Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination in American Samoa: Evaluation of Molecular Xenomonitoring as a Surveillance Tool in the Endgame.
ABSTRACT: The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis has made significant progress toward interrupting transmission of lymphatic filariasis (LF) through mass drug administration (MDA). Operational challenges in defining endpoints of elimination programs include the need to determine appropriate post-MDA surveillance strategies. As humans are the only reservoirs of LF parasites, one such strategy is molecular xenomonitoring (MX), the detection of filarial DNA in mosquitoes using molecular methods (PCR), to provide an indirect indicator of infected persons nearby. MX could potentially be used to evaluate program success, provide support for decisions to stop MDA, and conduct post-MDA surveillance. American Samoa has successfully completed MDA and passed WHO recommended Transmission Assessment Surveys in 2011 and 2015, but recent studies using spatial analysis of antigen (Ag) and antibody (Ab) prevalence in adults (aged ?18 years) and entomological surveys showed evidence of possible ongoing transmission. This study evaluated MX as a surveillance tool in American Samoa by linking village-level results of published human and mosquito studies. Of 32 villages, seropositive persons for Og4C3 Ag were identified in 11 (34.4%), for Wb123 Ab in 18 (56.3%) and for Bm14 Ab in 27 (84.4%) of villages. Village-level seroprevalence ranged from 0-33%, 0-67% and 0-100% for Og4C3 Ag, Wb123 Ab and Bm14 Ab respectively. PCR-positive Aedes polynesiensis mosquitoes were found in 15 (47%) villages, and their presence was significantly associated with seropositive persons for Og4C3 Ag (67% vs 6%, p<0.001) and Wb123 Ab (87% vs 29%, p = 0.001), but not Bm14 Ab. In villages with persons seropositive for Og4C3 Ag and Wb123 Ab, PCR-positive Ae. polynesiensis were found in 90.9% and 72.2% respectively. In villages without seropositive persons for Og4C3 Ag or Wb123 Ab, PCR-positive Ae. polynesiensis were also absent in 94.1% and 70.6% of villages respectively. Our study provides promising evidence to support the potential usefulness of MX in post-MDA surveillance in an Aedes transmission area in the Pacific Islands setting.
Project description:The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) aims to eliminate the disease as a public health problem by 2020 by conducting mass drug administration (MDA) and controlling morbidity. Once elimination targets have been reached, surveillance is critical for ensuring that programmatic gains are sustained, and challenges include timely identification of residual areas of transmission. WHO guidelines encourage cost-efficient surveillance, such as integration with other population-based surveys. In American Samoa, where LF is caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, and Aedes polynesiensis is the main vector, the LF elimination program has made significant progress. Seven rounds of MDA (albendazole and diethycarbamazine) were completed from 2000 to 2006, and Transmission Assessment Surveys were passed in 2010/2011 and 2015. However, a seroprevalence study using an adult serum bank collected in 2010 detected two potential residual foci of transmission, with Og4C3 antigen (Ag) prevalence of 30.8% and 15.6%. We conducted a follow up study in 2014 to verify if transmission was truly occurring by comparing seroprevalence between residents of suspected hotspots and residents of other villages. In adults from non-hotspot villages (N = 602), seroprevalence of Ag (ICT or Og4C3), Bm14 antibody (Ab) and Wb123 Ab were 1.2% (95% CI 0.6-2.6%), 9.6% (95% CI 7.5%-12.3%), and 10.5% (95% CI 7.6-14.3%), respectively. Comparatively, adult residents of Fagali'i (N = 38) had significantly higher seroprevalence of Ag (26.9%, 95% CI 17.3-39.4%), Bm14 Ab (43.4%, 95% CI 32.4-55.0%), and Wb123 Ab 55.2% (95% CI 39.6-69.8%). Adult residents of Ili'ili/Vaitogi/Futiga (N = 113) also had higher prevalence of Ag and Ab, but differences were not statistically significant. The presence of transmission was demonstrated by 1.1% Ag prevalence (95% CI 0.2% to 3.1%) in 283 children aged 7-13 years who lived in one of the suspected hotspots; and microfilaraemia in four individuals, all of whom lived in the suspected hotspots, including a 9 year old child. Our results provide field evidence that integrating LF surveillance with other surveys is effective and feasible for identifying potential hotspots, and conducting surveillance at worksites provides an efficient method of sampling large populations of adults.
