Andrew M Prentice

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (583)3246.54 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A pilot study was conducted to assess the feasibility of using fNIRS as an alternative to behavioral assessments of cognitive development with infants in rural Africa. We report preliminary results of a study looking at working memory in 12-16-month-olds and discuss the benefits and shortcomings for the potential future use of fNIRS to investigate the effects of nutritional insults and interventions in global health studies.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide and routine supplementation is standard policy for pregnant mothers and children in most low-income countries. However, iron lies at the center of host-pathogen competition for nutritional resources and recent trials of iron administration in African and Asian children have resulted in significant excesses of serious adverse events including hospitalizations and deaths. Increased rates of malaria, respiratory infections, severe diarrhea and febrile illnesses of unknown origin have all been reported, but the mechanisms are unclear. We here investigated the ex vivo growth characteristics of exemplar sentinel bacteria in adult sera collected before and 4 h after oral supplementation with 2 mg/kg iron as ferrous sulfate. Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (all gram-negative bacteria) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (gram-positive) showed markedly elevated growth in serum collected after iron supplementation. Growth rates were very strongly correlated with transferrin saturation (p < 0.0001 in all cases). Growth of Staphylococcus aureus, which preferentially scavenges heme iron, was unaffected. These data suggest that even modest oral supplements with highly soluble (non-physiological) iron, as typically used in low-income settings, could promote bacteremia by accelerating early phase bacterial growth prior to the induction of immune defenses.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Scientific Reports
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    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · International Journal of Epidemiology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Maternal micronutrient deficiencies are commonly associated with clinical indicators of placental dysfunction. Objective: We tested the hypothesis that periconceptional multiple-micronutrient supplementation (MMS) affects placental function. Design: We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of MMS in 17- to 45-y-old Gambian women who were menstruating regularly and within the previous 3 mo. Eligible subjects were pre–randomly assigned to supplementation with the UNICEF/WHO/United Nations University multiple micronutrient preparation (UNIMMAP) or placebo on recruitment and until they reached their first antenatal check-up or for 1 y if they failed to conceive. Primary outcome measures were midgestational indexes of utero-placental vascular-endothelial function [ratio of plasminogen-activator inhibitor (PAI) 1 to PAI-2 and mean uterine-artery resistance index (UtARI)] and placental active transport capacity at delivery [fetal to maternal measles antibody (MMA) ratio]. Results: We recruited 1156 women who yielded 415 pregnancies, of which 376 met all of the inclusion criteria. With adjustment for gestational age at sampling, there were no differences in PAI-1 to PAI-2 or MMA ratios between trial arms, but there was a 0.02-unit reduction in UtARI between 18 and 32 wk of gestation (95% CI: −0.03, −0.00; P = 0.040) in women taking UNIMMAP. Conclusions: Placental vascular function was modifiable by periconceptional micronutrient supplementation. However, the effect was small and supplementation did not further affect other variables of placental function. This trial was registered at as ISRCTN 13687662.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23), a phosphate-regulating hormone, is abnormally elevated in hypophosphataemic syndromes and an elevated FGF23 is a predictor of mortality in kidney disease. Recent findings suggest iron deficiency as a potential mediator of FGF23 expression and murine studies have shown in utero effects of maternal iron deficiency on offspring FGF23 and phosphate (Phos) metabolism. Our aim was to investigate the impact of maternal iron status on infant FGF23 and mineral metabolites over the first two years of life. Infants born to mothers with normal (NIn=25,) and low (LIn=25) iron status during pregnancy, from a mother-infant trial (ISRCTN49285450) in rural Gambia, West Africa, had blood and plasma samples analysed at 12, 24, 52, 78 and 104 weeks(wk) of age. Circulating intact-FGF23 (I-FGF23), Phos, total alkaline phosphatase (TALP) and haemoglobin (Hb) decreased and estimated glomerular filtration rate increased over time [all P≤0.0001)]. C-terminal-FGF23 (C-FGF23) and TALP were significantly higher in LI compared with NI, from 52 wk for C-FGF23 [Beta coefficient (SE) 18.1 (0.04) %, P=0.04] and from 24 wk for TALP [44.7 (29.6) U/L, P=0.04]. After adjustment, infant Hb was the strongest negative predictor of C-FGF23 concentration [-21% (4%) RU/mL, P≤0.0001]. Phos was the strongest positive predictor of I-FGF23 [32.0(3.9) pg/mL, P≤0.0001] and I-FGF23 did not predict C-FGF23 over time [-0.5% (0.5%), P=0.3]. In conclusion, this study suggests that poor maternal iron status is associated with a higher infant C-FGF23 and TALP but similar I-FGF23 concentrations in infants and young children. These findings further highlight the likely public health importance of preventing iron deficiency during pregnancy. Whether or not children who are born to iron deficient mothers have persistently high concentrations of these metabolites and are more likely to be at risk of impaired bone development and pre-disposed to rickets requires further research.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Bone
