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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Open AccessArticle A Rapid Appraisal of Factors Influencing Praziquantel Treatment Compliance in Two Communities Endemic for Schistosomiasis in Côte d’Ivoire
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020069
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Over the past decade, a significant reduction in the prevalence of schistosomiasis has been achieved, partially explained by the large-scale administration of praziquantel. Yet, the burden of schistosomiasis remains considerable, and factors influencing intervention coverage are important. This study aimed to deepen the
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Over the past decade, a significant reduction in the prevalence of schistosomiasis has been achieved, partially explained by the large-scale administration of praziquantel. Yet, the burden of schistosomiasis remains considerable, and factors influencing intervention coverage are important. This study aimed to deepen the understanding of low treatment coverage rates observed in two schistosomiasis-endemic villages in Côte d’Ivoire. The research was conducted in August 2015, in Moronou and Bigouin, two villages of Côte d’Ivoire that are endemic for Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni, respectively. After completion of a clinical trial, standard praziquantel treatment (single 40 mg/kg oral dose) was offered to all village inhabitants by community health workers using a house-to-house approach. Factors influencing treatment coverage were determined by a questionnaire survey, randomly selecting 405 individuals. The overall treatment coverage rate was only 47.6% (2730/5733) with considerable intervillage heterogeneity (27.7% in Bigouin (302/1091) versus 52.3% in Moronou (2428/4642)). Among the 200 individuals interviewed in Moronou, 50.0% were administered praziquantel, while only 19.5% of the 205 individuals interviewed in Bigouin received praziquantel. The main reasons for low treatment coverage were work-related (agricultural activities), the bitter taste of praziquantel and previous experiences with adverse events. The most suitable period for treatment campaigns was reported to be the dry season. More than three-quarter of the interviewees who had taken praziquantel (overall, 116/140; Moronou, 84/100; Bigouin, 32/40) declared that they would not participate in future treatments (p < 0.001). In order to enhance praziquantel treatment coverage, careful consideration should be given to attitudes and practices, such as prior or perceived adverse events and taste of praziquantel, and appropriate timing, harmonized with agricultural activities. Without such understanding, breaking the transmission of schistosomiasis remains a distant goal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessReview Schistosome Vaccines for Domestic Animals
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020068
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Schistosomiasis is recognized as a tropical disease of considerable public health importance, but domestic livestock infections due to Schistosoma japonicum, S. bovis, S. mattheei and S. curassoni are often overlooked causes of significant animal morbidity and mortality in Asia and Africa.
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Schistosomiasis is recognized as a tropical disease of considerable public health importance, but domestic livestock infections due to Schistosoma japonicum, S. bovis, S. mattheei and S. curassoni are often overlooked causes of significant animal morbidity and mortality in Asia and Africa. In addition, whereas schistosomiasis japonica is recognized as an important zoonosis in China and the Philippines, reports of viable schistosome hybrids between animal livestock species and S. haematobium point to an underappreciated zoonotic component of transmission in Africa as well. Anti-schistosome vaccines for animal use have long been advocated as part of the solution to schistosomiasis control, benefitting humans and animals and improving the local economy, features aligning with the One Health concept synergizing human and animal health. We review the history of animal vaccines for schistosomiasis from the early days of irradiated larvae and then consider the recombinant DNA technology revolution and its impact in developing schistosome vaccines that followed. We evaluate the major candidates tested in livestock, including the glutathione S-transferases, paramyosin and triose-phosphate isomerase, and summarize some of the future challenges that need to be overcome to design and deliver effective anti-schistosome vaccines that will complement current control options to achieve and sustain future elimination goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
Open AccessArticle The Importance of Water Typologies in Lay Entomologies of Aedes aegypti Habitat, Breeding and Dengue Risk: A Study from Northern Australia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020067
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 18 June 2018
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Abstract
Dengue fever is making a significant comeback globally and its control still depends largely on residents’ actions. Community awareness and education are central to its management; however, programmes have had limited impact, because they are often based on short-term research and limited awareness
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Dengue fever is making a significant comeback globally and its control still depends largely on residents’ actions. Community awareness and education are central to its management; however, programmes have had limited impact, because they are often based on short-term research and limited awareness of the socio-ecological contexts wherein local knowledge of dengue and its vectors (lay entomology) is produced and enacted in and through place. Long-term studies of lay knowledge of dengue vectors are very rare, even though they are essential to the development of effective, targeted community education campaigns and mobilisation. In this paper, we examine the popular belief that dengue vector, Aedes aegypti, is ubiquitous in the north Australian landscape and demonstrate how local typologies of water are central to the reasoning underwriting this assumption. We show how these logics are fortified by people’s lived experiences of mosquitoes and the watery abodes they are thought to reside in, as well as through key messages from health education. We posit that long term, context-sensitive research approaches are better able to identify, understand and later address and challenge assumptions and may be more effective at informing, empowering and mobilizing the public to combat dengue fever. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future)
Open AccessArticle Translational Venomics: Third-Generation Antivenomics of Anti-Siamese Russell’s Viper, Daboia siamensis, Antivenom Manufactured in Taiwan CDC’s Vaccine Center
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020066
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
The venom proteome of Siamese Russell’s viper from Taiwan, alongside complementary in vivo lethality neutralization assay and in vitro third-generation antivenomics assessment of the preclinical efficacy of the homologous antivenom manufactured in Taiwan CDC’s Vaccine Center, are here reported. Taiwanese Russell’s viper venom
