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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Phylogeography of Bulinus truncatus (Audouin, 1827) (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) in Selected African Countries
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040127
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 8 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
The transmission of some schistosome parasites is dependent on the planorbid snail hosts. Bulinus truncatus is important in urinary schistosomiasis epidemiology in Africa. Hence, there is a need to define the snails’ phylogeography. This study assessed the population genetic structure of B. truncatus [...] Read more.
The transmission of some schistosome parasites is dependent on the planorbid snail hosts. Bulinus truncatus is important in urinary schistosomiasis epidemiology in Africa. Hence, there is a need to define the snails’ phylogeography. This study assessed the population genetic structure of B. truncatus from Giza and Sharkia (Egypt), Barakat (Sudan) and Madziwa, Shamva District (Zimbabwe) using mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene (COI) and internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS 1) markers. COI was sequenced from 94 B. truncatus samples including 38 (Egypt), 36 (Sudan) and 20 (Zimbabwe). However, only 51 ITS 1 sequences were identified from Egypt (28) and Sudan (23) (because of failure in either amplification or sequencing). The unique COI haplotypes of B. truncatus sequences observed were 6, 11, and 6 for Egypt, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, respectively. Also, 3 and 2 unique ITS 1 haplotypes were observed in sequences from Egypt and Sudan respectively. Mitochondrial DNA sequences from Sudan and Zimbabwe indicated high haplotype diversity with 0.768 and 0.784, respectively, while relatively low haplotype diversity was also observed for sequences from Egypt (0.334). The location of populations from Egypt and Sudan on the B. truncatus clade agrees with the location of both countries geographically. The clustering of the Zimbabwe sequences on different locations on the clade can be attributed to individuals with different genotypes within the population. No significant variation was observed within B. truncatus populations from Egypt and Sudan as indicated by the ITS 1 tree. This study investigated the genetic diversity of B. truncatus from Giza and Sharkia (Egypt), Barakat area (Sudan), and Madziwa (Zimbabwe), which is necessary for snail host surveillance in the study areas and also provided genomic data of this important snail species from the sampled countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessArticle Is Australia Neglecting the Local Topography When It Comes to Catastrophic Costs and Ending Tuberculosis?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040126
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
Efforts to eliminate tuberculosis as a public health problem require reductions in mortality, incidence, and the eradication of associated catastrophic costs; however, the question of catastrophic costs is often neglected, particularly in the context of low-incidence settings like Australia. This study reviews the [...] Read more.
Efforts to eliminate tuberculosis as a public health problem require reductions in mortality, incidence, and the eradication of associated catastrophic costs; however, the question of catastrophic costs is often neglected, particularly in the context of low-incidence settings like Australia. This study reviews the financial support provided to those identified as in need, and in receipt, of economic aid from the Victorian Tuberculosis Program. The study design used Epstein’s clinical data mining framework to produce descriptive statistics which were supplemented by clinical collaboration. A consistent one-third of those receiving care from the Program due to a notification of active tuberculosis received emergency financial relief over the study period. Overwhelmingly, funds were used to relieve financial distress, and each year approximately one-third of the expenditure was used to support 2% of those people notified as affected by tuberculosis (or 7–9% of those in receipt of funds). Many of this 2% experienced income loss and expenditure that may be considered catastrophic. Further investigation is needed to better define and understand the nature of catastrophic costs in the context of universal health care and existing low tuberculosis incidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tuberculosis Elimination in the Asia-Pacific)
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Open AccessReview Artemether and Praziquantel: Origin, Mode of Action, Impact, and Suggested Application for Effective Control of Human Schistosomiasis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040125
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
The stumbling block for the continued, single-drug use of praziquantel (PZQ) against schistosomiasis is less justified by the risk of drug resistance than by the fact that this drug is inactive against juvenile parasites, which will mature and start egg production after chemotherapy. [...] Read more.
