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1.  Shallow Encoding and Forgetting Are Associated with Dependence in Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Among Older Adults Living with HIV Infection 
Aging and HIV are both risk factors for memory deficits and declines in real-world functioning. However, we know little about the profile of memory deficits driving instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) declines across the lifespan in HIV. This study examined 145 younger (<50 years) and 119 older (≥50 years) adults with HIV who completed the California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT-II), the Wechsler Memory Scale-Third Edition Logical Memory subtest (WMS-III LM), and a modified Lawton and Brody ADL questionnaire. No memory predictors of IADL dependence emerged in the younger cohort. In the older group, IADL dependence was uniquely associated with worse performance on all primary CVLT-II variables, as well as elevated recency effects. Poorer immediate and delayed recall of the WMS-III LM was also associated with IADL dependence, although recognition was intact. Findings suggest older HIV-infected adults with shallow encoding and forgetting are at risk for IADL dependence.
PMCID: PMC4000232  PMID: 24695591
Aging; Disability; Everyday functioning; Learning and memory
2.  An Active Lifestyle is Associated with Better Neurocognitive Functioning in Adults Living with HIV-infection 
Journal of neurovirology  2014;20(3):233-242.
Studies of healthy adults show that engagement in physical, social, and mental activities is associated with better cognitive outcomes, suggesting these activities may increase cognitive reserve. Given the prevalence and real-world impact of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), the present study examined the association between neurocognitive outcomes and self-reported proxies for physical exercise, social activity, and mental activity (employment was used as a proxy for mental activity) among 139 HIV-infected adults (Mage = 48.7; 48% age 50+). Participants completed a neuromedical and neuropsychological battery and were classified based on the number of self-reported active lifestyle factors (ALFs; 0 to 3), including physical exercise, social activity, and current employment. The association between ALFs and both demographically-adjusted average neuropsychological T-scores and HAND diagnoses were examined. Results revealed that an increased number of ALFs was associated with better global neurocognitive performance as well as a lower prevalence of HAND. These cross-sectional findings suggest that an active engagement in life may bolster neurocognitive functioning, perhaps by enhancing cognitive and/or brain reserve. However, an alternative explanation might be that persons with better neurocognitive functioning are more inclined and able to engage in these life activities. Future studies should utilize neuroimaging methodology, longitudinal data, and interventional approaches to establish cause-effect relationships and uncover the neural mechanisms whereby physical, social, and mental stimulation may protect neurocognition via cognitive reserve among those living with HIV.
PMCID: PMC4040153  PMID: 24554483
cognitive reserve; neuroAIDS; cognitive impairment; protective factors
3.  Successful Cognitive Aging and Health-Related Quality of Life in Younger and Older Adults Infected with HIV 
AIDS and behavior  2014;18(6):1186-1197.
Neurocognitive impairments commonly occur and adversely impact everyday functioning in older adults infected with HIV, but little is known about successful cognitive aging (SCA) and its health-related quality of life (HRQoL) correlates.
Seventy younger (≤ 40 years) and 107 older (≥ 50 years) HIV+ adults, as well as age-matched seronegative comparison groups of younger (N=48) and older (N=77) subjects completed a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological, psychiatric, medical, and HRQoL assessments. SCA was operationalized as the absence of both performance-based neurocognitive deficits and self-reported symptoms (SCA-ANDS) as determined by published normative standards.
A stair-step decline in SCA-ANDS was observed in accordance with increasing age and HIV serostatus, with the lowest rates of SCA-ANDS found in the older HIV+ group (19%). In both younger and older HIV+ adults, SCA-ANDS was strongly related to better mental HRQoL.
HIV infection has additive adverse effects on SCA, which may play a unique role in mental well-being among HIV-infected persons across the lifespan.
PMCID: PMC4020963  PMID: 24633788
Successful aging; well-being; neuropsychological assessment; AIDS-related dementia
4.  Dynamic Indices of Methamphetamine Dependence and HIV Infection Predict Fluctuations in Affective Distress: A Five-year Longitudinal Analysis 
Journal of affective disorders  2013;151(2):10.1016/j.jad.2013.07.036.
Methamphetamine (METH) use and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are highly comorbid, and both are associated with increased prevalence of affective distress. Delineating the trajectory of affective distress in the context of METH dependence and HIV infection is important given the implications for everyday functional impairment, adverse health behaviors, and increased risk for adverse health outcomes.