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    ABSTRACT: Background Yoghurt is part of the diet of many people worldwide and is commonly recognized as a 'health food'. Epidemiological studies suggest yoghurt may be useful as part of weight management programs. In the absence of comprehensive systematic reviews, this systematic review investigated the effect of yoghurt consumption by apparently healthy adults on weight-related outcomes.Methods An extensive literature search was undertaken, as part of a wider scoping review, to identify yoghurt studies. 13 631 records were assessed for their relevance to weight-related outcomes.Results22 publications were eligible according to the review protocol. Cohort studies (n=6) and cross-sectional studies (n=7) all showed a correlation between yoghurt and lower or improved body weight/composition. Six randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and one controlled trial had various limitations, including small size and short duration. One RCT showed significant effects of yoghurt on weight loss, but was confounded by differences in calcium intake. One trial showed non-significant weight gain and the remaining five trials showed non-significant weight losses that were greater in yoghurt consumers.Conclusions Yoghurt consumption is associated with lower BMI, lower body weight/weight gain, smaller waist circumference and lower body fat in epidemiological studies. RCTs suggest weight reduction effects, but do not permit determination of a cause/effect relationship. Well-controlled, adequately powered trials in research and community settings appear likely to identify a modest but beneficial effect of yoghurt consumption for prevention of weight gain and management of obesity. The ready availability of yoghurt (a nutrient dense food) and its ease of introduction to most diets, suggests that educating the public to eat yoghurt as part of a balanced and healthy diet may potentially contribute to improved public health. Future carefully designed RCTs could provide proof of principle and large community-based studies could determine the practical impact of yoghurt on body weight/composition.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 07 October 2015. doi:10.1038/ijo.2015.202.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · International journal of obesity (2005)
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association
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    ABSTRACT: Interindividual epigenetic variation that occurs systemically must be established prior to gastrulation in the very early embryo and, because it is systemic, can be assessed in easily biopsiable tissues. We employ two independent genome-wide approaches to search for such variants. First, we screen for metastable epialleles by performing genomewide bisulfite sequencing in peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) and hair follicle DNA from two Caucasian adults. Second, we conduct a genomewide screen for genomic regions at which PBL DNA methylation is affected by season of conception in rural Gambia. Remarkably, both approaches identify the genomically imprinted VTRNA2-1 as a top environmentally responsive epiallele. We demonstrate systemic and stochastic interindividual variation in DNA methylation at the VTRNA2-1 differentially methylated region in healthy Caucasian and Asian adults and show, in rural Gambians, that periconceptional environment affects offspring VTRNA2-1 epigenotype, which is stable over at least 10 years. This unbiased screen also identifies over 100 additional candidate metastable epialleles, and shows that these are associated with cis genomic features including transposable elements. The non-coding VTRNA2-1 transcript (also called nc886) is a putative tumor suppressor and modulator of innate immunity. Thus, these data indicating environmentally induced loss of imprinting at VTRNA2-1 constitute a plausible causal pathway linking early embryonic environment, epigenetic alteration, and human disease. More broadly, the list of candidate metastable epialleles provides a resource for future studies of epigenetic variation and human disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Genome Biology
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · EBioMedicine
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Nature Communications
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    Sarah Prentice · Momodou W Jallow · Andrew M Prentice
