29 results found
Smith RM, Cambiano V, Colbourn T, et al., 2022, Estimating the health burden of road traffic injuries in Malawi using an individual-based model, INJURY EPIDEMIOLOGY, Vol: 9
Imai N, Gaythorpe K, Bhatia S, et al., 2022, COVID-19 in Japan, January – March 2020: insights from the first three months of the epidemic, BMC Infectious Diseases, Vol: 22, ISSN: 1471-2334
Background:Understanding the characteristics and natural history of novel pathogens is crucial to inform successful control measures. Japan was one of the first affected countries in the COVID-19 pandemic reporting their first case on 14 January 2020. Interventions including airport screening, contact tracing, and cluster investigations were quickly implemented. Here we present insights from the first 3 months of the epidemic in Japan based on detailed case data. Methods:We conducted descriptive analyses based on information systematically extracted from individual case reports from 13 January to 31 March 2020 including patient demographics, date of report and symptom onset, symptom progression, travel history, and contact type. We analysed symptom progression and estimated the time-varying reproduction number, Rt, correcting for epidemic growth using an established Bayesian framework. Key delays and the age-specific probability of transmission were estimated using data on exposures and transmission pairs. Results:The corrected fitted mean onset-to-reporting delay after the peak was 4 days (standard deviation: ±2 days). Early transmission was driven primarily by returning travellers with Rt peaking at 2.4 (95%CrI:1.6, 3.3) nationally. In the final week of the trusted period (16 – 23 March 2020), Rt accounting for importations diverged from overall Rt at 1.1 (95% CrI: 1.0, 1.2) compared to 1.5 (95% CrI: 1.3, 1.6) respectively. Household (39.0%) and workplace (11.6%) exposures were the most frequently reported potential source of infection. The estimated probability of transmission was assortative by age with individuals more likely to infect, and be infected by, contacts in a similar age group to them. Across all age groups, cases most frequently onset with cough, fever, and fatigue. There were no reported cases of patients <20 years old developing pneumonia or severe respiratory symptoms.Conclusions:Information collected in the early phases of an out
Imai N, Gaythorpe KAM, Bhatia S, et al., 2022, COVID-19 in Japan: insights from the first three months of the epidemic, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
BackgroundUnderstanding the characteristics and natural history of novel pathogens is crucial to inform successful control measures. Japan was one of the first affected countries in the COVID-19 pandemic reporting their first case on 14 January 2020. Interventions including airport screening, contact tracing, and cluster investigations were quickly implemented. Here we present insights from the first 3 months of the epidemic in Japan based on detailed case data. MethodsWe conducted descriptive analyses based on information systematically extracted from individual case reports from 13 January to 31 March 2020 including patient demographics, date of report and symptom onset, symptom progression, travel history, and contact type. We analysed symptom progression and estimated the time-varying reproduction number, Rt, correcting for epidemic growth using an established Bayesian framework. Key delays and the age-specific probability of transmission were estimated using data on exposures and transmission pairs. ResultsThe corrected fitted mean onset-to-reporting delay after the peak was 4 days (standard deviation: ±2 days). Early transmission was driven primarily by returning travellers with Rt peaking at 2.4 (95%CrI:1.6, 3.3) nationally. In the final week of the trusted period, Rt accounting for importations diverged from overall Rt at 1.1 (95% CrI: 1.0, 1.2) compared to 1.5 (95% CrI: 1.3, 1.6) respectively. Household (39.0%) and workplace (11.6%) exposures were the most frequently reported potential source of infection. The estimated probability of transmission was assortative by age. Across all age groups, cases most frequently onset with cough, fever, and fatigue. There were no reported cases of patients <20 years old developing pneumonia or severe respiratory symptoms.ConclusionsInformation collected in the early phases of an outbreak are important in characterising any novel pathogen. Timely recognition of key symptoms and high-risk settings for transmi
Ng'ambi WF, Collins JH, Colbourn T, et al., 2022, Socio-demographic factors associated with early antenatal care visits among pregnant women in Malawi: 2004-2016, PLoS One, Vol: 17, ISSN: 1932-6203
INTRODUCTION: In 2016, the WHO published recommendations increasing the number of recommended antenatal care (ANC) visits per pregnancy from four to eight. Prior to the implementation of this policy, coverage of four ANC visits has been suboptimal in many low-income settings. In this study we explore socio-demographic factors associated with early initiation of first ANC contact and attending at least four ANC visits ("ANC4+") in Malawi using the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) data collected between 2004 and 2016, prior to the implementation of new recommendations. METHODS: We combined data from the 2004-5, 2010 and 2015-16 MDHS using Stata version 16. Participants included all women surveyed between the ages of 15-49 who had given birth in the five years preceding the survey. We conducted weighted univariate, bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analysis of the effects of each of the predictor variables on the binary endpoint of the woman attending at least four ANC visits and having the first ANC attendance