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The venom proteome of Siamese Russell’s viper from Taiwan, alongside complementary in vivo lethality neutralization assay and in vitro third-generation antivenomics assessment of the preclinical efficacy of the homologous antivenom manufactured in Taiwan CDC’s Vaccine Center, are here reported. Taiwanese Russell’s viper venom proteome comprised 25 distinct gene products, with the heterodimeric PLA2 viperotoxin-F representing the most abundant toxin (47.5% of total venom proteome). Coagulation FV-activating serine proteinase (RVV-V, 14%), the PIV-SVMP activator of FX (RVV-FX, 8.5%), and less abundant toxins from nine protein families, make up its venom proteome. Venom composition-pathology correlations of D. siamensis envenomings in Taiwan are discussed. The lethal effect of Taiwanese D. siamensis venom was 0.47 mg/g mouse. Antivenomics-guided assessment of the toxin recognition landscape of the Taiwanese Russell’s viper antivenom, in conjunction with complementary in vivo neutralization analysis, informed the antivenom’s maximal toxin immunorecognition ability (14 mg total venom proteins/vial), neutralization capacity (6.5 mg venom/vial), and relative content of lethality neutralizing antibodies (46.5% of the toxin-binding F(ab’)2 antibodies). The antivenomics analysis also revealed suboptimal aspects of the CDC-Taiwan antivenom. Strategies to improve them are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snakebite Envenoming: Prioritizing a Neglected Tropical Disease)
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Open AccessReview An Overview of Brucellosis in Cattle and Humans, and its Serological and Molecular Diagnosis in Control Strategies
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020065
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 9 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
Brucellosis is one of the most common contagious and communicable zoonotic diseases with high rates of morbidity and lifetime sterility. There has been a momentous increase over the recent years in intra/interspecific infection rates, due to poor management and limited resources, especially in
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Brucellosis is one of the most common contagious and communicable zoonotic diseases with high rates of morbidity and lifetime sterility. There has been a momentous increase over the recent years in intra/interspecific infection rates, due to poor management and limited resources, especially in developing countries. Abortion in the last trimester is a predominant sign, followed by reduced milk yield and high temperature in cattle, while in humans it is characterized by undulant fever, general malaise, and arthritis. While the clinical picture of brucellosis in humans and cattle is not clear and often misleading with the classical serological diagnosis, efforts have been made to overcome the limitations of current serological assays through the development of PCR-based diagnosis. Due to its complex nature, brucellosis remains a serious threat to public health and livestock in developing countries. In this review, we summarized the recent literature, significant advancements, and challenges in the treatment and vaccination against brucellosis, with a special focus on developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Paediatric Strongyloidiasis in Central Australia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020064
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
Few published studies are available describing the prevalence of paediatric strongyloidiasis in endemic areas within Australia. This literature review and exploratory clinical audit presents the first seroprevalence data for paediatric patients in Central Australia. A total of 16.1% (30/186) of paediatric inpatients tested
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Few published studies are available describing the prevalence of paediatric strongyloidiasis in endemic areas within Australia. This literature review and exploratory clinical audit presents the first seroprevalence data for paediatric patients in Central Australia. A total of 16.1% (30/186) of paediatric inpatients tested for Strongyloides stercoralis in 2016 were seropositive (95% CI: 11.5% to 22.1%). Eosinophilia of unknown aetiology was the most common indication for testing (91.9%). Seropositive patients were significantly more likely to reside in communities outside of Alice Springs (p = 0.02). Seropositive patients were noted to have higher mean eosinophil counts with a mean difference of 0.86 × 109/L (95% CI: 0.56 to 1.16, p < 0.0001), although the limited utility of eosinophilia as a surrogate marker of strongyloidiasis has been described previously. All seropositive patients were Indigenous. There was no significant difference in ages between groups. There was a male predominance in the seropositive group, although this was not significant (p = 0.12). Twelve patients had known human T-lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1) status and all were seronegative. Further research describing the epidemiology of strongyloidiasis in Central Australia is required. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Outer Membrane Protein A Conservation among Orientia tsutsugamushi Isolates Suggests Its Potential as a Protective Antigen and Diagnostic Target
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020063
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract
Scrub typhus threatens one billion people in the Asia-Pacific area and cases have emerged outside this region. It is caused by infection with any of the multitude of strains of the bacterium Orientia tsutsugamushi. A vaccine that affords heterologous protection and a
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Scrub typhus threatens one billion people in the Asia-Pacific area and cases have emerged outside this region. It is caused by infection with any of the multitude of strains of the bacterium Orientia tsutsugamushi. A vaccine that affords heterologous protection and a commercially-available molecular diagnostic assay are lacking. Herein, we determined that the nucleotide and translated amino acid sequences of outer membrane protein A (OmpA) are highly conserved among 51 O. tsutsugamushi isolates. Molecular modeling revealed the predicted tertiary structure of O. tsutsugamushi OmpA to be very similar to that of the phylogenetically-related pathogen, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, including the location of a helix that contains residues functionally essential for A. phagocytophilum infection. PCR primers were developed that amplified ompA DNA from all O. tsutsugamushi strains, but not from negative control bacteria. Using these primers in quantitative PCR enabled sensitive detection and quantitation of O. tsutsugamushi ompA DNA from organs and blood of mice that had been experimentally infected with the Karp or Gilliam strains. The high degree of OmpA conservation among O. tsutsugamushi strains evidences its potential to serve as a molecular diagnostic target and justifies its consideration as a candidate for developing a broadly-protective scrub typhus vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Melioidosis in Africa: Time to Uncover the True Disease Load
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020062
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 10 June 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis is an often fatal infectious disease with a protean clinical spectrum, caused by the environmental bacterial pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei. Although the disease has been reported from some African countries in the past, the present epidemiology of melioidosis in Africa is almost
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Melioidosis is an often fatal infectious disease with a protean clinical spectrum, caused by the environmental bacterial pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei. Although the disease has been reported from some African countries in the past, the present epidemiology of melioidosis in Africa is almost entirely unknown. Therefore, the common view that melioidosis is rare in Africa is not evidence-based. A recent study concludes that large parts of Africa are environmentally suitable for B. pseudomallei. Twenty-four African countries and three countries in the Middle East were predicted to be endemic, but no cases of melioidosis have been reported yet. In this study, we summarize the present fragmentary knowledge on human and animal melioidosis and environmental B. pseudomallei in Africa and the Middle East. We propose that systematic serological studies in man and animals together with environmental investigations on potential B. pseudomallei habitats are needed to identify risk areas for melioidosis. This information can subsequently be used to target raising clinical awareness and the implementation of simple laboratory algorithms for the isolation of B. pseudomallei from clinical specimens. B. pseudomallei was most likely transferred from Asia to the Americas via Africa, which is shown by phylogenetic analyses. More data on the virulence and genomic characteristics of African B. pseudomallei isolates will contribute to a better understanding of the global evolution of the pathogen and will also help to assess potential differences in disease prevalence and outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis)
