Background. India has one of the highest tuberculosis (TB) burdens globally. However, few studies have focused on TB in young children, a vulnerable population, where lack of early diagnosis results in poor outcomes. Methods. Young children (≤5 years) with suspected TB were prospectively enrolled at a tertiary hospital in Pune, India. Detailed clinical evaluation, HIV testing, mycobacterial cultures, and drug susceptibility testing were performed. Results. 223 children with suspected TB were enrolled. The median age was 31 months, 46% were female, 86% had received BCG, 57% were malnourished, and 10% were HIV positive. 12% had TB disease (definite or probable), 35% did not have TB, while TB could not be ruled out in 53%. Extrapulmonary disease was noted in 46%, which was predominantly meningeal. Tuberculin skin test (TST) was positive in 20% of children with TB. Four of 7 (57%) children with culture-confirmed TB harbored drug-resistant (DR) strains of whom 2 (50%) were multi-DR (MDR). In adjusted analyses, HIV infection, positive TST, and exposure to household smoke were found to be significantly associated with children with TB (P ≤ 0.04). Mortality (at 1 year) was 3 of 26 (12%) and 1 of 79 (1%), respectively, in children with TB and those without TB (P < 0.05). Conclusions. Diagnosis of TB is challenging in young children, with high rates of extra-pulmonary and meningeal disease. While the data on DR-TB are limited by the small sample size, they are however concerning, and additional studies are needed to more accurately define the prevalence of DR strains in this vulnerable population.
Tuberculosis peaks during a woman's reproductive years and is a leading cause of maternal mortality. We review the epidemiology, screening, treatment, and outcomes of tuberculosis in pregnancy and postpartum, and highlight research gaps.
Tuberculosis is most common during a woman's reproductive years and is a major cause of maternal–child mortality. National guidelines for screening and management vary widely owing to insufficient data. In this article, we review the available data on (1) the global burden of tuberculosis in women of reproductive age; (2) how pregnancy and the postpartum period affect the course of tuberculosis; (3) how to screen and diagnose pregnant and postpartum women for active and latent tuberculosis; (4) the management of active and latent tuberculosis in pregnancy and the postpartum period, including the safety of tuberculosis medications; and (5) infant outcomes. We also include data on HIV/tuberculosis coinfection and drug-resistant tuberculosis. Finally, we highlight research gaps in tuberculosis in pregnant and postpartum women.
The nucleocapsid (N) protein of Chandipura virus (CHPV) plays a crucial role in viral life cycle, besides being an important structural component of the virion through proper organization of its interactions with other viral proteins. In a recent study, the authors had mapped the associations among CHPV proteins and shown that N protein interacts with four of the viral proteins: N, phosphoprotein (P), matrix protein (M), and glycoprotein (G). The present study aimed to distinguish the regions of CHPV N protein responsible for its interactions with other viral proteins. In this direction, we have generated the structure of CHPV N protein by homology modeling using SWISS-MODEL workspace and Accelrys Discovery Studio client 2.55 and mapped the domains of N protein using PiSQRD. The interactions of N protein fragments with other proteins were determined by ZDOCK rigid-body docking method and validated by yeast two-hybrid and ELISA. The study revealed a unique binding site, comprising of amino acids 1–30 at the N terminus of the nucleocapsid protein (N1) that is instrumental in its interactions with N, P, M, and G proteins. It was also observed that N2 associates with N and G proteins while N3 interacts with N, P, and M proteins.
