower than the 5.0 microg/dl minimal value defined by WHO. Overall 64.42% of subjects had urinary iodine excretion below the minimum, more than three times the population percentage (20%) at which a zone is declared endemic. Mean urine SCN concentration and mean I/SCN ratios of the study population were 2.57 +/- 1.43 mg/dl and 2.21 +/- 1.35 microg/mg for boys and 2.91 +/- 1.57 mg/dl and 1.91 +/- 1.1 microg/mg for girls. Iodine deficiency remains a problem in Eastern Province of Cameroon.
 
Article
To estimate the prevalence of HIV and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infections amongst adolescents in rural Mwanza Region, Tanzania and their association with demographic variables. Population-based cross-sectional survey. All 15--19-year olds living in households selected by random cluster sampling were invited to participate. After interview, urine was tested for HIV and CT. 9445 15--19-year olds were enrolled. HIV prevalence was 0.6% (95% CI: 0.4--0.8%) in males and 2.4% (95% CI: 2.0--2.8%) in females, and increased steeply with age (trend: P < 0.006 and P < 0.001, respectively). After adjustment for age, risk of HIV infection was significantly associated with female sex (OR=4.3), never having been to primary school in males (OR=2.7), and current symptoms of genital discharge (OR=2.3) or genital ulcer (OR=5.3) in females. The prevalence of CT was 1.0% (95% CI: 0.8--1.4%) in males and 2.4% (95% CI: 2.0-2.9%) in females. After adjustment for age, CT infection was associated with female sex (OR=2.4), reported current symptoms of STD (males OR=2.5, females OR=1.9) and positive leucocyte esterase (LE) test (males OR=3.1, females OR=2.6). Eighty-two percent of males and 79% of females with CT were asymptomatic. There was no association between CT and HIV infection in either sex. There is a high prevalence of HIV and CT amongst adolescents, especially young women, in this rural population, highlighting the need for effective interventions to improve adolescent reproductive health. The high rates of asymptomatic infection imply that innovative strategies are needed to reach and treat young people with STD.
 
Article
To review the geography and history of sleeping sickness (Human African trypanosomiasis; HAT) over the past 100 years in West Africa, to identify priority areas for sleeping sickness surveillance and areas where HAT no longer seems active. History and geography of HAT were summarized based on a review of old reports and recent publications and on recent results obtained from medical surveys conducted in West Africa up to 2006. Active HAT foci seem to have moved from the North to the South. Endemic HAT presently appears to be limited to areas where annual rainfall exceeds 1200 mm, although the reasons for this remain unknown. There has also been a shift towards the south of the isohyets and of the northern distribution limit of tsetse. Currently, the most severely affected countries are Guinea and Ivory Coast, whereas the northern countries seem less affected. However, many parts of West Africa still lack information on HAT and remain to be investigated. Of particular interest are the consequences of the recent political crisis in Ivory Coast and the resulting massive population movements, given the possible consequences on HAT in neighbouring countries.
 
Article
It has long been suggested that malaria is delaying the economic development of countries that are most severely affected by the disease. Several studies have documented the economic consequences of malaria at the household level, primarily in communities engaged in subsistence farming. A missing element is the appraisal of the economic impact of malaria on the industrial and service sectors that will probably become the backbone of many developing economies. We estimate the economic effects of integrated malaria control implemented during the colonial period and sustained for 20 years in four copper mining communities of the former Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Integrated malaria control was characterized by strong emphasis on environmental management, while part of the mining communities also benefited from rapid diagnosis and treatment and the use of bednets. The programmes were highly successful as an estimated 14,122 deaths, 517,284 malaria attacks and 942,347 work shift losses were averted. Overall, 127,226 disability adjusted life years (DALYs) were averted per 3-year incremental period. The cumulative costs of malaria control interventions were 11,169,472 US dollars (in 1995 US dollars). Because the control programmes were so effective, the mining companies attracted a large reservoir of migrant labourers and sustained healthy work forces. The programmes averted an estimated 796,622 US dollars in direct treatment costs and 5,678,745 US dollars in indirect costs as a result of reduced work absenteeism. Within a few years of programme initiation, Northern Rhodesia became the leading copper producer in Africa, and mining generated the dominant share of national income. Copper production and revenues, which increased dramatically during malaria control interventions, amounted to the equivalent of 7.1 billion US dollars (in 1995 US dollars). Integrated malaria control in copper mining communities was a sound investment. It had payoff for public and occupational health, generally, and without it copper extraction and social and economic development would have been impossible.
 