within or before the four months of pregnancy (ANC4+). To determine whether a factor was included in the model, the likelihood ratio test was used with a statistical significance of P< 0.05 as the threshold. RESULTS: We evaluated data collected in surveys in 2004/5, 2010 and 2015/6 from 26386 women who had given birth in the five years before being surveyed. The median gestational age, in months, at the time of presenting for the first ANC visit was 5 (inter quartile range: 4-6). The proportion of women initiating ANC4+ increased from 21.3% in 2004-5 to 38.8% in 2015-16. From multivariate analysis, there was increasing trend in ANC4+ from women aged 20-24 years (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.27, 95%CI:1.05-1.53, P = 0.01) to women aged 45-49 years (aOR = 1.91, 95%CI:1.18-3.09, P = 0.008) compared to those aged 15-19 years. Women from richest socio-economic position ((aOR = 1.32, 95%CI:1.12-1.58, P<0.001) were more likely
Ahmed ASMNU, Maamri A, Falade AG, et al., 2021, Global research priorities on COVID-19 for maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, Journal of Global Health, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2047-2978
Glaubius R, Kothegal N, Birhanu S, et al., 2021, Disease progression and mortality with untreated HIV infection: evidence synthesis of HIV seroconverter cohorts, antiretroviral treatment clinical cohorts, and population-based survey data, Journal of the International AIDS Society, Vol: 24, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1758-2652
Background: Model-based estimates of key HIV indicators depend on past epidemic trends that arederived based on assumptions about HIV disease progression and mortality in the absence ofantiretroviral treatment (ART). Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) household surveysconducted between 2015 and 2018 found substantial numbers of respondents living with untreated HIVinfection. CD4 cell counts measured in these individuals provide novel information to estimate HIVdisease progression and mortality rates off ART.Methods: We used Bayesian multi-parameter evidence synthesis to combine data on i) cross-sectionalCD4 cell counts among untreated adults living with HIV from ten PHIA surveys, ii) survival after HIVseroconversion in East African seroconverter cohorts, and iii) post-seroconversion CD4 counts and iv)mortality rates by CD4 count predominantly from European, North American, and Australianseroconverter cohorts. We used Incremental Mixture Importance Sampling to estimate HIV naturalhistory and ART uptake parameters used in the Spectrum software. We validated modeled trends in CD4count at ART initiation against ART initiator cohorts in sub-Saharan Africa.Results: Median untreated HIV survival decreased with increasing age at seroconversion, from 12.5years (95% credible interval [CrI]: 12.1-12.7) at ages 15-24 to 7.2 years (95% CrI: 7.1-7.7) at ages 45-54.Older age was associated with lower initial CD4 counts, faster CD4 count decline and higher HIV-relatedmortality rates. Our estimates suggested a weaker association between ART uptake and HIV-relatedmortality rates than previously assumed in Spectrum. Modeled CD4 counts in untreated people livingwith HIV matched recent household survey data well, though some intercountry variation in frequenciesof CD4 counts above 500 cells/mm3 was not explained. Trends in CD4 counts at ART initiation werecomparable to data from ART initiator cohorts. An alternate model that stratified progression andmortality rates by sex di
Mangal T, Whittaker C, Nkhoma D, et al., 2021, The potential impact of intervention strategies on COVID-19 transmission in Malawi: a mathematical modelling study, BMJ Open, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2044-6055
BackgroundCOVID-19 mitigation strategies have been challenging to implement in resource-limited settings due to the potential for widespread disruption to social and economic well-being. Here we predict the clinical severity of COVID-19 in Malawi, quantifying the potential impact of intervention strategies and increases in health system capacity.MethodsThe infection fatality ratios (IFR) were predicted by adjusting reported IFR for China accounting for demography, the current prevalence of comorbidities and health system capacity. These estimates were input into an age-structured deterministic model, which simulated the epidemic trajectory with non-pharmaceutical interventions and increases in health system capacity. Findings The predicted population-level IFR in Malawi, adjusted for age and comorbidity prevalence, is lower than estimated for China (0.26%, 95% uncertainty interval [UI] 0.12 – 0.69%, compared with 0.60%, 95% CI 0.4% – 1.3% in China), however the health system constraints increase the predicted IFR to 0.83%, 95% UI 0.49% – 1.39%. The interventions implemented in January 2021 could potentially avert 54,400 deaths (95% UI 26,900 – 97,300) over the course of the epidemic compared with an unmitigated outbreak. Enhanced shielding of people aged ≥ 60 years could avert a further 40,200 deaths (95% UI 25,300 – 69,700) and halve ICU admissions at the peak of the outbreak. A novel therapeutic agent, which reduces mortality by 0.65 and 0.8 for severe and critical cases respectively, in combination with increasing hospital capacity could reduce projected mortality to 2.5 deaths per 1,000 population (95% UI 1.9 – 3.6).ConclusionWe find the interventions currently used in Malawi are unlikely to effectively prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission but will have a significant impact on mortality. Increases in health system capacity and the introduction of novel therapeutics are likely to further reduce the projected numbers of deaths.
