Isobel M. Blake

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INTRODUCTION Community-wide administration of antibiotics is one arm of a four-pronged strategy in the global initiative to eliminate blindness due to trachoma. The potential impact of more efficient, targeted treatment of infected households depends on the relative contribution of community and household transmission of infection, which have not previously(More)
BACKGROUND Mass drug administration (MDA) is part of the current trachoma control strategy, but it can be costly and results in many uninfected individuals receiving treatment. Here we explore whether alternative, targeted approaches are effective antibiotic-sparing strategies. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS We analysed data on the prevalence of ocular(More)
BACKGROUND Trachoma, the worldwide leading infectious cause of blindness, is due to repeated conjunctival infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. The effects of control interventions on population levels of infection and active disease can be promptly measured, but the effects on severe ocular sequelae require long-term monitoring. We present an(More)
In disease control or elimination programs, diagnostics are essential for assessing the impact of interventions, refining treatment strategies, and minimizing the waste of scarce resources. Although high-performance tests are desirable, increased accuracy is frequently accompanied by a requirement for more elaborate infrastructure, which is often not(More)
Ebola emerged in West Africa around December 2013 and swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, giving rise to 27,748 confirmed, probable and suspected cases reported by 29 July 2015. Case diagnoses during the epidemic have relied on polymerase chain reaction-based tests. Owing to limited laboratory capacity and local transport infrastructure, the(More)
2 Acknowledgements This report presents a model of trachoma transmission and control developed during a two year project funded by the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI). It contains detailed description and validation of the model using data from trachoma endemic communities, and presents investigations into the impact of mass distribution of(More)
PURPOSE Trachoma control programs are underway in endemic regions worldwide. They are based on the SAFE strategy (Surgery for trichiasis, Antibiotic distribution, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental improvement). Although much is known about the effect of community-wide treatment with antibiotics on the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis, the impact of(More)
BACKGROUND Global withdrawal of serotype-2 oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV2) took place in April 2016. This marked a milestone in global polio eradication and was a public health intervention of unprecedented scale, affecting 155 countries. Achieving high levels of serotype-2 population immunity before OPV2 withdrawal was critical to avoid subsequent outbreaks(More)
BACKGROUND The ongoing West African Ebola epidemic began in December 2013 in Guinea, probably from a single zoonotic introduction. As a result of ineffective initial control efforts, an Ebola outbreak of unprecedented scale emerged. As of 4 May 2015, it had resulted in more than 19,000 probable and confirmed Ebola cases, mainly in Guinea (3,529), Liberia(More)