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Mass treatment with azithromycin may decrease yaws cases in Ghana

Date:
March 22, 2018
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
A single round of total-community treatment (TCT) with the antibiotic azithromycin applied to affected rural communities could significantly decrease yaws among the population one year later, according to a new study.
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A single round of total-community treatment (TCT) with the antibiotic azithromycin applied to affected rural communities could significantly decrease yaws among the population one year later, according to study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases by Kingsley Bampoe Asiedu, of the World Health Organization (WHO) and colleagues.

Yaws is a disease which affects mainly children and is diagnosed by the presence of skin ulcers and a reactive syphilis serology, but this can be confused clinically with ulcers caused by other infections, such as a Haemophilus ducreyi infection. In 2012, the WHO devised a new yaws eradication strategy, also known as the Morges Strategy, which recommended the TCT of yaws-affected communities using single doses of oral azithromycin followed by ongoing active surveillance and total targeted treatment of cases and contacts.

Asiedu and colleagues conducted a survey of 2,909 schoolchildren before and one year after the TCT intervention in Ghana in order to assess the impact of the mass treatment. The researchers found that the provision of mass azithromycin administration given as a single oral dose of 30 mg/kg and up to a maximum dose of 2 g is effective in reducing both the rates of seropositivity and the presence of serologically positive skin lesions consistent with yaws one year after administration. Azithromycin is also effective against H. ducreyi.

While the sample population of schoolchildren did not include the poorest children who may not attend school, the routine surveillance data from the District Health Information Management System confirmed the overall decrease of yaws-like cases seen in the Ghanaian sub-district one year after the TCT. The authors note that yaws-like lesions caused by H. ducreyi or other unknown pathogens may continue to persist after a single-round of mass treatment, and therefore they suggest that it may be necessary to devise new management protocols for non-yaws / non-H. ducreyi lesions following the successful elimination of yaws through TCT.

"Although one round of TCT was unable to stop transmission, we achieved a significant reduction in the disease. With little effort through total targeted treatment, or perhaps another round of TCT, we could possibly end yaws," notes Dr. Cynthia Kwakye-Maclean, Programme Manager of Ghana Yaws Eradication Programme.


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Journal Reference:

  1. Abdul Aziz Abdulai, Patrick Agana-Nsiire, Frank Biney, Cynthia Kwakye-Maclean, Sardick Kyei-Faried, Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, Shirley Victoria Simpson, George Bonsu, Sally-Ann Ohene, William Kwabena Ampofo, Yaw Adu-Sarkodie, Kennedy Kwasi Addo, Kai-Hua Chi, Damien Danavall, Cheng Y. Chen, Allan Pillay, Sergi Sanz, Ye Tun, Oriol Mitjà, Kingsley Bampoe Asiedu, Ronald C. Ballard. Community-based mass treatment with azithromycin for the elimination of yaws in Ghana—Results of a pilot study. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2018; 12 (3): e0006303 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006303

Cite This Page:

PLOS. "Mass treatment with azithromycin may decrease yaws cases in Ghana." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180322141018.htm>.
PLOS. (2018, March 22). Mass treatment with azithromycin may decrease yaws cases in Ghana. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 15, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180322141018.htm
PLOS. "Mass treatment with azithromycin may decrease yaws cases in Ghana." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180322141018.htm (accessed April 15, 2024).

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