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3.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113 Suppl 1: S68-S72, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574772

ABSTRACT

Despite slow reductions in the annual burden of active human tuberculosis (TB) cases, zoonotic TB (zTB) remains a poorly monitored and an important unaddressed global problem. There is a higher incidence in some regions and countries, especially where close association exists between growing numbers of cattle (the major source of Mycobacterium bovis) and people, many suffering from poverty, and where dairy products are consumed unpasteurised. More attention needs to be focused on possible increased zTB incidence resulting from growth in dairy production globally and increased demand in low income countries in particular. Evidence of new zoonotic mycobacterial strains in South Asia and Africa (e.g. M. orygis), warrants urgent assessment of prevalence, potential drivers and risk in order to develop appropriate interventions. Control of M. bovis infection in cattle through detect and cull policies remain the mainstay of reducing zTB risk, whilst in certain circumstances animal vaccination is proving beneficial. New point of care diagnostics will help to detect animal infections and human cases. Given the high burden of human tuberculosis (caused by M. tuberculosis) in endemic areas, animals are affected by reverse zoonosis, including multi-drug resistant strains. This, may create drug resistant reservoirs of infection in animals. Like COVID-19, zTB is evolving in an ever-changing global landscape.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis , Africa , Animals , Cattle , Humans , Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/prevention & control
5.
Animals (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480537

ABSTRACT

Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) causes a highly devastating disease of sheep and goats that threatens food security, small ruminant production and susceptible endangered wild ruminants. With policy directed towards achieving global PPR eradication, the establishment of cost-effective genomic surveillance tools is critical where PPR is endemic. Genomic data can provide sufficient in-depth information to identify the pockets of endemicity responsible for PPRV persistence and viral evolution, and direct an appropriate vaccination response. Yet, access to the required sequencing technology is low in resource-limited settings and is compounded by the difficulty of transporting clinical samples from wildlife across international borders due to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora, and Nagoya Protocol regulations. Oxford nanopore MinION sequencing technology has recently demonstrated an extraordinary performance in the sequencing of PPRV due to its rapidity, utility in endemic countries and comparatively low cost per sample when compared to other whole-genome (WGS) sequencing platforms. In the present study, Oxford nanopore MinION sequencing was utilised to generate complete genomes of PPRV isolates collected from infected goats in Ngorongoro and Momba districts in the northern and southern highlands of Tanzania during 2016 and 2018, respectively. The tiling multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was carried out with twenty-five pairs of long-read primers. The resulting PCR amplicons were used for nanopore library preparation and sequencing. The analysis of output data was complete genomes of PPRV, produced within four hours of sequencing (accession numbers: MW960272 and MZ322753). Phylogenetic analysis of the complete genomes revealed a high nucleotide identity, between 96.19 and 99.24% with lineage III PPRV currently circulating in East Africa, indicating a common origin. The Oxford nanopore MinION sequencer can be deployed to overcome diagnostic and surveillance challenges in the PPR Global Control and Eradication program. However, the coverage depth was uneven across the genome and amplicon dropout was observed mainly in the GC-rich region between the matrix (M) and fusion (F) genes of PPRV. Thus, larger field studies are needed to allow the collection of sufficient data to assess the robustness of nanopore sequencing technology.