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    ABSTRACT: Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination has been reported to protect neonates from non-tuberculous pathogens, but no biological mechanism to explain such effects is known. We hypothesised that BCG produces broad-spectrum anti-microbial protection via a hepcidin-mediated hypoferraemia, limiting iron availability for pathogens. To test this we conducted a trial in 120 Gambian neonates comparing iron status in the first 5-days of life after allocation to: (1) All routine vaccinations at birth (BCG/Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)/Hepatitis B Vaccine (HBV)); (2) BCG delayed until after the study period (at day 5); and (3) All routine vaccinations delayed until after the study period. Vaccine regime at birth did not significantly impact on any measured parameter of iron metabolism. However, the ability to detect an effect of BCG on iron metabolism may have been limited by short follow-up time and high activation of the inflammatory-iron axis in the study population. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Vaccine
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    Preview · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Choline is an essential nutrient, and the amount needed in the diet is modulated by several factors. Given geographical differences in dietary choline intake and disparate frequencies of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in choline metabolism genes between ethnic groups, we tested the hypothesis that 3 SNPs that increase dependence on dietary choline would be under negative selection pressure in settings where choline intake is low: choline dehydrogenase (CHDH) rs12676, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 1 (MTHFD1) rs2236225, and phosphatidylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PEMT) rs12325817. Evidence of negative selection was assessed in 2 populations: 1 in The Gambia, West Africa, where there is historic evidence of a choline-poor diet, and the other in the United States, with a comparatively choline-rich diet. We used 2 independent methods, and confirmation of our hypothesis was sought via a comparison with SNP data from the Maasai, an East African population with a genetic background similar to that of Gambians but with a traditional diet that is higher in choline. Our results show that frequencies of SNPs known to increase dependence on dietary choline are significantly reduced in the low-choline setting of The Gambia. Our findings suggest that adequate intake levels of choline may have to be reevaluated in different ethnic groups and highlight a possible approach for identifying novel functional SNPs under the influence of dietary selective pressure.-Silver, M. J., Corbin, K. D., Hellenthal, G., da Costa, K.-A., Dominguez-Salas, P., Moore, S. E., Owen, J., Prentice, A. M., Hennig, B. J., Zeisel, S. H. Evidence for negative selection of gene variants that increase dependence on dietary choline in a Gambian cohort. © FASEB.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · The FASEB Journal
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    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. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Medical Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Early and chronic inflammation is a hallmark of HIV infection, and inflammation is known to increase hepcidin expression. Consequently, hepcidin may be a key determinant of the iron homeostasis and anemia associated with poorer HIV prognoses. The objective of this study was to understand how hepcidin is related to anemia, iron homeostasis, and inflammation at HIV diagnosis and to investigate associations between hepcidin and all-cause mortality in HIV infection. In a retrospective cohort, baseline plasma hepcidin was measured by competitive enzyme immunoassay within 3 mo of HIV diagnosis in 196 antiretroviral-naive Gambians. Iron homeostasis [hemoglobin, plasma transferrin, ferritin, iron, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR)] and inflammation [α1-antichymotrypsin (ACT)] from the same plasma sample were available, as were absolute CD4 cell counts, age, gender, body mass index (BMI), and HIV type. Anemia was common across the spectrum of immunosuppression [CD4 cell counts (prevalence of anemia): >500 cells/μL (68%), 200-500 cells/μL (73%), and <200 cells/μL (89%); P = 0.032] and in men (81%) and women (76%). Increasing hepcidin was associated with iron homeostasis biomarkers (higher ferritin and lower transferrin, hemoglobin, and sTfR), inflammation (higher ACT), and key health indicators (lower CD4 or BMI, advancing age, and male gender; P < 0.001 except for hemoglobin, P = 0.021). Elevated hepcidin was associated with greater all-cause mortality in a dose-dependent manner [intermediate vs. lowest tertile: unadjusted HR (95% CI), 1.95 (1.22, 3.10); upper vs. lowest tertile: 3.02 (1.91, 4.78)]. Principal components analysis identified 2 patterns composed of hepcidin-ferritin-transferrin, with or without ACT, and iron-sTfR-hemoglobin that may distinguish inflammation and erythropoiesis iron functions. Elevated hepcidin is independently associated with greater mortality in men and women with HIV infection, and hepcidin is also part of a complex relation linking iron homeostasis, anemia, and HIV. Understanding the mechanisms and role of hepcidin modulation may further guide evidence-based interventions needed to counter detrimental iron homeostasis and anemia in HIV infection. © 2015 American Society for Nutrition.