Human African trypanosomiasis: the current situation in endemic regions and the risks for non-endemic regions from imported cases.
ABSTRACT: Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and caused devastating epidemics during the 20th century. Due to effective control programs implemented in the last two decades, the number of reported cases has fallen to a historically low level. Although fewer than 977 cases were reported in 2018 in endemic countries, HAT is still a public health problem in endemic regions until it is completely eliminated. In addition, almost 150 confirmed HAT cases were reported in non-endemic countries in the last three decades. The majority of non-endemic HAT cases were reported in Europe, USA and South Africa, due to historical alliances, economic links or geographic proximity to disease-endemic countries. Furthermore, with the implementation of the 'Belt and Road' project, sporadic imported HAT cases have been reported in China as a warning sign of tropical diseases prevention. In this paper, we explore and interpret the data on HAT incidence and find no positive correlation between the number of HAT cases from endemic and non-endemic countries. This data will provide useful information for better understanding the imported cases of HAT globally in the post-elimination phase.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is one of the most complex parasitic diseases known to humankind. It usually occurs in endemic areas in Africa, but is occasionally detected in returning travelers and migrants in non-endemic countries. CASE PRESENTATION:In August 2017, a case of HAT was diagnosed in China in a traveler returning from the Masai Mara area in Kenya and the Serengeti area in Tanzania. The traveler visited Africa from 23 July to 5 August, 2017. Upon return to China, she developed a fever (on 8 August), and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infection was confirmed by laboratory tests (on 14 August) including observation of parasites in blood films and by polymerase chain reaction. She was treated with pentamidine followed by suramin, and recovered 1 month later. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first imported rhodesiense HAT case reported in China. This case alerts clinical and public health workers to be aware of HAT in travelers, and expatriates and migrants who have visited at-risk areas in Africa.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Molecular methods have great potential for sensitive parasite detection in the diagnosis of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), but the requirements in terms of laboratory infrastructure limit their use to reference centres. A recently developed assay detects the Trypanozoon repetitive insertion mobile element (RIME) DNA under isothermal amplification conditions and has been transformed into a ready-to-use kit format, the Loopamp Trypanosoma brucei. In this study, we have evaluated the diagnostic performance of the Loopamp Trypanosoma brucei assay (hereafter called LAMP) in confirmed T.b. gambiense HAT patients, HAT suspects and healthy endemic controls from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 142 T.b. gambiense HAT patients, 111 healthy endemic controls and 97 HAT suspects with unconfirmed status were included in this retrospective evaluation. Reference standard tests were parasite detection in blood, lymph or cerebrospinal fluid. Archived DNA from blood of all study participants was analysed in duplicate with LAMP. Sensitivity of LAMP in parasitologically confirmed cases was 87.3% (95% CI 80.9-91.8%) in the first run and 93.0% (95% CI 87.5-96.1%) in the second run. Specificity in healthy controls was 92.8% (95% CI 86.4-96.3%) in the first run and 96.4% (95% CI 91.1-98.6%) in the second run. Reproducibility was excellent with a kappa value of 0.81. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In this laboratory-based study, the Loopamp Trypanosoma brucei Detection Kit showed good diagnostic accuracy and excellent reproducibility. Further studies are needed to assess the feasibility of its routine use for diagnosis of HAT under field conditions.
Project description:Malaria remains a problem for many countries classified as malaria free through cases imported from endemic regions. Imported cases to non-endemic countries often result in delays in diagnosis, are expensive to treat, and can sometimes cause secondary local transmission. The movement of malaria in endemic countries has also contributed to the spread of drug resistance and threatens long-term eradication goals. Here we focused on quantifying the international movements of malaria to improve our understanding of these phenomena and facilitate the design of mitigation strategies.In this meta-analysis, we studied the database of publicly available nationally reported statistics on imported malaria in the past 10 years, covering more than 50?000 individual cases. We obtained data from 40 non-endemic countries and recorded the geographical variations.Infection movements were strongly skewed towards a small number of high-traffic routes between 2005 and 2015, with the west Africa region accounting for 56% (13?947/24?941) of all imported cases to non-endemic countries with a reported travel destination, and France and the UK receiving the highest number of cases, with more than 4000 reported cases per year on average. Countries strongly linked by movements of imported cases are grouped by historical, language, and travel ties. There is strong spatial clustering of plasmodium species types.The architecture of the air network, historical ties, demographics of travellers, and malaria endemicity contribute to highly heterogeneous patterns of numbers, routes, and species compositions of parasites transported. With global malaria eradication on the international agenda, malaria control altering local transmission, and the threat of drug resistance, understanding these patterns and their drivers is increasing in importance.Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Institutes of Health, UK Medical Research Council, UK Department for International Development, Wellcome Trust.
