57 results found
Londono SE, Li X, Toor J, et al., 2021, How can the public health impact of vaccination be estimated?
<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title><jats:p>Deaths due to vaccine preventable diseases cause a notable proportion of mortality worldwide. To quantify the importance of vaccination, it is necessary to estimate the burden averted through vaccination. The Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium (VIMC) was established to estimate the health impact of vaccination. We describe the methods implemented by the VIMC to estimate impact by calendar year, birth year and year of vaccination (YoV). The calendar and birth year methods estimate impact in a particular year and over the lifetime of a particular birth cohort, respectively. The YoV method estimates the impact of a particular year’s vaccination activities through the use of impact ratios which have no stratification and stratification by activity type and/or birth cohort. Furthermore, we detail an impact extrapolation (IE) method for use between coverage scenarios. We compare the methods, focusing on YoV for hepatitis B, measles and yellow fever. We find that the YoV methods estimate similar impact with routine vaccinations but have greater yearly variation when campaigns occur with the birth cohort stratification. The IE performs well for the YoV methods, providing a time-efficient mechanism for updates to impact estimates. These methods provide a robust set of approaches to quantify vaccination impact.</jats:p>
Hamlet A, Gaythorpe KAM, Garske T, et al., 2021, Seasonal and inter-annual drivers of yellow fever transmission in South America, PLOS NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1935-2735
Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A, et al., 2020, Economic impact of vaccination against 10 vaccine‐preventable diseases across 73 low‐ and middle‐income countries supported by Gavi, 2001‐2020, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol: 95, Pages: 629-638, ISSN: 1564-0604
Watson OJ, Verity R, Ghani AC, et al., 2019, Impact of seasonal variations in Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission on the surveillance of pfhrp2 gene deletions, eLife, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2050-084X
Ten countries have reported pfhrp2/pfhrp3 gene deletions since the first observation of pfhrp2-deleted parasites in 2012. In a previous study (Watson et al., 2017) we characterised the drivers selecting for pfhrp2/3 deletions, and mapped the regions in Africa with the greatest selection pressure. In February 2018, the World Health Organization issued guidance on investigating suspected false-negative rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) due to pfhrp2/3 deletions. However, no guidance is provided regarding the timing of investigations. Failure to consider seasonal variation could cause premature decisions to switch to alternative RDTs. In response, we have extended our methods and predict that the prevalence of false-negative RDTs due to pfhrp2/3 deletions is highest when sampling from younger individuals during the beginning of the rainy season. We conclude by producing a map of the regions impacted by seasonal fluctuations in pfhrp2/3 deletions and a database identifying optimum sampling intervals to support malaria control programmes.
Eneanya O, Garske T, Donnelly C, 2019, The social, physical and economic impact of lymphedema and hydrocele: A matched cross-sectional study in rural Nigeria, BMC Infectious Diseases, Vol: 19, ISSN: 1471-2334
BackgroundLymphatic filariasis (LF) is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease and a major cause of disability worldwide. To effectively plan morbidity management programmes, it is important to estimate disease burden and evaluate the needs of patients. This study aimed to estimate patient numbers and characterise the physical, social and economic impact of LF in in rural Nigeria.MethodsThis is a matched cross-sectional study which identified lymphedema and hydrocele patients with the help of district health officers and community-directed distributors of mass drug administration programmes. A total of 52 cases were identified and matched to 52 apparently disease-free controls, selected from the same communities and matched by age and sex. Questionnaires and narrative interviews were used to characterise the physical, social and economic impact of lymphedema and hydrocele.ResultsForty-eight cases with various stages of lower limb lymphedema, and 4 with hydrocele were identified. 40% of all cases reported feeling stigma and were 36 times (95% CI: 5.18–1564.69) more likely to avoid forms of social participation. Although most cases engaged in some form of income-generating activity, these were low paid employment, and on average cases spent significantly less time than controls working. The economic effects of lower income were exacerbated by increased healthcare spending, as cases were 86 times (95% CI: 17.48–874.90) more likely to spend over US $125 on their last healthcare payment.ConclusionThis study highlights the importance of patient-search as a means of estimating the burden of LF morbidity in rural settings. Findings from this work also confirm that LF causes considerable psychosocial and economic suffering, all of which adversely affect the mental health of patients. It is therefore important to incorporate mental health care as a major component of morbidity management programmes.
