Journal of Tropical Medicine has recently been accepted into Science Citation Index Expanded and will receive its first Impact Factor in 2020.Go to Table of Contents
Journal of Tropical Medicine publishes articles on all aspects of tropical diseases. Topics include pathology, diagnosis and treatment, parasites and their hosts, epidemiology, and public health issues.
Journal of Tropical Medicine maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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Prevalence of Asymptomatic Malaria among Children in the Tamale Metropolis: How Does the PfHRP2 CareStart™ RDT Perform against Microscopy?
Background. Asymptomatic carriage of the malaria parasites, likewise its misdiagnosis, especially false negatives, due to the use of substandard rapid diagnosis tests (RDTs) has been shown to hinder the progress of the fight against malaria. Method. The study assessed the prevalence of asymptomatic malaria as well as the performance of Plasmodium falciparum-specific protein and histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) CareStart™ RDT against standard microscopy in the detection of malaria infection among 345 children (1–15 yrs) from two (2) basic schools in Tamale Metropolis. Results. From the microscopy (considered as gold standard), prevalence of malaria among the asymptomatic children was found to be 2.6%, with sensitivity and specificity of CareStart™ RDT in detecting P. falciparum infections found to be 55.6% and 93.8%, respectively. The positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of CareStart™ RDT were found to be 19.23% and 98.45%, respectively. There was an evidence showing a significant relation between CareStart™ RDT and microscopy in determining malaria infection (χ2 = 30.579, ). Conclusion. Prevalence of asymptomatic malaria among children was found to be 2.6%. The study reported low sensitivity and PPV for PfHRP2 CareStart™ RDT in an asymptomatic population at instances of low parasitaemia.
Efficacy of Ivermectin, Liquid Paraffin, and Carbaryl against Mange of Farmed Rabbits in Central Kenya
Mange is a common disease of rabbits globally, and knowledge of efficacy of drugs used in its treatment is critical for effective disease control. The current study evaluated the efficacy of three commonly used therapeutic agents in Kenya against mange. In a controlled laboratory trial, 20 adult rabbits were recruited for the study (16 of which were infested with mange, while 4 were mange-free). The 16 mange-infested rabbits were randomly allocated into 4 treatment groups each consisting of 4 rabbits, while 4 mange-free rabbits formed the negative control group. Treatments were administered as follows: group 1 (G1) received two ivermectin injections at an interval of 14 days, group 2 (G2) was treated with a combination of carbaryl and liquid paraffin applied every other day up to the end of the experiment, group 3 (G3) was treated with liquid paraffin droplets applied daily until the lesion cleared, while group 4 (G4, infected-untreated) received distilled water applied topically on their ears and group 5 (G5, uninfected-untreated negative control) was not treated with any preparation. The lesions were scored and sampled daily to check the viability of the mites. A field efficacy trial of the test compounds was performed using 105 mange-infested rabbits. The results revealed that all the test agents: ivermectin, liquid paraffin, carbaryl-water, and carbaryl-liquid paraffin combination were effective against mange, recording the lesion score of zero for psoroptic mange by day 21 in the laboratory and field trials. Lesion scores in the treated groups were significantly reduced () at the termination of study compared with those of the positive control group in the laboratory trial. A point-biserial correlation revealed a strong association (rpb = 0.79, ) between the presence of viable mites and degree of psoroptic lesions in the field trial.
Resistance Modulation Action, Time-Kill Kinetics Assay, and Inhibition of Biofilm Formation Effects of Plumbagin from Plumbago zeylanica Linn
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a threat to the prevention and treatment of the increasing range of infectious diseases. There is therefore the need for renewed efforts into antimicrobial discovery and development to combat the menace. The antimicrobial activity of plumbagin isolated from roots of Plumbago zeylanica against selected organisms was evaluated for resistance modulation antimicrobial assay, time-kill kinetics assay, and inhibition of biofilm formation. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of plumbagin and standard drugs were determined via the broth microdilution method to be 0.5 to 8 μg/mL and 0.25–128 μg/mL, respectively. In the resistance modulation study, MICs of the standard drugs were redetermined in the presence of subinhibitory concentration of plumbagin (4 μg/mL), and plumbagin was found to either potentiate or reduce the activities of these standard drugs with the highest potentiation recorded up to 12-folds for ketoconazole against Candida albicans. Plumbagin was found to be bacteriostatic and fungistatic from the time-kill kinetics study. Plumbagin demonstrated strong inhibition of biofilm formation activity at concentrations of 128, 64, and 32 μg/mL against the test microorganisms compared with ciprofloxacin. Plumbagin has been proved through this study to be a suitable lead compound in antimicrobial resistance drug development.