Gaythorpe K, Bhatia S, Mangal T, et al., 2021, Children’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review of early surveillance data on susceptibility, severity, and transmissibility, Scientific Reports, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 2045-2322
Background: SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported in all age groups including infants, children, and adolescents. However, the role of children in the COVID-19 pandemic is still uncertain. This systematic review of early studies synthesises evidence on the susceptibility of children to SARS-CoV-2 infection, the severity and clinical outcomes in children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 by children in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods and findings: A systematic literature review was conducted in PubMed. Reviewers extracted data from relevant, peer-reviewed studies published up to July 4th 2020 during the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak using a standardised form and assessed quality using the NIH Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies. For studies included in the meta-analysis, we used a random effects model to calculate pooled estimates of the proportion of children considered asymptomatic or in a severe or critical state. We identified 2,775 potential studies of which 128 studies met our inclusion criteria; data were extracted from 99, which were then quality assessed. Finally, 29 studies were considered for the meta-analysis that included information of symptoms and/or severity, these were further assessed based on patient recruitment. Our pooled estimate of the proportion of test positive children who were asymptomatic was 21.1% (95% CI: 14.0 - 28.1%), based on 13 included studies, and the proportion of children with severe or critical symptoms was 3.8% (95% CI: 1.5 - 6.0%), based on 14 included studies. We did not identify any studies designed to assess transmissibility in children and found that susceptibility to infection in children was highly variable across studies.Conclusions: Children’s susceptibility to infection and onward transmissibility relative to adults is still unclear and varied widely between studies. However, it is evident that most children e
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have sought to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission by restricting population movement through social distancing interventions, thus reducing the number of contacts.Mobility data represent an important proxy measure of social distancing, and here, we characterise the relationship between transmission and mobility for 52 countries around the world.Transmission significantly decreased with the initial reduction in mobility in 73% of the countries analysed, but we found evidence of decoupling of transmission and mobility following the relaxation of strict control measures for 80% of countries. For the majority of countries, mobility explained a substantial proportion of the variation in transmissibility (median adjusted R-squared: 48%, interquartile range - IQR - across countries [27-77%]). Where a change in the relationship occurred, predictive ability decreased after the relaxation; from a median adjusted R-squared of 74% (IQR across countries [49-91%]) pre-relaxation, to a median adjusted R-squared of 30% (IQR across countries [12-48%]) post-relaxation.In countries with a clear relationship between mobility and transmission both before and after strict control measures were relaxed, mobility was associated with lower transmission rates after control measures were relaxed indicating that the beneficial effects of ongoing social distancing behaviours were substantial.
Ng'ambi W, Mangal T, Phillips A, et al., 2021, A cross-sectional study on factors associated with health seeking behaviour of Malawians aged 15+ years in 2016., Malawi Medical Journal, Vol: 32, Pages: 205-212, ISSN: 1995-7262
Introduction: Health seeking behaviour (HSB) refers to actions taken by individuals who are ill in order to find appropriate remedy. Most studies on HSB have only examined one symptom or covered only a specific geographical location within a country. In this study, we used a representative sample of adults to explore the factors associated with HSB in response to 30 symptoms reported by adult Malawians in 2016. Methods: We used the 2016 Malawi Integrated Household Survey dataset. We fitted a multilevel logistic regression model of likelihood of 'seeking care at a health facility' using a forward step-wise selection method, with age, sex and reported symptoms entered as a priori variables. We calculated the odds ratios (ORs) and their associated 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). We set the level of statistical significance at P < 0.05. Results: Of 6909 adults included in the survey, 1907 (29%) reported symptoms during the 2 weeks preceding the survey. Of these, 937 (57%) sought care at a health facility. Adults in urban areas were more likely to seek health care at a health facility than those in rural areas (AOR = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.19-2.30, P = 0.003). Females had a higher likelihood of seeking care from health facilities than males (AOR = 1.26, 95% CI: 1.03-1.59, P = 0.029). Being of higher wealth status was associated with a higher likelihood of seeking care from a health facility (AOR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.16-2.16, P = 0.004). Having fever and eye problems were associated with higher likelihood of seeking care at a health facility, while having headache, stomach ache and respiratory tract infections were associated with lower likelihood of seeking care at a health facility. Conclusion: This study has shown that there is a need to understand and address individual, socioeconomic and geographical barriers to health seeking to increase access and appropriate use of health care and fast-track progress towards Universal Health Coverage among the adult population.
Thompson H, Imai N, Dighe A, et al., 2020, SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence on repatriation flights from Wuhan City, China, Journal of Travel Medicine, Vol: 27, Pages: 1-3, ISSN: 1195-1982
We estimated SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in cohorts of repatriated citizens from Wuhan to be 0.44% (95% CI: 0.19%–1.03%). Although not representative of the wider population we believe these estimates are helpful in providing a conservative estimate of infection prevalence in Wuhan City, China, in the absence of large-scale population testing early in the epidemic.
