65 research outputs found

    Efficacy and Safety of High-Dose Ivermectin for Reducing Malaria Transmission (IVERMAL): Protocol for a Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Dose-Finding Trial in Western Kenya

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    Background: Innovative approaches are needed to complement existing tools for malaria elimination. Ivermectin is a broad spectrum antiparasitic endectocide clinically used for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis control at single doses of 150‐200 mcg/kg. It also shortens the lifespan of mosquitoes that feed on individuals recently treated with ivermectin. However, the effect after a 150‐200 mcg/kg oral dose is short‐lived (6‐11 days). Modelling suggests higher doses, that prolong the mosquitocidal effects, are needed to make a significant contribution to malaria elimination. Ivermectin has a wide therapeutic index and previous studies have shown doses up to 2,000 mcg/kg, i.e. 10x the US Food and Drug Administration approved dose, are well tolerated and safe; the highest dose used for onchocerciasis is single‐dose 800 mcg/kg. Objective: To determine the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of ivermectin 0, 300, 600 mcg/kg/day for 3 days, when provided with a standard 3‐day course of the antimalarial dihydroartemisinin‐piperaquine, on mosquito survival. Methods: This is a double‐blind, randomised, placebo‐controlled, parallel‐group, 3‐arm, dose‐finding trial in adults with uncomplicated malaria. Monte Carlo simulations based on pharmacokinetic modelling were performed to determine the optimum dosing regimens to be tested. Modelling showed that a 3‐day regimen of 600 mcg/kg/day achieves similar median (5‐95 percentiles) Cmax concentrations of ivermectin to single‐dose of 800 mcg/kg, while increasing the median time above the LC50 (16 ng/mL) from 1.9 days (1.0‐5.7) to 6.8 (3.8‐13.4) days. The 300 mcg/kg/day dose was chosen at 50% of the higher dose to allow evaluation of the dose response. Mosquito survival will be assessed daily up to 28 days in laboratory‐reared Anopheles gambiae s.s. populations fed on patients’ blood taken at days 0, 2 (Cmax), 7 (primary outcome), 10, 14, 21, and 28 after the start of treatment. Safety outcomes include QT‐prolongation and mydriasis. The trial will be conducted in 6 health facilities in western Kenya and requires a sample size of 141 participants (47 per arm). Sub‐studies include: (1) rich pharmacokinetics and (2) direct skin vs membrane feeding assays. Results: Recruitment started July 20th, 2015. Data collection was completed on July 2nd, 2016. Unblinding and analysis will commence once the database has been completed, cleaned and locked. Discussion: High‐dose ivermectin, if found to be safe and well tolerated, might offer a promising new tool for malaria elimination. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02511353 (July 15, 2015)

    Impact of indoor residual spraying with pirimiphos-methyl (Actellic 300CS) on entomological indicators of transmission and malaria case burden in Migori County, western Kenya

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    Indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticides is a major vector control strategy for malaria prevention. We evaluated the impact of a single round of IRS with the organophosphate, pirimiphos-methyl (Actellic 300CS), on entomological and parasitological parameters of malaria in Migori County, western Kenya in 2017, in an area where primary vectors are resistant to pyrethroids but susceptible to the IRS compound. Entomological monitoring was conducted by indoor CDC light trap, pyrethrum spray catches (PSC) and human landing collection (HLC) before and after IRS. The residual effect of the insecticide was assessed monthly by exposing susceptible An. gambiae s.s. Kisumu strain to sprayed surfaces in cone assays and measuring mortality at 24 hours. Malaria case burden data were extracted from laboratory records of four health facilities within the sprayed area and two adjacent unsprayed areas. IRS was associated with reductions in An. funestus numbers in the intervention areas compared to non-intervention areas by 88% with light traps (risk ratio [RR] 0.12, 95% CI 0.07–0.21, p < 0.001) and 93% with PSC collections (RR = 0.07, 0.03–0.17, p < 0.001). The corresponding reductions in the numbers of An. arabiensis collected by PSC were 69% in the intervention compared to the non-intervention areas (RR = 0.31, 0.14–0.68, p = 0.006), but there was no significant difference with light traps (RR = 0.45, 0.21–0.96, p = 0.05). Before IRS, An. funestus accounted for over 80% of Anopheles mosquitoes collected by light trap and PSC in all sites. After IRS, An. arabiensis accounted for 86% of Anopheles collected by PSC and 66% by CDC light trap in the sprayed sites while the proportion in non-intervention sites remained unchanged. No sporozoite infections were detected in intervention areas after IRS and biting rates by An. funestus were reduced to near zero. Anopheles funestus and An. arabiensis were fully susceptible to pirimiphos-methyl and resistant to pyrethroids. The residual effect of Actellic 300CS lasted ten months on mud and concrete walls. Malaria case counts among febrile patients within IRS areas was lower post- compared to pre-IRS by 44%, 65% and 47% in Rongo, Uriri and Nyatike health facilities respectively. A single application of IRS with Actellic 300CS in Migori County provided ten months protection and resulted in the near elimination of the primary malaria vector An. funestus and a corresponding reduction of malaria case count among out-patients. The impact was less on An. arabiensis, most likely due to their exophilic nature