Phagemid-based expression of cloned genes fused to the gIIIP coding sequence and rescue using helper phages, such as VCSM13, has been used extensively for constructing large antibody phage display libraries. However, for randomly primed cDNA and gene fragment libraries, this system encounters reading frame problems wherein only one of 18 phages display the translated foreign peptide/protein fused to phagemid-encoded gIIIP. The elimination of phages carrying out-of-frame inserts is vital in order to improve the quality of phage display libraries. In this study, we designed a novel helper phage, AGM13, which carries trypsin-sensitive sites within the linker regions of gIIIP. This renders the phage highly sensitive to trypsin digestion, which abolishes its infectivity. For open reading frame (ORF) selection, the phagemid-borne phages are rescued using AGM13, so that clones with in-frame inserts express fusion proteins with phagemid-encoded trypsin-resistant gIIIP, which becomes incorporated into the phages along with a few copies of AGM13-encoded trypsin-sensitive gIIIP. In contrast, clones with out-of-frame inserts produce phages carrying only AGM13-encoded trypsin-sensitive gIIIP. Trypsin treatment of the phage population renders the phages with out-of-frame inserts non-infectious, whereas phages carrying in-frame inserts remain fully infectious and can hence be enriched by infection. This strategy was applied efficiently at a genome scale to generate an ORF-enriched whole genome fragment library from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, in which nearly 100% of the clones carried in-frame inserts after selection. The ORF-enriched libraries were successfully used for identification of linear and conformational epitopes for monoclonal antibodies specific to mycobacterial proteins.
Drug-drug interactions complicate management of co-infection with HIV-1 and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Bedaquiline (formerly TMC207), an investigational agent for the treatment of tuberculosis, is metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A which may be induced by the antiretroviral drug efavirenz.
This was a Phase I pharmacokinetic drug interaction trial. Each healthy volunteer received two 400 mg doses of bedaquiline, the first alone, and the second with concomitant steady-state efavirenz. Plasma pharmacokinetic sampling for bedaquiline and its N-monodesmethyl metabolite (M2) was performed over 14 days after each bedaquiline dose. Steady-state efavirenz pharmacokinetics were also determined. Efavirenz metabolizer status was based on CYP2B6 composite 516/983 genotype.
Thirty-three of 37 enrolled subjects completed the study. Geometric mean ratios (GMR) for bedaquiline with efavirenz versus bedaquiline alone were 0.82 (90% CI 0.75 to 0.89) for the 14-day area under the concentration-time curve (AUC0-336h) and 1.00 (90% CI 0.88 to 1.13) for the maximum concentration (Cmax). For M2, the GMR was 1.07 (90% CI 0.97 to 1.19) for AUC0-336h and 1.89 (90% CI 1.66 to 2.15) for Cmax. There were no Grade 3 or 4 clinical adverse events. One subject developed asymptomatic Grade 3 serum transaminase elevation, prompting study drug discontinuation. Efavirenz concentrations stratified by CYP2B6 genotype were similar to historical data.
Single-dose bedaquiline was well-tolerated alone and with steady-state efavirenz. The effect of efavirenz on bedaquiline concentrations is unlikely to be clinically significant.
tuberculosis; HIV; pharmacokinetics; TMC207; bedaquiline; efavirenz; CYP3A
We evaluated tuberculosis (TB) screening among 799 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected pregnant women in India. Eleven (1.4%) had active TB. The negative predictive value of screening using cough, fever, night sweats, or weight loss was 99.3%. Tuberculin skin test and targeted chest radiography provided no substantial benefit. TB symptom screening, as recommended by the World Health Organization, is effective for ruling out TB in HIV-infected pregnant women.
India has among the highest rates of infant malnutrition. Few studies investigating the growth patterns of HIV-exposed infants in India or the impact of timing of HIV infection on growth in settings such as India exist.
We used data from the Six Week Extended Nevirapine (SWEN) trial to compare the growth patterns of HIV-infected and HIV-exposed but uninfected infants accounting for timing of HIV infection, and to identify risk factors for stunting, underweight and wasting. Growth and timing of HIV infection were assessed at weeks 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 14 weeks and 6, 9, 12 months of life. Random effects multivariable logistic regression method was used to assess factors associated with stunting, underweight and wasting.
Among 737 HIV-exposed infants, 93 (13%) were HIV-infected by 12 months of age. Among HIV-infected and uninfected infants, baseline prevalence of stunting (48% vs. 46%), underweight (27% vs. 26%) and wasting (7% vs. 11%) was similar (p>0.29), but by 12 months stunting and underweight, but not wasting, were significantly higher in HIV-infected infants (80% vs. 56%, 52% vs. 29%, p< 0.0001; 5% vs. 6%, p=0.65, respectively). These differences rapidly manifested within 4–6 weeks of birth. Infants infected in utero had the worst growth outcomes during the follow-up period. SWEN was associated with non-significant reductions in stunting and underweight among HIV-infected infants and significantly less wasting in HIV-uninfected infants. In multivariate analysis, maternal CD4 < 250, infant HIV status, less breastfeeding, low birth weight, non-vaginal delivery, and infant gestational age were significant risk factors for underweight and stunting.
