Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vaccines preventing pneumococcal disease protect African children with sickle-cell disease

30.04.2010
New study reinforces urgent need for life-saving vaccines in Africa

A new study released this week in The Lancet Infectious Diseases finds that African children who contract pneumococcus – a bacterial infection that causes pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis – are 36 times as likely to have sickle-cell disease, a blood disorder prevalent in African children that increases the risk for infectious diseases and early death. The study underscores the critical need for use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) among populations predisposed to sickle-cell disease, most notably those in sub-saharan Africa.

"Our findings clearly show that African children with sickle-cell disease are at increased risk of bacterial illness compared with their peers without sickle-cell disease, with the pneumococcus being of particular concern," said Dr. Keith P. Klugman, contributing author and professor and William H. Foege Chair in Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health.

Africa is home to the vast majority of the world's sickle-cell disease cases. Sickle-cell disease is inherited by a child from both parents and is caused by abnormal hemoglobin, a blood protein that distorts the shape of red blood cells and delivers less oxygen to tissues. The disease weakens the immune system and puts its victims at risk for serious bacterial infection and childhood death. Data examined from studies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal – countries with the highest sickle-cell disease burden – clearly demonstrate an increased risk of serious bacterial infection, especially invasive pneumococcal disease, in African children with sickle-cell disease.

"In combination with early diagnosis and treatment of sickle-cell disease, routine, country-wide immunization against pneumococcus is the best strategy to improve quality of life for all African children, particularly those with sickle-cell disease," said Orin Levine, contributing author, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-chair of the Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts (PACE). "Millions of lives can be saved by improving access to pneumococcal conjugate vaccines."

One-third of all indigenous inhabitants of Sub-Saharan Africa carry the sickle cell gene, and approximately, 230,000 African children are born with sickle-cell disease each year. Because routine access to medical care is out of reach for many children in the region, the average life expectancy for those afflicted with sickle cell disease in Africa is less than 20 years. In many developed countries where comprehensive care including pneumococcal vaccination and aggressive treatment are available, life-expectancy for sickle cell patients is 45-55 years. Since PCV was first introduced in 2000 in the United States, invasive pneumococcal infections in children with sickle-cell disease declined 68 percent in children under 10 and by 90 percent in children under five.

"The one-two punch of sickle-cell disease coupled with pneumococcal disease is devastating in Africa making protecting Africa's children through vaccination an urgent priority," said Ciro A. de Quadros executive vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and co-chair of PACE. "We urge the leaders of African countries to make routine vaccination against pneumococcal disease a priority."

Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that causes life-threatening pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. Every year, pneumococcal disease takes the lives of nearly 1.6 million people, nearly half of whom are young children in the developing world, where vaccines to prevent the disease are not yet in widespread use. The lack of access in these countries has been due primarily to obstacles in awareness, policy guidance and available financing for low-income countries.

Safe and effective vaccines currently exist to prevent pneumococcal deaths. In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that all countries include PCV in their national immunization programs, especially in countries where childhood mortality is high. The WHO recommendation guides country policy-making on the prioritization of measures to address childhood pneumococcal disease.

To view the full study, please visit http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099%2810%2970055-4/fulltext#article_upsell.

The Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts (PACE), a project of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, is comprised of leading global experts in infectious diseases and vaccines. The Council raises awareness among policy-makers and aims to secure global commitments to prevent pneumococcal disease, a leading infectious killer of children and adults worldwide. The Council works through collaboration and partnership with countries, NGOs, academia and industry to achieve its goals. To learn more, visit www.sabin.org/PACE.

Mala Persaud | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation

12.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>