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1.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(10): 2016-2026, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2103284

ABSTRACT

Data on social contact patterns are widely used to parameterize age-mixing matrices in mathematical models of infectious diseases. Most studies focus on close contacts only (i.e., persons spoken with face-to-face). This focus may be appropriate for studies of droplet and short-range aerosol transmission but neglects casual or shared air contacts, who may be at risk from airborne transmission. Using data from 2 provinces in South Africa, we estimated age mixing patterns relevant for droplet transmission, nonsaturating airborne transmission, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission, an airborne infection where saturation of household contacts occurs. Estimated contact patterns by age did not vary greatly between the infection types, indicating that widespread use of close contact data may not be resulting in major inaccuracies. However, contact in persons >50 years of age was lower when we considered casual contacts, and therefore the contribution of older age groups to airborne transmission may be overestimated.


Subject(s)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Aerosols , Models, Theoretical , South Africa/epidemiology
2.
Eur Respir Rev ; 31(164)2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892170

ABSTRACT

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a leading infectious cause of death worldwide and the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has negatively impacted the global TB burden of disease indicators. If the targets of TB mortality and incidence reduction set by the international community are to be met, new more effective adult and adolescent TB vaccines are urgently needed. There are several new vaccine candidates at different stages of clinical development. Given the limited funding for vaccine development, it is crucial that trial designs are as efficient as possible. Prevention of infection (POI) approaches offer an attractive opportunity to accelerate new candidate vaccines to advance into large and expensive prevention of disease (POD) efficacy trials. However, POI approaches are limited by imperfect current tools to measure Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection end-points. POD trials need to carefully consider the type and number of microbiological tests that define TB disease and, if efficacy against subclinical (asymptomatic) TB disease is to be tested, POD trials need to explore how best to define and measure this form of TB. Prevention of recurrence trials are an alternative approach to generate proof of concept for efficacy, but optimal timing of vaccination relative to treatment must still be explored. Novel and efficient approaches to efficacy trial design, in addition to an increasing number of candidates entering phase 2-3 trials, would accelerate the long-standing quest for a new TB vaccine.


Subject(s)
Clinical Trials as Topic , Tuberculosis Vaccines , Vaccine Development , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Clinical Trials as Topic/methods , Humans , Mycobacterium tuberculosis , Research Design , Tuberculosis/prevention & control
3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481049

ABSTRACT

The impact of COVID-19 disruptions on global Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) coverage and paediatric tuberculosis (TB) mortality is still unknown. To fill this evidence-gap and guide mitigation measures, we estimated the impact of COVID-19 disruptions on global BCG coverage and paediatric TB mortality. First, we used data from multiple sources to estimate COVID-19-disrupted BCG vaccination coverage. Second, using a static mathematical model, we estimated the number of additional paediatric TB deaths in the first 15 years of life due to delayed/missed vaccinations in 14 scenarios-varying in duration of disruption, and magnitude and timing of catch-up. We estimated a 25% reduction in global BCG coverage within the disruption period. The best-case scenario (3-month disruption, 100% catch-up within 3 months) resulted in an additional 886 (0.5%) paediatric TB deaths, and the worst-case scenario (6-month disruption with no catch-up) resulted in an additional 33,074 (17%) deaths. The magnitude of catch-up was found to be the most influential variable in minimising excess paediatric TB mortality. Our results show that ensuring catch-up vaccination of missed children is a critical priority, and delivery of BCG alongside other routine vaccines may be a feasible way to achieve catch-up. Urgent action is required to support countries with recovering vaccination coverages to minimise paediatric deaths.

