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1.  Utility of Transthoracic Echocardiography and Carotid Doppler Ultrasound in Differential Diagnosis and Management of Ischemic Stroke in a Developing Country 
We sought to describe findings, diagnostic yield, cost effectiveness of transthoracic echocardiography (TEE) and Carotid doppler ultrasound (CDU) in ischemic stroke.
Cross sectional study at Mulago hospital, Uganda. Institutional ethical approval, patient consent was obtained. Patients eighteen years and above with ischemic stroke confirmed by brain computerized tomography (CT) scan and met inclusion criteria were selected. TTE and CDU were done as part of comprehensive assessment for stroke risk factors. Data was analyzed using SPSS 14. Univariate analysis was done for social-demographics, abnormalities on cardiac imaging and diagnostic yield using TOAST criteria. Bivariate analysis for association between stroke risk factors, cardio-embolic stroke and other ischemic subtypes (diagnosed using clinical and CT scan features). Statistical significance was set at P<0.05.
Of 139 screened patients with suspected stroke, 127 underwent brain CT scan as 12 died before CT. Eighty five were confirmed stroke by CT scan with 66 (77.6%) ischemic stroke, mean age 62 years (SD+16.6), 53% were male. Out of 66, 62 (93.9%) underwent both TTE and CDU. Although only 7 (11.3%) reported history of heart disease, 43 (69.3%) had abnormal findings on TTE with left atrial enlargement commonest in 21 (48.8%). Thirty eight (61.3%) had abnormal finding on CDU with atherosclerosis commonest in 28 (45.2%). Using clinical and CT scan features, atherosclerotic stroke was the commonest subtype in 29 (46.8%) then cardio-embolic 18 (27.3%). Only 6 (9.7%) patients had abnormal findings on TTE suggesting possible cardio-embolism by TOAST criteria. None had stenosis >50% on CDU. Multiple valvular lesions P<0.001, severe valvular lesions P=0.001 were associated with cardio-embolic stroke.
Majority of ischemic stroke patients without previous history of heart disease had abnormal findings on TTE and CDU. Diagnostic yield for cardio-embolic stroke by TOAST criteria was very low given the high cost involved for a developing country.
PMCID: PMC3990005  PMID: 24749127
Cardio-embolism; Doppler; Echocardiography; Ischemic; Stroke; Transthoracic; Ultrasound
2.  Sero-prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis B virus infection among health care workers in a tertiary hospital in Uganda 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:191.
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.
PMCID: PMC2910699  PMID: 20587047
3.  Drug Tolerance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1999;43(11):2600-2606.
Although Mycobacterium tuberculosis is eradicated rapidly during therapy in some patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, it can persist for many months in others. This study examined the relationship between mycobacterial drug tolerance (delayed killing in vitro), persistence, and relapse. It was performed with 39 fully drug-susceptible isolates from a prospective trial of standard short-course antituberculous therapy with sputum smear-positive, human immunodeficiency virus-uninfected subjects with pulmonary tuberculosis in Brazil and Uganda. The rate of killing in vitro was determined by monitoring the growth index (GI) in BACTEC 12B medium after addition of drug to established cultures and was measured as the number of days required for 99% sterilization. Drugs differed significantly in bactericidal activity, in the following order from greatest to least, rifampin > isoniazid-ethambutol > ethambutol (P < 0.001). Isolates from subjects who had relapses (n = 2) or in whom persistence was prolonged (n = 1) were significantly more tolerant of isoniazid-ethambutol and rifampin than isolates from other subjects (P < 0.01). More generally, the duration of persistence during therapy was predicted by strain tolerance to isoniazid and rifampin (P = 0.012 and 0.026, respectively). Tolerance to isoniazid-ethambutol and tolerance to rifampin were highly correlated (P < 0.001). Tolerant isolates did not differ from others with respect to the MIC of isoniazid; the rate of killing of a tolerant isolate by isoniazid-ethambutol was not increased at higher drug concentrations. These observations suggest that tolerance may not be due to drug-specific mechanisms. Tolerance was of the phenotypic type, although increased tolerance appeared to emerge after prolonged drug exposure in vivo. This study suggests that drug tolerance may be an important determinant of the outcome of therapy for tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC89531  PMID: 10543735

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