Recent Cholera Publications on PubMed
Low Prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections among Children in the States of Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh, India, 2018
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2023 Aug 21:tpmd230072. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.23-0072. Online ahead of print.
Large-scale impact assessments of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) programs are essential for determining the frequency of mass drug administration (MDA). In baseline surveys, the prevalence of STHs in the Indian States of Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh was 80.2% in 2015 and 29.0% in 2016, respectively. In 2018, we estimated the prevalence and intensity of STHs after six rounds of biannual MDA in Chhattisgarh and annual MDA in Himachal Pradesh. We conducted multistage cluster sampling surveys in preschool-age children (PSAC), school-age children (SAC), and adolescent cohorts. Stool samples from 3,033 respondents (PSAC, n = 625; SAC, n = 1,363; adolescents, n = 1,045) in Chhattisgarh and 942 respondents (PSAC, n = 192; SAC, n = 388; adolescents, n = 362) in Himachal Pradesh were examined for presence of STH infection using the Kato-Katz method. The overall cluster-adjusted prevalence in Chhattisgarh was 11.6% among all age groups (95% CI, 5.6-22.4)-an 85.5% reduction in the prevalence since 2015. Prevalence was not significantly different across cohorts (PSAC, 11.0% [95% CI, 5.0-22.6]; SAC, 10.9% [95% CI, 5.2-21.6]; adolescents, 12.8% [95% CI, 6.2-24.5]). Ascaris lumbricoides was the most common helminth, with most infections of light intensity. In Himachal Pradesh, only three STH infections were detected in 2018, resulting in a cluster-adjusted prevalence of 0.3% (95% CI, 0.1-1.7)-a 99.0% reduction in prevalence since 2016. All infections were of light intensity. Both states showed substantial improvements in socioeconomic and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) indicators since the baseline surveys. Extensive reductions in prevalence and intensity are linked to sustained, high deworming coverage, as well as socioeconomic WASH indicators.
Are non-lactose-fermenting <em>Escherichia coli</em> important diarrhoeal pathogens in children and adults?
Access Microbiol. 2023 Jul 12;5(7):acmi000459.v3. doi: 10.1099/acmi.0.000459.v3. eCollection 2023.
INTRODUCTION: Diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) remains one of the major causes of acute diarrhoea episodes in developing countries. The percentage of acute diarrhoea cases caused by DEC is 30-40 % in these countries. Approximately 10% of E. coli isolates obtained from stool specimens have been reported to be non-lactose-fermenting (NLF). The available literature is sparse regarding the pathogenicity of NLF E. coli causing infectious diarrhoea.
AIM: We aimed to elucidate the importance of NLF E. coli in causing diarrhoea in both adults and children by detecting various DEC pathotypes among NLF E. coli in stool samples taken from gastroenteritis cases.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 376 NLF E. coli isolates from 3110 stool samples from diarrhoea/gastroenteritis patients were included in the study. Up to three NLF colonies that were not confirmed as Vibrio cholerae , Aeromonas spp., Salmonella spp. or Shigella spp., but were identified as E. coli using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF), were carefully picked up from each MacConkey agar plate and then meticulously streaked onto freshly prepared, sterilized nutrient agar plates, and biochemical reactions were conducted. Multiplex PCR was conducted for the EAEC, EPEC, ETEC and EHEC pathotypes and PCR for the ipaH gene was conducted for EIEC. The disc diffusion method was used for antibiotic sensitivity testing.
RESULTS: Using multiplex PCR and ipaH PCR, a total of 63 pathotypes of DEC were obtained, with EAEC being the most predominant (n=31) followed by EIEC (n=22), EPEC (n=8) and ETEC (n=2). To further differentiate EIEC from Shigella , additional biochemical tests were performed, including acetate utilization, mucate and salicin fermentation, and aesculin hydrolysis. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) showed that maximum resistance was seen against ciprofloxacin (82.5 %) followed by ampicillin (77.8 %) and cotrimoxazole (68.2 %), and minimum resistance was seen against ertapenem (4.8 %).
