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1.  Pulmonary Function in HIV-Infected Recreational Drug Users in the Era of Anti-Retroviral Therapy 
Individuals with HIV infection commonly have pulmonary function abnormalities, including airflow obstruction and diffusion impairment, which may be more prevalent among recreational drug users. To date, the relationship between drug use and pulmonary function abnormalities among those with HIV remains unclear.
To determine associations between recreational drug use and airflow obstruction, diffusion impairment, and radiographic emphysema in men and women with HIV.
Cross-sectional analysis of pulmonary function and self-reported recreational drug use data from a cohort of 121 men and 63 women with HIV. Primary outcomes were the presence (yes/no) of: 1) airflow obstruction, (pre- or post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity<0.70); 2) moderate diffusion impairment (diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide <60% predicted); and 3) radiographic emphysema (>1% of lung voxels <−950 Hounsfield units). Exposures of interest were frequency of recreational drug use, recent (since last study visit) drug use, and any lifetime drug use. We used logistic regression to determine associations between recreational drug use and the primary outcomes.
HIV-infected men and women reported recent recreational drug use at 56.0% and 31.0% of their study visits, respectively, and 48.8% of men and 39.7% of women reported drug use since their last study visit. Drug use was not associated with airway obstruction or radiographic emphysema in men or women. Recent crack cocaine use was independently associated with moderate diffusion impairment in women (odds ratio 17.6; 95% confidence interval 1.3–249.6, p=0.03).
In this cross-sectional analysis, we found that recreational drug use was common among HIV-infected men and women and recent crack cocaine use was associated with moderate diffusion impairment in women. Given the increasing prevalence of HIV infection, any relationship between drug use and prevalence or severity of chronic pulmonary diseases could have a significant impact on HIV and chronic disease management.
PMCID: PMC4318265  PMID: 25664201
HIV; COPD; Emphysema; Diffusion impairment; Drug use; Pulmonary function; Cocaine
2.  Medical ICU Admission Diagnoses and Outcomes in Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Infected and Virus–Uninfected Veterans in the Combination Antiretroviral Era 
Critical care medicine  2013;41(6):1458-1467.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected (HIV+) patients on combination antiretroviral therapy are living longer but have increased risk for aging-associated disease which may lead to increasing critical care requirements. We compare medical ICU admission characteristics and outcomes among HIV infected and demographically similar uninfected patients (uninfected) and considered whether an index which combines routine clinical biomarkers (the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index) predicts 30-day medical ICU mortality.
Observational data analyses (Veterans Aging Cohort Study).
Eight Veterans Affairs medical centers nationwide.
HIV infected and uninfected with a medical ICU admission between 2002 and 2010.
Measurements and Main Results
Medical ICU admission was determined using bedsection (Veterans Affairs) and revenue center codes (Medicare). For Veterans Affairs admissions, we used clinical data to calculate Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index scores and multivariable logistic regression to determine factors associated with 30-day mortality. Overall, 539 of 3,620 (15%) HIV infected and 375 of 3,639 (10%) uninfected had a medical ICU admission; 72% and 78%, respectively, were Veterans Affairs based. HIV+ patients were younger at admission (p < 0.0001). Although most HIV+ patients were on antiretroviral therapy (71%) with undetectable HIV-1 RNA (54%), compared with uninfected they were more commonly admitted with respiratory diagnoses or infections (21% vs. 12%), were more likely to require mechanical ventilation (17% vs. 9%; p = 0.001), and had a higher mortality rate (18.6% vs. 11.2%, p = 0.003). Cardiovascular diagnoses were less common among HIV infected (18% vs. 29%; p < 0.0001). In logistic regression (c-statistic 0.87), a 5-point increment in Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index was associated with an odds ratio of death of 1.22 (95% confidence interval 1.14–1.30) among HIV infected and of 1.50 (95% confidence interval 1.29–1.76) among uninfected; infection/sepsis and respiratory diagnoses were also associated with mortality.
Medical ICU admission was frequent, 30-day mortality higher, and mechanical ventilation more common in HIV infected compared with uninfected. The Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index calculated at medical ICU admission predicted 30-day mortality for HIV infected and uninfected. As more individuals age with HIV, their requirements for medical ICU care may be greater than demographically similar uninfected individuals.
PMCID: PMC4283206  PMID: 23507717
30-day mortality; comorbidity; human immunodeficiency virus; medical ICU; Veterans Aging Cohort Study Index
3.  Multilocus Microsatellite Genotyping Array for Investigation of Genetic Epidemiology of Pneumocystis jirovecii 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(5):1391-1399.