Article
The outcome in three groups of patients with bacteriologically confirmed typhoid fever caused by Salmonella typhi, treated during three episodes between 1948 and 1990 in Java, Indonesia, was compared by retrospective analysis of hospital records. The study population consisted of three groups of patients. Group I (n = 50) was treated in Batavia (the present Jakarta) from 1948 to 1950, Group II (n = 61) in Yogyakarta from 1952 to 1956, Group III (n = 105) in Semarang from 1989 to 1990. Main outcome measures were days until defervescence, early relapses during hospitalization, duration of hospital stay, complications and mortality. Group I received supportive treatment only, Group II low doses of chloramphenicol (total 12.5 g) and Group III full doses of chloramphenicol (total 27 g); occasionally other antibiotics were used. In Group I, II and III the mean number of days until defervescence was 16, 8 and 6 and the mean number of days in hospital 43, 47 and 15, respectively. Mortality was 26%, 10% and 5% and complications occurred in 38%, 18% and 13%, respectively. Between Group I and Group II the differences in mortality and complications were statistically significant (P < 0.05). Compared to Group I the proportion of early relapses was higher in Group II, but was zero in Group III. There were significantly fewer gastrointestinal complications in Group II than in Group I (P < 0.01) and even fewer in Group III. When no antibiotic against S. typhi was available, typhoid fever had a protracted course, and only 74% of patients survived. Even with low dosages of chloramphenicol, defervescence was earlier and mortality and complications decreased dramatically, but early relapses were frequent. Full doses of chloramphenicol for a sufficient period of time only slightly reduced mortality and complications further, but eliminated early relapses completely.
 
Article
This paper analyses the effect of income and education on life expectancy and mortality rates among the elderly in 33 countries for the period 1960–92 and assesses how that relationship has changed over time as a result of technical progress. Our outcome variables are life expectancy at age 60 and the probability of dying between age 60 and age 80 for both males and females. The data are from vital-registration based life tables published by national statistical offices for several years during this period. We estimate regressions with determinants that include GDP per capita (adjusted for purchasing power), education and time (as a proxy for technical progress). As the available measure of education failed to account for variation in life expectancy or mortality at age 60, our reported analyses focus on a simplified model with only income and time as predictors. The results indicate that, controlling for income, mortality rates among the elderly have declined considerably over the past three decades. We also find that poverty (as measured by low average income levels) explains some of the variation in both life expectancy at age 60 and mortality rates among the elderly across the countries in the sample. The explained amount of variation is more substantial for females than for males. While poverty does adversely affect mortality rates among the elderly (and the strength of this effect is estimated to be increasing over time), technical progress appears far more important in the period following 1960. Predicted female life expectancy (at age 60) in 1960 at the mean income level in 1960 was, for example 18.8 years; income growth to 1992 increased this by an estimated 0.7 years, whereas technical progress increased it by 2.0 years. We then use the estimated regression results to compare country performance on life expectancy of the elderly, controlling for levels of poverty (or income), and to assess how performance has varied over time. High performing countries, on female life expectancy at age 60, for the period around 1990, included Chile (1.0 years longer life expectancy), China (1.7 years longer), France (2.0 years longer), Japan (1.9 years longer), and Switzerland (1.3 years longer). Poorly performing countries included Denmark (1.1 years shorter life expectancy than predicted from income), Hungary (1.4 years shorter), Iceland (1.2 years shorter), Malaysia (1.6 years shorter), and Trinidad and Tobago (3.9 years shorter). Chile and Switzerland registered major improvements in relative performance over this period; Norway, Taiwan and the USA, in contrast showed major declines in performance between 1980 and the early 1990s.
 
