DescriptorName: Poliomyelitis. DescriptorName: Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral. DescriptorName: Public Health Surveillance. DescriptorName: ViralVaccines... Leveraging lessons learned during past 27 years, the authors discuss options for transitioning GPLN assets to support control of other viralvaccine-preventable, emerging, and reemerging diseases Keyword: Eradication. Keyword: Laboratory. Keyword: Legacy. Keyword: Networking. Keyword: Poliomyelitis.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has reduced the global incidence of polio by 99% and the number of countries with endemic polio from 125 to 3 countries. The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 (Endgame Plan) was developed to end polio disease. Key elements of the endgame plan include strengthening immunization systems using polio assets, introducing inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), and replacing trivalent oral polio vaccine with bivalent oral polio vaccine ("the switch"). Although coverage in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) with the third dose of a vaccine containing diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis antigens (DTP3) was ≥90% in 14 countries in 2015, DTP3 coverage in EMR dropped from 86% in 2010 to 80% in 2015 due to civil disorder in multiple countries. To strengthen their immunization systems, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia developed draft plans to integrate Polio Eradication Initiative assets, staff, structure, and activities with their Expanded Programmes on Immunization, particularly in high-risk districts and regions. Between 2014 and 2016, 11 EMR countries introduced IPV in their routine immunization program, including all of the countries at highest risk for polio transmission (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen). As a result, by the end of 2016 all EMR countries were using IPV except Egypt, where introduction of IPV was delayed by a global shortage. The switch was successfully implemented in EMR due to the motivation, engagement, and cooperation of immunization staff and decision makers across all national levels. Moreover, the switch succeeded because of the ability of even the immunization systems operating under hardship conditions of conflict to absorb the switch activities.
Vaccines (10) Poliomyelitis (15), Tetanus (2), Diphtheria (2), more mentions
Laboratory networks were established to provide accurate and timely laboratory confirmation of infections, an essential component of disease surveillance systems. The World Health Organization (WHO) coordinates global laboratory surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs), including polio, measles and rubella, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rotavirus, and invasive bacterial diseases. In addition to providing high-quality laboratory surveillance data to help guide disease control, elimination, and eradication programs, these global networks provide capacity-building and an infrastructure for public health laboratories. There are major challenges with sustaining and expanding the global laboratory surveillance capacity: limited resources and the need for expansion to meet programmatic goals. Here, we describe the WHO-coordinated laboratory networks supporting VPD surveillance and present a plan for the further development of these networks.
Vaccines (3) Measles (4), Rubella (4), Poliomyelitis (4), more mentions
Human travel can shape infectious disease dynamics by introducing pathogens into susceptible populations or by changing the frequency of contacts between infected and susceptible individuals. Quantifying infectious disease-relevant travel patterns on fine spatial and temporal scales has historically been limited by data availability. The recent emergence of mobile phone calling data and associated locational information means that we can now trace fine scale movement across large numbers of individuals. However, these data necessarily reflect a biased sample of individuals across communities and are generally aggregated for both ethical and pragmatic reasons that may further obscure the nuance of individual and spatial heterogeneities. Additionally, as a general rule, the mobile phone data are not linked to demographic or social identifiers, or to information about the disease status of individual subscribers (although these may be made available in smaller-scale specific cases). Combining data on human movement from mobile phone data-derived population fluxes with data on disease incidence requires approaches that can tackle varying spatial and temporal resolutions of each data source and generate inference about dynamics on scales relevant to both pathogen biology and human ecology. Here, we review the opportunities and challenges of these novel data streams, illustrating our examples with analyses of 2 different pathogens in Kenya, and conclude by outlining core directions for future research.
Spatial big data have the velocity, volume, and variety of big data sources and contain additional geographic information. Digital data sources, such as medical claims, mobile phone call data records, and geographically tagged tweets, have entered infectious diseases epidemiology as novel sources of data to complement traditional infectious disease surveillance. In this work, we provide examples of how spatial big data have been used thus far in epidemiological analyses and describe opportunities for these sources to improve disease-mitigation strategies and public health coordination. In addition, we consider the technical, practical, and ethical challenges with the use of spatial big data in infectious disease surveillance and inference. Finally, we discuss the implications of the rising use of spatial big data in epidemiology to health risk communication, and public health policy recommendations and coordination across scales.
