Surveillance of Vector-borne Pathogen Seroconversion in Deploying UK Military Personnel
Author(s):
Deborah Wright
Affiliations:
Public Health England
PHE ePoster Library. Wright D. 03/20/18; 205949; 12651
Mrs. Deborah Wright
Mrs. Deborah Wright
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Abstract
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Abstract BackgroundUK military personnel are required to travel to parts of the world where they may be exposed to endemic or emerging infectious diseases that are not prevalent in their native country. Operational environment and living conditions whilst on overseas deployments classify military personnel into a high risk population group for contracting vector-borne and zoonotic disease. This project aims to identify vector borne infection threats to military personnel, assess potential risk of disease and exposure to UK civilians and validate current and novel diagnostic approaches.MethodsVolunteers were recruited from the British Army Regiments stationed in the UK prior deployment to Kenya. Blood samples were collected from consented deploying volunteers subsequent to a research study briefing. Upon their return a second paired sample was taken from the same volunteers, along with the completion of a symptoms and vector contact questionnaire. Post-deployment samples were screened for antibody presence of a selection of vector borne pathogens. Samples identified as positive were re-tested along with their corresponding pre-deployment sample for confirmation.ResultsA total of 102 post-deployment samples exhibited antibody presence, of which 33 seroconversions were identified with no pre-deployment antibody positivity upon testing of their paired pre-deployment sample. Correlation of the seroconversion results notably, Ricketsiall sp., Sandfly fever virus and potential Leptospira seroconversions were most prevalent. The questionnaires identified many had contact with vectors.ConclusionsThis study demonstrated presence of vector borne and zoonotic disease seroconversion in military personnel returning from deployment to Kenya. The pathogen seroconversions identified suggest that UK military personnel are exposed to a variety of pathogens during deployments. These results highlight the risks present to deploying military personnel of exposure to in-country circulating pathogens and allows for targeted public health prevention advice, UK preparedness and early diagnosis. Funding Public Health England Grant in Aid funded
Abstract BackgroundUK military personnel are required to travel to parts of the world where they may be exposed to endemic or emerging infectious diseases that are not prevalent in their native country. Operational environment and living conditions whilst on overseas deployments classify military personnel into a high risk population group for contracting vector-borne and zoonotic disease. This project aims to identify vector borne infection threats to military personnel, assess potential risk of disease and exposure to UK civilians and validate current and novel diagnostic approaches.MethodsVolunteers were recruited from the British Army Regiments stationed in the UK prior deployment to Kenya. Blood samples were collected from consented deploying volunteers subsequent to a research study briefing. Upon their return a second paired sample was taken from the same volunteers, along with the completion of a symptoms and vector contact questionnaire. Post-deployment samples were screened for antibody presence of a selection of vector borne pathogens. Samples identified as positive were re-tested along with their corresponding pre-deployment sample for confirmation.ResultsA total of 102 post-deployment samples exhibited antibody presence, of which 33 seroconversions were identified with no pre-deployment antibody positivity upon testing of their paired pre-deployment sample. Correlation of the seroconversion results notably, Ricketsiall sp., Sandfly fever virus and potential Leptospira seroconversions were most prevalent. The questionnaires identified many had contact with vectors.ConclusionsThis study demonstrated presence of vector borne and zoonotic disease seroconversion in military personnel returning from deployment to Kenya. The pathogen seroconversions identified suggest that UK military personnel are exposed to a variety of pathogens during deployments. These results highlight the risks present to deploying military personnel of exposure to in-country circulating pathogens and allows for targeted public health prevention advice, UK preparedness and early diagnosis. Funding Public Health England Grant in Aid funded
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