Characterising spatial patterns of neglected tropical disease transmission using integrated sero-surveillance in Northern Ghana

Fornace, K. M. et al. (2022) Characterising spatial patterns of neglected tropical disease transmission using integrated sero-surveillance in Northern Ghana. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 16(3), e0010227. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0010227) (PMID:35259153) (PMCID:PMC8932554)

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Background: As prevalence decreases in pre-elimination settings, identifying the spatial distribution of remaining infections to target control measures becomes increasingly challenging. By measuring multiple antibody responses indicative of past exposure to different pathogens, integrated serological surveys enable simultaneous characterisation of residual transmission of multiple pathogens. Methodology/Principal findings: Here, we combine integrated serological surveys with geostatistical modelling and remote sensing-derived environmental data to estimate the spatial distribution of exposure to multiple diseases in children in Northern Ghana. The study utilised the trachoma surveillance survey platform (cross-sectional two-stage cluster-sampled surveys) to collect information on additional identified diseases at different stages of elimination with minimal additional cost. Geostatistical modelling of serological data allowed identification of areas with high probabilities of recent exposure to diseases of interest, including areas previously unknown to control programmes. We additionally demonstrate how serological surveys can be used to identify areas with exposure to multiple diseases and to prioritise areas with high uncertainty for future surveys. Modelled estimates of cluster-level prevalence were strongly correlated with more operationally feasible metrics of antibody responses. Conclusions/Significance: This study demonstrates the potential of integrated serological surveillance to characterise spatial distributions of exposure to multiple pathogens in low transmission and elimination settings when the probability of detecting infections is low.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Sample collection was funded by The Coalition for Operational Research of Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD), funded through The Task Force for Global Health by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United Kingdom Department for International Development and the United States Agency for International Development through its Neglected Tropical Diseases Program (LS). Additional funding for sample analysis was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (RLP), Sightsavers (LS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DLM, SG). KMF is supported by a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society (Grant Number 221963/Z/20/Z). AWS is a staff member of the World Health Organization.
Keywords:Neglected tropical diseases, integrated serological surveillance, multiplex bead assays, geostatistical analysis.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fornace, Dr Kimberly
Creator Roles:
Fornace, K. M.Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Fornace, K. M., Senyonjo, L., Martin, D. L., Gwyn, S., Schmidt, E., Ayemang, D., Marfo, B., Addy, J., Mensah, E., Solomon, A. W., Bailey, R., Drakeley, C. J., and Pullan, R. L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1935-2735
Published Online:08 March 2022
Copyright Holders:This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC0 Public Domain Dedication
First Published:First published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 16(3): e0010227
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
310866Socio-ecological dynamics of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases in changing landscapes: implications for surveillance and controlKimberly FornaceWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)221963/Z/20/ZInstitute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine