Transmission Pathways of Viral Respiratory Infections in Kilifi County (Local-SPReD)

Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among people of all ages, with majority of the burden occurring in low-resource countries. Many studies have associated viruses with ARI in children admitted to hospital, and immunisation is considered to be the most appropriate prevention strategy. However, immunisation is hindered by the rapid virus evolution, presence of diverse forms unequally recognised immunologically, waning of specific immunity and uncertainty in identifying the optimal target population. A clear understanding of the spatial-temporal dynamics (introduction, spread and fade out) of respiratory viruses, genetic diversity and factors related to the spatial-temporal distribution and transmission potential of each respiratory virus would improve design of effective control strategies. We are conducting this surveillance to understand the origin, routes, patterns of spread and persistence of viruses causing ARI, in the outpatient of 9 health facilities (Matsangoni, Ngerenya, Sokoke, Mtondia, Mavueni, Jaribuni, Chasimba, Pingilikani and Junju), within Kilifi Health and Demographic Surveillance System (KHDSS). The study duration is 2 years targeting to recruit 14,000 participants. Nasopharyngeal swab samples will be collected from all eligible participants with symptoms of cough, sneezing, runny nose and difficulty in breathing. Samples will be tested for a range of respiratory viruses by PCR and whole genome sequencing.

The information obtained will be applied in designing strategies for control of the respiratory viruses by interrupting pathways of transmission and design of interventions most effective at disease reduction.

Study PI: Joyce Nyiro (BSc, MSc)

Collaborators: Matt Keeling