+254 730 162 110 /
+ 254 730 162 000

Malaria risk: Estimating clinical episodes of malaria (reply)

ABSTRACT Nature Snow, Robert W., Guerra, Carlos A., Noor, Abdisalan M., Myint, Hly Y., Hay, Simon I. Pages:E4-E5, Volume:437, Edition:, Date, Link: http://hinari-gw.who.int/whalecomdx.doi.org/whalecom0/10.1038/nature04180 Notes:10.1038/nature04180 ISBN: 0028-0836 Permanent ID: Accession Number: Author Address: STATISTICS
Read More

Geostatistical Methods for Disease Mapping and Visualisation Using Data from Spatio-temporally Referenced Prevalence Surveys

Summary In this paper, we set out general principles and develop geostatistical methods for the analysis of data from spatio-temporally referenced prevalence surveys. Our objective is to provide a tutorial guide that can be used in order to identify parsimonious geostatistical models for prevalence mapping. A general variogram-based Monte Carlo procedure is proposed to check the validity of the modelling assumptions. We describe and contrast likelihood-based and Bayesian methods of inference, showing how to account for parameter uncertainty under each of the two paradigms. We also describe extensions of the standard model for disease prevalence that can be used when stationarity of the spatio-temporal covariance function is not supported by the data. We discuss how to define predictive targets and argue that exceedance probabilities provide one of the most effective ways to convey uncertainty in prevalence estimates. We describe statistical software for the visualisation of spatio-temporal predictive summaries of prevalence through interactive animations. Finally, we illustrate an application to historical malaria prevalence data from 1 334 surveys conducted in Senegal between 1905 and 2014.
Read More

Geostatistical Methods for Disease Mapping and Visualisation Using Data from Spatio-temporally Referenced Prevalence Surveys

Summary In this paper, we set out general principles and develop geostatistical methods for the analysis of data from spatio-temporally referenced prevalence surveys. Our objective is to provide a tutorial guide that can be used in order to identify parsimonious geostatistical models for prevalence mapping. A general variogram-based Monte Carlo procedure is proposed to check the validity of the modelling assumptions. We describe and contrast likelihood-based and Bayesian methods of inference, showing how to account for parameter uncertainty under each of the two paradigms. We also describe extensions of the standard model for disease prevalence that can be used when stationarity of the spatio-temporal covariance function is not supported by the data. We discuss how to define predictive targets and argue that exceedance probabilities provide one of the most effective ways to convey uncertainty in prevalence estimates. We describe statistical software for the visualisation of spatio-temporal predictive summaries of prevalence through interactive animations. Finally, we illustrate an application to historical malaria prevalence data from 1 334 surveys conducted in Senegal between 1905 and 2014.
Read More

Malaria risk: Estimating clinical episodes of malaria (reply)

ABSTRACT Nature Snow, Robert W., Guerra, Carlos A., Noor, Abdisalan M., Myint, Hly Y., Hay, Simon I. Pages:E4-E5, Volume:437, Edition:, Date, Link: http://hinari-gw.who.int/whalecomdx.doi.org/whalecom0/10.1038/nature04180 Notes:10.1038/nature04180 ISBN: 0028-0836 Permanent ID: Accession Number: Author Address: STATISTICS
Read More

Extracellular vesicles isolated from milk can improve gut barrier dysfunction induced by malnutrition

Malnutrition impacts approximately 50 million children worldwide and is linked to 45% of global mortality in children below the age of five. Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is associated with intestinal barrier breakdown and epithelial atrophy. Extracellular vesicles including exosomes (EVs; 30-150 nm) can travel to distant target cells through biofluids including milk. Since milk-derived EVs are known to induce intestinal stem cell proliferation, this study aimed to examine their potential efficacy in improving malnutrition-induced atrophy of intestinal mucosa and barrier dysfunction. Mice were fed either a control (18%) or a low protein (1%) diet for 14 days to induce malnutrition. From day 10 to 14, they received either bovine milk EVs or control gavage and were sacrificed on day 15, 4 h after a Fluorescein Isothiocyanate (FITC) dose. Tissue and blood were collected for histological and epithelial barrier function analyses. Mice fed low protein diet developed intestinal villus atrophy and barrier dysfunction. Despite continued low protein diet feeding, milk EV treatment improved intestinal permeability, intestinal architecture and cellular proliferation. Our results suggest that EVs enriched from milk should be further explored as a valuable adjuvant therapy to standard clinical management of malnourished children with high risk of morbidity and mortality.
Read More