CONCLUSION: In our study two pathotypes (EAEC, EIEC) were predominant among NLF E. coli and these were not only important aetiological agents in children, but also in adults. Our study also sheds light on the epidemiology of EIEC, which is one of the most neglected DEC pathotypes, as hardly any microbiological laboratories process NLF E. coli for EIEC.
Tobacco usage in India: A meta-analysis of evidence drawn from regional studies between 2010 and 2022
Trop Med Int Health. 2023 Aug 15. doi: 10.1111/tmi.13924. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: To generate a national and zonal pooled estimate of current tobacco usage (CTU) in any form, as well as stratified gender and tobacco type (smokeless and smoke) specific estimates among the Indian population, utilising evidence from 2010 to 2022.
METHOD: PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, CINAHL and Google Scholar databases were searched for articles on tobacco use among Indian adults published between January 2010 and October 2022. The NIH Quality Assessment Tool was used to assess study quality, and a random-effects inverse-variance method was used to attain a pooled estimate of usage. Heterogeneity was estimated through I2 statistics and prediction intervals, and further subgroup analysis and meta-regression were conducted. A leave-one-out analysis was done to establish the sensitivity of the pooled estimate.
RESULTS: CTU prevalence of any form among the adult Indian population was 35.2% [confidence interval (CI) 25.27-45.92, I2 = 99.7, p < 0.001] between 2010 and 2022 with a wide Prediction interval between 3.19 to 78.74. The regionally drawn estimate for the years 2016-2022 was 44.3% (CI 30.57-58.64, I2 = 99.8, p < 0.01). Highest prevalence was found in the East zone (55.4%) followed by the northeast with 51.8% tobacco consumption. Although residual heterogeneity persisted after subgroup analysis, the variability in estimates showed statistical significance when considering disaggregated estimates across administrative zones and gender-wise consumption. The estimated CTU among males was 54.1%, whereas in females it was 15%. Leave-one-out analysis indicated the findings are reliable and are not dependent on any one study.
CONCLUSION: This review highlights differences in tobacco usage estimates from national-level surveys and regional studies. More regionally representative surveys of tobacco usage to tailormade prevention efforts alongside increased regional efforts improved community-level advocacy and more coordinated and stringent tobacco prevention policy implementation at national and state levels are warranted.
National Hospital-Based Sentinel Surveillance for Cholera in Bangladesh: Epidemiological Results from 2014 to 2021
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2023 Aug 14:tpmd230074. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.23-0074. Online ahead of print.
Despite focusing on cholera burden, epidemiologic studies in Bangladesh tend to be limited in geographic scope. National-level cholera surveillance data can help inform cholera control strategies and assess the effectiveness of preventive measures. Hospital-based sentinel surveillance among patients with suspected diarrhea in different sites across Bangladesh has been conducted since 2014. We selected an age-stratified sample of 20 suspected cholera cases each week from each sentinel site, tested stool for the presence of Vibrio cholerae O1/O139 by culture, and characterized antibiotic susceptibility in a subset of culture-positive isolates. We estimated the odds of being culture positive among suspected cholera cases according to different potential risk factors. From May 4, 2014 through November 30, 2021, we enrolled 51,414 suspected cases from our sentinel surveillance sites. We confirmed V. cholerae O1 in 5.2% of suspected cases through microbiological culture. The highest proportion of confirmed cholera cases was from Chittagong (9.7%) and the lowest was from Rangpur Division (0.9%). Age, number of purges, duration of diarrhea, occupation, and season were the most relevant factors in distinguishing cholera-positive suspected cases from cholera-negative suspected cases. Nationwide surveillance data show that cholera is circulating in Bangladesh and the southern region is more affected than the northern region. Antimicrobial resistance patterns indicate that multidrug resistance (resistance to three or more classes of antibiotics) of V. cholerae O1 could be a major threat in the future. Alignment of these results with Bangladesh's cholera-control program will be the foundation for future research into the efficacy of cholera-control initiatives.
Augmenting progress on the elimination of vertical transmissions of HIV in India: Insights from Spectrum-based HIV burden estimations
PLOS Glob Public Health. 2023 Aug 9;3(8):e0002270. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgph.0002270. eCollection 2023.