Baseline stunting and underweight was high in both HIV-infected and uninfected infants; growth indices diverged early and were impacted by timing of infection and SWEN prophylaxis. Early growth monitoring of all HIV-exposed infants is an important low-cost strategy for improving health and survival outcomes of these infants.
HIV-exposed infants; Growth patterns; India; Extended use of nevirapine; Risk factors; Timing of HIV Infection
Microbial translocation (MT) is thought to be a major contributor to the pathogenesis of HIV-related immune activation, and circulating lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Gram-negative bacteria is the principle measurement of this process. However, related research has been impeded by inconsistent LPS test results.
Specimens were obtained from HIV-infected adults enrolled in the PEARLS study (ACTG A5175) and HIV-HCV co-infected participants enrolled in a study of liver disease staging using MRI elastography. Pig-tailed macaque specimens were obtained from SIV-infected and –uninfected animals. Samples were tested for LPS using the LAL assay with diazo-coupling modifications to improve sensitive detection.
When exogenous LPS was added to macaque plasma, >25% inhibition of LPS detection was found in 10/10 (100%) samples at 20% plasma concentration compared to control; in contrast 5/10 (50%) samples at 2% plasma concentration (p = 0.07) and 0/10 (0%) at 0.1% plasma concentration (p = 0.004) showed >25% inhibition of LPS detection. Similarly, when LPS was added to human serum, >25% inhibition of LPS detection was found in 5/12 (42%) of samples at 2% serum concentration compared to control, while 0/12 (0%) of samples in 0.1% serum showed >25% inhibition of LPS detection (p = 0.07). Likewise, LPS detection in human sera without exogenous LPS was improved by dilution: LPS was detected in 2/12 (17%) human samples in 2% serum, ranging from 3,436–4,736 pg/mL, compared to 9/12 (75%) samples in 0.1% serum, ranging from 123 pg/mL –60,131 pg/mL (p = 0.016). In a separate validation cohort of HIV-HCV co-infected participants sampled at two different times on the same day, LPS measured in 0.2% plasma and with diazo-coupling was closely correlated between the first and second samples (R = 0.66, p<0.05).
Undiluted serum and plasma mask LPS detection. The extent of MT may be substantially underestimated.
Distance learning; mHealth; research; clinical; education; global health
Background. Maternal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA load, CD4 cell count, breast-feeding, antiretroviral use, and malaria are well-established factors associated with mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV; the role of maternal tuberculosis (TB), however, has not been well established.
Methods. The study population was 783 HIV-infected Indian mother-infant pair participants in randomized and ancillary HIV-infected cohorts of the Six Week Extended-Dose Nevirapine (SWEN) Study, a study comparing extended nevirapine versus single-dose nevirapine, to reduce MTCT of HIV among breast-fed infants. Using multivariable logistic regression, we assessed the impact of maternal TB occurring during pregnancy and through 12 months after delivery on risk of MTCT.
Results. Of 783 mothers, 3 had prevalent TB and 30 had incident TB at 12 months after delivery. Of 33 mothers with TB, 10 (30%) transmitted HIV to their infants in comparison with 87 of 750 mothers without TB (12%; odds ratio [OR], 3.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.53–7.29; P = .02). In multivariable analysis, maternal TB was associated with 2.51-fold (95% CI, 1.05–6.02; P = .04) increased odds of HIV transmission adjusting for maternal factors (viral load, CD4 cell count, and antiretroviral therapy) and infant factors (breast-feeding duration, infant nevirapine administration, gestational age, and birth weight) associated with MTCT of HIV.
Conclusions. Maternal TB is associated with increased MTCT of HIV. Prevention of TB among HIV-infected mothers should be a high priority for communities with significant HIV/TB burden.