Open AccessReview Argument for Inclusion of Strongyloidiasis in the Australian National Notifiable Disease List
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020061
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
Strongyloidiasis is an infection caused by the helminth, Strongyloides stercoralis. Up to 370 million people are infected with the parasite globally, and it has remained endemic in the Indigenous Australian population for many decades. Strongyloidiasis has been also reported in other Australian
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Strongyloidiasis is an infection caused by the helminth, Strongyloides stercoralis. Up to 370 million people are infected with the parasite globally, and it has remained endemic in the Indigenous Australian population for many decades. Strongyloidiasis has been also reported in other Australian populations. Ignorance of this disease has caused unnecessary costs to the government health system, and been detrimental to the Australian people’s health. This manuscript addresses the 12 criteria required for a disease to be included in the Australian National Notifiable Disease List (NNDL) under the National Health Security Act 2007 (Commonwealth). There are six main arguments that provide compelling justification for strongyloidiasis to be made nationally notifiable and added to the Australian NNDL. These are: The disease is important to Indigenous health, and closing the health inequity gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is a priority; a public health response is required to detect cases of strongyloidiasis and to establish the true incidence and prevalence of the disease; there is no alternative national surveillance system to gather data on the disease; there are preventive measures with high efficacy and low side effects; data collection is feasible as cases are definable by microscopy, PCR, or serological diagnostics; and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) # 6 on clean water and sanitation. Full article
Open AccessReview Melioidosis in South America
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020060
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis is an emerging disease in the Americas. This paper reviews confirmed cases, the presence of Burkholderia pseudomallei and the organization of national surveillance policies for melioidosis in South America. Confirmed cases in humans have been reported from Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, and
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Melioidosis is an emerging disease in the Americas. This paper reviews confirmed cases, the presence of Burkholderia pseudomallei and the organization of national surveillance policies for melioidosis in South America. Confirmed cases in humans have been reported from Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru. The bacterium has been isolated from the environment in Brazil and Peru. The state of Ceará, northeastern region of Brazil, is the only place where specific public strategies and policies for melioidosis have been developed. We also discuss the urgent need for health authorities in South America to pay greater attention to this disease, which has the potential to have a high impact on public health, and the importance of developing coordinated strategies amongst countries in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis)
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Open AccessArticle Scabies in Resource-Poor Communities in Nasarawa State, Nigeria: Epidemiology, Clinical Features and Factors Associated with Infestation
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020059
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
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Abstract
Epidemiology and clinical features of scabies remain largely unknown in Nigeria’s rural communities. To fill this gap, we performed a cross-sectional study in three rural communities in north central Nigeria. A total of 500 individuals were included and examined for scabies infestation; a
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Epidemiology and clinical features of scabies remain largely unknown in Nigeria’s rural communities. To fill this gap, we performed a cross-sectional study in three rural communities in north central Nigeria. A total of 500 individuals were included and examined for scabies infestation; a questionnaire was applied to collect socio-demographic and behavioral data. Scabies was diagnosed in 325 (65.0%) participants. Excoriations (68.6%), vesicles (61.8%), and papules (58.8%) were common skin lesions. Itching was the most common symptom (77.5%); 64% complained of sleep disturbances. Lymphadenopathy was identified in 48.3%. Lesions were most commonly encountered on the abdomen (35.5%), inguinal area (19.1%), and interdigital spaces (14.2%). Poverty-related variables, such as illiteracy (OR: 7.15; 95% CI: 3.71–13.95), low household income (7.25; 1.19–88.59), absence of a solid floor inside house (12.17; 2.83–52.34), and overcrowding (1.98; 1.08–2.81) were significantly associated with infestation. Individual behavior, such as sharing of beds/pillows (2.11; 1.42–3.14) and sharing of clothes (2.51; 1.57–3.99), was also highly significantly associated with scabies. Regular bathing habits (0.37; 0.24–0.56) and regular use of bathing soap (0.36; 0.21–0.53) were protective factors. Scabies is extremely common in the communities under study and is associated with considerable morbidity. The disease is intrinsically linked with extreme poverty. Full article
Open AccessReview The History of Bancroftian Lymphatic Filariasis in Australasia and Oceania: Is There a Threat of Re-Occurrence in Mainland Australia?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020058
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
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Abstract
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) infects an estimated 120 million people worldwide, with a further 856 million considered at risk of infection and requiring preventative chemotherapy. The majority of LF infections are caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, named in honour of the Australian physician Joseph
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Lymphatic filariasis (LF) infects an estimated 120 million people worldwide, with a further 856 million considered at risk of infection and requiring preventative chemotherapy. The majority of LF infections are caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, named in honour of the Australian physician Joseph Bancroft, with the remainder due to Brugia malayi and B. timori. Infection with LF through the bite of an infected mosquito, can lead to the development of the condition known as elephantiasis, where swelling due to oedema leads to loss of function in the affected area and thickening of the skin, ‘like an elephant’. LF has previously been endemic in Australia, although currently, no autochthonous cases occur there. Human immigration to Australia from LF-endemic countries, including those close to Australia, and the presence of susceptible mosquitoes that can act as suitable vectors, heighten the possibility of the reintroduction of LF into this country. In this review, we examine the history of LF in Australia and Oceania and weigh up the potential risk of its re-occurrence on mainland Australia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mapping Disease Transmission Risk of Nipah Virus in South and Southeast Asia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020057