The government of India has adopted the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV as one of the five high-level goals under phase V of the National AIDS and STD Control Programme (NACP). In this paper, we present the data from HIV estimations 2021 for India and select States detailing the progress as well as the attributable causes for vertical transmissions. The NACP spearheads work on mathematical modelling to estimate HIV burden based on the periodically conducted sentinel surveillance for guiding program implementation and policymaking. Using the results of the latest round of HIV Estimations in 2021, we analysed the mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) during the perinatal and postnatal (breastfeeding) period. In 2021, overall, around 5,000 [3,000-7,800] vertical transmissions were estimated nationally with 58% being perinatal infections and remaining during breastfeeding. MTCT at 6 weeks was around 12.95% [9.45-16.02] with the final transmission rate at 24.25% [18.50-29.50]. Overall, 57% of vertical transmissions were among HIV-positive mothers who did not receive ART during pregnancy or breastfeeding, 19% among mothers who dropped off ART during pregnancy or delivery, and 18% among mothers who were infected during pregnancy or breastfeeding. There were significant variations between States. Depending upon the States, the programme needs to focus on the intervention domains of timely engagement in antenatal care-HIV testing-ART initiation as well as programme retention and adherence support. Equally important would be strengthening the strategic information to generate related evidence for inputting India and State-specific parameters improving the MTCT-related modelled estimates.
Conducting a phase III clinical trial in children during the COVID- 19 pandemic: Experience and lessons learnt from a clinical research facility of Nepal
Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2023 Aug 1;19(2):2239680. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2023.2239680.
Clinical trials in humans are vital to test safety and efficacy of new interventions and are accompanied with the complexity of related regulatory guidelines, stringent time frame and financial burden particularly when participants are children. Conducting clinical trials in low and middle income countries, where 90% of global diseases occur, increases the complexity as resources, infrastructures, and experience related to clinical trials may be limited in some countries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, due to multiple infection control measures such as social distancing, lock-down of the societies, and increased work load of hospital workers, conducting clinical trials seemed very challenging. Related guidelines and recommendations on clinical trials required updates to adapt the situation for ongoing clinical trials to be continued and new clinical trials to be initiated. In this review report, we described the lessons learnt through our experiences, challenges we faced, and the mitigation measures implemented as a response while conducting a phase III clinical trial on a non-COVID-19 vaccine at a government children's hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this report will contribute in lowering the obstacles to allow the successful completion of future studies, in countries where people live with the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Pan Afr Med J. 2023 Jun 14;45(Suppl 1):6. doi: 10.11604/pamj.supp.2023.45.1.39828. eCollection 2023.
Cholera, an enteric disease caused by Vibrio cholera claims thousands of lives yearly. The disease is a disease of inequality that affect populations which have poor access to safe water and sanitation facilities. Zanzibar, an archipelago in the Indian ocean which is part of the United Republic of Tanzania has been affected by recurrent cholera outbreak for the past decades. A multi-sectoral and multi-year three pillar approach namely Enabling Environment, Prevention and Response, for the elimination of cholera were initiated by the stewardship of the government, engagement of the community and technical and financial support of partners. The approach has enabled Zanzibar to interrupt the recurrent cholera outbreak for the past five years. The analysis of evidences have proven that creating an enabling environment through multi-sectoral involvement, mobilizing communities, intensifying surveillance complemented by the traditional disease prevention and control interventions has resulted to interruption of cholera transmission in the country.
Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2023 Aug 2. doi: 10.1007/s00508-023-02241-0. Online ahead of print.
