We aimed to compare the steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters and tolerability of Triomune 40® (stavudine 40 mg, lamivudine 150 mg and nevirapine 200 mg) and branded formulations of these drugs in HIV-infected Ugandans.
This includes a randomized, open-label, cross-over study of HIV-infected patients stable on therapy for 1 month. Patients were randomized to generic or branded formulation. Plasma pharmacokinetics were assessed after 1 month. The following day, alternate formulation was administered, and 1 month later, drug pharmacokinetics were re-assessed. Plasma pharmacokinetics were determined using HPLC–UV detection. Similarity between steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters was assessed using the US Food and Drug Administration standards for bioequivalency testing. Tolerability was assessed using questionnaires.
Sixteen (10 females) patients completed the study. Median (IQR) age, weight and CD4 count were 37 (33.7–40) years, 65 (63.4–66) kg and 292 (220.7–344.5) cells/mm3, respectively. All patients received co-trimoxazole. The geometric mean ratio (90% CI) for stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine was 0.92 (0.78–1.08), 1.11 (0.95–1.30) and 0.84 (0.64–1.11), respectively, for Cmax, and 0.83 (0.70–0.97), 1.06 (0.94–1.20) and 0.88 (0.71–1.10), respectively, for AUC. Stavudine plasma concentrations were significantly lower for the generic formulation. Pharmacokinetic parameter inter-individual variability ranged from 29% to 99%. There were no differences in tolerability for the two formulations.
Pharmacokinetic profiles of generic and branded drugs were similar. Differences particularly with regard to stavudine were demonstrated. Surveillance of the quality of generic antiretroviral drugs in the target populations is needed. Capacity building for pharmacokinetic research in resource-limited settings is a priority.
antiretroviral drugs; PK; Uganda
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has evolved with an increasing burden in older adults. We assessed for knowledge about aging and HIV/AIDS, among clinicians in Kampala district, Uganda.
A cross-sectional survey of 301 clinicians complemented by 9 key-informant interviews between May and October 2011. Data was analyzed by multivariable logistic regression for potential determinants of clinician knowledge about HIV/AIDS in older adults, estimating their adjusted Odds Ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) using Stata 11.2 software.
Two-hundred and sixty-two questionnaires (87.7%) were returned. Respondents had a median age of 30 years (IQR 27–34) and 57.8% were general medical doctors. The mean knowledge score was 49% (range 8.8%–79.4%). Questions related to co-morbidities in HIV/AIDS (non-AIDS related cancers and systemic diseases) and chronic antiretroviral treatment toxicities (metabolic disorders) accounted for significantly lower scores (mean, 41.7%, 95% CI: 39.3%–44%) compared to HIV/AIDS epidemiology and prevention (mean, 65.7%, 95% CI: 63.7%–67.7%). Determinants of clinician knowledge in the multivariable analysis included (category, aOR, 95% CI): clinician age (30–39 years; 3.28∶1.65–9.75), number of persons with HIV/AIDS seen in the past year (less than 50; 0.34∶0.14–0.86) and clinical profession (clinical nurse practitioner; 0.31∶0.11–0.83). Having diploma level education had a marginal association with lower knowledge about HIV and aging (p = 0.09).
Our study identified gaps and determinants of knowledge about HIV/AIDS in older adults among clinicians in Kampala district, Uganda. Clinicians in low and middle income countries could benefit from targeted training in chronic care for older adults with HIV/AIDS and long-term complications of antiretroviral treatment.
At sites of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection, HIV-1 replication is increased during tuberculosis (TB). Here we investigated the role of positive transcription elongation factor (P-TEFb), comprised of CycT1 and CDK9, as the cellular cofactor of HIV-1 Tat protein in transcriptional activation of HIV-1 in mononuclear cells from HIV-1-infected patients with pleural TB. Expression of CycT1 in response to MTB was assessed in mononuclear cells from pleural fluid (PFMC) and blood (PBMC) from HIV/TB patients with pleural TB, and in blood monocytes (MN) from singly infected HIV-1-seropositive subjects. We then examined whether the CDK9 inhibitor, Indirubin 3′-monoxime (IM), was effective in inhibition of MTB-induced HIV-1 mRNA expression. We found higher expression of CycT1 mRNA in PFMCs as compared to PBMCs from HIV/TB-coinfected subjects. MTB induced the expression of CycT1 and HIV-1 gag/pol mRNA in both PFMCs from HIV/TB subjects and MN from HIV-1-infected subjects. CycT1 protein was also induced by MTB stimulation in PFMCs from HIV/TB patients, and both MN and in vitro-derived macrophages. Inhibition of CDK9 by IM in both PFMCs from HIV/TB and MN from HIV-1-infected subjects in response to MTB led to inhibition of HIV-1 mRNA expression. These data imply that IM may be useful as an adjunctive therapy in control of HIV-1 replication in HIV/TB dually infected subjects.