Malaria-Associated Factors among Pregnant Women in Guinea
Introduction. Malaria is the leading cause of consultation in Guinea health facilities. During pregnancy, it remains a major health concern causing considerable risks for mother, fetus, and newborn. However, little is known about the epidemiology of malaria among pregnant women in Guinea. We aimed to provide information on malaria-associated factors in parturients. Methods. It was a cross-sectional survey in two regional hospitals and two district hospitals. 1000 parturients and their newborns were surveyed. All patients were interviewed, and thick and thin blood smears were examined. To determine the predictive factors of malaria in parturients, the Classification and Regression Tree (CART) was first performed by using peripheral and placental malaria as dependent variables and sociodemographic and antenatal characteristics as independent variables; then, explanatory profile variables or clusters from these trees were included in the logistic regression models. Results. We found 157 (15.8%) and 148 (14.8%) cases of peripheral and placental malaria, respectively. The regular use of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) before delivery was 53.8%, and only 35.5% used sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine doses ≥3. Factors significantly associated with malaria were as follows: women from Forécariah and Guéckédou who did not regularly use LLINs and accomplished less than four antenatal care visits (ANC <4) and primigravid and paucigravid women who did not regularly use LLINs. Similarly, the odds of having malaria infection were significantly higher among women who had not regularly used LLINs and among primigravid and paucigravid women who had regularly used LLINs compared to multigravida women who had regularly used LLINs. Conclusion. This study showed that pregnant women remain particularly vulnerable to malaria; therefore, strengthening antenatal care visit strategies by emphasizing on promoting the use of LLINs and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, sexual education about early pregnancies, and family or community support during first pregnancies might be helpful.
Evaluation of Buruli Ulcer Disease Surveillance System in the Ga West Municipality, Ghana, 2011–2015
Background. Buruli ulcer (BU) is one of the most neglected tropical diseases caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. M. ulcerans infection may manifest initially as a pre-ulcerative nodule, a plaque, or oedema which breaks down to form characteristic ulcers with undermined edges. The Ga West Municipality is an endemic area for Buruli ulcer, and we evaluated the BU surveillance system to determine whether the system is meeting its objectives and to assess its attributes. Materials and Methods. We used a checklist based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated surveillance evaluation guidelines, 2006. We reviewed records and dataset on Buruli ulcer for the period 2011–2015. The evaluation was carried out at the national, regional, district, and community levels using the Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region as a study site. Interviews with key stakeholders at the various levels were done using an interview guide, and observations were done with a checklist. Data were entered and analyzed using Epi info 7. Results. A total of 594 cases of Buruli ulcer were reported from 2011 to 2015 in Ga West. The number of confirmed cases decreased from 109 in 2011 to 17 in 2015. The system was useful, fairly simple, flexible, representative, and fairly acceptable. The system was sensitive with a PVP of 45.3%. Although the data quality was good with 85% of case report forms completed, there was under-reporting (3.6%), some discrepancies of data at the district, regional, and national levels. The system was moderately stable, and timeliness of reporting was 30.7%. Conclusion. The Buruli ulcer surveillance system is meeting its set objectives, and the data generated are used to reliably describe the epidemiologic situation and evaluate the results for actions and plan future interventions. There is a need for timely submission of data. We recommend that the National Buruli Ulcer Control Program (NBUCP) provides logistical support to treatment centres.
Circulating Monocytes, Tissue Macrophages, and Malaria
Malaria is a significant cause of global morbidity and mortality. The Plasmodium parasite has a complex life cycle with mosquito, liver, and blood stages. The blood stages can preferentially affect organs such as the brain and placenta. In each of these stages and organs, the parasite will encounter monocytes and tissue-specific macrophages—key cell types in the innate immune response. Interactions between the Plasmodium parasite and monocytes/macrophages lead to several changes at both cellular and molecular levels, such as cytokine release and receptor expression. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the relationship between malaria and blood intervillous monocytes and tissue-specific macrophages of the liver (Kupffer cells), central nervous system (microglia), and placenta (maternal intervillous monocytes and fetal Hofbauer cells). We describe their potential roles in modulating outcomes from infection and areas for future investigation.