Vibrio cholerae, an important human pathogen, is naturally occurring in specific aquatic ecosystems. With very few exceptions, only the cholera-toxigenic strains belonging to the serogroups O1 and O139 are responsible for severe cholera outbreaks with epidemic or pandemic potential. All other nontoxigenic, non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae (NTVC) strains may cause various other diseases, such as mild to severe infections of the ears, of the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts as well as wound and bloodstream infections. Older, immunocompromised people and patients with specific preconditions have an elevated risk. In recent years, worldwide reports demonstrated that NTVC infections are on the rise, caused amongst others by elevated water temperatures due to global warming.The aim of this review is to summarize the knowledge gained during the past two decades on V. cholerae infections and its occurrence in bathing waters in Austria, with a special focus on the lake Neusiedler See. We investigated whether NTVC infections have increased and which specific environmental conditions favor the occurrence of NTVC. We present an overview of state of the art methods that are currently available for clinical and environmental diagnostics. A preliminary public health risk assessment concerning NTVC infections related to the Neusiedler See was established. In order to raise awareness of healthcare professionals for NTVC infections, typical symptoms, possible treatment options and the antibiotic resistance status of Austrian NTVC isolates are discussed.
First case report of Cyclosporiasis from eastern India: Incidence of Cyclospora cayetanensis in a patient with unusual diarrheal symptoms
J Infect Dev Ctries. 2023 Jul 27;17(7):1037-1040. doi: 10.3855/jidc.17465.
Cyclospora cayetanensis, a recently described coccidian parasite causes severe gastroenteric disease worldwide. Limited studies are found on the incidence of C. cayetanensis infection from India; hence remains largely unknown. To date, no case of cyclosporiasis from eastern India has been reported. In this study, we described an incidental case of C. cayetanensis in a 30 years old Bengali female patient with no travel history from eastern India. In June 2022, the patient presented with a history of diarrhoea persisting for more than two months with continuous passage foul smelling stools for which she took multiple antibiotics that were ineffective. There were no Salmonella, Shigella, or Vibrio-like organisms in the patient's faecal sample, and Toxin A/B of Clostridium difficile was also not detected by ELISA. The patient was HIV-negative. Finally, UV autofluorescence and DNA-based diagnosis confirmed the presence of C. cayetanensis, and the treatment with a combination of appropriate antibiotics was successful. This case report could raise awareness about C. cayetanensis associated diarrhoeal cases in India.
Population structure and antimicrobial resistance patterns of <em>Salmonella</em> Typhi and Paratyphi A amid a phased municipal vaccination campaign in Navi Mumbai, India
mBio. 2023 Aug 31;14(4):e0117923. doi: 10.1128/mbio.01179-23. Epub 2023 Jul 28.
We performed whole-genome sequencing of 174 Salmonella Typhi and 54 Salmonella Paratyphi A isolates collected through prospective surveillance in the context of a phased typhoid conjugate vaccine introduction in Navi Mumbai, India. We investigate the temporal and geographical patterns of emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. We evaluated the relationship between the spatial distance between households and genetic clustering of isolates. Most isolates were non-susceptible to fluoroquinolones, with nearly 20% containing ≥3 quinolone resistance-determining region mutations. Two H58 isolates carried an IncX3 plasmid containing blaSHV-12, associated with ceftriaxone resistance, suggesting that the ceftriaxone-resistant isolates from India independently evolved on multiple occasions. Among S. Typhi, we identified two main clades circulating (2.2 and 4.3.1 [H58]); 2.2 isolates were closely related following a single introduction around 2007, whereas H58 isolates had been introduced multiple times to the city. Increasing geographic distance between isolates was strongly associated with genetic clustering (odds ratio [OR] = 0.72 per km; 95% credible interval [CrI]: 0.66-0.79). This effect was seen for distances up to 5 km (OR = 0.65 per km; 95% CrI: 0.59-0.73) but not seen for distances beyond 5 km (OR = 1.02 per km; 95% CrI: 0.83-1.26). There was a non-significant reduction in odds of clustering for pairs of isolates in vaccination communities compared with non-vaccination communities or mixed pairs compared with non-vaccination communities. Our findings indicate that S. Typhi was repeatedly introduced into Navi Mumbai and then spread locally, with strong evidence of spatial genetic clustering. In addition to vaccination, local interventions to improve water and sanitation will be critical to interrupt transmission. IMPORTANCE Enteric fever remains a major public health concern in many low- and middle-income countries, as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to emerge. Geographical patterns of typhoidal Salmonella spread, critical to monitoring AMR and planning interventions, are poorly understood. We performed whole-genome sequencing of S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A isolates collected in Navi Mumbai, India before and after a typhoid conjugate vaccine introduction. From timed phylogenies, we found two dominant circulating lineages of S. Typhi in Navi Mumbai-lineage 2.2, which expanded following a single introduction a decade prior, and 4.3.1 (H58), which had been introduced repeatedly from other parts of India, frequently containing "triple mutations" conferring high-level ciprofloxacin resistance. Using Bayesian hierarchical statistical models, we found that spatial distance between cases was strongly associated with genetic clustering at a fine scale (<5 km). Together, these findings suggest that antimicrobial-resistant S. Typhi frequently flows between cities and then spreads highly locally, which may inform surveillance and prevention strategies.