Rationale: The immunologic events surrounding primary Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and development of tuberculosis remain controversial. Young children who develop tuberculosis do so quickly after first exposure, thus permitting study of immune response to primary infection and disease. We hypothesized that M. tuberculosis–specific CD8+ T cells are generated in response to high bacillary loads occurring during tuberculosis.
Objectives: To determine if M. tuberculosis–specific T cells are generated among healthy children exposed to M. tuberculosis and children with tuberculosis.
Methods: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assays were used to measure IFN-γ production in response to M. tuberculosis–specific proteins ESAT-6/CFP-10 by peripheral blood mononuclear cells and CD8+ T cells isolated from Ugandan children hospitalized with tuberculosis (n = 96) or healthy tuberculosis contacts (n = 62).
Measurements and Main Results: The proportion of positive CD8+ T-cell assays and magnitude of CD8+ T-cell responses were significantly greater among young (<5 yr) tuberculosis cases compared with young contacts (P = 0.02, Fisher exact test, P = 0.01, Wilcoxon rank-sum, respectively). M. tuberculosis–specific T-cell responses measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were equivalent between groups.
Conclusions: Among young children, M. tuberculosis–specific CD8+ T cells develop in response to high bacillary loads, as occurs during tuberculosis, and are unlikely to be found after M. tuberculosis exposure. T-cell responses measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells are generated after M. tuberculosis exposure alone, and thus cannot distinguish exposure from disease. In young children, IFN-γ–producing M. tuberculosis–specific CD8+ T cells provide an immunologic signature of primary M. tuberculosis infection resulting in disease.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; infant; child; CD8-positive T lymphocytes; enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends collection of two sputum samples for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis, with at least one being an early morning (EM) using smear microscopy. It remains unclear whether this is necessary even when sputum culture is employed. Here, we determined the diagnostic yield from spot and the incremental yield from the EM sputum sample cultures among TB-suspected adolescents from rural Uganda.
Sputum samples (both spot and early-morning) from 1862 adolescents were cultured by the Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) and Mycobacterium Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) methods. For spot samples, the diagnostic yields for TB were 19.0% and 57.1% with LJ and MGIT, respectively, whereas the incremental yields (not totals) of the early-morning sample were 9.5% and 42.9% (P < 0.001) with LJ and MGIT, respectively. Among TB-suspected adolescents in rural Uganda, the EM sputum culture has a high incremental diagnostic yield. Therefore, EM sputum in addition to spot sample culture is necessary for improved TB case detection.
Several population-wide HIV-1 subtype distribution studies in Uganda have evaluated relatively healthy clinic patients. Given the differences in HIV-1 disease progression based on subtype, we examined HIV-1 subtype distribution and disease outcomes among hospitalized patients with severe sepsis.
Patients with severe sepsis were enrolled at two hospitals in Uganda. Data collected included demographics, Karnofsky scores, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use, HIV-1 serostatus, CD4+ T cell concentration, whole blood lactate concentration, and blood cultures. HIV-1 subtypes were determined by sequencing parts of the gag and env genes, followed by phylogenetic analysis.
Of the 267 patients evaluated, 228 (85.4%) were HIV infected. The predominant HIV-1 subtypes were A (46%), D (17%), and AD recombinants (30%). HIV-1 subtypes B, C, and other recombinants were uncommon. Patients infected with HIV-1 subtypes A, D and AD viruses were similar in demographics, CD4+ T cell concentration, HAART use, Karnofsky scores, whole blood lactate concentration, and positive blood cultures. There was no difference in 30-day mortality from severe sepsis between the 3 groups (p = 0.99).
A high proportion of HIV-1 subtypes A and AD recombinants was observed in this cohort of severely septic patients. The proportion of AD recombinants was higher in this cohort than in previous cohorts of Ugandan HIV-1 patients. No difference in baseline demographics, clinical factors or 30-day mortality was seen across HIV-subtypes.