We systematically reviewed observational studies of early mortality post-antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, as defined by the World Bank, to summarize what is known.
Methods and Findings
Studies published in English between January 1996 and December 2010 were searched in Medline and EMBASE. Three independent reviewers examined studies of mortality within one year post-ART. An article was included if the study was conducted in a LMIC, participants were initiating ART in a non-clinical trial setting and were ≥15 years. Fifty studies were included; 38 (76%) from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), 5 (10%) from Asia, 2 (4%) from the Americas, and 5 (10%) were multi-regional. Median follow-up time and pre-ART CD4 cell count ranged from 3–55 months and 11–192 cells/mm3, respectively. Loss-to-follow-up, reported in 40 (80%) studies, ranged from 0.3%–27%. Overall, SSA had the highest pooled 12-month mortality probability of 0.17 (95% CI 0.11–0.24) versus 0.11 (95% CI 0.10–0.13) for Asia, and 0.07 (95% CI 0.007–0.20) for the Americas. Of 14 (28%) studies reporting cause-specific mortality, tuberculosis (TB) (5%–44%), wasting (5%–53%), advanced HIV (20%–37%), and chronic diarrhea (10%–25%) were most common. Independent factors associated with early mortality in 30 (60%) studies included: low baseline CD4 cell count, male sex, advanced World Health Organization clinical stage, low body mass index, anemia, age greater than 40 years, and pre-ART quantitative HIV RNA.
Significant heterogeneity in outcomes and in methods of reporting outcomes exist among published studies evaluating mortality in the first year after ART initiation in LMIC. Early mortality rates are highest in SSA, and opportunistic illnesses such as TB and wasting syndrome are the most common reported causes of death. Strategies addressing modifiable risk factors associated with early death are urgently needed.
HIV-infected and HIV-exposed, uninfected infants experience a high burden of infectious morbidity and mortality. Hospitalization is an important metric for morbidity and is associated with high mortality, yet, little is known about rates and causes of hospitalization among these infants in the first 12 months of life.
Using data from a prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) trial (India SWEN), where HIV-exposed breastfed infants were given extended nevirapine, we measured 12-month infant all-cause and cause-specific hospitalization rates and hospitalization risk factors.
Among 737 HIV-exposed Indian infants, 93 (13%) were HIV-infected, 15 (16%) were on HAART, and 260 (35%) were hospitalized 381 times by 12 months of life. Fifty-six percent of the hospitalizations were attributed to infections; gastroenteritis was most common accounting for 31% of infectious hospitalizations. Gastrointestinal-related hospitalizations steadily increased over time, peaking around 9 months. The 12-month all-cause hospitalization, gastroenteritis-related hospitalization, and in-hospital mortality rates were 906/1000 PY, 229/1000 PY, and 35/1000 PY respectively among HIV-infected infants and 497/1000 PY, 107/1000 PY, and 3/1000 PY respectively among HIV-exposed, uninfected infants. Advanced maternal age, infant HIV infection, gestational age, and male sex were associated with higher all-cause hospitalization risk while shorter duration of breastfeeding and abrupt weaning were associated with gastroenteritis-related hospitalization.
HIV-exposed Indian infants experience high rates of all-cause and infectious hospitalization (particularly gastroenteritis) and in-hospital mortality. HIV-infected infants are nearly 2-fold more likely to experience hospitalization and 10-fold more likely to die compared to HIV-exposed, uninfected infants. The combination of scaling up HIV PMTCT programs and implementing proven health measures against infections could significantly reduce hospitalization morbidity and mortality among HIV-exposed Indian infants.
