Enquête de couverture vaccinale multi antigénique Préfecture de Kouroussa Ngwa, W; Mupenda, J; Haba, B; Nanan-N'Zeth, K; Bachy, C; Pineda, S Objectif général Estimer la couverture vaccinale contre la rougeole chez les enfants âgés de 6 mois à 59 mois après la campagne de vaccination de masse appuyée par MSF au mois de décembre 2018 dans la Préfecture de Kouroussa. Décrire la couverture vaccinale par groupe d'âge des antigènes inclus dans le programme national de vaccination du PEV chez les enfants âgées de 6 semaines à 59 mois [BCG, VPO, DTC-Hib-HepB, et fièvre jaune]. Objectifs spécifiques Estimer le nombre de doses reçues par enfant; Décrire les raisons de non vaccination; Décrire les moyens utilisés par la population pour s'informer de la campagne de vaccination. Design Il s’agit d’une enquête transversale en population dans la préfecture de Kouroussa, avec sondage aléatoire en grappe à deux degrés. Population cible La population cible était constituée des enfants de moins de 59 mois résidant dans la Préfecture de Kouroussa. Résultats L’enquête de couverture vaccinale s’est déroulée du 8 au 18 février 2019 dans les 12 sous-préfectures de Kouroussa. Au total 439 ménages et 1.340 enfants âgés de 0 à 59 mois ont été inclus dans l’enquête. Le pourcentage de rétention de la carte de vaccination est faible: 61,6% [95% IC 54,5 – 68,7] pour l’ensemble de l’échantillon. La plupart de l’échantillon est constitué d’enfants de plus de 23 mois [64%]. Le ratio masculin/féminin est de 1,0 Rougeole: couverture vaccinale pour les enfants de 9 mois à 59 mois est de 94,1% [IC=91,5 – 96,6]. Par tranche d’âge, le groupe de 9 mois à 11 mois, est le seul dont la couverture est inférieure à 90%, mais restée supérieure à 85%. Parmi les enfants entre 12 et 23 mois la couverture est 93,5% [IC=89,2 – 97,9]. Les taux de couverture vaccinale, pour les autres différents antigènes2: après analyse, il a été observé que les résultats de la couverture vaccinale [basés sur la déclaration de la mère] chez les enfants âgées de plus de 23 mois risquaient être fortement affectés par le biais de la désirabilité sociale. Par conséquent, les résultats sont présentés comme suit pour BCG, Polio, Penta et Fièvre jaune: Enfants ≤ 23 mois : couverture vaccinale basée sur la carte de vaccination et les déclarations des mères Enfants ≥ 24 mois : Couverture vaccinale basée seulement sur la carte de vaccination Parmi les enfants entre 12 et 23 mois, 93% ont reçu une vaccination BCG. Pour Polio et Penta, la première dose de chaque vaccin a été administrée respectivement à plus de 97% et 93% des enfants. Ce taux recule pour n’atteindre que 94% pour la deuxième dose de Polio et 90% pour Penta et entre 91% et 88% pour la troisième dose respectivement. Par rapport à la vaccination contre la fièvre jaune, la couverture est 67% pour les enfants entre 9 mois et 11 mois et 88% pour les enfants entre 12 mois et 23 mois. Chez les enfants âgés de 23 mois, la couverture vaccinale ne prenant en compte que les cartes de vaccination varie de 38% pour la première dose de polio / penta et de 34% pour la troisième dose, 41% pour le BCG et 32% pour la fièvre jaune. Les principales raisons de non-vaccination sont regroupées comme Manque d’opportunité [36,5%], Obstacles [25,9%] et le manque de motivation [20,4%]. Les relais communautaires étaient la source principale d’information [54%] sur la campagne de vaccination de masse contre la rougeole menée par MSF en décembre 2018 Conclusions 1. PEV assez performant. 2. Couverture vaccinale des enfants de 12 à 23 mois très satisfaisante pour toutes les vaccinations [> 85%]. 3. Haut pourcentage d’enfants entre 12 et 23 mois complètement vaccinés [77,9% CI 95% : 71,2 – 84,6] 4. Faible rétention de la carte de vaccination et / ou la carte de vaccination non mise à jour. [souvent plusieurs cartes de vaccination pour le même enfant] 5. Les principaux motifs de non-vaccination sont liés à sont liés au manque d'opportunités [absence/voyage des enfants/parents] et d'obstacles [pas de poste de santé] 6. La principale source d'information sur la campagne de vaccination contre la rougeole menée en décembre 2018 était les relais communautaires [54%] 7. La couverture vaccinale contre la rougeole globale est de 94,1% [IC=91,5 – 96,6] et reste supérieure à 90% dans tous les groupes d’âge, à l’exception des enfants entre 9 et 11 mois.