The stumbling block for the continued, single-drug use of praziquantel (PZQ) against schistosomiasis is less justified by the risk of drug resistance than by the fact that this drug is inactive against juvenile parasites, which will mature and start egg production after chemotherapy. Artemisinin derivatives, currently used against malaria in the form of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), provide an opportunity as these drugs are not only active against malaria plasmodia, but surprisingly also against juvenile schistosomes. An artemisinin/PZQ combination would be complementary, and potentially additive, as it would kill two schistosome life cycle stages and thus confer a transmission-blocking modality to current chemotherapy. We focus here on single versus combined regimens in endemic settings. Although the risk of artemisinin resistance, already emerging with respect to malaria therapy in Southeast Asia, prevents use in countries where ACT is needed for malaria care, an artemisinin-enforced praziquantel treatment (APT) should be acceptable in regions of North Africa (including Egypt), the Middle East, China, and Brazil that are not endemic for malaria. Thanks to recent progress with respect to high-resolution diagnostics, based on circulating schistosome antigens in humans and molecular approaches for snail surveys, it should be possible to keep areas scheduled for schistosomiasis elimination under surveillance, bringing rapid response to bear on problems arising. The next steps would be to investigate where and for how long APT should be applied to make a lasting impact. A large-scale field trial in an area with modest transmission should tell how apt this approach is. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessArticle Field Evaluation of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Platform for the Detection of Schistosoma japonicum Infection in Oncomelania hupensis Snails
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040124
Received: 20 October 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 15 December 2018
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Abstract
Schistosoma infection in snails can be monitored by microscopy or indirectly by sentinel mice. As both these approaches can miss infections, more sensitive tests are needed, particularly in low-level transmission settings. In this study, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique, designed to detect a [...] Read more.
Schistosoma infection in snails can be monitored by microscopy or indirectly by sentinel mice. As both these approaches can miss infections, more sensitive tests are needed, particularly in low-level transmission settings. In this study, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique, designed to detect a specific 28S ribosomal Schistosoma japonicum (Sj28S) gene with high sensitivity, was compared to microscopy using snail samples from 51 areas endemic for schistosomiasis in five Chinese provinces. In addition, the results were compared with those from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by adding DNA sequencing as a reference. The testing of pooled snail samples with the LAMP assay showed that a dilution factor of 1/50, i.e., one infected snail plus 49 non-infected ones, would still result in a positive reaction after the recommended number of amplification cycles. Testing a total of 232 pooled samples, emanating from 4006 snail specimens, showed a rate of infection of 6.5%, while traditional microscopy found only 0.4% positive samples in the same materials. Parallel PCR analysis confirmed the diagnostic accuracy of the LAMP assay, with DNA sequencing even giving LAMP a slight lead. Microscopy and the LAMP test were carried out at local schistosomiasis-control stations, demonstrating that the potential of the latter assay to serve as a point-of-care (POC) test with results available within 60–90 min, while the more complicated PCR test had to be carried out at the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases (NIPD) in Shanghai, China. In conclusion, LAMP was found to be clearly superior to microscopy and as good as, or better than, PCR. As it can be used under field conditions and requires less time than other techniques, LAMP testing would improve and accelerate schistosomiasis control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessCase Report Fatal Dengue, Chikungunya and Leptospirosis: The Importance of Assessing Co-infections in Febrile Patients in Tropical Areas
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040123
Received: 6 November 2018 / Revised: 19 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 26 November 2018
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Abstract
The febrile patient from tropical areas, in which emerging arboviruses are endemic, represents a diagnostic challenge, and potential co-infections with other pathogens (i.e., bacteria or parasites) are usually overlooked. We present a case of an elderly woman diagnosed with dengue, chikungunya and Leptospira [...] Read more.
The febrile patient from tropical areas, in which emerging arboviruses are endemic, represents a diagnostic challenge, and potential co-infections with other pathogens (i.e., bacteria or parasites) are usually overlooked. We present a case of an elderly woman diagnosed with dengue, chikungunya and Leptospira interrogans co-infection. Study Design: Case report. An 87-year old woman from Colombia complained of upper abdominal pain, arthralgia, myalgia, hyporexia, malaise and intermittent fever accompanied with progressive jaundice. She had a medical history of chronic heart failure (Stage C, New York Heart Association, NYHA III), without documented cardiac murmurs, right bundle branch block, non-valvular atrial fibrillation, hypertension, and chronic venous disease. Her cardiac and pulmonary status quickly deteriorated after 24 h of her admission without electrocardiographic changes and she required ventilatory and vasopressor support. In the next hours the patient evolved to pulseless electrical activity and then she died. Dengue immunoglobulin M (IgM), non-structural protein 1 (NS1) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), microagglutination test (MAT) for Leptospira interrogans and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for chikungunya, were positive. This case illustrates a multiple co-infection in a febrile patient from a tropical area of Latin America that evolved to death. Full article
Open AccessReview Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases in Urban Areas: A Review of Challenges, Strategies and Research Directions for Successful Mass Drug Administration
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040122
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
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Abstract
Since 1950, the global urban population grew from 746 million to almost 4 billion and is expected to reach 6.4 billion by mid-century. Almost 90% of this increase will take place in Asia and Africa and disproportionately in urban slums. In this context, [...] Read more.
