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Demonstration of the Diagnostic Agreement of Capillary and Venous Blood Samples, Using Hepatitis-C Virus SD Bioline© Rapid Test: A Clinic-based Study

Title: Demonstration of the Diagnostic Agreement of Capillary and Venous Blood Samples, Using Hepatitis-C Virus SD Bioline© Rapid Test: A Clinic-based Study Authors: Sun, C; Iwamoto, M; Calzia, A; Sreng, B; Yann, S; Pin, S; Lastrucci, C; Kimchamroeun, S; Dimanche, C; Dousset, JP; Le Paih, M; Balkan, S; Marquardt, T; Carnimeo, V; Lissouba, P; Maman, D; Loarec, A Abstract: Simplifying hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening is a key step in achieving the elimination of HCV as a global public health threat by 2030.

Accelerating the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis: a Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology Commission.

Title: Accelerating the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis: a Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology Commission. Authors: Cooke, GS; Andrieux-Meyer, I; Applegate, TL; Atun, R; Burry, JR; Cheinquer, H; Dusheiko, G; Feld, JJ; Gore, C; Griswold, MG; Hamid, S; Hellard, ME; Hou, J; Howell, J; Jia, J; Kravchenko, N; Lazarus, JV; Lemoine, M; Lesi, OA; Maistat, L; McMahon, BJ; Razavi, H; Roberts, TR; Simmons, B; Sonderup, MW; Spearman, WC; Taylor, BE; Thomas, DL; Waked, I; Ward, JW; Wiktor, SZ Abstract: Viral hepatitis is a major public health threat and a leading cause of death worldwide. Annual mortality from viral hepatitis is similar to that of other major infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis. Highly effective prevention measures and treatments have made the global elimination of viral hepatitis a realistic goal, endorsed by all WHO member states. Ambitious targets call for a global reduction in hepatitis-related mortality of 65% and a 90% reduction in new infections by 2030. This Commission draws together a wide range of expertise to appraise the current global situation and to identify priorities globally, regionally, and nationally needed to accelerate progress. We identify 20 heavily burdened countries that account for over 75% of the global burden of viral hepatitis. Key recommendations include a greater focus on national progress towards elimination with support given, if necessary, through innovative financing measures to ensure elimination programmes are fully funded by 2020. In addition to further measures to improve access to vaccination and treatment, greater attention needs to be paid to access to affordable, high-quality diagnostics if testing is to reach the levels needed to achieve elimination goals. Simplified, decentralised models of care removing requirements for specialised prescribing will be required to reach those in need, together with sustained efforts to tackle stigma and discrimination. We identify key examples of the progress that has already been made in many countries throughout the world, demonstrating that sustained and coordinated efforts can be successful in achieving the WHO elimination goals.

Post-traumatic osteomyelitis in Middle East war-wounded civilians: resistance to first-line antibiotics in selected bacteria over the decade 2006-2016.

Title: Post-traumatic osteomyelitis in Middle East war-wounded civilians: resistance to first-line antibiotics in selected bacteria over the decade 2006-2016. Authors: Fily, F; Ronat, JB; Malou, N; Kanapathipillai, R; Seguin, C; Hussein, N; Fakhri, RM; Langendorf, C Abstract: War-wounded civilians in Middle East countries are at risk of post-traumatic osteomyelitis (PTO). We aimed to describe and compare the bacterial etiology and proportion of first-line antibiotics resistant bacteria (FLAR) among PTO cases in civilians from Syria, Iraq and Yemen admitted to the reconstructive surgical program of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Amman, Jordan, and to identify risk factors for developing PTO with FLAR bacteria.

A Randomized Trial of AmBisome Monotherapy and AmBisome and Miltefosine Combination to Treat Visceral leishmaniasis in HIV Co-infected Patients in Ethiopia

Title: A Randomized Trial of AmBisome Monotherapy and AmBisome and Miltefosine Combination to Treat Visceral leishmaniasis in HIV Co-infected Patients in Ethiopia Authors: Diro, E; Blesson, S; Edwards, T; Ritmeijer, K; Fikre, H; Admassu, H; Kibret, A; Ellis, SJ; Bardonneau, C; Zijlstra, EE; Soipei, P; Mutinda, B; Omollo, R; Kimutai, R; Omwalo, G; Wasunna, M; Tadesse, F; Alves, F; Strub-Wourgaft, N; Hailu, A; Alexander, N; Alvar, J Abstract: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infected patients requires special case management. AmBisome monotherapy at 40 mg/kg is recommended by the World Health Organization. The objective of the study was to assess if a combination of a lower dose of AmBisome with miltefosine would show acceptable efficacy at the end of treatment.