Article
Listeria is an important foodborne pathogen with severe manifestations and high case-fatality rate. However, listeriosis is not yet a notifiable disease in China, and there is no national monitoring system for cases. We conducted a systematic review to better understand the clinical and epidemiologic features of listeriosis in China. Both electronic and manual retrieval systems were used to search Chinese literature for cases and isolates of human listeriosis reported between 1964 and 2010. We recorded and analysed demographic, clinical and laboratory information available for reported cases. A total of 147 clinical cases, 479 Listeria isolates and 82 outbreak-related cases were reported in 28 (90%) provinces in China from January 1964 to December 2010. Of the clinical cases, 45 (31%) were central nervous system infections, 68 (46%) were septicaemia and 34 (23%) were focal infections or gastroenteritis. The overall case-fatality rate was 26% (34/130) among clinical cases with known outcomes and 46% (21/46) among neonatal cases. Listeriosis cases occurred in China throughout the study period between 1964 and 2010. Case-fatality was similar to published data from other countries. China should consider requiring notification of listeriosis cases to improve estimates of incidence, identification of risk factors and design of preventive measures.
 
Article
The immunogenicity of the HbOC, a Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine, was evaluated in a randomized clinical trial of Arab children resident in Tripoli. The HbOC vaccine was given as part of a three-dose series at 2, 3 and 4 months of age together with hepatitis B, OPV and DPT to 90 children. Anti-H. influenzae antibody levels were compared with 81 infants receiving hepatitis B, OPV and DPT but not the HbOC vaccine. The immunogenicity and safety of HbOC was as high as that observed in industrialised countries. There were no major complications, and fever and temporary local discomfort were observed in fewer than approximately 2% of the infants. Infants receiving the HbOC vaccine had an increase in Hib antibodies with only one dose. Geometric mean anti-Hib antibody levels were 0.41, 1.36 and 2.91 mg/ml after one, two and three doses. After two doses, all children had antibody levels above 0.20 mg/ml and the lowest antibody concentration was 0.80 mg/ml. Antibody levels in our children are similar to those observed in Europe and the USA and it is thus likely that HbOC will provide good clinical protection in this population. As most of the children develop antibody titres above or near 1 mg/ml, it is likely that they are protected even with two doses of the vaccine. The anti-Hib antibody levels observed are similar to those in studies from Europe where hepatitis B vaccine is not routinely given.
 
Article
To examine trends in incidence of multiple births (MB) and their survival in infancy, we used population-based, longitudinal data derived from the Health and Demographic Surveillance System in Matlab, Bangladesh, from 1975 to 2002. Logistic regression was applied to determine the impact of a number of variables on mortality among MB in the first year of life. MB averaged 2% of all live births, but contributed 10% to all infant deaths. Infant mortality among MB was more than five times higher than among singletons. Mortality among MB declined by 27% in 1975-2002, considerably less than the 51% mortality decline among singletons in the same period. Infant mortality among twins and triplets was particularly high among children who were born to young mothers (<20 years), who were the first live birth, who were born after a short birth interval (<24 months) and whose mothers were unschooled. Mortality of MB was lower in the area with easy access to high-quality maternal and child-care services. Thus, good maternity and newborn care will improve the survival of MB.
 
Characteristics of study population Dengue No Dengue Indeterminate Total
Clinical findings of 132 patients diagnosed with dengue on serological and clinicoepidemiological grounds
Travel destinations of 132 travellers diagnosed with dengue
Article
The aim of this study was to assess the applicability and benefits of the new WHO dengue fever guidelines in clinical practice, for returning travellers. We compared differences in specificity and sensitivity between the old and the new guidelines for diagnosing dengue and assessed the usefulness in predicting the clinical course of the disease. Also, we investigated whether hypertension, diabetes or allergies, ethnicity or high age influenced the course of disease. In our setting, the old classification, compared with the new, had a marginally higher sensitivity for diagnosing dengue. The new classification had a slightly higher specificity and was less rigid. Patients with dengue who had warning signs as postulated in the new classification were admitted more often than those who had no warning signs (RR, 8.09 [1.80-35.48]). We did not find ethnicity, age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus or allergies to be predictive of the clinical course. In our cohort of returned travellers, the new classification system did not differ in sensitivity and specificity from the old system to a clinically relevant degree. The guidelines did not improve identification of severe disease.
 