Pneumocystis jirovecii is a symbiotic respiratory fungus that causes pneumonia (PcP) in immunosuppressed patients. Because P. jirovecii cannot be reliably cultured in vitro, it has proven difficult to study and gaps in our understanding of the organism persist. The release of a draft genome for the organism opens the door for the development of new genotyping approaches for studying its molecular epidemiology and global population structure. We identified and validated 8 putatively neutral microsatellite markers and 1 microsatellite marker linked to the dihydropteroate synthase gene (dhps), the enzymatic target of sulfa drugs used for PcP prevention and treatment. Using these tools, we analyzed P. jirovecii isolates from HIV-infected patients from three geographically distant populations: Uganda, the United States, and Spain. Among the 8 neutral markers, we observed high levels of allelic heterozygosity (average He, 0.586 to 0.842). Consistent with past reports, we observed limited global population structuring, with only the Ugandan isolates showing minor differentiation from the other two populations. In Ugandan isolates that harbored mutations in dhps, the microsatellite locus linked to dhps demonstrated a depressed He, consistent with positive directional selection for sulfa resistance mutations. Using a subset of these microsatellites, analyses of individual and paired samples from infections in San Francisco, CA, showed reliable typeability within a single infection and high discriminatory power between infections. These features suggest that this novel microsatellite typing approach will be an effective tool for molecular-epidemiological investigations into P. jirovecii population structure, transmission, and drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC3993678  PMID: 24523468
4.  HIV infection is associated with diffusing capacity impairment in women 
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)  2013;64(3):10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a9213a.
Respiratory dysfunction is common in HIV, but few studies have directly assessed whether HIV remains an independent risk factor for pulmonary function abnormalities in the antiretroviral therapy era. Additionally, few studies have focused on pulmonary outcomes in HIV+ women.
We tested associations between risk factors for respiratory dysfunction and pulmonary outcomes in 63 HIV+ and 36 HIV-uninfected women enrolled in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Diffusing capacity (DLCO) was significantly lower in HIV+ women (65.5% predicted vs. 72.7% predicted, p=0.01), and self-reported dyspnea in HIV+ participants was associated with both DLCO impairment and airflow obstruction. Providers should be aware that DLCO impairment is common in HIV and that either DLCO impairment or airflow obstruction may cause respiratory symptoms in this population.
PMCID: PMC3857225  PMID: 23979000
HIV; Pulmonary function; Pulmonary diffusing capacity; AIDS; Hepatitis C, chronic
5.  HIV Infection is associated with reduced pulmonary diffusing capacity 
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)  2013;64(3):10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a9215a.
Prior studies comparing abnormalities in pulmonary function between HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected persons in the current era are limited.
To determine the pattern and severity of impairment in pulmonary function in HIV-infected compared to HIV-uninfected individuals.
Cross-sectional analysis of 300 HIV-infected and 289 HIV-uninfected men enrolled from 2009-2011 in two clinical centers of the Lung HIV Study. Participants completed pre- and post-bronchodilator spirometry, diffusing capacity (DLCO) measurement, and standardized questionnaires.
Most participants had normal airflow; 18% of HIV-infected and 16% of HIV-uninfected men had airflow obstruction. The mean percent predicted DLCO was 69% in HIV-infected vs. 76% in HIV-uninfected men (p<0.001). A moderately to severely reduced DLCO of ≤60% was observed in 30% of HIV-infected compared to 18% of HIV-uninfected men (p<0.001), despite the fact that 89% of those with HIV were on antiretroviral therapy. A reduced DLCO was significantly associated with HIV and CD4 cell count in linear regression adjusting for smoking and other confounders. The DLCO was lowest in HIV-infected men with CD4 cell counts <200 compared to those with CD4 cell counts ≥200 and to HIV-uninfected men. Respiratory symptoms of cough, phlegm and dyspnea were more prevalent in HIV-infected patients particularly those with abnormal pulmonary function compared to HIV-uninfected patients.
HIV infection is an independent risk factor for reduced DLCO, particularly in individuals with a CD4 cell count below 200. Abnormalities in pulmonary function among HIV-infected patients manifest clinically with increased respiratory symptoms. Mechanisms accounting for the reduced DLCO require further evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3845879  PMID: 23979001
Pulmonary function; FEV1; DLCO; gas exchange; COPD; HIV/AIDS
6.  Characteristics of Drug-Susceptible and Drug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Pneumonia in Patients with HIV 
To examine predictors and outcomes of Staphylococcus aureus Pneumonia (SAP) in people with HIV compared with Streptococcus pneumoniae Pneumonia (SPP), and to compare Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus (MRSA) with Methicillin-Sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) pneumonias in this population.
We conducted a retrospective case-control study of HIV-infected patients admitted to a single center with culture-proven S. aureus or S. pneumoniae pneumonia. We identified patients through a computerized database, conducted structured chart reviews, and performed bivariate and multivariate analyses using logistic regression.
We compared 47 SAP episodes in 42 patients with 100 SPP episodes in 93 patients. Use of any antibiotics prior to admission (OR=3.5, p=0.02), a co-morbid illness (OR=4.2, p=0.04), and recent healthcare contact (OR=12.0, p<0.001) were significant independent predictors of SAP. Patients with SAP were more likely to require intensive care (OR=2.7, p=0.02) and mechanical ventilation (OR=3.1, p=0.02), but not to die. MRSA was more common (57% of cases) than MSSA, but outcomes were not significantly worse.
Patients with HIV and SAP have worse outcomes than those with SPP. Clinicians should consider empiric antibiotic coverage for MRSA in patients admitted with HIV and pneumonia, given the high prevalence of MRSA. Further studies are warranted to examine morbidity differences between HIV-associated MSSA and MRSA pneumonia.