'I saw it as a second chance': A qualitative exploration of experiences of treatment failure and regimen change among people living with HIV on second- and third-line antiretroviral therapy in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique

Title: 'I saw it as a second chance': A qualitative exploration of experiences of treatment failure and regimen change among people living with HIV on second- and third-line antiretroviral therapy in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique Authors: Burns, R; Borges, J; Blasco, P; Vandenbulcke, A; Mukui, I; Magalasi, D; Molfino, L; Manuel, R; Schramm, B; Wringe, A Abstract: Increasing numbers of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing failure of first-line antiretroviral therapy and transitioning onto second-line regimens. However, there is a dearth of research on their treatment experiences. We conducted in-depth interviews with 43 PLHIV on second- or third-line antiretroviral therapy and 15 HIV health workers in Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique to explore patients' and health workers' perspectives on these transitions. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and translated into English. Data were coded inductively and analysed thematically. In all settings, experiences of treatment failure and associated episodes of ill-health disrupted daily social and economic activities, and recalled earlier fears of dying from HIV. Transitioning onto more effective regimens often represented a second (or third) chance to (re-)engage with HIV care, with patients prioritising their health over other aspects of their lives. However, many patients struggled to maintain these transformations, particularly when faced with persistent social challenges to pill-taking, alongside the burden of more complex regimens and an inability to mobilise sufficient resources to accommodate change. Efforts to identify treatment failure and support regimen change must account for these patients' unique illness and treatment histories, and interventions should incorporate tailored counselling and social and economic support. Abbreviations: ART: Antiretroviral therapy; HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus; IDI: In-depth interview; MSF: Médecins Sans Frontières; PLHIV: People living with HIV.

Access to Care for Non-Communicable Diseases in Mosul, Iraq Between 2014 and 2017: A Rapid Qualitative Study.

Title: Access to Care for Non-Communicable Diseases in Mosul, Iraq Between 2014 and 2017: A Rapid Qualitative Study. Authors: Baxter, LM; Eldin, MS; Al Mohammed, A; Saim, M; Checchi, F Abstract: During June 2014 to April 2017, the population of Mosul, Iraq lived in a state of increasing isolation from the rest of Iraq due to the city's occupation by the Islamic State group. As part of a study to develop a generalisable method for estimating the excess burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in conflict-affected settings, in April-May 2017 we conducted a brief qualitative study of self-reported care for NCDs among 15 adult patients who had fled Mosul and presented to Médecins Sans Frontières clinics in the Kurdistan region with hypertension and/or diabetes. Participants reported consistent barriers to NCD care during the so-called Islamic State period, including drug shortages, insecurity and inability to afford privately sold medication. Coping strategies included drug rationing. By 2016, all patients had completely or partially lost access to care. Though limited, this study suggests a profound effect of the conflict on NCD burden.

Real-Time PCR for the Evaluation of Treatment Response in Clinical Trials of Adult Chronic Chagas Disease: Usefulness of Serial Blood Sampling and qPCR Replicates

Title: Real-Time PCR for the Evaluation of Treatment Response in Clinical Trials of Adult Chronic Chagas Disease: Usefulness of Serial Blood Sampling and qPCR Replicates Authors: Parrado, R; Ramirez, JC; de la Barra, A; Alonso-Vega, C; Juiz, N; Ortiz, L; Illanes, D; Torrico, F; Gascon, J; Alves, F; Flevaud, L; Garcia, L; Schijman, AG; Ribeiro, I Abstract: This work evaluated a serial blood sampling procedure to enhance the sensitivity of duplex real-time PCR (qPCR) for baseline detection and quantification of parasitic loads and post-treatment identification of failure in the context of clinical trials for treatment of chronic Chagas disease, namely DNDi-CH-E1224-001 (NCT01489228) and MSF-DNDi PCR sampling optimization study (NCT01678599). Patients from Cochabamba (N= 294), Tarija (N= 257), and Aiquile (N= 220) were enrolled. Three serial blood samples were collected at each time-point and qPCR triplicates were tested per sample. The first two samples were collected during the same day and the third one seven days later.A patient was considered PCR positive if at least one qPCR replicate was detectable. Cumulative results of multiple samples and qPCR replicates enhanced the proportion of pre-treatment sample positivity from 54.8 to 76.2%, 59.5 to 77.8%, and 73.5 to 90.2% in Cochabamba, Tarija, and Aiquile cohorts, respectively. This strategy increased the detection of treatment failure from 72.9 to 91.7%, 77.8 to 88.9%, and 42.9 to 69.1% for E1224 low, short, and high dosage regimens, respectively; and from 4.6 to 15.9% and 9.5 to 32.1% for the benznidazole arm in the DNDi-CH-E1224-001 and MSF-DNDi studies, respectively. The addition of the third blood sample and third qPCR replicate in patients with non-detectable PCR results in the first two samples, gave a small, non-statistically significant improvement in qPCR positivity. No change in clinical sensitivity was seen with a blood volume increase from 5 to 10 ml. The monitoring of patients treated with placebo in the DNDi-CH-E1224-001 trial revealed fluctuations in parasitic loads and occasional non-detectable results. In conclusion, serial sampling strategy enhanced PCR sensitivity to detecting treatment failure during follow-up and has the potential for improving recruitment capacity in Chagas disease trials, which require an initial positive qPCR result for patient admission.

