School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Hookworm Vaccine Phase I Clinical Trial, Americaninhas, Brazil: The Faces Behind the Data

Poster Number

241

Document Type

Poster

Status

Medical Student

Abstract Category

Global Health

Keywords

hookworm; Brazil

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Hookworm is a parasitic worm that is in the category of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by the WHO. The parasite thrives in impoverished areas of the world which lack proper sanitation. While hookworm’s mortality figures do not compare to other diseases such as malaria, hookworm is a chronic infection that affects up to 740 million people in developing nations of the tropics, including tropical regions of the Americas such as Americaninhas, Brazil. As hookworm attaches to the mucosa of the small intestine, it causes blood loss and can cause iron deficiency anemia in hosts burdened by the infection. Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of hookworm infection. The Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington, DC created a vaccine against the hookworm parasite in an attempt to combat these detrimental effects: the Na-GST-1/ Alhydrogel® and Na-APR-1 (M74)/Alhydrogel® vaccines. The vaccine is now in a Phase I clinical trial in Americaninhas, Brazil through a collaboration between the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou (CPqRR) of Brazil. My summer project began with a thorough investigation of the various components of the hookworm vaccine clinical trial in Americaninhas, Brazil. The Phase I clinical trial in Americaninhas, Brazil is focused on the collection of and on the interpretation of data on the efficacy and safety of the hookworm vaccine in a small group of human participants. I worked in collaboration with Dr. David Diemert, the Principal Investigator of the vaccine clinical trial to assist in the collection of this patient data. More specifically, I shadowed the two physicians who did the physical exams of trial participants looking for adverse effects of the vaccine. I was also able to shadow several different physicians in various healthcare settings throughout rural Minas Gerais, Brazil. By working with various physicians in different settings and by getting to know the patients through their stories, I was able to truly see the social determinants of health that affect patients in rural Brazil such as the lack of access to clean water, lack of economic stability, and lack of education. I was also afforded an introduction to tropical medicine, seeing many diseases that are uncommon in the US such as schistosomiasis, scorpion bites, giardiasis, and amoebiasis.

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Hookworm Vaccine Phase I Clinical Trial, Americaninhas, Brazil: The Faces Behind the Data

Hookworm is a parasitic worm that is in the category of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by the WHO. The parasite thrives in impoverished areas of the world which lack proper sanitation. While hookworm’s mortality figures do not compare to other diseases such as malaria, hookworm is a chronic infection that affects up to 740 million people in developing nations of the tropics, including tropical regions of the Americas such as Americaninhas, Brazil. As hookworm attaches to the mucosa of the small intestine, it causes blood loss and can cause iron deficiency anemia in hosts burdened by the infection. Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of hookworm infection. The Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington, DC created a vaccine against the hookworm parasite in an attempt to combat these detrimental effects: the Na-GST-1/ Alhydrogel® and Na-APR-1 (M74)/Alhydrogel® vaccines. The vaccine is now in a Phase I clinical trial in Americaninhas, Brazil through a collaboration between the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou (CPqRR) of Brazil. My summer project began with a thorough investigation of the various components of the hookworm vaccine clinical trial in Americaninhas, Brazil. The Phase I clinical trial in Americaninhas, Brazil is focused on the collection of and on the interpretation of data on the efficacy and safety of the hookworm vaccine in a small group of human participants. I worked in collaboration with Dr. David Diemert, the Principal Investigator of the vaccine clinical trial to assist in the collection of this patient data. More specifically, I shadowed the two physicians who did the physical exams of trial participants looking for adverse effects of the vaccine. I was also able to shadow several different physicians in various healthcare settings throughout rural Minas Gerais, Brazil. By working with various physicians in different settings and by getting to know the patients through their stories, I was able to truly see the social determinants of health that affect patients in rural Brazil such as the lack of access to clean water, lack of economic stability, and lack of education. I was also afforded an introduction to tropical medicine, seeing many diseases that are uncommon in the US such as schistosomiasis, scorpion bites, giardiasis, and amoebiasis.