Population-Based Serologic Survey of Vibrio cholerae Antibody Titers before Cholera Outbreak, Haiti, 2022
Emerg Infect Dis. 2023 Sep;29(9):1864-1867. doi: 10.3201/eid2909.230174. Epub 2023 Jul 24.
A Vibrio cholerae O1 outbreak emerged in Haiti in October 2022 after years of cholera absence. In samples from a 2021 serosurvey, we found lower circulating antibodies against V. cholerae lipopolysaccharide in children <5 years of age and no vibriocidal antibodies, suggesting high susceptibility to cholera, especially among young children.
Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2023 Jul;28(3):209.
Antibiotic resistance trends for common bacterial aetiologies of childhood diarrhoea in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review
J Glob Health. 2023 Jul 21;13:04060. doi: 10.7189/jogh.13.04060.
BACKGROUND: Diarrhoea is the second most common cause of death among children under the age of five worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends treating diarrhoea with oral rehydration therapy, intravenous fluids for severe dehydration, and zinc supplements. Antibiotics are only recommended to treat acute, invasive diarrhoea. Rising antibiotic resistance has led to a decrease in the effectiveness of treatments for diarrhoea.
METHODS: A systematic literature review in PubMed, Web of Science, and EMBASE was conducted to identify articles relevant to antibiotic-resistant childhood diarrhoea. Articles in English published between 1990 to 2020 that described antibiotic resistance patterns of common pathogens causing childhood diarrhoea in low- and middle-income countries were included. The studies were limited to papers that categorized children as 0-5 years or 0-10 years old. The proportion of isolates with resistance to major classes of antibiotics stratified by major WHO global regions and time was determined.
RESULTS: Quantitative data were extracted from 44 articles that met screening criteria; most focused on children under five years. Escherichia coli isolates had relatively high resistance rates to ampicillin and tetracycline in the African (AFR), American (AMR), and Eastern Mediterranean Regions (EMR). There was moderate to high resistance to ampicillin and third generation cephalosporins among Salmonella spp in the AFR, EMR, and the Western Pacific Region (WPR). Resistance rates for ampicillin, co-trimoxazole, and chloramphenicol for Shigella in the AFR started at an alarmingly high rate ( ~ 90%) in 2006 and fluctuated over time. There were limited antibiotic resistance data for Aeromonas, Yersinia, and V. cholerae. The 161 isolates of Campylobacter analysed showed initially low rates of fluoroquinolone resistance with high rates of resistance in recent years, especially in the Southeast Asian Region.
CONCLUSIONS: Resistance to inexpensive antibiotics for treatment of invasive diarrhoea in children under ten years is widespread (although data on 6- to 10-year-old children are limited), and resistance rates to fluoroquinolones and later-generation cephalosporins are increasing. A strong regional surveillance system is needed to carefully monitor trends in antibiotic resistance, future studies should include school-aged children, and interventions are needed to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics for the treatment of community-acquired, non-invasive diarrhoea.
REGISTRATION: This systematic review was registered in Prospero (registration number CRD42020204004) in August 2020.
Cholera and COVID-19 pandemic prevention in multiple hotspot districts of Uganda: vaccine coverage, adverse events following immunization and WASH conditions survey
BMC Infect Dis. 2023 Jul 21;23(1):487. doi: 10.1186/s12879-023-08462-y.