Routine immediate eye examination at the point of care for diagnosis of AIDS-related Cytomegalovirus Retinitis among patients with a CD4-count < 100 in Myanmar Ei, WLSS; Soe, KP; Hilbig, A; Murray, J; Heiden, D A retrospective review of diagnosis of cytomegalovirus retinitis (CMVR) before and after introduction of routine immediate eye examination among AIDS patient in Myanmar with an absolute CD4 T cell count <100 cells/microliter demonstrated an increased detection of CMVR from 1.1% (14/1233) to 10.7% (65/608), an improvement of approximately ten-fold. Diagnosis of CMVR was achieved a mean of 2 days after clinic enrollment.
Outcomes of patients enrolled in an antiretroviral adherence club with recent viral suppression after experiencing elevated viral loads Sharp, J; Wilkinson, L; Cox, V; Cragg, C; van Custem, G; Grimsrud, A Background: Eligibility for differentiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) delivery models has to date been limited to low-risk stable patients. Objectives: We examined the outcomes of patients who accessed their care and treatment through an ART adherence club (AC), a differentiated ART delivery model, immediately following receiving support to achieve viral suppression after experiencing elevated viral loads (VLs) at a high-burden ART clinic in Khayelitsha, South Africa. Methods: Beginning in February 2012, patients with VLs above 400 copies/mL either on firstor second-line regimens received a structured intervention developed for patients at risk of treatment failure. Patients who successfully suppressed either on the same regimen or after regimen switch were offered immediate enrolment in an AC facilitated by a lay community health worker. We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of patients who enrolled in an AC directly after receiving suppression support. We analysed outcomes (retention in care, retention in AC care and viral rebound) using Kaplan–Meier methods with follow-up from October 2012 to June 2015. Results: A total of 165 patients were enrolled in an AC following suppression (81.8% female, median age 36.2 years). At the closure of the study, 119 patients (72.0%) were virally suppressed and 148 patients (89.0%) were retained in care. Six, 12 and 18 months after AC enrolment, retention in care was estimated at 98.0%, 95.0% and 89.0%, respectively. Viral suppression was estimated to be maintained by 90.0%, 84.0% and 75.0% of patients at 6, 12 and 18 months after AC enrolment, respectively. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that patients who struggled to achieve or maintain viral suppression in routine clinic care can have good retention and viral suppression outcomes in ACs, a differentiated ART delivery model, following suppression support.
