Abstractobjective The Brazilian National Hansen's Disease Control Program recently identified clusters with high disease transmission. Herein, we present different spatial analytical approaches to define highly vulnerable areas in one of these clusters.method The study area included 373 municipalities in the four Brazilian states Maranhão, Pará , Tocantins and Piauí. Spatial analysis was based on municipalities as the observation unit, considering the following disease indicators: (i) rate of new cases ⁄ 100 000 population, (ii) rate of cases <15 years ⁄ 100 000 population, (iii) new cases with grade-2 disability ⁄ 100 000 population and (iv) proportion of new cases with grade-2 disabilities. We performed descriptive spatial analysis, local empirical Bayesian analysis and spatial scan statistic.results A total of 254 (68.0%) municipalities were classified as hyperendemic (mean annual detection rates >40 cases ⁄ 100 000 inhabitants). There was a concentration of municipalities with higher detection rates in Pará and in the center of Maranhã o. Spatial scan statistic identified 23 likely clusters of new leprosy case detection rates, most of them localized in these two states. These clusters included only 32% of the total population, but 55.4% of new leprosy cases. We also identified 16 significant clusters for the detection rate <15 years and 11 likely clusters of new cases with grade-2. Several clusters of new cases with grade-2 ⁄ population overlap with those of new cases detection and detection of children <15 years of age. The proportion of new cases with grade-2 did not reveal any significant clusters.conclusions Several municipality clusters for high leprosy transmission and late diagnosis were identified in an endemic area using different statistical approaches. Spatial scan statistic is adequate to validate and confirm high-risk leprosy areas for transmission and late diagnosis, identified using descriptive spatial analysis and using local empirical Bayesian method. National and State leprosy control programs urgently need to intensify control actions in these highly vulnerable municipalities.
Background In Brazil, acute Chagas disease (ACD) surveillance involves mandatory notification, which allows for population-based epidemiological studies. We conducted a nationwide population-based ecological analysis of the spatiotemporal patterns of ACD notifications in Brazil using secondary surveillance data obtained from the Notifiable Diseases Information System (SINAN) maintained by Brazilian Ministry of Health. Methodology/Principal findings In this nationwide population-based ecological all cases of ACD reported in Brazil between 2001 and 2018 were included. Epidemiological characteristics and time trends were analyzed through joinpoint regression models and spatial distribution using microregions as the unit of analysis. A total of 5,184 cases of ACD were recorded during the period under study. The annual incidence rate in Brazil was 0.16 per 100,000 inhabitants/year. Three statistically significant changes in time trends were identified: a rapid increase prior to 2005 (Period 1), a stable drop from 2005 to 2009 (Period 2), followed by another increasing trend after 2009 (Period 3). Higher frequencies were noted in males and females in the North (all three periods) and in females in Northeast (Periods 1 and 2) macroregions, as well as in individuals aged between 20–64 years in the Northeast, and children, adolescents and the elderly in the North macroregion. Vectorial transmission was the main route reported during Period 1, while oral transmission was found to increase significantly in the North during the other periods. Spatiotemporal distribution was heterogeneous in Brazil over time. Despite regional differences, over time cases of ACD decreased significantly nationwide. An increasing trend was noted in the North (especially after 2007), and significant decreases occurred after 2008 among all microregions other than those in the North, especially those in the Northeast and Central-West macroregions. Conclusions/Significance In light of the newly identified epidemiological profile of CD transmission in Brazil, we emphasize the need for strategically integrated entomological and health surveillance actions.
The article discusses Brazil's recent certification as free of Chagas disease transmission by Triatoma infestans, analyzing the various meanings ascribed to this position. Resulting mainly from measures by both the Chagas Disease Control Program (PCDCh) established in Brazil in 1975 and the Southern Cone Initiative launched in 1991, this certification has been interpreted in ways that lead to confusion between the elimination of Chagas disease transmission by T. infestans and eradication of the disease. The present status of vector transmission control in Brazil is discussed, with emphasis on the Northeast, in most States of which T. infestans is not the main species involved in transmission. The article highlights the need to broaden the discussion of the readings and consequences involved in the present control achievements in light of possible harm from misinterpretations that might jeopardize further efforts to control the disease.