Since 1950, the global urban population grew from 746 million to almost 4 billion and is expected to reach 6.4 billion by mid-century. Almost 90% of this increase will take place in Asia and Africa and disproportionately in urban slums. In this context, concerns about the amplification of several neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are warranted and efforts towards achieving effective mass drug administration (MDA) coverage become even more important. This narrative review considers the published literature on MDA implementation for specific NTDs and in-country experiences under the ENVISION and END in Africa projects to surface features of urban settings that challenge delivery strategies known to work in rural areas. Discussed under the thematics of governance, population heterogeneity, mobility and community trust in MDA, these features include weak public health infrastructure and programs, challenges related to engaging diverse and dynamic populations and the limited accessibility of certain urban settings such as slums. Although the core components of MDA programs for NTDs in urban settings are similar to those in rural areas, their delivery may need adjustment. Effective coverage of MDA in diverse urban populations can be supported by tailored approaches informed by mapping studies, research that identifies context-specific methods to increase MDA coverage and rigorous monitoring and evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Slum Health: Diseases of Neglected Populations)
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Open AccessReview Current Status of the Sm14/GLA-SE Schistosomiasis Vaccine: Overcoming Barriers and Paradigms towards the First Anti-Parasitic Human(itarian) Vaccine
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040121
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
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Abstract
Schistosomiasis, a disease historically associated with poverty, lack of sanitation and social inequality, is a chronic, debilitating parasitic infection, affecting hundreds of millions of people in endemic countries. Although chemotherapy is capable of reducing morbidity in humans, rapid re-infection demonstrates that the impact [...] Read more.
Schistosomiasis, a disease historically associated with poverty, lack of sanitation and social inequality, is a chronic, debilitating parasitic infection, affecting hundreds of millions of people in endemic countries. Although chemotherapy is capable of reducing morbidity in humans, rapid re-infection demonstrates that the impact of drug treatment on transmission control or disease elimination is marginal. In addition, despite more than two decades of well-executed control activities based on large-scale chemotherapy, the disease is expanding in many areas including Brazil. The development of the Sm14/GLA-SE schistosomiasis vaccine is an emblematic, open knowledge innovation that has successfully completed phase I and phase IIa clinical trials, with Phase II/III trials underway in the African continent, to be followed by further trials in Brazil. The discovery and experimental phases of the development of this vaccine gathered a robust collection of data that strongly supports the ongoing clinical phase. This paper reviews the development of the Sm14 vaccine, formulated with glucopyranosyl lipid A (GLA-SE), from the initial experimental developments to clinical trials including the current status of phase II studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessReview Integrated Management of Skin NTDs—Lessons Learned from Existing Practice and Field Research
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040120
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 10 November 2018 / Accepted: 11 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
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Abstract
Integration of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) into the public health agenda has been a priority in global health for the last decade. Because a number of these diseases share not only the geographical distribution, but also a common feature which is skin involvement, [...] Read more.
Integration of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) into the public health agenda has been a priority in global health for the last decade. Because a number of these diseases share not only the geographical distribution, but also a common feature which is skin involvement, bringing together a sub-group of ‘skin NTDs’ is one way forward to promote further integration among NTDs. With these diseases, which include leprosy, Buruli ulcer, yaws, mycetoma, lymphatic filariasis, and leishmaniasis, patients may be left with life-long deformities and disabilities when diagnosis and treatment are delayed. Stigma is another serious consequence of skin NTDs as it places a large barrier on the economic activities and social life of a patient. As a result, this creates a vicious cycle and obstructs a key goal of society, the elimination of poverty. Enhancement in surveillance systems as well as the further development of diagnostic methods, improvement in treatment and management, and identification of preventative measures for skin NTDs are therefore urgently needed. This article summarizes the existing practices and field research on skin NTDs and identifies potential synergies that could be achieved by adopting this integrated approach. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Baseline Mapping of Schistosomiasis and Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis in the Northern and Eastern Health Regions of Gabon, Central Africa: Recommendations for Preventive Chemotherapy
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040119
Received: 24 August 2018 / Revised: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 11 November 2018
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Abstract
In order to follow the Preventive Chemotherapy (PC) for the transmission control as recommended by WHO, Gabon initiated in 2014 the mapping of Schistosomiasis and Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis (STH). Here, we report the results of the Northern and Eastern health regions, representing a [...] Read more.
