Selecting and trialling therapeutics for preventing congenital Zika disease is challenging. The target product should be low risk, acceptable to the mother, highly effective in preventing adverse fetal outcomes, and practical for widespread clinical use in resource-limited settings. Professor Peter Horby and fellow researchers discuss strategies for addressing these challenges in a recent paper.
Malaria transmission is patchy at local levels, and when a group of houses is located in a high transmission patch this is labelled a "hotspot". Looking at 19 studies in 7 African Countries, we see that hotspots are the norm, and especially prominent when malaria transmission falls.
Through history and attributes of migration of Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis patients before diagnosis and treatment, and spatial analysis of their travelling patterns, the study highlights links between human migration and dispersal of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis across wide geographic areas. It confirms needs for interventions suited to migrants’ life circumstances.
For more than a decade, Professor Mike English and his team have worked with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and professionals to develop national clinical guidelines. This paper describes how this approach has become both more rigorous and more collaborative while offering lessons to other LMIC on how to develop high quality guidelines with limited resources.
Professor Jeremy Day and fellow researchers from OUCRU, in collaboration with colleagues from the Genome Institute Singapore, have published the first whole genome sequences of Vietnamese isolates of the yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, in an attempt to better understand the genes that enable some families of this usually accidental pathogen to cause disease in people with normal immune systems.
The WWARN Vivax Surveyor provides an interactive map that summarises the prevalence and degree of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium vivax parasites across the world. This tool provides a clear and standardised visualisation of vivax clinical trials to date to inform key international, regional and national monitoring strategies.
We used a qualitative approach to study how public hospitals in Kenya make resource allocation decisions. We found that these decisions were influenced by (1) scarcity of financial resources, and poorly designed financing processes, (2) limited flexibility in resource allocation decisions, and (3) inadequate management and leadership capacity in the hospitals. Read more on Improving priority settting practices in Kenya's hospitals.
Acute mountain sickness is a potentially life-threatening illness for sojourners to high altitude (> 2500m). Where pharmacological prophylaxis is indicated, Diamox is the drug of choice, but it has distressing side-effects. This Everest-based, double-blind, randomized controlled trial revealed that paracetamol, like ibuprofen, could potentially replace Diamox for prophylaxis.
It has been maintained for decades that quinine is the safest drug for treatment of malaria in the first trimester of pregnancy. In the largest analysis of data from Thailand and Africa, artemisinins are reported to be at least as safe as quinine. This will simplify treatment protocols worldwide.
Rotavirus is a complex RNA virus with a genome comprised of multiple segments. The virus causes diarrhoea and extracting pure virus from stool samples limits our ability to sequence its genome. A team led by Professor Stephen Baker developed a new capture/purification method for rotavirus allowing us to perform whole genome sequencing from stool samples for the first time.