    Linkage analysis and exome sequencing identify a novel mutation in KCTD7 in patients with progressive myoclonus epilepsy with ataxia

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    Epilepsy affects approximately 1% of the world\u27s population. Genetic factors and acquired etiologies, as well as a range of environmental triggers, together contribute to epileptogenesis.Wehave identified a family with three daughters affected with progressive myoclonus epilepsy with ataxia. Clinical details of the onset and progression of the neurologic presentation, epileptic seizures, and the natural history of progression over a 10-year period are described. Using autozygosity genetic mapping, we identified a high likelihood homozygous region on chromosome 7p12.1-7q11.22. We subsequently applied whole-exome sequencing and employed a rare variant prioritization analysis within the homozygous region. We identified p.Tyr276Cys in the potassium channel tetramerization domain-containing seven gene, KCTD7, which is expressed predominantly in the brain. Mutations in this gene have been implicated previously in epileptic phenotypes due to disturbances in potassium channel conductance. Pathogenicity of the mutation was supported by bioinformatic predictive analyses and variant cosegregation within the family. Further biologic validation is necessary to fully characterize the pathogenic mechanisms that explain the phenotypic causes of epilepsy with ataxia in these patients

    An assessment of the Arctic Ocean in a suite of interannual CORE-II simulations. Part III: Hydrography and fluxes

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    In this paper we compare the simulated Arctic Ocean in 15 global ocean–sea ice models in the framework of the Coordinated Ocean-ice Reference Experiments, phase II (CORE-II). Most of these models are the ocean and sea-ice components of the coupled climate models used in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) experiments. We mainly focus on the hydrography of the Arctic interior, the state of Atlantic Water layer and heat and volume transports at the gateways of the Davis Strait, the Bering Strait, the Fram Strait and the Barents Sea Opening. We found that there is a large spread in temperature in the Arctic Ocean between the models, and generally large differences compared to the observed temperature at intermediate depths. Warm bias models have a strong temperature anomaly of inflow of the Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean through the Fram Strait. Another process that is not represented accurately in the CORE-II models is the formation of cold and dense water, originating on the eastern shelves. In the cold bias models, excessive cold water forms in the Barents Sea and spreads into the Arctic Ocean through the St. Anna Through. There is a large spread in the simulated mean heat and volume transports through the Fram Strait and the Barents Sea Opening. The models agree more on the decadal variability, to a large degree dictated by the common atmospheric forcing. We conclude that the CORE-II model study helps us to understand the crucial biases in the Arctic Ocean. The current coarse resolution state-of-the-art ocean models need to be improved in accurate representation of the Atlantic Water inflow into the Arctic and density currents coming from the shelves

    North Atlantic simulations in Coordinated Ocean-ice Reference Experiments phase II (CORE-II). Part I: Mean states