Reproductive health in humanitarian settings in Lebanon and Iraq: results from four cross-sectional studies, 2014-2015. Balinska, MA; Nesbitt, R; Ghantous, Z; Ciglenecki, I; Staderini, N BACKGROUND: Reproductive health is an important component of humanitarian response. Displaced women need access to family planning, antenatal care, and the presence of a skilled birth attendant at delivery. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Lebanon and Iraq have been hosting large numbers of refugees, thereby straining local capacities to provide these services. In order to identify salient health needs, Médecins Sans Frontières conducted a survey in several sites hosting refugees and internally displaced persons across the region. Here we describe the reproductive health profile of Syrian refugees, Iraqi displaced persons, and vulnerable Lebanese and their use of services. METHODS: We conducted four cross-sectional surveys in 2014-2015 in two sites in Lebanon and two sites in Iraq. Depending on the site, two-stage cluster sampling or systematic sampling was intended, but non-probability methods were employed at the second stage due to implementation challenges. We collected information on overall health (including reproductive health) and demographic information from heads of households on the basis of a standardized questionnaire. Pearson chi-square tests were used to compare proportions, and generalized linear models were used to calculate odds ratios with regard to risk factors. All analyses were performed using the survey suite of commands in Stata version 14.1. RESULTS: A total of 23,604 individuals were surveyed, including 5925 women of childbearing age. Overall, it was reported that 7.5% of women were currently pregnant and 12.8% had given birth within the previous 12 months. It was reported that pregnancy was unplanned for 57% of currently pregnant women and 66.7% of women who had delivered in the previous year. A slight majority of women from both groups had accessed antenatal care at least once. Amongst women who had delivered in the previous year, 84.5% had done so with a skilled birth attendant and 22.1% had had a cesarean section. Location and head of household education were predictors of unplanned pregnancy in multivariable analysis. Head of household education was also significantly associated with higher uptake of antenatal care. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the large number of pregnant women and women having recently delivered in these settings, addressing their sexual and reproductive health needs emerges as a crucial aspect of humanitarian response. This study identified unmet needs for family planning and high cesarean section rates at all sites, suggesting both lack of access to certain services (contraception, antenatal care), but also over-recourse to cesarean section. These specific challenges can impact directly on maternal and child health and need today to be kept high on the humanitarian agenda.
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Severe acute malnutrition results in lower lumefantrine exposure in children treated with artemether-lumefantrine for uncomplicated malaria Chotsiri, P; Denoeud-Ndam, L; Baudin, E; Guindo, O; Diawara, H; Attaher, O; Smit, M; Guerin, PJ; Duombo, OK; Weisner, L; Barnes, KI; Hoglund, RM; Dicko, A; Etard, JF; Tarning, J Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) has been reported to be associated with increased malaria morbidity in Sub‐Saharan African children and may affect the pharmacology of antimalarial drugs. This population pharmacokinetic‐pharmacodynamic study included 131 SAM and 266 non‐SAM children administered artemether‐lumefantrine twice daily for 3 days. Lumefantrine capillary plasma concentrations were adequately described by two transit‐absorption compartments followed by two distribution compartments. Allometrically scaled body weight and an enzymatic maturation effect were included in the pharmacokinetic model. Mid‐upper arm circumference (MUAC) was associated with decreased absorption of lumefantrine (25.4% decrease per 1 cm reduction). Risk of recurrent malaria episodes (i.e. reinfection) were characterised by an interval‐censored time‐to‐event model with a sigmoid EMAX‐model describing the effect of lumefantrine. SAM children were at risk of under‐exposure to lumefantrine and an increased risk of malaria reinfection compared to well‐nourished children. Research on optimised regimens should be considered for malaria treatment in malnourished children.
Trends of and factors associated with cesarean section related surgical site infections in Guinea Delamou, A; Camara, BS; Sidibe, S; Camara, A; Dioubate, N; Ayadi, AME; Tayler-Smith, K; Beavogui, AH; Balde, MD; Zachariah, R Since the adoption of free obstetric care policy in Guinea in 2011, no study has examined the surgical site infections in maternity facilities. The objective of this study was to assess the trends of and factors associated with surgical site infection following cesarean section in Guinean maternity facilities from 2013 to 2015. This was a retrospective cohort study using routine medical data from ten facilities. Overall, the incidence of surgical site infections following cesarean section showed a declining trend across the three periods (10% in 2013, 7% in 2014 and 5% in 2015, P<0.001). Women who underwent cesarean section in 2014 (AOR: 0.70; 95%CI: 0.57-0.84) and 2015 (AOR: 0.43; 95%CI: 0.34-0.55) were less likely to develop surgical site infections during hospital stay than women operated in 2013. In the contrary, women with comorbidities were more likely to experience surgical site infection (AOR: 1.54; 95% CI: 1.25-1.90) than those who did not have comorbidities. The reductions achieved in 2014 and 2015 (during the Ebola outbreak) should be sustained in the post-Ebola context.