We conducted a five-year longitudinal investigation involving 133 METH-dependent (74 HIV seropositive) and 163 non-METH-dependent (90 HIV seropositive) persons to examine both long-standing patterns and transient changes in affective distress. Mixed-effect regression models with random subject-specific slopes and intercepts evaluated the effect of METH dependence, HIV serostatus, and related variables on affective distress, as measured by the Profile of Mood States.
Transient changes in affective distress were found to be greater among those with a diagnosis of current MDD, briefer durations of abstinence from METH, and higher quantity of METH consumed. Weak associations were observed among static (time-independent predictors) covariates and long-standing patterns in affective distress.
Study lacked data pertaining to the participants’ involvement in METH treatment and relied on respondent-driven sampling.
Our longitudinal investigation of the trajectory of affective distress indicated that specific and dynamic indices of current METH use were associated with greater transient changes in mood. In the evaluation and treatment of affective distress, recency and quantity of current METH use are important to consider given their association with heightened affective distress and mood instability over time.
PMCID: PMC3845675  PMID: 24012068
Affective distress; Methamphetamine; Dependence; HIV; Longitudinal
5.  Physical Exercise is Associated with Less Neurocognitive Impairment Among HIV-Infected Adults 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;19(5):410-417.
Neurocognitive impairment (NCI) remains prevalent in HIV-infection. Randomized trials have shown that physical exercise improves NCI in non HIV-infected adults, but data on HIV-infected populations is limited. Community-dwelling HIV-infected participants (n=335) completed a comprehensive neurocognitive battery that was utilized to define both global and domain-specific NCI. Participants were divided into “Exercise” (n=83) and “No Exercise” (n=252) groups based on whether they self-reported engaging in any activity that increased heart rate in the last 72 hours or not. We also measured and evaluated a series of potential confounding factors, including demographics, HIV-disease characteristics, substance use and psychiatric comorbidities, and physical functioning. Lower rates of global NCI were observed among the Exercise group (15.7%) as compared to those in the No Exercise group (31.0%; p<.01). A multivariable logistic regression controlling for potential confounds (i.e., education, AIDS status, current CD4+ lymphocyte count, self-reported physical function, current depression) showed that being in the Exercise group remained significantly associated with lower global NCI (OR=2.63, p<.05). Similar models of domain-specific NCI showed that Exercise was associated with reduced impairment in working memory (p<.05) and speed of information processing (p<.05). The present findings suggest that HIV-infected adults who exercise are approximately half as likely to show NCI as compared to those who do not. Future longitudinal studies might be best suited to address causality and intervention trials in HIV-infected individuals will determine whether exercise can prevent or ameliorate NCI in this population.
PMCID: PMC3795938  PMID: 23934585
HIV/AIDS; Mild Neurocognitive Impairment; Physical Exercise; Cognition; Lifestyle; Neuropsychology
6.  Preliminary Evidence for Feasibility, Use, and Acceptability of Individualized Texting for Adherence Building for Antiretroviral Adherence and Substance Use Assessment among HIV-Infected Methamphetamine Users 
AIDS Research and Treatment  2013;2013:585143.
The feasibility, use, and acceptability of text messages to track methamphetamine use and promote antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence among HIV-infected methamphetamine users was examined. From an ongoing randomized controlled trial, 30-day text response rates of participants assigned to the intervention (individualized texting for adherence building (iTAB), n = 20) were compared to those in the active comparison condition (n = 9). Both groups received daily texts assessing methamphetamine use, and the iTAB group additionally received personalized daily ART adherence reminder texts. Response rate for methamphetamine use texts was 72.9% with methamphetamine use endorsed 14.7% of the time. Text-derived methamphetamine use data was correlated with data from a structured substance use interview covering the same time period (P < 0.05). The iTAB group responded to 69.0% of adherence reminder texts; among those responses, 81.8% endorsed taking ART medication. Standardized feedback questionnaire responses indicated little difficulty with the texts, satisfaction with the study, and beliefs that future text-based interventions would be helpful. Moreover, most participants believed the intervention reduced methamphetamine use and improved adherence. Qualitative feedback regarding the intervention was positive. Future studies will refine and improve iTAB for optimal acceptability and efficacy. This trial is registered with NCT01317277.
PMCID: PMC3776360  PMID: 24078868
7.  Transmission of Multidrug-Resistant and Drug-Susceptible Tuberculosis within Households: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(6):e1001843.