Project description:As part of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), American Samoa conducted mass drug administration (MDA) from 2000-2006, and passed transmission assessment surveys in 2011-2012. We examined the seroprevalence and spatial epidemiology of LF post-MDA to inform strategies for ongoing surveillance and to reduce resurgence risk.ELISA for LF antigen (Og4C3) and antibodies (Wb123, Bm14) were performed on a geo-referenced serum bank of 807 adults collected in 2010. Risk factors assessed for association with sero-positivity included age, sex, years lived in American Samoa, and occupation. Geographic clustering of serological indicators was investigated to identify spatial dependence and household-level clustering.Og4C3 antigen of >128 units (positive) were found in 0.75% (95% CI 0.3-1.6%) of participants, and >32 units (equivocal plus positive) in 3.2% (95% CI 0.6-4.7%). Seroprevalence of Wb123 and Bm14 antibodies were 8.1% (95% CI 6.3-10.2%) and 17.9% (95% CI 15.3-20.7%) respectively. Antigen-positive individuals were identified in all ages, and antibody prevalence higher in older ages. Prevalence was higher in males, and inversely associated with years lived in American Samoa. Spatial distribution of individuals varied significantly with positive and equivocal levels of Og4C3 antigen, but not with antibodies. Using Og4C3 cutoff points of >128 units and >32 units, average cluster sizes were 1,242 m and 1,498 m, and geographical proximity of households explained 85% and 62% of the spatial variation respectively.High-risk populations for LF in American Samoa include adult males and recent migrants. We identified locations and estimated the size of possible residual foci of antigen-positive adults, demonstrating the value of spatial analysis in post-MDA surveillance. Strategies to monitor cluster residents and high-risk groups are needed to reduce resurgence risk. Further research is required to quantify factors contributing to LF transmission at the last stages of elimination to ensure that programme achievements are sustained.
Project description:Antifilarial antibody testing has been established as a sensitive and specific method of diagnosing lymphatic filariasis. However, the development of serological responses to specific filarial antigens and their relationship to acquisition of infection is poorly understood. In order to evaluate whether the development of antigen specific antifilarial antibodies precedes microfilaremia and antigenemia, we compared the antibody responses of serum samples collected between 1990 and 1999 from a cohort of 142 Haitian children followed longitudinally. Antigen status was determined using the Og4C3 ELISA and the presence of microfilaremia was detected using microscopy. Antibody responses to Wb123, a Wuchereria bancrofti L3 antigen, were measured using a Luciferase Immunoprecipitation System (LIPS) assay. Antibody responses to Bm14 and Bm33, Brugia malayi antigens and to a major surface protein (WSP) from Wolbachia were analyzed using a multiplex bead assay. Over follow-up, 80 (56%) of the children became antigen-positive and 30 (21%) developed microfilaremia. Detectable antibody responses to Bm14, Bm33, Wb123, and WSP developed in 95%, 100%, 92%, and 29% of children, respectively. With the exception of WSP, the development of antibody responses generally preceded detection of filarial antigen. Our results show that antifilarial antibody responses can serve as an important epidemiological indicator in a sentinel population of young children and thus, may be valuable as tool for surveillance in the context of lymphatic filariasis elimination programs.