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    Simulation characteristics from eighteen global ocean–sea-ice coupled models are presented with a focus on the mean Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and other related fields in the North Atlantic. These experiments use inter-annually varying atmospheric forcing data sets for the 60-year period from 1948 to 2007 and are performed as contributions to the second phase of the Coordinated Ocean-ice Reference Experiments (CORE-II). The protocol for conducting such CORE-II experiments is summarized. Despite using the same atmospheric forcing, the solutions show significant differences. As most models also differ from available observations, biases in the Labrador Sea region in upper-ocean potential temperature and salinity distributions, mixed layer depths, and sea-ice cover are identified as contributors to differences in AMOC. These differences in the solutions do not suggest an obvious grouping of the models based on their ocean model lineage, their vertical coordinate representations, or surface salinity restoring strengths. Thus, the solution differences among the models are attributed primarily to use of different subgrid scale parameterizations and parameter choices as well as to differences in vertical and horizontal grid resolutions in the ocean models. Use of a wide variety of sea-ice models with diverse snow and sea-ice albedo treatments also contributes to these differences. Based on the diagnostics considered, the majority of the models appear suitable for use in studies involving the North Atlantic, but some models require dedicated development effort

    Is My Network Module Preserved and Reproducible?

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    In many applications, one is interested in determining which of the properties of a network module change across conditions. For example, to validate the existence of a module, it is desirable to show that it is reproducible (or preserved) in an independent test network. Here we study several types of network preservation statistics that do not require a module assignment in the test network. We distinguish network preservation statistics by the type of the underlying network. Some preservation statistics are defined for a general network (defined by an adjacency matrix) while others are only defined for a correlation network (constructed on the basis of pairwise correlations between numeric variables). Our applications show that the correlation structure facilitates the definition of particularly powerful module preservation statistics. We illustrate that evaluating module preservation is in general different from evaluating cluster preservation. We find that it is advantageous to aggregate multiple preservation statistics into summary preservation statistics. We illustrate the use of these methods in six gene co-expression network applications including 1) preservation of cholesterol biosynthesis pathway in mouse tissues, 2) comparison of human and chimpanzee brain networks, 3) preservation of selected KEGG pathways between human and chimpanzee brain networks, 4) sex differences in human cortical networks, 5) sex differences in mouse liver networks. While we find no evidence for sex specific modules in human cortical networks, we find that several human cortical modules are less preserved in chimpanzees. In particular, apoptosis genes are differentially co-expressed between humans and chimpanzees. Our simulation studies and applications show that module preservation statistics are useful for studying differences between the modular structure of networks. Data, R software and accompanying tutorials can be downloaded from the following webpage: http://www.genetics.ucla.edu/labs/horvath/CoexpressionNetwork/ModulePreservation

    Missense Mutations in the MEFV Gene Are Associated with Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Correlate with Elevated IL-1ÎČ Plasma Levels

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    BACKGROUND:Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), a common, chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain disorder found in 2% of the general population and with a preponderance of 85% in females, has both genetic and environmental contributions. Patients and their parents have high plasma levels of the chemokines MCP-1 and eotaxin, providing evidence for both a genetic and an immunological/inflammatory origin for the syndrome (Zhang et al., 2008, Exp. Biol. Med. 233: 1171-1180). METHODS AND FINDINGS:In a search for a candidate gene affecting inflammatory pathways, among five screened in our patient samples (100 probands with FMS and their parents), we found 10 rare and one common alleles for MEFV, a gene in which various compound heterozygous mutations lead to Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF). A total of 2.63 megabases of genomic sequence of the MEFV gene were scanned by direct sequencing. The collection of rare missense mutations (all heterozygotes and tested in the aggregate) had a significant elevated frequency of transmission to affecteds (p = 0.0085, one-sided, exact binomial test). Our data provide evidence that rare missense variants of the MEFV gene are, collectively, associated with risk of FMS and are present in a subset of 15% of FMS patients. This subset had, on average, high levels of plasma IL-1beta (p = 0.019) compared to FMS patients without rare variants, unaffected family members with or without rare variants, and unrelated controls of unknown genotype. IL-1beta is a cytokine associated with the function of the MEFV gene and thought to be responsible for its symptoms of fever and muscle aches. CONCLUSIONS:Since misregulation of IL-1beta expression has been predicted for patients with mutations in the MEFV gene, we conclude that patients heterozygous for rare missense variants of this gene may be predisposed to FMS, possibly triggered by environmental factors