Onchocerciasis and epilepsy: a matched case-control study in the Central African Republic.
The occurrence of epileptic seizures during onchocercal infestation has been suspected. Epidemiologic studies are necessary to confirm the relation between onchocerciasis and epilepsy. A matched case-control study was conducted in dispensaries of three northwestern towns of the Central African Republic. Each epileptic case was matched against two nonepileptic controls on the six criteria of sex, age (+/-5 years), residence, treatment with ivermectin, date of last ivermectin dose, and the number of ivermectin doses. Onchocerciasis was defined as at least one microfilaria observed in iliac crest skin snip biopsy. A total of 561 subjects (187 cases and 374 controls) were included in the study. Of the epileptics, 39.6% had onchocerciasis, as did 35.8% of the controls. The mean dermal microfilarial load was 26 microfilariae per mg of skin (standard deviation, 42) in the epileptics and 24 microfilariae per mg of skin (standard deviation, 48) in the controls. This matched case-control study found some relation (odds ratio = 1.21, 95% confidence interval 0.81-1.80), although it was nonstatistically significant. (+info)
Predictors of correct treatment of children with fever seen at outpatient health facilities in the Central African Republic.
To identify factors associated with improved performance of health care workers who treat ill children in developing countries, the authors analyzed a sample of consultations of children with malaria (defined as any fever) from a national health facility survey conducted in the Central African Republic from December 1995 to January 1996. Twenty-eight health care workers and 204 children were studied. A univariate analysis revealed the following significant predictors of correct treatment, as defined by the Central African malaria control program: high fever (odds ratio (OR) = 3.25, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.47, 7.17); correct health care worker diagnosis (OR = 2.59, 95% CI: 1.39, 4.85); and the caregiver's reporting the child's fever to the health care worker (OR = 2.18, 95% CI: 1.32, 3.62). There was an unexpected inverse association between the presence of a fever treatment chart and correct treatment (OR = 0.19, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.91). Correct treatment was marginally associated with a longer consultation time (p value for trend = 0.058). Neither in-service training in the treatment of fever nor supervision was significantly associated with correct treatment. For child health programs to improve, targeted studies are needed to understand which factors, alone or in combination, improve health care worker performance. (+info)
Interactions between herpes simplex virus type 2 and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection in African women: opportunities for intervention.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are cofactors for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission, but the specific role of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is unclear. This study aimed to examine the in vivo relationships between HSV-2 and HIV-1 in 300 women in Bangui, Central African Republic. Sera were tested for syphilis, HIV-1, HSV-2 antibody, and levels of vitamins A and E. Genital specimens were tested for other STDs. HSV-2 DNA and HIV-1 RNA were quantified in cervicovaginal lavage. The prevalences of HSV-2 antibody (91% vs. 78%, P=.02), HSV-2 shedding (43% vs. 22%, P=. 003), and levels of HSV-2 DNA (P=.01) were all significantly higher among HIV-1-seropositive than among HIV-1-seronegative women. There was a significant correlation between genital HIV-1 RNA and HSV-2 DNA levels (P=.02) among the 23 women who were shedding HSV-2 DNA. If confirmed, such associations highlight the urgent need for HSV-2 control measures in populations at high risk of both infections. (+info)
Aetiology of urethral discharge in Bangui, Central African Republic.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the aetiology of urethritis in Bangui, Central African Republic. METHODS: 410 men presenting with urethral discharge and 100 asymptomatic controls were enrolled. Urethral swabs were obtained and processed by gonococcal culture and polymerase chain reaction for the detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Ureaplasma urealyticum. RESULTS: In multivariate analyses, M genitalium and C trachomatis were significantly associated with urethral discharge when comparing cases of non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) with controls. T vaginalis was also more common in cases than in controls, but this reached statistical significance only among cases in whom N gonorrhoeae was also detected. U urealyticum was not associated with urethritis. The gonococcus was found in 69% of cases of urethral discharge. M genitalium was the predominant pathogen in patients with NGU, being found in 42% (53/127) of such patients while C trachomatis was found in only 17% (22/127). T vaginalis was found in 18% (23/127) of patients with NGU, but also in 15% (43/283) of patients with gonococcal urethritis, and two thirds of patients with T vaginalis also had the gonococcus. Multiple infections were common. M genitalium caused a syndrome similar to chlamydial urethritis, with a less severe inflammation than in gonococcal infection. No behavioural or clinical characteristic could discriminate between the various aetiological agents. CONCLUSIONS: M genitalium is more prevalent than C trachomatis and is the most common cause of NGU in BANGUI: It causes a syndrome similar to chlamydial urethritis. T vaginalis is weakly associated with urethritis, and is often found along with other pathogens. (+info)
Sleeping sickness surveillance: an essential step towards elimination.