Hamlet A, Jean K, Yactaco S, et al., 2019, POLICI: A web application for visualising and extracting yellow fever vaccination coverage in Africa, Vaccine, Vol: 37, Pages: 1384-1388, ISSN: 0264-410X
Recent yellow fever (YF) outbreaks have highlighted the increasing global risk of urban spread of the disease. In context of recurrent vaccine shortages, preventive vaccination activities require accurate estimates of existing population-level immunity. We present POLICI (POpulation-Level Immunization Coverage – Imperial), an interactive online tool for visualising and extracting YF vaccination coverage estimates in Africa.We calculated single year age-disaggregated sub-national population-level vaccination coverage for 1950–2050 across the African endemic zone by collating vaccination information and inputting it into a demographic model. This was then implemented on an open interactive web platform.POLICI interactively displays age-disaggregated, population-level vaccination coverages at the first subnational administrative level, through numerous downloadable and customisable visualisations. POLICI is available at https://polici.shinyapps.io/yellow_fever_africa/.POLICI offers an accessible platform for relevant stakeholders in global health to access and explore vaccination coverages. These estimates have already been used to inform the WHO strategy to Eliminate Yellow fever Epidemics (EYE).
Cori A, Nouvellet P, Garske T, et al., 2018, A graph-based evidence synthesis approach to detecting outbreak clusters: An application to dog rabies, PLoS Computational Biology, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1553-734X
Early assessment of infectious disease outbreaks is key to implementing timely and effective control measures. In particular, rapidly recognising whether infected individuals stem from a single outbreak sustained by local transmission, or from repeated introductions, is crucial to adopt effective interventions. In this study, we introduce a new framework for combining several data streams, e.g. temporal, spatial and genetic data, to identify clusters of related cases of an infectious disease. Our method explicitly accounts for underreporting, and allows incorporating preexisting information about the disease, such as its serial interval, spatial kernel, and mutation rate. We define, for each data stream, a graph connecting all cases, with edges weighted by the corresponding pairwise distance between cases. Each graph is then pruned by removing distances greater than a given cutoff, defined based on preexisting information on the disease and assumptions on the reporting rate. The pruned graphs corresponding to different data streams are then merged by intersection to combine all data types; connected components define clusters of cases related for all types of data. Estimates of the reproduction number (the average number of secondary cases infected by an infectious individual in a large population), and the rate of importation of the disease into the population, are also derived. We test our approach on simulated data and illustrate it using data on dog rabies in Central African Republic. We show that the outbreak clusters identified using our method are consistent with structures previously identified by more complex, computationally intensive approaches.
Eneanya OA, Cano J, Dorigatti I, et al., 2018, Environmental suitability for lymphatic filariasis in Nigeria, Parasites & Vectors, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1756-3305
BackgroundLymphatic filariasis (LF) is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease and a major cause of disability worldwide. It is one of the neglected tropical diseases identified by the World Health Organization for elimination as a public health problem by 2020. Maps displaying disease distribution are helpful tools to identify high-risk areas and target scarce control resources.MethodsWe used pre-intervention site-level occurrence data from 1192 survey sites collected during extensive mapping surveys by the Nigeria Ministry of Health. Using an ensemble of machine learning modelling algorithms (generalised boosted models and random forest), we mapped the ecological niche of LF at a spatial resolution of 1 km2. By overlaying gridded estimates of population density, we estimated the human population living in LF risk areas on a 100 × 100 m scale.ResultsOur maps demonstrate that there is a heterogeneous distribution of LF risk areas across Nigeria, with large portions of northern Nigeria having more environmentally suitable conditions for the occurrence of LF. Here we estimated that approximately 110 million individuals live in areas at risk of LF transmission.ConclusionsMachine learning and ensemble modelling are powerful tools to map disease risk and are known to yield more accurate predictive models with less uncertainty than single models. The resulting map provides a geographical framework to target control efforts and assess its potential impacts.
