Boy in São Paulo using pff2 mask

São Paulo residents would likely use accessible COVID-19 self-tests.

One Health Trust researchers and collaborators conducted a survey among São Paulo residents in November 2021 to evaluate the public perception of rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen self-tests. Approximately one-fourth of the 417 respondents had taken at least one SARS-CoV-2 test in the past. One-third of respondents were open to using a self-test at home to detect the presence of infectious disease, and this proportion doubled when asked specifically about COVID-19 detection. If SARS-CoV-2 self-tests were accessible, nearly half of respondents stated that they would be likely or very likely to use them. [BMC Infectious Diseases]

AMR emergence is modeled against antibiotic consumption, GDP, and more in an OHT study.

In a pre-print article, One Health Trust researchers and collaborators modeled the frequency of reported AMR emergence as a function of factors like human antibiotic consumption and per capita GDP using thousands of reports of novel bacterial resistance recorded between 2006 and 2017 in 59 countries. Human antibiotic consumption was positively associated with AMR emergence rates (odds ratio [OR] = 1.04 per defined daily dose; 89% CI 1.0-1.5). Data suggested a slight positive association between livestock antibiotic consumption and AMR emergence, but only among countries with a higher GDP (log-dollars per human capita), however, GDP itself was highly correlated with AMR emergence (OR 31; 89CI = 7.2-97). [MedRxiv]

Low attendance reduces the efficacy of malaria prevention education (MPE) in Ethiopia.

Scientists conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial to qualitatively evaluate the implementation of malaria prevention education (MPE) in southern Ethiopia to address the high susceptibility of school-aged children (SAC) to malaria and its associated morbidities. The major challenge mentioned among participants was low attendance, which could be attributed to several reasons, including parents’ schedule conflicts and ineffective communication. Researchers also observed that severe malaria symptoms and malaria health literacy were both barriers and facilitators of prompt diagnosis and treatment of malaria. [BMC Public Health]

Monkeypox spreading from humans to pets poses a serious threat.

Since the emergence of the recent monkeypox outbreak, the first case of human-to-dog transmission of the virus was reported in August 2022. Monkeypox has been known to infect over 50 mammalian species, with rodents and smaller species serving as asymptomatic carriers of the virus in Africa. A new modeling study published last month showed that if the virus spreads in a rodent population outside Africa, it could result in an outbreak in a crowded metropolis with enhanced transmission rates and multiple waves. To prevent the spreading of monkeypox to animals, the spread among humans must be controlled, and vaccination efforts expanded. [Nature]

Air pollution contributes to increased disease burden and reduced economic growth in India.

Researchers explored state-by-state differences in air pollution attributed to disease burden (APADB) regarding gross state domestic product and growth in motor vehicles in India. APADB was inversely correlated with economic growth in most Indian states, indicating that as the number of registered vehicles increases, more pollutants are emitted and disease burden increases, thus decreasing economic growth. The study did not include indoor air pollution, such as fossil fuel burning for cooking purposes, as part of overall air pollution. [The Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia]

The role of fungi could provide new insights into tumor growth.

New research suggests that an altered microbiome and the presence of fungal microorganisms in certain types of cancer warrant further attention. A team of researchers cataloged more than 17,000 tissue and blood samples representing 35 types of cancer and found that certain fungi tended to coexist with bacteria in tumors, suggesting that there may be a specificity component of tumor progression. Another study linked higher levels of Candida in gastrointestinal tumor cells to more inflammation and higher levels of metastasis. Future research would benefit from an updated and sterile fungal-cancer database, which would eventually provide more accurate information to diagnose cancer and predict its course. [Nature]

The fight against polio waned amidst COVID-19 and reduced geopolitical concerns.

Polio has made a resurgence, striking hard in parts of Malawi and Nigeria and threatening public health systems in other countries. In 2021, global polio immunization rates fell by 80%, and high circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) levels in wastewater have been detected in parts of the US, the UK, and Israel. COVID-19 has also affected the Global Polio Eradication Initiatives (GPEI)’s immunization efforts for children, leaving them strapped for funding amidst dwindling geopolitical interest in polio prevention. Engagement with local governments and implementation of novel polio vaccines are urgently needed to curb further polio infections in the face of reduced public interest. [The Lancet]

Increased transparency may improve perinatal care for women of color.

A team of researchers examined factors contributing to long-standing health disparities in a qualitative study of 31 women of color residing in Franklin County, in the United States, who experienced pregnancy/birthing complications after 2016. A lack of knowledge surrounding how to navigate their pregnancy, feeling like their concerns were not being heard by providers, and a limited support system were among the struggles that emerged from the discussions. Other struggles included post-partum depression, social determinants of health, and overarching discrimination and stigma. This study calls for increased transparency in the social and medical treatment of women of color, with the hope that community members can create more inclusive frameworks to improve patient outcomes. [Women’s Health]

Diversity, equity, and inclusion may not be enough to decolonize global health.

Perspectives on the global health ecosystem call for a closer examination of ways to dismantle the long-standing feudalism between high-income countries (HIC) and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Experts argue that centuries-long colonization from HICs like Britain has led to the creation of global health ‘actors’ who only serve as intermediaries and have little to no control over global health knowledge and practice. Researchers suggest that global health actors play a larger role in driving research and development at the local level, which may, in turn, bolster diversity, equity, and inclusion practices enough to increase autonomy in LMICs. [BMJ Global Health]

Diarrheagenic E. coli associated with antibiotic resistance in children and calves. 

In a cross-sectional study examining the associated characteristics of E. coli pathotypes in Ethiopia, researchers investigated possible zoonotic transmission and antibiotic resistance patterns of diarrheagenic E. coli (DEC) in 144 acute diarrheic children and 50 diarrheic calves. Researchers identified six strains of E. coli that were consistent between diarrheic children and calves, suggesting a potential zoonotic transmission among subjects. In addition, more than half of the E. coli isolates sampled were resistant to three categories of antibiotics (amoxicillin, gentamycin, and ampicillin). [PLOS One]

Image from Canva.