We devote a special issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases to review the recent advances of big data in strengthening disease surveillance, monitoring medical adverse events, informing transmission models, and tracking patient sentiments and mobility. We consider a broad definition of big data for public health, one encompassing patient information gathered from high-volume electronic health records and participatory surveillance systems, as well as mining of digital traces such as social media, Internet searches, and cell-phone logs. We introduce nine independent contributions to this special issue and highlight several cross-cutting areas that require further research, including representativeness, biases, volatility, and validation, and the need for robust statistical and hypotheses-driven analyses. Overall, we are optimistic that the big-data revolution will vastly improve the granularity and timeliness of available epidemiological information, with hybrid systems augmenting rather than supplanting traditional surveillance systems, and better prospects for accurate infectious diseases models and forecasts.
Background: Kano State, Nigeria, introduced inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunization (RI) schedule in March 2015 and was the pilot site for an RI data module for the National Health Management Information System (NHMIS). We determined factors impacting IPV introduction and the value of the RI module on monitoring new vaccine introduction.
Methods: Two assessment approaches were used: (1) analysis of IPV vaccinations reported in NHMIS, and (2) survey of 20 local government areas (LGAs) and 60 associated health facilities (HF).
Results: By April 2015, 66% of LGAs had at least 20% of HFs administering IPV, by June all LGAs had HFs administering IPV and by July, 91% of the HFs in Kano reported administering IPV. Among surveyed staff, most rated training and implementation as successful. Among HFs, 97% had updated RI reporting tools, although only 50% had updated microplans. Challenges among HFs included: IPV shortages (20%), hesitancy to administer 2 injectable vaccines (28%), lack of knowledge on multi-dose vial policy (30%) and age of IPV administration (8%).
Conclusion: The introduction of IPV was largely successful in Kano and the RI module was effective in monitoring progress, although certain gaps were noted, which should be used to inform plans for future vaccine introductions.
A total of 105 countries have introduced IPV as of September 2016 of which 85 have procured the vaccine through UNICEF. The Global Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 called for the rapid introduction of at least one dose of IPV into routine immunization schedules in 126 all OPV-using countries by the end of 2015. At the time of initiating the procurement process, demand was estimated based on global modeling rather than individual country indications. In its capacity as procurement agency for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF set out to secure access to IPV supply for around 100 countries. Based on offers received, sufficient supply was awarded to two manufacturers to meet projected routine requirements. However, due to technical issues scaling up vaccine production and an unforecasted demand for IPV use in campaigns to interrupt wild polio virus and to control type 2 vaccine derived polio virus outbreaks, IPV supplies are severely constrained. Activities to stretch supplies and to suppress demand have been ongoing since 2014, including delaying IPV introduction in countries where risks of type 2 reintroduction are lower, implementing the multi-dose vial policy, and encouraging the use of fractional dose delivered intradermally. Despite these efforts, there is still insufficient IPV supply to meet demand. The impact of the supply situation on IPV introduction timelines in countries are the focus of this article, and based on lessons learned with the IPV introductions, it is recommended for future health programs with accelerated scale up of programs, to take a cautious approach on supply commitments, putting in place clear allocation criteria in case of shortages or delays and establishing a communication strategy vis a vis beneficiaries.
The Immunization Systems Management Group (IMG) was established to coordinate and oversee objective 2 of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018, namely, (1) introduction of ≥1 dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine in all 126 countries using oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) only as of 2012, (2) full withdrawal of OPV, starting with the withdrawal of its type 2 component, and (3) using polio assets to strengthen immunization systems in 10 priority countries. The IMG's inclusive, transparent, and partnership-focused approach proved an effective means of leveraging the comparative and complementary strengths of each IMG member agency. This article outlines 10 key factors behind the IMG's success, providing a potential set of guiding principles for the establishment and implementation of other interagency collaborations and initiatives beyond the polio sphere.
Today, acceptance of oral polio vaccine is the highest ever. Reaching this level of acceptance has depended on decades of engaging with communities, building trust amid extraordinary social contexts, and responding to the complex variables that trigger behavioral and social change. Drawing on both the successes and setbacks in the 28 years of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), this article articulates what happened when the GPEI began to pay more attention to the dynamics of human and social behavior change. Three particular lessons for other health and immunization programs can be drawn from the experience of GPEI: change begins from within (ie, success needs institutional recognition of the importance of human behavior), good data are not enough for good decision-making, and health workers are important agents of behavior change. These lessons should be harnessed and put into practice to build demand and trust for the last stages of polio eradication, as well as for other life-saving health interventions.
