by Nicholas A. Feasey, Dean Everett, E. Brian Faragher, Arantxa Roca-Feltrer, Arthur Kang’ombe, Brigitte Denis, Marko Kerac, Elizabeth Molyneux, Malcolm Molyneux, Andreas Jahn, Melita A. Gordon, Robert S. Heyderman
Nontyphoidal Salmonellae (NTS) are responsible for a huge burden of bloodstream infection in Sub-Saharan African children. Recent reports of a decline in invasive NTS (iNTS) disease from Kenya and The Gambia have emphasised an association with malaria control. Following a similar decline in iNTS disease in Malawi, we have used 9 years of continuous longitudinal data to model the interrelationships between iNTS disease, malaria, HIV and malnutrition.
Trends in monthly numbers of childhood iNTS disease presenting at Queen’s Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi from 2002 to 2010 were reviewed in the context of longitudinal monthly data describing malaria slide-positivity among paediatric febrile admissions, paediatric HIV prevalence, nutritional rehabilitation unit admissions and monthly rainfall over the same 9 years, using structural equation models (SEM).
Analysis of 3,105 iNTS episodes identified from 49,093 blood cultures, showed an 11.8% annual decline in iNTS (p < 0.001). SEM analysis produced a stable model with good fit, revealing direct and statistically significant seasonal effects of malaria and malnutrition on the prevalence of iNTS disease. When these data were smoothed to eliminate seasonal cyclic changes, these associations remained strong and there were additional significant effects of HIV prevalence.
These data suggest that the overall decline in iNTS disease observed in Malawi is attributable to multiple public health interventions leading to reductions in malaria, HIV and acute malnutrition. Understanding the impacts of public health programmes on iNTS disease is essential to plan and evaluate interventions.
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