Donnelly CA, Garske T, 2018, How deadly is Ebola?, Biomedical Science Journal for teens
The Ebola Outbreak Epidemiology Team, Bhatia S, Cori A, et al., 2018, Outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, April–May, 2018: an epidemiological study, The Lancet, Vol: 392, Pages: 213-221, ISSN: 0140-6736
BackgroundOn May 8, 2018, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo reported an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Équateur Province in the northwest of the country. The remoteness of most affected communities and the involvement of an urban centre connected to the capital city and neighbouring countries makes this outbreak the most complex and high risk ever experienced by the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We provide early epidemiological information arising from the ongoing investigation of this outbreak.MethodsWe classified cases as suspected, probable, or confirmed using national case definitions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Ministère de la Santé Publique. We investigated all cases to obtain demographic characteristics, determine possible exposures, describe signs and symptoms, and identify contacts to be followed up for 21 days. We also estimated the reproduction number and projected number of cases for the 4-week period from May 25, to June 21, 2018.FindingsAs of May 30, 2018, 50 cases (37 confirmed, 13 probable) of Zaire ebolavirus were reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 21 (42%) were reported in Bikoro, 25 (50%) in Iboko, and four (8%) in Wangata health zones. Wangata is part of Mbandaka, the urban capital of Équateur Province, which is connected to major national and international transport routes. By May 30, 2018, 25 deaths from Ebola virus disease had been reported, with a case fatality ratio of 56% (95% CI 39–72) after adjustment for censoring. This case fatality ratio is consistent with estimates for the 2014–16 west African Ebola virus disease epidemic (p=0·427). The median age of people with confirmed or probable infection was 40 years (range 8–80) and 30 (60%) were male. The most commonly reported signs and symptoms in people with confirmed or probable Ebola virus disease were fever (40 [95%] of 42 cases), intense general fatigue (37 [90%] of 41 cases), an
Hamlet A, Jean K, Perea W, et al., 2018, The seasonal influence of climate and environment on yellow fever transmission across Africa, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1935-2727
Background:Yellow fever virus (YFV) is a vector-borne flavivirus endemic to Africa and Latin America. Ninety per cent of the global burden occurs in Africa where it is primarily transmitted by Aedes spp, with Aedes aegypti the main vector for urban yellow fever (YF). Mosquito life cycle and viral replication in the mosquito are heavily dependent on climate, particularly temperature and rainfall. We aimed to assess whether seasonal variations in climatic factors are associated with the seasonality of YF reports.Methodology/Principal findings:We constructed a temperature suitability index for YFV transmission, capturing the temperature dependence of mosquito behaviour and viral replication within the mosquito. We then fitted a series of multilevel logistic regression models to a dataset of YF reports across Africa, considering location and seasonality of occurrence for seasonal models, against the temperature suitability index, rainfall and the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) as covariates alongside further demographic indicators. Model fit was assessed by the Area Under the Curve (AUC), and models were ranked by Akaike’s Information Criterion which was used to weight model outputs to create combined model predictions. The seasonal model accurately captured both the geographic and temporal heterogeneities in YF transmission (AUC = 0.81), and did not perform significantly worse than the annual model which only captured the geographic distribution. The interaction between temperature suitability and rainfall accounted for much of the occurrence of YF, which offers a statistical explanation for the spatio-temporal variability in transmission.Conclusions/Significance:The description of seasonality offers an explanation for heterogeneities in the West-East YF burden across Africa. Annual climatic variables may indicate a transmission suitability not always reflected in seasonal interactions. This finding, in conjunction with forecasted data, could highlight areas of
Chang AY, Riumallo-Herl C, Perales NA, et al., 2018, The equity impact vaccines may have on averting deaths and medical impoverishment in developing countries, Health Affairs, Vol: 37, Pages: 316-324, ISSN: 0278-2715
With social policies increasingly directed toward enhancing equity through health programs, it is important that methods for estimating the health and economic benefits of these programs by subpopulation be developed, to assess both equity concerns and the programs’ total impact. We estimated the differential health impact (measured as the number of deaths averted) and household economic impact (measured as the number of cases of medical impoverishment averted) of ten antigens and their corresponding vaccines across income quintiles for forty-one low- and middle-income countries. Our analysis indicated that benefits across these vaccines would accrue predominantly in the lowest income quintiles. Policy makers should be informed about the large health and economic distributional impact that vaccines could have, and they should view vaccination policies as potentially important channels for improving health equity. Our results provide insight into the distribution of vaccine-preventable diseases and the health benefits associated with their prevention.
