Below is an annotated bibliography of 2012 HWTS studies authored or co-authored by Thomas Clasen so far in 2012. This bibliography will be updated on a periodic basis.
1. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 May 1;46(9):5160-7.
Linking quantitative microbial risk assessment and epidemiological data: informing safe drinking water trials in developing countries.
Enger KS, Nelson KL, Clasen T, Rose JB, Eisenberg JN.
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, 13 Natural Resources Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.
Intervention trials are used extensively to assess household water treatment (HWT) device efficacy against diarrheal disease in developing countries. Using these data for policy, however, requires addressing issues of generalizability (relevance of one trial in other contexts) and systematic bias associated with design and conduct of a study. To illustrate how quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) can address water safety and health issues, we analyzed a published randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the LifeStraw Family Filter in the Congo. The model accounted for bias due to (1) incomplete compliance with filtration, (2) unexpected antimicrobial activity by the placebo device, and (3) incomplete recall of diarrheal disease. Effectiveness was measured using the longitudinal prevalence ratio (LPR) of reported diarrhea. The Congo RCT observed an LPR of 0.84 (95% CI: 0.61, 1.14). Our model predicted LPRs, assuming a perfect placebo, ranging from 0.50 (2.5-97.5 percentile: 0.33, 0.77) to 0.86 (2.5-97.5 percentile: 0.68, 1.09) for high (but not perfect) and low (but not zero) compliance, respectively. The calibration step provided estimates of the concentrations of three pathogen types (modeled as diarrheagenic E. coli, Giardia, and rotavirus) in drinking water, consistent with the longitudinal prevalence of reported diarrhea measured in the trial, and constrained by epidemiological data from the trial. Use of a QMRA model demonstrated the importance of compliance in HWT efficacy, the need for pathogen data from source waters, the effect of quantifying biases associated with epidemiological data, and the usefulness of generalizing the effectiveness of HWT trials to other contexts.
2. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36735.
High adherence is necessary to realize health gains from water quality interventions.
Brown J, Clasen T.
Department of Disease Control, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: Safe drinking water is critical for health. Household water treatment (HWT) has been recommended for improving access to potable water where existing sources are unsafe. Reports of low adherence to HWT may limit the usefulness of this approach, however.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We constructed a quantitative microbial risk model to predict gains in health attributable to water quality interventions based on a range of assumptions about pre-treatment water quality; treatment effectiveness in reducing bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites; adherence to treatment interventions; volume of water consumed per person per day; and other variables. According to mean estimates, greater than 500 DALYs may be averted per 100,000 person-years with increased access to safe water, assuming moderately poor pre-treatment water quality that is a source of risk and high treatment adherence (>90% of water consumed is treated). A decline in adherence from 100% to 90% reduces predicted health gains by up to 96%, with sharpest declines when pre-treatment water quality is of higher risk.
CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that high adherence is essential in order to realize potential health gains from HWT.
3. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31316.
Integrated HIV testing, malaria, and diarrhea prevention campaign in Kenya: modeled health impact and cost-effectiveness.
Kahn JG, Muraguri N, Harris B, Lugada E, Clasen T, Grabowsky M, Mermin J, Shariff
Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, California, United States of America. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Efficiently delivered interventions to reduce HIV, malaria, and diarrhea are essential to accelerating global health efforts. A 2008 community integrated prevention campaign in Western Province, Kenya, reached 47,000 individuals over 7 days, providing HIV testing and counseling, water filters, insecticide-treated bed nets, condoms, and for HIV-infected individuals cotrimoxazole prophylaxis and referral for ongoing care. We modeled the potential cost-effectiveness of a scaled-up integrated prevention campaign.
METHODS: We estimated averted deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) based on published data on baseline mortality and morbidity and on the protective effect of interventions, including antiretroviral therapy. We incorporate a previously estimated scaled-up campaign cost. We used published costs of medical care to estimate savings from averted illness (for all three diseases) and the added costs of initiating treatment earlier in the course of HIV disease.
RESULTS: Per 1000 participants, projected reductions in cases of diarrhea, malaria, and HIV infection avert an estimated 16.3 deaths, 359 DALYs and $85,113 in medical care costs. Earlier care for HIV-infected persons adds an estimated 82 DALYs averted (to a total of 442), at a cost of $37,097 (reducing total averted costs to $48,015). Accounting for the estimated campaign cost of $32,000, the campaign saves an estimated $16,015 per 1000 participants. In multivariate sensitivity analyses, 83% of simulations result in net savings, and 93% in a cost per DALY averted of less than $20.
DISCUSSION: A mass, rapidly implemented campaign for HIV testing, safe water, and malaria control appears economically attractive.