In the last decades, with little or no surveillance sleeping sickness has returned to alarming levels comparable to the early twentieth century. Sixty million people are considered at risk but only 3-4 million are under surveillance, yielding some 45 000 new cases annually. It is estimated that at least 300 000-500 000 people are presently infected. Despite the almost universal presence of the vector in sub-Saharan Africa and the existence of an animal parasite reservoir, it is technically feasible to control and eliminate the disease as a public health problem. The authors describe, step-by-step, a surveillance method based on the epidemiological status of the village and using several approaches ranging from passive to active surveillance. Co-ordinated by the WHO, such surveillance has been incepted in several countries. Epidemiological data is spatially linked to the village, whose geographical co-ordinates are collected using a Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Information is transmitted to WHO through internet. Data analysis and mapping is carried out using Geographical Information System (GIS) software and thematic maps are generated to illustrate epidemiological status. Examples from Central African Republic (CAR), Cameroon and Gabon illustrate the process and mapping. (+info)
Chronic diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic-uremic syndrome associated with HEp-2 adherent Escherichia coli in adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus in Bangui, Central African Republic.
In human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adults from the Central African Republic, the occurrence of chronic diarrhea due to HEp-2 adherent Escherichia coli (EAEC) harboring virulence markers (eaeA, BFP, EAF, astA determinant of EAST/1, positive FAS test, enteropathogenic E. coli O serogroup) was shown to be associated with AIDS. We also show that EAEC that produce verotoxin (Stx2) but do not harbor the genetic markers for classical enterohemorrhagic E. coli are involved in hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome in patients with HIV. (+info)
Tetanus toxoid coverage as an indicator of serological protection against neonatal tetanus.
OBJECTIVE: A Multiple-Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) was conducted at mid-decade in more than 60 developing countries to measure progress towards the year 2000 World Summit for Children goals. These goals included the protection of at least 90% of children against neonatal tetanus through the immunization of their mothers, as measured by tetanus toxoid (TT) coverage. In the Central African Republic (CAR), serological testing was added to the MICS to understand better the relationship between survey estimates of TT coverage and the prevalence of serological protection. METHODS: In the CAR MICS, mothers of children younger than one year of age gave verbal histories of the TT vaccinations they had received, using the MICS TT questionnaire. A subsample of mothers was tested for tetanus antitoxin, using a double-antigen enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA). Seropositivity was defined as a titre of > or =0.01 IU/ml, and TT coverage was defined as the proportion of mothers protected at delivery, according to their history of TT vaccinations. FINDINGS: Among the 222 mothers in the subsample, weighted TT coverage was 74.4% (95% Confidence Interval (CI); 67.0% - 81.7%) and tetanus antitoxin seroprevalence was 88.7% (95% CI; 83.2% - 94.2%). The weighted median antitoxin titre was 0.35 IU/ml. CONCLUSIONS: Tetanus toxoid coverage in the CAR was lower than the prevalence of serological protection against neonatal tetanus. If this relationship holds for other countries, TT coverage estimates from the MICS may underestimate the extent to which the year 2000 goal for protecting children against neonatal tetanus was reached. We also showed that a high level of serological protection had been achieved in a country facing major public health challenges and resource constraints. (+info)
Evaluation of the micro-CATT, CATT/Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, and LATEX/T b gambiense methods for serodiagnosis and surveillance of human African trypanosomiasis in West and Central Africa.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance of serological tests using dried blood on filter-papers (micro-card agglutination test for trypanosomiasis (micro-CATT)) performed under field and laboratory conditions and using whole blood ((CATT/T.b. gambiense) (wb-CATT) and latex agglutination (LATEX/T.b. gambiense) (wb-LATEX)) for the serodiagnosis and surveillance of human African trypanosomiasis in West and Central Africa. METHODS: We evaluated the micro-CATT, wb-CATT and wb-LATEX methods in Cote d'Ivoire and the Central African Republic by screening 940 people. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated for each serological test; only patients with the confirmed presence of trypanosomes in the blood or lymph aspirate were considered true positives. Positive and negative predictive values were also calculated. FINDINGS: Each of the tests showed a lower sensitivity in the Central African Republic than in Cote d'Ivoire. CONCLUSION: The results confirmed the efficiency of the classic wb-CATT to detect sleeping sickness patients. The micro-CATT method can be used for human African trypanosomiasis surveillance if the test is performed on the same day as the blood collection, or if samples are stored at 4 degrees C. Otherwise, micro-CATT can be used when absolute sensitivity is not required. wb-LATEX should only be used for high-specificity screening. (+info)