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Azithromycin and opportunities for integrated control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (AZM4NTD)

Yaws and trachoma are Neglected Tropical Diseases mainly affecting children, and lead to disfiguring lesions and blindness if left untreated. Trachoma is targeted for elimination by 2020, while yaws is targeted for eradication by the same date. Both diseases rely on mass drug administration (MDA) of azithromycin (AZM), a broad-spectrum antibiotic, as part of their control strategy. Recent trials suggest that AZM might have collateral benefits on the reduction of child mortality, especially in populations living in precarious situations. However, the biological pathway explaining this effect remains unclear. The population effect of AZM-MDA certainly needs further investigation with accurate epidemiological data documenting a set of confounding factors. The setting of Health & Demography Surveillance Sites (HDSS) in Africa may provide the ideal research platform to study this, as they generate prospectively vital statistics, but also morbidity and mortality data at the population level. This project sets out to gather in a short time the essential baseline epidemiological data on yaws, trachoma, malaria and respiratory diseases in the HDSS of Kimpese, a rural setting of the Democratic Republic of Congo. These data will allow the development in a later stage of a community intervention trial on the child survival benefits of AZM-MDA.
Datum:1 nov 2018 →  31 jan 2020
Project type:PhD project