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
Since 1998, Nipah virus (NiV) (genus: Henipavirus; family: Paramyxoviridae), an often-fatal and highly virulent zoonotic pathogen, has caused sporadic outbreak events. Fruit bats from the genus Pteropus are the wildlife reservoirs and have a broad distribution throughout South and Southeast Asia, and
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Since 1998, Nipah virus (NiV) (genus: Henipavirus; family: Paramyxoviridae), an often-fatal and highly virulent zoonotic pathogen, has caused sporadic outbreak events. Fruit bats from the genus Pteropus are the wildlife reservoirs and have a broad distribution throughout South and Southeast Asia, and East Africa. Understanding the disease biogeography of NiV is critical to comprehending the potential geographic distribution of this dangerous zoonosis. This study implemented the R packages ENMeval and BIOMOD2 as a means of modeling regional disease transmission risk and additionally measured niche similarity between the reservoir Pteropus and the ecological characteristics of outbreak localities with the Schoener’s D index and I statistic. Results indicate a relatively high degree of niche overlap between models in geographic and environmental space (D statistic, 0.64; and I statistic, 0.89), and a potential geographic distribution encompassing 19% (2,963,178 km2) of South and Southeast Asia. This study should contribute to current and future efforts to understand the critical ecological contributors and geography of NiV. Furthermore, this study can be used as a geospatial guide to identify areas of high disease transmission risk and to inform national public health surveillance programs. Full article
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Open AccessReview Potential Animal Reservoir of Mycobacterium ulcerans: A Systematic Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020056
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
Mycobacterium ulcerans is the causative agent of Buruli ulcer, also known in Australia as Daintree ulcer or Bairnsdale ulcer. This destructive skin disease is characterized by extensive and painless necrosis of the skin and soft tissue with the formation of large ulcers, commonly
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Mycobacterium ulcerans is the causative agent of Buruli ulcer, also known in Australia as Daintree ulcer or Bairnsdale ulcer. This destructive skin disease is characterized by extensive and painless necrosis of the skin and soft tissue with the formation of large ulcers, commonly on the leg or arm. To date, 33 countries with tropical, subtropical and temperate climates in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Western Pacific have reported cases of Buruli ulcer. The disease is rarely fatal, although it may lead to permanent disability and/or disfigurement if not treated appropriately or in time. It is the third most common mycobacterial infection in the world after tuberculosis and leprosy. The precise mode of transmission of M. ulcerans is yet to be elucidated. Nevertheless, it is possible that the mode of transmission varies with different geographical areas and epidemiological settings. The knowledge about the possible routes of transmission and potential animal reservoirs of M. ulcerans is poorly understood and still remains patchy. Infectious diseases arise from the interaction of agent, host and environment. The majority of emerging or remerging infectious disease in human populations is spread by animals: either wildlife, livestock or pets. Animals may act as hosts or reservoirs and subsequently spread the organism to the environment or directly to the human population. The reservoirs may or may not be the direct source of infection for the hosts; however, they play a major role in maintenance of the organism in the environment, and in the mode of transmission. This remains valid for M. ulcerans. Possums have been suggested as one of the reservoir of M. ulcerans in south-eastern Australia, where possums ingest M. ulcerans from the environment, amplify them and shed the organism through their faeces. We conducted a systematic review with selected key words on PubMed and INFORMIT databases to aggregate available published data on animal reservoirs of M. ulcerans around the world. After certain inclusion and exclusion criteria were implemented, a total of 17 studies was included in the review. A variety of animals around the world e.g., rodents, shrews, possums (ringtail and brushtail), horses, dogs, alpacas, koalas and Indian flap-shelled turtles have been recorded as being infected with M. ulcerans. The majority of studies included in this review identified animal reservoirs as predisposing to the emergence and reemergence of M. ulcerans infection. Taken together, from the selected studies in this systematic review, it is clear that exotic wildlife and native mammals play a significant role as reservoirs for M. ulcerans. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication The Convergence of High-Consequence Livestock and Human Pathogen Research and Development: A Paradox of Zoonotic Disease
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020055
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that zoonotic diseases transmitted from animals to humans account for 75 percent of new and emerging infectious diseases. Globally, high-consequence pathogens that impact livestock and have the potential for human transmission create research paradoxes and operational challenges
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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that zoonotic diseases transmitted from animals to humans account for 75 percent of new and emerging infectious diseases. Globally, high-consequence pathogens that impact livestock and have the potential for human transmission create research paradoxes and operational challenges for the high-containment laboratories that conduct work with them. These specialized facilities are required for conducting all phases of research on high-consequence pathogens (basic, applied, and translational) with an emphasis on both the generation of fundamental knowledge and product development. To achieve this research mission, a highly-trained workforce is required and flexible operational methods are needed. In addition, working with certain pathogens requires compliance with regulations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Select Agent regulations, which adds to the operational burden. The vast experience from the existing studies at Plum Island Animal Disease Center, other U.S. laboratories, and those in Europe and Australia with biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) facilities designed for large animals, clearly demonstrates the valuable contribution this capability brings to the efforts to detect, prepare, prevent and respond to livestock and potential zoonotic threats. To raise awareness of these challenges, which include biosafety and biosecurity issues, we held a workshop at the 2018 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Biothreats conference to further discuss the topic with invited experts and audience participants. The workshop covered the subjects of research funding and metrics, economic sustainment of drug and vaccine development pipelines, workforce turnover, and the challenges of maintaining operational readiness of high containment laboratories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Laboratory Safety Including Biosafety)
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Open AccessArticle Diagnostic Performance of Kato Katz Technique and Point-of-Care Circulating Cathodic Antigen Rapid Test in Diagnosing Schistosoma mansoni Infection in HIV-1 Co-Infected Adults on the Shoreline of Lake Victoria, Tanzania
