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

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

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

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

Evaluation of alternative indicators for stopping trachoma mass drug administration

To assess the relationships between the prevalence of the clinical sign TF compared to prevalence of infection and antibody in Chikwawa and Mchinji districts

Countries: Malawi
Diseases: Trachoma

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?

Countries:
Diseases: Podoconiosis | Trachoma

Triple Drug Therapy (India)

To determine the frequency, type and severity of adverse events following triple-drug therapy (IVM+DEC+ALB, IDA) compared to the standard two-drug treatment (DEC+ALB, DA) in infected and uninfected individuals in a community.

To compare the efficacy of IDA vs. DA administered in communities for clearance of Mf and filarial antigenemia (Ag) in cohort and effectiveness (prevalence) in community settings. To assess the presence and intensity of filarial infection on the frequency and severity of adverse events. To compare community acceptance of MDA with IDA vs. DA.

Countries: India

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