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The challenge of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness diagnosis outside Africa. [Le défi que pose le diagnostic de la maladie du sommeil à Trypanosoma brucei gambiense en dehors de l'Afrique]
Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2003 Dec 1; 3(12):804-808.Sleeping sickness is a lethal African disease caused by parasites of the Trypanosoma brucei subspecies, which is transmitted by tsetse flies. Occasionally, patients are reported outside Africa. Diagnosis of such imported cases can be problematic when the infection is due to Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, the chronic form of sleeping sickness found in west and central Africa. The low number of trypanosomes in the blood and the non-specific, variable symptoms make the diagnosis difficult, particularly when the index of suspicion is low. When the trypanosomes have penetrated into the central nervous system, neuropathological signs become apparent but even at this stage, misdiagnosis is frequent. Rapid and correct diagnosis of sleeping sickness can avoid inappropriate or delayed treatment and even death of the patient. In this article, an overview on diagnosis of imported cases of T b gambiense sleeping sickness is given, and possible pitfalls in the diagnostic process are highlighted. Bioclinical parameters that should raise the suspicion of sleeping sickness in a patient who has been in west or central Africa are discussed. Techniques for diagnosis are reviewed. A clinician suspecting sleeping sickness should contact a national reference centre for tropical medicine in his or her country, or the WHO, Geneva, Switzerland, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA, for clinical consultation and provision of specific diagnostic tests. Appropriate drugs for sleeping sickness treatment are also provided by WHO and the CDC. (excerpt)
BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1991; 69(3):277-83.The frequent reactivation of disease in immunosuppressed patients represents a serious health complication for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients with herpesviruses. Since the herpesviruses are often associated with the development of complication such as pneumonia and lymphoma, an emphasis is being placed on the rapid laboratory diagnosis of herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2, varicella- zoster, Epstein-Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus. Diagnostic methods that utilize monoclonal antibodies to detect viral antigens in clinical specimens are now within the scope of general laboratories and detection methods for viral DNA in clinical specimens are being advanced. Each of the viruses requires its own diagnostic procedures, however, and consideration should be given to practical and economic issues. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that developing countries use rapid diagnostic techniques that do not require expensive, labor-intensive virus replication. Serological diagnosis can facilitate disease surveillance of the herpesviruses in different population groups in countries with little information on this infection's epidemiology. Who is recommending that regional or national reference laboratories establish confirmatory testing facilities to support the routing virological or microbiological services offered by local laboratories. Other WHO recommendations include the development of international standard preparations and reference reagents, compilation of a list of monoclonal antibodies available for collaborative diagnostic studies, and promotion of studies on the rapid diagnosis of herpesvirus-promoted encephalitides.
In: International Conference on the Implications of AIDS for Mothers and Children: technical statements and selected presentations jointly organized by the Government of France and the World Health Organization, Paris, 27-30 November 1989. Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Global Programme on AIDS, 1989. 23-4. (WHO/GPA/DIR/89.12)Large gaps exist in knowledge of the clinical, immunologic, and virologic correlates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission from infected mothers to their infants. Physiological changes in the immune system of pregnant women as well as maternal antibodies to certain virus-encoded proteins may affect the natural history of HIV infection. Also relevant may be the stage of the mother's infection and the time of HIV transmission to the fetus. There is some evidence that maternal antibodies to the immunodominant hypervariable loop in gag protein 120 may reduce the risk of transmission to the fetus. More basic research in virology and immunology is needed for the development of prophylactic and therapeutic approaches to maternal-infant HIV infection. Research priorities include the following: the impact of pregnancy on clinical outcome and virological and immunologic markers in HIV-infected women; correlates of perinatal transmission such as virus characteristics and load, neutralizing antibodies, and cell-mediated immunity; possible immunologic or chemotherapeutic interventions to decrease perinatal transmission; and the standardization of virologic and immunologic markers for pediatric HIV infection.
[Record of the second meeting of the WHO Collaborating Centers on AIDS] Deuxieme reunion des centres collaborateurs de l'OMS pour le SIDA: memorandum d'une reunion de l'OMS.
BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1986; 64(2):221-31.Participants at the 2nd meeting of World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centers on AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) held in Geneva in December 1985 reported on progress since the 1st meeting in September 1985 and made a number of recommendations for future action in the areas of information, education, and prevention; reference reactants and tests of anti-HTLV-III antibodies; epidemiologic evaluation; and research on vaccines and antiviral agents. It was recommended that ministries of health, education, and social services provide the public with timely and accurate information on AIDS, that physicians, nurses, and similar personnel inform the ill and the public about AIDS and its prevention, and that school age children and young people be informed about AIDS and how to avoid infection. Systems of registration of AIDS cases should be implemented in order to provide the WHO and member states with data on the international level. Standardization and availability of serologic tests is also required. Instructions for avoiding infection should be provided for health personnel and others caring for AIDS patients, for individuals providing personal services to the public, and to ensure adequate methods of disinfection. Instructions for preventing AIDS should discuss sexual and parenteral transmission as well as perinatal transmission. Specific recommendations for education and family placement for children with AIDS have already been published. Instructions should be provided for prisons and similar estabilshments. Requiring international travellers to provide certificates attesting to their AIDS-free status is not justified as a preventive measure. The significant existing demand for reference reactants including human serums with anit-HTLV-III antibodies and controls is being addressed by several institutes in different countries, but it would be premature to furnish reference reactants other than serums. The WHO collaborating centers should furnish materials for purposes of training in diagnostic techniques. Existing tests for diagnosis and confirmation should be imporved and new tests should be developed, with particular attention to simple methods appropriate for use in developing countries. It will be necessary to establish international biological standards for the HTLV-III virus, but the required specifications are not yet known. Technical cooperation and epidemiological evaluation must be planned separately, based on the different prevalence of infections and technical expertise of different countries. A clinical definition of AIDS is needed for countries lacking resources needed to apply the Centers for Disease Control/WHO definition. Surveillance methods and laboratories can be installed with WHO assistance, to help evaluate the extent of AIDS infection in different countries. Later technical cooperation in the areas of continued surveillance and laboratory capacities will depend on results of the initial evaluation in each country. Research is currently underway in several countries of possible vaccines and drugs. Careful preclinical studies should be done to evaluate the toxicity of an agent before clinical studies are conducted. Convenient animal models should be sought for future research. 3 annexes to this report specify methods of disinfection; general principles of preventing transmission of the AIDS virus through parenteral exposure or following donation of organs, sperm, or other tissue; and a proposed definition of clinical cases of AIDS.