Mortality due to schistosomiasis mansoni: a field study in Sudan.
Although schistosomiasis affects 200 million persons, 20 million of whom have advanced disease, little is known about the mortality pattern in areas of endemic schistosomiasis mansoni. In an attempt to assess the mortality rates in an endemic area in Sudan, we conducted two demographic surveys in a village in the Gezira area. Clinical, sonographic, and parasitologic examinations were performed in a randomly selected sample of 25% of the population in 1987 and 1994. One of us asked each head of household about the names, sex, and age of family members. Particularly, we asked about death in the family if any, history of schistosomiasis, abdominal swelling, and hematemesis. Possible causes of death were ascertained by reviewing medical records in the village dispensary and the district hospital. There were 42 deaths in the village. Four males died of hematemesis secondary to portal fibrosis. The crude mortality rate of schistosomiasis was is 51/100,000/year. The overall schistosomiasis fatality rate per year was 1/1,000 infected persons, but was as high as 11/100/infected patients with bleeding varices. These findings showed the impact of schistosomiasis on public health in this economically important region of Sudan. (+info)
mtDNA analysis of Nile River Valley populations: A genetic corridor or a barrier to migration?
To assess the extent to which the Nile River Valley has been a corridor for human migrations between Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa, we analyzed mtDNA variation in 224 individuals from various locations along the river. Sequences of the first hypervariable segment (HV1) of the mtDNA control region and a polymorphic HpaI site at position 3592 allowed us to designate each mtDNA as being of "northern" or "southern" affiliation. Proportions of northern and southern mtDNA differed significantly between Egypt, Nubia, and the southern Sudan. At slowly evolving sites within HV1, northern-mtDNA diversity was highest in Egypt and lowest in the southern Sudan, and southern-mtDNA diversity was highest in the southern Sudan and lowest in Egypt, indicating that migrations had occurred bidirectionally along the Nile River Valley. Egypt and Nubia have low and similar amounts of divergence for both mtDNA types, which is consistent with historical evidence for long-term interactions between Egypt and Nubia. Spatial autocorrelation analysis demonstrates a smooth gradient of decreasing genetic similarity of mtDNA types as geographic distance between sampling localities increases, strongly suggesting gene flow along the Nile, with no evident barriers. We conclude that these migrations probably occurred within the past few hundred to few thousand years and that the migration from north to south was either earlier or lesser in the extent of gene flow than the migration from south to north. (+info)
Multi-centre evaluation of repeatability and reproducibility of the direct agglutination test for visceral leishmaniasis.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the repeatability and reproducibility of the serological direct agglutination test (DAT) for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) with aqueous antigen in a multi-centre study in VL-endemic areas in Sudan, Kenya and Nepal. METHODS: Repeatability within each centre and reproducibility between the centres' results and an external reference laboratory (Belgium) was assessed on 1596 triplicate plain blood samples collected on filter paper. RESULTS: High kappa values (range 0.86-0.97) indicated excellent DAT repeatability within the centres. The means of the titre differences between the reference laboratory and the centres in Sudan, Kenya and Nepal (2.3, 2.4 and 1.1, respectively, all significantly different from 0) showed weak reproducibility across centres. 95% of the titre differences between the reference laboratory and the respective centres were accounted for by large intervals: 0.6-9 fold titre variation for Sudan, 0.7-8 fold for Kenya and 0.26-4 fold for Nepal. CONCLUSION: High repeatability of DAT confirms its potential, but reproducibility problems remain an obstacle to its routine use in the field. Reproducibility was hindered by alteration of the antigen through temperature and shaking, especially in Kenya and Sudan, and by nonstandardization of the test reading. DAT handling procedures and antigen quality must be carefully standardized and monitored when introducing this test into routine practice. (+info)
Towards a kala azar risk map for Sudan: mapping the potential distribution of Phlebotomus orientalis using digital data of environmental variables.
The need to define the geographical distribution of Phlebotomus orientalis results from its importance as the dominant vector of kala azar (visceral Iceishmaniasis) in Sudan. Recent epidermics of this disease in southern and eastern Sudan caused an estimated 100000 deaths and have renewed the impetus for defining the ecological boundaries of the vector. This information is an essential prerequisite to the production of a risk map for kala azar. This study uses data on the presence and absence of P. orientalis from 44 collecting sites across the central belt of Sudan. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the probability of the presence of P. orientalis at each collecting site as a function of climatic and environmental variables (rainfall; temperature; altitude; soil type and the satellite-derived environmental proxies - Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and Land Surface Temperature). The logistic regression model indicates mean annual maximum daily temperature and soil type as the most important ecological determinants of P. orientalis distribution. An initial risk map was created in a raster-based geographical information system which delineates the area where P. orientalis may occur. This map was then refined using a mask layer indicating the known rainfall-based boundaries of the distribution of Acacia-Balanites woodland - a woodland type known to be associated with the distribution of this vector. The predictive performance of the risk map is discussed. (+info)
Cost-effectiveness analysis of humanitarian relief interventions: visceral leishmaniasis treatment in the Sudan.
