Joseph Lau

Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (2)4.51 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum is a major obstacle to malaria control. Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is being advocated to improve treatment efficacy and to delay development of resistance. Here we summarise the available data on the efficacy of amodiaquine plus sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (AQ+SP) versus ACTs in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. We searched for randomised trials in which patients with uncomplicated malaria treated with AQ+SP were compared with those treated with either amodiaquine plus artesunate (AQ+AS), artesunate plus sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (AS+SP) or artemether/lumefantrine (AL). Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and reference lists up to July 2005 were searched. Two reviewers independently extracted the data. The primary outcome measure was treatment failure by Day 28. Outcome measures were combined using a random effects model. Seven randomised trials of 4472 children were included. Trial quality was generally high. Treatment failure of AQ+SP was significantly reduced compared with AS+SP (relative risk (RR)=0.56, 95% CI 0.42-0.75), but increased compared with AL (RR=2.80, 95% CI 2.32-3.39). The overall failure rate of AQ+SP was similar compared with AQ+AS (RR=1.12, 95% CI 0.81-1.54), but there was significant heterogeneity of results across the studies. All the treatment regimens were safe and well tolerated. AQ+SP should be considered in some settings before the full implementation of an ACT.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2007 · Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
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    C O Obonyo · J Lau
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    ABSTRACT: Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection is a leading cause of meningitis and pneumonia in infants and children in developing countries, and yet the implementation of routine Hib vaccination is very slow. The aim of the present study was to quantify the protective efficacy of H. influenzae type b vaccination of young children. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials Register were searched. References of selected articles were also reviewed and experts contacted. Eight randomized trials were found that compared the efficacy of H. influenzae type b conjugate vaccine to placebo or no vaccine. Information on study design, patients enrolled, age, vaccine type, cases of invasive H. influenzae type b disease, adverse events, and items to assess potential for bias was recorded. The incidence of invasive H. influenzae type b infection formed the primary outcome. The odds ratio (OR) of developing Hib infection was combined using a random effects model to provide a measure of vaccine efficacy. The protective effect, defined as the relative risk reduction, was estimated as (1-OR). From eight trials, the protective efficacy of the Hib conjugate vaccine was 84% (OR 0.16; 95%CI 0.08-0.30) against invasive Hib disease, 75% (OR 0.25; 95%CI 0.08-0.84) against meningitis, and 69% (OR 0.31; 95%CI 0.10-0.97) against pneumonia. Serious adverse events were rare. The results provide firm evidence that Hib conjugate vaccines are safe and effective in reducing the risk of all forms of invasive Hib disease, further establishing that vaccination of children in developing countries can protect them from a potentially fatal yet preventable disease.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2006 · European Journal of Clinical Microbiology