Article
Laboratory confirmation of leptospirosis is usually accomplished serologically, without isolates, using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). However, optimal performance of the MAT is dependent on the knowledge of enzootic serogroups and serovars so that an appropriate MAT antigen testing battery can be established. Infecting leptospiral serogroups can be identified serologically without isolates, using the MAT, or by serogrouping of isolates, but little information is available regarding the correlation between these methods. The identification of infecting serogroups for 53 culture-confirmed leptospirosis cases, diagnosed in Hawaii between 1979 and 1998, using serology and culture isolates were compared. The overall agreement between the two methods was good (kappa = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.56, 0.86). However, the agreement varied between serogroups from 0 to 100%. In establishing the prevalence of serogroups, results obtained via MAT serology (in the absence of serogrouped isolates) should be considered presumptive rather than definitive.
 
Article
To assess the financing changes of schistosomiasis control programmes in China and estimate the impact of these changes on patients' treatment-seeking behaviour and control of schistosomiasis, a survey was conducted in five schistosomiasis-endemic areas of the lake regions, Hubei province, in 1996. This paper reports financing changes and their impact on the incidence and prevalence of schistosomiasis from one of the five areas as a case study. By examining the surveillance and financial data from 1980 to 1995, and through focus group discussions we found that the schistosomiasis control programmes in People's Republic of China have gone through dramatic financing changes from 1980 to 1995, when the transitions of China's social, economic, and political systems happened. The proportions of funding to schistosomiasis control programmes from high level governmental agencies, county budgets, and services revenue changed from 60%, 23%, and 17%, respectively, in 1980-1987 to 0.7%, 22.3%, and 72% in 1995. The percentages of expenditure of schistosomiasis control activities, salaries and bonuses, and other activities unrelated to schistosomiasis control, were 53.5%, 14.4, and 17.2% in 1980. These percentages changed to 7.7%, 33.3%, and 53.3%, respectively, in 1995. The preponderant role of the state in organizing, financing, and delivery of the services was replaced with the new system which is more influenced by the market economy. The incidence and the prevalence of schistosomiasis in the study area have increased year by year from 1980 to 1990, although there has been a tendency to decrease after 1991 but not to the low pre1980 levels. The collapse of the community-based medical system in rural areas and the dramatic financing changes of schistosomiasis control programmes have created major difficulties for schistosomiasis control in China.
 
Article
We report an estimation of the incidence of childhood cancer among natives of French Polynesia (FP) during the 1985-1995 period. Our data were acquired from the Cancer Registry of FP and through an extensive investigation of other potential sources of information. The mean population of children between 1985 and 1995 was estimated to be 63 401 inhabitants, 32 487 of whom were boys and 30 914 girls, born and residing in FP. During the 1985-1995 period, 87 incident cases of childhood cancer were recorded among inhabitants born in FP or of an unknown place of birth (n = 2). Childhood cancer incidence had attained 125 cases/million child years and was very similar among girls (126 x 10(-6)) and boys (123 x 10(-6)), this incidence being slightly lower than among other populations of similar ethnic origin: Standardized Incidence Ratio (SIR) = 0.8 (95% CI: 0.7-1.0) when compared with New Zealand Maoris and SIR = 0.8 (95% CI: 0.6-1.0) when compared with natives from Hawaii. For both sexes considered together, the most frequent cancer type was leukaemia, followed by central nervous system (CNS) malignancies, neuroblastoma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Only one case of gonadal and germ cell tumours and one case of carcinoma were reported. Childhood cancer incidence was predominant among children living in the Windward, Leeward and Marquesas Islands and the Tuamotu-Gambier archipelago, but lower in the Austral Islands. The incidence of acute non-lymphocytic leukaemia (ANLL) decreased from 3.3 x 10(-5) between 1985 and 1989, an unexpectedly high incidence, to 0.8 x 10(-5) between 1990 and 1995.
 