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020054
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
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Abstract
Background: The diagnostic performance of the Kato Katz (KK) technique and the point-of-care circulating cathodic antigen (POC-CCA) test in detecting S. mansoni infection in the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection has remained inconclusive. The present cross-sectional survey compared the diagnostic
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Background: The diagnostic performance of the Kato Katz (KK) technique and the point-of-care circulating cathodic antigen (POC-CCA) test in detecting S. mansoni infection in the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection has remained inconclusive. The present cross-sectional survey compared the diagnostic performance of the KK technique and the POC-CCA test in diagnosing S. mansoni infection in an adult population co-infected with HIV-1 in northwestern Tanzania. Methods: Single urine and stool samples from 979 adults were screened for S. mansoni infection using both the KK technique and POC-CCA tests. To compare the performance of the two diagnostic tests a combined artificial gold standard was created, based on either an egg-positive KK technique or a POC-CCA-positive test. Results: Based on the KK technique, the prevalence of S. mansoni was 47.3% (463/979, 95% CI: 44.2–50.4), as compared to 60.5% by the POC-CCA test (592/979; 95% CI: 57.4–63.5). The overall sensitivity and specificity of the POC-CCA test were 92.5% (95% CI: 89.4–94.9) and 73.3% (95% CI: 69.6–76.8), respectively. In the HIV-1 seropositive group, the sensitivity and specificity of the POC-CCA test were 78.1% (95% CI: 60.0–90.7) and 45.9% (95% CI: 35.8–56.3). Using a combined gold standard, the sensitivity of the POC-CCA test increased to >90% in both subgroups whereas that of the KK technique in the HIV-1 seropositive group was low (49.5%; 95% CI: 39.6–59.5). Conclusion: In the presence of HIV-1 co-infection, the KK technique attained a very low sensitivity. The POC-CCA test offers the best option for the rapid screening of S. mansoni infection in communities with a high prevalence of HIV-1 infection. Full article
Open AccessReview The Unique Life Cycle of Strongyloides stercoralis and Implications for Public Health Action
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020053
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
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Abstract
Strongyloides stercoralis has one of the most complex life cycles of the human-infecting nematodes. A common misconception in medical and public health professions is that S. stercoralis in its biology is akin to other intestinal nematodes, such as the hookworms. Despite original evidence
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Strongyloides stercoralis has one of the most complex life cycles of the human-infecting nematodes. A common misconception in medical and public health professions is that S. stercoralis in its biology is akin to other intestinal nematodes, such as the hookworms. Despite original evidence provided by medical and veterinary research about this unique helminth, many assumptions have entered the scientific literature. This helminth is set apart from others that commonly affect humans by (a) the internal autoinfective cycle with autoinfective larvae randomly migrating through tissue, parthenogenesis, and the potential for lifelong infection in the host, the profound pathology occurring in hyperinfection and systemic manifestations of strongyloidiasis, and (b) a limited external cycle with a single generation of free-living adults. This paper aims to review and discuss original research on the unique life cycle of S. stercoralis that distinguishes it from other helminths and highlight areas where increased understanding of the parasite’s biology might lead to improved public health prevention and control strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Immunisation Rates of Medical Students at a Tropical Queensland University
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020052
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
Although medical students are at risk of contracting and transmitting communicable diseases, previous studies have demonstrated sub-optimal medical student immunity. The objective of this research was to determine the documented immunity of medical students at James Cook University to important vaccine-preventable diseases. An
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Although medical students are at risk of contracting and transmitting communicable diseases, previous studies have demonstrated sub-optimal medical student immunity. The objective of this research was to determine the documented immunity of medical students at James Cook University to important vaccine-preventable diseases. An anonymous online survey was administered thrice in 2014, using questions with categories of immunity to determine documented evidence of immunity, as well as closed-ended questions about attitudes towards the importance of vaccination. Of the 1158 medical students targeted via survey, 289 responses were included in the study (response rate 25%), of which 19 (6.6%) had documented evidence of immunity to all of the vaccine-preventable diseases surveyed. Proof of immunity was 38.4% for seasonal influenza, 47.1% for pertussis, 52.2% for measles, 38.8% for varicella, 43.7% for hepatitis A, and 95.1% for hepatitis B (the only mandatory vaccination for this population). The vast majority of students agreed on the importance of vaccination for personal protection (98.3%) and patient protection (95.9%). In conclusion, medical students have sub-optimal evidence of immunity to important vaccine-preventable diseases. Student attitudes regarding the importance of occupational vaccination are inconsistent with their level of immunity. The findings of this study were used to prompt health service and educational providers to consider their duty of care to manage the serious risks posed by occupational communicable diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview Melioidosis in South Asia (India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan and Afghanistan)
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020051
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
Despite the fact that South Asia is predicted to have the highest number of cases worldwide, melioidosis is a little-known entity in South Asian countries. It has never been heard of by the majority of doctors and has as yet failed to gain
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Despite the fact that South Asia is predicted to have the highest number of cases worldwide, melioidosis is a little-known entity in South Asian countries. It has never been heard of by the majority of doctors and has as yet failed to gain the attention of national Ministries of Health and country offices of the World Health Organization (WHO). Although a few centers are diagnosing increasing numbers of cases, and the mortality documented from these institutions is relatively high (nearly 20%), the true burden of the disease remains unknown. In India, most cases have been reported from southwestern coastal Karnataka and northeastern Tamil Nadu, although this probably simply reflects the presence of centers of excellence and researchers with an interest in the disease. As elsewhere, the majority of cases have type 2 diabetes mellitus and occupational exposure to the environment. Most present with community-acquired pneumonia and/or bacteremia, especially during heavy rainfall. The high seropositivity rate (29%) in Karnataka and isolation of B. pseudomallei from the environment in Tamil Nadu and Kerala confirm India as melioidosis-endemic, although the full extent of the distribution of the organism across the country is unknown. There are limited molecular epidemiological data, but, thus far, the majority of Indian isolates have appeared distinct from those from South East Asia and Australia. Among other South Asian countries, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are known to be melioidosis-endemic, but there are no cases that have conclusively proved to have been acquired in Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan or Pakistan. There are no surveillance systems in place for melioidosis in South Asian countries. However, over the past two years, researchers at the Center for Emerging and Tropical Diseases of Kasturba Medical College, University of Manipal, have established the Indian Melioidosis Research Forum (IMRF), held the first South Asian Melioidosis Congress, and have been working to connect researchers, microbiologists and physicians in India and elsewhere in South Asia to raise awareness through training initiatives, the media, workshops, and conferences, with the hope that more patients with melioidosis will be diagnosed and treated appropriately. However, much more work needs to be done before we will know the true burden and distribution of melioidosis across South Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis)
