USAID

Onchocerciasis LAMP assay to optimize diagnostics and sampling strategies for low-prevalence settings in Cameroon

Primary

1. Can the O-150 LAMP assay be established on whole blood? 2. Can the O-150 qPCR methodology be adapted for human sampling?

Secondary

1. How does the performance of the O-150 LAMP compare to the O-150 qPCR assay?

2. What threshold be used to define positive vs negative results for both assays?

3. Can deep sequencing reveal over potential biomarkers for further investigation?

Countries: Cameroon
Diseases: Onchocerciasis

High-Sensitivity, High-Specificity Biplex Ov16/OVOC3261 Rapid Diagnostic Test

  • An Ov16/OVOC3261 biplex IgG4 test, whereby we are confident that we can provide > 60% sensitivity and 99.8% specificity, as required by the TPP for Onchocerciasis Elimination Mapping.
  • Demonstration that the Ov16/OVOC3261 biplex IgG4 test behaves at least as good with blood as with plasma/serum samples (notably a perceived weakness of the SD Ov16 RDT)
Diseases: Onchocerciasis

Rapid Diagnostic Test For Lymphatic Filariasis Surveillance : Prioritization of Antigen Candidates Complementary to Wb123

The overall goal of this research proposal is to prioritize the five novel Bancroftian antigen candidates with respect to their ease-of-use and practicability within the frame of a future Wb123/WbAgx biplex test, based on their biophysical properties, stability data and behavior in our lateral flow assay setup. Along with the concurrent biochemical/clinical validation by the Nutman group. This will allow an informed choice as to which candidate antigen(s) should be used for the biplex assay development.

Efficient post-elimination surveillance strategies for NTDs

1. Development of spatio-temporal models and associated statistical methods to enable forward projections of the geographical distribution of prevalence, and hence the risk of resurgence, by combining model-based geostatistical analysis with mechanistic predictive modelling of disease transmission dynamics, using the most recent available data on disease prevalence and environmental risk-factors.

2. To use the results from aim 1 to derive statistically efficient and affordable designs for networks of sentinel sites to enable continued monitoring of prevalence in areas at high risk of resurgence."

Re-envisioning the "F" in SAFE: Facial cleanliness and hygiene metrics, personal hygiene practices, and trachoma risk: Operational research for enhanced evaluation in Tanzania

RQ1 - Reliability assessment: What is the intra- and inter-rater reliability of current qualitative F and novel quantitative hygiene metrics across study contexts?

RQ2 – Validity assessment: What is the validity of each metric of interest (i.e., quantitative hygiene and qualitative F metrics) with regard to recent personal hygiene practices and trachoma outcomes?

RQ3 – Utility assessment: What is the utility of each metric (i.e., qualitative and quantitative)?

RQ4 – Risk factor assessment: Do proxy facial and hand hygiene outcomes, as measured by the novel quantitative hygiene metric, represent risk factors of incident C. trachomatis infection?

 

Countries: Tanzania
Diseases: Trachoma

Re-envisioning the "F" in SAFE: Facial cleanliness and hygiene metrics, personal hygiene practices, and trachoma risk: Operational research for enhanced evaluation

Reliability assessment: What is the intra- and inter-rater reliability of current qualitative F and novel quantitative hygiene metrics across study contexts?
Validity assessment: What is the validity of each metric of interest (i.e., quantitative hygiene and qualitative F metrics) with regard to recent personal hygiene practices and trachoma outcomes?
Utility assessment: What is the utility of each metric (i.e., qualitative and quantitative)?
Risk factor assessment: Do proxy facial and hand hygiene outcomes, as measured by the novel quantitative hygiene metric, represent risk factors of incident C. trachomatis infection?"

Countries: Ethiopia
Diseases: Trachoma

Evaluation of community directed vector control on transmission of Onchocerca volvulus in a Loa loa co-endemic region

This study will pilot the Slash and Clear methodology in an oncho-Loa loa co-endemic setting. Previous pilots in Uganda and Nigeria have demonstrated that this simple strategy of removing breeding sites can result in significant black fly reductions that last for several months. This study will provide important data on the impact of Slash and Clear on black fly biting, and consequently its impact on oncho elimination. Two intervention and one control community will be compared for two years, with repeated measurements being taken of biting rates.

Countries: Cameroon
Diseases: Loiasis | Onchocerciasis

Improving disease control and elimination decision making with geospatial algorithms

Can geospatial algorithms be used by disease programs to help identify hotspots at community and Implementation Unit level?

Countries:

Improving Mass Drug Administration After Pre-Transmission Assessment Survey (Pre-TAS) Failure: A Mixed Methods Study in Nepal

This study builds on the methods developed for the operational studies ongoing in Ghana and Burkina Faso. The first two research questions are the same as those earlier studies with two new questions added here- question 3 on triple drug therapy (ivermectin, DEC, albendazole – IDA) and 4 on the use of a new rapid ethnography approach.

  1. What factors are associated with effective (and lower) MDA coverage as defined as availability, accessibility, and acceptability in settings that have repeatedly failed Pre-TAS?
  2. What is the impact of an adapted and tailored intervention package on achieving effective coverage?
  3. What messages and community engagement approaches are needed to ensure the acceptability of IDA triple drug therapy in Nepal?
  4. How does the rapid ethnography approach compare to more traditional qualitative analysis methods in terms of cost, timeliness, and ability to provide required information for programmatic decisions? Can local capacity for use of this approach be built rapidly?
Countries: Nepal

Does infection data add evidence to the understanding of trachoma prevalence in low endemic areas?

  1. To evaluate strategies for the elimination of trachoma by evaluating potential makers that show interruption of transmission of C. trachomatis
  2. To determine the prevalence of ocular chlamydial infection among children aged 1 – 9 years old in Mpwapwa and Kalambo District, Tanzania
  3. To determine the associated risk factors of ocular Chlamydia infection among children aged 1 – 9 years old in Mpwapwa and Kalambo District, Tanzania
  4. To determine the usability of antibody test to detect Chlamydia antigen pgp3 using lateral flow assay
  5. To examine the longevity of the antibody response to trachoma antigens in a high and low-prevalence setting
Countries: Tanzania
Diseases: Trachoma

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