The “fitness” of an infectious pathogen is defined as the ability of the pathogen to survive, reproduce, be transmitted, and cause disease. The fitness of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) relative to drug-susceptible tuberculosis is cited as one of the most important determinants of MDRTB spread and epidemic size. To estimate the relative fitness of drug-resistant tuberculosis cases, we compared the incidence of tuberculosis disease among the household contacts of MDRTB index patients to that among the contacts of drug-susceptible index patients.
Methods and Findings
This 3-y (2010–2013) prospective cohort household follow-up study in South Lima and Callao, Peru, measured the incidence of tuberculosis disease among 1,055 household contacts of 213 MDRTB index cases and 2,362 household contacts of 487 drug-susceptible index cases.
A total of 35/1,055 (3.3%) household contacts of 213 MDRTB index cases developed tuberculosis disease, while 114/2,362 (4.8%) household contacts of 487 drug-susceptible index patients developed tuberculosis disease. The total follow-up time for drug-susceptible tuberculosis contacts was 2,620 person-years, while the total follow-up time for MDRTB contacts was 1,425 person-years. Using multivariate Cox regression to adjust for confounding variables including contact HIV status, contact age, socio-economic status, and index case sputum smear grade, the hazard ratio for tuberculosis disease among MDRTB household contacts was found to be half that for drug-susceptible contacts (hazard ratio 0.56, 95% CI 0.34–0.90, p = 0.017). The inference of transmission in this study was limited by the lack of genotyping data for household contacts. Capturing incident disease only among household contacts may also limit the extrapolation of these findings to the community setting.
The low relative fitness of MDRTB estimated by this study improves the chances of controlling drug-resistant tuberculosis. However, fitter multidrug-resistant strains that emerge over time may make this increasingly difficult.
In this prospective cohort study, Louis Grandjean and colleagues examine the relative fitness of multidrug-resistant versus drug-susceptible tuberculosis for transmission among household contacts in South Lima and Callao, Peru.
Editors' Summary
Tuberculosis—a contagious bacterial disease that usually infects the lungs—is a global public health problem. Every year, 8.6 million people develop active tuberculosis (tuberculosis disease), and at least 1.3 million people die as a result, mainly in resource-limited countries. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, is spread in airborne droplets when people with tuberculosis disease cough or sneeze. Consequently, an individual’s risk of contracting tuberculosis increases with his/her frequency of contact with people who have the disease; people who live in the same household as someone with tuberculosis disease are at particularly high risk. Other risk factors for contracting tuberculosis include living in crowded or insanitary conditions and being immunocompromised because of, for example, infection with HIV. The characteristic symptoms of tuberculosis disease are persistent cough, fever, weight loss, and night sweats. Diagnostic tests for the disease include sputum smear microscopy (microscopic analysis of mucus coughed up from the lungs), the growth of M. tuberculosis from sputum samples, and chest X-rays.
Why Was This Study Done?
Taking several antibiotics (including rifampicin and isoniazid) daily for six months can cure tuberculosis, but the emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) is making the disease increasingly hard to treat. How badly MDRTB will affect tuberculosis control efforts is likely to depend on the relative “fitness” of multi-drug resistant and drug-susceptible M. tuberculosis strains. The fitness of a pathogen (infectious organism) is its ability to survive, reproduce, be transmitted, and cause disease in another host. Animal and laboratory studies indicate that drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains are less fit than drug-susceptible strains, but these studies do not account for the clinical, environmental, and socio-economic variables that influence a patient’s ability to cause tuberculosis disease in a contact, and may not accurately measure the relative fitness of M. tuberculosis strains. In this prospective cohort study, the researchers estimate the fitness of drug-resistant tuberculosis relative to drug-susceptible tuberculosis by comparing the incidence of additional cases of tuberculosis disease in households with an MDRTB index case and the incidence in households with a drug-susceptible tuberculosis index case. A prospective cohort study follows a group of people over time to see whether specific baseline characteristics are associated with specific outcomes. The incidence of a disease is the number of new cases in a population over a given time period.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled 1,055 household contacts of 213 MDRTB index cases (individuals whose disease was resistant to at least rifampicin and isoniazid) and 2,362 household contacts of 487 drug-susceptible tuberculosis index cases living in South Lima and Callao, Peru. During three years of follow-up, 35 (3.3%) of the household contacts of the MDRTB index cases and 114 (4.8%) of the household contacts of the drug-susceptible tuberculosis index cases developed tuberculosis disease. After adjusting for factors likely to affect the transmission of tuberculosis, such as HIV status, socio-economic status, and sputum smear grade of the index case (higher smear grades are associated with a higher risk of tuberculosis transmission), the hazard ratio for tuberculosis disease for household contacts of MDRTB index cases was half that of the household contacts of drug-susceptible tuberculosis index cases. That is, the household contacts of MDRTB index cases contracted tuberculosis disease half as often as those of drug-susceptible tuberculosis index cases.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, within households, MDRTB has a relatively low fitness compared to drug-susceptible tuberculosis. That is, at least during the first three years following exposure, individuals with MDRTB are less likely to transmit disease to their household contacts than individuals with drug-susceptible tuberculosis. These findings agree with those of previous animal and laboratory studies and with the findings of molecular epidemiology studies that have used genetic methods to estimate M. tuberculosis fitness within populations. Because the researchers did not genetically compare M. tuberculosis strains isolated from the index cases with strains isolated from the household contacts who developed tuberculosis disease, some of these contacts may have become infected outside the household. Moreover, it may not be possible to extrapolate these findings to the community setting. Nevertheless, the low relative fitness of MDRTB reported here improves our chances of controlling the spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis, with the proviso that the emergence of fitter MDRTB strains over time might yet threaten global tuberculosis control efforts.