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Open AccessReview The Health Effects of Strongyloidiasis on Pregnant Women and Children: A Systematic Literature Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020050
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
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Abstract
Strongyloidiasis is a helminth infection that remains under-researched despite its ability to cause significant illness. Women and children may be at particular risk of health consequences from this parasite. This systematic literature review aims to examine research on the long-term health effects that
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Strongyloidiasis is a helminth infection that remains under-researched despite its ability to cause significant illness. Women and children may be at particular risk of health consequences from this parasite. This systematic literature review aims to examine research on the long-term health effects that strongyloidiasis has in pregnant women and children. We conducted a structured search using multiple databases to collect all primary studies discussing health effects of strongyloidiasis in the aforementioned groups. The review included 20 results: 16 primary studies and four case reports. The methodological quality of studies was substandard, and there was substantial heterogeneity to the statistical analysis and outcomes assessed in the literature. Statistically significant associations were found between strongyloidiasis and low birth weight, as well as wasting. No links were found between strongyloidiasis and anaemia. Due to testing methods used in the studies, the prevalence of Strongyloides stercoralis in these studies was probably under-estimated. Current research is suggestive that strongyloidiasis has long-term adverse health effects on the offspring of infected mothers and in chronically-infected children. Data analysis was hindered by both methodological and statistical flaws, and as such, reliable conclusions regarding the health impacts could not be formed. Full article
Open AccessCase Report Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus: An Ongoing Cause of Encephalitis in Australia’s North
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020049
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV) is a mosquito-borne virus endemic to Australia and New Guinea. Encephalitis due to MVEV is potentially devastating, and no therapeutic interventions of proven value exist. Prevention relies largely on personal protective measures against mosquito bites. We present a
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Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV) is a mosquito-borne virus endemic to Australia and New Guinea. Encephalitis due to MVEV is potentially devastating, and no therapeutic interventions of proven value exist. Prevention relies largely on personal protective measures against mosquito bites. We present a case of MVEV encephalitis with a favourable outcome following intensive care management and prolonged rehabilitation, and the epidemiological features of a further 21 cases notified to the health department of Australia’s Northern Territory. As cases occur in travellers, and epidemics occur sporadically in south-eastern Australia, clinicians across Australia and further abroad should be familiar with the disease and its diagnosis and management. Full article
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Open AccessReview A Community-Directed Integrated Strongyloides Control Program in Queensland, Australia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020048
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
This paper describes two phases of a community-directed intervention to address strongyloidiasis in the remote Aboriginal community of Woorabinda in central Queensland, Australia. The first phase provides the narrative of a community-driven ‘treat-and-test’ mass drug administration (MDA) intervention that was co-designed by the
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This paper describes two phases of a community-directed intervention to address strongyloidiasis in the remote Aboriginal community of Woorabinda in central Queensland, Australia. The first phase provides the narrative of a community-driven ‘treat-and-test’ mass drug administration (MDA) intervention that was co-designed by the Community Health Service and the community. The second phase is a description of the re-engagement of the community in order to disseminate the key factors for success in the previous MDA for Strongyloides stercoralis, as this information was not shared or captured in the first phase. During the first phase in 2004, there was a high prevalence of strongyloidiasis (12% faecal examination, 30% serology; n = 944 community members tested) that resulted in increased morbidity and at least one death in the community. Between 2004–2005, the community worked in partnership with the Community Health Service to implement a S. stercoralis control program, where all of the residents were treated with oral ivermectin, and repeat doses were given for those with positive S. stercoralis serology. The community also developed their own health promotion campaign using locally-made resources targeting relevant environmental health problems and concerns. Ninety-two percent of the community residents participated in the program, and the prevalence of strongyloidiasis at the time of the ‘treat-and-test’ intervention was 16.6% [95% confidence interval 14.2–19.3]. The cure rate after two doses of ivermectin was 79.8%, based on pre-serology and post-serology tests. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of local Aboriginal leadership and governance and a high level of community involvement in this successful mass drug administration program to address S. stercoralis. The commitment required of these leaders was demanding, and involved intense work over a period of several months. Apart from controlling strongyloidiasis, the community also takes pride in having developed and implemented this program. This appears to be the first community-directed S. stercoralis control program in Australia, and is an important part of the national story of controlling infectious diseases in Indigenous communities. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Echinococcus Granulosus Infection in Two Free-Ranging Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) from the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020047
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
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Abstract
Infection with the larval stage of the cestode, Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s.l.), causes hydatid disease (hydatidosis) in a range of hosts, including macropods and other marsupials, cattle, and humans. Wild macropods are an important sylvatic reservoir for the life cycle of