Bedaquiline and delamanid in combination for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis Mohr, E; Ferlazzo, G; Hewison, C; De Azevedo, V; Isaakidis, P Here we report on the final outcomes for the cohort of 28 patients from Armenia, India, and South Africa who initiated regimens containing the combination of bedaquiline and delamanid from January to August, 2016, for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in our cohort study.1 The median duration on combination treatment was 12 months (interquartile range [IQR] 5·9–20·0); 17 (61%) of 28 patients received the combination for more than 6 months.
Diagnostic value of the urine lipoarabinomannan assay in HIV-positive, ambulatory patients with CD4 below 200 cells/μl in 2 low-resource settings: A prospective observational study. Huerga, H; Mathabire Rucker, SC; Cossa, L; Bastard, M; Amoros, I; Manhica, I; Mbendera, K; Telnov, A; Szumilin, E; Sanchez-Padilla, E; Molfino, L BACKGROUND: Current guidelines recommend the use of the lateral flow urine lipoarabinomannan assay (LAM) in HIV-positive, ambulatory patients with signs and symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) only if they are seriously ill or have CD4 count ≤ 100 cells/μl. We assessed the diagnostic yield of including LAM in TB diagnostic algorithms in HIV-positive, ambulatory patients with CD4 < 200 cells/μl, as well as the risk of mortality in LAM-positive patients who were not diagnosed using other diagnostic tools and not treated for TB. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a prospective observational study including HIV-positive adult patients with signs and symptoms of TB and CD4 < 200 cells/μl attending 6 health facilities in Malawi and Mozambique. Patients were included consecutively from 18 September 2015 to 27 October 2016 in Malawi and from 3 December 2014 to 22 August 2016 in Mozambique. All patients had a clinical exam and LAM, chest X-ray, sputum microscopy, and Xpert MTB/RIF assay (Xpert) requested. Culture in sputum was done for a subset of patients. The diagnostic yield was defined as the proportion of patients with a positive assay result among those with laboratory-confirmed TB. For the 456 patients included in the study, the median age was 36 years (IQR 31-43) and the median CD4 count was 50 cells/μl (IQR 21-108). Forty-five percent (205/456) of the patients had laboratory-confirmed TB. The diagnostic yields of LAM, microscopy, and Xpert were 82.4% (169/205), 33.7% (69/205), and 40.0% (84/205), respectively. In total, 50.2% (103/205) of the patients with laboratory-confirmed TB were diagnosed only through LAM. Overall, the use of LAM in diagnostic algorithms increased the yield of algorithms with microscopy and with Xpert by 38.0% (78/205) and 34.6% (71/205), respectively, and, specifically among patients with CD4 100-199 cells/μl, by 27.5% (14/51) and 29.4% (15/51), respectively. LAM-positive patients not diagnosed through other tools and not treated for TB had a significantly higher risk of mortality than LAM-positive patients who received treatment (adjusted risk ratio 2.57, 95% CI 1.27-5.19, p = 0.009). Although the TB diagnostic conditions in the study sites were similar to those in other resource-limited settings, the added value of LAM may depend on the availability of microscopy or Xpert results. CONCLUSIONS: LAM has diagnostic value for identifying TB in HIV-positive patients with signs and symptoms of TB and advanced immunodeficiency, including those with a CD4 count of 100-199 cells/μl. In this study, the use of LAM enabled the diagnosis of TB in half of the patients with confirmed TB disease; without LAM, these patients would have been missed. The rapid identification and treatment of TB enabled by LAM may decrease overall mortality risk for these patients.
