ResearchPad - cluster-trials https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Predictors of change of health workers’ knowledge and skills after the Helping Mothers Survive Bleeding after Birth (HMS BAB) in-facility training in Tanzania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15768 Our study aimed to assess the effect of Helping Mothers Survive Bleeding after Birth on knowledge and skills of health workers and whether such effect varies by health workers characteristics.MethodsNested in a cluster-randomised trial to assess the effect of the training on health outcomes, we assessed changes in knowledge and simulated skills in 61 facilities. The assessments were done i) before, ii) immediately-after training session and iii) at 10-month follow-up for subset of health-workers of implementation facilities as defined by the trial. We used a self-administered questionnaire and Objective Structures Clinical Examinations to assess three skill sets: Active Management of Third Stage of Labour, removal of retained placenta and management of severe postpartum haemorrhage. We computed summary statistics and used the paired t-test to assess change of knowledge and skills immediately post-training and at 10-month follow-up. Linear regression was done to assess association of scores and health worker characteristics.ResultsOf the 636 health workers included, 606 (96.7%) and 591 (91.4%) completed the knowledge and skills assessments, respectively. Majority of the participants (68%) were nurse-midwives. Knowledge scores increased by 15 percentage-points from 77.5% to 93% (95% CI 14.3, 16.3, p-value <0.000), and skills scores by 47 percentage-points (95% CI 46.5, 49.2, p-value <0.000) from 37.5% to 83%. There was a 4.0% decline of skills at 10-month follow-up. The decline was higher in auxiliary staff (-11.8%) and least in nurse-midwives (-2.1%) p-value <0.001. Health workers who assisted less than 5 deliveries in the last month, those who never attended postpartum haemorrhage in-service training and profession experience >8 years were associated with lower mean skill change immediately post-training.ConclusionOur study supports the potential of the Helping Mothers Survive Bleeding after Birth training to increase knowledge and skills of postpartum haemorrhage among all professional groups. Auxiliary staff benefited most from the training but also showed higher skill decline at 10-month. Our study highlights the importance to disaggregate knowledge and skills by health workers characteristics. ]]> <![CDATA[Using simulation to aid trial design: Ring-vaccination trials]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdcfff

Background

The 2014–6 West African Ebola epidemic highlights the need for rigorous, rapid clinical trial methods for vaccines. A challenge for trial design is making sample size calculations based on incidence within the trial, total vaccine effect, and intracluster correlation, when these parameters are uncertain in the presence of indirect effects of vaccination.

Methods and findings

We present a stochastic, compartmental model for a ring vaccination trial. After identification of an index case, a ring of contacts is recruited and either vaccinated immediately or after 21 days. The primary outcome of the trial is total vaccine effect, counting cases only from a pre-specified window in which the immediate arm is assumed to be fully protected and the delayed arm is not protected. Simulation results are used to calculate necessary sample size and estimated vaccine effect. Under baseline assumptions about vaccine properties, monthly incidence in unvaccinated rings and trial design, a standard sample-size calculation neglecting dynamic effects estimated that 7,100 participants would be needed to achieve 80% power to detect a difference in attack rate between arms, while incorporating dynamic considerations in the model increased the estimate to 8,900. This approach replaces assumptions about parameters at the ring level with assumptions about disease dynamics and vaccine characteristics at the individual level, so within this framework we were able to describe the sensitivity of the trial power and estimated effect to various parameters. We found that both of these quantities are sensitive to properties of the vaccine, to setting-specific parameters over which investigators have little control, and to parameters that are determined by the study design.

Conclusions

Incorporating simulation into the trial design process can improve robustness of sample size calculations. For this specific trial design, vaccine effectiveness depends on properties of the ring vaccination design and on the measurement window, as well as the epidemiologic setting.

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<![CDATA[Safety of a topical insect repellent (picaridin) during community mass use for malaria control in rural Cambodia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcd6c

Background

While community distribution of topical repellents has been proposed as an additional malaria control intervention, the safety of this intervention at the population level remains poorly evaluated. We describe the safety of mass distribution of the picaridin repellent during a cluster-randomised trial in rural Cambodia in 2012–2013.

Methods

The repellent was distributed among 57 intervention villages with around 25,000 inhabitants by a team of village distributors. Information on individual adverse events, reported by phone by the village distributors, was obtained through home visits. Information on perceived side effects, reported at the family level, was obtained during two-weekly bottle exchange. Adverse events were classified as adverse reactions (events likely linked to the repellent), cases of repellent abuse and events not related to the repellent use, and classified as per Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events.