PMCID: PMC4208302  PMID: 25346868
HIV; AIDS; Pneumonia; Staphylococcus aureus; Staphylococcal pneumonia; MRSA Streptococcus pneumonia; Pneumococcal pneumonia
7.  Risk factors for hospitalization and medical intensive care unit (MICU) admission among HIV infected Veterans 
With improved survival of HIV-infected persons on antiretroviral therapy and growing prevalence of non-AIDS diseases, we asked whether the VACS Index, a composite measure of HIV-associated and general organ dysfunction predictive of all-cause mortality, predicts hospitalization and medical intensive care unit (MICU) admission. We also asked whether AIDS and non-AIDS conditions increased risk after accounting for VACS Index score.
We analyzed data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS), a prospective study of HIV-infected Veterans receiving care between 2002–2008. Data were obtained from the electronic medical record, VA administrative databases and patient questionnaires, and were used to identify comorbidities and calculate baseline VACS Index scores. The primary outcome was first hospitalization within 2 years of VACS enrollment. We used multivariable Cox regression to determine risk factors associated with hospitalization and logistic regression to determine risk factors for MICU admission, given hospitalization.
1141/3410 (33.5%) patients were hospitalized within 2 years; 203/1141 (17.8%) included a MICU admission. Median VACS Index scores were 25 (no hospitalization), 34 (hospitalization only) and 51 (MICU). In adjusted analyses, a 5-point increment in VACS Index score was associated with 10% higher risk of hospitalization and MICU admission. In addition to VACS Index score, Hispanic ethnicity, current smoking, hazardous alcohol use, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, diabetes and prior AIDS-defining event predicted hospitalization. Among those hospitalized, VACS Index score, cardiac disease and prior cancer predicted MICU admission.
The VACS Index predicted hospitalization and MICU admission as did current smoking, hazardous alcohol use, and AIDS and certain non-AIDS diagnoses.
PMCID: PMC4182723  PMID: 23111572
HIV; hospitalization; medical intensive care unit (MICU); aging; VACS Index; comorbidity
8.  Evaluation of Respiratory Disease 
Clinics in chest medicine  2013;34(2):191-204.
PMCID: PMC3751804  PMID: 23702170
HIV; AIDS; Lung diseases; CD4 count; Chest radiograph; Diagnosis
9.  Widespread Colonization of the Lung by Tropheryma whipplei in HIV Infection 
Rationale: Lung infections caused by opportunistic or virulent pathogens are a principal cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV infection. It is unknown whether HIV infection leads to changes in basal lung microflora, which may contribute to chronic pulmonary complications that increasingly are being recognized in individuals infected with HIV.
Objectives: To determine whether the immunodeficiency associated with HIV infection resulted in alteration of the lung microbiota.
Methods: We used 16S ribosomal RNA targeted pyrosequencing and shotgun metagenomic sequencing to analyze bacterial gene sequences in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and mouths of 82 HIV-positive and 77 HIV-negative subjects.
Measurements and Main Results: Sequences representing Tropheryma whipplei, the etiologic agent of Whipple’s disease, were significantly more frequent in BAL of HIV-positive compared with HIV-negative individuals. T. whipplei dominated the community (>50% of sequence reads) in 11 HIV-positive subjects, but only 1 HIV-negative individual (13.4 versus 1.3%; P = 0.0018). In 30 HIV-positive individuals sampled longitudinally, antiretroviral therapy resulted in a significantly reduced relative abundance of T. whipplei in the lung. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing was performed on eight BAL samples dominated by T. whipplei 16S ribosomal RNA. Whole genome assembly of pooled reads showed that uncultured lung-derived T. whipplei had similar gene content to two isolates obtained from subjects with Whipple’s disease.
Conclusions: Asymptomatic subjects with HIV infection have unexpected colonization of the lung by T. whipplei, which is reduced by effective antiretroviral therapy and merits further study for a potential pathogenic role in chronic pulmonary complications of HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC3734615  PMID: 23392441
human; microbiome; metagenome; 16S ribosomal RNA; bronchoalveolar lavage
10.  Comparison of the Respiratory Microbiome in Healthy Nonsmokers and Smokers 
Rationale: Results from 16S rDNA-encoding gene sequence–based, culture-independent techniques have led to conflicting conclusions about the composition of the lower respiratory tract microbiome.
Objectives: To compare the microbiome of the upper and lower respiratory tract in healthy HIV-uninfected nonsmokers and smokers in a multicenter cohort.
Methods: Participants were nonsmokers and smokers without significant comorbidities. Oral washes and bronchoscopic alveolar lavages were collected in a standardized manner. Sequence analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA-encoding genes was performed, and the neutral model in community ecology was used to identify bacteria that were the most plausible members of a lung microbiome.
Measurements and Main Results: Sixty-four participants were enrolled. Most bacteria identified in the lung were also in the mouth, but specific bacteria such as Enterobacteriaceae, Haemophilus, Methylobacterium, and Ralstonia species were disproportionally represented in the lungs compared with values predicted by the neutral model. Tropheryma was also in the lung, but not the mouth. Mouth communities differed between nonsmokers and smokers in species such as Porphyromonas, Neisseria, and Gemella, but lung bacterial populations did not.