In order to follow the Preventive Chemotherapy (PC) for the transmission control as recommended by WHO, Gabon initiated in 2014 the mapping of Schistosomiasis and Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis (STH). Here, we report the results of the Northern and Eastern health regions, representing a third of the land area and 12% of its total population. All nine departments of the two regions were surveyed and from each, five schools were examined with 50 schoolchildren per school. The parasitological examinations were realized using the filtration method for urine and the Kato-Katz technique for stool samples. Overall 2245 schoolchildren (1116 girls and 1129 boys), mean aged 11.28 ± 0.04 years, were examined. Combined schistosomiasis and STH affected 1270 (56.6%) with variation between regions, departments, and schools. For schistosomiasis, prevalence were 1.7% across the two regions, with no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the Northern (1.5%) and the Eastern (1.9%). Schistosomiasis is mainly caused by Schistosoma haematobium with the exception of one respective case of S. mansoni and S. guineensis. STH are more common than schistosomiasis, with an overall prevalence of 56.1% significantly different between the Northern (58.1%) and Eastern (53.6%) regions (p = 0.034). Trichuris trichiura is the most abundant infection with a prevalence of 43.7% followed by Ascaris lumbricoides 35.6% and hookworms 1.4%. According to these results, an appropriate PC strategy is given. In particular, because of the low efficacy of a single recommended drug on T. trichiura and hookworms, it is important to include two drugs for the treatment of STH in Gabon, due to the high prevalence and intensities of Trichuris infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessArticle Using Google Trends to Examine the Spatio-Temporal Incidence and Behavioral Patterns of Dengue Disease: A Case Study in Metropolitan Manila, Philippines
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040118
Received: 22 September 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 11 November 2018
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Abstract
Dengue is a major public health concern and an economic burden in the Philippines. Despite the country’s improved dengue surveillance, it still suffers from various setbacks and needs to be complemented with alternative approaches. Previous studies have demonstrated the potential of Internet-based surveillance [...] Read more.
Dengue is a major public health concern and an economic burden in the Philippines. Despite the country’s improved dengue surveillance, it still suffers from various setbacks and needs to be complemented with alternative approaches. Previous studies have demonstrated the potential of Internet-based surveillance such as Google Dengue Trends (GDT) in supplementing current epidemiological methods for predicting future dengue outbreaks and patterns. With this, our study has two objectives: (1) assess the temporal relationship of weekly GDT and dengue incidence in Metropolitan Manila from 2009–2014; and (2) examine the health-seeking behavior based on dengue-related search queries of the population. The study collated the population statistics and reported dengue cases in Metropolitan Manila from respective government agencies to calculate the dengue incidence (DI) on a weekly basis for the entire region and annually per city. Data processing of GDT and dengue incidence was performed by conducting an ‘adjustment’ and scaling procedures, respectively, and further analyzed for correlation and cross-correlation analyses using Pearson’s correlation. The relative search volume of the term ‘dengue’ and top dengue-related search queries in Metropolitan Manila were obtained and organized from the Google Trends platform. Afterwards, a thematic analysis was employed, and word clouds were generated to examine the health behavior of the population. Results showed that weekly temporal GDT pattern are closely similar to the weekly DI pattern in Metropolitan Manila. Further analysis showed that GDT has a moderate and positive association with DI when adjusted or scaled, respectively. Cross-correlation analysis revealed a delayed effect where GDT leads DI by 1–2 weeks. Thematic analysis of dengue-related search queries indicated 5 categories namely; (a) dengue, (b) sign and symptoms of dengue, (c) treatment and prevention, (d) mosquito, and (e) other diseases. The majority of the search queries were classified in ‘signs and symptoms’ which indicate the health-seeking behavior of the population towards the disease. Therefore, GDT can be utilized to complement traditional disease surveillance methods combined with other factors that could potentially identify dengue hotspots and help in public health decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future)
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Open AccessArticle Potential Impact of Climate Change on Schistosomiasis: A Global Assessment Attempt
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040117
Received: 18 October 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 27 October 2018 / Published: 3 November 2018
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Abstract
Based on an ensemble of global circulation models (GCMs), four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) and several ongoing and planned Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIPs), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that global, average temperatures will increase by at least 1.5 °C [...] Read more.