Extracellular vesicles isolated from milk can improve gut barrier dysfunction induced by malnutrition

Malnutrition impacts approximately 50 million children worldwide and is linked to 45% of global mortality in children below the age of five. Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is associated with intestinal barrier breakdown and epithelial atrophy. Extracellular vesicles including exosomes (EVs; 30-150 nm) can travel to distant target cells through biofluids including milk. Since milk-derived EVs are known to induce intestinal stem cell proliferation, this study aimed to examine their potential efficacy in improving malnutrition-induced atrophy of intestinal mucosa and barrier dysfunction. Mice were fed either a control (18%) or a low protein (1%) diet for 14 days to induce malnutrition. From day 10 to 14, they received either bovine milk EVs or control gavage and were sacrificed on day 15, 4 h after a Fluorescein Isothiocyanate (FITC) dose. Tissue and blood were collected for histological and epithelial barrier function analyses. Mice fed low protein diet developed intestinal villus atrophy and barrier dysfunction. Despite continued low protein diet feeding, milk EV treatment improved intestinal permeability, intestinal architecture and cellular proliferation. Our results suggest that EVs enriched from milk should be further explored as a valuable adjuvant therapy to standard clinical management of malnourished children with high risk of morbidity and mortality.
Read More

Exploring Plasmodium falciparum Var Gene Expression to Assess Host Selection Pressure on Parasites During Infancy

In sub-Saharan Africa, children below 5 years bear the greatest burden of severe malaria because they lack naturally acquired immunity that develops following repeated exposure to infections by Plasmodium falciparum. Antibodies to the surface of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes (IE) play an important role in this immunity. In children under the age of 6 months, relative protection from severe malaria is observed and this is thought to be partly due to trans-placental acquired protective maternal antibodies. However, the protective effect of maternal antibodies has not been fully established, especially the role of antibodies to variant surface antigens (VSA) expressed on IE. Here, we assessed the immune pressure on parasites infecting infants using markers associated with the acquisition of naturally acquired immunity to surface antigens. We hypothesized that, if maternal antibodies to VSA imposed a selection pressure on parasites, then the expression of a relatively conserved subset of var genes called group A var genes in infants should change with waning maternal antibodies. To test this, we compared their expression in parasites from children between 0 and 12 months and above 12 months of age. The transcript quantity and the proportional expression of group A var subgroup, including those containing domain cassette 13, were positively associated with age during the first year of life, which contrasts with above 12 months. This was accompanied by a decline in infected erythrocyte surface antibodies and an increase in parasitemia during this period. The observed increase in group A var gene expression with age in the first year of life, when the maternal antibodies are waning and before acquisition of naturally acquired antibodies with repeated exposure, is consistent with the idea that maternally acquired antibodies impose a selection pressure on parasites that infect infants and may play a role in protecting these infants against severe malaria.
Read More

Exploring Plasmodium falciparum Var Gene Expression to Assess Host Selection Pressure on Parasites During Infancy

