PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Strategies for the ENdgame: Targeting Infections among Non-compliants in the Elimination of Lymphatic filariasis (SENTINEL)

Non-compliance is a primary barrier to attaining elimination goals. This study aims to utilize data captured in MDA registers to address non-compliance in the Ahanta West District of Ghana, which has been identified as a hotspot of LF transmission with >1% microfilaria (mf) prevalence after 15-16 rounds of MDA. On the basis of information identified in the register, this study proposes to deploy two strategies:

  1. Engage and Treat individuals who were ill, missed treatment, or were unable to participate during the last MDA, and
  2. Test and Treat for individuals who might be systemically non-compliant or afraid of adverse events. The use of MDA registers to assist in locating non-compliant individuals is novel and would provide valuable evidence for other programs and represents an alternative strategy for countries struggling with the end game. It may also help provide insight as to whether systematically non-compliant individuals truly serve as a reservoir for LF in areas designated as hotspots. Qualitative data collection will aid in understanding reasons for systematic non-compliance and may lead to changes in social mobilization strategies.
Countries: Ghana

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. 

 

Countries: Sudan
Diseases: Mycetoma

Morbidity management and disability prevention for persons with Lymphatic Filariasis and Leprosy: what is the impact of the integration of services on access to healthcare in Luangwa District of Zambia?

  1. Do existing programs or activities address integrated MMDP for patients living with LF and Leprosy?
  2. What is the impact of integrated MMDP in Luangwa district on access to healthcare?
Countries: Zambia

Improving Access to Mass Drug Administration for Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination using a Participatory Approach among Communities of Coastal Kenya

To assess the socio-economic factors contributing to low access to MDA, to identify the existing health services opportunities and other outlets specific to various socio-economic groups that could be used for improving access to MDA, and to develop feasible field-applicable strategies that can be used to reach groups with consistently low access to MDA.

Countries: Kenya

Operational research to develop an M&E strategy to guide triple drug stopping decisions for lymphatic filariasis in Samoa

  • What is the indicator(s) and accompanying M&E strategy that enables country programs to determine when the risk of ongoing transmission of lymphatic filariasis (LF) has been reduced so that triple drug therapy with ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine, and albendazoe (IDA) can be stopped with little risk of resurgence of transmission?
  • To develop an M&E strategy that enables Samoa’s LF elimination program to determine when the risk of ongoing transmission of LF has been reduced so that IDA can be stopped with little risk of resurgence of transmission
  • What is the effectiveness of appropriately dosed IDA in clearing Mf from Mf positive people who (i) reported taking IDA in August 2018, and (ii) did not report recently taking IDA?

 

Countries: Samoa

Field testing the use of 3D photographs of trachomatous trichiasis to train trachoma field graders

To evaluate 3D photographs of trachomatous trichiasis (TT) in the training and assessment of trachoma graders.

Countries: Ethiopia
Diseases: Trachoma

Quality and quantity of post-epilation trichiatic lashes: a cohort study

To understand the nature (quality and quantity) of post epilation lashes and their visual significance in unoperated minor trachomatous trichiasis (TT) cases and case with post-operative trichiasis

Countries: Ethiopia
Diseases: Trachoma

TAS Strengthening in American Samoa

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.

Countries: American Samoa

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