Hamlet A, Jean K, Ferguson N, et al., 2017, THE SEASONAL INFLUENCE OF CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT ON YELLOW FEVER TRANSMISSION ACROSS AFRICA, 65th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Tropical-Medicine-and-Hygiene (ASTMH), Publisher: AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, Pages: 44-44, ISSN: 0002-9637
Jean K, Ferguson NM, Van Kerkhove MD, et al., 2017, THE DIFFERENTIAL IMPACT OF YELLOW FEVER VACCINE ACROSS TRANSMISSION CYCLES: ACCOUNTING FOR HERD IMMUNITY IN THE FACE OF ZOONOTIC TRANSMISSION, 65th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Tropical-Medicine-and-Hygiene (ASTMH), Publisher: AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, Pages: 42-43, ISSN: 0002-9637
Garske T, 2017, BIAS ADJUSTMENT OF CASE FATALITY RATE ESTIMATES IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK IN WEST AFRICA, 65th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Tropical-Medicine-and-Hygiene (ASTMH), Publisher: AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, Pages: 210-210, ISSN: 0002-9637
Dorigatti I, Hamlet A, Aguas R, et al., 2017, International risk of yellow fever spread from the ongoing outbreak in Brazil, December 2016 to May 2017, EUROSURVEILLANCE, Vol: 22, Pages: 1-4, ISSN: 1560-7917
States in south-eastern Brazil were recently affected by the largest Yellow Fever (YF) outbreak seen in a decade in Latin America. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of the risk of travel-related international spread of YF indicating that the United States, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, Italy and Germany may have received at least one travel-related YF case capable of seeding local transmission. Mitigating the risk of imported YF cases seeding local transmission requires heightened surveillance globally.
Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A, et al., 2017, Estimated economic impact of vaccinations in 73 low- and middle-income countries, 2001-2020, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol: 95, Pages: 629-638, ISSN: 0042-9686
Objective To estimate the economic impact likely to be achieved by efforts to vaccinate against 10 vaccine-preventable diseases between 2001 and 2020 in 73 low- and middle-income countries largely supported by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.Methods We used health impact models to estimate the economic impact of achieving forecasted coverages for vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus, Japanese encephalitis, measles, Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A, rotavirus, rubella, Streptococcus pneumoniae and yellow fever. In comparison with no vaccination, we modelled the costs – expressed in 2010 United States dollars (US$) – of averted treatment, transportation costs, productivity losses of caregivers and productivity losses due to disability and death. We used the value-of-a-life-year method to estimate the broader economic and social value of living longer, in better health, as a result of immunization.Findings We estimated that, in the 73 countries, vaccinations given between 2001 and 2020 will avert over 20 million deaths and save US$ 350 billion in cost of illness. The deaths and disability prevented by vaccinations given during the two decades will result in estimated lifelong productivity gains totalling US$ 330 billion and US$ 9 billion, respectively. Over the lifetimes of the vaccinated cohorts, the same vaccinations will save an estimated US$ 5 billion in treatment costs. The broader economic and social value of these vaccinations is estimated at US$ 820 billion.Conclusion By preventing significant costs and potentially increasing economic productivity among some of the world’s poorest countries, the impact of immunization goes well beyond health.
Garske T, Cori A, Ariyarajah A, et al., 2017, Heterogeneities in the case fatality ratio in the West African Ebola outbreak 2013 – 2016, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol: 372, ISSN: 1471-2970
The 2013–2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest on record with 28 616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases and 11 310 deaths officially recorded by 10 June 2016, the true burden probably considerably higher. The case fatality ratio (CFR: proportion of cases that are fatal) is a key indicator of disease severity useful for gauging the appropriate public health response and for evaluating treatment benefits, if estimated accurately. We analysed individual-level clinical outcome data from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone officially reported to the World Health Organization. The overall mean CFR was 62.9% (95% CI: 61.9% to 64.0%) among confirmed cases with recorded clinical outcomes. Age was the most important modifier of survival probabilities, but country, stage of the epidemic and whether patients were hospitalized also played roles. We developed a statistical analysis to detect outliers in CFR between districts of residence and treatment centres (TCs), adjusting for known factors influencing survival and identified eight districts and three TCs with a CFR significantly different from the average. From the current dataset, we cannot determine whether the observed variation in CFR seen by district or treatment centre reflects real differences in survival, related to the quality of care or other factors or was caused by differences in reporting practices or case ascertainment.