Spending by aid agencies on emergencies has quadrupled over the last decade, to over US$6 billion. To date, cost-effectiveness has seldom been considered in the prioritization and evaluation of emergency interventions. The sheer volume of resources spent on humanitarian aid and the chronicity of many humanitarian interventions call for more attention to be paid to the issue of 'value for money'. In this paper we present data from a major humanitarian crisis, an epidemic of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in war-torn Sudan. The special circumstances provided us, in retrospect, with unusually accurate data on excess mortality, costs of the intervention and its effects, thus allowing us to express cost-effectiveness as the cost per Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY) averted. The cost-effectiveness ratio, of US$18.40 per DALY (uncertainty range between US$13.53 and US$27.63), places the treatment of VL in Sudan among health interventions considered 'very good value for money' (interventions of less than US$25 per DALY). We discuss the usefulness of this analysis to the internal management of the VL programme, the procurement of funds for the programme, and more generally, to priority setting in humanitarian relief interventions. We feel that in evaluations of emergency interventions attempts could be made more often to perform cost-effectiveness analyses, including the use of DALYs, provided that the outcomes of these analyses are seen in the broad context of the emergency situation and its consequences on the affected population. This paper provides a first contribution to what is hoped to become an international database of cost-effectiveness studies of health interventions during relief operations, which use a comparable measure of health outcome such as the DALY. (+info)
Latent class analysis permits unbiased estimates of the validity of DAT for the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis.
BACKGROUND: Substantial uncertainty surrounds the specificity of the Direct Agglutination Test (DAT) for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in clinical suspects, since no good gold standard exists for unequivocally identifying diseased subjects. We explored the Latent Class Analysis (LCA) modelling technique to circumvent this problem. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Data on 149 clinical suspects recruited in 1993-96 during a multicentre study in Sudan were re-examined. Clinical data, lymph node and bone marrow aspirate and DAT results were available. IFAT was performed in 1997 on stored filter paper blood of 80 individuals. Classical Validity Analysis (CVA) in a 2 x 2 contingency table with parasitology as a gold standard was compared with the parameter estimates produced by the best fitting LCA model. RESULTS: The sensitivity estimates of DAT produced by CVA (98% (89%-100%)) were almost exactly reproduced by LCA. The specificity estimates by LCA were substantially higher than those obtained in CVA. Specificity of DAT depended, however, on whether the subject was treated for VL before. In subjects without prior treatment, CVA estimated DAT specificity at 68% (56%-79%), whereas LCA estimated it at 85% (63%-100%). CONCLUSION: LCA modelling proved a useful tool, as it gave consistent estimates of test characteristics and allowed for control of confounding factors and interaction effects. Since VL is a life-threatening disease for which expensive but effective and safe treatment exists, a clinical suspect in an endemic area should be treated on the basis of a positive DAT result. (+info)
Severe hepatic fibrosis in Schistosoma mansoni infection is controlled by a major locus that is closely linked to the interferon-gamma receptor gene.
Lethal disease due to hepatic periportal fibrosis occurs in 2%-10% of subjects infected by Schistosoma mansoni in endemic regions such as Sudan. It is unknown why few infected individuals present with severe disease, and inherited factors may play a role in fibrosis development. Schistosoma mansoni infection levels have been shown to be controlled by a locus that maps to chromosome 5q31-q33. To investigate the genetic control of severe hepatic fibrosis (assessed by ultrasound examination) causing portal hypertension, a segregation analysis was performed in 65 Sudanese pedigrees from the same village. Results provide evidence for a codominant major gene, with.16 as the estimated allele A frequency predisposing to advanced periportal fibrosis. For AA males, AA females, and Aa males a 50% penetrance is reached after, respectively, 9, 14, and 19 years of residency in the area, whereas for other subjects the penetrance remains <.02 after 20 years of exposure. Linkage analysis performed in four candidate regions shows that this major locus maps to chromosome 6q22-q23 and that it is closely linked (multipoint LOD score 3.12) to the IFN-gammaR1 gene encoding the receptor of the strongly antifibrogenic cytokine interferon-gamma. These results show that infection levels and advanced hepatic fibrosis in human schistosomiasis are controlled by distinct loci; they suggest that polymorphisms within the IFN-gammaR1 gene could determine severe hepatic disease due to S. mansoni infection and that the IFN-gammaR1 gene is a strong candidate for the control of abnormal fibrosis observed in other diseases. (+info)
Progress toward poliomyelitis eradication during armed conflict--Somalia and southern Sudan, January 1998-June 1999.
In 1988, the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Eastern Mediterranean Region adopted a resolution to eliminate poliomyelitis from the region by 2000. Somalia and parts of southern Sudan have persons living in areas where there is ongoing armed conflict and poor infrastructure (e.g., health-care facilities, schools, roads, and power plants). Under these conditions, conducting National Immunization Days (NIDs) and acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance is difficult. This report summarizes NIDs in Somalia during 1997 and 1998 and in southern Sudan during 1998 and 1999 and establishment of AFP surveillance in northern Somalia and southern Sudan. (+info)