CDC Foundation Programs to be Featured in Prestigious Tropical Medicine Conference

In a few days, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) annual meeting will take place, and we’re pleased several CDC Foundation-supported projects will be among the scientific work being discussed.

The five-day scientific conference, which occurs virtually from Nov. 17–21, 2021, typically draws more than 4,000 global health professionals. The event offers participants the opportunity to share research and advances in tropical medicine, hygiene and health.

Notably, the ASTMH 2021 meeting features some of the leading voices in public health. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, will deliver the opening remarks, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, will speak at a plenary session on Thursday, Nov. 18.

We’re excited that the ASTMH conference will include presentations by CDC and CDC Foundation staff as well as partners working on integrated serosurveillance in Nigeria.

While that topic may sound technical and arcane, it’s actually novel and quite important.

Serosurveillance involves monitoring the presence or absence of antibodies to infectious disease within the blood samples of a population. This project demonstrates the ability to measure up to 100 disease-specific antibodies or antigens from a single dried bloodspot, using a cost-effective approach known as a multiplex bead assay. This approach could potentially strengthen efforts to control multiple diseases in developing country settings.

Thus far, preliminary data from this effort in Nigeria has been used successfully in the malaria program and immunization planning efforts there. The data is being shared at the ASTMH 2021 meeting in several presentations:

  • Opportunistic Mapping and Surveillance for Onchocerciasis Elimination Programs in Nigeria Using a Multiplex Bead Assay (Nov. 18, 11:00 AM EST)
  • Implementation of Multiplex Bead Assay at the National Reference Laboratory, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (Nov. 18, 11:00 AM EST)
  • Searching for Evidence of Yaws Recrudescence: An Analysis of Treponemal Antibody Seroprevalence—Nigeria, 2018 (Nov. 20, 11:00 AM EST)
  • State and Local Government Area Estimates for Trachoma Seroprevalence in 1 to 9-Year-Olds in Nigeria using Multiplex Bead Assay (Nov. 20, 3:00 PM EST)

CDC Foundation staff and partners will also present findings from their research on mosquitoes which is related to ongoing work focused on understanding how to prevent the spread of diseases carried by mosquitoes, including malaria. Presentation topics include:

  • FlyNap (Triethylamine) is a Suitable Anesthetic for Biological Assays in Mosquitoes (Nov. 18, 11:00 AM EST)
  • Mating Competitiveness is Reduced in Anopheles Gambiae Males Marked with Rhodamine B in Laboratory Trials (Nov. 19, 12:00 PM EST)

The Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program (MVIP), a pilot program coordinated by WHO to evaluate the world’s first malaria vaccine, will be the subject of an ASTMH symposium on Friday, Nov. 19 at 4:00 PM EST.

The CDC Foundation has been part of the MVIP since 2018, working with CDC and Kenyan evaluation partners to assess the impact of the RTS,S malaria vaccine in preventing severe malaria and death, and the vaccine’s safety in routine use. Data and evidence gathered by the MVIP in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi helped inform WHO’s recent groundbreaking recommendation to broadly deploy the malaria vaccine among children in areas of moderate to high transmission.

More information on the ASTMH annual meeting can be found on the organization’s website.

Miranda Bodfish
Miranda Bodfish is associate vice president for the CDC Foundation's department of infectious disease programs.
Ruth O'Neill headshot
Ruth O’Neill is a senior communications officer for the CDC Foundation’s department of infectious disease programs.