Findings

Of the 41 adverse events notified by phone by the village distributors, there were 22 adverse reactions, 11 cases of repellent abuse (6 accidental, 5 suicide attempts) and 8 non-related events. All adverse reactions were mild, occurred in the first few months of use, and mainly manifested as skin conditions. Of the 11 cases of abuse, 2 were moderate and 2 life-threatening. All cases with adverse reactions and repellent abuse recovered completely. 20% of families reported perceived side effects, mainly itching, headache, dizziness and bad smell, but few discontinued repellent use.

Conclusions

Adverse reactions and abuse during mass use of picaridin were uncommon and generally mild, supporting the safety of the picaridin repellent for malaria control.

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<![CDATA[Effectiveness of Improvement Plans in Primary Care Practice Accreditation: A Clustered Randomized Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daedab0ee8fa60bbfe0b

Background

Accreditation of healthcare organizations is a widely used method to assess and improve quality of healthcare. Our aim was to determine the effectiveness of improvement plans in practice accreditation of primary care practices, focusing on cardiovascular risk management (CVRM).

Method

A two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial with a block design was conducted with measurements at baseline and follow-up. Primary care practices allocated to the intervention group (n = 22) were instructed to focus improvement plans during the intervention period on CVRM, while practices in the control group (n = 23) could focus on any domain except on CVRM and diabetes mellitus. Primary outcomes were systolic blood pressure <140 mmHg, LDL cholesterol <2.5 mmol/l and prescription of antiplatelet drugs. Secondary outcomes were 17 indicators of CVRM and physician's perceived goal attainment for the chosen improvement project.

Results

No effect was found on the primary outcomes. Blood pressure targets were reached in 39.8% of patients in the intervention and 38.7% of patients in the control group; cholesterol target levels were reached in 44.5% and 49.0% respectively; antiplatelet drugs were prescribed in 82.7% in both groups. Six secondary outcomes improved: smoking status, exercise control, diet control, registration of alcohol intake, measurement of waist circumference, and fasting glucose. Participants' perceived goal attainment was high in both arms: mean scores of 7.9 and 8.2 on the 10-point scale.

Conclusions

The focus of improvement plans on CVRM in the practice accreditation program led to some improvements of CVRM, but not on the primary outcomes.

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00791362

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<![CDATA[Novel Ordered Stepped-Wedge Cluster Trial Designs for Detecting Ebola Vaccine Efficacy Using a Spatially Structured Mathematical Model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da04ab0ee8fa60b753c8

Background

During the 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, policy-makers were confronted with difficult decisions on how best to test the efficacy of EVD vaccines. On one hand, many were reluctant to withhold a vaccine that might prevent a fatal disease from study participants randomized to a control arm. On the other, regulatory bodies called for rigorous placebo-controlled trials to permit direct measurement of vaccine efficacy prior to approval of the products. A stepped-wedge cluster study (SWCT) was proposed as an alternative to a more traditional randomized controlled vaccine trial to address these concerns. Here, we propose novel “ordered stepped-wedge cluster trial” (OSWCT) designs to further mitigate tradeoffs between ethical concerns, logistics, and statistical rigor.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We constructed a spatially structured mathematical model of the EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone. We used the output of this model to simulate and compare a series of stepped-wedge cluster vaccine studies. Our model reproduced the observed order of first case occurrence within districts of Sierra Leone. Depending on the infection risk within the trial population and the trial start dates, the statistical power to detect a vaccine efficacy of 90% varied from 14% to 32% for standard SWCT, and from 67% to 91% for OSWCTs for an alpha error of 5%. The model’s projection of first case occurrence was robust to changes in disease natural history parameters.

Conclusions/Significance

Ordering clusters in a step-wedge trial based on the cluster’s underlying risk of infection as predicted by a spatial model can increase the statistical power of a SWCT. In the event of another hemorrhagic fever outbreak, implementation of our proposed OSWCT designs could improve statistical power when a step-wedge study is desirable based on either ethical concerns or logistical constraints.