Infant; HIV; India; Hospitalization; In-hospital Mortality; gastroenteritis; pneumonia
HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral (ARV) therapy (ART) in India are not all adequately virally suppressed. We analyzed ARV drug resistance in adults receiving ART in three private clinics in Mumbai, India. HIV viral load was measured in 200 patients with the Roche AMPLICOR HIV-1 Monitor Test, v1.5. HIV genotyping was performed with the ViroSeq HIV-1 Genotyping System for 61 participants who had HIV-1 RNA >1000 copies/ml. Genotyping results were obtained for 51 samples. The participants with resistance results were on ART for a median of 24 months and were on their current regimen for a median of 12 months (median CD4 cell count: 217 cells/mm3; median HIV viral load: 28,200 copies/ml). ARV regimens included nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based regimens (n = 27), dual nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs, n = 19), protease inhibitor (PI)-based regimens (n = 3), and other regimens (n = 2). Twenty-six participants (51.0%) were on their first ARV regimen and 24 (47%) reported >95% adherence. Forty-nine participants (96.1%) had resistance to at least one ARV drug; 47 (92.2%) had NRTI resistance, 32 (62.7%) had NNRTI resistance, and four (7.8%) had PI resistance. Thirty (58.8%) had two-class resistance and three (5.9%) had three-class resistance. Four (8%) had three or more resistance mutations associated with etravirine resistance and two (4%) had two mutations associated with reduced darunavir susceptibility. Almost all patients with HIV-1 RNA >1000 copies/ml had NRTI resistance and nearly two-thirds had NNRTI resistance; PI resistance was uncommon. Nearly 60% and 6% had two- and three-class resistance, respectively. This emphasizes the need for greater viral load and resistance monitoring, use of optimal ART combinations, and increased availability of second- and third-line agents for patients with ARV resistance.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the role of pharmacists in low-income settings be expanded to address the increasing complexity of HIV antiretroviral (ARV) and co-infection drug regimens. However, in many such settings including in India, many pharmacists and pharmacy workers are often neither well trained nor aware of the intricacies of HIV treatment. The aims of our study were; to determine the availability of ARVs, provision of ARVs, knowledge about ARVs, attitudes towards HIV-infected persons and self-perceived need for training among community-based pharmacies in an urban area of India.
We performed a survey of randomly selected, community-based pharmacies located in Pune, India, in 2004-2005 to determine the availability of ARVs at these pharmacies, how they were providing ARVs and their self-perceived need for training. We also assessed knowledge, attitudes and perceptions on HIV and ARVs and factors associated with stocking ARVs.
Of 207 pharmacies included in the survey, 200 (96.6%) were single, private establishments. Seventy-three (35.3%) pharmacies stocked ARVs and 38 (18.4%) ordered ARVs upon request. The reported median number of ARV pills that patients bought at one time was 30, a two week supply of ARVs (range: 3-240 pills). Six (2.9%) pharmacy respondents reported selling non-allopathic medicines (i.e. Ayurvedic, homeopathy) for HIV. Ninety (44.2%) pharmacy respondents knew that ARVs cannot cure HIV, with those stocking ARVs being more likely to respond correctly (60.3% vs. 34.8%, p = 0.001). Respondents of pharmacies which stocked ARVs were also more likely to believe it was a professional obligation to provide medications to HIV-infected persons (91.8% vs. 78.8%, p = 0.007) but they were also more likely to believe that HIV-infected persons are unable to adhere to their medicines (79.5% vs. 40.9%, p < 0.01). Knowledge of the most common side effects of nevirapine, abnormal liver enzyme profile and skin rash, was reported correctly by 8 (3.9%) and 23 (11.1%) respondents, respectively. Seven (3.4%) respondents reported that they had received special training on HIV, 3 (1.5%) reported receipt of special training on ART and 167 (80.7%) reported that they believed that pharmacy staff should get special training on ART.
There is a high willingness to participate in HIV management among community-based pharmacies but there is a tremendous need for training on HIV therapies. Furthermore, stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV-infected persons persist and interventions to reduce stigma are needed, particularly among those that stock ARVs.