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Infection with the larval stage of the cestode, Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s.l.), causes hydatid disease (hydatidosis) in a range of hosts, including macropods and other marsupials, cattle, and humans. Wild macropods are an important sylvatic reservoir for the life cycle of E. granulosus (s.l.) in Australia, and so provide a conduit for transmission of hydatid disease to domestic animals and humans. Two Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) from the Atherton Tablelands of Far North Queensland were recently found to have hydatid cysts in both liver and lung tissues. Tree-kangaroos may travel across the ground between patches of forest but are primarily arboreal leaf-eating macropods. The finding of hydatid cysts in an arboreal folivore may indicate that the area has a high level of contamination with eggs of E. granulosus (s.l.). This finding may be of significance to human health as well as indicating the need for further investigation into the prevalence of hydatid disease in domestic stock, wildlife and humans living in this rapidly urbanizing region. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Strongyloides stercoralis Hyperinfection in an HIV-Infected Patient Successfully Treated with Subcutaneous Ivermectin
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020046
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
A 39-year-old Ethiopian HIV-positive man with peripheral T-cell lymphoma developed Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection. The patient was initially treated with oral ivermectin for three weeks without response, most likely due to malabsorption because of concomitant paralytic ileus. Given the persistence of larvae in the
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A 39-year-old Ethiopian HIV-positive man with peripheral T-cell lymphoma developed Strongyloides stercoralis hyperinfection. The patient was initially treated with oral ivermectin for three weeks without response, most likely due to malabsorption because of concomitant paralytic ileus. Given the persistence of larvae in the body fluids, the worsening respiratory status and clinical malabsorption, veterinary parenteral formulation of ivermectin was administered. The very high plasma concentration of ivermectin achieved in the patient after parenteral administration led to a rapid improvement in his clinical condition and rapid disappearance of the parasite from biological samples, without any adverse reaction. Full article
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Open AccessReview First Aid and Pre-Hospital Management of Venomous Snakebites
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020045
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Background: Antivenom is the definitive treatment for venomous snakebites, but is expensive and not available in many rural and poorly developed regions. Timely transportation to facilities that stock and administer antivenom may not be available in rural areas with poorly developed emergency medical
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Background: Antivenom is the definitive treatment for venomous snakebites, but is expensive and not available in many rural and poorly developed regions. Timely transportation to facilities that stock and administer antivenom may not be available in rural areas with poorly developed emergency medical services. These factors have led to consideration of measures to delay onset of toxicity or alternatives to antivenom therapy. Methods: PubMed searches were conducted for articles on snakebite treatment, or that contained first aid, emergency medical services, tourniquets, pressure immobilization bandages, suction devices, and lymphatic flow inhibitors. Results: The reviewed articles describe how venoms spread after a venomous snakebite on an extremity, list the proposed first aid measures for delaying the spread of venoms, and evaluate the scientific studies that support or refute methods of snakebite first aid. The recommendations for field treatment of venomous snakebites will be discussed. Conclusions: The evidence suggests that pressure immobilization bandages and related strategies are the best interventions to delay onset of systemic toxicity from venomous snakebites but may increase local toxicity for venoms that destroy tissue at the site of the bite, so their use should be individualized to the circumstances and nature of the venom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snakebite Envenoming: Prioritizing a Neglected Tropical Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Towards TB Elimination in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Key Informant Insights on the Determinants of TB among African Migrants
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020044
Received: 10 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
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Abstract
Migrants living in low incidence countries, including New Zealand (NZ), are disproportionately affected by tuberculosis (TB). This foreign-born group poses important challenges to achieving the national TB elimination targets. Thus, the aim of this study was to contribute to the understandingof factors that
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Migrants living in low incidence countries, including New Zealand (NZ), are disproportionately affected by tuberculosis (TB). This foreign-born group poses important challenges to achieving the national TB elimination targets. Thus, the aim of this study was to contribute to the understandingof factors that influence the incidence of TB among African migrants living in NZ. We employed a semi-structured interview approach to explore the perceptions of NZ-based African community leaders, health professionals and a non-governmental TB support organisation about the wider determinants of TB. The findings, though not completely generalizable, suggest that many NZ-based Africans endure a difficult process of integration, perceive themselves as least susceptible to TB and have low awareness about available health services. Furthermore, the cost of general practitioner (GP) services, mistrust of health professionals, TB stigma and the NZ immigration policy were indicated as important barriers to TB services. Strategies to address TB among migrants must therefore be more holistic and not be centred on a fragmented approach that overemphasises the biomedical approaches, as the incidence of TB is more likely the outcome of a complex interplay of several underlying factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tuberculosis Elimination in the Asia-Pacific)
Open AccessArticle A Comparative Assessment of Epidemiologically Different Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Outbreaks in Madrid, Spain and Tolima, Colombia: An Estimation of the Reproduction Number via a Mathematical Model
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020043
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by the Leishmania parasite and transmitted by the Phlebotominae subfamily of sandflies, which infects humans and other mammals. Clinical manifestations of the disease include cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL) and visceral leishmaniasis (VL) with a
