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PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disease Control Division, Korean International Vaccine Institute, Ministry of Health and 13 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Dengue is a mosquito-transmitted virus infection that causes epidemics of febrile illness and hemorrhagic fever across the tropics and subtropics worldwide. Annual epidemics are commonly observed, but there is substantial spatiotemporal heterogeneity in intensity. A better understanding of this heterogeneity in dengue transmission could lead to improved epidemic prediction and disease control. Time series decomposition methods enable the isolation and study of temporal epidemic dynamics with a specific periodicity (e.g., annual cycles related to climatic drivers and multiannual cycles caused by dynamics in population immunity). We collected and analyzed up to 18 y of monthly dengue surveillance reports on a total of 3.5 million reported dengue cases from 273 provinces in eight countries in Southeast Asia, covering 10(7) km(2). We detected strong patterns of synchronous dengue transmission across the entire region, most markedly during a period of high incidence in 1997-1998, which was followed by a period of extremely low incidence in 2001-2002. This synchrony in dengue incidence coincided with elevated temperatures throughout the region in 1997-1998 and the strongest El Nio episode of the century. Multiannual dengue cycles (2-5 y) were highly coherent with the Oceanic Nio Index, and synchrony of these cycles increased with temperature. We also detected localized traveling waves of multiannual dengue epidemic cycles in Thailand, Laos, and the Philippines that were dependent on temperature. This study reveals forcing mechanisms that drive synchronization of dengue epidemics on a continental scale across Southeast Asia.


Mayxay M.,Lao Oxford Mahosot Hospital Wellcome Trust Research Unit LOMWRU | Mayxay M.,Health Science University | Mayxay M.,University of Oxford | Castonguay-Vanier J.,Lao Oxford Mahosot Hospital Wellcome Trust Research Unit LOMWRU | And 38 more authors.
The Lancet Global Health | Year: 2013

Background: Because of reductions in the incidence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Laos, identification of the causes of fever in people without malaria, and discussion of the best empirical treatment options, are urgently needed. We aimed to identify the causes of non-malarial acute fever in patients in rural Laos. Methods: For this prospective study, we recruited 1938 febrile patients, between May, 2008, and December, 2010, at Luang Namtha provincial hospital in northwest Laos (n=1390), and between September, 2008, and December, 2010, at Salavan provincial hospital in southern Laos (n=548). Eligible participants were aged 5-49 years with fever (≥38°C) lasting 8 days or less and were eligible for malaria testing by national guidelines. Findings: With conservative definitions of cause, we assigned 799 (41%) patients a diagnosis. With exclusion of influenza, the top five diagnoses when only one aetiological agent per patient was identified were dengue (156 [8%] of 1927 patients), scrub typhus (122 [7%] of 1871), Japanese encephalitis virus (112 [6%] of 1924), leptospirosis (109 [6%] of 1934), and bacteraemia (43 [2%] of 1938). 115 (32%) of 358 patients at Luang Namtha hospital tested influenza PCR-positive between June and December, 2010, of which influenza B was the most frequently detected strain (n=121 [87%]). Disease frequency differed significantly between the two sites: Japanese encephalitis virus infection (p=0·04), typhoid (p=0·006), and leptospirosis (p=0·001) were more common at Luang Namtha, whereas dengue and malaria were more common at Salavan (all p<0·0001). With use of evidence from southeast Asia when possible, we estimated that azithromycin, doxycycline, ceftriaxone, and ofloxacin would have had significant efficacy for 258 (13%), 240 (12%), 154 (8%), and 41 (2%) of patients, respectively. Interpretation: Our findings suggest that a wide range of treatable or preventable pathogens are implicated in non-malarial febrile illness in Laos. Empirical treatment with doxycycline for patients with undifferentiated fever and negative rapid diagnostic tests for malaria and dengue could be an appropriate strategy for rural health workers in Laos. Funding: Wellcome Trust, WHO-Western Pacific Region, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. © 2013 Mayxay et al.


PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Vaccine | Year: 2016

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease. When vaccination coverage and population immunity are low, outbreaks can occur. We investigated a diphtheria outbreak in Lao Peoples Democratic Republic that occurred during 2012-2013 and highlighted challenges in immunization services delivery to children in the country.We reviewed diphtheria surveillance data from April 1, 2012-May 31, 2013. A diphtheria case was defined as a respiratory illness consisting of pharyngitis, tonsillitis, or laryngitis, and an adherent tonsillar or nasopharyngeal pseudomembrane. To identify potential risk factors for diphtheria, we conducted a retrospective case-control study with two aged-matched neighborhood controls per case-patient in Houaphan Province, using bivariate analysis to calculate matched odds ratio (mOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Reasons for non-vaccination among unvaccinated persons were assessed.Sixty-two clinical cases of diphtheria and 12 diphtheria-related deaths were reported in seven of 17 provinces. Among case-patients, 43 (69%) were <15years old, five (8%) reported receiving three DTP doses (DTP3), 21 (34%) had received no DTP doses, and 35 (56%) had unknown vaccination status. For the case-control study, 42 of 52 diphtheria case-patients from Houaphan province and 79 matched-controls were enrolled. Five (12%) case-patients and 20 (25%) controls had received DTP3 (mOR=0.4, CI=0.1-1.7). No diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine was received by 20 (48%) case-patients and 38 (46%) controls. Among case-patients and controls with no DTP dose, 43% of case-patients and 40% of controls lacked access to routine immunization services.Suboptimal DTP3 coverage likely caused the outbreak. To prevent continued outbreaks, access to routine immunization services should be strengthened, outreach visits need to be increased, and missed opportunities need to be minimized. In the short term, to rapidly increase population immunity, three rounds of DTP immunization campaign should be completed, targeting children aged 0-14years in affected provinces.


PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology, Ministry of Health and Cabinet NG
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

The Lao PDR, as did most countries of the Mekong Region, embarked on a pandemic vaccine initiative to counter the threat posed by influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. Overall, estimated vaccine coverage of the Lao population was 14%, with uptake in targeted health care workers and pregnant women 99% and 41%, respectively. Adverse Events Following Immunization accounted for only 6% of survey driven, reported vaccination experiences, with no severe consequences or deaths. Public acceptability of the vaccine campaign was high (98%). Challenges to vaccine deployment included: 1) no previous experience in fielding a seasonal influenza vaccine, 2) safety and efficacy concerns, and 3) late arrival of vaccine 10 months into the pandemic. The Lao success in surmounting these hurdles was in large measure attributed to the oversight assigned the National Immunization Program, and national sensitivities in responding to the avian influenza A(H5N1) crisis in the years leading up to the pandemic. The Lao lessons learned from pandemic vaccine deployment are made even more relevant four years on, given the many avian influenza strains circulating in the region, all with pandemic potential.


PubMed | Ministry of Health, Royal Veterinary College, Kenya International Livestock Research Institute, National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS neglected tropical diseases | Year: 2016

In Lao Peoples Democratic Republic pigs are kept in close contact with families. Human risk of infection with pig zoonoses arises from direct contact and consumption of unsafe pig products. This cross-sectional study was conducted in Luang Prabang (north) and Savannakhet (central-south) Provinces. A total of 59 villages, 895 humans and 647 pigs were sampled and serologically tested for zoonotic pathogens including: hepatitis E virus (HEV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and Trichinella spiralis; In addition, human sera were tested for Taenia spp. and cysticercosis. Seroprevalence of zoonotic pathogens in humans was high for HEV (Luang Prabang: 48.6%, Savannakhet: 77.7%) and T. spiralis (Luang Prabang: 59.0%, Savannakhet: 40.5%), and lower for JEV (around 5%), Taenia spp. (around 3%) and cysticercosis (Luang Prabang: 6.1, Savannakhet 1.5%). Multiple correspondence analysis and hierarchical clustering of principal components was performed on descriptive data of human hygiene practices, contact with pigs and consumption of pork products. Three clusters were identified: Cluster 1 had low pig contact and good hygiene practices, but had higher risk of T. spiralis. Most people in cluster 2 were involved in pig slaughter (83.7%), handled raw meat or offal (99.4%) and consumed raw pigs blood (76.4%). Compared to cluster 1, cluster 2 had increased odds of testing seropositive for HEV and JEV. Cluster 3 had the lowest sanitation access and had the highest risk of HEV, cysticercosis and Taenia spp. Farmers which kept their pigs tethered (as opposed to penned) and disposed of manure in water sources had 0.85 (95% CI: 0.18 to 0.91) and 2.39 (95% CI: 1.07 to 5.34) times the odds of having pigs test seropositive for HEV, respectively. The results have been used to identify entry-points for intervention and management strategies to reduce disease exposure in humans and pigs, informing control activities in a cysticercosis hyper-endemic village.


Sentilhes A.-C.,National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology | Sentilhes A.-C.,Institute Pasteur in Cambodia | Sentilhes A.-C.,Institute Pasteur in Laos | Choumlivong K.,Setthathirath Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses | Year: 2013

Background: Acute respiratory infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with a major burden of disease in developing countries. The relative contribution of viruses in acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) is, however, poorly documented in Lao PDR. Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate the etiology of ALRI in patients of all ages in two hospitals of Laos. Methods: Multiplex PCR/RT-PCR methods were used to target 18 major common respiratory viruses. Between August 2009 and October 2010, samples from 292 patients presenting with ALRI were collected. Results and conclusion: Viruses were detected in 162 (55%) samples. In 48% (140/292) of the total ALRI cases, a single virus was detected while coinfections were observed in 8% (22/292) of the samples. The most frequent viruses were rhinovirus/enterovirus (35%), human respiratory syncytial virus (26%), and influenza viruses (13%). Parainfluenza viruses were detected in 9%, adenovirus in 6%, human metapneumovirus in 4%, coronaviruses (229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1) in 4%, and bocavirus in 3% of ALRI specimens. Most viral infections occurred in patients below 5 years of age. The distribution of viruses varied according to age-groups. No significant correlation was observed between the severity of the disease and the age of patients or the virus species. This study provides the description of viral etiology among patients presenting with ALRI in Lao PDR. Additional investigations are required to better understand the clinical role of the different viruses and their seasonality in Laos. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