Article
How climate variability affects the transmission of infectious diseases at a regional level remains unclear. We assess the impact of climate variation on the Ross River virus (RRv) transmission in the Townsville region, Queensland, north-east Australia. We obtained population-based information on monthly variations in RRv cases, climatic factors, sea level, and population growth between 1985 and 1996. Cross-correlations were computed for a series of associations between climate variables (rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, relative humidity and high tide) and the monthly incidence of RRv disease over a range of time lags. We assessed the impact of climate variability on RRv transmission using the seasonal auto-regressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model. There were significant correlations of the monthly incidence of RRv to rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature and relative humidity, all at a lag of 2 months, and high tide in the current month. The results of SARIMA models show that monthly average rainfall (beta = 0.0007, P = 0.01) and high tide (beta = 0.0089, P = 0.04) were significantly associated with RRv transmission and maximum temperature was also marginally significantly associated with monthly incidence of RRv (beta = 0.0412, P = 0.07), although relative humidity did not seem to have played an important role in the Townsville region. Rainfall, high tide and maximum temperature were likely to be key determinants of RRv transmission in the Townsville region.
 
Article
To describe the variations in cancer incidence in the population born in French Polynesia (FP) according to the archipelago of birth and to compare this incidence with that of Hawaiians and Maoris. Study of data from the Cancer Registry of FP, evacuation files, insurance records, hospital and pathology laboratory files. The overall world standardized cancer incidence in FP during the 1985-95 period in the populations born and living in FP was 246 per 105 person-years (PY) among women and 244 per 105 PY among men. The overall cancer incidence was similar to that in Hawaiians, but 25% lower than in Maoris. Digestive tract cancer incidence was a third that of these two reference populations, whereas that of pharynx, larynx and thyroid cancers was approximately twice as high. The overall cancer incidence rate increased between the period 1985-89 and the period 1990-95 in women, but was stable in men. Colorectal cancer incidence was highest in inhabitants born on the Windward Islands. Women born on the Austral Islands had a higher thyroid and liver cancer incidence and a lower breast cancer incidence. Further studies are needed to elucidate the variations observed between FP archipelagos, Maoris and Hawaiians.
 
Number (%) of AIDS patients with HIV1, HIV2 and dually reactive to HIV1 and 2 infection in Fann Hospital, Dakar, Senegal, January 1986 -July 1997
Symptoms/signs in AIDS patients at Fann Hospital, Dakar, Senegal
Infections and malignancies observed in AIDS patients at Fann Hospital, Dakar, Senegal
Article
To compare the clinical manifestations observed in AIDS patients infected with HIV2 and HIV1 infection. The medical records of AIDS patients hospitalized between January 1986 and July 1997 at the Department of Infectious Diseases of Fann Hospital, Dakar, were reviewed. 599 hospitalizations (76%) were HIV1 seropositive patients, 137 (17%) were HIV2 seropositive patients and 54 (7%) were patients serologically dually reactive to HIV1 and HIV2. There was no significant difference in medium CD4 lymphocyte count between patients with HIV1 and HIV2 infection. Chronic diarrhoea and diarrhoea caused by bacterial infections were more frequently observed in HIV2-infected individuals. Oral candidiasis and chronic fever were more often noted in patients with HIV1 infection. Bacterial and cryptococcal meningitis was only observed among patients with HIV1 infection. Certain clinical differences were observed comparing AIDS patients with HIV1 and those with HIV2 infection. As there is no clear physiopathological explanation for these differences, additional studies with larger numbers of AIDS patients are needed to determine whether these differences are real.
 
