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      Artemisinin resistance containment project in Thailand. (I): Implementation of electronic-based malaria information system for early case detection and individual case management in provinces along the Thai-Cambodian border

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          Abstract

          Background

          The Bureau of Vector-borne Diseases, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, has implemented an electronic Malaria Information System (eMIS) as part of a strategy to contain artemisinin resistance. The attempt corresponds to the WHO initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to contain anti-malarial drug resistance in Southeast Asia. The main objective of this study was to demonstrate the eMIS’ functionality and outputs after implementation for use in the Thailand artemisinin-resistance containment project.

          Methods

          The eMIS had been functioning since 2009 in seven Thai-Cambodian border provinces. The eMIS has covered 61 malaria posts/clinics, 27 Vector-borne Disease Units covering 12,508 hamlets at risk of malaria infections. The eMIS was designed as an evidence-based and near real-time system to capture data for early case detection, intensive case investigation, monitoring drug compliance and on/off-site tracking of malarial patients, as well as collecting data indicating potential drug resistance among patients. Data captured by the eMIS in 2008–2011 were extracted and presented.

          Results

          The core functionalities of the eMIS have been utilized by malaria staff at all levels, from local operational units to ministerial management. The eMIS case detection module suggested decreasing trends during 2009–2011; the number of malaria cases detected in the project areas over the years studied were 3818, 2695, and 2566, with sero-positive rates of 1.24, 0.98, and 1.16%, respectively. The eMIS case investigation module revealed different trends in weekly Plasmodium falciparum case numbers, when classified by responsible operational unit, local and migrant status, and case-detection type. It was shown that most Thai patients were infected within their own residential district, while migrants were infected either at their working village or from across the border. The data mapped in the system suggested that P. falciparum-infected cases and potential drug-resistant cases were scattered mostly along the border villages. The mobile technology application has detected different follow-up rates, with particularly low rates among seasonal and cross-border migrants.

          Conclusion

          The eMIS demonstrated that it could capture essential data from individual malaria cases at local operational units, while effectively being used for situation and trend analysis at upper-management levels. The system provides evidence-based information that could contribute to the control and containment of resistant parasites. Currently, the eMIS is expanding beyond the Thai-Cambodian project areas to the provinces that lie along the Thai-Myanmar border.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

          Artemisinin-based combination therapies are the recommended first-line treatments of falciparum malaria in all countries with endemic disease. There are recent concerns that the efficacy of such therapies has declined on the Thai-Cambodian border, historically a site of emerging antimalarial-drug resistance. In two open-label, randomized trials, we compared the efficacies of two treatments for uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Pailin, western Cambodia, and Wang Pha, northwestern Thailand: oral artesunate given at a dose of 2 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, for 7 days, and artesunate given at a dose of 4 mg per kilogram per day, for 3 days, followed by mefloquine at two doses totaling 25 mg per kilogram. We assessed in vitro and in vivo Plasmodium falciparum susceptibility, artesunate pharmacokinetics, and molecular markers of resistance. We studied 40 patients in each of the two locations. The overall median parasite clearance times were 84 hours (interquartile range, 60 to 96) in Pailin and 48 hours (interquartile range, 36 to 66) in Wang Pha (P<0.001). Recrudescence confirmed by means of polymerase-chain-reaction assay occurred in 6 of 20 patients (30%) receiving artesunate monotherapy and 1 of 20 (5%) receiving artesunate-mefloquine therapy in Pailin, as compared with 2 of 20 (10%) and 1 of 20 (5%), respectively, in Wang Pha (P=0.31). These markedly different parasitologic responses were not explained by differences in age, artesunate or dihydroartemisinin pharmacokinetics, results of isotopic in vitro sensitivity tests, or putative molecular correlates of P. falciparum drug resistance (mutations or amplifications of the gene encoding a multidrug resistance protein [PfMDR1] or mutations in the gene encoding sarco-endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase6 [PfSERCA]). Adverse events were mild and did not differ significantly between the two treatment groups. P. falciparum has reduced in vivo susceptibility to artesunate in western Cambodia as compared with northwestern Thailand. Resistance is characterized by slow parasite clearance in vivo without corresponding reductions on conventional in vitro susceptibility testing. Containment measures are urgently needed. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00493363, and Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN64835265.) 2009 Massachusetts Medical Society
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            Artemisinin resistance: current status and scenarios for containment.

            Artemisinin combination therapies are the first-line treatments for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in most malaria-endemic countries. Recently, partial artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum malaria has emerged on the Cambodia-Thailand border. Exposure of the parasite population to artemisinin monotherapies in subtherapeutic doses for over 30 years, and the availability of substandard artemisinins, have probably been the main driving force in the selection of the resistant phenotype in the region. A multifaceted containment programme has recently been launched, including early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, decreasing drug pressure, optimising vector control, targeting the mobile population, strengthening management and surveillance systems, and operational research. Mathematical modelling can be a useful tool to evaluate possible strategies for containment.
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              Large-scale malaria survey in Cambodia: Novel insights on species distribution and risk factors

              Background In Cambodia, estimates of the malaria burden rely on a public health information system that does not record cases occurring among remote populations, neither malaria cases treated in the private sector nor asymptomatic carriers. A global estimate of the current malaria situation and associated risk factors is, therefore, still lacking. Methods A large cross-sectional survey was carried out in three areas of multidrug resistant malaria in Cambodia, enrolling 11,652 individuals. Fever and splenomegaly were recorded. Malaria prevalence, parasite densities and spatial distribution of infection were determined to identify parasitological profiles and the associated risk factors useful for improving malaria control programmes in the country. Results Malaria prevalence was 3.0%, 7.0% and 12.3% in Sampovloun, Koh Kong and Preah Vihear areas. Prevalences and Plasmodium species were heterogeneously distributed, with higher Plasmodium vivax rates in areas of low transmission. Malaria-attributable fevers accounted only for 10–33% of malaria cases, and 23–33% of parasite carriers were febrile. Multivariate multilevel regression analysis identified adults and males, mostly involved in forest activities, as high risk groups in Sampovloun, with additional risks for children in forest-fringe villages in the other areas along with an increased risk with distance from health facilities. Conclusion These observations point to a more complex malaria situation than suspected from official reports. A large asymptomatic reservoir was observed. The rates of P. vivax infections were higher than recorded in several areas. In remote areas, malaria prevalence was high. This indicates that additional health facilities should be implemented in areas at higher risk, such as remote rural and forested parts of the country, which are not adequately served by health services. Precise malaria risk mapping all over the country is needed to assess the extensive geographical heterogeneity of malaria endemicity and risk populations, so that current malaria control measures can be reinforced accordingly.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Malar J
                Malar. J
                Malaria Journal
                BioMed Central
                1475-2875
                2012
                29 July 2012
                : 11
                : 247
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Center of Excellence for Biomedical and Public Health Informatics (BIOPHICS), Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                [2 ]Bureau of Vector-borne Diseases, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand
                [3 ]World Health Organization, Mekong Malaria Programme, c/o Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, 420/6 Rajvithi Rd, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand
                [4 ]Department of Tropical Hygiene, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                Article
                1475-2875-11-247
                10.1186/1475-2875-11-247
                3464131
                22839508
                Copyright ©2012 Khamsiriwatchara et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Research

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