Project description:Current WHO recommendations for lymphatic filariasis (LF) surveillance advise programs to implement activities to monitor for new foci of transmission after stopping mass drug administration (MDA). A current need in the global effort to eliminate LF is to standardize diagnostic tools and surveillance activities beyond the recommended transmission assessment survey (TAS).TAS was first conducted in American Samoa in 2011 (TAS 1) and a repeat TAS was carried out in 2015 (TAS 2). Circulating filarial antigen (CFA) and serologic results from both surveys were analyzed to determine whether interruption of LF transmission has been achieved in American Samoa.A total of 1,134 and 864 children (5-10 years old) were enrolled in TAS 1 and TAS 2, respectively. Two CFA-positive children were identified in TAS 1, and one CFA-positive child was identified in TAS 2. Results of both surveys were below the threshold for which MDA was warranted. Additionally, 1,112 and 836 dried blood spots from TAS 1 and TAS 2, respectively were tested for antibodies to Wb123, Bm14 and Bm33 by luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay and multiplex bead assay. In 2011, overall prevalence of responses to Wb123, Bm14, and Bm33 was 1.0%, 6.8% and 12.0%, respectively. In 2015, overall prevalence of positive Bm14 and Bm33 responses declined significantly to 3.0% (p<0.001) and 7.8% (p = 0.013), respectively.Although passing TAS 1 and TAS 2 and an overall decline in the prevalence of antibodies to Bm14 and Bm33 between these surveys suggests decreased exposure and infection among young children, there were persistent responses in some schools. Clustering and persistence of positive antibody responses in schools may be an indication of ongoing transmission. There is a need to better understand the limitations of current antibody tests, but our results suggest that serologic tools can have a role in guiding programmatic decision making.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Prevalence of lymphatic filariasis (LF) antigen in American Samoa was 16.5% in 1999. Seven rounds of mass drug administration (MDA) programmes between 2000 and 2006 reduced antigen prevalence to 2.3%. The most efficient methods of surveillance after MDA are not clear, but testing specific at-risk groups such as adults may provide earlier warning of resurgence. The role of migration from LF endemic countries in maintaining transmission also needs investigation. Few studies have investigated knowledge about LF and how that relates to infection risk. This study aims to investigate associations between socio-demographics, population mobility, disease knowledge and LF infection risk. METHODS:In 2014, we surveyed 670 adults aged 16-68 years (62% female) at two worksites in American Samoa. Sera were tested for LF antigen and antibodies (Bm14 and Wb123) by rapid test and/or ELISA. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess association between seromarkers and demographic factors, household socioeconomic status (SES), residence, travel history, and knowledge of LF. RESULTS:Overall, 1.8% of participants were positive for antigen, 11.8% for Bm14, 11.3% for Wb123 and 17.3% for at least one antibody. Recent travel outside American Samoa was not associated with positivity for any seromarker. Men had higher seroprevalence than women for all outcomes (any antibody: adjusted odds ratio (aOR)?=?3.49 (95% CI: 2.21-5.49). Those aged over 35 years (compared to 15-24 years) had higher prevalence of Bm14 antibody (aOR?=?3.75, 3.76 and 4.17 for ages 35-44, 45-54 and ??55 years, respectively, P?<?0.05). Lower SES was associated with seropositivity (antigen: aOR?=?2.89, 95% CI: 1.09-7.69; either antibody: aOR?=?1.51, 95% CI: 1.12-2.05). Those who knew that mosquitoes transmitted LF had lower Wb123 antibody prevalence (aOR?=?0.55, 95% CI: 0.32-0.95). CONCLUSIONS:Opportunistic sampling of adults at worksites provided an efficient and representative way to assess prevalence and risk factors for LF in American Samoa and in hindsight, foreshadowed the resurgence of transmission. Risk of LF infection, detected by one or more serological markers, was not related to recent travel history, but was strongly associated with male gender, older age, lower SES, and lack of knowledge about mosquito transmission. These results could guide future efforts to increase MDA participation.
