Rss Feed

Public Health »

Public Health Matters,Epidemiology and clinical Trials
  • Antibody therapeutics for Ebola virus disease.

    Posted 2017-10-20 21:00:30 by: Mahammad A. Tafida

    Related Articles Antibody therapeutics for Ebola virus disease. Curr Opin Virol. 2016 Apr;17:45-9 Authors: Zeitlin L, Whaley KJ, Olinger GG, Jacobs M, Gopal R, Qiu X, Kobinger GP Abstract With the unprecedented scale of the 2014-2016 West Africa outbreak, the clinical and scientific community scrambled to identify potential therapeutics for Ebola virus disease (EVD). Passive administration of antibodies has a long successful history for prophylaxis and therapy of a variety of infectious diseases, but the importance of antibodies in EVD has been unclear and is the subject of some debate. Recent studies in non-human primates have renewed interest in the potential of antibodies to impact EVD. Currently ongoing clinical evaluation of polyclonal and monoclonal antibody therapy in EVD patients in West Africa may finally offer a definitive answer to this debate. PMID: 26826442 [PubMed - indexed for ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • Serological Survey of Zoonotic Viruses in Invasive and Native Commensal Rodents in Senegal, West Africa.

    Posted 2017-10-20 21:00:30 by: Mahammad A. Tafida

    Related Articles Serological Survey of Zoonotic Viruses in Invasive and Native Commensal Rodents in Senegal, West Africa. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2017 Oct;17(10):730-733 Authors: Diagne CA, Charbonnel N, Henttonen H, Sironen T, Brouat C Abstract Increasing studies on rodent-borne diseases still highlight the major role of rodents as reservoirs of numerous zoonoses of which the frequency is likely to increase worldwide as a result of accelerated anthropogenic changes, including biological invasions. Such a situation makes pathogen detection in rodent populations important, especially in the context of developing countries characterized by high infectious disease burden. Here, we used indirect fluorescent antibody tests to describe the circulation of potentially zoonotic viruses in both invasive (Mus musculus domesticus and Rattus rattus) and native (Mastomys erythroleucus and Mastomys natalensis) murine rodent populations in Senegal (West Africa). Of the 672 rodents tested, we reported 22 seropositive tests for Hantavirus, Orthopoxvirus, and Mammarenavirus genera, and no evidence of viral coinfection. This study is the first to report serological detection of Orthopoxvirus in rodents from Senegal, Mammarenavirus in R. rattus from Africa, and Hantavirus in M. m. domesticus and in M. erythroleucus. Further specific identification of the viral agents highlighted here is urgently needed for crucial public health concerns. PMID: 28873024 [PubMed - indexed for ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • The age of the hominin fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the origins of the Middle Stone Age.

    Posted 2017-10-20 21:00:30 by: Mahammad A. Tafida

    Related Articles The age of the hominin fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the origins of the Middle Stone Age. Nature. 2017 06 07;546(7657):293-296 Authors: Richter D, Grün R, Joannes-Boyau R, Steele TE, Amani F, Rué M, Fernandes P, Raynal JP, Geraads D, Ben-Ncer A, Hublin JJ, McPherron SP Abstract The timing and location of the emergence of our species and of associated behavioural changes are crucial for our understanding of human evolution. The earliest fossil attributed to a modern form of Homo sapiens comes from eastern Africa and is approximately 195 thousand years old, therefore the emergence of modern human biology is commonly placed at around 200 thousand years ago. The earliest Middle Stone Age assemblages come from eastern and southern Africa but date much earlier. Here we report the ages, determined by thermoluminescence dating, of fire-heated flint artefacts obtained from new excavations at the Middle Stone Age site of Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, which are directly associated with newly discovered remains of H. sapiens. A weighted average age places these Middle Stone Age artefacts and fossils at 315 ± 34 thousand years ago. Support is obtained through the recalculated uranium series with electron spin resonance date of 286 ± 32 thousand years ago for a tooth from the Irhoud 3 hominin mandible. These ages are also consistent with the faunal and microfaunal assemblages and almost double the previous age estimates for the lower part of the deposits. The north African site of Jebel Irhoud contains one of the earliest directly dated Middle Stone Age assemblages, and its associated human remains are the oldest reported for H. sapiens. The emergence of our species and of the Middle Stone Age appear to be close in time, and these data suggest a larger scale, potentially pan-African, origin for both. PMID: 28593967 [PubMed - indexed for ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens.