6.
One Health Outlook ; 3(1): 5, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388848

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The emergence of high consequence pathogens such as Ebola and SARS-CoV-2, along with the continued burden of neglected diseases such as rabies, has highlighted the need for preparedness for emerging and endemic infectious diseases of zoonotic origin in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using a One Health approach. To identify trends in SSA preparedness, the World Health Organization (WHO) Joint External Evaluation (JEE) reports were analysed. JEEs are voluntary, collaborative processes to assess country's capacities to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to public health risks. This report aimed to analyse the JEE zoonotic disease preparedness data as a whole and identify strengths and weaknesses. METHODS: JEE zoonotic disease preparedness scores for 44 SSA countries who had completed JEEs were analysed. An overall zoonotic disease preparedness score was calculated as an average of the sum of all the SSA country zoonotic disease preparedness scores and compared to the overall mean JEE score. Zoonotic disease preparedness indicators were analysed and data were collated into regions to identify key areas of strength. RESULTS: The mean 'Zoonotic disease' preparedness score (2.35, range 1.00-4.00) was 7% higher compared to the mean overall JEE preparedness score (2.19, range 1.55-3.30), putting 'Zoonotic Diseases' 5th out of 19 JEE sub-areas for preparedness. The average scores for each 'Zoonotic Disease' category were 2.45 for 'Surveillance Systems', 2.76 for 'Veterinary Workforce' and 1.84 for 'Response Mechanisms'. The Southern African region scored highest across the 'Zoonotic disease' categories (2.87).A multisectoral priority zoonotic pathogens list is in place for 43% of SSA countries and 70% reported undertaking national surveillance on 1-5 zoonotic diseases. 70% of SSA countries reported having public health training courses in place for veterinarians and 30% had veterinarians in all districts (reported as sufficient staffing). A multisectoral action plan for zoonotic outbreaks was in place for 14% countries and 32% reported having an established inter-agency response team for zoonotic outbreaks. The zoonotic diseases that appeared most in reported country priority lists were rabies and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) (both 89%), anthrax (83%), and brucellosis (78%). CONCLUSIONS: With 'Zoonotic Diseases' ranking 5th in the JEE sub-areas and a mean SSA score 7% greater than the overall mean JEE score, zoonotic disease preparedness appears to have the attention of most SSA countries. However, the considerable range suggests that some countries have more measures in place than others, which may perhaps reflect the geography and types of pathogens that commonly occur. The category 'Response Mechanisms' had the lowest mean score across SSA, suggesting that implementing a multisectoral action plan and response team could provide the greatest gains.

8.
Health Sci Rep ; 4(2): e274, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222623

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Realizing the transmission potential and the magnitude of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) aids public health monitoring, strategies, and preparation. Two fundamental parameters, the basic reproduction number (R 0) and case fatality rate (CFR) of COVID-19, help in this understanding process. The objective of this study was to estimate the R 0 and CFR of COVID-19 and assess whether the parameters vary in different regions of the world. METHODS: We carried out a systematic review to find the reported estimates of the R 0 and the CFR in articles from international databases between January 1 and August 31, 2020. Random-effect models and Forest plots were implemented to evaluate the mean effect size of R 0 and the CFR. Furthermore, R 0 and CFR of the studies were quantified based on geographic location, the tests/thousand population, and the median population age of the countries where the studies were conducted. To assess statistical heterogeneity among the selected articles, the I 2 statistic and the Cochran's Q test were used. RESULTS: Forty-five studies involving R 0 and 34 studies involving CFR were included. The pooled estimation of R 0 was 2.69 (95% CI: 2.40, 2.98), and that of the CFR was 2.67 (2.25, 3.13). The CFR in different regions of the world varied significantly, from 2.49 (2.08, 2.94) in Asia to 3.40 (2.81, 4.04) in North America. We observed higher mean CFR values for the countries with lower tests (3.15 vs 2.16) and greater median population age (3.13 vs 2.27). However, R 0 did not vary significantly in different regions of the world. CONCLUSIONS: An R 0 of 2.69 and a CFR of 2.67 indicate the severity of the COVID-19. Although R 0 and CFR may vary over time, space, and demographics, we recommend considering these figures in control and prevention measures.

9.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 104(6): 2176-2184, 2021 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197603

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to evaluate the trend of reported case fatality rate (rCFR) of COVID-19 over time, using globally reported COVID-19 cases and mortality data. We collected daily COVID-19 diagnoses and mortality data from the WHO's daily situation reports dated January 1 to December 31, 2020. We performed three time-series models [simple exponential smoothing, auto-regressive integrated moving average, and automatic forecasting time-series (Prophet)] to identify the global trend of rCFR for COVID-19. We used beta regression models to investigate the association between the rCFR and potential predictors of each country and reported incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of each variable. The weekly global cumulative COVID-19 rCFR reached a peak at 7.23% during the 17th week (April 22-28, 2020). We found a positive and increasing trend for global daily rCFR values of COVID-19 until the 17th week (pre-peak period) and then a strong declining trend up until the 53rd week (post-peak period) toward 2.2% (December 29-31, 2020). In pre-peak of rCFR, the percentage of people aged 65 and above and the prevalence of obesity were significantly associated with the COVID-19 rCFR. The declining trend of global COVID-19 rCFR was not merely because of increased COVID-19 testing, because COVID-19 tests per 1,000 population had poor predictive value. Decreasing rCFR could be explained by an increased rate of infection in younger people or by the improvement of health care management, shielding from infection, and/or repurposing of several drugs that had shown a beneficial effect on reducing fatality because of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Global Health , Humans , Incidence , Time Factors
11.
Front Public Health ; 8: 616328, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081274