Project description:Successful mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns have brought several countries near the point of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) elimination. A diagnostic tool is needed to determine when the prevalence levels have decreased to a point that MDA campaigns can be discontinued without the threat of recrudescence. A six-country study was conducted assessing the performance of seven diagnostic tests, including tests for microfilariae (blood smear, PCR), parasite antigen (ICT, Og4C3) and antifilarial antibody (Bm14, PanLF, Urine SXP). One community survey and one school survey were performed in each country. A total of 8,513 people from the six countries participated in the study, 6,443 through community surveys and 2,070 through school surveys. Specimens from these participants were used to conduct 49,585 diagnostic tests. Each test was seen to have both positive and negative attributes, but overall, the ICT test was found to be 76% sensitive at detecting microfilaremia and 93% specific at identifying individuals negative for both microfilariae and antifilarial antibody; the Og4C3 test was 87% sensitive and 95% specific. We conclude, however, that the ICT should be the primary tool recommended for decision-making about stopping MDAs. As a point-of-care diagnostic, the ICT is relatively inexpensive, requires no laboratory equipment, has satisfactory sensitivity and specificity and can be processed in 10 minutes-qualities consistent with programmatic use. Og4C3 provides a satisfactory laboratory-based diagnostic alternative.
Project description:Since the mid-2000s, the immunochromatographic card test (ICT), a point-of-care test for detecting Wuchereria bancrofti circulating filarial antigens (CFAs), has been the backbone for mapping and monitoring lymphatic filariasis (LF) worldwide. Recently, there have been instances in which CFA positivity has been associated with Loa loa microfilaremia. Here, we examined the association, at both the community and individual levels, between L. loa and CFA using additional diagnostic tools (quantitative polymerase chain reaction [qPCR], Og4C3 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and IgG4 antibodies to Wb123 assays) to demonstrate the relationship between L. loa microfilaremia and ICT positivity. In May 2013, peripheral blood was collected during the day from 1,812 individuals living in southern Cameroon. ICT tests were done on the spot, and positive individuals were resampled at night. Results of qPCR and Wb123 assays concurred proving the absence of W. bancrofti infection. Og4C3 assays indicate a quantitative relationship between the level of L. loa microfilaremia and that of CFA. This was confirmed by epidemiological analyses, which reveal a strong association between L. loa microfilaremia and ICT positivity, with 50% of ICT reacting to L. loa when its microfilarial density exceeds 30,000 microfilariae/mL. At the community level, the proportion of positive ICT would exceed 2% when the prevalence of L. loa microfilaremia in the total population is above 20%. This has significant implications in terms of mapping and control of LF caused by W. bancrofti in Loa-endemic areas. Cross-reactivity of ICT with L. loa has to be considered in the context of both individual and community diagnostics.
Project description:In Africa, onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis (LF) are co-endemic in many areas. Current efforts to eliminate both diseases are through ivermectin-based mass drug administration (MDA). Years of ivermectin distribution for onchocerciasis may have interrupted LF transmission in certain areas. The Kédougou region, Senegal, is co-endemic for LF and onchocerciasis. Though MDA for onchocerciasis started in 1988, in 2014 albendazole had not yet been added for LF. The objective of this study was to assess in an integrated manner the LF and onchocerciasis status in the three districts of the Kédougou region after ?10 years of ivermectin-based MDA. The study employed an African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) onchocerciasis-related methodology. In the three districts, 14 villages close to three rivers that have Simulium damnosum breeding sites were surveyed. Convenience sampling of residents ?5 years old was performed. Assessment for LF antigenemia by immunochromatographic testing (ICT) was added to skin snip microscopy for onchocerciasis. Participants were also tested for antibodies against Wb123 (LF) and Ov16 (onchocerciasis) antigens. In two districts, no participants were ICT or skin snip positive. In the third district, 3.5% were ICT positive and 0.7% were skin snip positive. In all the three districts, Wb123 prevalence was 0.6%. Overall, Ov16 prevalence was 6.9%. Ov16 prevalence among children 5-9 years old in the study was 2.5%. LF antigenemia prevalence was still above treatment threshold in one district despite ?10 years of ivermectin-based MDA. The presence of Ov16 positive children suggested recent transmission of Onchocerca volvulus. This study showed the feasibility of integrated evaluation of onchocerciasis and LF but development of integrated robust methods for assessing transmission of both LF and onchocerciasis are needed to determine where MDA can be stopped safely in co-endemic areas.