PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Mapping the Potential Risk of Mycetoma Infection in Sudan and South Sudan Using Ecological Niche Modeling
What is the potential distribution of mycetoma in Sudan and South Sudan? What are the most important factors associated with the spatial distriutional patterns of disease cases in Both countries.
To evaluate 3D photographs of trachomatous trichiasis (TT) in the training and assessment of trachoma graders.
How do we motivate community drug distributors (CDDs)?
To evaluate strategies to improve the sensitivity of the TAS for detecting evidence of recent lymphatic filariasis transmission in an evaluation unit (EU). The TAS Strengthening Study in American Samoa is designed to assess additional indicators that may be added to the current TAS platform in order to strengthen the resulting stopping or surveillance decisions. A comprehensive analysis will be conducted to understand the correlation between antigen and antibody in adults and children with the mosquito data. A spatial analysis looking at microfoci of infection will also be conducted. Xenomonitoring work to assess Aedes mosquitoes is underway.
Preliminary Findings and Lessons Learned
The ultimate goal of this study is to strengthen the existing TAS platform so that the programs can be more confident with their stopping and surveillance decisions. In order to strengthen the existing TAS platform we need to better understand which target population(s) and diagnostic indicator(s) are best-suited for identifying areas with persistent transmission that is not expected to cease on its own, knowing that the answer may vary according the primary vector and stage of the program. In the selected sites a community-based TAS was conducted using the standard sampling of 6-7 year olds while a community TAS (individuals >8 years) was conducted concurrently. All samples were tested via FTS and DBS (for Wb123 ELISA). In these same communities a molecular xenomonitoring study will take place and the mosquitoes will be tested for filarial DNA to relate back to the human specimens. To date human sampling has been completed in all sites and laboratory analysis of the specimens is complete. Mosquito collection has been completed in Haiti and Tanzania and the PCR analysis has been completed in Haiti and is planned for Tanzania (pending the arrival of a new PCR machine). In American Samoa xenomonitoring has been delayed due to weather conditions and arbovirus outbreaks; work is expected to commence spring 2018.
Podoconiosis, trachomatous trichiasis and cataract in northern Ethiopia: a comparative cross-sectional study
Is there an association between podoconiosis and two common eye diseases; cataract and trachomatous trichiasis?
Develop epidemiological and entomological methods to assess verification of transmission interruption of Onchocerciasis in Equatorial Guinea- Africa
After two decades of onchocerciasis control activities in Bioko island, transmission is expected to be interrupted. This study aims to demonstrate that WHO criteria to verify transmission interruption have been met. It also aims to standardize the reading of RDTs, particularly the FTS and Ov16, and reduce the potential for human error.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationships among clinical signs (follicular trachoma) and the prevalence of infection and antibody and to determine whether it may be appropriate to consider one or more alternative indicators for deciding whether trachoma programs can stop MDA.
How effective are the following stigma reduction interventions when implemented in pairs to decrease leprosy-related stigma: 1) counselling and empowerment, 2) socio economic development, and 3) contact between community and people affected?
An evaluation of the effectiveness of the trachoma surveillance strategy and the use of alternative diagnostic indicators to validate the elimination of blinding trachoma in Ghana
To determine if PCR or serology techniques are better than TF for assessing Trachoma prevalence during the surveillance phase of Trachoma Elimination Programs.
Analyze the relationships between the prevalence of the clinical sign follicular trachoma (TF) and the prevalence of infection and antibody to determine whether it may be appropriate to consider one or more alternative indicators for deciding whether trachoma programs can stop MDA.