Conclusions: This study is the largest to examine composition of the lower respiratory tract microbiome in healthy individuals and the first to use the neutral model to compare the lung to the mouth. Specific bacteria appear in significantly higher abundance in the lungs than would be expected if they originated from the mouth, demonstrating that the lung microbiome does not derive entirely from the mouth. The mouth microbiome differs in nonsmokers and smokers, but lung communities were not significantly altered by smoking.
PMCID: PMC3734620  PMID: 23491408
lung; microbiome; smoking; bronchoscopy; metagenome
11.  Dihydropteroate Synthase Mutations in Pneumocystis Pneumonia: Impact of Applying Different Definitions of Prophylaxis, Mortality Endpoints and Mutant in a Single Cohort 
Medical mycology  2013;51(6):568-575.
Pneumocystis jirovecii dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) gene mutations are well-reported. Although sulfa prophylaxis generally is associated with DHPS mutant infection, whether mutant infection is associated with poorer clinical outcomes is less clear. The differing definitions of sulfa prophylaxis and the different mortality endpoints used in these studies may be one explanation for the conflicting study results. Applying different definitions of prophylaxis, mortality endpoints and DHPS mutant to 301 HIV-infected patients with Pneumocystis pneumonia, we demonstrate that prophylaxis, irrespective of definition, increased the risk of infection with pure mutant (any prophylaxis: AOR 4.00, 95% CI: 1.83–8.76, p<0.001) but not mixed genotypes (any prophylaxis: AOR 0.78, 95% CI: 0.26–2.36, p=0.65). However, infection with mutant DHPS, irrespective of definition, was not associated with increased mortality (all-cause or PCP death) at the three time-intervals examined (all p>0.05). Future studies should standardize key variables associated with DHPS mutant infection as well as examine DHPS mutant subtypes (pure mutant vs. mixed infections) – perhaps even individual DHPS mutant genotypes – so that data can be pooled to better address this issue.
PMCID: PMC4008324  PMID: 23470037
Pneumocystis jirovecii; PCP; dihydropteroate synthase; DHPS; DHPS mutant
12.  Pulmonary symptoms and diagnoses are associated with HIV in the MACS and WIHS cohorts 
Several lung diseases are increasingly recognized as comorbidities with HIV; however, few data exist related to the spectrum of respiratory symptoms, diagnostic testing, and diagnoses in the current HIV era. The objective of the study is to determine the impact of HIV on prevalence and incidence of respiratory disease in the current era of effective antiretroviral treatment.
A pulmonary-specific questionnaire was administered yearly for three years to participants in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) and Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Adjusted prevalence ratios for respiratory symptoms, testing, or diagnoses and adjusted incidence rate ratios for diagnoses in HIV-infected compared to HIV-uninfected participants were determined. Risk factors for outcomes in HIV-infected individuals were modeled.
Baseline pulmonary questionnaires were completed by 907 HIV-infected and 989 HIV-uninfected participants in the MACS cohort and by 1405 HIV-infected and 571 HIV-uninfected participants in the WIHS cohort. In MACS, dyspnea, cough, wheezing, sleep apnea, and incident chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were more common in HIV-infected participants. In WIHS, wheezing and sleep apnea were more common in HIV-infected participants. Smoking (MACS and WIHS) and greater body mass index (WIHS) were associated with more respiratory symptoms and diagnoses. While sputum studies, bronchoscopies, and chest computed tomography scans were more likely to be performed in HIV-infected participants, pulmonary function tests were no more common in HIV-infected individuals. Respiratory symptoms in HIV-infected individuals were associated with history of pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, or use of HAART. A diagnosis of asthma or COPD was associated with previous pneumonia.
In these two cohorts, HIV is an independent risk factor for several respiratory symptoms and pulmonary diseases including COPD and sleep apnea. Despite a higher prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms, testing for non-infectious respiratory diseases may be underutilized in the HIV-infected population.
PMCID: PMC4021087  PMID: 24884738
AIDS; HIV; Pulmonary disease; Chronic obstructive; Respiratory tract diseases; Sleep apnea syndromes
13.  The Lung Microbiome of Ugandan HIV-Infected Pneumonia Patients Is Compositionally and Functionally Distinct from That of San Franciscan Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95726.
Sub-Saharan Africa represents 69% of the total number of individuals living with HIV infection worldwide and 72% of AIDS deaths globally. Pulmonary infection is a common and frequently fatal complication, though little is known regarding the lower airway microbiome composition of this population. Our objectives were to characterize the lower airway microbiome of Ugandan HIV-infected patients with pneumonia, to determine relationships with demographic, clinical, immunological, and microbiological variables and to compare the composition and predicted metagenome of these communities to a comparable cohort of patients in the US (San Francisco). Bronchoalveolar lavage samples from a cohort of 60 Ugandan HIV-infected patients with acute pneumonia were collected. Amplified 16S ribosomal RNA was profiled and aforementioned relationships examined. Ugandan airway microbiome composition and predicted metagenomic function were compared to US HIV-infected pneumonia patients. Among the most common bacterial pulmonary pathogens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa was most prevalent in the Ugandan cohort. Patients with a richer and more diverse airway microbiome exhibited lower bacterial burden, enrichment of members of the Lachnospiraceae and sulfur-reducing bacteria and reduced expression of TNF-alpha and matrix metalloproteinase-9. Compared to San Franciscan patients, Ugandan airway microbiome was significantly richer, and compositionally distinct with predicted metagenomes that encoded a multitude of distinct pathogenic pathways e.g secretion systems. Ugandan pneumonia-associated airway microbiome is compositionally and functionally distinct from those detected in comparable patients in developed countries, a feature which may contribute to adverse outcomes in this population.
