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Abubakar A.,Center for Geographic Medicine Research | Abubakar A.,University of Tilburg | Abubakar A.,University Utrecht | Holding P.,Center for Geographic Medicine Research | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2013

The aim of the study was to investigate early executive functioning in young children from 6-35 months of age. The study involved 319 randomly selected children from the community, 17 HIV exposed but uninfected children and 31 HIV infected ARV-naive children. A variation of the A-not-B task was used. While there were no group differences in total correct, perseverative errors, nor maximum error run, a significant percentage of children were unable to complete the task as a consequence of the children becoming overtly distressed or refusing to continue. In a multivariate analysis we observed that the significant predictors of non-completion were HIV exposure (both infected and exposed) and being under 24 months of age. These patterns of results indicate that future work with a broader array of tasks need to look at the association of HIV and EF tasks and potential contribution of factors such as emotion regulation, persistence and motivation on performance on EF tasks. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Nyakeriga A.M.,Texas Tech University | Nyakeriga A.M.,University of Stockholm | Nyakeriga A.M.,Center for Geographic Medicine Research | Troye-Blomberg M.,University of Stockholm
Acta Tropica | Year: 2013

Malaria infection may be affected by host genetic factors as well as nutritional status. Iron status and the phenotype of haptoglobin, a heme-binding acute phase reactant may be determinants of malaria parasitemia. A combination of cross sectional studies and longitudinal follow-up were used to describe the association between iron status, C-reactive protein, malaria infections and host genetic factors including; haptoglobin (Hp) phenotypes, in children below 9 years in a malaria endemic area in Coastal Kenya. The prevalence of 0.45 and 0.41, respectively for Hp 1-1 and Hp 2-1 phenotypes was significantly higher than 0.14 for Hp 2-2 phenotype (n=162). Children with Hp 2-2 phenotype showed significantly higher iron storage compared to those with Hp 1-1 and Hp 2-1 phenotypes when children with malaria parasites and high C-reactive protein (>9. mg/L) were excluded from the analysis. There were no significant differences in malaria parasite densities among Hp phenotypes but children with Hp 2-2 had lower number of clinical malaria episodes (P=0.045). Taken together, this study shows that the presence of malaria may complicate the interpretation of iron status in children based on their Hp-phenotypes. Further studies will be required to address possible interactions among the various genetic factors and iron status in a malaria endemic setting. © 2013.

Grosse S.D.,National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities | Odame I.,University of Toronto | Atrash H.K.,National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities | Amendah D.D.,African Population and Health Research Center | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2011

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is common throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, affecting up to 3% of births in some parts of the continent. Nevertheless, it remains a low priority for many health ministries. The most common form of SCD is caused by homozygosity for the β-globin S gene mutation (SS disease). It is widely believed that this condition is associated with very high child mortality, but reliable contemporary data are lacking. We have reviewed available African data on mortality associated with SS disease from published and unpublished sources, with an emphasis on two types of studies: cross-sectional population surveys and cohort studies. We have concluded that, although current data are inadequate to support definitive statements, they are consistent with an early-life mortality of 50%90% among children born in Africa with SS disease. Inclusion of SCD interventions in child survival policies and programs in Africa could benefit from more precise estimates of numbers of deaths among children with SCD. A simple, representative, and affordable approach to estimate SCD child mortality is to test blood specimens already collected through large population surveys targeting conditions such as HIV, malaria, and malnutrition, and covering children of varying ages. Thus, although there is enough evidence to justify investments in screening, prophylaxis, and treatment for African children with SCD, better data are needed to estimate the numbers of child deaths preventable by such interventions and their cost effectiveness. © 2011 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Williams A.R.,University of Oxford | Douglas A.D.,University of Oxford | Miura K.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Illingworth J.J.,University of Oxford | And 14 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2012

No vaccine has yet proven effective against the blood-stages of Plasmodium falciparum, which cause the symptoms and severe manifestations of malaria. We recently found that PfRH5, a P. falciparum-specific protein expressed in merozoites, is efficiently targeted by broadly-neutralizing, vaccine-induced antibodies. Here we show that antibodies against PfRH5 efficiently inhibit the in vitro growth of short-term-adapted parasite isolates from Cambodia, and that the EC50 values of antigen-specific antibodies against PfRH5 are lower than those against PfAMA1. Since antibody responses elicited by multiple antigens are speculated to improve the efficacy of blood-stage vaccines, we conducted detailed assessments of parasite growth inhibition by antibodies against PfRH5 in combination with antibodies against seven other merozoite antigens. We found that antibodies against PfRH5 act synergistically with antibodies against certain other merozoite antigens, most notably with antibodies against other erythrocyte-binding antigens such as PfRH4, to inhibit the growth of a homologous P. falciparum clone. A combination of antibodies against PfRH4 and basigin, the erythrocyte receptor for PfRH5, also potently inhibited parasite growth. This methodology provides the first quantitative evidence that polyclonal vaccine-induced antibodies can act synergistically against P. falciparum antigens and should help to guide the rational development of future multi-antigen vaccines.

Biswas S.,University of Oxford | Choudhary P.,University of Oxford | Elias S.C.,University of Oxford | Miura K.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The development of protective vaccines against many difficult infectious pathogens will necessitate the induction of effective antibody responses. Here we assess humoral immune responses against two antigens from the blood-stage merozoite of the Plasmodium falciparum human malaria parasite - MSP1 and AMA1. These antigens were delivered to healthy malaria-naïve adult volunteers in Phase Ia clinical trials using recombinant replication-deficient viral vectors - ChAd63 to prime the immune response and MVA to boost. In subsequent Phase IIa clinical trials, immunized volunteers underwent controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) with P. falciparum to assess vaccine efficacy, whereby all but one volunteer developed low-density blood-stage parasitemia. Here we assess serum antibody responses against both the MSP1 and AMA1 antigens following i) ChAd63-MVA immunization, ii) immunization and CHMI, and iii) primary malaria exposure in the context of CHMI in unimmunized control volunteers. Responses were also assessed in a cohort of naturally-immune Kenyan adults to provide comparison with those induced by a lifetime of natural malaria exposure. Serum antibody responses against MSP1 and AMA1 were characterized in terms of i) total IgG responses before and after CHMI, ii) responses to allelic variants of MSP1 and AMA1, iii) functional growth inhibitory activity (GIA), iv) IgG avidity, and v) isotype responses (IgG1-4, IgA and IgM). These data provide the first in-depth assessment of the quality of adenovirus-MVA vaccine-induced antibody responses in humans, along with assessment of how these responses are modulated by subsequent low-density parasite exposure. Notable differences were observed in qualitative aspects of the human antibody responses against these malaria antigens depending on the means of their induction and/or exposure of the host to the malaria parasite. Given the continued clinical development of viral vectored vaccines for malaria and a range of other diseases targets, these data should help to guide further immuno-monitoring studies of vaccine-induced human antibody responses.

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