We have earlier described a haemagglutination-based assay for on-site detection of antibodies to HIV using whole blood. The reagent in this assay comprises of monovalent Fab fragment of an anti-human RBC antibody fused to immunodominant antigens of HIV-1 and HIV-2. In the present work, we describe a rational and systematic method for directed evolution of scFv and Fab antihuman RBC antibody fragments. Based on homology modeling and germline sequence alignments of antibodies, target residues in the anti-RBC MAb B6 sequence were identified for mutagenesis. A combinatorial library of 107 clones was constructed and subjected to selection on whole RBC under competitive binding conditions to identify several phage-displayed B6 scFv clones with improved binding as determined in an agglutination assay. Selected VL and VH sequences were shuffled to generate a second generation phage-displayed Fab library which on panning yielded Fab clones with several fold better binding than wild type. The mutants with better binding also displayed more Fab molecules per phage particle indicating improved in vivo folding which was also confirmed by their increased periplasmic secretion compared to the wild type. The mutant Fab molecules also showed superior characteristics in large scale production by in vitro folding of LC and Fd. The biophysical measurements involving thermal and chemical denaturation and renaturation kinetics clearly showed that two of the mutant Fab molecules possessed significantly improved characteristics as compared to the wild type B6 Fab. Structural modelling revealed that B6 Fab mutants had increased hydrogen bonding resulting in increased stability. Our approach provides a novel and useful strategy to obtain recombinant antibodies with improved characteristics.
phage display; antibody maturation; Fab; antibody folding; scFv; agglutination
Daily nevirapine (NVP) prophylaxis to HIV-exposed infants significantly reduces breast-milk HIV transmission. We assessed NVP-resistance in Indian infants enrolled in the “six-week extended-dose nevirapine” (SWEN) trial who received single-dose NVP (SD-NVP) or SWEN for prevention of breast-milk HIV transmission but who also acquired subtype C HIV infection during the first year of life.
Standard population sequencing and cloning for viral subpopulations present at ≥5% frequency were used to determine HIV genotypes from 94% of the 79 infected Indian infants studied. Timing of infection was defined based on when an infant's blood sample first tested positive for HIV DNA. SWEN-exposed infants diagnosed with HIV by six weeks of age had a significantly higher prevalence of NVP-resistance than those who received SD-NVP, by both standard population sequencing (92% of 12 vs. 38% of 29; p = 0.002) and low frequency clonal analysis (92% of 12 vs. 59% of 29; p = 0.06). Likelihood of infection with NVP-resistant HIV through breast-milk among infants infected after age six weeks was substantial, but prevalence of NVP-resistance did not differ among SWEN or SD-NVP exposed infants by standard population sequencing (15% of 13 vs. 15% of 20; p = 1.00) and clonal analysis (31% of 13 vs. 40% of 20; p = 0.72). Types of NVP-resistance mutations and patterns of persistence at one year of age were similar between the two groups. NVP-resistance mutations did differ by timing of HIV infection; the Y181C variant was predominant among infants diagnosed in the first six weeks of life, compared to Y188C/H during late breast-milk transmission.
Use of SWEN to prevent breast-milk HIV transmission carries a high likelihood of resistance if infection occurs in the first six weeks of life. Moreover, there was a continued risk of transmission of NVP-resistant HIV through breastfeeding during the first year of life, but did not differ between SD-NVP and SWEN groups. As with SD-NVP, the value of preventing HIV infection in a large number of infants should be considered alongside the high risk of resistance associated with extended NVP prophylaxis.
The risk for occupational exposure to HIV has been well characterized in the developed world, but limited information is available about this transmission risk in resource-constrained settings facing the largest burden of HIV infection. In addition, the feasibility and utilization of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) programs in these settings are unclear. Therefore, we examined the rate and characteristics of occupational exposure to HIV and the utilization of PEP among health care workers (HCW) in a large, urban government teaching hospital in Pune, India.
Demographic and clinical data on occupational exposures and their management were prospectively collected from January 2003–December 2005. US Centers for Diseases Control guidelines were utilized to define risk exposures, for which PEP was recommended. Incidence rates of reported exposures and trends in PEP utilization were examined using logistic regression.
