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EXPLORE IDM’S CURRENT RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS

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John M. Marshall, Sean L. Wu, Hector M. Sanchez C., Samson S. Kiware, Micky Ndhlovu, André Lin Ouédraogo, Mahamoudou B. Touré, Hugh J. Sturrock, Azra C. Ghani, Neil M. Ferguson

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

As Africa-wide malaria prevalence declines, an understanding of human movement patterns is essential to inform how best to target interventions. We fitted movement models to trip data from surveys conducted at 3–5 sites throughout each of Mali, Burkina Faso, Zambia and Tanzania. Two models were compared in terms of their ability to predict the observed movement patterns – a gravity model, in which movement rates between pairs of locations increase with population size and decrease with distance, and a radiation model, in which travelers are cumulatively “absorbed” as they move outwards from their origin of travel. The gravity model provided a better fit to the data overall and for travel to large populations, while the radiation model provided a better fit for nearby populations. One strength of the data set was that trips could be categorized according to traveler group – namely, women traveling with children in all survey countries and youth workers in Mali. For gravity models fitted to data specific to these groups, youth workers were found to have a higher travel frequency to large population centers, and women traveling with children a lower frequency. These models may help predict the spatial transmission of malaria parasites and inform strategies to control their spread.

PLOS PATHOGENS

Malaria transmission remains high in Sub-Saharan Africa despite large-scale implementation of malaria control interventions. A comprehensive understanding of the transmissibility of infections to mosquitoes may guide the design of more effective transmission reducing strategies. The impact of P. falciparum sexual stage immunity on the infectious reservoir for malaria has never been studied in natural settings. Repeated measurements were carried out at start-wet, peak-wet and dry season, and provided data on antibody responses against gametocyte/gamete antigens Pfs48/45 and Pfs230 as anti-gametocyte immunity. Data on high and low-density infections and their infectiousness to anopheline mosquitoes were obtained using quantitative molecular methods and mosquito feeding assays, respectively. An event-driven model for P. falciparum sexual stage immunity was developed and fit to data using an agent based malaria model infrastructure. We found that Pfs48/45 and Pfs230 antibody densities increased with increasing concurrent gametocyte densities; associated with 55–70% reduction in oocyst intensity and achieved up to 44% reduction in proportions of infected mosquitoes. We showed that P. falciparum sexual stage immunity significantly reduces transmission of microscopic (p < 0.001) but not submicroscopic (p = 0.937) gametocyte infections to mosquitoes and that incorporating sexual stage immunity into mathematical models had a considerable impact on the contribution of different age groups to the infectious reservoir of malaria. Human antibody responses to gametocyte antigens are likely to be dependent on recent and concurrent high-density gametocyte exposure and have a pronounced impact on the likelihood of onward transmission of microscopic gametocyte densities compared to low density infections. Our mathematical simulations indicate that anti-gametocyte immunity is an important factor for predicting and understanding the composition and dynamics of the human infectious reservoir for malaria.

PLOS BIOL. 2018

The oral polio vaccine (OPV) contains live-attenuated polioviruses that induce immunity by causing low virulence infections in vaccine recipients and their close contacts. Widespread immunization with OPV has reduced the annual global burden of paralytic poliomyelitis by a factor of 10,000 or more and has driven wild poliovirus (WPV) to the brink of eradication. However, in instances that have so far been rare, OPV can paralyze vaccine recipients and generate vaccine-derived polio outbreaks. To complete polio eradication, OPV use should eventually cease, but doing so will leave a growing population fully susceptible to infection. If poliovirus is reintroduced after OPV cessation, under what conditions will OPV vaccination be required to interrupt transmission? Can conditions exist in which OPV and WPV reintroduction present similar risks of transmission? To answer these questions, we built a multi-scale mathematical model of infection and transmission calibrated to data from clinical trials and field epidemiology studies. At the within-host level, the model describes the effects of vaccination and waning immunity on shedding and oral susceptibility to infection. At the between-host level, the model emulates the interaction of shedding and oral susceptibility with sanitation and person-to-person contact patterns to determine the transmission rate in communities. Our results show that inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is sufficient to prevent outbreaks in low transmission rate settings and that OPV can be reintroduced and withdrawn as needed in moderate transmission rate settings. However, in high transmission rate settings, the conditions that support vaccine-derived outbreaks have only been rare because population immunity has been high. Absent population immunity, the Sabin strains from OPV will be nearly as capable of causing outbreaks as WPV. If post-cessation outbreak responses are followed by new vaccine-derived outbreaks, strategies to restore population immunity will be required to ensure the stability of polio eradication.

