Procalcitonin predicts mortality in HIV-infected Ugandan adults with lower respiratory tract infections. In low and middle-income countries where HIV infection is prevalent, identifying patients at high risk of dying from lower respiratory tract infections is challenging and validated prognostic models are lacking. Serum procalcitonin may be a useful prognostic tool in these settings. We sought to determine if elevated serum procalcitonin is associated with increased in-hospital mortality and to combine serum procalcitonin with available clinical characteristics to create a clinically useful prognostic model. We conducted a prospective, nested case-control study of 241 HIV-infected adults admitted to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda with cough ≥2 weeks in duration. We collected demographic and clinical information, baseline serum for procalcitonin analysis, and followed patients to determine in-hospital mortality.
Epidemiological challenges to the assessment of HIV burdens among key populations: respondent-driven sampling, time-location sampling and demographic and health surveys. Measuring the burden of HIV among key populations is subject to many challenges. Sufficient quantities of valid HIV prevalence and programme coverage data are required to effectively respond to the epidemic.
Eliminating malaria in Malaysia: the role of partnerships between the public and commercial sectors in Sabah. Countries in the Asia Pacific region have made great progress in the fight against malaria; several are rapidly approaching elimination. However, malaria control programmes operating in elimination settings face substantial challenges, particularly around mobile migrant populations, access to remote areas and the diversity of vectors with varying biting and breeding behaviours. These challenges can be addressed through subnational collaborations with commercial partners, such as mining or plantation companies, that can conduct or support malaria control activities to cover employees. Such partnerships can be a useful tool for accessing high-risk populations and supporting malaria elimination goals. This observational qualitative case study employed semi-structured key informant interviews to describe partnerships between the Malaysian Malaria Control Programme (MCP), and private palm oil, rubber and acacia plantations in the state of Sabah. Semi-structured interview guides were used to examine resource commitments, incentives, challenges, and successes of the collaborations.
Renal events among women treated with tenofovir/emtricitabine in combination with either lopinavir/ritonavir or nevirapine: analysis from the AIDS Clinical Trial Group A5208 trial. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) has been associated with renal insufficiency. Co-administration with boosted protease inhibitors, which increases its exposure, may further increase the risk of renal insufficiency. We compared the incidence of renal events among women taking TDF co-administered with lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) versus those co-administering TDF with nevirapine (NVP). Renal events were defined as a confirmed drop in creatinine clearance associated with a serum creatinine grade 2 or higher, or that leading to treatment modification.
Yellow fever vaccine for patients with HIV infection. Yellow fever (YF) is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease prevalent in tropical Africa and Latin America. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 200,000 cases of YF and 30,000 deaths worldwide annually. Treatment for YF is supportive, but a live attenuated virus vaccine is effective for preventing infection. WHO recommends immunisation for all individuals > 9 months living in countries or areas at risk. However, the United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advises that YF vaccine is contraindicated in individuals with HIV. Given the large populations of HIV-infected individuals living in tropical areas where YF is endemic, YF vaccine may be an important intervention for preventing YF in immunocompromised populations. To assess the risk and benefits of YF immunisation for people infected with HIV. We used standard Cochrane methods to search electronic databases and conference proceedings with relevant search terms without limits to language.
Pakikisama: lessons learned in partnership building with Filipinas with breast cancer for culturally meaningful support. San Francisco Bay Area Filipinas with breast cancer underutilize support services. Our partnership engaged in community-based participatory research (CBPR) that involved formation of a community advisory board (CAB) representing low-income, low-English-proficient Filipinas with breast cancer. While CABs are a standard component of CBPR projects, the process of establishing and fostering CAB involvement has been under studied. This commentary explores the process our team used-building upon the Filipino cultural method of pakikisama which stresses making the other feel welcome, safe, and nurtured-to overcome barriers to active engagement.
Screening for hepatitis C virus infection in a high prevalence country by an antigen/antibody combination assay versus a rapid test. In low-income-countries, screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is often based on rapid tests (RT). Their lower sensitivity compared to enzyme immunoassay (EIA) suggests that newer HCV Antigen/Antibody (Ag/Ab) combination assays might have a role in such countries. To test this idea, 1998 blood donors were tested at the University Teaching Hospital blood bank in Yaoundé, Cameroon simultaneously with a RT (HCV rapid test, Human Diagnostics, Berlin, Germany) according to standard practice (S1) and with an Ag/Ab assay (Monolisa HCV Ag/Ab Ultra, Biorad, France) (S2). All discordant, borderline and reactive samples were submitted to confirmatory testing by immunoblot and/or HCV-RNA.
Impact of Uncertainties in Exposure Assessment on Estimates of Thyroid Cancer Risk among Ukrainian Children and Adolescents Exposed from the Chernobyl Accident. The 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant remains the most serious nuclear accident in history, and excess thyroid cancers, particularly among those exposed to releases of iodine-131 remain the best-documented sequelae. Failure to take dose-measurement error into account can lead to bias in assessments of dose-response slope. Although risks in the Ukrainian-US thyroid screening study have been previously evaluated, errors in dose assessments have not been addressed hitherto. Dose-response patterns were examined in a thyroid screening prevalence cohort of 13,127 persons aged <18 at the time of the accident who were resident in the most radioactively contaminated regions of Ukraine.
Blunted Response to Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV Elite Controllers: An International HIV Controller Collaboration. HIV "elite controllers" (ECs) spontaneously control viral load, but some eventually require combination antiretroviral treatment (cART), due to a loss of viral control or a decline in CD4 T-cell counts. Here we studied the CD4 T-cell count dynamics after cART initiation among 34 ECs followed in U.S. and European cohorts, by comparison with chronically viremic patients (VIRs). ECs were defined as patients with at least ≥5 viral load (VL) measurements below 400 copies/mL during at least a 5-year period despite never receiving ART and were selected from the French ANRS CO18 cohort, the U.S. SCOPE cohort, the International HIV Controllers study and the European CASCADE collaboration. VIRs were selected from the ANRS COPANA cohort of recently-diagnosed (<1 year) ART-naïve HIV-1-infected adults. CD4 T-cell count dynamics after cART initiation in both groups were modelled with piecewise mixed linear models.
Development of a contemporary globally diverse HIV viral panel by the EQAPOL program. Significant diversity among HIV-1 variants poses serious challenges for vaccine development and for developing sensitive assays for screening, surveillance, diagnosis and clinical management. Recognizing a need to develop a panel of HIV representing the current genetic and geographic diversity NIH/NIAID contracted the External Quality Assurance Program Oversight Laboratory (EQAPOL) to isolate, characterize and establish panels of HIV-1 strains representing global diverse subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRFs), and to make them available to the research community. HIV-positive plasma specimens and previously established isolates were collected through a variety of collaborations with a preference for samples from acutely/recently infected persons diagnosed since 2009.
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