4.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 928, 2021 Sep 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403222

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: South Africa implemented rapid and strict physical distancing regulations to minimize SARS-CoV-2 epidemic spread. Evidence on the impact of such measures on interpersonal contact in rural and lower-income settings is limited. METHODS: We compared population-representative social contact surveys conducted in the same rural KwaZulu-Natal location once in 2019 and twice in mid-2020. Respondents reported characteristics of physical and conversational ('close interaction') contacts over 24 hours. We built age-mixing matrices and estimated the proportional change in the SARS-CoV-2 reproduction number (R0). Respondents also reported counts of others present at locations visited and transport used, from which we evaluated change in potential exposure to airborne infection due to shared indoor space ('shared air'). RESULTS: Respondents in March-December 2019 (n = 1704) reported a mean of 7.4 close interaction contacts and 196 shared air person-hours beyond their homes. Respondents in June-July 2020 (n = 216), as the epidemic peaked locally, reported 4.1 close interaction contacts and 21 shared air person-hours outside their home, with significant declines in others' homes and public spaces. Adults aged over 50 had fewer close contacts with others over 50, but little change in contact with 15-29 year olds, reflecting ongoing contact within multigenerational households. We estimate potential R0 fell by 42% (95% plausible range 14-59%) between 2019 and June-July 2020. CONCLUSIONS: Extra-household social contact fell substantially following imposition of Covid-19 distancing regulations in rural South Africa. Ongoing contact within intergenerational households highlighted a potential limitation of social distancing measures in protecting older adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
5.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0253096, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388924

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In light of the role that airborne transmission plays in the spread of SARS-CoV-2, as well as the ongoing high global mortality from well-known airborne diseases such as tuberculosis and measles, there is an urgent need for practical ways of identifying congregate spaces where low ventilation levels contribute to high transmission risk. Poorly ventilated clinic spaces in particular may be high risk, due to the presence of both infectious and susceptible people. While relatively simple approaches to estimating ventilation rates exist, the approaches most frequently used in epidemiology cannot be used where occupancy varies, and so cannot be reliably applied in many of the types of spaces where they are most needed. METHODS: The aim of this study was to demonstrate the use of a non-steady state method to estimate the absolute ventilation rate, which can be applied in rooms where occupancy levels vary. We used data from a room in a primary healthcare clinic in a high TB and HIV prevalence setting, comprising indoor and outdoor carbon dioxide measurements and head counts (by age), taken over time. Two approaches were compared: approach 1 using a simple linear regression model and approach 2 using an ordinary differential equation model. RESULTS: The absolute ventilation rate, Q, using approach 1 was 2407 l/s [95% CI: 1632-3181] and Q from approach 2 was 2743 l/s [95% CI: 2139-4429]. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate two methods that can be used to estimate ventilation rate in busy congregate settings, such as clinic waiting rooms. Both approaches produced comparable results, however the simple linear regression method has the advantage of not requiring room volume measurements. These methods can be used to identify poorly-ventilated spaces, allowing measures to be taken to reduce the airborne transmission of pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, measles, and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , Air Pollution, Indoor/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans
6.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(2)2021 Jan 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045352

ABSTRACT

Developing a vaccine against the global pandemic SARS-CoV-2 is a critical area of active research. Modelling can be used to identify optimal vaccine dosing; maximising vaccine efficacy and safety and minimising cost. We calibrated statistical models to published dose-dependent seroconversion and adverse event data of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) SARS-CoV-2 vaccine given at doses 5.0 × 1010, 1.0 × 1011 and 1.5 × 1011 viral particles. We estimated the optimal dose for three objectives, finding: (A) the minimum dose that may induce herd immunity, (B) the dose that maximises immunogenicity and safety and (C) the dose that maximises immunogenicity and safety whilst minimising cost. Results suggest optimal dose [95% confidence interval] in viral particles per person was (A) 1.3 × 1011 [0.8-7.9 × 1011], (B) 1.5 × 1011 [0.3-5.0 × 1011] and (C) 1.1 × 1011 [0.2-1.5 × 1011]. Optimal dose exceeded 5.0 × 1010 viral particles only if the cost of delivery exceeded £0.65 or cost per 1011 viral particles was less than £6.23. Optimal dose may differ depending on the objectives of developers and policy-makers, but further research is required to improve the accuracy of optimal-dose estimates.

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