Stewart T. Chang, Violet N. Chihota, Katherine L. Fielding, Alison D. Grant, Rein M. Houben, Richard G. White, Gavin J. Churchyard, Philip A. Eckhoff, and Bradley G. Wagner

BMC MEDICINE

Background

Gold mines represent a potential hotspot for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) transmission and may be exacerbating the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic in South Africa. However, the presence of multiple factors complicates estimation of the mining contribution to the TB burden in South Africa.

Methods

We developed two models of TB in South Africa, a static risk model and an individual-based model that accounts for longer-term trends. Both models account for four populations — mine workers, peri-mining residents, labor-sending residents, and other residents of South Africa — including the size and prevalence of latent TB infection, active TB, and HIV of each population and mixing between populations. We calibrated to mine- and country-level data and used the static model to estimate force of infection (FOI) and new infections attributable to local residents in each community compared to other residents. Using the individual-based model, we simulated a counterfactual scenario to estimate the fraction of overall TB incidence in South Africa attributable to recent transmission in mines.

Results

We estimated that the majority of FOI in each community is attributable to local residents: 93.9% (95% confidence interval 92.4–95.1%), 91.5% (91.4–91.5%), and 94.7% (94.7–94.7%) in gold mining, peri-mining, and labor-sending communities, respectively. Assuming a higher rate of Mtb transmission in mines, 4.1% (2.6–5.8%), 5.0% (4.5–5.5%), and 9.0% (8.8–9.1%) of new infections in South Africa are attributable to gold mine workers, peri-mining residents, and labor-sending residents, respectively. Therefore, mine workers with TB disease, who constitute ~ 2.5% of the prevalent TB cases in South Africa, contribute 1.62 (1.04–2.30) times as many new infections as TB cases in South Africa on average. By modeling TB on a longer time scale, we estimate 63.0% (58.5–67.7%) of incident TB disease in gold mining communities to be attributable to recent transmission, of which 92.5% (92.1–92.9%) is attributable to local transmission.

Conclusions

Gold mine workers are estimated to contribute a disproportionately large number of Mtb infections in South Africa on a per-capita basis. However, mine workers contribute only a small fraction of overall Mtb infections in South Africa. Our results suggest that curtailing transmission in mines may have limited impact at the country level, despite potentially significant impact at the mining level.

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH

Background

Mass drug administration (MDA) is a control and elimination tool for treating infectious diseases. For malaria, it is widely accepted that conducting MDA during the dry season results in the best outcomes. However, seasonal movement of populations into and out of MDA target areas is common in many places and could potentially fundamentally limit the ability of MDA campaigns to achieve elimination.

Methods

A mathematical model was used to simulate malaria transmission in two villages connected to a high-risk area into and out of which 10% of villagers traveled seasonally. MDA was given only in the villages. Prevalence reduction under various possible timings of MDA and seasonal travel was predicted.

Results

MDA is most successful when distributed outside the traveling season and during the village low-transmission season. MDA is least successful when distributed during the traveling season and when traveling overlaps with the peak transmission season in the high-risk area. Mistiming MDA relative to seasonal travel resulted in much poorer outcomes than mistiming MDA relative to the peak transmission season within the villages.

Conclusions

Seasonal movement patterns of high-risk groups should be taken into consideration when selecting the optimum timing of MDA campaigns.