ABSTRACT

The past two decades have seen an accumulation of theoretical and empirical evidence for the interlinkages between human health and well-being, biodiversity and ecosystem services, and agriculture. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the devastating impacts that an emerging pathogen, of animal origin, can have on human societies and economies. A number of scholars have called for the wider adoption of "One Health integrated approaches" to better prevent, and respond to, the threats of emerging zoonotic diseases. However, there are theoretical and practical challenges that have precluded the full development and practical implementation of this approach. Whilst integrated approaches to health are increasingly adopting a social-ecological system framework (SES), the lack of clarity in framing the key concept of resilience in health contexts remains a major barrier to its implementation by scientists and practitioners. We propose an operational framework, based on a transdisciplinary definition of Socio-Ecological System Health (SESH) that explicitly links health and ecosystem management with the resilience of SES, and the adaptive capacity of the actors and agents within SES, to prevent and cope with emerging health and environmental risks. We focus on agricultural transitions that play a critical role in disease emergence and biodiversity conservation, to illustrate the proposed participatory framework to frame and co-design SESH interventions. Finally, we highlight critical changes that are needed from researchers, policy makers and donors, in order to engage communities and other stakeholders involved in the management of their own health and that of the underpinning ecosystems.


Subject(s)
Agriculture , Conservation of Natural Resources , Ecosystem , Public Health , Animals , Biodiversity , Communicable Diseases, Emerging , Humans , Zoonoses/prevention & control
12.
World Dev ; 136: 105121, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065658

ABSTRACT

One of the immediate responses to COVID-19 has been a call to ban wildlife trade given the suspected origin of the pandemic in a Chinese market selling and butchering wild animals. There is clearly an urgent need to tackle wildlife trade that is illegal, unsustainable or carries major risks to human health, biodiversity conservation or meeting acceptable animal welfare standards. However, some of the suggested actions in these calls go far beyond tackling these risks and have the potential to undermine human rights, damage conservation incentives and harm sustainable development. There are a number of reasons for this concerns. First calls for bans on wildlife markets often include calls for bans on wet markets, but the two are not the same thing, and wet markets can be a critical underpinning of informal food systems. Second, wildlife trade generates essential resources for the world's most vulnerable people, contributing to food security for millions of people, particularly in developing countries. Third, wildlife trade bans have conservation risks including driving trade underground, making it even harder to regulate, and encouraging further livestock production. Fourth, in many cases, sustainable wildlife trade can provide key incentives for local people to actively protect species and the habitat they depend on, leading to population recoveries. Most importantly, a singular focus on wildlife trade overlooks the key driver of the emergence of infectious diseases: habitat destruction, largely driven by agricultural expansion and deforestation, and industrial livestock production. We suggest that the COVID-19 crisis provides a unique opportunity for a paradigm shift both in our global food system and also in our approach to conservation. We make specific suggestions as to what this entails, but the overriding principle is that local people must be at the heart of such policy shifts.

