Date: 
09/08/2014
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Robust reference values for fecal egg count reduction (FECR) rates of the most widely used anthelmintic drugs in preventive chemotherapy (PC) programs for controlling soil-transmitted helminths (STHs; Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworm) are still lacking. However, they are urgently needed to ensure detection of reduced efficacies that are predicted to occur due to growing drug pressure. Here, using a standardized methodology, we assessed the FECR rate of a single oral dose of mebendazole (MEB; 500 mg) against STHs in six trials in school children in different locations around the world. Our results are compared with those previously obtained for similarly conducted trials of a single oral dose of albendazole (ALB; 400 mg).

METHODOLOGY:

The efficacy of MEB, as assessed by FECR, was determined in six trials involving 5,830 school children in Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, United Republic of Tanzania, and Vietnam. The efficacy of MEB was compared to that of ALB as previously assessed in 8,841 school children in India and all the above-mentioned study sites, using identical methodologies.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

The estimated FECR rate [95% confidence interval] of MEB was highest for A. lumbricoides (97.6% [95.8; 99.5]), followed by hookworm (79.6% [71.0; 88.3]). For T. trichiura, the estimated FECR rate was 63.1% [51.6; 74.6]. Compared to MEB, ALB was significantly more efficacious against hookworm (96.2% [91.1; 100], p<0.001) and only marginally, although significantly, better against A. lumbricoides infections (99.9% [99.0; 100], p = 0.012), but equally efficacious for T. trichiura infections (64.5% [44.4; 84.7], p = 0.906).

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

A minimum FECR rate of 95% for A. lumbricoides, 70% for hookworm, and 50% for T. trichiura is expected in MEB-dependent PC programs. Lower FECR results may indicate the development of potential drug resistance.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01087099 NCT01379326.

Date: 
01/12/2014

Abstract

Dogs are considered the main mammal reservoir of Trypanosoma cruzi in domiciliary environments. Consequently, accurate detection of T. cruzi infection in canine populations is epidemiologically relevant. Here, we analysed the utility of the T. cruzi recombinant antigens FRA, SAPA, CP1, Ag1 and a SAPA/TSSA VI mixture, in an ELISA format. We used a positive control group of sera obtained from 38 dogs from the Chaco region in Argentina with positive homogenate-ELISA reaction, all of them also positive by xenodiagnosis and/or PCR. The negative group included 19 dogs from a nonendemic area. Sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating charactheristic (ROC) curve and Kappa index were obtained to compare the diagnostic efficiency of the tests. The SAPA/TSSA VI had the highest performance, with a sensitivity of 94.7% and an AUC ROC of 0.99 that indicates high accuracy. Among individual antigens, SAPA-ELISA yielded the highest sensitivity (86.8%) and AUC ROC (0.96), whereas FRA-ELISA was the least efficient test (sensitivity = 36.8%; AUC ROC = 0.53). Our results showed that the use of SAPA/TSSA VI in ELISAs could be a useful tool to study dogs naturally infected with T. cruzi in endemic areas.

Date: 
01/01/2014
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

A systematic review of surveys performed between 1980 and 2011 (published in MEDLINE/Pubmed and/or LILACS indexed journals, available in the baseline data from a Mass Deworming National Program (MDNP, 2005) was used to identify the prevalence, distribution and detection of risk areas for soil transmitted helminth infections (STH) in Argentina. We found 310 publications in the database using the pre-defined key-words (medical subject headings) for research purposes. Only 24 articles with 26 surveillance sites in 8 provinces and a total of 5495 surveyed individuals fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Frequency rates for STH had a wide range: Ascaris lumbricoides: 0-67%, hookworms: 0-90%, Trichuris trichiura: 0-24.6 and Strongyloides stercoralis: 0-83%. The estimated combined incidence varied from 0.8% to 88.6%. Baseline surveys from the MDNP reporting on 1943 children from 12 provinces confirmed the heterogeneity, with combined STH frequency rates ranging from 0 to 42.7%. Surveys included in this review showed that the distribution of STH in Argentina is not homogeneous, with areas of high incidence (> 20%) in the northeastern and northwestern provinces where mass deworming activities would be highly beneficial. In several surveys, the high overall incidence was mostly due to hookworms and S. stercoralis, a situation to be considered when selecting diagnostic and therapeutic control strategies. The scarcity or absence of data from various provinces and the availability of less than 8000 surveyed individuals should be considered.

Date: 
09/01/2014
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The diagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis (S. stercoralis) infection is hampered by the suboptimal sensitivity of fecal-based tests. Serological methods are believed to be more sensitive, although assessing their accuracy is difficult because of the lack of sensitivity of a fecal-based reference ("gold") standard.

METHODS:

The sensitivity and specificity of 5 serologic tests for S. stercoralis (in-house IFAT, NIE-ELISA and NIE-LIPS and the commercially available Bordier-ELISA and IVD-ELISA) were assessed on 399 cryopreserved serum samples. Accuracy was measured using fecal results as the primary reference standard, but also using a composite reference standard (based on a combination of tests).

RESULTS:

According to the latter standard, the most sensitive test was IFAT, with 94.6% sensitivity (91.2-96.9), followed by IVD-ELISA (92.3%, 87.7-96.9). The most specific test was NIE-LIPS, with specificity 99.6% (98.9-100), followed by IVD-ELISA (97.4%, 95.5-99.3). NIE-LIPS did not cross-react with any of the specimens from subjects with other parasitic infections. NIE-LIPS and the two commercial ELISAs approach 100% specificity at a cut off level that maintains ≥70% sensitivity.

CONCLUSIONS:

NIE-LIPS is the most accurate serologic test for the diagnosis of S. stercoralis infection. IFAT and each of the ELISA tests are sufficiently accurate, above a given cut off, for diagnosis, prevalence studies and inclusion in clinical trials.

Date: 
01/03/2014
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) is a group of zoonotic diseases caused by kinetoplastid flagellates of the genus Leishmania. A total of 66 patients diagnosed as positive ATL cases from northwest Argentina were included in this study. Leishmania stocks were isolated in vitro and analyzed over promastigote cultures sown on FTA through nested PCR and sequence of cytochrome b (cyt b). The molecular analysis resulted in the incrimination of L. (Viannia) braziliensis as the predominant species in the studied area, identifying two genotypes of L. (V.) braziliensis, 24 cases of Ab-1 cyt b and 41 cases of Ab-2 cyt b. One L. (V.) guyanensis strain was obtained from a traveler from the Brazilian Amazon. The prevalence of different genotypes was in agreement with previous studies, suggesting the necessity for new systems to study the genetic diversity in more detail. Most of the cases typified in this study were registered in the area of Zenta Valley (Orán, Hipólito Yrigoyen, and Pichanal cities), pointing a link between genotype and geographical origin of the sample. Sex and age distribution of the patients indicate that the transmission was predominantly associated with rural areas or rural activities, although the results might not exclude the possibility of peri-urban transmission. This work represents, so far, the largest isolation and molecular characterization of ATL cases in Argentina.

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