Selected economic, demographic, health outcome and health services indicators for data collection
Evolutions of some economic and health indicators, Cuba 1989–2000.
Evolutions of some economic and health indicators, Cuba 1989-2000. 
Evolution of selected health outcome indicators, Cuba 1989-2000
Article
During the 1990s, Cuba was able to overcome a severe crisis, almost without negative health impacts. This national retrospective study covering the years 19892000 analyses the countrys strategy through essential social, demographic, health process and health outcome indicators. Gross domestic product (GDP) diminished by 34.76% between 1989 and 1993. In 1994 slow recuperation started. During the crisis, public health expenses increased. The number of family doctors rose from 9.22 to 27.03 per 104 inhabitants between 1989 and 2000. Infant mortality rate and life expectancy exemplify a series of health indicators that continued to improve during the crisis years, whereas low birth weight and tuberculosis incidence are among the few indicators that suffered deterioration. GDP is inversely related to tuberculosis incidence, whereas the average salary is inversely related to low birth weight. Infant mortality rate has a strong negative correlation with the health expenses per inhabitant, the number of maternal homes, the number of family doctors and the proportion of pregnant women receiving care in maternal homes. Life expectancy has a strong positive correlation with health expenses, the number of nursing personnel and the number of medical contacts per inhabitant. The Cuban strategy effectively resolved health risks during the crisis. In times of serious socio-economic constraints, a well conceptualized public health policy can play an important role in maintaining the overall well-being of a population.
 
Prevalence and incidence of HSV-2 and incidence of HIV in men and women
Population attributable fraction of HIV incidence attributable to HSV-2 infection, by age, sex and period*
HIV incidence HSV-2 incidence and prevalence in men.
HIV incidence HSV-2 incidence and prevalence in women.
Article
To assess the long-term effects of population-level HSV-2 infection on HIV incidence. Data from a population-based cohort in south-western Uganda were used to estimate HIV incidence from 1990 to 2007. Stored blood samples were tested for HSV-2, and the impact of HSV-2 prevalence and incidence on HIV incidence was estimated by calculating population attributable fractions (PAFs). The association between population-level annual HIV incidence and annual HSV-2 incidence/prevalence was analysed using linear regression. HIV incidence declined over time among men, from 8.72/1000 person-years (pyr) in 1990 to 4.85/1000 pyr in 2007 (P-trend <0.001). In contrast, there was no decline in HIV incidence among women (4.86/1000 pyr in 1990 to 6.74/1000 pyr in 2007, P-trend = 0.18). PAFs of incident HIV attributable to HSV-2 were high (60% in males; 70% in females). There was no evidence of an association between long-term trends in HIV incidence and HSV-2 prevalence or incidence. Assuming a causal relationship, a substantial proportion of new HIV infections in this population are attributable to HSV-2. The study did not find an effect of HSV-2 prevalence/incidence on trends in HIV incidence. HIV incidence did not vary much during the study period. This may partly explain the lack of association.
 
Article
Objective: To document leprosy trends in Zambia over the past two decades to ascertain the importance of leprosy as a health problem in Zambia. Methods: Retrospective study covering the period 1991-2009 of routine national leprosy surveillance data, published national programme review reports and desk reviews of in-country TB reports. Results: Data reports were available for all the years under study apart from years 2001, 2002 and 2006. The Leprosy case notification rates (CNR) declined from 2.73/10 000 population in 1991 to 0.43/10 000 population in 2009. The general leprosy burden showed a downward trend for both adults and children. Leprosy case burden dropped from approximately 18 000 cases in 1980 to only about 1000 cases in 1996, and by the year 2000, the prevalence rates had fallen to 0.67/10 000 population. There were more multibacillary cases of leprosy than pauci-bacillary cases. Several major gaps in data recording, entry and surveillance were identified. Data on disaggregation by gender, HIV status or geographical origin were not available. Conclusion: Whilst Zambia has achieved WHO targets for leprosy control, leprosy prevalence data from Zambia may not reflect real situation because of poor data recording and surveillance. Greater investment into infrastructure and training are required for more accurate surveillance of leprosy in Zambia.
 
Top-cited authors
Anthony David Harries
  • International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Sandy Cairncross
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Paul R Hunter
  • University of East Anglia
Jamie Bartram
  • University of Leeds
Annette Prüss-Ustün
  • World Health Organization WHO