Genetic epidemiological studies of complex diseases often rely on data from the International HapMap Consortium for identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), particularly those that tag haplotypes. However, little is known about the relevance of the African populations used to collect HapMap data for study populations conducted elsewhere in Africa. Toll-like receptor (TLR) genes play a key role in susceptibility to various infectious diseases, including tuberculosis. We conducted full-exon sequencing in samples obtained from Uganda (n = 48) and South Africa (n = 48), in four genes in the TLR pathway: TLR2, TLR4, TLR6, and TIRAP. We identified one novel TIRAP SNP (with minor allele frequency [MAF] 3.2%) and a novel TLR6 SNP (MAF 8%) in the Ugandan population, and a TLR6 SNP that is unique to the South African population (MAF 14%). These SNPs were also not present in the 1000 Genomes data. Genotype and haplotype frequencies and linkage disequilibrium patterns in Uganda and South Africa were similar to African populations in the HapMap datasets. Multidimensional scaling analysis of polymorphisms in all four genes suggested broad overlap of all of the examined African populations. Based on these data, we propose that there is enough similarity among African populations represented in the HapMap database to justify initial SNP selection for genetic epidemiological studies in Uganda and South Africa. We also discovered three novel polymorphisms that appear to be population-specific and would only be detected by sequencing efforts.
Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) have offered hope for rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). However, their efficiency with smear-negative samples has not been widely studied in low income settings. Here, we evaluated in-house PCR assay for diagnosis of smear-negative TB using Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) culture as the baseline test. Two hundred and five pulmonary TB (PTB) suspects with smear-negative sputum samples, admitted on a short stay emergency ward at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, were enrolled. Two smear-negative sputum samples were obtained from each PTB suspect and processed simultaneously for identification of MTBC using in-house PCR and LJ culture.
Seventy two PTB suspects (35%, 72/205) were LJ culture positive while 128 (62.4%, 128/205) were PCR-positive. The sensitivity and specificity of in-house PCR for diagnosis of smear-negative PTB were 75% (95% CI 62.6-85.0) and 35.9% (95% CI 27.2-45.3), respectively. The positive and negative predictive values were 39% (95% CI 30.4-48.2) and 72.4% (95% CI 59.1-83.3), respectively, while the positive and negative likelihood ratios were 1.17 (95% CI 0.96-1.42) and 0.70 (95% CI 0.43-1.14), respectively. One hundred and seventeen LJ culture-negative suspects (75 PCR-positive and 42 PCR-negative) were enrolled for follow-up at 2 months. Of the PCR-positive suspects, 45 (60%, 45/75) were still alive, of whom 29 (64.4%, 29/45) returned for the follow-up visit; 15 (20%, 15/75) suspects died while another 15 (20%, 15/75) were lost to follow-up. Of the 42 PCR-negative suspects, 22 (52.4%, 22/42) were still alive, of whom 16 (72.7%, 16/22) returned for follow-up; 11 (26.2%, 11/42) died while nine (21.4%, 9/42) were lost to follow-up. Overall, more PCR-positive suspects were diagnosed with PTB during follow-up visits but the difference was not statistically significant (27.6%, 8/29 vs. 25%, 4/16, p = 0.9239). Furthermore, mortality was higher for the PCR-negative suspects but the difference was also not statistically significant (26.2% vs. 20% p = 0.7094).
In-house PCR correlates poorly with LJ culture for diagnosis of smear-negative PTB. Therefore, in-house PCR may not be adopted as an alternative to LJ culture.
Pulmonary tuberculosis; Smear-negative TB; HIV-infected; HIV-TB co-infection; CD4 cell counts; Nucleic acid amplification tests; In-house PCR; Lowenstein-Jensen culture; Sensitivity; Specificity; Resource limited settings
Co-administration of artemether/lumefantrine with antiretroviral therapy has potential for pharmacokinetic drug interactions. We investigated drug–drug interactions between artemether/lumefantrine and efavirenz or nevirapine.
We performed a cross-over study in which HIV-infected adults received standard six-dose artemether/lumefantrine 80/480 mg before and at efavirenz or nevirapine steady state. Artemether, dihydroartemisinin, lumefantrine, efavirenz and nevirapine plasma concentrations were measured and compared.