PMCID: PMC3994144  PMID: 24752365
14.  Environmental Risk Factors for Pneumocystis Pneumonia Hospitalizations in HIV Patients 
This report identifies both climatological and air pollution constituents as independent risk factors for hospitalization of HIV-positive patients with Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP). These findings may lead to new insights about the epidemiology and pathogenesis of PcP.
Background. Pneumocystis pneumonia (PcP) is the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients in the United States. Although the host risk factors for the development of PcP are well established, the environmental (climatological, air pollution) risk factors are poorly understood. The major goal of this study was to determine the environmental risk factors for admissions of HIV-positive patients with PcP to a single medical center.
Methods. Between 1997 and 2008, 457 HIV-positive patients with microscopically confirmed PcP were admitted to the San Francisco General Hospital. A case-crossover design was applied to identify environmental risk factors for PcP hospitalizations. Climatological and air pollution data were collected from the Environmental Protection Agency and Weather Warehouse databases. Conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate the association of each environmental factor and PcP hospital admission.
Results. Hospital admissions were significantly more common in the summer than in the other seasons. Increases in temperature and sulfur dioxide levels were independently associated with hospital admissions for PcP, but the effects of sulfur dioxide were modified by increasing carbon monoxide levels.
Conclusions. This study identifies both climatological and air pollution constituents as independent risk factors for hospitalization of HIV-positive patients with PcP in San Francisco. Thus, the environmental effects on PcP are more likely complex than previously thought. Further studies are needed to understand how these factors exert their effects and to determine if these factors are associated with PcP in other geographic locations.
PMCID: PMC3571628  PMID: 23042978
Pneumocystis; PcP; environmental factors; HIV
15.  Mobile Digital Fluorescence Microscopy for Diagnosis of Tuberculosis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(6):1774-1778.
Access to sputum smear microscopy in high-tuberculosis (TB)-burden regions is limited by a scarcity of microscopes and experienced technicians. We evaluated the accuracy of CellScope, a novel digital fluorescence microscope that may expand access to microscopy. The study utilized smear microscopy slides prepared from sputum specimens submitted by consecutive adults with ≥2 weeks of cough who were admitted to Mulago Hospital (Kampala, Uganda). Conventional light-emitting diode (LED) fluorescence microscopy (FM) and mycobacterial culture were performed by experienced technicians. Two U.S.-based postgraduate researchers without prior microscopy experience restained, imaged, and interpreted the slides using CellScope. We assessed whether sensitivity and specificity of CellScope-based LED FM was noninferior to conventional LED FM by using a preselected margin of inferiority of 15%. Of 525 patients included, 72% were HIV seropositive and 39% had culture-confirmed TB. The proportions of positive results were similar with CellScope and conventional LED FM (34% versus 32%, respectively; P = 0.32), and agreement was substantial. CellScope accuracy was within the noninferiority margin for both sensitivity (63% versus 70%; difference, −7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], −13% to −1%) and specificity (85% versus 92%; difference, −7%; 95% CI, −12% to −3%). A subanalysis of 43 slides evaluated by each CellScope reader found substantial interreader reliability (custom-weighted kappa, 0.65) and variable intrareader reliability (custom-weighted kappa, 0.11 versus 0.48). CellScope offers promise for expanding microscopy services. Future studies should evaluate the device when operated by health workers in low-resource settings, the feasibility of image transmission and analysis by experienced microscopists, and the accuracy of automated image analysis algorithms.
PMCID: PMC3716054  PMID: 23554191
16.  Ambient Air Pollution Associated with Suppressed Serologic Responses to Pneumocystis jirovecii in a Prospective Cohort of HIV-Infected Patients with Pneumocystis Pneumonia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80795.
Ambient air pollution (AAP) may be associated with increased risk for Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). The mechanisms underlying this association remain uncertain.
To determine if real-life exposures to AAP are associated with suppressed IgM antibody responses to P. jirovecii in HIV-infected (HIV+) patients with active PCP, and to determine if AAP, mediated by suppressed serologic responses to Pneumocystis, is associated with adverse clinical outcomes.
We conducted a prospective cohort study in HIV+ patients residing in San Francisco and admitted to San Francisco General Hospital with microscopically confirmed PCP. Our AAP predictors were ambient air concentrations of particulate matter of < 10 µm in diameter (PM10) and < 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) measured immediately prior to hospital admission and 2 weeks prior to admission. Our primary outcomes were the IgM serologic responses to four recombinant P. jirovecii major surface glycoprotein (Msg) constructs: MsgC1, MsgC3, MsgC8, and MsgC9.