    Posted 2017-10-20 21:00:30 by: Mahammad A. Tafida

    Related Articles New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens. Nature. 2017 06 07;546(7657):289-292 Authors: Hublin JJ, Ben-Ncer A, Bailey SE, Freidline SE, Neubauer S, Skinner MM, Bergmann I, Le Cabec A, Benazzi S, Harvati K, Gunz P Abstract Fossil evidence points to an African origin of Homo sapiens from a group called either H. heidelbergensis or H. rhodesiensis. However, the exact place and time of emergence of H. sapiens remain obscure because the fossil record is scarce and the chronological age of many key specimens remains uncertain. In particular, it is unclear whether the present day 'modern' morphology rapidly emerged approximately 200 thousand years ago (ka) among earlier representatives of H. sapiens or evolved gradually over the last 400 thousand years. Here we report newly discovered human fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and interpret the affinities of the hominins from this site with other archaic and recent human groups. We identified a mosaic of features including facial, mandibular and dental morphology that aligns the Jebel Irhoud material with early or recent anatomically modern humans and more primitive neurocranial and endocranial morphology. In combination with an age of 315 ± 34 thousand years (as determined by thermoluminescence dating), this evidence makes Jebel Irhoud the oldest and richest African Middle Stone Age hominin site that documents early stages of the H. sapiens clade in which key features of modern morphology were established. Furthermore, it shows that the evolutionary processes behind the emergence of H. sapiens involved the whole African continent. PMID: 28593953 [PubMed - indexed for ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • Urogenital schistosomiasis transmission on Unguja Island, Zanzibar: characterisation of persistent hot-spots.

    Posted 2017-10-20 21:00:30 by: Mahammad A. Tafida

    Related Articles Urogenital schistosomiasis transmission on Unguja Island, Zanzibar: characterisation of persistent hot-spots. Parasit Vectors. 2016 Dec 16;9(1):646 Authors: Pennance T, Person B, Muhsin MA, Khamis AN, Muhsin J, Khamis IS, Mohammed KA, Kabole F, Rollinson D, Knopp S Abstract BACKGROUND: Elimination of urogenital schistosomiasis transmission is a priority for the Zanzibar Ministry of Health. Preventative chemotherapy together with additional control interventions have successfully alleviated much of the disease burden. However, a persistently high Schistosoma haematobium prevalence is found in certain areas. Our aim was to characterise and evaluate these persistent "hot-spots" of transmission and reinfection in comparison with low-prevalence areas, to support the intervention planning for schistosomiasis elimination in Zanzibar. METHODS: Prevalences of S. haematobium were annually determined by a single urine filtration in schoolchildren from 45 administrative areas (shehias) in Unguja in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Coverage data for biannual treatment with praziquantel were available from ministerial databases and internal surveys. Among the 45 shehias, five hot-spot (≥ 15 % prevalence) and two low-prevalence (≤ 5 %) shehias were identified and surveyed in mid-2014. Human-water contact sites (HWCSs) and the presence of S. haematobium-infected and uninfected Bulinus globosus, as well as safe water sources (SWSs) and their reliability in terms of water availability were determined and mapped. RESULTS: We found no major difference in the treatment coverage between persistent hot-spot and low-prevalence shehias. On average, there were considerably more HWCSs containing B. globosus in hot-spot than in low-prevalence shehias (n = 8 vs n = 2) and also more HWCSs containing infected B. globosus (n = 2 vs n = 0). There was no striking difference in the average abundance of ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • First report of L1014F-kdr mutation in Culex pipiens complex from Morocco.