Based on an ensemble of global circulation models (GCMs), four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) and several ongoing and planned Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects (CMIPs), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that global, average temperatures will increase by at least 1.5 °C in the near future and more by the end of the century if greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions are not genuinely tempered. While the RCPs are indicative of various amounts of GHGs in the atmosphere the CMIPs are designed to improve the workings of the GCMs. We chose RCP4.5 which represented a medium GHG emission increase and CMIP5, the most recently completed CMIP phase. Combining this meteorological model with a biological counterpart model accounted for replication and survival of the snail intermediate host as well as maturation of the parasite stage inside the snail at different ambient temperatures. The potential geographical distribution of the three main schistosome species: Schistosoma japonicum, S. mansoni and S. haematobium was investigated with reference to their different transmission capabilities at the monthly mean temperature, the maximum temperature of the warmest month(s) and the minimum temperature of the coldest month(s). The set of six maps representing the predicted situations in 2021–2050 and 2071–2100 for each species mainly showed increased transmission areas for all three species but they also left room for potential shrinkages in certain areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessArticle In Situ Diagnosis of Scabies Using a Handheld Digital Microscope in Resource-Poor Settings—A Proof-of-Principle Study in the Amazon Lowland of Colombia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040116
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 2 November 2018
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Abstract
Scabies is a neglected tropical disease associated with important morbidity. The disease occurs worldwide and is particularly common in resource-poor communities in the Global South. A validated technique for the diagnosis of scabies in resource-poor settings does not exist. The objective of the [...] Read more.
Scabies is a neglected tropical disease associated with important morbidity. The disease occurs worldwide and is particularly common in resource-poor communities in the Global South. A validated technique for the diagnosis of scabies in resource-poor settings does not exist. The objective of the study was to determine the practicability and accuracy of handheld digital microscopy in three indigenous communities in the Amazon lowland of Colombia, where scabies is the most common parasitic skin disease. One-hundred-and-eleven children and adults from three indigenous communities with a presumptive diagnosis of scabies were examined clinically by using a handheld digital microscope placed directly on the skin. The microscopical identification of a mite was verified by an “experienced mother”, a woman who had acquired the skills to diagnose scabies as part of traditional Amerindian medicine. The “experienced mother” removed the parasite with a fine needle and placed it on a flat surface in order to enable its direct examination with the digital microscope. Using digital microscopy, scabies was diagnosed in 24 out of 111 participants and confirmed by the extraction of a Sarcoptes mites from the acarine eminence. A characteristic tunnel (burrow) with or without mite could be clearly identified irrespective of the degree of pigmentation of the skin. Besides, digital microscopy revealed pathological characteristics of scabies hitherto unknown and impossible to be seen in dermoscopy, such as partially or totally obliterated tunnels, tunnels with multiple entry or exit points, circumscribed hyperpigmentation around obliterated tunnels and mites secluded in a nodule. This proof-of-principle study demonstrated the accurate diagnosis of scabies by handheld digital microscopy in patients with pigmented skin and the feasibility of this technique in resource-poor settings. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary Tuberculosis Elimination in the Asia-Pacific Region and the WHO Ethics Guidance
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040115
Received: 10 October 2018 / Revised: 25 October 2018 / Accepted: 26 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
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Abstract
The World Health Organization has produced ethical guidance on implementation of the End TB strategy, which must be considered in local context. The Asia-Pacific Region has important distinctive characteristics relevant to tuberculosis, and engagement with the ethical implications raised is essential. This paper [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization has produced ethical guidance on implementation of the End TB strategy, which must be considered in local context. The Asia-Pacific Region has important distinctive characteristics relevant to tuberculosis, and engagement with the ethical implications raised is essential. This paper highlights key ethical considerations for the tuberculosis elimination agenda in the Asia-Pacific Regions and suggests that further programmatic work is required to ensure such challenges are addressed in clinical and public health programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tuberculosis Elimination in the Asia-Pacific)
Open AccessArticle Investigation of a Scabies Outbreak in Drought-Affected Areas in Ethiopia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040114
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
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Abstract
The impact of the severe drought in Ethiopia, attributed to El Niño weather conditions, has led to high levels of malnutrition that have, in turn, increased the potential for disease outbreaks. In 2015, Ethiopia faced a scabies outbreak in drought-affected areas where there [...] Read more.