Efavirenz significantly reduced artemether maximum concentration (Cmax) and plasma AUC (median 29 versus 12 ng/mL, P < 0.01, and 119 versus 25 ng · h/mL, P < 0.01), dihydroartemisinin Cmax and AUC (median 120 versus 26 ng/mL, P < 0.01, and 341 versus 84 ng · h/mL, P < 0.01), and lumefantrine Cmax and AUC (median 8737 versus 6331 ng/mL, P = 0.03, and 280 370 versus 124 381 ng · h/mL, P < 0.01). Nevirapine significantly reduced artemether Cmax and AUC (median 28 versus 11 ng/mL, P < 0.01, and 123 versus 34 ng · h/mL, P < 0.01) and dihydroartemisinin Cmax and AUC (median 107 versus 59 ng/mL, P < 0.01, and 364 versus 228 ng · h/mL, P < 0.01). Lumefantrine Cmax and AUC were non-significantly reduced by nevirapine. Artemether/lumefantrine reduced nevirapine Cmax and AUC (median 8620 versus 4958 ng/mL, P < 0.01, and 66 329 versus 35 728 ng · h/mL, P < 0.01), but did not affect efavirenz exposure.
Co-administration of artemether/lumefantrine with efavirenz or nevirapine resulted in a reduction in artemether, dihydroartemisinin, lumefantrine and nevirapine exposure. These drug interactions may increase the risk of malaria treatment failure and development of resistance to artemether/lumefantrine and nevirapine. Clinical data from population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic trials evaluating the impact of these drug interactions are urgently needed.
antimalarial; antiretroviral; malaria; drugs
Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), causes 9 million new cases worldwide and 2 million deaths annually. Genetic linkage and association analyses have suggested several chromosomal regions and candidate genes involved in TB susceptibility. This study examines the association of TB disease susceptibility with a selection of biologically relevant genes on regions on chromosomes 7 (IL6 and CARD11) and 20 (CTSZ and MC3R), and fine mapping of the chromosome 7p22-p21 region, identified through our genome scan. We analyzed 565 individuals from Kampala, Uganda who were previously included in our genome-wide linkage scan. Association analyses were conducted for 1417 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that passed quality control. None of the candidate gene or fine mapping SNPs were found significantly associated with TB susceptibility (P > 0.10). When we restricted the analysis to HIV-negative individuals, two SNPs on chromosome 7 were significantly associated with TB susceptibility (P < 0.05). Haplotype analyses identified a significant risk haplotype in Cathepsin X (CTSZ) (p=0.0281, OR = 1.5493, 95% CI [1.039, 2.320]).
infectious disease; family study; TB genetics; fine map; immunogenetics
Severe malaria is a medical emergency with high mortality. Prompt achievement of therapeutic concentrations of highly effective anti-malarial drugs reduces the risk of death. The aim of this study was to assess the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of intravenous artesunate in Ugandan adults with severe malaria.
Fourteen adults with severe falciparum malaria requiring parenteral therapy were treated with 2.4 mg/kg intravenous artesunate. Blood samples were collected after the initial dose and plasma concentrations of artesunate and dihydroartemisinin measured by solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The study was approved by the Makerere University Faculty of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee (Ref2010-015) and Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (HS605) and registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01122134).
All study participants achieved prompt resolution of symptoms and complete parasite clearance with median (range) parasite clearance time of 17 (8–24) hours. Median (range) maximal artesunate concentration (Cmax) was 3260 (1020–164000) ng/mL, terminal elimination half-life (T1/2) was 0.25 (0.1-1.8) hours and total artesunate exposure (AUC) was 727 (290–111256) ng·h/mL. Median (range) dihydroartemisinin Cmax was 3140 (1670–9530) ng/mL, with Tmax of 0.14 (0.6 – 6.07) hours and T1/2 of 1.31 (0.8–2.8) hours. Dihydroartemisinin AUC was 3492 (2183–6338) ng·h/mL. None of the participants reported adverse events.
Plasma concentrations of artesunate and dihydroartemisinin were achieved rapidly with rapid and complete symptom resolution and parasite clearance with no adverse events.
Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Intravenous; Artesunate; Severe malaria
Enterocytozoon bieneusi is clinically the most significant microsporidian parasite associated with persistent diarrhea, wasting and cholangitis in 30-50% of individuals with HIV/AIDS, as well as in malnutritional children and in recipients of immunosuppressive therapy. However, the host immune responses to E. bieneusi have not been investigated until recently due to lack of sources of spores, cell culture system, and animal models. In this study, we purified spores from heavily infected human or monkey feces by serial salt-Percoll-sucrose-iodixanol centrifugation and the purity of spores was confirmed by FACS and scanning electron microscopy. Exposure of dendritic cells to E. bieneusi spores induced up-regulation of the surface markers and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The cytokine production was independent of Toll-like receptor 4, but MyD88-dependent, since dendritic cells from MyD88 knockout mice failed to secrete these pro-inflammatory cytokines, whereas dendritic cells from C3H/HeJ (a Toll-like receptor 4 mutant) were activated by E. bieneusi and secreted these cytokines. Furthermore, MyD88 deficient mice were susceptible to E. bieneusi infection, in contrast to wild type mice which resisted the infection. Collectively the data demonstrate innate recognition of E. bieneusi by dendritic cells and the importance of MyD88-dependent signaling in resisting infection in a murine challenge model.
Dendritic cells; Enterocytozoon bieneusi; innate immunity; MyD88; TLR
Background. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–tuberculosis coinfection is associated with heightened immune activation, viral replication, and T cell dysfunction. We compared changes in T cell activation and function between patients receiving concurrent treatment for HIV-tuberculosis coinfection and those receiving treatment for tuberculosis alone.
Methods. HIV-infected adults with tuberculosis and CD4+ T cell counts >350 cells/mm3 were randomized to receive tuberculosis treatment alone (control arm; n = 36) or 6 months of antiretroviral therapy (ART) concurrent with tuberculosis treatment (intervention arm; n = 38). HIV viral load, T cell subsets, T cell activation, and cytokine production were measured at enrollment and every 3 months for 12 months.
Results. Differences in absolute CD4+ and CD8+ T cell counts were not observed between arms. Viral load was reduced while participants received ART; control patients maintained viral load at baseline levels. Both arms had significant reductions in T cell expression of CD38 and HLA-DR. Interferon-γ production in response to mitogen increased significantly in the intervention arm.
Conclusions. In HIV-infected adults with tuberculosis and CD4+ T cell counts >350 cells/mm3, both tuberculosis treatment and concurrent HIV-tuberculosis treatment reduce T cell activation and stabilize T cell counts. Concurrent ART with tuberculosis treatment does not provide additional, sustained reductions in T cell activation among individuals with preserved immunologic function.
Rapid HIV tests provide same-day results and are widely used in HIV testing programs in areas with limited personnel and laboratory infrastructure. The Uganda Ministry of Health currently recommends the serial rapid testing algorithm with Determine, STAT-PAK, and Uni-Gold for diagnosis of HIV infection. Using this algorithm, individuals who test positive on Determine, negative to STAT-PAK and positive to Uni-Gold are reported as HIV positive. We conducted further testing on this subgroup of samples using qualitative DNA PCR to assess the potential for false positive tests in this situation.
Of the 3388 individuals who were tested, 984 were HIV positive on two consecutive tests, and 29 were considered positive by a tiebreaker (positive on Determine, negative on STAT-PAK, and positive on Uni-Gold). However, when the 29 samples were further tested using qualitative DNA PCR, 14 (48.2%) were HIV negative.
Although this study was not primarily designed to assess the validity of rapid HIV tests and thus only a subset of the samples were retested, the findings show a potential for false positive HIV results in the subset of individuals who test positive when a tiebreaker test is used in serial testing. These findings highlight a need for confirmatory testing for this category of individuals.
False positive; HIV testing algorithm; Rapid diagnostic tests; Qualitative PCR testing
Information on causes of death in HIV-infected patients in Sub-Saharan Africa is mainly derived from observational cohort and verbal autopsy studies. Autopsy is the gold standard to ascertain cause of death. We conducted an autopsy study to describe and compare the clinical and autopsy causes of death and contributory findings in hospitalized HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected patients in Uganda.
Between May and September 2009 a complete autopsy was performed on patients that died on a combined infectious diseases gastroenterology ward in Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. Autopsy cause of death and contributing findings were based on the macro- and microscopic post-mortem findings combined with clinical information. Clinical diagnoses were reported by the ward doctor and classified as confirmed, highly suspected, considered or not considered, based on information derived from the medical chart. Results are reported according to HIV serostatus.
Fifty-three complete autopsies were performed in 66% HIV-positive, 21% HIV-negative and 13% patients with an unknown HIV serological status. Infectious diseases caused death in 83% of HIV-positive patients, with disseminated TB as the main diagnosis causing 37% of deaths. The spectrum of illness and causes of death were substantially different between HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients. In HIV-positive patients 12% of postmortem diagnoses were clinically confirmed, 27% highly suspected, 16% considered and 45% not considered. In HIV-negative patients 17% of postmortem diagnoses were clinically highly suspected, 42% considered and 42% not considered.