Cori A, Donnelly CA, dorigatti, et al., 2017, Key data for outbreak evaluation: building on the Ebola experience, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol: 372, ISSN: 1471-2970
Following the detection of an infectious disease outbreak, rapid epidemiological assessmentis critical to guidean effectivepublic health response. To understand the transmission dynamics and potential impact of an outbreak, several types of data are necessary. Here we build on experience gained inthe West AfricanEbolaepidemic and prior emerging infectious disease outbreaksto set out a checklist of data needed to: 1) quantify severity and transmissibility;2) characterise heterogeneities in transmission and their determinants;and 3) assess the effectiveness of different interventions.We differentiate data needs into individual-leveldata (e.g. a detailed list of reported cases), exposure data(e.g.identifying where / howcases may have been infected) and populationlevel data (e.g.size/demographicsof the population(s)affected andwhen/where interventions were implemented). A remarkable amount of individual-level and exposuredata was collected during the West African Ebola epidemic, which allowed the assessment of (1) and (2). However,gaps in population-level data (particularly around which interventions were applied whenand where)posed challenges to the assessment of (3).Herewehighlight recurrent data issues, give practical suggestions for addressingthese issues and discuss priorities for improvements in data collection in future outbreaks.
Nouvellet P, Cori A, Garske T, et al., 2017, A simple approach to measure transmissibility and forecast incidence, Epidemics, Vol: 22, Pages: 29-35, ISSN: 1755-4365
Outbreaks of novel pathogens such as SARS, pandemic influenza and Ebola require substantial investments in reactive interventions, with consequent implementation plans sometimes revised on a weekly basis. Therefore, short-term forecasts of incidence are often of high priority. In light of the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa, a forecasting exercise was convened by a network of infectious disease modellers. The challenge was to forecast unseen “future” simulated data for four different scenarios at five different time points. In a similar method to that used during the recent Ebola epidemic, we estimated current levels of transmissibility, over variable time-windows chosen in an ad hoc way. Current estimated transmissibility was then used to forecast near-future incidence. We performed well within the challenge and often produced accurate forecasts. A retrospective analysis showed that our subjective method for deciding on the window of time with which to estimate transmissibility often resulted in the optimal choice. However, when near-future trends deviated substantially from exponential patterns, the accuracy of our forecasts was reduced. This exercise highlights the urgent need for infectious disease modellers to develop more robust descriptions of processes – other than the widespread depletion of susceptible individuals – that produce non-exponential patterns of incidence.