High incidence of intended partner pregnancy among men living with HIV in rural Uganda: Implications for safer conception services. Kaida, A; Kabakyenga, J; Bwana, M; Bajunirwe, F; Mayindike, W; Bennett, K; Kembabazi, A; Haberer, JE; Boum, Y; Martin, JN; Hunt, PW; Bangsberg, DR; Matthews, LT Many men with HIV express fertility intentions and nearly half have HIV-uninfected sexual partners. We measured partner pregnancy among a cohort of men accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Uganda. Self-reported partner pregnancy incidence and bloodwork (CD4, HIV-RNA) were collected quarterly. Interviewer-administered questionnaires assessed men's sexual and reproductive health annually and repeated at time of reported pregnancy (2011-2015). We measured partner pregnancy incidence overall, by pregnancy intention, and by reported partner HIV-serostatus. We assessed viral suppression (≤400 copies/mL) during the peri-conception period. Cox proportional hazard regression with repeated events identified predictors of partner pregnancy. Among 189 men, baseline median age was 39.9 years [IQR:34.7,47.0], years on ART was 3.9 [IQR:0.0,5.1], and 51% were virally suppressed. Over 530.2 person-years of follow-up, 63 men reported 85 partner pregnancies (incidence=16.0/100 person-years); 45% with HIV-serodifferent partners. By three years of follow-up, 30% of men reported a partner pregnancy, with no difference by partner HIV-serostatus (p=0.75). 69% of pregnancies were intended, 18% wanted but mis-timed, and 8% unwanted. 78% of men were virally suppressed prior to pregnancy report. Men who were younger (aHR:0.94/year;95%CI:0.89-0.99), had incomplete primary education (aHR:2.95;95%CI:1.36-6.40), and reported fertility desires (aHR:2.25;95%CI:1.04-4.85) had higher probability of partner pregnancy. A high incidence of intended partner pregnancy highlights the need to address men's reproductive goals within HIV care. Nearly half of pregnancy partners were at-risk for HIV and one-quarter of men were not virally suppressed during peri-conception. Safer conception care provides opportunity to support men's health and reproductive goals, while preventing HIV transmission to women and infants.
A screening tool for psychological difficulties in children aged 6 to 36 months: cross-cultural validation in Kenya, Cambodia and Uganda. Nackers, F; Roederer, T; Marquer, C; Ashaba, S; Maling, S; Mwanga-Amumpaire, J; Muny, S; Sokeo, C; Shom, V; Palha, M; Lefebvre, P; Kirubi, BW; Kamidigo, G; Falissard, B; Moro, MR; Grais, RF In low-resource settings, the lack of mental health professionals and cross-culturally validated screening instruments complicates mental health care delivery. This is especially the case for very young children. Here, we aimed to develop and cross-culturally validate a simple and rapid tool, the PSYCa 6-36, that can be administered by non-professionals to screen for psychological difficulties among children aged six to 36 months. A primary validation of the PSYCa 6-36 was conducted in Kenya (n = 319 children aged 6 to 36 months; 2014), followed by additional validations in Kenya (n = 215; 2014) Cambodia (n = 189; 2015) and Uganda (n = 182; 2016). After informed consent, trained interviewers administered the PSYCa 6-36 to caregivers participating in the study. We assessed the psychometric properties of the PSYCa 6-36 and external validity was assessed by comparing the results of the PSYCa 6-36 against a clinical global impression severity [CGIS] score rated by an independent psychologist after a structured clinical interview with each participant. The PSYCa 6-36 showed satisfactory psychometric properties (Cronbach's alpha > 0.60 in Uganda and > 0.70 in Kenya and Cambodia), temporal stability (intra-class correlation coefficient [ICC] > 0.8), and inter-rater reliability (ICC from 0.6 in Uganda to 0.8 in Kenya). Psychologists identified psychological difficulties (CGIS score > 1) in 11 children (5.1%) in Kenya, 13 children (8.7%) in Cambodia and 15 (10.5%) in Uganda, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.65 in Uganda and 0.80 in Kenya and Cambodia. The PSYCa 6-36 allowed for rapid screening of psychological difficulties among children aged 6 to 36 months among the populations studied. Use of the tool also increased awareness of children's psychological difficulties and the importance of early recognition to prevent long-term consequences. The PSYCa 6-36 would benefit from further use and validation studies in popula`tions with higher prevalence of psychological difficulties.