Elevated PM10 and NO2 exposures immediately prior to and two weeks prior to hospital admission were associated with decreased IgM antibody responses to P. jirovecii Msg. For exposures immediately prior to admission, every 10 µg/m3 increase in PM10 was associated with a 25 to 35% decrease in IgM responses to Msg (statistically significant for all the Msg constructs), and every 10 ppb increase in NO2 was associated with a 19-45% decrease in IgM responses to Msg (statistically significant for MsgC8 and MsgC9). Similar findings were seen with exposures two weeks prior to admission, but for fewer of the Msg constructs.
Real life exposures to PM10 and NO2 were associated with suppressed IgM responses to P. jirovecii Msg in HIV+ patients admitted with PCP, suggesting a mechanism of immunotoxicity by which AAP increases host susceptibility to pulmonary infection.
PMCID: PMC3827464  PMID: 24236202
17.  Antibody Responses against Pneumocystis jirovecii in Health Care Workers Over Time 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(10):1613-1620.
In a previous cross-sectional study, we showed that clinical staff working in a hospital had significantly higher antibody levels than nonclinical staff to Pneumocystis jirovecii. We conducted a longitudinal study, described here, to determine whether occupation and self-reported exposure to a patient with P. jirovecii pneumonia were associated with antibody levels to P. jirovecii over time. Baseline and quarterly serum specimens were collected and analyzed by using an ELISA that targeted different variants of the Pneumocystis major surface glycoprotein (MsgA, MsgB, MsgC1, MsgC3, MsgC8, and MsgC9). Clinical staff had significantly higher estimated geometric mean antibody levels against MsgC1 and MsgC8 than did nonclinical staff over time. Significant differences were observed when we compared the change in antibody levels to the different MsgC variants for staff who were and were not exposed to P. jirovecii pneumonia–infected patients. MsgC variants may serve as indicators of exposure to P. jirovecii in immunocompetent persons.
PMCID: PMC3810734  PMID: 24048016
Pneumocystis jirovecii; transmission; health care worker–patient; human immunodeficiency virus; HIV; major surface glycoprotein; pneumonia; respiratory diseases; fungi; HIV/AIDS and other retroviruses
18.  A Mentor Development Program for Clinical Translational Science Faculty Leads to Sustained, Improved Confidence in Mentoring Skills 
Mentorship is crucial for academic productivity and advancement for clinical and translational (CT) science faculty. However, little is known about the long-term effects of mentor training programs. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Clinical and Translational Science Institute launched a Mentor Development Program (MDP) in 2007 for CT faculty. We report on an evaluation of the first three cohorts of graduates from the MDP. In 2010, all Mentors in Training (MITs) who completed the MDP from 2007 to 2009 (n=38) were asked to complete an evaluation of their mentoring skills and knowledge; all MITs (100%) completed the evaluation. Two-thirds of MDP graduates reported that they often apply knowledge, attitudes, or skills obtained in the MDP to their mentoring. Nearly all graduates (97%) considered being a mentor important to their career satisfaction. Graduates were also asked about the MDP’s impact on specific mentoring skills; 95% agreed that the MDP helped them to become a better mentor and to focus their mentoring goals. We also describe a number of new initiatives to support mentoring at UCSF that have evolved from the MDP. To our knowledge, this is the first evaluation of the long-term impact of a mentor training program for CT researchers.
PMCID: PMC3582327  PMID: 22883616
19.  The Impact of HAART on the Respiratory Complications of HIV Infection: Longitudinal Trends in the MACS and WIHS Cohorts 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58812.
To review the incidence of respiratory conditions and their effect on mortality in HIV-infected and uninfected individuals prior to and during the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Two large observational cohorts of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men (Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study [MACS]) and women (Women’s Interagency HIV Study [WIHS]), followed since 1984 and 1994, respectively.
Adjusted odds or hazards ratios for incident respiratory infections or non-infectious respiratory diagnoses, respectively, in HIV-infected compared to HIV-uninfected individuals in both the pre-HAART (MACS only) and HAART eras; and adjusted Cox proportional hazard ratios for mortality in HIV-infected persons with lung disease during the HAART era.
Compared to HIV-uninfected participants, HIV-infected individuals had more incident respiratory infections both pre-HAART (MACS, odds ratio [adjusted-OR], 2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2–2.7; p<0.001) and after HAART availability (MACS, adjusted-OR, 1.5; 95%CI 1.3–1.7; p<0.001; WIHS adjusted-OR, 2.2; 95%CI 1.8–2.7; p<0.001). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was more common in MACS HIV-infected vs. HIV-uninfected participants pre-HAART (hazard ratio [adjusted-HR] 2.9; 95%CI, 1.02–8.4; p = 0.046). After HAART availability, non-infectious lung diseases were not significantly more common in HIV-infected participants in either MACS or WIHS participants. HIV-infected participants in the HAART era with respiratory infections had an increased risk of death compared to those without infections (MACS adjusted-HR, 1.5; 95%CI, 1.3–1.7; p<0.001; WIHS adjusted-HR, 1.9; 95%CI, 1.5–2.4; p<0.001).
HIV infection remained a significant risk for infectious respiratory diseases after the introduction of HAART, and infectious respiratory diseases were associated with an increased risk of mortality.
PMCID: PMC3595204  PMID: 23554932
20.  Oral and Airway Microbiota in HIV-Infected Pneumonia Patients 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(9):2995-3002.