Gaythorpe K, Bhatia S, Mangal T, et al., 2020, Report 37: Children’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review of early surveillance data on susceptibility, severity, and transmissibility
SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported in all age groups including infants, children, and adolescents. However, the role of children in the COVID-19 pandemic is still uncertain. This systematic review of early studies synthesises evidence on the susceptibility of children to SARS-CoV-2 infection, the severity and clinical outcomes in children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 by children. A systematic literature review was conducted in PubMed. Reviewers extracted data from relevant, peer-reviewed studies published during the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak using a standardised form and assessed quality using the NIH Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies. For studies included in the meta-analysis, we used a random effects model to calculate pooled estimates of the proportion of children considered asymptomatic or in a severe or critical state. We identified 2,775 potential studies of which 128 studies met our inclusion criteria; data were extracted from 99, which were then quality assessed. Finally, 29 studies were considered for the meta-analysis that included information of symptoms and/or severity, these were further assessed based on patient recruitment. Our pooled estimate of the proportion of test positive children who were asymptomatic was 21.1% (95% CI: 14.0 - 28.1%), based on 13 included studies, and the proportion of children with severe or critical symptoms was 3.8% (95% CI: 1.5 - 6.0%), based on 14 included studies. We did not identify any studies designed to assess transmissibility in children and found that susceptibility to infection in children was highly variable across studies.Children’s susceptibility to infection and onward transmissibility relative to adults is still unclear and varied widely between studies. However, it is evident that most children experience clinically mild disease or remain asymptomatically infected. More comprehensive contact-tracing studie
Ng'ambi W, Mangal T, Phillips A, et al., 2020, Factors associated with healthcare seeking behaviour for children in Malawi: 2016, Tropical Medicine and International Health, Vol: 25, Pages: 1486-1495, ISSN: 1360-2276
ObjectiveTo characterise health seeking behaviour (HSB) and determine its predictors amongst children in Malawi in 2016.MethodsWe used the 2016 Malawi Integrated Household Survey data set. The outcome of interest was HSB, defined as seeking care at a health facility amongst people who reported one or more of a list of possible symptoms given on the questionnaire in the past two weeks. We fitted a multivariate logistic regression model of HSB using a forward step-wise selection method, with age, sex and symptoms entered as a priori variables.ResultsOf 5350 children, 1666 (32%) had symptoms in the past two weeks. Of the 1666, 1008 (61%) sought care at health facility. The children aged 5–14 years were less likely to be taken to health facilities for health care than those aged 0–4 years. Having fever vs. not having fever and having a skin problem vs. not having skin problem were associated with increased likelihood of HSB. Having a headache vs. not having a headache was associated with lower likelihood of accessing care at health facilities (AOR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.26–0.96, P = 0.04). Children from urban areas were more likely to be taken to health facilities for health care (AOR = 1.81, 95% CI: 1.17–2.85, P = 0.008), as were children from households with a high wealth status (AOR = 1.86, 95% CI: 1.25–2.78, P = 0.02).ConclusionThere is a need to understand and address individual, socio-economic and geographical barriers to health seeking to increase access and use of health care and fast-track progress towards Universal Health Coverage.
Mangal T, Whittaker C, Nkhoma D, et al., 2020, The potential impact of intervention strategies on COVID-19 transmission in Malawi: A mathematical modelling study, Publisher: medRxiv
Background COVID-19 mitigation strategies have been challenging to implement in resource-limited settings such as Malawi due to the potential for widespread disruption to social and economic well-being. Here we estimate the clinical severity of COVID-19 in Malawi, quantifying the potential impact of intervention strategies and increases in health system capacity.Methods The infection fatality ratios (IFR) in Malawi were estimated by adjusting reported IFR for China accounting for demography, the current prevalence of comorbidities and health system capacity. These estimates were input into an age-structured deterministic model, which simulated the epidemic trajectory with non-pharmaceutical interventions. The impact of a novel therapeutic agent and increases in hospital capacity and oxygen availability were explored, given different assumptions on mortality rates.Findings The estimated age-specific IFR in Malawi are higher than those reported for China, however the younger average age of the population results in a slightly lower population-weighted IFR (0.48%, 95% uncertainty interval [UI] 0.30% – 0.72% compared with 0.60%, 95% CI 0.4% – 1.3% in China). The current interventions implemented, (i.e. social distancing, workplace closures and public transport restrictions) could potentially avert 3,100 deaths (95% UI 1,500 – 4,500) over the course of the epidemic. Enhanced shielding of people aged ≥ 60 years could avert a further 30,500 deaths (95% UI 17,500 – 45,600) and halve ICU admissions at the peak of the outbreak. Coverage of face coverings of 60% under the assumption of 50% efficacy could be sufficient to control the epidemic. A novel therapeutic agent, which reduces mortality by 0.65 and 0.8 for severe and critical cases respectively, in combination with increasing hospital capacity could reduce projected mortality to 2.55 deaths per 1,000 population (95% UI 1.58 – 3.84).Conclusion The risks due to COVID-19 vary across settings