Hamlet A, Jean K, Ferguson N, et al., 2017, POLICI: AN ONLINE TOOL FOR VISUALIZATION OF POPULATION-LEVEL YELLOW FEVER IMMUNIZATION COVERAGE IN AFRICA, 66th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Tropical-Medicine-and-Hygiene (ASTMH), Publisher: AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, Pages: 257-257, ISSN: 0002-9637
International Ebola Response Team, Agua-Agum J, Ariyarajah A, et al., 2016, Exposure patterns driving Ebola transmissions in West Africa: a retrospective observational study, PLOS Medicine, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1549-1277
BACKGROUND: The ongoing West African Ebola epidemic began in December 2013 in Guinea, probably from a single zoonotic introduction. As a result of ineffective initial control efforts, an Ebola outbreak of unprecedented scale emerged. As of 4 May 2015, it had resulted in more than 19,000 probable and confirmed Ebola cases, mainly in Guinea (3,529), Liberia (5,343), and Sierra Leone (10,746). Here, we present analyses of data collected during the outbreak identifying drivers of transmission and highlighting areas where control could be improved.METHODS AND FINDINGS: Over 19,000 confirmed and probable Ebola cases were reported in West Africa by 4 May 2015. Individuals with confirmed or probable Ebola ("cases") were asked if they had exposure to other potential Ebola cases ("potential source contacts") in a funeral or non-funeral context prior to becoming ill. We performed retrospective analyses of a case line-list, collated from national databases of case investigation forms that have been reported to WHO. These analyses were initially performed to assist WHO's response during the epidemic, and have been updated for publication. We analysed data from 3,529 cases in Guinea, 5,343 in Liberia, and 10,746 in Sierra Leone; exposures were reported by 33% of cases. The proportion of cases reporting a funeral exposure decreased over time. We found a positive correlation (r = 0.35, p < 0.001) between this proportion in a given district for a given month and the within-district transmission intensity, quantified by the estimated reproduction number (R). We also found a negative correlation (r = -0.37, p < 0.001) between R and the district proportion of hospitalised cases admitted within ≤4 days of symptom onset. These two proportions were not correlated, suggesting that reduced funeral attendance and faster hospitalisation independently influenced local transmission intensity. We were able to identify 14% of potential source contacts as cases in the
Jean K, Donnelly C, Ferguson N, et al., 2016, A meta-analysis of serological response associated with yellow fever vaccination, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol: 95, Pages: 1435-1439, ISSN: 1476-1645
Despite previous evidence of high level of efficacy, no synthetic metric of yellow fever (YF) vaccine efficacy is currently available. Based on the studies identified in a recent systematic review, we conducted a random-effects meta-analysis of the serological response associated with YF vaccination. Eleven studies conducted between 1965 and 2011 representing 4,868 individual observations were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled estimate of serological response was 97.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 82.9–99.7%). There was evidence of between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 89.1%), but this heterogeneity did not appear to be related to study size, study design, seroconversion measurement, or definition. Pooled estimates were significantly higher (P & 0.0001) among studies conducted in nonendemic settings (98.9%, 95% CI = 98.2–99.4%) than among those conducted in endemic settings (94.2%, 95% CI = 83.8–98.1%). These results provide background information against which to evaluate the efficacy of fractional doses of YF vaccine that may be used in outbreak situations.
Agua-Agum J, Allegranzi B, Ariyarajah A, et al., 2016, After Ebola in West Africa - Unpredictable Risks, Preventable Epidemics, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol: 375, Pages: 587-596, ISSN: 1533-4406
Between December 2013 and April 2016, the largest epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) to date generated more than 28,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths in the large, mobile populations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Tracking the rapid rise and slower decline of the West African epidemic has reinforced some common understandings about the epidemiology and control of EVD but has also generated new insights. Despite having more information about the geographic distribution of the disease, the risk of human infection from animals and from survivors of EVD remains unpredictable over a wide area of equatorial Africa. Until human exposure to infection can be anticipated or avoided, future outbreaks will have to be managed with the classic approach to EVD control — extensive surveillance, rapid detection and diagnosis, comprehensive tracing of contacts, prompt patient isolation, supportive clinical care, rigorous efforts to prevent and control infection, safe and dignified burial, and engagement of the community. Empirical and modeling studies conducted during the West African epidemic have shown that large epidemics of EVD are preventable — a rapid response can interrupt transmission and restrict the size of outbreaks, even in densely populated cities. The critical question now is how to ensure that populations and their health services are ready for the next outbreak, wherever it may occur. Health security across Africa and beyond depends on committing resources to both strengthen national health systems and sustain investment in the next generation of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics.