PubMed | National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Influenza and other respiratory viruses | Year: 2013

Information on influenza virology and epidemiology from Lao PDR is limited and the seasonal patterns of influenza have not been previously described.To describe epidemiological and virologic characteristics of influenza in Lao PDR to recommend public health interventions, including improvements in surveillance and response.We performed a descriptive analysis of samples taken from patients with influenza-like-illness (ILI) (fever >38C with cough and/or sore throat) presenting at seven sentinel hospitals in three regions of Lao PDR, January 2008-December 2010. A nasopharyngeal (NP) swab or combined nasal with oropharyngeal swab was collected from patients with ILI. Samples were tested for influenza by either Luminex RVP, conventional reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) (January 2008-2009), or by real-time PCR (rRT-PCR) using US CDC reagents (February 2009 onward).Of 2346 samples tested from patients with ILI, 523 (22%) were positive for influenza. The median age of those positive was 12 years (range, <1-60 year). The percentage of samples that were influenza positive was similar over the 3 years (20-23%). Each year 3-4 types/subtypes cocirculated with differing predominant type/subtype. Influenza was detected year-round with the highest proportion of positive specimens in the 3rd and 4th quarter.Similar to other countries in the region, we found that influenza is present year-round and has a peak activity from July to December. Dominant types or subtypes vary by year. A large proportion of patients with ILI are not influenza positive. ILI surveillance is critical for weighing disease burden, both morbidity and mortality, against the costs of advancing influenza vaccine delivery strategy.


PubMed | World Health Organization, National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology and Office of the WHO Representative in the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Western Pacific surveillance and response journal : WPSAR | Year: 2016

In January 2015, the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Ministry of Health received a report of 34 cases of fever and rash with one laboratory-confirmed measles case in Houitone village, Pakseng District of Luang Prabang Province. Between 21 and 27 January, we conducted a field investigation to determine the etiology, magnitude and severity of this outbreak.We conducted active case findings in Houitone and neighbouring villages and collected information on age, location, date of rash onset, symptoms and measles vaccination status. We collected serum samples from cases with rash onset of less than 28 days and tested for measles and rubella IgM using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.Between 22 December 2014 and 23 January 2015, 190 fever and rash cases were identified in seven villages in Pakseng District with the majority of the cases in Houitone village. The most affected age group was between 1 and 9years. The majority of the rashes were vesicular. Of the additional 43 serum samples collected, no samples tested positive for measles or rubella IgM. The clinical manifestation and epidemiology of the disease suggested a varicella outbreak.The rapid response to a single laboratory-confirmed measles case did not identify a measles outbreak but suggested a varicella outbreak. Low measles vaccination coverage led us to recommend a routine catch-up vaccination campaign. We also recommend collecting information of rash types and photos of rashes in future fever and rash outbreaks to better differentiate potential etiologies.


PubMed | World Health Organization and National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Western Pacific surveillance and response journal : WPSAR | Year: 2016

Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under age 5 worldwide, with rotavirus being the main etiology. In the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) was introduced as one of the national notifiable diseases in 2004. We retrospectively reviewed the aggregate (


Soulaphy C.,National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology | Souliphone P.,National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology | Phanthavong K.,National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology | Phonekeo D.,National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology | And 4 more authors.
Western Pacific surveillance and response journal : WPSAR | Year: 2013

INTRODUCTION: Chikungunya is a vector-borne disease transmitted to humans by Aedes mosquitoes, which are widespread in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. However, chikungunya virus (CHIKV) had not been detected in the country before outbreaks reported in July 2012. The first outbreaks were detected through health care worker event-based surveillance.METHODS: The case definition for the outbreaks was defined as a person with acute onset of fever (≥ 38 °C) and severe arthralgia (joint pain) or arthritis from 1 May 2012 in Champassak Province. Rapid response teams conducted active case finding, performed an environmental assessment including an entomological survey and implemented control measures. Descriptive analysis was undertaken in Microsoft Excel.RESULTS: There were 197 cases (attack rate 3.4%) of suspected chikungunya reported from 10 villages in Moonlapamok and Khong Districts of Champassak Province. All age groups (age range: seven months-74 years) were affected with slightly more female (56%) than male cases. Thirty-one per cent (16 of 52) of serum samples tested positive for CHIKV by polymerase chain reaction. The environmental assessment found poor water storage practices and high entomological indices.DISCUSSION: These outbreaks show the effectiveness of health care worker event-based surveillance and the importance of sharing of information across borders for detecting emerging diseases. Public health education is an important measure to prevent epidemics of chikungunya. Information about chikungunya should be supplied to health care workers in the region so they are alert to the potential spread and are able to implement control measures for this disease.

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