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Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by the Leishmania parasite and transmitted by the Phlebotominae subfamily of sandflies, which infects humans and other mammals. Clinical manifestations of the disease include cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL) and visceral leishmaniasis (VL) with a majority (more than three-quarters) of worldwide cases being CL. There are a number of risk factors for CL, such as the presence of multiple reservoirs, the movement of individuals, inequality, and social determinants of health. However, studies related to the role of these factors in the dynamics of CL have been limited. In this work, we (i) develop and analyze a vector-borne epidemic model to study the dynamics of CL in two ecologically distinct CL-affected regions—Madrid, Spain and Tolima, Colombia; (ii) derived three different methods for the estimation of model parameters by reducing the dimension of the systems; (iii) estimated reproduction numbers for the 2010 outbreak in Madrid and the 2016 outbreak in Tolima; and (iv) compared the transmission potential of the two economically-different regions and provided different epidemiological metrics that can be derived (and used for evaluating an outbreak), once R0 is known and additional data are available. On average, Spain has reported only a few hundred CL cases annually, but in the course of the outbreak during 2009–2012, a much higher number of cases than expected were reported and that too in the single city of Madrid. Cases in humans were accompanied by sharp increase in infections among domestic dogs, the natural reservoir of CL. On the other hand, CL has reemerged in Colombia primarily during the last decade, because of the frequent movement of military personnel to domestic regions from forested areas, where they have increased exposure to vectors. In 2016, Tolima saw an unexpectedly high number of cases leading to two successive outbreaks. On comparing, we estimated reproduction number of the Madrid outbreak to be 3.1 (with range of 2.8–3.9), which was much higher than reproduction number estimates of the Tolima first outbreak 1.2 (with range of 1.1–1.3), and the estimate for the second outbreak in Tolima of 1.019 (with range of 1.018–1.021). This suggests that the epidemic outbreak in Madrid was much more severe than the Tolima outbreak, even though Madrid was economically better-off compared to Tolima. It indicates a potential relationship between urban development and increasing health disparities. Full article
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Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Next Generation Snakebite Antivenoms
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020042
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 15 April 2018
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Abstract
With the inclusion of snakebite envenoming on the World Health Organization’s list of Neglected Tropical Diseases, an incentive has been established to promote research and development effort in novel snakebite antivenom therapies. Various technological approaches are being pursued by different research groups, including
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With the inclusion of snakebite envenoming on the World Health Organization’s list of Neglected Tropical Diseases, an incentive has been established to promote research and development effort in novel snakebite antivenom therapies. Various technological approaches are being pursued by different research groups, including the use of small molecule inhibitors against enzymatic toxins as well as peptide- and oligonucleotide-based aptamers and antibody-based biotherapeutics against both enzymatic and non-enzymatic toxins. In this article, the most recent advances in these fields are presented, and the advantages, disadvantages, and feasibility of using different toxin-neutralizing molecules are reviewed. Particular focus within small molecules is directed towards the inhibitors varespladib, batimastat, and marimastat, while in the field of antibody-based therapies, novel recombinant polyclonal plantivenom technology is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snakebite Envenoming: Prioritizing a Neglected Tropical Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Improving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Practices, and Housing Quality to Prevent Diarrhea among Under-Five Children in Nigeria
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020041
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
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Abstract
Sub-Saharan Africa as a region accounts for the bulk of the global under-five mortality rate, to which diarrhea is major contributor. Millions of children die from diarrheal diseases each year and those who survive often do so facing suboptimal growth. Preventing the common
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Sub-Saharan Africa as a region accounts for the bulk of the global under-five mortality rate, to which diarrhea is major contributor. Millions of children die from diarrheal diseases each year and those who survive often do so facing suboptimal growth. Preventing the common pathways of transmission for diarrhea-causing pathogens, including improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are regarded as the most cost-effective measures for tackling this life-threatening disease. This study aimed to quantitatively assess the quality of living arrangement and access to WASH, and their impact on diarrheal outcomes among under-five children in Nigeria. Methods: Data were collected from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health survey (NDHS). Study participants included 28,596 mother-child pairs. Household construction material for wall, floor, and ceiling, access to electricity, and improved water and toilet, were included as the main explanatory variables. Data were analyzed using descriptive and multivariable regression methods. Results: The prevalence of diarrhea was 11.3% (95% CI = 10.2–12.6), with the rate being markedly higher in rural (67.3%) as compared to urban areas (32.7%). In the regression analysis, lacking access to improved toilet and water facilities were associated with 14% and 16% higher odds, respectively, of suffering from diarrhea as compared to those who had improved access. Conclusion: There is evidence of a weak, but statistically significant, relationship between the quality of living environment, including water and sanitation facilities, and diarrhea among under-five children in Nigeria. The study concludes that investing in living conditions and WASH may have potential benefits for child mortality prevention programs in the country. Full article
Open AccessReview Melioidosis in Bangladesh: A Clinical and Epidemiological Analysis of Culture-Confirmed Cases
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3020040
Received: 10 March 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
Melioidosis is known to occur in Bangladesh, but there are few reports about the condition in the published international literature. We set out to review all known cases of melioidosis in the country to date, using both retrospective and prospective data. A web-based
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Melioidosis is known to occur in Bangladesh, but there are few reports about the condition in the published international literature. We set out to review all known cases of melioidosis in the country to date, using both retrospective and prospective data. A web-based literature search was conducted to identify all published case reports, original articles and conference abstracts. Cases were also included from a prospective study conducted in 2017. Fifty-one cases were identified between 1961 and 2017. Cases have been reported from sixteen out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh. The median age of the patients at presentation was 45 years (IQR 37–52), with a significant male (77%) predominance. Many patients (14/39; 36%) were farmers and 83% had diabetes mellitus. A skin/soft tissue abscess was the most common primary clinical presentation (13/49; 27%), followed by septic arthritis (10/49; 20%), pneumonia, and a deep-seated abscess/organ abscess (7/49; 14%). The major challenges to the diagnosis and treatment of melioidosis in Bangladesh are the lack of resources and the lack of awareness of melioidosis. Capacity development programs are urgently required to define the burden of disease and to tackle the mortality rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden and Challenges of Melioidosis)
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