Hogan A, Jewell B, Sherrard-Smith E, et al., 2020, Potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV, TB and malaria in low- and middle-income countries: a modelling study, The Lancet Global Health, Vol: 8, Pages: e1132-e1141, ISSN: 2214-109X
Background: COVID-19 has the potential to cause substantial disruptions to health services, including by cases overburdening the health system or response measures limiting usual programmatic activities. We aimed to quantify the extent to which disruptions in services for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis (TB) and malaria in low- and middle-income countries with high burdens of those disease could lead to additional loss of life. Methods: We constructed plausible scenarios for the disruptions that could be incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and used established transmission models for each disease to estimate the additional impact on health that could be caused in selected settings.Findings: In high burden settings, HIV-, TB- and malaria-related deaths over five years may increase by up to 10%, 20% and 36%, respectively, compared to if there were no COVID-19 pandemic. We estimate the greatest impact on HIV to be from interruption to antiretroviral therapy, which may occur during a period of high health system demand. For TB, we estimate the greatest impact is from reductions in timely diagnosis and treatment of new cases, which may result from any prolonged period of COVID-19 suppression interventions. We estimate that the greatest impact on malaria burden could come from interruption of planned net campaigns. These disruptions could lead to loss of life-years over five years that is of the same order of magnitude as the direct impact from COVID-19 in places with a high burden of malaria and large HIV/TB epidemics.Interpretation: Maintaining the most critical prevention activities and healthcare services for HIV, TB and malaria could significantly reduce the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Wellcome Trust, DFID, MRC
Nouvellet P, Bhatia S, Cori A, et al., 2020, Report 26: Reduction in mobility and COVID-19 transmission
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have sought to control transmission of SARS-CoV-2by restricting population movement through social distancing interventions, reducing the number ofcontacts.Mobility data represent an important proxy measure of social distancing. Here, we develop aframework to infer the relationship between mobility and the key measure of population-level diseasetransmission, the reproduction number (R). The framework is applied to 53 countries with sustainedSARS-CoV-2 transmission based on two distinct country-specific automated measures of humanmobility, Apple and Google mobility data.For both datasets, the relationship between mobility and transmission was consistent within andacross countries and explained more than 85% of the variance in the observed variation intransmissibility. We quantified country-specific mobility thresholds defined as the reduction inmobility necessary to expect a decline in new infections (R<1).While social contacts were sufficiently reduced in France, Spain and the United Kingdom to controlCOVID-19 as of the 10th of May, we find that enhanced control measures are still warranted for themajority of countries. We found encouraging early evidence of some decoupling of transmission andmobility in 10 countries, a key indicator of successful easing of social-distancing restrictions.Easing social-distancing restrictions should be considered very carefully, as small increases in contactrates are likely to risk resurgence even where COVID-19 is apparently under control. Overall, strongpopulation-wide social-distancing measures are effective to control COVID-19; however gradualeasing of restrictions must be accompanied by alternative interventions, such as efficient contacttracing, to ensure control.
Mellan T, Hoeltgebaum H, Mishra S, et al., 2020, Report 21: Estimating COVID-19 cases and reproduction number in Brazil
Brazil is an epicentre for COVID-19 in Latin America. In this report we describe the Brazilian epidemicusing three epidemiological measures: the number of infections, the number of deaths and the reproduction number. Our modelling framework requires sufficient death data to estimate trends, and wetherefore limit our analysis to 16 states that have experienced a total of more than fifty deaths. Thedistribution of deaths among states is highly heterogeneous, with 5 states—São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro,Ceará, Pernambuco and Amazonas—accounting for 81% of deaths reported to date. In these states, weestimate that the percentage of people that have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 ranges from 3.3% (95%CI: 2.8%-3.7%) in São Paulo to 10.6% (95% CI: 8.8%-12.1%) in Amazonas. The reproduction number (ameasure of transmission intensity) at the start of the epidemic meant that an infected individual wouldinfect three or four others on average. Following non-pharmaceutical interventions such as school closures and decreases in population mobility, we show that the reproduction number has dropped substantially in each state. However, for all 16 states we study, we estimate with high confidence that thereproduction number remains above 1. A reproduction number above 1 means that the epidemic isnot yet controlled and will continue to grow. These trends are in stark contrast to other major COVID19 epidemics in Europe and Asia where enforced lockdowns have successfully driven the reproductionnumber below 1. While the Brazilian epidemic is still relatively nascent on a national scale, our resultssuggest that further action is needed to limit spread and prevent health system overload.