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<![CDATA[Uptake of Home-Based HIV Testing, Linkage to Care, and Community Attitudes about ART in Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: Descriptive Results from the First Phase of the ANRS 12249 TasP Cluster-Randomised Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8fab0ee8fa60b9f406

Background

The 2015 WHO recommendation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all immediately following HIV diagnosis is partially based on the anticipated impact on HIV incidence in the surrounding population. We investigated this approach in a cluster-randomised trial in a high HIV prevalence setting in rural KwaZulu-Natal. We present findings from the first phase of the trial and report on uptake of home-based HIV testing, linkage to care, uptake of ART, and community attitudes about ART.

Methods and Findings

Between 9 March 2012 and 22 May 2014, five clusters in the intervention arm (immediate ART offered to all HIV-positive adults) and five clusters in the control arm (ART offered according to national guidelines, i.e., CD4 count ≤ 350 cells/μl) contributed to the first phase of the trial. Households were visited every 6 mo. Following informed consent and administration of a study questionnaire, each resident adult (≥16 y) was asked for a finger-prick blood sample, which was used to estimate HIV prevalence, and offered a rapid HIV test using a serial HIV testing algorithm. All HIV-positive adults were referred to the trial clinic in their cluster. Those not linked to care 3 mo after identification were contacted by a linkage-to-care team. Study procedures were not blinded.

In all, 12,894 adults were registered as eligible for participation (5,790 in intervention arm; 7,104 in control arm), of whom 9,927 (77.0%) were contacted at least once during household visits. HIV status was ever ascertained for a total of 8,233/9,927 (82.9%), including 2,569 ascertained as HIV-positive (942 tested HIV-positive and 1,627 reported a known HIV-positive status). Of the 1,177 HIV-positive individuals not previously in care and followed for at least 6 mo in the trial, 559 (47.5%) visited their cluster trial clinic within 6 mo. In the intervention arm, 89% (194/218) initiated ART within 3 mo of their first clinic visit. In the control arm, 42.3% (83/196) had a CD4 count ≤ 350 cells/μl at first visit, of whom 92.8% initiated ART within 3 mo. Regarding attitudes about ART, 93% (8,802/9,460) of participants agreed with the statement that they would want to start ART as soon as possible if HIV-positive. Estimated baseline HIV prevalence was 30.5% (2,028/6,656) (95% CI 25.0%, 37.0%). HIV prevalence, uptake of home-based HIV testing, linkage to care within 6 mo, and initiation of ART within 3 mo in those with CD4 count ≤ 350 cells/μl did not differ significantly between the intervention and control clusters. Selection bias related to noncontact could not be entirely excluded.

Conclusions

Home-based HIV testing was well received in this rural population, although men were less easily contactable at home; immediate ART was acceptable, with good viral suppression and retention. However, only about half of HIV-positive people accessed care within 6 mo of being identified, with nearly two-thirds accessing care by 12 mo. The observed delay in linkage to care would limit the individual and public health ART benefits of universal testing and treatment in this population.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01509508

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<![CDATA[Cytoplasmic and/or Nuclear Expression of β-Catenin Correlate with Poor Prognosis and Unfavorable Clinicopathological Factors in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daddab0ee8fa60bba88a

Background

The β-catenin is an important effector in WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway, which exerts a crucial role in the development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Some researchers have suggested that the overexpression of β-catenin in cytoplasm and/or nucleus was closely correlated to metastasis, poor differentiation and malignant phenotype of HCC while some other researchers hold opposite point. So far, no consensus was obtained on the prognostic and clinicopathological significance of cytoplasmic/nuclear β-catenin overexpression for HCCs.

Methods

Systematic strategies were applied to search eligible studies in all available databases. Subgroup analyses, sensitivity analyses and multivariate analysis were performed. In this meta-analysis, we utilized either fixed- or random-effects model to calculate the pooled odds ratios (OR) and its 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results

A total of 22 studies containing 2334 cases were enrolled in this meta-analysis. Pooled data suggested that accumulation of β-catenin in cytoplasm and/or nucleus significantly correlated with poor 1-, 3- and 5-year OS and RFS. Moreover, nuclear accumulation combined with cytoplasmic accumulation of β-catenin tended to be associated with dismal metastasis and vascular invasion while cytoplasmic or nuclear expression alone showed no significant effect. Besides, no significant association was observed between cytoplasmic and/or nuclear β-catenin expression and poor differentiation grade, advanced TNM stage, liver cirrhosis, tumor size, tumor encapsulation, AFP and etiologies. Additional subgroup analysis by origin suggested that the prognostic value and clinicopathological significance of cytoplasmic and/or nuclear β-catenin expression was more validated in Asian population. Multivariate analyses of factors showed that cytoplasmic and/or nuclear β-catenin expression, as well as TNM stage, metastasis and tumor size, was an independent risk factors for OS and RFS.

