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PATH staff will travel to National Harbor, Maryland, November 20 through 24, to learn from and share research with top infectious disease experts from around the globe at the 68th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). The conference is the largest international scientific conference devoted to tropical medicine, attracting approximately 4,600 attendees from across a range of disciplines.
In more than 20 presentations, posters, and panels, PATH staff will share key findings on topics including malaria control and elimination efforts and enteric and diarrheal disease, and public health insights from Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia, among others.
PATH presentations include updates on the following:
Malaria burden reduction and elimination
Through dozens of poster and presentation sessions, PATH will share exciting advancements from our robust portfolio of malaria projects under the umbrella of PATH’s Center for Malaria Control and Elimination—including projects across diagnostics, drugs, system and service innovations, and groundbreaking strategies for accelerating burden reduction and elimination.
Hannah Slater, a research scientist with the Malaria Control and Elimination Partnership in Africa as well as the Diagnostics team at PATH, will co-chair a symposium on Friday, November 22, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., on the gaps between malaria, mathematical modeling, and country applications to inform strategic and operational decision-making. Additionally, Hannah will present on the use of malaria stratification to improve program intervention targeting in Zambia on Saturday, November 23, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Molly Robertson, senior evidence lead on the Next Generation Indoor Residual Spraying project, will present on strengths and limitations of five methods for evaluating vector control interventions on Thursday, November 21, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Nick Luter, a senior market dynamics officer with VivAccess, will co-present with Unitaid, IVCC, the US Agency for International Development, and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in a symposium on accelerating access to innovative malaria products on Sunday the 24th from 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Other presentations will highlight topics such as Zambia’s 2018 Malaria Indicator Survey findings, the cost-effectiveness of combining long-lasting insecticide-treated nets with indoor residual spraying in high-transmission areas, and performance of highly sensitive diagnostic tests with pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in western Kenya.
Enteric and diarrheal disease
PATH works with partners to take on enteric and diarrheal disease from every angle—developing vaccines, diagnostics, drugs, and devices; leading a movement to raise awareness; promoting water, sanitation, and hygiene; and improving access to simple, powerful tools to keep kids safe from deadly and disabling disease effects.
As a core partner of the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC), PATH supports countries with decision-making, planning, and preparations for typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) introduction, a World Health Organization–recommended and prequalified vaccine that can be given through routine childhood immunization programs. Earlier this month, Pakistan became the first country to introduce TCV into routine immunization by launching a phased national TCV campaign, a major milestone in reducing global typhoid burden. Other countries are preparing to introduce next year. TyVAC is hosting a symposium titled “Early Lessons with TCV Introduction: Decision-Making, Pre-Introduction and Implementation” at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 22, featuring experts from PATH sharing their experiences with TCV introduction. Also on Friday, join the Coalition against Typhoid, TyVAC, and other Take on Typhoid partners at “Leading the Way with the Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV),” a lunchtime reception open to all at 12:00 p.m.
PATH and the Diarrhea Innovations Group (DIG) partners will host a symposium—“Measuring Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED): Insights from Interventional Trials and Observational Studies in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Mali”—on Sunday, November 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., to share and discuss the latest EED research. Presentations will include an update on PATH’s work to develop MEEDAT, a multiplex assay for quantifying blood-based biomarkers of EED, growth hormone resistance, systemic inflammation, and micronutrient status in children. This will be the first symposium at ASTMH to feature presentations solely on the topic of EED.
PATH will also host its annual DIG member meeting on Wednesday, November 20, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., with presentations on emerging issues in enteropathy, including an update on the DIG-led effort to add co-packaged oral rehydration solution and zinc to the World Health Organization’s essential medicines lists. To register, please email DiarrheaInnovations@path.org.
Diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases
PATH is developing a rapid test for onchocerciasis that is based on the detection of antibodies to the parasite antigen Ov16. The new test will address the limitations of existing diagnostic tools.
Allison Golden, a PATH Diagnostics scientific program officer, will present on the improved performance of a serology rapid diagnostic test that utilizes dried blood spot samples for detection of onchocerciasis, Thursday, November 21, 12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Diagnostics for polio
As part of multi-pronged eradication efforts, PATH is advancing a rapid diagnostic screening test to help detect a class of rare genetic diseases that presents a unique risk for spreading poliovirus.
On Friday, November 22, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., Allison Golden will present on a novel point-of-care test for identifying risk of primary immunodeficiency to support global polio elimination.
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