Background: We present an empirical economic cost analysis of the April 2016 switch from trivalent (tOPV) to bivalent (bOPV) oral polio vaccine at the national-level and 3 provinces (Bali, West Sumatera and Nusa Tenggara) for Indonesia's Expanded Program on Immunization.
Methods: Data on the quantity and prices of resources used in the 4 World Health Organization guideline phases of the switch were collected at the national-level and in each of the sampled provinces, cities/districts, and health facilities. Costs were calculated as the sum of the value of resources reportedly used in each sampled unit by switch phase.
Results: Estimated national-level costs were $46 791. Costs by health system level varied from $9062 to $34 256 at the province-level, from $4576 to $11 936 at the district-level , and from $3488 to $29 175 at the city-level. Estimated national costs ranged from $4 076 446 (Bali, minimum cost scenario) to $28 120 700 (West Sumatera, maximum cost scenario).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the majority of tPOV to bOPV switch costs were borne at the subnational level. Considerable variation in reported costs among health system levels surveyed indicates a need for flexibility in budgeting for globally synchronized public health activities.
Withdrawal of type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) in OPV-using countries required regulatory approval for use of inactivated poliovirus vaccine and bivalent OPV in routine immunization. Worldwide, a variety of mechanisms were used by member states, with some differences in approach observed between inactivated poliovirus vaccine and bivalent OPV. These included acceptance for use of World Health Organization (WHO) prequalified vaccines, registration and licensure pathways, participation in WHO-convened joint reviews of licensing dossiers, as well as pragmatic application of alternatively available mechanisms, when appropriate. Simple but effective tools were used to monitor progress and to record, authenticate, and share information. Essential to achievement of regulatory targets was ongoing communication with key stakeholders, including switch-country national regulatory authorities, vaccine manufacturers, partner organizations, and relevant units within WHO. Understanding of the regulatory environment gained through the OPV switch can be helpful in supporting further stages of the polio end game and other time-sensitive vaccine introduction programs.
Background: National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) are established by national authorities to provide them with independent, bias-free, objective, and evidence-based advice on vaccines and immunization challenges. As of December 2015, 125 countries have reported having set up an NITAG. The Health Policy and Institutional Development Center at the Agence de Médecine Préventive, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborative Center for evidence-informed immunization, through its Supporting Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees (SIVAC) Initiative project, provides assistance to low- and middle-income countries in the establishment and strengthening of their NITAGs. The Indonesian NITAG (ITAGI) was formed in December 2006 and Uganda's (UNITAG) was formed in November 2014. Both Uganda and Indonesia have introduced inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) as part of the Global Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan (the Endgame plan). The authors reflect on the process and the role played by NITAGs in the introduction of IPV in the routine immunization program and the lessons learned.
Methods: This commentary is a reflection of the authors' experience on NITAG's role as observed in 2 particular local settings and applied to a global public health issue, the polio eradication Endgame plan. The reflection is backed up by the relevant (policy and technical) documents on polio eradication, along with minutes and reports from countries' ministries of health, immunization programs, WHO, and NITAGs.
Results: NITAGs are valuable tools for ministries of health to ensure sustainable, evidence-informed immunization policies that are trusted and accepted by their communities. Early engagement with NITAGs also ensures that the adoption of strategies addressing global public health threats at the country level reinforces the national immunization programs. On the other end, when NITAGs are proactive and forward-thinking, they can contribute to a smooth and effective introduction of the above-mentioned strategies. Time and resources are key factors to ensure optimal performance of NITAGs.
Background: Hepatitis B vaccine is an effective measure to prevent hepatitis B virus infection. Whether chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection decreases humoral and cell-mediated immunity responses to hepatitis B vaccination is still controversial.
Methods: Patients with chronic HCV infection who were not in treatment and healthy controls, matched at a 1:2 ratio for community, sex, and age (within 5 years), were identified from a community-based screening. All participants received 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine. Antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen was tested 1 month after the third vaccine dose and was compared between 2 groups. Spot-forming cells (SFCs) of interferon γ and interleukin 2, 4, 5, and 6 were counted by means of enzyme-linked immunospot, and SFC counts were compared between the 2 groups.
Results: The rates of nonresponse and low, normal, and high response were 3.80%, 10.13%, 45.57%, and 40.50% respectively, in the HCV group, and the corresponding rates in the healthy control group were 1.26%, 10.13%, 39.24%, and 49.37% (all P > .05). There were no significant differences in SFC counts between the 2 groups for interferon γ or interleukin 2, 4, or 5 (all P > .05).
