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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Leptospira prevalence is high in catfish and tilapia -- Tanzania Journal of Health Research Vol.16 No.2

Today we are featuring the Tanzania Journal of Health Research vol.16 no.2. It was updated on Bioline in July. 

This issue includes "Leptospira infections in freshwater fish in Morogoro Tanzania: a hidden public health threat" by Mgode et al. This study looks at Leptospirosis, an infection which affects both animals and humans. The infection is caused by the spirochete bacterium genus of Leptospira. Birds and rodents have the capability of transmitting leptospires. This study aims to examine Leptospira in fish and assess the public health risk this could pose. Researchers examined 48 live tilapia, catfish and eel fish caught in Mindu Dam in the Morogoro Municipality in eastern Tanzania. Blood samples were collected for serological detection of leptospirosis using a microagglutination test, using local and reference Leptospira serovars Sokoine, Kenya, Pomona and Hebdomadis. 26 of the first tested positive for serovars Kenya and Sokoine. Leptospira prevalence was high in catfish and tilapia. The results indicated that different fish types are infected with Leptospira, and that fish could be a source of Leptospira infections in humans, especially because catfish and tilapia are widely consumed in Tanzania. The study concludes that further research on bodies of water such as dams and lakes needs to be done to assess public health risk.

This article also includes "Providing anti-retroviral therapy in the context of self-perceived stigma: a mixed methods study from Tanzania" by Tarimo & George. This mixed-method study examines how stigma and the perceived influence of stigma can affect the adherence of anti-retroviral therapy among patients prescribed anti-retroviral therapy and health care providers. 295 patients were given a survey. 95% of patients said they were satisfied at the services provided by the Care and Treatment Centres. 36% of patients said the set-up of care was associated with stigma. 30% said the line-ups were also a contributing factor to stigma. Influence of stigma on adherence to anti-retroviral therapy was further examined through focus group discussions with health care providers. In these discussions, health care providers mentioned that the set-up of Care and Treatment Centres created a friendly environment but violated confidentiality. They also said that many patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy hid identification cards to avoid being recognized, rushed to avoid being recognized, and in their rush picked up the wrong medicine. Lastly, health care providers said that some patients threw away the box with the manufacturer's instructions on it, and as a result took the wrong dosages. The study concluded that dosage instructions should be given in another form. The study also suggested that Care and Treatment Centre adopt a dispensing window for all patients and an appointment system could help reduce stigma and line-ups.

You can find these articles and other articles from this issue here.

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