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to environmental toxins during embryonic development may lead to epigenetic changes that influence disease risk in later life. Aflatoxin is a contaminant of staple foods in sub-Saharan Africa, is a known human liver carcinogen and has been associated with stunting in infants. We have measured aflatoxin exposure in 115 pregnant women in The Gambia and examined the DNA methylation status of white blood cells from their infants at 2-8 months old (mean 3.6 ± 0.9). Aflatoxin exposure in women was assessed using an ELISA method to measure aflatoxin albumin (AF-alb) adducts in plasma taken at 1-16 weeks of pregnancy. Genome-wide DNA methylation of infant white blood cells was measured using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450beadchip. AF-alb levels ranged from 3.9 to 458.4 pg/mg albumin. We found that aflatoxin exposure in the mothers was associated to DNA methylation in their infants for 71 CpG sites (false discovery rate < 0.05), with an average effect size of 1.7% change in methylation. Aflatoxin-associated differential methylation was observed in growth factor genes such as FGF12 and IGF1, and immune-related genes such as CCL28, TLR2 and TGFBI. Moreover, one aflatoxin-associated methylation region (corresponding to the miR-4520b locus) was identified. This study shows that maternal exposure to aflatoxin during the early stages of pregnancy is associated with differential DNA methylation patterns of infants, including in genes related to growth and immune function. This reinforces the need for interventions to reduce aflatoxin exposure, especially during critical periods of fetal and infant development. © The Author 2015; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · International Journal of Epidemiology
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    ABSTRACT: Ongoing surveillance of enteric pathogens of public health significance amongst casual food sellers is undertaken in many resource-limited countries. We report the results of a survey in Kiang West province, The Gambia and provide an exemplar methodology for such surveys in resource-limited laboratories. Unpreserved, unrefrigerated stool samples were subjected to Salmonella, Shigella and agar plate culture for rhabditoid nematodes. Direct microscopy, formalin-ethyl acetate concentration and iron-hematoxylin staining was performed later, following preservation. Of 128 specimens received, no Shigella spp. was recovered, while four serovars of non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica, including Chandans, were isolated. Pathogenic parasitic infections were; Necator americanus 10/128 (7.8%), Strongyloides stercoralis 3/128 (2.8%), Blastocystis species 45/128 (35.1%), Entamoeba histolytica complex 19/128 (14.8%) and Giardia intestinalis 4/128 (3.1%). A single case each of Hymenolepis diminuta and S. mansoni infection were detected. In one participant, myxozoan spores identical to those of Myxobolus species, were found. Rare parasitoses and serovars of Salmonella enterica may occur relatively commonly in rural Africa. This paper describes intestinal pathogens found in a cohort of food sellers in such this setting. Furthermore, it describes two parasites rarely recovered from humans and demonstrates the need for methods other than microscopy to detect S. stercoralis infections. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Bone
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jan 2015

Publication Stats

25k Citations
3,246.54 Total Impact Points


  • 1999-2015
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • • Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
      • • Department of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1980-2015
    • Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia Unit
      Bakau, Banjul, Gambia
  • 2012-2014
    • University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2011
    • Cranfield University
      Cranfield, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Oxford
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1998-2011
    • Mrc Harwell
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Auckland
      • Department of Medicine
      Окленд, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2008
    • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
      • Nuffield Department of Medicine
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1995-2007
    • University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
    • Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
      Papworth, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • University of Gambia
      Bathurst, Banjul, Gambia
  • 2005
    • MRC International Nutrition Group
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1990-2002
    • University of Ulster
      • Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
      Aontroim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
  • 1989-2000
    • Medical Research Council (UK)
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1996
    • University of the Witwatersrand
      • School of Physiology
      Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
  • 1991-1995
    • MRC Clinical Sciences Centre
      London Borough of Harrow, England, United Kingdom
  • 1992
    • New York State
      New York, New York, United States
  • 1988
    • Spokane VA Medical Center
      Spokane, Washington, United States