    Posted 2017-10-20 21:00:30 by: Mahammad A. Tafida

    Related Articles First report of L1014F-kdr mutation in Culex pipiens complex from Morocco. Parasit Vectors. 2016 Dec 16;9(1):644 Authors: Bkhache M, Tmimi FZ, Charafeddine O, Faraj C, Failloux AB, Sarih M Abstract BACKGROUND: Mosquitoes of the Culex pipiens complex, competent vectors for West Nile virus (WNV) and Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) are widely targeted by insecticide treatments. The intensive application of chemical insecticides led to the development of resistance in many insects including Culex pipiens mosquitoes. The absence of data on resistance mechanisms in Morocco allow us to assess the levels of lambda-cyhalothrin resistance and the frequency of the mutated gene L1014F kdr in different forms of Cx. pipiens complex from three regions of Morocco. METHODS: Mosquito adults were reared from immature stages collected in three different regions in Morocco (Tangier, Casablanca and Marrakech). Standard WHO insecticide susceptibility tests were conducted on adults emerged from collected larvae. Specimens were identified as belonging to the Culex pipiens complex using a multiplex PCR assay with diagnostic primers designed from the flanking region of microsatellite CQ11. Identified mosquitoes were then tested for the presence of the L1014F kdr mutation using PCR assay. RESULTS: Our results showed that 21% of the tested population has a resistance to lambda-cyhalothrin. The molecular identification of survivors shows that 43% belonged to the Cx. pipiens pipiens and only 9.5% to the Cx. pipiens molestus form. On the other hand, 416 specimens were screened for the L1014F kdr mutation. L1014F mutation was detected in different forms of Cx. pipiens in different sites. The frequency of L1014F mutation was similar between the Cx. pipiens pipiens form and hybrid form, while it was lower in the Cx. pipiens molestus form. The presence of the L1014F kdr allele was significantly associated with ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • Evaluation of onchocerciasis seroprevalence in Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea) after years of disease control programmes.

    Posted 2017-10-20 21:00:30 by: Mahammad A. Tafida

    Related Articles Evaluation of onchocerciasis seroprevalence in Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea) after years of disease control programmes. Parasit Vectors. 2016 Sep 20;9(1):509 Authors: Hernández-González A, Moya L, Perteguer MJ, Herrador Z, Nguema R, Nguema J, Aparicio P, Benito A, Gárate T Abstract BACKGROUND: Onchocerciasis or "river blindness" is a chronic parasitic disease caused by the filarial worm Onchocerca volvulus, transmitted through infected blackflies (Simulium spp.). Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea) used to show a high endemicity for onchocerciasis. During the last years, the disease control programmes using different larvicides and ivermectin administration have considerably reduced the prevalence and intensity of infection. Based on this new epidemiological scenario, in the present work we aimed to assess the impact of the strategies applied against onchocerciasis in Bioko Island by an evaluation of IgG4 antibodies specific for recombinant Ov-16 in ELISA. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Bioko Island from mid-January to mid-February, 2014. Twenty communities were randomly selected from rural and urban settings. A total of 140 households were chosen. In every selected household, all individuals aged 5 years and above were recruited; 544 study participants agreed to be part of this work. No previous data on onchocerciasis seroprevalence in the selected communities were available. Blood samples were collected and used in an "ELISA in-house" prepared with recombinant Ov-16, expressed and further purified. IgG4 antibodies specific for recombinant Ov-16 were evaluated by ELISA in all of the participants. RESULTS: Based on the Ov-16 ELISA, the onchocerciasis seroprevalence was 7.9 %, mainly concentrated in rural settings; samples from community Catedral Ela Nguema (# 16) were missed during the field work. Among the rural setups, communities Inasa Maule (# 7), ...

    Comments: 0   View more...