Conclusions

Cytoplasmic and/or nuclear accumulation of β-catenin, as an independent prognostic factor, significantly associated with poor prognosis and deeper invasion of HCC, and could serve as a valuable prognostic predictor for HCC.

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<![CDATA[Multifaceted Intervention to Prevent Venous Thromboembolism in Patients Hospitalized for Acute Medical Illness: A Multicenter Cluster-Randomized Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3eab0ee8fa60b88e6b

Background

Misuse of thromboprophylaxis may increase preventable complications for hospitalized medical patients.

Objectives

To assess the net clinical benefit of a multifaceted intervention in emergency wards (educational lectures, posters, pocket cards, computerized clinical decision support systems and, where feasible, electronic reminders) for the prevention of venous thromboembolism.

Patients/Methods

Prospective cluster-randomized trial in 27 hospitals. After a pre-intervention period, centers were randomized as either intervention (n = 13) or control (n = 14). All patients over 40 years old, admitted to the emergency room, and hospitalized in a medical ward were included, totaling 1,402 (712 intervention and 690 control) and 15,351 (8,359 intervention and 6,992 control) in the pre-intervention and intervention periods, respectively.

Results

Symptomatic venous thromboembolism or major bleeding (primary outcome) occurred at 3 months in 3.1% and 3.2% of patients in the intervention and control groups, respectively (adjusted odds ratio: 1.02 [95% confidence interval: 0.78–1.34]). The rates of thromboembolism (1.9% vs. 1.9%), major bleedings (1.2% vs. 1.3%), and mortality (11.3% vs. 11.1%) did not differ between the groups. Between the pre-intervention and intervention periods, the proportion of patients who received prophylactic anticoagulant treatment more steeply increased in the intervention group (from 35.0% to 48.2%: +13.2%) than the control (40.7% to 44.1%: +3.4%), while the rate of adequate thromboprophylaxis remained stable in both groups (52.4% to 50.9%: -1.5%; 49.1% to 48.8%: -0.3%).

Conclusions

Our intervention neither improved adequate prophylaxis nor reduced the rates of clinical events. New strategies are required to improve thromboembolism prevention for hospitalized medical patients.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01212393

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<![CDATA[Effectiveness of Insecticide Spraying and Culling of Dogs on the Incidence of Leishmania infantum Infection in Humans: A Cluster Randomized Trial in Teresina, Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf6ab0ee8fa60bc2dca

Background

To evaluate the effect of insecticide spraying for vector control and elimination of infected dogs on the incidence of human infection with L. infantum, a randomized community intervention trial was carried out in the city of Teresina, Brazil.

Methods/Principal Findings

Within each of ten localities in the city, four blocks were selected and randomized to 4 interventions: 1) spraying houses and animal pens with insecticide; 2) eliminating infected dogs; 3) combination of spraying and eliminating dogs, and 4) nothing. The main outcome is the incidence of infection assessed by the conversion of the Montenegro skin test (MST) after 18 months of follow-up in residents aged ≥1 year with no previous history of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Reactions were measured at 48–72 h, induration of ≥5 mm considered positive. Interventions were executed after the baseline interview and repeated 6 and 12 months later. The effects of each type of intervention scheme on the incidence of infection were assessed by calculating relative risks and 95% confidence intervals using Poisson population-averaged regression models with robust variance. Among the 1105 participants, 408 (37%) were MST positive at baseline. Of the 697 negatives, only 423 (61%) were reexamined at the end of the follow-up; 151 (36%) of them converted to a positive MST. Only dog culling had some statistically significant effect on reducing the incidence of infection, with estimates of effectiveness varying between 27% and 52%, depending on the type of analysis performed.

Conclusions/Significance

In light of the continuous spread of VL in Brazil despite the large scale deployment of insecticide spraying and dog culling, the relatively low to moderate effectiveness of dog culling and the non-significant effect of insecticide spraying on the incidence of human infection, we conclude that there is an urgent need for revision of the Brazilian VL control program.