The impact of the severe drought in Ethiopia, attributed to El Niño weather conditions, has led to high levels of malnutrition that have, in turn, increased the potential for disease outbreaks. In 2015, Ethiopia faced a scabies outbreak in drought-affected areas where there was a shortage of safe water for drinking and personal hygiene. Following a house-to-house census to assess the prevalence of scabies, a detailed study was conducted looking at the disease burden. Following the outbreak report, training was provided on scabies identification and management for zonal and district health officials from administrative districts affected by the drought (nutritional hot-spot woredas). The training was cascaded down to the health extension workers in the affected areas. Screening and management guidelines and protocols were also distributed. House-to-house data collection was undertaken by 450 health extension workers (HEWs) to assess the prevalence of scabies. The HEWs used a simplified reporting tool. Subsequently, data were collected and validated in two zones and six woredas from 474 participants who had been diagnosed with scabies using a standardized questionnaire. This was designed to look at the specificity of the diagnosis of scabies, age distribution, severity, duration of illness, secondary infection and other sociodemographic variables as preparation for mass drug administration (MDA). The HEWs screened 1,125,770 people in the 68 districts in Amhara Region and a total of 379,000 confirmed cases of scabies was identified. The prevalence in the different districts ranged from 2% to 67% and the median was 33.5% [interquartile range (IQR) 19–48%]. 49% of cases were school-aged children. The detailed study of 474 individuals who were recorded as scabies cases revealed that the specificity of the diagnosis of scabies by the HEWs was 98.3%. The mean duration of illness was 5 months (SD of ± 2.8). One third of patients were recorded as having severe illness, 75.1% of cases had affected family members, and 30% of affected children were noted to have secondary bacterial infection. Eleven percent of the students had discontinued school due to scabies or/and drought and 85% of these had secondary bacterial infection. These community-based data serve as reliable proxy indicators for community-based burden assessment of the scabies epidemic. This study will also provide a good basis for advocating the use of a community-level clinical diagnostic scheme for scabies using an algorithm with a simple combination of signs and symptoms in resource-poor settings. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Sando E. et al. Serological Cross-Reactivity among Orientia tsutsugamushi Serotypes but Not with Rickettsia japonica in Japan. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3, 74.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040113
Received: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Trends in Tuberculosis Incidence in the Australian-Born in Victoria: Opportunities and Challenges to Elimination
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040112
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 2 October 2018 / Accepted: 3 October 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
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Abstract
Australia is a low tuberculosis incidence country. In the setting of increasing migration, we aimed to investigate the epidemiology and trends of tuberculosis in the Australian-born population in the state of Victoria between 1992 and 2017. We performed a retrospective descriptive analysis of [...] Read more.
Australia is a low tuberculosis incidence country. In the setting of increasing migration, we aimed to investigate the epidemiology and trends of tuberculosis in the Australian-born population in the state of Victoria between 1992 and 2017. We performed a retrospective descriptive analysis of demographic, clinical and outcome data extracted from a centralized notifiable disease database. The mean incidence of tuberculosis was 1.19 cases per 100,000 population per year with a small but significant reduction of 0.98% per year. The median age of cases decreased from 67.5 years in 1994 to 17 years in 2017. Among 0–14 year-olds, there was an increase from 0.13 cases per 100,000 population in 1996 to 2.15 per 100,000 population in 2017. Data for risk factors were available from 2002 onwards. The most common risk factor in the 0–14 year age group was a household contact with tuberculosis (85.1%), followed by having a parent from a high tuberculosis incidence country (70.2%). We found the rate of tuberculosis in the Australian-born population in Victoria is low. However, there has been an increase in incidence in children, particularly among those with links to countries with high tuberculosis incidence. This could threaten progress towards tuberculosis elimination in Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tuberculosis Elimination in the Asia-Pacific)