Despite the increased frequency of recurrent pneumonia in HIV-infected patients and recent studies linking the airway bacterial community (microbiota) to acute and chronic respiratory infection, little is known of the oral and airway microbiota that exist in these individuals and their propensity to harbor pathogens despite antimicrobial treatment for acute pneumonia. This pilot study compared paired samples of the oral and airway microbiota from 15 hospitalized HIV-infected patients receiving antimicrobial treatment for acute pneumonia. Total DNA was extracted, bacterial burden was assessed by quantitative PCR, and amplified 16S rRNA was profiled for microbiome composition using a phylogenetic microarray (16S rRNA PhyloChip). Though the bacterial burden of the airway was significantly lower than that of the oral cavity, microbiota in both niches were comparably diverse. However, oral and airway microbiota exhibited niche specificity. Oral microbiota were characterized by significantly increased relative abundance of multiple species associated with the mouth, including members of the Bacteroides, Firmicutes, and TM7 phyla, while airway microbiota were primarily characterized by a relative expansion of the Proteobacteria. Twenty-two taxa were detected in both niches, including Streptococcus bovis and Chryseobacterium species, pathogens associated with HIV-infected populations. In addition, we compared the airway microbiota of five of these patients to those of five non-HIV-infected pneumonia patients from a previous study. Compared to the control population, HIV-infected patients exhibited relative increased abundance of a large number of phylogenetically distinct taxa, which included several known or suspected pathogenic organisms, suggesting that recurrent pneumonia in HIV-infected populations may be related to the presence of these species.
PMCID: PMC3421777  PMID: 22760045
21.  Low prevalence of Pneumocystis jirovecii lung colonization in Ugandan HIV-infected patients hospitalized with non-Pneumocystis pneumonia 
Pneumocystis jirovecii is an important opportunistic infection in HIV-infected patients. In the developed world, P. jirovecii epidemiology is marked by frequent colonization in immunosuppressed patients, but data on the prevalence of colonization is very limited in sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of persons living with HIV reside. Our objective was to describe the epidemiology of P. jirovecii colonization among HIV-positive patients in a cross-sectional, hospital-based study of patients admitted with suspected pneumonia in Kampala, Uganda. P. jirovecii was detectable in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from 7 of 124 (6%) consecutive patients with non-Pneumocystis pneumonia. Colonization was not associated with patient demographic or clinical information. This prevalence is substantially lower than in published studies in the developed world, and suggests that there is a limited reservoir of organisms for clinical infections in this Ugandan population. These findings may partially explain the low incidence of Pneumocystis pneumonia in Uganda and other sub-Saharan African countries.
PMCID: PMC3308345  PMID: 22153850
Pneumocystis jirovecii; colonization; pneumonia; AIDS
22.  Serologic Responses to Recombinant Pneumocystis jirovecii Major Surface Glycoprotein among Ugandan Patients with Respiratory Symptoms 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51545.
Little is known about the serologic responses to Pneumocystis jirovecii major surface glycoprotein (Msg) antigen in African cohorts, or the IgM responses to Msg in HIV-positive and HIV-negative persons with respiratory symptoms.
We conducted a prospective study of 550 patients, both HIV-positive (n = 467) and HIV-negative (n = 83), hospitalized with cough ≥2 weeks in Kampala, Uganda, to evaluate the association between HIV status, CD4 cell count, and other clinical predictors and antibody responses to P. jirovecii. We utilized ELISA to measure the IgM and IgG serologic responses to three overlapping recombinant fragments that span the P. jirovecii major surface glycoprotein: MsgA (amino terminus), MsgB (middle portion) and MsgC1 (carboxyl terminus), and to three variations of MsgC1 (MsgC3, MsgC8 and MsgC9).
HIV-positive patients demonstrated significantly lower IgM antibody responses to MsgC1, MsgC3, MsgC8 and MsgC9 compared to HIV-negative patients. We found the same pattern of low IgM antibody responses to MsgC1, MsgC3, MsgC8 and MsgC9 among HIV-positive patients with a CD4 cell count <200 cells/µl compared to those with a CD4 cell count ≥200 cells/µl. HIV-positive patients on PCP prophylaxis had significantly lower IgM responses to MsgC3 and MsgC9, and lower IgG responses to MsgA, MsgC1, MsgC3, and MsgC8. In contrast, cigarette smoking was associated with increased IgM antibody responses to MsgC1 and MsgC3 but was not associated with IgG responses. We evaluated IgM and IgG as predictors of mortality. Lower IgM responses to MsgC3 and MsgC8 were both associated with increased in-hospital mortality.
HIV infection and degree of immunosuppression are associated with reduced IgM responses to Msg. In addition, low IgM responses to MsgC3 and MsgC8 are associated with increased mortality.
PMCID: PMC3528778  PMID: 23284710
23.  Low Prevalence of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) but High Prevalence of Pneumocystis dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) Gene Mutations in HIV-Infected Persons in Uganda 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49991.