Vollmer M, Mishra S, Unwin H, et al., 2020, Report 20: A sub-national analysis of the rate of transmission of Covid-19 in Italy
Italy was the first European country to experience sustained local transmission of COVID-19. As of 1st May 2020, the Italian health authorities reported 28; 238 deaths nationally. To control the epidemic, the Italian government implemented a suite of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), including school and university closures, social distancing and full lockdown involving banning of public gatherings and non essential movement. In this report, we model the effect of NPIs on transmission using data on average mobility. We estimate that the average reproduction number (a measure of transmission intensity) is currently below one for all Italian regions, and significantly so for the majority of the regions. Despite the large number of deaths, the proportion of population that has been infected by SARS-CoV-2 (the attack rate) is far from the herd immunity threshold in all Italian regions, with the highest attack rate observed in Lombardy (13.18% [10.66%-16.70%]). Italy is set to relax the currently implemented NPIs from 4th May 2020. Given the control achieved by NPIs, we consider three scenarios for the next 8 weeks: a scenario in which mobility remains the same as during the lockdown, a scenario in which mobility returns to pre-lockdown levels by 20%, and a scenario in which mobility returns to pre-lockdown levels by 40%. The scenarios explored assume that mobility is scaled evenly across all dimensions, that behaviour stays the same as before NPIs were implemented, that no pharmaceutical interventions are introduced, and it does not include transmission reduction from contact tracing, testing and the isolation of confirmed or suspected cases. We find that, in the absence of additional interventions, even a 20% return to pre-lockdown mobility could lead to a resurgence in the number of deaths far greater than experienced in the current wave in several regions. Future increases in the number of deaths will lag behind the increase in transmission intensity and so a
The World Health Organization has called for increased molecular testing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but different countries have taken very different approaches. We used a simple mathematical model to investigate the potential effectiveness of alternative testing strategies for COVID-19 control. Weekly screening of healthcare workers (HCWs) and other at-risk groups using PCR or point-of-care tests for infection irrespective of symptoms is estimated to reduce their contribution to transmission by 25-33%, on top of reductions achieved by self-isolation following symptoms. Widespread PCR testing in the general population is unlikely to limit transmission more than contact-tracing and quarantine based on symptoms alone, but could allow earlier release of contacts from quarantine. Immunity passports based on tests for antibody or infection could support return to work but face significant technical, legal and ethical challenges. Testing is essential for pandemic surveillance but its direct contribution to the prevention of transmission is likely to be limited to patients, HCWs and other high-risk groups.
Mangal TD, Pascom ARP, Vesga JF, et al., 2019, Estimating HIV incidence from surveillance data indicates a second wave of infections in Brazil, Epidemics, Vol: 27, Pages: 77-85, ISSN: 1755-4365
Emerging evidence suggests that HIV incidence rates in Brazil, particularly among men, may be rising. Here we use Brazil’s integrated health systems data to develop a mathematical model, reproducing the complex surveillance systems and providing estimates of HIV incidence, number of people living with HIV (PLHIV), reporting rates and ART initiation rates.An age-structured deterministic model with a flexible spline was used to describe the natural history of HIV along with reporting and treatment rates. Individual-level surveillance data for 1,077,295 cases (HIV/AIDS diagnoses, ART dispensations, CD4 counts and HIV/AIDS-related deaths) were used to calibrate the model using Bayesian inference.The results showed a second wave of infections occurring after 2001 and 56,000 (95% Credible Interval 43,000–71,000) new infections in 2015, 37,000 (95% CrI 28,000–54,000) infections in men and 16,000 (95% CrI 10,000–23,000) in women. The estimated number of PLHIV by end-2015 was 838,000 (95% CrI 675,000–1,083,000), with 80% (95% CrI 62–98%) of those individuals reported to the Ministry of Health. Women were more likely to be diagnosed and reported than men; 86.8% of infected women had been reported compared with 75.7% of men. Likewise, ART initiation rates for women were higher than those for men.The second wave contradicts previous estimates of HIV incidence trends in Brazil and there were persistent differences in the rates of accessing care between men and women. Nevertheless, the Brazilian HIV program has achieved high rates of detection and treatment, making considerable progress over the past ten years.
Mangal T, Meireles M, Pascom ARP, et al., 2019, Determinants of survival of people living with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy in Brazil 2006-2015, BMC Infectious Diseases, Vol: 19, ISSN: 1471-2334
BackgroundWe compared AIDS-related mortality rates in people living with HIV (PLHIV) starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Brazil during 2006–2015 and examined associated risk factors .MethodsData on ART use in PLHIV and AIDS mortality in Brazil was analysed with piecewise constant exponential models. Mortality rates and hazard ratios were estimated for 0–6, 6–12, 13–24, 25–36 and > 36 months of ART use and adjusted for region, age, sex, baseline CD4 cell count and calendar year of ART initiation. An additional analysis restricted to those with data on risk group was also performed.Results269,076 individuals were included in the analysis, 165,643 (62%) males and 103,433 (38%) females, with 1,783,305 person-years of follow-up time. 21,749 AIDS deaths were reported and 8898 deaths occurred in the first year of ART. The risk of death in the first six months decreased with early ART initiation; those starting treatment early with CD4 > 500 cells per μL had a hazard ratio of 0.06 (95% CI 0.05–0.07) compared with CD4 < 200 cells per μL. Older age, male sex, intravenous drug use and starting treatment in earlier calendar years were associated with higher mortality rates. People living in the North, Northeast and South of Brazil experienced significantly higher AIDS mortality rates than those in the Southeast (HR 1.44, [95% CI 1.35–1.54], 1.10 [1.05–1.16] and 1.22 [1.17–1.28] respectively).ConclusionsEarly treatment is likely to have contributed to the improved survival in PLHIV on ART, with the greatest benefits observed in women, younger age-groups and those living in the North.