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<![CDATA[Engagement, Retention, and Progression to Type 2 Diabetes: A Retrospective Analysis of the Cluster-Randomised "Let's Prevent Diabetes" Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da47ab0ee8fa60b8c1fa

Background

Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a global priority. Let’s Prevent Diabetes is a group-based diabetes prevention programme; it was evaluated in a cluster-randomised trial, in which the primary analysis showed a reduction in T2DM (hazard ratio [HR] 0.74, 95% CI 0.48–1.14, p = 0.18). We examined the association of engagement and retention with the Let’s Prevent Diabetes prevention programme and T2DM incidence.

Methods and Findings

We used data from a completed cluster-randomised controlled trial including 43 general practices randomised to receive either standard care or a 6-h group structured education programme with an annual refresher course for 2 y. The primary outcome was progression to T2DM at 3 y. The characteristics of those who attended the initial education session (engagers) versus nonengagers and those who attended all sessions (retainers) versus nonretainers were compared. Risk reduction of progression to T2DM by level of attendance was compared to standard care. Eight hundred and eighty participants were recruited, with 447 to the intervention arm, of which 346 (77.4%) were engagers and 130 (29.1%) were retainers. Retainers and engagers were more likely to be older, leaner, and nonsmokers than nonretainers/nonengagers. Engagers were also more likely to be male and be from less socioeconomically deprived areas than nonengagers. Participants who attended the initial session and at least one refresher session were less likely to develop T2DM compared to those in the control arm (30 people of 248 versus 67 people of 433, HR 0.38 [95% CI 0.24–0.62]). Participants who were retained in the programme were also less likely to develop T2DM compared to those in the control arm (7 people of 130 versus 67 people of 433, HR 0.12 [95% CI 0.05–0.28]). Being retained in the programme was also associated with improvements in glucose, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), weight, waist circumference, anxiety, quality of life, and daily step count. Given that the data used are from a clinical trial, those taking part might reflect a more motivated sample than the population, which should be taken into account when interpreting the results.

Conclusions

This study suggests that being retained/engaged in a relatively low-resource, pragmatic diabetes prevention programme for those at high risk is associated with reductions in the progression to T2DM in comparison to those who receive standard care. Nonengagers and nonretainers share similar high-risk traits. Service providers of programmes should focus on reaching these hard-to-reach groups.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov ISRCTN80605705

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<![CDATA[Potential for Controlling Cholera Using a Ring Vaccination Strategy: Re-analysis of Data from a Cluster-Randomized Clinical Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da03ab0ee8fa60b74f55

Introduction

Vaccinating a buffer of individuals around a case (ring vaccination) has the potential to target those who are at highest risk of infection, reducing the number of doses needed to control a disease. We explored the potential vaccine effectiveness (VE) of oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) for such a strategy.

Methods and Findings

This analysis uses existing data from a cluster-randomized clinical trial in which OCV or placebo was given to 71,900 participants in Kolkata, India, from 27 July to 10 September 2006. Cholera surveillance was then conducted on 144,106 individuals living in the study area, including trial participants, for 5 y following vaccination. First, we explored the risk of cholera among contacts of cholera patients, and, second, we measured VE among individuals living within 25 m of cholera cases between 8 and 28 d after onset of the index case. For the first analysis, individuals living around each index case identified during the 5-y period were assembled using a ring to define cohorts of individuals exposed to cholera index cases. An index control without cholera was randomly selected for each index case from the same population, matched by age group, and individuals living around each index control were assembled using a ring to define cohorts not exposed to cholera cases. Cholera attack rates among the exposed and non-exposed cohorts were compared using different distances from the index case/control to define the rings and different time frames to define the period at risk. For the VE analysis, the exposed cohorts were further stratified according to the level of vaccine coverage into high and low coverage strata. Overall VE was assessed by comparing the attack rates between high and low vaccine coverage strata irrespective of individuals’ vaccination status, and indirect VE was assessed by comparing the attack rates among unvaccinated members between high and low vaccine coverage strata.

