Title: The burden of infectious diseases in Greenland – means of evaluation and reduction
Summary of Activity
Although infectious diseases, once a major cause of death in Arctic regions, have decreased in incidence, infectious diseases still remain major causes of excess morbidity and mortality in these areas. Some infections, such as tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases, have decreased markedly in incidence over the last 40 years due to focused efforts, but still represent substantial and excess burdens of disease. Other infections, such as hepatitis B and acute and chronic otitis media have for years been known to be highly prevalent, but have not been given much public health attention, and incidence rates do not seem to decrease. Rates of other infections, such as respiratory tract infections and invasive bacterial diseases, are very high, but due to lack of surveillance it is unknown whether rates have changed. Finally, rates of a number of chronic diseases known to be associated with infections such as carcinoma of the uterine cervix (associated with human papillomavirus) and carcinomas of the nasopharynx and salivary glands (associated with Epstein Barr virus) are high. In this proposal we wish to address the burden of infectious diseases in Greenland by establishing research programmes to evaluate long-term consequences of certain infectious diseases, to evaluate the use of routine surveillance data and to initiate intervention trials in order to prevent infectious diseases. Using register information, blood and tissue banks, established and new laboratory methods, and through hospital-based and field studies in various settings in Greenland, the specific study aims are to • Establish the importance of severe human papilloma virus infection and subsequent risk of carcinoma of the uterine cervix in a population at high risk of this disease • Determine long-term consequences of hepatitis B virus infection and effect of genotype distribution • Identify determinants for Epstein-Barr virus antibody patterns associated with nasopharyngeal and salivary gland carcinoma in a population at high risk of these diseases • Determine the prevalence of latent tuberculosis in Greenlanders • Evaluate the scientific use of the nation-wide outpatient register for infectious disease hospitalisations and routine reporting of microbiological data from regional laboratories • Perform vaccine trials with conjugate pneumococcal vaccine and determine the effects against invasive and non-invasive pneumococcal disease.
Senior researcher, Anders Koch, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Tel: +45 3268 3964
Mobile: +45 29868802
Fax: +45 3268 3165
© 2006, Arctic Human Health Initiatives
All rights reserved.