Mangal TD, UNAIDS Working Group on CD4 Progression and Mortality Amongst HIV Seroconverters including the CASCADE Collaboration in EuroCoord, 2017, Joint estimation of CD4+ cell progression and survival in untreated individuals with HIV-1 infection., AIDS, Vol: 31, Pages: 1073-1082, ISSN: 0269-9370
OBJECTIVE: We compiled the largest dataset of seroconverter cohorts to date from 25 countries across Africa, North America, Europe, and Southeast/East (SE/E) Asia to simultaneously estimate transition rates between CD4 cell stages and death, in antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naive HIV-1-infected individuals. DESIGN: A hidden Markov model incorporating a misclassification matrix was used to represent natural short-term fluctuations and measurement errors in CD4 cell counts. Covariates were included to estimate the transition rates and survival probabilities for each subgroup. RESULTS: The median follow-up time for 16 373 eligible individuals was 4.1 years (interquartile range 1.7-7.1), and the mean age at seroconversion was 31.1 years (SD 8.8). A total of 14 525 individuals had recorded CD4 cell counts pre-ART, 1885 died, and 6947 initiated ART. Median (interquartile range) survival for men aged 20 years at seroconversion was 13.0 (12.4-13.4), 11.6 (10.9-12.3), and 8.3 years (7.9-8.9) in Europe/North America, Africa, and SE/E Asia, respectively. Mortality rates increase with age (hazard ratio 2.22, 95% confidence interval 1.84-2.67 for >45 years compared with <25 years) and vary by region (hazard ratio 2.68, 1.75-4.12 for Africa and 1.88, 1.50-2.35 for Asia compared with Europe/North America). CD4 cell decline was significantly faster in Asian cohorts compared with Europe/North America (hazard ratio 1.45, 1.36-1.54). CONCLUSION: Mortality and CD4 cell progression rates exhibited regional and age-specific differences, with decreased survival in African and SE/E Asian cohorts compared with Europe/North America and in older age groups. This extensive dataset reveals heterogeneities between regions and ages, which should be incorporated into future HIV models.
Mangal TD, Aylward RB, Shuaib F, et al., 2016, Spatial dynamics and high risk transmission pathways of poliovirus in Nigeria 2001-2013, PLOS ONE, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1932-6203
The polio eradication programme in Nigeria has been successful in reducing incidence to just six confirmed cases in 2014 and zero to date in 2015, but prediction and management of future outbreaks remains a concern. A Poisson mixed effects model was used to describe poliovirus spread between January 2001 and November 2013, incorporating the strength of connectivity between districts (local government areas, LGAs) as estimated by three models of human mobility: simple distance, gravity and radiation models. Potential explanatory variables associated with the case numbers in each LGA were investigated and the model fit was tested by simulation. Spatial connectivity, the number of non-immune children under five years old, and season were associated with the incidence of poliomyelitis in an LGA (all P < 0.001). The best-fitting spatial model was the radiation model, outperforming the simple distance and gravity models (likelihood ratio test P < 0.05), under which the number of people estimated to move from an infected LGA to an uninfected LGA was strongly associated with the incidence of poliomyelitis in that LGA. We inferred transmission networks between LGAs based on this model and found these to be highly local, largely restricted to neighbouring LGAs (e.g. 67.7% of secondary spread from Kano was expected to occur within 10 km). The remaining secondary spread occurred along routes of high population movement. Poliovirus transmission in Nigeria is predominantly localised, occurring between spatially contiguous areas. Outbreak response should be guided by knowledge of high-probability pathways to ensure vulnerable children are protected.