BACKGROUND: Between March, 2020 and December, 2021 due to cholera and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemics, there were 1,534 cholera cases with 14 deaths and 136,065 COVID-19 cases with 3,285 deaths reported respectively in Uganda. This study investigated mass vaccination campaigns for the prevention of the two pandemics namely: oral cholera vaccine (OCV) and COVID-19 vaccine coverage; adverse events following immunization (AEFI); barriers and enablers for the vaccine uptake and assessed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions in the six cholera and COVID-19 hotspot districts of Uganda.
METHODS: A household survey was conducted between January and February, 2022 in the six cholera hotspot districts of Uganda which had recently conducted OCV mass vaccination campaigns and had ongoing COVID-19 mass vaccination campaigns. The survey randomly enrolled 900 households with 4,315 persons of whom 2,085 were above 18 years. Data were collected using a data entry application designed in KoBoToolbox and analysed using STATA version 14. Frequencies, percentages, odds ratios, means, confidence intervals and maps were generated and interpreted.
RESULTS: The OCV coverage for dose one and two were 85% (95% CI: 84.2-86.4) and 67% (95% CI: 65.6-68.4) respectively. Among the 4,315 OCV recipients, 2% reported mild AEFI, 0.16% reported moderate AEFI and none reported severe AEFI. The COVID-19 vaccination coverage for dose one and two were 69.8% (95% CI: 67.8-71.8) and 18.8% (95% CI: 17.1-20.5) respectively. Approximately, 23% (478/2,085) of COVID-19 vaccine recipient reported AEFI; most 94% were mild, 0.6% were moderate and 2 cases were severe. The commonest reason for missing COVID-19 vaccine was fear of the side effects. For most districts (5/6), sanitation (latrine/toilet) coverage were low at 7.4%-37.4%.
CONCLUSION: There is high OCV coverage but low COVID-19 vaccine and sanitation coverage with high number of moderate cases of AEFI recorded due to COVID-19 vaccines. The low COVID-19 vaccine coverage could indicate vaccine hesitancy for COVID-19 vaccines. Furthermore, incorporation of WASH conditions assessment in the OCV coverage surveys is recommended for similar settings to generate data for better planning. However, more studies are required on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.
Oral cholera vaccine coverage evaluation survey: Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals and host community in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Front Public Health. 2023 Jul 5;11:1147563. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1147563. eCollection 2023.
INTRODUCTION: Cholera remains a significant public health concern in many parts of the world, particularly in areas with poor sanitation and hygiene. Bangladesh and other impoverished nations have been severely affected by cholera outbreaks, especially in areas with a high population density. In order to mitigate the spread of cholera, oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) are recommended as a prophylactic measure. In May 2018, 775,666 of the Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN) in the registered and makeshift camps and 103,605 of the residents in the host community received two doses of OCV ShancholTM in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, because the conditions in the area favored the transmission of cholera and other waterborne diseases. This study aimed to assess the coverage of OCV among the FDMN and the host community in Cox's Bazar.
METHODS: In August 2018, we enrolled 4,240 respondents for this study following the "World Health Organization (WHO) Vaccination Coverage Cluster Surveys: Reference Manual (2018)." The coverage survey was conducted with three strata of the population: the host community from the Teknaf Upazila, the registered camp, and the makeshift camp from the Ukhia Upazila. We collected information regarding OCV coverage, demographic characteristics, and knowledge and behaviors of people toward the vaccine. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
RESULTS: According to our study, the overall OCV coverage was 85%, with 68% in the host community, 91% in the registered camp, and 98% in the makeshift camp. The lower coverage in the host community was due to residents unaware of the vaccination campaign, the unavailability of vaccines, and unaware where to go for vaccination.
DISCUSSION: Our findings demonstrate that the OCV campaign in the FDMN camps was successful, reaching over 90% coverage, while coverage in the host community was much lower. In order to make sure that OCV vaccination efforts are reaching the target population and having the desired impact, our study emphasizes the need to inform the target population of when and where to get vaccinated.