13.
Front Public Health ; 8: 596944, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979060

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization defines a zoonosis as any infection naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. The pandemic of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been classified as a zoonotic disease, however, no animal reservoir has yet been found, so this classification is premature. We propose that COVID-19 should instead be classified an "emerging infectious disease (EID) of probable animal origin." To explore if COVID-19 infection fits our proposed re-categorization vs. the contemporary definitions of zoonoses, we reviewed current evidence of infection origin and transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2 virus and described this in the context of known zoonoses, EIDs and "spill-over" events. Although the initial one hundred COVID-19 patients were presumably exposed to the virus at a seafood Market in China, and despite the fact that 33 of 585 swab samples collected from surfaces and cages in the market tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, no virus was isolated directly from animals and no animal reservoir was detected. Elsewhere, SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in animals including domesticated cats, dogs, and ferrets, as well as captive-managed mink, lions, tigers, deer, and mice confirming zooanthroponosis. Other than circumstantial evidence of zoonotic cases in mink farms in the Netherlands, no cases of natural transmission from wild or domesticated animals have been confirmed. More than 40 million human COVID-19 infections reported appear to be exclusively through human-human transmission. SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 do not meet the WHO definition of zoonoses. We suggest SARS-CoV-2 should be re-classified as an EID of probable animal origin.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/classification , Communicable Diseases, Emerging , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Zoonoses , Animals , Animals, Wild , China , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/classification , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/transmission , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/virology , Humans , World Health Organization , Zoonoses/classification , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology
14.
BMJ Glob Health ; 5(10)2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841538

ABSTRACT

Lockdown measures have been introduced worldwide to contain the transmission of COVID-19. However, the term 'lockdown' is not well-defined. Indeed, WHO's reference to 'so-called lockdown measures' indicates the absence of a clear and universally accepted definition of the term 'lockdown'. We propose a definition of 'lockdown' based on a two-by-two matrix that categorises different communicable disease measures based on whether they are compulsory or voluntary; and whether they are targeted at identifiable individuals or facilities, or whether they are applied indiscriminately to a general population or area. Using this definition, we describe the design, timing and implementation of lockdown measures in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. While there were some commonalities in the implementation of lockdown across these countries, a more notable finding was the variation in the design, timing and implementation of lockdown measures. We also found that the number of reported cases is heavily dependent on the number of tests carried out, and that testing rates ranged from 2031 to 63 928 per million population up until 7 September 2020. The reported number of COVID-19 deaths per million population also varies (0.4 to 250 up until 7 September 2020), but is generally low when compared with countries in Europe and North America. While lockdown measures may have helped inhibit community transmission, the pattern and nature of the epidemic remains unclear. However, there are signs of lockdown harming health by affecting the functioning of the health system and causing social and economic disruption.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Africa South of the Sahara , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Epidemiol Infect ; 148: e210, 2020 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745891

ABSTRACT

Global Health Security Index (GHSI) and Joint External Evaluation (JEE) are two well-known health security and related capability indices. We hypothesised that countries with higher GHSI or JEE scores would have detected their first COVID-19 case earlier, and would experience lower mortality outcome compared to countries with lower scores. We evaluated the effectiveness of GHSI and JEE in predicting countries' COVID-19 detection response times and mortality outcome (deaths/million). We used two different outcomes for the evaluation: (i) detection response time, the duration of time to the first confirmed case detection (from 31st December 2019 to 20th February 2020 when every country's first case was linked to travel from China) and (ii) mortality outcome (deaths/million) until 11th March and 1st July 2020, respectively. We interpreted the detection response time alongside previously published relative risk of the importation of COVID-19 cases from China. We performed multiple linear regression and negative binomial regression analysis to evaluate how these indices predicted the actual outcome. The two indices, GHSI and JEE were strongly correlated (r = 0.82), indicating a good agreement between them. However, both GHSI (r = 0.31) and JEE (r = 0.37) had a poor correlation with countries' COVID-19-related mortality outcome. Higher risk of importation of COVID-19 from China for a given country was negatively correlated with the time taken to detect the first case in that country (adjusted R2 = 0.63-0.66), while the GHSI and JEE had minimal predictive value. In the negative binomial regression model, countries' mortality outcome was strongly predicted by the percentage of the population aged 65 and above (incidence rate ratio (IRR): 1.10 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01-1.21) while overall GHSI score (IRR: 1.01 (95% CI: 0.98-1.01)) and JEE (IRR: 0.99 (95% CI: 0.96-1.02)) were not significant predictors. GHSI and JEE had lower predictive value for detection response time and mortality outcome due to COVID-19. We suggest introduction of a population healthiness parameter, to address demographic and comorbidity vulnerabilities, and reappraisal of the ranking system and methods used to obtain the index based on experience gained from this pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Global Health , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Binomial Distribution , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , SARS-CoV-2
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