Perceptions of Healthcare-Associated Infection and Antibiotic Resistance among Physicians Treating Syrian Patients with War-Related Injuries

Title: Perceptions of Healthcare-Associated Infection and Antibiotic Resistance among Physicians Treating Syrian Patients with War-Related Injuries Authors: Älgå, A; Karlow Herzog, K; Alrawashdeh, M; Wong, S; Khankeh, H; Stålsby Lundborg, C Abstract: Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) constitute a major contributor to morbidity and mortality worldwide, with a greater burden on low- and middle-income countries. War-related injuries generally lead to large tissue defects, with a high risk of infection. The aim of this study was to explore how physicians in a middle-income country in an emergency setting perceive HAI and antibiotic resistance (ABR). Ten physicians at a Jordanian hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières were interviewed face-to-face. The recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by qualitative content analysis with an inductive and deductive approach. The participants acknowledged risk factors of HAI and ABR development, such as patient behavior, high numbers of injured patients, limited space, and non-compliance with hygiene protocols, but did not express a sense of urgency or any course of action. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics were reported as main contributors to ABR development, but participants expressed no direct interrelationship between ABR and HAI. We conclude that due to high patient load and limited resources, physicians do not see HAI as a problem they can prioritize. The knowledge gained by this study could provide insights for the allocation of resources and development of hygiene and wound treatment protocols in resource-limited settings.

Oral cholera vaccination in hard-to-reach communities, Lake Chilwa, Malawi

Title: Oral cholera vaccination in hard-to-reach communities, Lake Chilwa, Malawi Authors: Grandesso, F; Rafael, F; Chipeta, S; Alley, I; Saussier, C; Nogareda, F; Burns, M; Lechevalier, P; Page, AL; Salumu, L; Pezzoli, L; Mwesawina, M; Cavailler, P; Mengel, M; Luquero, FJ; Cohuet, S Abstract: To evaluate vaccination coverage, identify reasons for non-vaccination and assess satisfaction with two innovative strategies for distributing second doses in an oral cholera vaccine campaign in 2016 in Lake Chilwa, Malawi, in response to a cholera outbreak.

Extremely Low Hepatitis C prevalence among HIV co-infected individuals in 4 countries in sub-Saharan Africa

Title: Extremely Low Hepatitis C prevalence among HIV co-infected individuals in 4 countries in sub-Saharan Africa Authors: Loarec, A; Carnimeo, V; Molfino, L; Kizito, W; Muyindike, W; Andrieux-Meyer, I; Balkan, S; Nzomukunda, Y; Mwanga-Amumpaire, J; Ousley, J; Bygrave, H; Maman, D Abstract: : A multicentric, retrospective case-series analysis (facility-based) in five sites across Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda screened HIV-positive adults for hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies using Oraquick rapid testing and viral confirmation (in three sites). Results found substantially lower prevalence than previously reported for these countries compared with previous reports, suggesting that targeted integration of HCV screening in African HIV programs may be more impactful than routine screening.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0.

Field suitability and diagnostic accuracy of the Biocentric open real-time PCR platform for plasma-based HIV viral load quantification in Swaziland

Title: Field suitability and diagnostic accuracy of the Biocentric open real-time PCR platform for plasma-based HIV viral load quantification in Swaziland Authors: Kerschberger, B; Mpala, Q; Uribe, PAD; Maphalala, G; de la Tour, R; Kalombola, S; Bekele, A; Chawinga, T; Mliba, M; Ntshalintshali, N; Phugwayo, N; Kabore, SM; Goiri, J; Dlamini, S; Ciglenecki, I; Fajardo, E Abstract: Viral load (VL) testing is being scaled up in resource-limited settings. However, not all commercially available VL testing methods have been evaluated under field conditions. This study is one of a few to evaluate the Biocentric platform for VL quantification in routine practice in Sub-Saharan Africa.