Cholera risk among the cohort exposed to cholera cases was 5–11 times higher than that among the cohort not exposed to cholera cases. The risk gradually diminished with an increase in distance and time. The overall and indirect VE measured between 8 and 28 d after exposure to a cholera index case during the first 2 y was 91% (95% CI 62%–98%) and 93% (95% CI 44%–99%), respectively. VE persisted for 5 y after vaccination and was similar whether the index case was a young child (<5 y) or was older. Of note, this study was a reanalysis of a cholera vaccine trial that used two doses; thus, a limitation of the study relates to the assumption that a single dose, if administered quickly, will induce a similar level of total and indirect protection over the short term as did two doses.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that high-level protection can be achieved if individuals living close to cholera cases are living in a high coverage ring. Since this was an observational study including participants who had received two doses of vaccine (or placebo) in the clinical trial, further studies are needed to determine whether a ring vaccination strategy, in which vaccine is given quickly to those living close to a case, is feasible and effective.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00289224

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<![CDATA[The impact of an intervention to introduce malaria rapid diagnostic tests on fever case management in a high transmission setting in Uganda: A mixed-methods cluster-randomized trial (PRIME)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbe5c

Background

Rapid diagnostic tests for malaria (mRDTs) have been scaled-up widely across Africa. The PRIME study evaluated an intervention aiming to improve fever case management using mRDTs at public health centers in Uganda.

Methods

A cluster-randomized trial was conducted from 2010–13 in Tororo, a high malaria transmission setting. Twenty public health centers were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to intervention or control. The intervention included training in health center management, fever case management with mRDTs, and patient-centered services; plus provision of mRDTs and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) when stocks ran low. Three rounds of Interviews were conducted with caregivers of children under five years of age as they exited health centers (N = 1400); reference mRDTs were done in children with fever (N = 1336). Health worker perspectives on mRDTs were elicited through semi-structured questionnaires (N = 49) and in-depth interviews (N = 10). The primary outcome was inappropriate treatment of malaria, defined as the proportion of febrile children who were not treated according to guidelines based on the reference mRDT.

Findings

There was no difference in inappropriate treatment of malaria between the intervention and control arms (24.0% versus 29.7%, adjusted risk ratio 0.81 [95% CI: 0.56, 1.17] p = 0.24). Most children (76.0%) tested positive by reference mRDT, but many were not prescribed AL (22.5% intervention versus 25.9% control, p = 0.53). Inappropriate treatment of children testing negative by reference mRDT with AL was also common (31.3% invention vs 42.4% control, p = 0.29). Health workers appreciated mRDTs but felt that integrating testing into practice was challenging given constraints on time and infrastructure.

Conclusions

The PRIME intervention did not have the desired impact on inappropriate treatment of malaria for children under five. In this high transmission setting, use of mRDTs did not lead to the reductions in antimalarial prescribing seen elsewhere. Broader investment in health systems, including infrastructure and staffing, will be required to improve fever case management.

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<![CDATA[Effectiveness of a live oral human rotavirus vaccine after programmatic introduction in Bangladesh: A cluster-randomized trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf341

Background

Rotavirus vaccines are now globally recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), but in early 2009 WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization reviewed available data and concluded that there was no evidence for the efficacy or effectiveness of a two-dose schedule of the human rotavirus vaccine (HRV; Rotarix) given early at 6 and 10 wk of age. Additionally, the effectiveness of programmatic rotavirus vaccination, including possible indirect effects, has not been assessed in low-resource populations in Asia.

Methods and findings

In Bangladesh, we cluster-randomized (1:1) 142 villages of the Matlab Health and Demographic Surveillance System to include two doses of HRV with the standard infant vaccines at 6 and 10 wk of age or to provide standard infant vaccines without HRV. The study was initiated November 1, 2008, and surveillance was conducted concurrently at Matlab Diarrhoea Hospital and two community treatment centers to identify children less than 2 y of age presenting with acute rotavirus diarrhea (ARD) through March 31, 2011. Laboratory confirmation was made by enzyme immunoassay detection of rotavirus antigen in stool specimens. Overall effectiveness of the HRV vaccination program (primary objective) was measured by comparing the incidence rate of ARD among all children age-eligible for vaccination in villages where HRV was introduced to that among such children in villages where HRV was not introduced. Total effectiveness among vaccinees and indirect effectiveness were also evaluated. In all, 6,527 infants were age-eligible for vaccination in 71 HRV villages, and 5,791 in 71 non-HRV villages. In HRV villages, 4,808 (73.7%) infants received at least one dose of HRV. The incidence rate of ARD was 4.10 cases per 100 person-years in non-HRV villages compared to 2.8 per 100 person-years in HRV villages, indicating an overall effectiveness of 29.0% (95% CI, 11.3% to 43.1%). The total effectiveness of HRV against ARD among vaccinees was 41.4% (95% CI, 23.2% to 55.2%). The point estimate for total effectiveness was higher against ARD during the first year of life than during the second (45.2% versus 28.9%), but estimates for the second year of life lacked precision and did not reach statistical significance. Indirect effects were not detected. To check for bias in presentation to treatment facilities, we evaluated the effectiveness of HRV against acute diarrhea associated with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli; it was 4.0% (95% CI, −46.5% to 37.1%), indicating that bias likely was not introduced. Thirteen serious adverse events were identified among recipients of HRV, but none were considered related to receipt of study vaccine. The main limitation of this study is that it was an open-label study with an observed-only control group (no placebo).