Autopsy examination remains an important tool to ascertain causes of death particularly in settings with limited access to diagnostic testing during life. HIV-positive patients continue to die from treatable and clinically undiagnosed infectious diseases. Until rapid-point of care testing is available to confirm common infections, empiric treatment should be further investigated.
Treatment of HIV/malaria-coinfected patients with antiretroviral therapy (ART) and artemisinin-based combination therapy has potential for drug interactions. We investigated the pharmacokinetics of artemether, dihydroartemisinin and lumefantrine after administration of a single dose of 80/480 mg of artemether/lumefantrine to HIV-infected adults, taken with and without lopinavir/ritonavir.
A two-arm parallel study of 13 HIV-infected ART-naive adults and 16 HIV-infected adults stable on 400/100 mg of lopinavir/ritonavir plus two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT 00619944). Each participant received a single dose of 80/480 mg of artemether/lumefantrine under continuous cardiac function monitoring. Plasma concentrations of artemether, dihydroartemisinin and lumefantrine were measured.
Co-administration of artemether/lumefantrine with lopinavir/ritonavir significantly reduced artemether maximum concentration (Cmax) and area under the concentration–time curve (AUC) [median (range): 112 (20–362) versus 56 (17–236) ng/mL, P = 0.03; and 264 (92–1129) versus 151 (38–606) ng · h/mL, P < 0.01]. Dihydroartemisinin Cmax and AUC were not affected [66 (10–111) versus 73 (31–224) ng/mL, P = 0.55; and 213 (68–343) versus 175 (118–262) ng · h/mL P = 0.27]. Lumefantrine Cmax and AUC increased during co-administration [2532 (1071–5957) versus 7097 (2396–9462) ng/mL, P < 0.01; and 41 119 (12 850–125 200) versus 199 678 (71 205–251 015) ng · h/mL, P < 0.01].
Co-administration of artemether/lumefantrine with lopinavir/ritonavir significantly increases lumefantrine exposure, but decreases artemether exposure. Population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic trials will be highly valuable in evaluating the clinical significance of this interaction and determining whether dosage modifications are indicated.
antiretrovirals; antimalarials; drug interactions
Mentoring is a core component of medical education and career success. There is increasing global emphasis on mentorship of young scientists in order to train and develop the next leaders in global health. However, mentoring efforts are challenged by the high clinical, research and administrative demands. We evaluated the status and nature of mentoring practices at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MAKCHS).
Pre-tested, self-administered questionnaires were sent by email to all Fogarty alumni at the MAKCHS (mentors) and each of them was requested to complete and email back the questionnaire. In addition to training level and number of mentors, the questionnaires had open-ended questions covering themes such as; status of mentorship, challenges faced by mentors and strategies to improve and sustain mentorship within MAKCHS. Similarly, open-ended questionnaires were sent and received by email from all graduate students (mentees) registered with the Uganda Society for Health Scientists (USHS). Qualitative data from mentors and mentees was analyzed manually according to the pre-determined themes.
Twenty- two out of 100 mentors responded (14 email and 8 hard copy responses). Up to 77% (17/22) of mentors had Master's-level training and only 18% (4/22) had doctorate-level training. About 40% of the mentors had ≥ two mentees while 27% had none. Qualitative results showed that mentors needed support in terms of training in mentoring skills and logistical/financial support to carry out successful mentorship. Junior scientists and students reported that mentorship is not yet institutionalized and it is currently occurring in an adhoc manner. There was lack of awareness of roles of mentors and mentees. The mentors mentioned the limited number of practicing mentors at the college and thus the need for training courses and guidelines for faculty members in regard to mentorship at academic institutions.
Both mentors and mentees were willing to improve mentorship practices at MAKCHS. There is need for institutional commitment to uphold and sustain the mentorship best practices. We recommend a collaborative approach by the stakeholders in global health promotion to build local capacity in mentoring African health professionals.
Mentorship; capacity building; health care delivery; research; academic institutions; Africa
Late diagnosis of HIV infection is a major challenge to the scale-up of HIV prevention and treatment. In 2005 Uganda adopted provider-initiated HIV testing in the health care setting to ensure earlier HIV diagnosis and linkage to care. We provided HIV testing to patients at Mulago hospital in Uganda, and performed CD4 tests to assess disease stage at diagnosis.