Additional Information
This list of resources contains links that can be accessed when viewing the PDF on a device or via the online version of the article at
The World Health Organization provides information (in several languages) on tuberculosis and on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; the Global Tuberculosis Report 2014 provides information about tuberculosis around the world; a supplement to the report entitled Drug-Resistant TB—Surveillance and Response is available
The Stop TB Partnership is working towards tuberculosis elimination and provides personal stories about tuberculosis (in English and Spanish); the Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (a not-for-profit organization) also provides personal stories about tuberculosis
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about tuberculosis and about drug-resistant tuberculosis (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also has detailed information on all aspects of tuberculosis
MedlinePlus has links to further information about tuberculosis (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC4477882  PMID: 26103620
8.  Prolonged Infectiousness of Tuberculosis Patients in a Directly Observed Therapy Short-Course Program with Standardized Therapy 
Effective tuberculosis control is compromised by a lack of clarity about the timeframe of viable Mycobacterium tuberculosis shedding after treatment initiation under programmatic conditions. This study quantifies time to conversion from smear and culture positivity to negativity in unselected tuberculosis patients receiving standardized therapy in a directly observed therapy short-course (DOTS) program.
Longitudinal cohort study following up 93 adults initiating tuberculosis therapy in Lima, Peru. Baseline culture and drug susceptibility tests (DSTs) were performed using the MBBacT, proportion, and microscopic observation drug susceptibility (MODS) methods. Smear microscopy and MODS liquid culture were performed at baseline and weekly for 4 weeks then every other week for 26 weeks.
Median conversion time from culture positivity to culture negativity of 38.5 days was unaffected by baseline smear status. Patients with fully susceptible tuberculosis had a median time to culture conversion of 37 days; 10% remained culture positive at day 60. Delayed culture conversion was associated with multidrug resistance, regardless of DST method used; non–multidrug resistance as defined by the proportion method and MODS (but not MBBacT) was also associated with delay. Persistent day 60 smear positivity yielded positive and negative predictive values of 67% and 92%, respectively, for detecting multidrug resistance.
Smear and culture conversion in treated tuberculosis patients takes longer than is conventionally believed, even with fully susceptible disease, and must be accounted for in tuberculosis treatment and prevention programs. Persistent day 60 smear positivity is a poor predictor of multidrug resistance. The industrialized-world convention of universal baseline DST for tuberculosis patients should become the standard of care in multidrug resistance–affected resource-limited settings.
PMCID: PMC4465448  PMID: 20624064
9.  Risk of tuberculosis in patients with diabetes: population based cohort study using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink 
BMC Medicine  2015;13:135.
Previous cohort studies demonstrate diabetes as a risk factor for tuberculosis (TB) disease. Public Health England has identified improved TB control as a priority area and has proposed a primary care-based screening program for latent TB.
We investigated the association between diabetes and risk of tuberculosis in a UK General Practice cohort in order to identify potential high-risk groups appropriate for latent TB screening.
Using data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink we constructed a cohort of patients with incident diabetes. We included 222,731 patients with diabetes diagnosed from 1990–2013 and 1,218,616 controls without diabetes at index date who were matched for age, sex and general practice. The effect of diabetes was explored using a Poisson analysis adjusted for age, ethnicity, body mass index, socioeconomic status, alcohol intake and smoking. We explored the effects of age, diabetes duration and severity. The effects of diabetes on risk of incident TB were explored across strata of chronic disease care defined by cholesterol and blood pressure measurement and influenza vaccination rates.