Ancient <em>Yersinia pestis</em> genomes lack the virulence-associated Ypf<em>Φ</em> prophage present in modern pandemic strains
Proc Biol Sci. 2023 Jul 26;290(2003):20230622. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2023.0622. Epub 2023 Jul 19.
Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of at least three major plague pandemics (Justinianic, Medieval and Modern). Previous studies on ancient Y. pestis genomes revealed that several genomic alterations had occurred approximately 5000-3000 years ago and contributed to the remarkable virulence of this pathogen. How a subset of strains evolved to cause the Modern pandemic is less well-understood. Here, we examined the virulence-associated prophage (YpfΦ), which had been postulated to be exclusively present in the genomes of strains associated with the Modern pandemic. The analysis of two new Y. pestis genomes from medieval/early modern Denmark confirmed that the phage is absent from the genome of strains dating to this time period. An extended comparative genome analysis of over 300 strains spanning more than 5000 years showed that the prophage is found in the genomes of modern strains only and suggests an integration into the genome during recent Y. pestis evolution. The phage-encoded Zot protein showed structural homology to a virulence factor of Vibrio cholerae. Similar to modern Y. pestis, we observed phages with a common origin to YpfΦ in individual strains of other bacterial species. Our findings present an updated view on the prevalence of YpfΦ, which might contribute to our understanding of the host spectrum, geographical spread and virulence of Y. pestis responsible for the Modern pandemic.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health-care delivery system for other diseases and antimicrobial resistance threat in India
Indian J Public Health. 2023 Apr-Jun;67(2):328-330. doi: 10.4103/ijph.ijph_109_23.
India's health-care delivery is challenged with different inequalities and theelivery is challenged with different inequalities and the dual burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases. Lockdown posed negative effects on the growth and economy of the country; simultaneously, some positive effects, like increased health consciousness and adoption of hygienic practices, were also there. Health-care delivery system faced tremendous challenges in diagnostics, therapeutics, infrastructure for inpatient care, and protection of health-care manpower. During this period, people chose to self medicate which in turn increased the threat of emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Due to shifting priority to COVID from other diseases, resources were shifted to COVID, affecting the management of other acute and chronic diseases. The launching of COVID-19 vaccination campaign showed some hope. However, despite the vaccination drive, strengthening infrastructure, and surveillance system, the devastating second wave could not be avoided due to the conglomeration of the crowd for pilgrimage, election campaign, and tourism in an unrestricted manner. It may be concluded that the fourth wave may be short lasting due to increased herd immunity.
A fuzzy inference-based index for piped water supply service quality in a complex, low-income urban setting
Water Res. 2023 Jul 5;243:120316. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2023.120316. Online ahead of print.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 calls for universal access to safely managed drinking water services. We studied the evolution of the water supply service between January 2017 and December 2021 in the town of Uvira (South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo) where large investments were made to improve the water supply infrastructure during this period, including a new 2,000-m3 tank, 56 community taps and 1,191 private taps. Across 16 geographic clusters in the town, we assessed water service accessibility, water quantity, continuity, and affordability, based on data provided by the construction team and the utility. We combined these dimensions into a single index ranging 0-100% according to rules defined using the fuzzy inference Mamdani method. Our results show that despite substantial increases in accessibility (i.e. proportion of households with a private tap or within 200 m of a community tap), overall service quality remained unsatisfactory, with a maximum index value of 38.1%, and worsened in many parts of the town due to limitations of the water production capacity after major flooding events and persistent electricity supply issues. The estimated amount of water supplied per user per day remained under 20 L during >95% of the observation period, with a decreasing trend. Pumps operated 58% of the time on average and the frequency of days without electricity supply increased over time. Our study highlights the important gap between upgrades in water supply infrastructure and improvements in the quality of service. The analysis of potential future scenarios for Uvira indicates that increasing production capacity is priority to improve overall service quality. Our results demonstrate that meeting SDG6 will be challenging in complex urban settings and will not only require sustained investments in water supply infrastructure but also in systems management and in energy supply.