Patients who had never tested for HIV or tested negative over one year prior to recruitment were enrolled between May 2008 and March 2010. Participants who tested HIV positive had a blood draw for CD4. Late HIV diagnosis was defined as CD4≤250 cells/mm. Predictors of late HIV diagnosis were analyzed using multi-variable logistic regression.
Of 1966 participants, 616 (31.3%) were HIV infected; 47.6% of these (291) had CD4 counts ≤250. Overall, 66.7% (408) of the HIV infected participants had never received care in a medical clinic. Receiving care in a non-medical setting (home, traditional healer and drug stores) had a threefold increase in the odds of late diagnosis (OR = 3.2; 95%CI: 2.1–4.9) compared to receiving no health care.
Late HIV diagnosis remains prevalent five years after introducing provider-initiated HIV testing in Uganda. Many individuals diagnosed with advanced HIV did not have prior exposure to medical clinics and could not have benefitted from the expansion of provider initiated HIV testing within health facilities. In addition to provider-initiated testing, approaches that reach individuals using non-hospital based encounters should be expanded to ensure early HIV diagnosis.
Linkage to HIV care and survival in sub-Saharan Africa is not well documented. In 2004 we conducted a randomized trial among medical inpatients in Mulago Hospital to assess the impact of HIV counseling and testing (HCT) on linkage to care and survival. Participants were randomized to inpatient HCT (intervention) or outpatient HCT 1 week post-discharge (control); inpatient HCT was not available at Mulago during the study. Among 590 eligible patients, 85% (500) agreed to participate; 98.8% (248) in the intervention arm received HCT compared to 68.7% (171) in the control arm. Within 6 months, 62.2% (92) of surviving HIV-infected participants received HIV care; 15.0% (20) received antiretroviral medications (ARVs). Overall mortality among HIV-infected participants was 34.6% (72). HCT had significant impact on linkage to care among surviving participants. Referral for HCT was a missed opportunity for diagnosis. There is need for earlier diagnosis and linkage to HIV care among inpatients.
Provider Initiated HIV Testing and Counseling (PITC); Inpatient; Access to care; Survival; Africa
Background. We aimed to assess cardiac conduction safety of coadministration of the CYP3A4 inhibitor lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) and the CYP3A4 substrate artemether-lumefantrine (AL) in HIV-positive Ugandans.
Methods. Open-label safety study of HIV-positive adults administered single-dose AL (80/400 mg) alone or with LPV/r (400/100 mg). Cardiac function was monitored using continuous electrocardiograph (ECG).
Results. Thirty-two patients were enrolled; 16 taking LPV/r -based ART and 16 ART naïve. All took single dose AL. No serious adverse events were observed. ECG parameters in milliseconds remained within normal limits. QTc measurements did not change significantly over 72 hours although were higher in LPV/r arm at 24 (424 versus 406; P = .02) and 72 hours (424 versus 408; P = .004) after AL intake.
Conclusion. Coadministration of single dose of AL with LPV/r was safe; however, safety of six-dose AL regimen with LPV/r should be investigated.
Treatment of malaria in HIV-infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) poses significant challenges. Artemether-lumefantrine (AL) is one of the artemisisnin-based combination therapies recommended for treatment of malaria. The drug combination is highly efficacious against sensitive and multidrug resistant falciparum malaria. Both artemether and lumefantrine are metabolized by hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes which metabolize the protease inhibitors (PIs) and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) used for HIV treatment. Coadministration of NNRTIs and PIs with AL could potentially cause complex pharmacokinetic drug interactions. NNRTI by inducing CYP450 3A4 enzyme and PIs by inhibiting CYP450 3A4 enzymes could influence both artemether and lumefantrine concentrations and their active metabolites dihydroartemisinin and desbutyl-lumefantrine, predisposing patients to poor treatment response, toxicity, and risk for development of resistance. There are scanty data on these interactions and their consequences. Pharmacokinetic studies to evaluate these interactions in the target populations are urgently needed.
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) partially corrects immune dysfunction associated with HIV infection. The levels of T-cell immune activation and exhaustion after long-term, suppressive ART and their correlation with CD4 T-cell count reconstitution among ART-treated patients in African cohorts have not been extensively evaluated.