Conclusions: This study provided preliminary evidence of the good immunogenicity and safety of hepatitis B vaccination among patients in China with chronic hepatitis C who are not in treatment.
Clinical Trials Registration: NCT 02898922.
Infectious Diseases (17), Vaccines (6) Hepatitis B (12), Chronic Hepatitis C (4), Infections (3), more mentions
Background: Carefully calibrated large-scale computational models of epidemic spread represent a powerful tool to support the decision-making process during epidemic emergencies. Epidemic models are being increasingly used for generating forecasts of the spatial-temporal progression of epidemics at different spatial scales and for assessing the likely impact of different intervention strategies. However, the management and analysis of simulation ensembles stemming from large-scale computational models pose challenges, particularly when dealing with multiple interdependent parameters, spanning multiple layers and geospatial frames, affected by complex dynamic processes operating at different resolutions.
Methods: We describe and illustrate with examples a novel epidemic simulation data management system, epiDMS, that was developed to address the challenges that arise from the need to generate, search, visualize, and analyze, in a scalable manner, large volumes of epidemic simulation ensembles and observations during the progression of an epidemic.
Results and conclusions: epiDMS is a publicly available system that facilitates management and analysis of large epidemic simulation ensembles. epiDMS aims to fill an important hole in decision-making during healthcare emergencies by enabling critical services with significant economic and health impact.
Mathematical models, such as those that forecast the spread of epidemics or predict the weather, must overcome the challenges of integrating incomplete and inaccurate data in computer simulations, estimating the probability of multiple possible scenarios, incorporating changes in human behavior and/or the pathogen, and environmental factors. In the past 3 decades, the weather forecasting community has made significant advances in data collection, assimilating heterogeneous data steams into models and communicating the uncertainty of their predictions to the general public. Epidemic modelers are struggling with these same issues in forecasting the spread of emerging diseases, such as Zika virus infection and Ebola virus disease. While weather models rely on physical systems, data from satellites, and weather stations, epidemic models rely on human interactions, multiple data sources such as clinical surveillance and Internet data, and environmental or biological factors that can change the pathogen dynamics. We describe some of similarities and differences between these 2 fields and how the epidemic modeling community is rising to the challenges posed by forecasting to help anticipate and guide the mitigation of epidemics. We conclude that some of the fundamental differences between these 2 fields, such as human behavior, make disease forecasting more challenging than weather forecasting.
During the poliovirus outbreak in Cameroon from October 2013 to April 2015, the Ministry of Public Health's Expanded Program on Immunization requested technical support to improve mapping of health district boundaries and health facility locations for more effective planning and analysis of polio program data. In December 2015, teams collected data on settlements, health facilities, and other features using smartphones. These data, combined with high-resolution satellite imagery, were used to create new health area and health district boundaries, providing the most accurate health sector administrative boundaries to date for Cameroon. The new maps are useful to and used by the polio program as well as other public health programs within Cameroon such as the District Health Information System and the Emergency Operations Center, demonstrating the value of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's legacy.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has been in operation since 1988, now spends $1 billion annually, and operates through thousands of staff and millions of volunteers in dozens of countries. It has brought polio to the brink of eradication. After eradication is achieved, what should happen to the substantial assets, capabilities, and lessons of the GPEI? To answer this question, an extensive process of transition planning is underway. There is an absolute need to maintain and mainstream some of the functions, to keep the world polio-free. There is also considerable risk-and, if seized, substantial opportunity-for other health programs and priorities. And critical lessons have been learned that can be used to address other health priorities. Planning has started in the 16 countries where GPEI's footprint is the greatest and in the program's 5 core agencies. Even though poliovirus transmission has not yet been stopped globally, this planning process is gaining momentum, and some plans are taking early shape. This is a complex area of work-with difficult technical, financial, and political elements. There is no significant precedent. There is forward motion and a willingness on many sides to understand and address the risks and to explore the opportunities. Very substantial investments have been made, over 30 years, to eradicate a human pathogen from the world for the second time ever. Transition planning represents a serious intent to responsibly bring the world's largest global health effort to a close and to protect and build upon the investment in this effort, where appropriate, to benefit other national and global priorities. Further detailed technical work is now needed, supported by broad and engaged debate, for this undertaking to achieve its full potential.
The pathway is a narrow one between adaptation of the virus to HLA I restriction and the definition of conserved proviral CTL epitopes presentable by HLA I alleles. It is likely that the genetics of patients will need to be considered for HIV-1 vaccine studies and that multidisciplinary collaboration will be essential in this field of infectiousdiseases.