Mangal TD, Aylward RB, Grassly NC, 2014, Integration, community engagement, and polio eradication in Nigeria Reply, LANCET GLOBAL HEALTH, Vol: 2, Pages: E316-E316, ISSN: 2214-109X
Mangal TD, Aylward RB, Mwanza M, et al., 2014, Key issues in the persistence of poliomyelitis in Nigeria: a case-control study, The Lancet Global Health, Vol: 2, Pages: E90-E97, ISSN: 2214-109X
BackgroundThe completion of poliomyelitis eradication is a global emergency for public health. In 2012, more than 50% of the world's cases occurred in Nigeria following an unanticipated surge in incidence. We aimed to quantitatively analyse the key factors sustaining transmission of poliomyelitis in Nigeria and to calculate clinical efficacy estimates for the oral poliovirus vaccines (OPV) currently in use.MethodsWe used acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance data from Nigeria collected between January, 2001, and December, 2012, to estimate the clinical efficacies of all four OPVs in use and combined this with vaccination coverage to estimate the effect of the introduction of monovalent and bivalent OPV on vaccine-induced serotype-specific population immunity. Vaccine efficacy was determined using a case-control study with CIs based on bootstrap resampling. Vaccine efficacy was also estimated separately for north and south Nigeria, by age of the children, and by year. Detailed 60-day follow-up data were collected from children with confirmed poliomyelitis and were used to assess correlates of vaccine status. We also quantitatively assessed the epidemiology of poliomyelitis and programme performance and considered the reasons for the high vaccine refusal rate along with risk factors for a given local government area reporting a case.FindingsAgainst serotype 1, both monovalent OPV (median 32·1%, 95% CI 26·1–38·1) and bivalent OPV (29·5%, 20·1–38·4) had higher clinical efficacy than trivalent OPV (19·4%, 16·1–22·8). Corresponding data for serotype 3 were 43·2% (23·1–61·1) and 23·8% (5·3–44·9) compared with 18·0% (14·1–22·1). Combined with increases in coverage, this factor has boosted population immunity in children younger than age 36 months to a record high (64–69% against serotypes 1 and 3). Vacci
Mangal TD, Aylward RB, Grassly NC, 2013, The Potential Impact of Routine Immunization with Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine on Wild-type or Vaccine-derived Poliovirus Outbreaks in a Posteradication Setting, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, Vol: 178, Pages: 1579-1587, ISSN: 0002-9262
Mangal TD, Paterson S, Fenton A, 2010, Effects of Snail Density on Growth, Reproduction and Survival of Biomphalaria alexandrina Exposed to Schistosoma mansoni., J Parasitol Res, Vol: 2010
The effects of snail density on Biomphalaria alexandrina parasitized with Schistosoma mansoni were investigated. Laboratory experiments were used to quantify the impact of high density on snail growth, fecundity, and survival. Density-dependent birth rates of snails were determined to inform mathematical models, which, until now, have assumed a linear relationship between density and fecundity. The experiments show that the rate of egg-laying followed a negative exponential distribution with increasing density and this was significantly affected by exposure to parasitic infection. High density also affected the weight of snails and survival to a greater degree than exposure to parasitic infection. Although snail growth rates were initially constrained by high density, they retained the potential for growth suggesting a reversible density-dependent mechanism. These experimental data can be used to parameterise models and confirm that snail populations are regulated by nonlinear density-dependent mechanisms.
Hume JCC, Barnish G, Mangal T, et al., 2008, Household cost of malaria overdiagnosis in rural Mozambique, Malaria Journal, Vol: 7
Background: It is estimated that over 70% of patients with suspected malaria in sub-SaharanAfrica, diagnose and manage their illness at home without referral to a formal health clinic. Of those patients who do attend a formal health clinic, malaria overdiagnosis rates are estimated to range between 30–70%.Methods: This paper details an observational cohort study documenting the number and cost ofrepeat consultations as a result of malaria overdiagnosis at two health care providers in a rural district of Mozambique. 535 adults and children with a clinical diagnosis of malaria were enrolled and followed over a 21 day period to assess treatment regimen, symptoms, number and cost of repeat visits to health providers in patients misdiagnosed with malaria compared to those with confirmed malaria (determined by positive bloodfilm reading).Results: Diagnosis based solely on clinical symptoms overdiagnosed 23% of children (<16y) and 31% of adults with malaria. Symptoms persisted (p = 0.023) and new ones developed (p < 0.001) in more adults than children in the three weeks following initial presentation. Adults overdiagnosed with malaria had more repeat visits (67% v 46%, p = 0.01–0.06) compared to those with true malaria. There was no difference in costs between patients correctly or incorrectly diagnosed withmalaria. Median costs over three weeks were $0.28 for those who had one visit and $0.76 for ≥ 3 visits and were proportionally highest among the poorest (p < 0.001).Conclusion: Overdiagnosis of malaria results in a greater number of healthcare visits andassociated cost for adult patients. Additionally, it is clear that the poorest individuals pay significantly more proportionally for their healthcare making it imperative that the treatment theyreceive is correct in order to prevent wastage of limited economic resources. Thus, investment in accurate malaria diagnosis and appropriate management at primary level is critical for improving health outc
Mangal TD, Paterson S, Fenton A, 2008, Predicting the Impact of Long-Term Temperature Changes on the Epidemiology and Control of Schistosomiasis: A Mechanistic Model, PLOS ONE, Vol: 3, ISSN: 1932-6203
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