SCIENCE DIRECT

Western Kenya suffers a highly endemic and also very heterogeneous epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Although female sex workers (FSW) and their male clients are known to be at high risk for HIV, HIV prevalence across regions in Western Kenya is not strongly correlated with the fraction of women engaged in commercial sex. An agent-based network model of HIV transmission, geographically stratified at the county level, was fit to the HIV epidemic, scale-up of interventions, and populations of FSW in Western Kenya under two assumptions about the potential mobility of FSW clients. In the first, all clients were assumed to be resident in the same geographies as their interactions with FSW. In the second, some clients were considered non-resident and engaged only in interactions with FSW, but not in longer-term non-FSW partnerships in these geographies. Under both assumptions, the model successfully reconciled disparate geographic patterns of FSW and HIV prevalence. Transmission patterns in the model suggest a greater role for FSW in local transmission when clients were resident to the counties, with 30.0% of local HIV transmissions attributable to current and former FSW and clients, compared to 21.9% when mobility of clients was included. Nonetheless, the overall epidemic drivers remained similar, with risky behavior in the general population dominating transmission in high-prevalence counties. Our modeling suggests that co-location of high-risk populations and generalized epidemics can further amplify the spread of HIV, but that large numbers of formal FSW and clients are not required to observe or mechanistically explain high HIV prevalence in the general population.

SIAM JOURNAL OF APPLIED DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS

We develop a new generalization of Koopman operator theory that incorporates the effects of inputs and control. Koopman spectral analysis is a theoretical tool for the analysis of nonlinear dynamical systems. Moreover, Koopman is intimately connected to Dynamic Mode Decomposition (DMD), a method that discovers spatial-temporal coherent modes from data, connects local-linear analysis to nonlinear operator theory, and importantly creates an equation-free architecture allowing investigation of complex systems. In actuated systems, standard Koopman analysis and DMD are incapable of producing input-output models; moreover, the dynamics and the modes will be corrupted by external forcing. Our new theoretical developments extend Koopman operator theory to allow for systems with nonlinear input-output characteristics. We show how this generalization is rigorously connected and generalizes a recent development called Dynamic Mode Decomposition with control (DMDc). We demonstrate this new theory on nonlinear dynamical systems, including a standard Susceptible-Infectious-Recovered model with relevance to the analysis of infectious disease data with mass vaccination (actuation).

Youyi Fong, M. Elizabeth Halloran, Jin Kyung Park, Florian Marks, John D. Clemens and Dennis L. Chao

BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Background

Oral cholera vaccine (OCV) is a feasible tool to prevent or mitigate cholera outbreaks. A better understanding of the vaccine’s efficacy among different age groups and how rapidly its protection wanes could help guide vaccination policy.

Methods

To estimate the level and duration of OCV efficacy, we re-analyzed data from a previously published cluster-randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial with five years of follow-up. We used a Cox proportional hazards model and modeled the potentially time-dependent effect of age categories on both vaccine efficacy and risk of infection in the placebo group. In addition, we investigated the impact of an outbreak period on model estimation.

Results

Vaccine efficacy was 38% (95% CI: -2%,62%) for those vaccinated from ages 1 to under 5 years old, 85% (95% CI: 67%,93%) for those 5 to under 15 years, and 69% (95% CI: 49%,81%) for those vaccinated at ages 15 years and older. Among adult vaccinees, efficacy did not appear to wane during the trial, but there was insufficient data to assess the waning of efficacy among child vaccinees.

Conclusions

Through this re-analysis we were able to detect a statistically significant difference in OCV efficacy when the vaccine was administered to children under 5 years old vs. children 5 years and older. The estimated efficacies are more similar to the previously published analysis based on the first two years of follow-up than the analysis based on all five years.