T-cell activation (CD38+HLA-DR+) and immune exhaustion (PD-1+) were measured in a prospective cohort of patients initiated on ART; 128 patient samples were evaluated and subcategorized by CD4 reconstitution after long-term suppressive treatment: Suboptimal [median CD4 count increase 129 (-43-199) cells/μl], N = 34 ], optimal [282 (200-415) cells/μl, N = 64] and super-optimal [528 (416-878) cells/μl, N = 30].
Both CD4+ and CD8 T-cell activation was significantly higher among suboptimal CD4 T-cell responders compared to super-optimal responders. In a multivariate model, CD4+CD38+HLADR+ T-cells were associated with suboptimal CD4 reconstitution [AOR, 5.7 (95% CI, 1.4-23, P = 0.014)]. T-cell exhaustion (CD4+PD1+ and CD8+PD1+) was higher among suboptimal relative to optimal (P < 0.001) and super-optimal responders (P < 0.001). T-cell exhaustion was significantly associated with suboptimal responders [AOR, 1.5 (95%CI, 1.1-2.1), P = 0.022].
T-cell activation and exhaustion persist among HIV-infected patients despite long-term, sustained HIV-RNA viral suppression. These immune abnormalities were associated with suboptimal CD4 reconstitution and their regulation may modify immune recovery among suboptimal responders to ART.
Commencement of antiretroviral treatment (ART) in severely immunosuppressed HIV-infected persons is associated with unmasking of subclinical disease. The subset of patients that are diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) disease while on ART have been classified as ART-associated TB. Few studies have reported the incidence of ART-associated TB and unmasking TB-IRIS according to the International Network for the Study of HIV-Associated IRIS (INSHI) consensus definition. To determine the incidence and predictors of ART-associated TB, we screened 219 patients commencing ART at the Infectious Diseases Clinic in Kampala, Uganda for TB by symptoms, sputum microscopy, and chest X-rays and followed them for one year. Fourteen (6.4%) patients were diagnosed with TB during followup. Eight (3.8%) patients had ART-associated TB (incidence rate of 4.3 per 100 person years); of these, three patients fulfilled INSHI criteria for unmasking TB-associated IRIS (incidence rate of 1.6 per 100 person years). A body mass index of less than 18.5 kg/m2 BMI (HR 5.85 95% CI 1.24–27.46, P = .025) and a C-reactive protein greater than 5 mg/L (HR 8.23 95% CI 1.36–38.33, P = .020) were risk factors for ART-associated TB at multivariate analysis. In conclusion, with systematic TB screening (including culture and chest X-ray), the incidence of ART-associated TB is relatively low in settings with high HIV and TB prevalence.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global public health challenge. Prevalence of current hepatitis B virus infection in the general population in Uganda is about 10%. Health care workers (HCW) have an extra risk of getting infected from their workplace and yet they are not routinely vaccinated against HBV infection. This study aimed at estimating prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection and associated risk factors among health care workers in a tertiary hospital in Uganda.
Data were obtained from a cross sectional survey conducted in Mulago, a national referral and teaching hospital in Uganda among health care workers in 2003. A proportionate to size random sample was drawn per health care worker category. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics and risk factors. ELISA was used to test sera for HBsAg, anti-HBs and total anti-HBc. Descriptive and logistic regression models were used for analysis.
Among the 370 participants, the sero-prevalence of current hepatitis B virus infection was 8.1%; while prevalence of life time exposure to hepatitis B virus infection was 48.1%. Prevalence of needle stick injuries and exposure to mucous membranes was 67.8% and 41.0% respectively. Cuts were also common with 31.7% of doctors reporting a cut in a period of one year preceding the survey. Consistent use of gloves was reported by 55.4% of respondents. The laboratory technicians (18.0% of respondents) were the least likely to consistently use gloves. Only 6.2% of respondents were vaccinated against hepatitis B virus infection and 48.9% were susceptible and could potentially be protected through vaccination. Longer duration in service was associated with a lower risk of current infection (OR = 0.13; p value = 0.048). Being a nursing assistant (OR = 17.78; p value = 0.007) or a laboratory technician (OR = 12.23; p value = 0.009) were associated with a higher risk of current hepatitis B virus infection. Laboratory technicians (OR = 3.99; p value = 0.023) and individuals with no training in infection prevention in last five years (OR = 1.85; p value = 0.015) were more likely to have been exposed to hepatitis B virus infection before.
The prevalence of current and life time exposure to hepatitis B virus infection was high. Exposure to potentially infectious body fluids was high and yet only a small percentage of HCW were vaccinated. There is need to vaccinate all health care workers as a matter of policy and ensure a safer work environment.