Conclusions

The two-dose HRV rotavirus vaccination program significantly reduced medically attended ARD in this low-resource population in Asia. Protection among vaccinees was similar to that in other low-resource settings. In low-resource populations with high rotavirus incidence, large-scale vaccination across a wide population may be required to obtain the full benefit of rotavirus vaccination, including indirect effects.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00737503

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<![CDATA[The Impact of Hotspot-Targeted Interventions on Malaria Transmission in Rachuonyo South District in the Western Kenyan Highlands: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daefab0ee8fa60bc0817

Background

Malaria transmission is highly heterogeneous, generating malaria hotspots that can fuel malaria transmission across a wider area. Targeting hotspots may represent an efficacious strategy for reducing malaria transmission. We determined the impact of interventions targeted to serologically defined malaria hotspots on malaria transmission both inside hotspots and in surrounding communities.

Methods and Findings

Twenty-seven serologically defined malaria hotspots were detected in a survey conducted from 24 June to 31 July 2011 that included 17,503 individuals from 3,213 compounds in a 100-km2 area in Rachuonyo South District, Kenya. In a cluster-randomized trial from 22 March to 15 April 2012, we randomly allocated five clusters to hotspot-targeted interventions with larviciding, distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, and focal mass drug administration (2,082 individuals in 432 compounds); five control clusters received malaria control following Kenyan national policy (2,468 individuals in 512 compounds). Our primary outcome measure was parasite prevalence in evaluation zones up to 500 m outside hotspots, determined by nested PCR (nPCR) at baseline and 8 wk (16 June–6 July 2012) and 16 wk (21 August–10 September 2012) post-intervention by technicians blinded to the intervention arm. Secondary outcome measures were parasite prevalence inside hotpots, parasite prevalence in the evaluation zone as a function of distance from the hotspot boundary, Anopheles mosquito density, mosquito breeding site productivity, malaria incidence by passive case detection, and the safety and acceptability of the interventions. Intervention coverage exceeded 87% for all interventions. Hotspot-targeted interventions did not result in a change in nPCR parasite prevalence outside hotspot boundaries (p ≥ 0.187). We observed an average reduction in nPCR parasite prevalence of 10.2% (95% CI −1.3 to 21.7%) inside hotspots 8 wk post-intervention that was statistically significant after adjustment for covariates (p = 0.024), but not 16 wk post-intervention (p = 0.265). We observed no statistically significant trend in the effect of the intervention on nPCR parasite prevalence in the evaluation zone in relation to distance from the hotspot boundary 8 wk (p = 0.27) or 16 wk post-intervention (p = 0.75). Thirty-six patients with clinical malaria confirmed by rapid diagnostic test could be located to intervention or control clusters, with no apparent difference between the study arms. In intervention clusters we caught an average of 1.14 female anophelines inside hotspots and 0.47 in evaluation zones; in control clusters we caught an average of 0.90 female anophelines inside hotspots and 0.50 in evaluation zones, with no apparent difference between study arms. Our trial was not powered to detect subtle effects of hotspot-targeted interventions nor designed to detect effects of interventions over multiple transmission seasons.

Conclusions

Despite high coverage, the impact of interventions targeting malaria vectors and human infections on nPCR parasite prevalence was modest, transient, and restricted to the targeted hotspot areas. Our findings suggest that transmission may not primarily occur from hotspots to the surrounding areas and that areas with highly heterogeneous but widespread malaria transmission may currently benefit most from an untargeted community-wide approach. Hotspot-targeted approaches may have more validity in settings where human settlement is more nuclear.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01575613

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