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Taenia solium cysticercosis/taeniosis is emerging as a serious public health and economic problem in many developing countries. This study was conducted to determine prevalence and risk factors of human T. solium infections in Mbeya Region, Tanzania. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 13 villages of Mbozi district in 2009. Sera of 830 people (mean 37.9±11.3 years (SD); 43% females) were tested for circulating cysticerci antigen (Ag-ELISA) and antibody (Ab-ELISA). A subset of persons found seropositive by Ag-ELISA underwent computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain for evidence of neurocysticercosis. Stool samples from 820 of the same participants were tested for taeniosis by copro-antigens (copro-Ag-ELISA) and formol-ether concentration technique. Cases of T. solium taeniosis were confirmed serologically by EITB assay (rES38). A questionnaire was used for identification of risk factors. Active cysticercosis by positive Ag-ELISA was found in 139 (16.7%) persons while anti-cysticercal antibodies were detected in 376 (45.3%) persons by Ab-ELISA. Among 55 persons positive for Ag-ELISA undergoing CT scan, 30 (54.6%) were found to have structures in the brain suggestive of neurocysticercosis. Using faecal analysis, 43 (5.2%) stool samples tested positive for taeniosis by copro-Ag-ELISA while Taenia eggs were detected in 9 (1.1%) stool samples by routine coprology. Antibodies specifically against adult T. solium were detected in 34 copro-Ag-ELISA positive participants by EITB (rES38) indicating T. solium taeniosis prevalence of 4.1%. Increasing age and hand washing by dipping in contrast to using running water, were found associated with Ag-ELISA seropositivity by logistic regression. Gender (higher risk in females) and water source were risk factors associated with Ab-ELISA seropositivity. Reported symptoms of chronic severe headaches and history of epileptic seizures were found associated with positive Ag-ELISA (p?0.05). CONCLUSION: The present study indicates T. solium infection in humans is highly endemic in the southern highlands of Tanzania.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mass drug administration (MDA) programs have dramatically reduced lymphatic filariasis (LF) incidence in many areas around the globe, including American Samoa. As infection rates decline and MDA programs end, efficient and sensitive methods for detecting infections are needed to monitor for recrudescence. Molecular methods, collectively termed 'molecular xenomonitoring,' can identify parasite DNA or RNA in human blood-feeding mosquitoes. We tested mosquitoes trapped throughout the inhabited islands of American Samoa to identify areas of possible continuing LF transmission after completion of MDA. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS:Mosquitoes were collected using BG Sentinel traps from most of the villages on American Samoa's largest island, Tutuila, and all major villages on the smaller islands of Aunu'u, Ofu, Olosega, and Ta'u. Real-time PCR was used to detect Wuchereria bancrofti DNA in pools of ? 20 mosquitoes, and PoolScreen software was used to infer territory-wide prevalences of W. bancrofti DNA in the mosquitoes. Wuchereria bancrofti DNA was found in mosquitoes from 16 out of the 27 village areas sampled on Tutuila and Aunu'u islands but none of the five villages on the Manu'a islands of Ofu, Olosega, and Ta'u. The overall 95% confidence interval estimate for W. bancrofti DNA prevalence in the LF vector Ae. polynesiensis was 0.20-0.39%, and parasite DNA was also detected in pools of Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, and Aedes (Finlaya) spp. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Our results suggest low but widespread prevalence of LF on Tutuila and Aunu'u where 98% of the population resides, but not Ofu, Olosega, and Ta'u islands. Molecular xenomonitoring can help identify areas of possible LF transmission, but its use in the LF elimination program in American Samoa is limited by the need for more efficient mosquito collection methods and a better understanding of the relationship between prevalence of W. bancrofti DNA in mosquitoes and infection and transmission rates in humans.