Hepatitis C transmission and treatment in contact networks of people who inject drugs.
Bottom Line:
Re-infection plays a large role in the effectiveness of treatment interventions.Strategies that choose PWID and treat all their contacts (analogous to ring vaccination) are most effective in reducing the incidence rates of re-infection and combined infection.A strategy targeting infected PWID with the most contacts (analogous to targeted vaccination) is the least effective.
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PubMed Central - PubMed
Affiliation: Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
ABSTRACT
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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronically infects over 180 million people worldwide, with over 350,000 estimated deaths attributed yearly to HCV-related liver diseases. It disproportionally affects people who inject drugs (PWID). Currently there is no preventative vaccine and interventions feature long treatment durations with severe side-effects. Upcoming treatments will improve this situation, making possible large-scale treatment interventions. How these strategies should target HCV-infected PWID remains an important unanswered question. Previous models of HCV have lacked empirically grounded contact models of PWID. Here we report results on HCV transmission and treatment using simulated contact networks generated from an empirically grounded network model using recently developed statistical approaches in social network analysis. Our HCV transmission model is a detailed, stochastic, individual-based model including spontaneously clearing nodes. On transmission we investigate the role of number of contacts and injecting frequency on time to primary infection and the role of spontaneously clearing nodes on incidence rates. On treatment we investigate the effect of nine network-based treatment strategies on chronic prevalence and incidence rates of primary infection and re-infection. Both numbers of contacts and injecting frequency play key roles in reducing time to primary infection. The change from "less-" to "more-frequent" injector is roughly similar to having one additional network contact. Nodes that spontaneously clear their HCV infection have a local effect on infection risk and the total number of such nodes (but not their locations) has a network wide effect on the incidence of both primary and re-infection with HCV. Re-infection plays a large role in the effectiveness of treatment interventions. Strategies that choose PWID and treat all their contacts (analogous to ring vaccination) are most effective in reducing the incidence rates of re-infection and combined infection. A strategy targeting infected PWID with the most contacts (analogous to targeted vaccination) is the least effective. Related in: MedlinePlus |
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Mentions: Figure 4 shows the effect of the treatment strategies on incidence rate of total infection. Results reported here are for weeks 131 to 156 (where week 1 is the first week beyond burn-in and also the first possible week of treatment.) The vertical axis shows the rate per 100 person-years at risk, and is calculated as the means across 500 simulations per network, then the mean (with 95% confidence intervals) across 100 networks. The horizontal axis shows the average number of treatment initiations started in weeks 1–156. It is calculated as the means across 500 simulations per network, then the mean across 100 networks, and then the mean across 156 weeks. It is reported as the number per year per 1000 PWIDs. For coordinates in the horizontal direction, 95% confidence intervals are smaller than +/−1 (not shown). The incidence rate of total infection with 95% confidence interval for the baseline simulations (“baseline (with 95% CI)”) is shown for comparison. Mean treatment starts for “naive ring” are smaller because there are limited numbers of infected nodes available for treatment around randomly chosen uninfected nodes. With the exception of “naive ring” (which starts from never-infected nodes, unlike the other strategies), for a fixed number of treatment initiations below about 10% per year there is a clear order to the strategies. For all but “inc. degree”, as the average number of people commencing treatment increases, the incidence rate is reduced. In particular, “dec. degree” (often viewed as the best strategy for vaccination) is shown to be the least effective for treatment. Finally, “naive ring”, starting from never infected nodes, appears most effective at reducing the total rate of infection. |
View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed
Affiliation: Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.