Will J. R. Stone, Joseph J. Campo, André Lin Ouédraogo, Lisette Meerstein-Kessel, Isabelle Morlais, Dari Da, Anna Cohuet, Sandrine Nsango, Colin J. Sutherland, Marga van de Vegte-Bolmer, Rianne Siebelink-Stoter, Geert-Jan van Gemert, Wouter Graumans, Kjerstin Lanke, Adam D. Shandling, Jozelyn V. Pablo, Andy A. Teng, Sophie Jones, Roos M. de Jong, Amanda Fabra-García, John Bradley, Will Roeffen, Edwin Lasonder, Giuliana Gremo, Evelin Schwarzer, Chris J. Janse, Susheel K. Singh, Michael Theisen, Phil Felgner, Matthias Marti, Chris Drakeley, Robert Sauerwein, Teun Bousema, and Matthijs M. Jore

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS

Background

Infection with Plasmodium can elicit antibodies that inhibit parasite survival in the mosquito, when they are ingested in an infectious blood meal. Here, we determine the transmission-reducing activity (TRA) of naturally acquired antibodies from 648 malaria-exposed individuals using lab-based mosquito-feeding assays. Transmission inhibition is significantly associated with antibody responses to Pfs48/45, Pfs230, and to 43 novel gametocyte proteins assessed by protein microarray. In field-based mosquito-feeding assays the likelihood and rate of mosquito infection are significantly lower for individuals reactive to Pfs48/45, Pfs230 or to combinations of the novel TRA-associated proteins. We also show that naturally acquired purified antibodies against key transmission-blocking epitopes of Pfs48/45 and Pfs230 are mechanistically involved in TRA, whereas sera depleted of these antibodies retain high-level, complement-independent TRA. Our analysis demonstrates that host antibody responses to gametocyte proteins are associated with reduced malaria transmission efficiency from humans to mosquitoes.

Results

Antibody responses to gametocyte antigens

Plasma was collected in epidemiological studies in Burkina, Faso37, Cameroon and the Gambia, as well as from Dutch migrants who had lived for several years in malaria-endemic areas and reported repeated malaria episodes. Individuals from malaria-endemic areas were all asymptomatic when sampled, and were either recruited randomly from the community, or based on the observation of malaria parasites or specifically gametocytes (n = 276) in blood smears.

Adam Akullian , Joel M. Montgomery, Grace John-Stewart, Samuel I. Miller, Hillary S. Hayden, Matthew C. Radey, Kyle R. Hager, Jennifer R. Verani, John Benjamin Ochieng, Jane Juma, Jim Katieno, Barry Fields, Godfrey Bigogo, Allan Audi, Judd Walson

PLOS NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES

Non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) is a leading cause of bloodstream infections in Africa, but the various contributions of host susceptibility versus unique pathogen virulence factors are unclear. We used data from a population-based surveillance platform (population ~25,000) between 2007–2014 and NTS genome-sequencing to compare host and pathogen-specific factors between individuals presenting with NTS bacteremia and those presenting with NTS diarrhea. Salmonella Typhimurium ST313 and Salmonella Enteritidis ST11 were the most common isolates. Multi-drug resistant strains of NTS were more commonly isolated from patients presenting with NTS bacteremia compared to NTS diarrhea. This relationship was observed in patients under age five [aOR = 15.16, 95% CI (2.84–81.05), P = 0.001], in patients five years and older, [aOR = 6.70 95% CI (2.25–19.89), P = 0.001], in HIV-uninfected patients, [aOR = 21.61, 95% CI (2.53–185.0), P = 0.005], and in patients infected with Salmonella serogroup B [aOR = 5.96, 95% CI (2.28–15.56), P < 0.001] and serogroup D [aOR = 14.15, 95% CI (1.10–182.7), P = 0.042]. Thus, multi-drug-resistant NTS was strongly associated with bacteremia compared to diarrhea among children and adults. This association was seen in HIV-uninfected individuals infected with either S. Typhimurium or S. Enteritidis. Risk of developing bacteremia from NTS infection may be driven by virulence properties of the Salmonella pathogen.