BackgroundHAART has significantly reduced AIDS-related morbidity in children. However, limited evidence is available from developing countries regarding patterns of opportunistic illnesses. We describe these events and their associated factors in children with AIDS in Brazil.MethodsThis study is based on two representative retrospective multi-center cohorts including a total 1,859 children with AIDS, infected via mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), between 1983-2002. Opportunistic illnesses were described and analyzed over time. The association of demographic, clinical and operational data with the occurrence of opportunistic diseases was assessed.ResultsIn total, 1,218 (65.5%) had at least one event of an opportunistic disease. Variables significantly associated with occurrence of these events included: region of residence (OR 2.68-11.33, as compared to the Northern region), age < 1 year at diagnosis (OR 2.56, 95% CI 1.81-3.61, p < 0.001), and non-performance of MTCT prevention measures (OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.21-2.07, p < 0.001). Protective factors included year of HIV diagnosis in the HAART era (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.15-0.76, p = 0.009) and ART use (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.44-0.77, p < 0.001). In both periods bacterial infections represented the most common opportunistic events (58.6 vs. 34.7%; p < 0.001), followed by Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (21.9 vs. 13.2%; p < 0.001), and bacterial meningitis/sepsis (16.8 vs. 7.4%; p < 0.001).ConclusionsDespite the significant reduction in recent years, opportunistic illnesses are still common in Brazilian children with AIDS in the HAART era, especially bacterial diseases. The data reinforce the need for scaling up prevention of MTCT, early diagnosis of infection, and improvement of comprehensive pediatric care.
Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas, including Brazil. We performed a nationwide population-based study including all deaths in Brazil from 2000 to 2011, in which STHs (ascariasis, trichuriasis and/or hookworm infection) were mentioned on death certificates, either as underlying or as associated causes of death. Epidemiological characteristics, time trends and spatial analysis of STH-related mortality were analysed. STHs was identified on 853/12 491 280 death certificates: 827 (97·0%) deaths related to ascariasis, 25 (2·9%) to hookworm infections, and 1 (0·1%) to trichuriasis. The average annual age-adjusted mortality rate was 0·34/1 000 000 inhabitants (95% confidence interval: 0·27-0·44). Females, children <10 years of age, indigenous ethnic groups and residents in the Northeast region had highest STH-related mortality rates. Nationwide mortality decreased significantly over time (annual percent change: -5·7%; 95% CI: -6·9 to -4·4), with regional differences. We identified spatial high-risk clusters for STH-related mortality mainly in the North, Northeast and South regions. Diseases of the digestive system and infectious/parasitic diseases were the most commonly associated causes of death mentioned in the STH-related deaths. Despite decreasing mortality in Brazil, a considerable number of deaths is caused by STHs, with ascariasis responsible for the vast majority. There were marked regional differences, affecting mainly children and vulnerable populations.
BackgroundThe aim of this work was to explore the potential risk of vector-borne Chagas disease in urban districts in northeastern Brazil, by analyzing the spatiotemporal distributions and natural infection rates with Trypanosoma cruzi of triatomine species captured in recent years. The main motivation of this work was an acute human case of Chagas disease reported in 2008 in the municipality of Sobral.Methodology/principal findingsWe analyzed data from community-based entomological surveillance carried out from 2010 to 2014. Triatomine natural T. cruzi infection was assessed by examination of insect feces by optical microscopy. Sites of triatomine capture were georeferenced through Google Earth and analyzed with ArcGIS. A total of 191 triatomines were collected, consisting of 82.2% Triatoma pseudomaculata, 7.9% Rhodnius nasutus, 5.8% T. brasiliensis, 3.7% Panstrongylus lutzi, and 0.5% P. megistus, with an overall natural infection index of 17.8%. Most infestations were reported in the districts of Dom José (36.2%), Padre Palhano (24.7%), and Alto do Cristo (10.6%). The overwhelming majority of insects (185/96.9%) were captured inside houses, and most insects tended to be collected in intermittent peaks. Moreover, captured triatomines tended to constitute colonies. The acute case reported in 2008 was found to be situated within a T. pseudomaculata hotspot.ConclusionThe triatomine collection events carried out by dwellers were aggregated in time and space into distinct foci, suggesting that insects are intermittently and artificially introduced into the city, possibly via accidental migration from their natural reservoirs. The relatively high T. cruzi infection rate indicates considerable circulation of the parasite in these areas, increasing the risk of vector-borne Chagas disease infection. These data suggest a need to strengthen epidemiological surveillance and integrate appropriate control actions targeting triatomines, T. cruzi reservoirs, and human populations. Our data also identify Chagas disease transmission as a hazard in urban areas of Sobral.
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