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Appropriate targeting of interventions for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that require innovative and intensified disease management (IDM) requires accurate data on the distribution of these diseases within endemic countries. In most instances however, existing case register data generated through national health management information systems or during programmatic activities do not provide an accurate representation of the true burden of IDM NTDs. This study will pilot a cluster randomized screening and confirmation survey to estimate the burden of IDM NTDs characterised by skin conditions associated with long-term disfigurement and disability. These include: leprosy, Buruli ulcer, yaws and lymphoedema and hydrocele resulting from lymphatic filariasis. The survey is being conducted in one county in Liberia. The protocol involves community-level screening by community health volunteers trained to use photo-based visual aids to recognise changes in the skin that broadly indicates patent infection. All suspected cases will be verified in their homes by local and national experts trained in the diagnosis of skin-presenting NTDs. The survey will generate accurate district-level prevalence estimates of leprosy, yaws, Buruli ulcer and lymphatic filariasis-associated lymphoedema and hydrocele and quantify the total costs and cost per case detected. In addition, results from this protocol will be compared with routinely collected case register data, to better understand how health system records reflect the true disease situation on the ground and quantify unmet need.
This is a cluster randomised trial evaluating the safety of co-administering Azithromycin alongside the new IDA (Ivermectin, Diethylcarbamazine, Albendazole) combination treatment for LF. Treatment will be provided as a single dose Mass Drug Administration (MDA) to the whole community. Communities will be randomised to receive either treatment with IDA and Azithromycin on the same day or separately. Active monitoring for adverse events will be conducted and the frequency of adverse events compared between individuals receiving combined MDA or separate MDA.
Cluster-randomised trial comparing co-administration of Azithromycin/Ivermectin/Albendazole with separate administration of Azithromycin and Ivermectin/Albendazole. The study will be conducted in Beneshangul-Gumuz region, Ethiopia. Within this district, a study group of 8,000 people (in approximately 40 clusters) will receive the azithromycin, ivermectin & albendazole at a single time. A control group of 8,000 people (in approximately 40 clusters) within the same district will receive the current MDA treatment schedule beginning with Ivermectin/Albendazole followed two weeks later with azithromycin. All drug dosing will be in line with standard FMOH and WHO Guidelines for MDA for trachoma and lymphatic filariasis. The study will randomly sort subdistrict communities (Gotes) into the trial arm and the control arm. The study will compare the number of adverse events (AEs) and severe adverse events (SAEs) between the two arms to determine if co-administration is not inferior to the standard treatment. The primary outcome will be to demonstrate the safety of the triple-drug administration as measured by incidence of AEs/SAEs following the MDA.
This study will assess the impact of 2-drug (DA) or 3-drug (IDA) regimens on lymphatic filariasis infection parameters in communities. Parameters measured will include: circulating filarial antigenemia (CFA) assessed with the Filariasis Test Strip (FTS), antifilarial antibodies tested with plasma and microfilaremia (assessed by night blood smears and microscopy).
Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), scabies and soil transmitted helminths (STH) are common neglected tropical diseases affecting the people of Fiji. There is a dedicated LF eradication program supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), however scabies and STH are currently managed on an individual level with symptomatic treatment as required. In an attempt to reduce the prevalence of LF globally, research is being undertaken into alternative, more effective treatment options. A recent study in Papua New Guinea demonstrated a new triple drug therapy (ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine and albendazole) is superior to the currently recommended two drug therapy (diethylcarbamazine and albendazole) used by WHO LF programs in the Pacific. However, adverse events were more frequent. Despite no serious adverse events being observed, it is necessary to conduct further studies to review the safety of this new triple therapy before it can be endorsed as an effective mass drug administration (MDA) regimen for LF in endemic countries. Fiji's burden of LF, that has been recalcitrant to previous MDA with diethylcarbamazine and albendazole, make it an ideal site to obtain further efficacy and safety data of the triple therapy. Ivermectin given to communities as MDA has been proven to be effective in reducing the community prevalence of scabies. What is not known is the effects of one dose versus two doses of ivermectin as MDA. This question will be reviewed within the design of the community randomized study. The prevalence of impetigo in a community is linked to scabies and this will also be reviewed. Ivermectin and albendazole are both effective individually against STH. The effectiveness of this combination of treatment as MDA in Fiji for STH has not been studied. The effectiveness for the individual in the short-term and the community in the longer-term will be reviewed. In addition, the acceptability and feasibility of the new therapy in communities at risk of these three diseases will be reviewed.
Lymphatic filariasis is a neglected tropical disease earmarked for elimination as a public health problem by the year 2020. Since the year 2000, the Global Program for the Elimination of LF has together with endemic countries undertaken preventive chemotherapy in endemic districts to entire at risk populations. In Ghana, treatment of LF is based on the drugs Ivermectin and Albendazole. Remarkable achievements have been made towards the control and elimination of LF in Ghana. However, there remain programmatic and implementation challenges that need to be addressed in order to ensure that the gains made over the last 15 years are sustained. Among these challenges is the persistent transmission of LF in some districts despite more than 10 years of MDA. Furthermore, LF cases have been identified in communities from eight districts, previously considered as non-endemic. The extent of endemicity in these new districts is unknown. In order to achieve the 2020 elimination targets, it is crucial to determine the distribution and infection prevalence of LF in these districts. Evaluating these districts for LF endemicity will help the implementation of appropriate strategies towards achieving the 2020 target. This protocol describes the surveys to be undertaken in Ghana in 3 of these districts. The current standard mapping methodologies of LF have the potential to miss LF endemic villages, due to the focal nature of LF. As such, in order to enhance the chances to detect endemic communities, this survey will use a combination of the WHO EPI cluster survey and current LF mapping protocols. 15 communities will be selected in each district, with 100 survey participants per community. Survey participants will be screened for LF infection using immunological and parasitological methods. Study participants will also be tested for onchocerciasis infection using immunological and parasitological methods in districts where LF and oncho are co-endemic. The information from this survey will be combined with the data on the LF vectors and their infection status in the survey areas and relevant data available at the Ghana Health Service to: 1. determine whether LF intervention strategies are indicated in these three districts, 2. design, as indicated, appropriate intervention strategies to achieve LF elimination in these three districts by 2020 3. inform, if indicated, co-implementation of control, monitoring and evaluation for LF and onchocerciasis in the two onchocerciasis endemic districts 4. extract lessons learnt for the design and implementation of surveys in the other districts currently considered non-endemic but where LF cases have been reported. New rapid diagnostic tests have been developed to assess infection Lf and onchocerciasis infection prevalence at the time of the decision to stop MDA and for surveillance for new infections once MDA has been stopped. These include Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) for antibodies against the W. bancrofti antigen WB123 and the O. volvulus antigen Ov16. These tests still require large scale field validation. Provided additional funding becomes available, this survey will be used to obtain field validation data.