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) is an important opportunistic infection in patients infected with HIV, but its burden is incompletely characterized in those areas of sub-Saharan Africa where HIV is prevalent. We explored the prevalence of both PCP in HIV-infected adults admitted with pneumonia to a tertiary-care hospital in Uganda and of putative P. jirovecii drug resistance by mutations in fungal dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) and dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr). In 129 consecutive patients with sputum smears negative for mycobacteria, 5 (3.9%) were diagnosed with PCP by microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Concordance was 100% between Giemsa stain and PCR (dhps and dhfr). PCP was more prevalent in patients newly-diagnosed with HIV (11.4%) than in patients with known HIV (1.1%; p = 0.007). Mortality at 2 months after discharge was 29% overall: 28% among PCP-negative patients, and 60% (3 of 5) among PCP-positive patients. In these 5 fungal isolates and an additional 8 from consecutive cases of PCP, all strains harbored mutant dhps haplotypes; all 13 isolates harbored the P57S mutation in dhps, and 3 (23%) also harbored the T55A mutation. No non-synonymous dhfr mutations were detected. PCP is an important cause of pneumonia in patients newly-diagnosed with HIV in Uganda, is associated with high mortality, and putative molecular evidence of drug resistance is prevalent. Given the reliability of field diagnosis in our cohort, future studies in sub-Saharan Africa can investigate the clinical impact of these genotypes.
PMCID: PMC3500344  PMID: 23166805
24.  Interferon-γ Release Assays for Active Pulmonary Tuberculosis Diagnosis in Adults in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;204(Suppl 4):S1120-S1129.
Background. The diagnostic value of interferon-γ release assays (IGRAs) for active tuberculosis in low- and middle-income countries is unclear.
Methods. We searched multiple databases for studies published through May 2010 that evaluated the diagnostic performance of QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) and T-SPOT.TB (T-SPOT) among adults with suspected active pulmonary tuberculosis or patients with confirmed cases in low- and middle-income countries. We summarized test performance characteristics with use of forest plots, hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic (HSROC) curves, and bivariate random effects models.
Results. Our search identified 789 citations, of which 27 observational studies (17 QFT-GIT and 10 T-SPOT) evaluating 590 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–uninfected and 844 HIV-infected individuals met inclusion criteria. Among HIV-infected patients, HSROC/bivariate pooled sensitivity estimates (highest quality data) were 76% (95% confidence interval [CI], 45%–92%) for T-SPOT and 60% (95% CI, 34%–82%) for QFT-GIT. HSROC/bivariate pooled specificity estimates were low for both IGRA platforms among all participants (T-SPOT, 61% [95% CI, 40%–79%]; QFT-GIT, 52% [95% CI, 41%–62%]) and among HIV-infected persons (T-SPOT, 52% [95% CI, 40%–63%]; QFT-GIT, 50% [95% CI, 35%–65%]). There was no consistent evidence that either IGRA was more sensitive than the tuberculin skin test for active tuberculosis diagnosis.
Conclusions. In low- and middle-income countries, neither the tuberculin skin test nor IGRAs have value for active tuberculosis diagnosis in adults, especially in the context of HIV coinfection.
PMCID: PMC3192542  PMID: 21996694
25.  Impact of Xpert MTB/RIF Testing on Tuberculosis Management and Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients in Uganda 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48599.
The clinical impact of Xpert MTB/RIF for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis in high HIV-prevalence settings is unknown.
To determine the diagnostic accuracy and impact of Xpert MTB/RIF among high-risk TB suspects.
We prospectively enrolled consecutive, hospitalized, Ugandan TB suspects in two phases: baseline phase in which Xpert MTB/RIF results were not reported to clinicians and an implementation phase in which results were reported. We determined the diagnostic accuracy of Xpert MTB/RIF in reference to culture (solid and liquid) and compared patient outcomes by study phase.
477 patients were included (baseline phase 287, implementation phase 190). Xpert MTB/RIF had high sensitivity (187/237, 79%, 95% CI: 73–84%) and specificity (190/199, 96%, 95% CI: 92–98%) for culture-positive TB overall, but sensitivity was lower (34/81, 42%, 95% CI: 31–54%) among smear-negative TB cases. Xpert MTB/RIF reduced median days-to-TB detection for all TB cases (1 [IQR 0–26] vs. 0 [IQR 0–1], p<0.001), and for smear-negative TB (35 [IQR 22–55] vs. 22 [IQR 0–33], p = 0.001). However, median days-to-TB treatment was similar for all TB cases (1 [IQR 0–5] vs. 0 [IQR 0–2], p = 0.06) and for smear-negative TB (7 [IQR 3–53] vs. 6 [IQR 1–61], p = 0.78). Two-month mortality was also similar between study phases among 252 TB cases (17% vs. 14%, difference +3%, 95% CI: −21% to +27%, p = 0.80), and among 87 smear-negative TB cases (28% vs. 22%, difference +6%, 95% CI: −34 to +46%, p = 0.77).
Xpert MTB/RIF facilitated more accurate and earlier TB diagnosis, leading to a higher proportion of TB suspects with a confirmed TB diagnosis prior to hospital discharge in a high HIV/low MDR TB prevalence setting. However, our study did not detect a decrease in two-month mortality following implementation of Xpert MTB/RIF possibly because of insufficient powering, differences in empiric TB treatment rates, and disease severity between study phases.
PMCID: PMC3490868  PMID: 23139799

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