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Open AccessArticle Low Praziquantel Treatment Coverage for Schistosoma mansoni in Mayuge District, Uganda, Due to the Absence of Treatment Opportunities, Rather Than Systematic Non-Compliance
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040111
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
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Abstract
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends praziquantel mass drug administration (MDA) to control schistosomiasis in endemic regions. We aimed to quantify recent and lifetime praziquantel coverage, and reasons for non-treatment, at an individual level to guide policy recommendations to help Uganda reach WHO [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends praziquantel mass drug administration (MDA) to control schistosomiasis in endemic regions. We aimed to quantify recent and lifetime praziquantel coverage, and reasons for non-treatment, at an individual level to guide policy recommendations to help Uganda reach WHO goals. Cross-sectional household surveys (n = 681) encompassing 3208 individuals (adults and children) were conducted in 2017 in Bugoto A and B, Mayuge District, Uganda. Participants were asked if they had received praziquantel during the recent MDA (October 2016) and whether they had ever received praziquantel in their lifetime. A multivariate logistic regression analysis with socio-economic and individual characteristics as covariates was used to determine factors associated with praziquantel uptake. In the MDA eligible population (≥5 years of age), the most recent MDA coverage was 48.8%. Across individuals’ lifetimes, 31.8% of eligible and 49.5% of the entire population reported having never taken praziquantel. Factors that improved individuals’ odds of taking praziquantel included school enrolment, residence in Bugoto B and increasing years of village-residency. Not being offered (49.2%) and being away during treatment (21.4%) were the most frequent reasons for not taking the 2016 praziquantel MDA. Contrary to expectations, chronically-untreated individuals were rarely systematic non-compliers, but more commonly not offered treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessArticle Zoonotic Helminth Diseases in Dogs and Dingoes Utilising Shared Resources in an Australian Aboriginal Community
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040110
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
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Abstract
The impacts of free-roaming canids (domestic and wild) on public health have long been a concern in Australian Indigenous communities. We investigated the prevalence of zoonotic helminth diseases in dogs and sympatric dingoes, and used radio telemetry to measure their spatial overlap, in [...] Read more.
The impacts of free-roaming canids (domestic and wild) on public health have long been a concern in Australian Indigenous communities. We investigated the prevalence of zoonotic helminth diseases in dogs and sympatric dingoes, and used radio telemetry to measure their spatial overlap, in an Aboriginal community in the Wet Tropics of Australia. Samples collected from dingoes and dogs showed high levels of infection with the zoonotic hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum. Dingoes were also positive for A. ceylanicum infection (11.4%), but dogs were infection free. Whipworm, Trichuris vulpis, infection was far more prevalent in necropsies of domestic dogs (78.6%) than dingoes (3.7%). Dogs were free from Dirofilaria immitis infection, while dingoes recorded 46.2% infection. Eleven dingoes and seven free-roaming domestic dogs were fitted with Global Positioning System collars and tracked over an extended period. Dingo home-ranges almost completely overlapped those of the domestic dogs. However, dingoes and dogs did not utilise the same area at the same time, and dogs may have avoided dingoes. This spatial overlap in resource use presents an opportunity for the indirect spill-over and spill-back of parasites between dogs and dingoes. Tracking and camera traps showed that the community rubbish tip and animal carcasses were areas of concentrated activity for dogs and dingoes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of a Rabies Virus Rapid Diagnostic Test for the Detection of Australian Bat Lyssavirus
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040109
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
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Abstract
Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) is closely related to the classical rabies virus and has been associated with three human fatalities and two equine fatalities in Australia. ABLV infection in humans causes encephalomyelitis, resulting in fatal disease, but has no effective therapy. The virus [...] Read more.
Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) is closely related to the classical rabies virus and has been associated with three human fatalities and two equine fatalities in Australia. ABLV infection in humans causes encephalomyelitis, resulting in fatal disease, but has no effective therapy. The virus is maintained in enzootic circulation within fruit bats (Pteropid spp.) and at least one insectivorous bat variety (Saccolaimus flaviventris). Most frequently, laboratory testing is conducted on pteropodid bat brains, either following a potential human exposure through bites, scratches and other direct contacts with bats, or as opportunistic assessment of sick or dead bats. The level of medical intervention and post-exposure prophylaxis is largely determined on laboratory testing for antigen/virus as the demonstrable infection status of the in-contact bat. This study evaluates the comparative diagnostic performance of a lateral flow test, Anigen Rabies Ag detection rapid test (RDT), in pteropodid variant of ABLV-infected bat brain tissues. The RDT demonstrated 100% agreement with the reference standard fluorescent antibody test on 43 clinical samples suggesting a potential application in rapid diagnosis of pteropodid variant of ABLV infection. A weighted Kappa value of 0.95 confirmed a high level of agreement between both tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Tropical Pathogens of Bats)
Open AccessEditorial “Farewell to the God of Plague”: The Importance of Political Commitment Towards the Elimination of Schistosomiasis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040108
Received: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
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Abstract
Schistosomiasis control in China has always been conducted with strong political leadership and support at the highest level of government [1] [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prospects for Schistosomiasis Elimination)
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Open AccessReview Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) as a Potential Point of Care Laboratory Test for Leprosy Diagnosis—A Systematic Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040107
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 23 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
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Abstract
Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and mainly affects skin, peripheral nerves, and eyes. Suitable tools for providing bacteriological evidence of leprosy are needed for early case detection and appropriate therapeutic management. Ideally these tools are applicable at all health [...] Read more.
Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and mainly affects skin, peripheral nerves, and eyes. Suitable tools for providing bacteriological evidence of leprosy are needed for early case detection and appropriate therapeutic management. Ideally these tools are applicable at all health care levels for the effective control of leprosy. This paper presents a systematic review analysis in order to investigate the performance of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) vis-à-vis slit skin smears (SSS) in various clinical settings and its potential usefulness as a routine lab test for leprosy diagnosis. Records of published journal articles were identified through PubMed database search. Twenty-seven articles were included for the analysis. The evidence from this review analysis suggests that PCR on skin biopsy is the ideal diagnostic test. Nevertheless, PCR on SSS samples also seems to be useful with its practical value for application, even at primary care levels. The review findings also indicated the necessity for improving the sensitivity of PCR and further research on specificity in ruling out other clinical conditions that may mimic leprosy. The M. leprae-specific repetitive element (RLEP) was the most frequently-used marker although its variable performance across the clinical sites and samples are a matter of concern. Undertaking further research studies with large sample numbers and uniform protocols studied simultaneously across multiple clinical sites is recommended to address these issues. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Control of Communicable Diseases in Human and in Animal Populations: 70th Anniversary of the Year of the Birth of Professor Rick Speare (2 August 1947–5 June 2016)
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040106
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
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Open AccessArticle Low Microfilaremia Levels in Three Districts in Coastal Ghana with at Least 16 Years of Mass Drug Administration and Persistent Transmission of Lymphatic Filariasis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040105
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 26 September 2018
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Abstract
Ghana has been implementing mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin and albendazole for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF) since the year 2000, as part of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF). It was estimated that 5–6 years of treatment would [...] Read more.
Ghana has been implementing mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin and albendazole for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF) since the year 2000, as part of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF). It was estimated that 5–6 years of treatment would be sufficient to eliminate the disease. Tremendous progress has been made over the years, and treatment has stopped in many disease endemic districts. However, despite the successful implementation of MDA, there are districts with persistent transmission. In this study we assessed the epidemiology of LF in three adjoining districts that have received at least 16 years of MDA. The assessments were undertaken one year after the last MDA. 1234 adults and 182 children below the age of 10 years were assessed. The overall prevalence of circulating filarial antigen in the study participants was 8.3% (95% CI: 6.9–9.9), with an estimated microfilaria prevalence of 1.2%. The microfilarial intensity in positive individuals ranged from 1 to 57 microfilariae/mL of blood. Higher antigen prevalence was detected in males (13.0%; 95% CI: 10.3–16.2) compared to females (5.5%; 95% CI: 4.1–7.2). The presence of infection was also highest in individuals involved in outdoor commercial activities, with the risks of infection being four- to five-fold higher among farmers, fishermen, drivers and artisans, compared to all other occupations. Using bednets or participating in MDA did not significantly influence the risk of infection. No children below the age of 10 years were found with infection. Detection of Wb123 antibodies for current infections indicated a prevalence of 14.4% (95% CI: 8.1–23.0) in antigen-positive individuals above 10 years of age. No antibodies were detected in children 10 years or below. Assessment of infection within the An. gambiae vectors of LF indicated an infection rate of 0.9% (95% CI: 0.3–2.1) and infectivity rate of 0.5% (95% CI: 0.1–1.6). These results indicate low-level transmission within the districts, and suggest that it will require targeted interventions in order to eliminate the infection. Full article
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