Cauchemez S, Nouvellet P, Cori A, et al., 2016, Unraveling the drivers of MERS-CoV transmission., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol: 113, Pages: 9081-9086, ISSN: 1091-6490
With more than 1,700 laboratory-confirmed infections, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remains a significant threat for public health. However, the lack of detailed data on modes of transmission from the animal reservoir and between humans means that the drivers of MERS-CoV epidemics remain poorly characterized. Here, we develop a statistical framework to provide a comprehensive analysis of the transmission patterns underlying the 681 MERS-CoV cases detected in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) between January 2013 and July 2014. We assess how infections from the animal reservoir, the different levels of mixing, and heterogeneities in transmission have contributed to the buildup of MERS-CoV epidemics in KSA. We estimate that 12% [95% credible interval (CI): 9%, 15%] of cases were infected from the reservoir, the rest via human-to-human transmission in clusters (60%; CI: 57%, 63%), within (23%; CI: 20%, 27%), or between (5%; CI: 2%, 8%) regions. The reproduction number at the start of a cluster was 0.45 (CI: 0.33, 0.58) on average, but with large SD (0.53; CI: 0.35, 0.78). It was >1 in 12% (CI: 6%, 18%) of clusters but fell by approximately one-half (47% CI: 34%, 63%) its original value after 10 cases on average. The ongoing exposure of humans to MERS-CoV from the reservoir is of major concern, given the continued risk of substantial outbreaks in health care systems. The approach we present allows the study of infectious disease transmission when data linking cases to each other remain limited and uncertain.
Lessler J, Salje H, van Kerkhove M, et al., 2016, Estimating the Severity and Subclinical Burden of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 183, Pages: 657-663, ISSN: 1476-6256
Not all persons infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) develop severe symptoms, which likely leads to an underestimation of the number of people infected and an overestimation of the severity. To estimate the number of MERS-CoV infections that have occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we applied a statistical model to a line list describing 721 MERS-CoV infections detected between June 7, 2012, and July 25, 2014. We estimated that 1,528 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1,327, 1,883) MERS-CoV infections occurred in this interval, which is 2.1 (95% CI: 1.8, 2.6) times the number reported. The probability of developing symptoms ranged from 11% (95% CI: 4, 25) in persons under 10 years of age to 88% (95% CI: 72, 97) in those 70 years of age or older. An estimated 22% (95% CI: 18, 25) of those infected with MERS-CoV died. MERS-CoV is deadly, but this work shows that its clinical severity differs markedly between groups and that many cases likely go undiagnosed.
Agua-Agum J, Ariyarajah A, Blake IM, et al., 2016, Ebola virus disease among male and female persons in West Africa, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol: 374, Pages: 96-98, ISSN: 1533-4406
Nouvellet P, Garske T, Mills HL, et al., 2015, The role of rapid diagnostics in managing Ebola epidemics, Nature, Vol: 528, Pages: S109-S116, ISSN: 0028-0836
Ebola emerged in West Africa around December 2013 and swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, giving rise to 27,748 confirmed, probable and suspected cases reported by 29 July 2015. Case diagnoses during the epidemic have relied on polymerase chain reaction-based tests. Owing to limited laboratory capacity and local transport infrastructure, the delays from sample collection to test results being available have often been 2 days or more. Point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests offer the potential to substantially reduce these delays. We review Ebola rapid diagnostic tests approved by the World Health Organization and those currently in development. Such rapid diagnostic tests could allow early triaging of patients, thereby reducing the potential for nosocomial transmission. In addition, despite the lower test accuracy, rapid diagnostic test-based diagnosis may be beneficial in some contexts because of the reduced time spent by uninfected individuals in health-care settings where they may be at increased risk of infection; this also frees up hospital beds. We use mathematical modelling to explore the potential benefits of diagnostic testing strategies involving rapid diagnostic tests alone and in combination with polymerase chain reaction testing. Our analysis indicates that the use of rapid diagnostic tests with sensitivity and specificity comparable with those currently under development always enhances control, whether evaluated at a health-care-unit or population level. If such tests had been available throughout the recent epidemic, we estimate, for Sierra Leone, that their use in combination with confirmatory polymerase chain-reaction testing might have reduced the scale of the epidemic by over a third.
Jean K, Ferguson NM, Van Kerkhove MD, et al., 2015, INTEGRATING TRANSMISSION DYNAMICS IN THE MODELLING OF VACCINATION IMPACT AGAINST YELLOW FEVER IN AFRICA, Publisher: AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, Pages: 187-187, ISSN: 0002-9637
Garske T, Jean K, Van Kerkhove MD, et al., 2015, INFERRING THE YELLOW FEVER FORCE OF INFECTION FROM THE OBSERVED AGE DISTRIBUTION OF CONFIRMED CASES, Publisher: AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, Pages: 441-441, ISSN: 0002-9637
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