Patient and health-care worker experiences of an HIV viral load intervention using SMS: A qualitative study. Venables, E; Ndlovu, Z; Munyaradzi, D; Martinez-Perez, G; Mbofana, E; Nyika, P; Chidawanyika, H; Bygrave, H; Garone, D Mobile Health or mHealth interventions, including Short Message Service (SMS), can help increase access to care, enhance the efficiency of health service delivery and improve diagnosis and treatment for HIV. Text messaging, or SMS, allows for the low cost transmission of information, and has been used to send appointment reminders, information about HIV counselling and treatment, messages to encourage adherence and information on nutrition and side-effects. HIV Viral Load (VL) monitoring is recommended by the WHO and has been progressively adopted in many settings. In Zimbabwe, implementation of VL is routine and has been rolled out with support of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) since 2012. An SMS intervention to assist with the management of VL results was introduced in two rural districts of Zimbabwe. After completion of the HIV VL testing at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory in Harare, results were sent to health facilities via SMS. Consenting patients were also sent an SMS informing them that their viral load results were ready for collection at their nearest health facilities. No actual VL results were sent to patients. A qualitative study was conducted in seven health-care facilities using in-depth interviews (n = 32) and focus group discussions (n = 5) to explore patient and health-care worker experiences of the SMS intervention. Purposive sampling was used to select participants to ensure that male and female patients, as well as those with differing VL results and who lived differing distances from the clinics were included. Data were transcribed, translated from Shona into English, coded and thematically analysed using NVivo software. The VL SMS intervention was considered acceptable to patients and health-care workers despite some challenges in implementation. The intervention was perceived by health-care workers as improving adherence and well-being of patients as well as improving the management of VL results at health facilities. However, there were some concerns from participants about the intervention, including challenges in understanding the purpose and language of the messages and patients coming to their health facility unnecessarily. Health-care workers were more concerned than patients about unintentional HIV disclosure relating to the content of the messages or phone-sharing. This was an innovative intervention in Zimbabwe, in which SMS was used to send VL results to health-care facilities, and notifications of the availability of VL results to patients. Interventions such as this have the potential to reduce unnecessary clinic visits and ensure patients with high VL results receive timely support, but they need to be properly explained, alongside routine counselling, for patients to fully benefit. The findings of this study also have potential policy implications, as if implemented well, such an SMS intervention has the potential to help patients adopt a more active role in the self-management of their HIV disease, become more aware of the importance of adherence and VL monitoring and seek follow-up at clinics when results are high.
Antibiotic resistance in conflict settings: lessons learned in the Middle East Kanapathipillai, R; Malou, N; Hopman, J; Bowman, C; Yousef, N; Michel, J; Hussein, N; Herard, P; Ousley, J; Mills, C; Seguin, C; Saim, M Me´decins Sans Frontie`res (MSF) has designed context-adapted antibiotic resistance (ABR) responses in countries across the Middle East. There, some health systems have been severely damaged by conflict resulting in delayed access to care, crowded facilities and supply shortages. Microbiological surveillance data are rarely available, but when MSF laboratories are installed we often find MDR bacteria at alarming levels.1 In MSF’s regional hospital in Jordan, where surgical patients have often had multiple surgeries in field hospitals before reaching definitive care (often four or more), MSF microbiological data analysis reveals that, among Enterobacteriaceae isolates, third-generation cephalosporin and carbapenem resistance is 86.2% and 4.3%, respectively; MRSA prevalence among Staphylococcus aureus is 60.5%; and resistance types and rates are similar in patients originating from Yemen, Syria and Iraq.1–3 These trends compel MSF to aggressively prevent and diagnose ABR in Jordan, providing ABR lessons that inform the antibiotic choices, microbiological diagnostics and anti-ABR strategies in other Middle Eastern MSF trauma projects (such as Yemen and Gaza). As a result, MSF has created a multifaceted, context-adapted, field experience-based, approach to ABR in hospitals in Middle Eastern conflict settings. We focus on three pillars: (1) infection prevention and control (IPC); (2) microbiology and surveillance; and (3) antibiotic stewardship.
The aftermath of Cyclone Idai—building bridges where we can Frieden, M Marthe Frieden is the medical team leader in MSF’s emergency response to the destruction caused by tropical Cyclone Idai. On the night of 15 March, the cyclone hit Zimbabwe’s mountainous Manicaland province, causing flooding and deadly landslides, particularly in the Chimanimani District. Before Idai hit, Marthe was working on an MSF pilot project for managing diabetes and hypertension in the nearby Chipinge District, in partnership with Zimbabwe’s health ministry. Writing from the worst hit districts of Chimanimani and Chipinge, Marthe describes the events of the first six days as an MSF team of 10 people rapidly switched from their regular activities to emergency mode.