Project description:Human histoplasmosis is a fungal infection caused by the inhalation of microconidia of the thermally dimorphic fungi Histoplasma capsulatum. Autochthonous cases of histoplasmosis have been diagnosed in almost every country, but it is considered an endemic infection in specific areas of the world. Many of them are popular travel destinations or the source of migratory movements. Thus, the vast majority of the registered cases in non-endemic countries are imported. They correspond to people having been exposed to the fungus in endemic locations as immigrants, expatriates, transient workers or tourists, with reported cases also associated to organ donation. Misdiagnosis and delays in initiation of treatment are not uncommon in cases of imported histoplasmosis. They are associated to high fatality-rates specially in patients with compromised cellular immunity in which progressive disseminated forms develop. The diagnosis of this infection in non-endemic countries is hampered by the lack of clinical suspicion and a dearth of available diagnostic tools adequate to offer rapid and accurate results. Non-culture-based assays such as nucleic-acid amplification tests present as a suitable alternative in this situation, offering improved sensitivity and specificity, shortened turnaround time, and increased biosafety by avoiding culture manipulation. In non-endemic regions, molecular techniques are being used mainly in laboratories from countries that have registered an increase in the incidence of imported cases. However, the number of published techniques is limited and lack consensus. Efforts are currently under way to standardize nucleic acid amplification-based techniques for its implementation in areas registering a rising number of imported cases.
Project description:BACKGROUND:China has achieved zero indigenous malaria case report in 2017. However, along with the increasing of international cooperation development, there is an increasing number of imported malaria cases from Chinese nationals returning from malaria-affected countries. Previous studies have focused on malaria endemic areas in China. There is thus limited information on non-endemic areas in China, especially on the performance of malaria surveillance and response in health facilities. METHODS:A comparative retrospective study was carried out based on routine malaria surveillance data collected from 2013 to 2017. All imported malaria cases reported within the mainland of China were included. Variables used in the comparative analysis between cases in former endemic and former non-endemic areas, included age, gender and occupation, destination of overseas travel, Plasmodium species and patient health outcome. Monthly aggregated data was used to compare seasonal and spatial characteristics. Geographical distribution and spatial-temporal aggregation analyses were conducted. Time to diagnosis and report, method of diagnosis, and level of reporting/diagnosing health facilities were used to assess performance of health facilities. RESULTS:A total of 16 733 malaria cases, out of which 90 were fatal, were recorded in 31 provinces. The majority of cases (96.2%) were reported from former malaria endemic areas while 3.8% were reported from former non-malaria endemic areas. Patients in the age class from 19 to 59 years and males made the highest proportion of cases in both areas. There were significant differences between occupational categories in the two areas (P < 0.001). In former endemic areas, the largest proportion of cases was among outdoor workers (80%). Two peaks (June, January) and three peaks (June, September and January) were found in former endemic and former non-endemic areas, respectively. Time between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis at clinics was significantly different between the two areas at different level of health facilities (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:All the former non-endemic areas are now reporting imported malaria cases. However, the largest proportion of imported cases is still reported from former endemic areas. Health facilities in former endemic areas outperformed those in former non-endemic areas. Information, treatment, and surveillance must be provided for expatriates while capacity building and continuous training must be implemented at health facilities in China.