Of 1955 HCW, 557 exposures were reported by 484 HCW with an incidence of 9.5 exposures per 100 person-years (PY). Housestaff, particularly interns, reported the greatest number of exposures with an annual incidence of 47.0 per 100 PY. Personal protective equipment (PPE) was used in only 55.1% of these exposures. The incidence of high-risk exposures was 6.8/100 PY (n = 339); 49.1% occurred during a procedure or disposing of equipment and 265 (80.0%) received a stat dose of PEP. After excluding cases in which the source tested HIV negative, 48.4% of high-risk cases began an extended PEP regimen, of whom only 49.5% completed it. There were no HIV or Hepatitis B seroconversions identified. Extended PEP was continued unnecessarily in 7 (35%) of 20 cases who were confirmed to be HIV-negative. Over time, there was a significant reduction in proportion of percutaneous exposures and high-risk exposures (p < 0.01) and an increase in PEP utilization for high risk exposures (44% in 2003 to 100% in 2005, p = 0.002).
Housestaff are a vulnerable population at high risk for bloodborne exposures in teaching hospital settings in India. With implementation of a hospital-wide PEP program, there was an encouraging decrease of high-risk exposures over time and appropriate use of PEP. However, overall use of PPE was low, suggesting further measures are needed to prevent occupational exposures in India.
The antimicrobial potential of seventy-seven extracts from twenty-four plants was screened against eight bacteria and four pathogenic fungi, using microbroth dilution assay. Lowest concentration of the extract, which inhibits any visual microbial growth after treatment with p-iodonitrotetrazolium violet, was considered to be minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Water extracts of Acacia nilotica, Justicia zelanica, Lantana camara and Saraca asoca exhibited good activity against all the bacteria tested and the MIC was recorded in range of 9.375–37.5 µg/ml and 75.0–300.0 µg/ml against the bacterial and fungal pathogens, respectively. The other extracts of Phyllanthus urinaria, Thevetia nerifolia, Jatropha gossypifolia Saraca asoca, Tamarindus indica, Aegle marmelos, Acacia nilotica, Chlorophytum borivilianum, Mangifera indica, Woodfordia fruticosa and Phyllanthus emblica showed antimicrobial activity in a range of 75–1200 µg/ml.
Antibacterial; Antifungal; Medicinal Plants; Microbroth dilution assay; folkloric medicine
Availability of accurate diagnostic tests has been helpful in curtailing the spread of HIV infection. Among these, simple, point of care, inexpensive tests which require only a drop of blood from finger-prick and give reliable results within minutes are a must for expansion of testing services and for reaching mobile and marginalised populations. Such tests will not only be a boon for the infrastructure-starved developing and underdeveloped countries but will also be extremely useful in developed countries where post-testing compliance is a major problem. Our laboratory has been involved in developing reagents for heamagglutination-based rapid detection of antibodies to HIV in whole blood using recombinant molecules specific for either HIV-1 or HIV-2. Since it is not required of a screening test to differentially detect HIV and HIV-2, it would useful to create a single molecule capable of simultaneous detection of both HIV-1 and HIV-2 in a drop of blood.
The present paper describes designing, high-level expression and large-scale purification of new molecules comprising recombinant anti-RBC Fab fused to immunodominant regions of envelope sequences from both gp41 of HIV-1 and gp36 of HIV-2. These immunodominant regions of HIV envelope contain cysteine residues, which make disulfide bond and can interfere with the assembly of light chain and heavy chain fragment to make Fab molecule in vitro. To circumvent this problem, a series of fusion proteins having different combinations of native and mutant envelope sequences were constructed, purified and evaluated for their efficacy in detecting antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2. A chimeric molecule comprising native envelope sequence of gp41 of HIV-1 and modified envelope sequence of gp36 of HIV-2 gave good production yield and also detected both HIV-1 and HIV-2 samples with high sensitivity and specificity.
The new bifunctional antibody fusion protein identified in this study detects both HIV-1 and HIV-2 infected samples efficiently and can be used in place of molecules that detect only HIV-1 or HIV-2. This will make reagent production more economical as only one molecule has to be produced in place of two molecules. Also, it will simplify the testing procedure allowing detection of both HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections in a single drop of blood.
We investigated a multistate cluster of Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolates; pulsed-field gel electrophoresis subtyping, using a single enzyme, suggested an epidemiologic association. An investigation and additional subtyping, however, did not support the association. Confirmating E. coli O157 clusters with two or more restriction endonucleases is necessary before public health resources are allocated to follow-up investigations.