2017 Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Northern Democratic Republic of Congo Nsio, J; Kapetshi, J; Makiala, S; Raymond, F; Tshapenda, G; Boucher, N; Corbeil, J; Okitandjate, A; Mbuyi, G; Kiyele, M; Mondonge, V; Kikoo, MJ; Van Herp, M; Barboza, P; Petrucci, R; Benedetti, G; Formenty, P; Muzinga, BM; Kalenga, OI; Ahuka, S; Fausther-Bovendo, H; Ilunga, BK; Kobinger, GP; Muyembe, JJT Background In 2017, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recorded its eighth Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, approximately 3 years after the previous outbreak. Methods Suspect cases of EVD were identified on the basis of clinical and epidemiological information. Reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis or serological testing was used to confirm Ebola virus infection in suspected cases. The causative virus was later sequenced from a RT-PCR–positive individual and assessed using phylogenetic analysis. Results Three probable and 5 laboratory-confirmed cases of EVD were recorded between 27 March and 1 July 2017 in the DRC. Fifty percent of cases died from the infection. EVD cases were detected in 4 separate areas, resulting in > 270 contacts monitored. The complete genome of the causative agent, a variant from the Zaireebolavirus species, denoted Ebola virus Muyembe, was obtained using next-generation sequencing. This variant is genetically closest, with 98.73% homology, to the Ebola virus Mayinga variant isolated from the first DRC outbreaks in 1976–1977. Conclusion A single spillover event into the human population is responsible for this DRC outbreak. Human-to-human transmission resulted in limited dissemination of the causative agent, a novel Ebola virus variant closely related to the initial Mayinga variant isolated in 1976–1977 in the DRC.
Screening of asymptomatic rheumatic heart disease among refugee/migrant children and youths in Italy. Condemi, F; Rossi, G; Miguel, L; Pagano, A; Zamatto, F; Marini, S; Romeo, F; De Maio, G Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a chronic condition responsible of congestive heart failure, stroke and arrhythmia. Almost eradicated in high-income countries (HIC), it persists in low- and middle-income countries. The purpose of the study was to assess the feasibility and meaningfulness of ultrasound-based RHD screening among the population of unaccompanied foreign minors in Italy and determine the burden of asymptomatic RHD among this discrete population. From February 2016 to January 2018, Médecins Sans Frontières conducted a weekly mobile screening by echocardiography in reception centers and family houses for unaccompanied foreign minors in Rome, followed by fix echocardiographic retesting for those resulting positive at screening. 'Definite' and 'borderline' cases were defined according to the World Hearth Federation criteria. Six hundred fifty-three individuals (13-26 years old) were screened; 95.6% were below 18 years old (624/653). Six 'definite RHD' were identified at screening, yielding a detection rate of 9.2‰ (95% CI 4.1-20.3‰), while 285 (436.4‰) were defined as 'borderline' (95% CI 398.8-474.9‰). Out of 172 "non-negative borderline" cases available for being retested (113 "non-negative borderline" lost in follow-up), additional 11 were categorized as 'definite RHD', for a total of 17 'definite RHD', yielding a final prevalence of 26.0‰ (95% CI 16.2-41.5‰) (17/653), and 122 (122/653) were confirmed as 'borderline' (final prevalence of 186.8‰, 95% CI 158.7-218.7). In multivariate logistic regression analysis the presence of systolic murmur was a strong predictor for both 'borderline' (OR 4.3 [2.8-6.5]) and 'definite RHD' (OR 5.2 [1.7-15.2]), while no specific country/geographic area of origin was statistically associated with an increased risk of latent, asymptomatic RHD. Screening for RHD among the unaccompanied migrant minors in Italy proved to be feasible. The burden of 'definite RHD' was similar to that identified in resource-poor settings, while the prevalence of 'borderline' cases was higher than reported in other studies. In view of these findings, the health system of high-income countries, hosting migrants and asylum seekers, are urged to adopt screening for RHD in particular among the silent and marginalized population of refugee and migrant children.