Project description:Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is an infectious disease due to a protozoa parasite of the Trypanosoma genus. In West and Central Africa, this disease is caused by the subspecies Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. Several foci of this disease are currently active and causing the death of hundreds of people in endemic areas. In this article, we report two cases of gambiense HAT in one Indonesian and one Gabonese men in two historical foci of Gabon in 2019. Both patients had fever with temperatures above 38°C, an altered state of consciousness, cachexia, and multiple dermabrasions on the abdomen related to scratching lesions. The diagnostic revealed second-stage infection of both patients with T. b. gambiense; this result was confirmed by a polymerase chain reaction assay. Despite treatment with a combination of eflornithine and nifurtimox, as recommended by the World Health Organization for late-stage T. b. gambiense HAT, one of the two patients died. Thus, these cases highlight the importance of early HAT diagnosis and prompt patient care to fight effectively against this disease.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), a lethal disease induced by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, has a range of clinical outcomes in its human host in West Africa: an acute form progressing rapidly to second stage, spontaneous self-cure and individuals able to regulate parasitaemia at very low levels, have all been reported from endemic foci. In order to test if this clinical diversity is influenced by host genetic determinants, the association between candidate gene polymorphisms and HAT outcome was investigated in populations from HAT active foci in Guinea.<br><br><b>Methodology and results: </b>Samples were collected from 425 individuals; comprising of 232 HAT cases, 79 subjects with long lasting positive and specific serology but negative parasitology and 114 endemic controls. Genotypes of 28 SNPs in eight genes passed quality control and were used for an association analysis. IL6 rs1818879 allele A (p = 0.0001, OR = 0.39, CI95 = [0.24-0.63], BONF = 0.0034) was associated with a lower risk of progressing from latent infection to active disease. MIF rs36086171 allele G seemed to be associated with an increased risk (p = 0.0239, OR = 1.65, CI95 = [1.07-2.53], BONF = 0.6697) but did not remain significant after Bonferroni correction. Similarly MIF rs12483859 C allele seems be associated with latent infections (p = 0.0077, OR = 1.86, CI95 = [1.18-2.95], BONF = 0.2157). We confirmed earlier observations that APOL1 G2 allele (DEL) (p = 0.0011, OR = 2.70, CI95 = [1.49-4.91], BONF = 0.0301) is associated with a higher risk and APOL1 G1 polymorphism (p = 0.0005, OR = 0.45, CI95 = [0.29-0.70], BONF = 0.0129) with a lower risk of developing HAT. No associations were found with other candidate genes.<br><br><b>Conclusion: </b>Our data show that host genes are involved in modulating Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection outcome in infected individuals from Guinea with IL6 rs1818879 being associated with a lower risk of progressing to active HAT. These results enhance our understanding of host-parasite interactions and, ultimately, may lead to the development of new control tools.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) manifests as an acute form caused by Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (Tbr) and a chronic form caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense (Tbg). Previous studies have suggested a host genetic role in infection outcomes, particularly for APOL1. We have undertaken candidate gene association studies (CGAS) in a Ugandan Tbr and a Tbg HAT endemic area, to determine whether polymorphisms in IL10, IL8, IL4, HLAG, TNFA, TNX4LB, IL6, IFNG, MIF, APOL1, HLAA, IL1B, IL4R, IL12B, IL12R, HP, HPR, and CFH have a role in HAT.<br><br><b>Methodology and results: </b>We included 238 and 202 participants from the Busoga Tbr and Northwest Uganda Tbg endemic areas respectively. Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) genotype data were analysed in the CGAS. The study was powered to find odds ratios > 2 but association testing of the SNPs with HAT yielded no positive associations i.e. none significant after correction for multiple testing. However there was strong evidence for no association with Tbr HAT and APOL1 G2 of the size previously reported in the Kabermaido district of Uganda.<br><br><b>Conclusions/significance: </b>A recent study in the Soroti and Kaberamaido focus in Central Uganda found that the APOL1 G2 allele was strongly associated with protection against Tbr HAT (odds ratio = 0.2, 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.48, p = 0.0001). However, in our study no effect of G2 on Tbr HAT was found, despite being well powered to find a similar sized effect (OR = 0.9281, 95% CI: 0.482 to 1.788, p = 0.8035). It is possible that the G2 allele is protective from Tbr in the Soroti/Kabermaido focus but not in the Iganga district of Busoga, which differ in ethnicity and infection history. Mechanisms underlying HAT infection outcome and virulence are complex and might differ between populations, and likely involve several host, parasite or even environmental factors.
Project description:Trypanosoma brucei gambiense causes human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). Between 1990 and 2015, almost 440000 cases were reported. Large-scale screening of populations at risk, drug donations, and efforts by national and international stakeholders have brought the epidemic under control with <2200 cases in 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the goals of gambiense-HAT elimination as a public health problem for 2020, and of interruption of transmission to humans for 2030. Latent human infections and possible animal reservoirs may challenge these goals. It remains largely unknown whether, and to what extend, they have an impact on gambiense-HAT transmission. We argue that a better understanding of the contribution of human and putative animal reservoirs to gambiense-HAT epidemiology is mandatory to inform elimination strategies.
Project description:N-Myristoyltransferase (NMT) represents a promising drug target within the parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma brucei (T. brucei), the causative agent for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) or sleeping sickness. We have previously validated T. brucei NMT as a promising druggable target for the treatment of HAT in both stages 1 and 2 of the disease. We report on the use of the previously reported DDD85646 (1) as a starting point for the design of a class of potent, brain penetrant inhibitors of T. brucei NMT.