In sub-Saharan Africa, children below 5 years bear the greatest burden of severe malaria because they lack naturally acquired immunity that develops following repeated exposure to infections by Plasmodium falciparum. Antibodies to the surface of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes (IE) play an important role in this immunity. In children under the age of 6 months, relative protection from severe malaria is observed and this is thought to be partly due to trans-placental acquired protective maternal antibodies. However, the protective effect of maternal antibodies has not been fully established, especially the role of antibodies to variant surface antigens (VSA) expressed on IE. Here, we assessed the immune pressure on parasites infecting infants using markers associated with the acquisition of naturally acquired immunity to surface antigens. We hypothesized that, if maternal antibodies to VSA imposed a selection pressure on parasites, then the expression of a relatively conserved subset of var genes called group A var genes in infants should change with waning maternal antibodies. To test this, we compared their expression in parasites from children between 0 and 12 months and above 12 months of age. The transcript quantity and the proportional expression of group A var subgroup, including those containing domain cassette 13, were positively associated with age during the first year of life, which contrasts with above 12 months. This was accompanied by a decline in infected erythrocyte surface antibodies and an increase in parasitemia during this period. The observed increase in group A var gene expression with age in the first year of life, when the maternal antibodies are waning and before acquisition of naturally acquired antibodies with repeated exposure, is consistent with the idea that maternally acquired antibodies impose a selection pressure on parasites that infect infants and may play a role in protecting these infants against severe malaria.
Read More

No evidence of P. falciparum K13 artemisinin conferring mutations over a 24-year analysis in Coastal Kenya, but a near complete reversion to chloroquine wild type parasites

Antimalarial drug resistance is a substantial impediment to malaria control. The spread of resistance has been described using genetic markers which are important epidemiological tools. We carried out a temporal analysis of changes in allele frequencies of 12 drug resistance markers over two decades of changing antimalarial drug policy in Kenya. We did not detect any of the validated kelch 13 (k13) artemisinin resistance markers, nonetheless, a single k13 allele, K189T, was maintained at a stable high frequency (>10%) over time. There was a distinct shift from chloroquine resistant transporter (crt)-76, multi-drug resistant gene 1 (mdr1)-86 and mdr1-1246 chloroquine (CQ) resistance alleles to a 99% prevalence of CQ sensitive alleles in the population, following the withdrawal of CQ from routine use. In contrast, the dihydropteroate synthetase (dhps) double mutant (437G and 540E) associated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) resistance was maintained at a high frequency (>75%), after a change from SP to artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs). The novel cysteine desulfurase (nfs) K65 allele, implicated in resistance to lumefantrine in a West African study, showed a gradual significant decline in allele frequency pre- and post-ACT introduction (from 38% to 20%), suggesting evidence of directional selection in Kenya, potentially not due to lumefantrine. The high frequency of CQ-sensitive parasites circulating in the population suggests that the re-introduction of CQ in combination therapy for the treatment of malaria can be considered in the future. However, the risk of a re-emergence of CQ resistant parasites circulating below detectable levels or being reintroduced from other regions remains.
Read More

No evidence of P. falciparum K13 artemisinin conferring mutations over a 24-year analysis in Coastal Kenya, but a near complete reversion to chloroquine wild type parasites

Antimalarial drug resistance is a substantial impediment to malaria control. The spread of resistance has been described using genetic markers which are important epidemiological tools. We carried out a temporal analysis of changes in allele frequencies of 12 drug resistance markers over two decades of changing antimalarial drug policy in Kenya. We did not detect any of the validated kelch 13 (k13) artemisinin resistance markers, nonetheless, a single k13 allele, K189T, was maintained at a stable high frequency (>10%) over time. There was a distinct shift from chloroquine resistant transporter (crt)-76, multi-drug resistant gene 1 (mdr1)-86 and mdr1-1246 chloroquine (CQ) resistance alleles to a 99% prevalence of CQ sensitive alleles in the population, following the withdrawal of CQ from routine use. In contrast, the dihydropteroate synthetase (dhps) double mutant (437G and 540E) associated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) resistance was maintained at a high frequency (>75%), after a change from SP to artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs). The novel cysteine desulfurase (nfs) K65 allele, implicated in resistance to lumefantrine in a West African study, showed a gradual significant decline in allele frequency pre- and post-ACT introduction (from 38% to 20%), suggesting evidence of directional selection in Kenya, potentially not due to lumefantrine. The high frequency of CQ-sensitive parasites circulating in the population suggests that the re-introduction of CQ in combination therapy for the treatment of malaria can be considered in the future. However, the risk of a re-emergence of CQ resistant parasites circulating below detectable levels or being reintroduced from other regions remains.
Read More