Escherichia coli O157:H7; pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; PFGE; United States; dispatch
We summarize antimicrobial resistance surveillance data in human and chicken isolates of Campylobacter. Isolates were from a sentinel county study from 1989 through 1990 and from nine state health departments participating in National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for enteric bacteria (NARMS) from 1997 through 2001. None of the 297 C. jejuni or C. coli isolates tested from 1989 through 1990 was ciprofloxacin-resistant. From 1997 through 2001, a total of 1,553 human Campylobacter isolates were characterized: 1,471 (95%) were C. jejuni, 63 (4%) were C. coli, and 19 (1%) were other Campylobacter species. The prevalence of ciprofloxacin-resistant Campylobacter was 13% (28 of 217) in 1997 and 19% (75 of 384) in 2001; erythromycin resistance was 2% (4 of 217) in 1997 and 2% (8 of 384) in 2001. Ciprofloxacin-resistant Campylobacter was isolated from 10% of 180 chicken products purchased from grocery stores in three states in 1999. Ciprofloxacin resistance has emerged among Campylobacter since 1990 and has increased in prevalence since 1997.
Campylobacter; United States; antimicrobial resistance; humans; poultry; fluoroquinolone; macrolide
Laboratory diagnosis of typhoid fever requires isolation and identification of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi. In many areas where this disease is endemic, laboratory capability is limited. Recent advances in molecular immunology have led to the identification of sensitive and specific markers for typhoid fever and technology to manufacture practical and inexpensive kits for their rapid detection. We evaluated three commercial kits for serologic diagnosis of typhoid fever. Patients presenting with ≥ 4 days of fever were enrolled at two hospitals in Southern Vietnam. Cases were patients with serotype Typhi isolated from blood samples, and controls were patients with other laboratory-confirmed illnesses. Serotype Typhi isolates were confirmed and tested for antimicrobial susceptibility at the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City. The Widal test was run at the hospitals and the Pasteur Institute. Sera were shipped frozen to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and tested by using Multi-Test Dip-S-Ticks, TyphiDot, and TUBEX to detect immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgG and IgM, and IgM, respectively. Package insert protocol instructions were followed. We enrolled 59 patients and 21 controls. The sensitivity and specificity findings were as follows: 89 and 53% for Multi-Test Dip-S-Ticks, 79 and 89% for TyphiDot, 78 and 89% for TUBEX, and 64 and 76% for Widal testing in hospitals and 61% and 100% for Widal testing at the Pasteur Institute. For all assays, the sensitivity was highest in the second week of illness. The Widal test was insensitive and displayed interoperator variability. Two rapid kits, TyphiDot and TUBEX, demonstrated promising results.
Simple and rapid diagnostic tests are needed to curtail human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, especially in the developing and underdeveloped nations of the world. The visible-agglutination assay for the detection of HIV with the naked eye (NEVA HIV, which represents naked eye visible-agglutination assay for HIV) is a hemagglutination-based test for the detection of antibodies to HIV in whole blood. The NEVA HIV reagent is a cocktail of highly stable recombinant bifunctional antibody fusion proteins with HIV antigens which can be produced in large quantities with a high degree of purity. The test procedure involves mixing of one drop of the NEVA HIV reagent with one drop of blood sample on a glass slide. The presence of anti-HIV antibodies in the blood sample leads to clumping of erythrocytes (agglutination) that can be seen with the naked eye. Evaluation with commercially available panels of sera and clinical samples has shown that the performance of NEVA HIV is comparable to those of U.S. and European Food and Drug Administration-approved rapid as well as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. The test detects antibodies to both HIV type 1 (HIV-1) and HIV-2 in a single spot and gives results in less than 5 min. The test was developed by keeping in mind the practical constraints of testing in less developed countries and thus is completely instrument-free, requiring no infrastructure or even electricity. Because the test is extremely rapid, requires no sample preparation, and is simple enough to be performed by a semiskilled technician in any remote area, NEVA HIV is a test for the hard-to-reach populations of the world.