During just under 7 million person-years of follow-up, 969 cases of TB were identified. The incidence of TB was higher amongst patients with diabetes compared with the unexposed group: 16.2 and 13.5 cases per 100,000 person-years, respectively. After adjustment for potential confounders the association between diabetes and TB remained (adjusted RR 1.30, 95 % CI 1.01 to 1.67, P = 0.04). There was no evidence that age, time since diagnosis and severity of diabetes affected the association between diabetes and TB. Diabetes patients with the lowest and highest rates of chronic disease management had a higher risk of TB (P <0.001 for all comparisons).
Diabetes as an independent risk factor is associated with only a modest overall increased risk of TB in our UK General Practice cohort and is unlikely to be sufficient cause to screen for latent TB. Across different consulting patterns, diabetes patients accessing the least amount of chronic disease care are at highest risk for TB.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0381-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4470065  PMID: 26048371
Tuberculosis; Diabetes; CPRD; Epidemiology; Cohort
10.  HIV protease inhibitor exposure predicts cerebral small vessel disease 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(9):1297-1306.
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remain prevalent in patients who receive highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and may be associated with cumulative exposure to antiretroviral medications and other factors. We proposed that chronic toxic effects of antiretroviral drugs could contribute to cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD), which might be one of the key underpinnings of HAND.
Clinicopathological cross-sectional study of HIV-infected adults in the California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network.
We employed multivariable logistic regression methods to determine associations between HAART exposure (protease inhibitor [PI]-based, non-PI-based, or no HAART) and CSVD occurrence (standard histopathology: moderate/severe, mild, or absent). We also associated HAND (relative to normal cognition) with CSVD, HIV-related neuropathologic changes, older age at death (≥50 years), sex, or hepatitis C virus infection.
We found that both mild and moderate/severe CSVD were associated with PI-based HAART exposure after adjusting for diabetes mellitus [odds ratio (OR) 2.8 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03, 7.9] and 2.6 [95% CI 1.03, 6.7], respectively, n=134]. Moderate/severe CSVD was associated with diabetes after adjusting for HAART exposure (OR 7.4 [95% CI 1.6, 70.7], n=134). Notably, HAND was associated with mild CSVD (OR 4.8 [95% CI 1.1, 21.2], n=63), which remained statistically significant after adjusting for vessel mineralization, HIV encephalitis, microglial nodular lesions, white matter lesions, or older age.
PI-based HAART exposure may increase the risk of CSVD and thereby neurocognitive impairment in HIV-infected adults. Besides the possible direct toxicity to cerebral small vessels, PI-based HAART may contribute indirectly to CSVD by inducing metabolic abnormalities.
PMCID: PMC4071161  PMID: 24637542
aging; antiretroviral; cognition; HIV dementia; protease inhibitor; small vessel disease
11.  Robust and Reproducible Quantification of the Extent of Chest Radiographic Abnormalities (And It’s Free!) 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0128044.
Objective, reproducible quantification of the extent of abnormalities seen on a chest radiograph would improve the user-friendliness of a previously proposed severity scoring system for pulmonary tuberculosis and could be helpful in monitoring response to therapy, including in clinical trials.
In this study we report the development and evaluation of a simple tool using free image editing software (GIMP) to accurately and reproducibly quantify the area of affected lung on the chest radiograph of tuberculosis patients. As part of a pharmacokinetic study in Lima, Peru, a chest radiograph was performed on patients with pulmonary tuberculosis and this was subsequently photographed using a digital camera. The GIMP software was used by two independent and trained readers to estimate the extent of affected lung (expressed as a percentage of total lung area) in each radiograph and the resulting radiographic SCORE.
56 chest radiographs were included in the reading analysis. The Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) between the 2 observers was 0.977 (p<0.001) for the area of lung affected and was 0.955 (p<0.001) for the final score; and the kappa coefficient of Interobserver agreement for both the area of lung affected and the score were 0.9 (p<0.001) and 0.86 (p<0.001) respectively.
This high level of between-observer agreement suggests that this freely available software could constitute a simple and useful tool for robust evaluation of individual and serial chest radiographs.
PMCID: PMC4440724  PMID: 25996917
12.  Supported self-management for patients with COPD who have recently been discharged from hospital: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Although many hospitals promote self-management to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients post discharge from hospital, the clinical effectiveness of this is unknown. We undertook a systematic review of the evidence as part of a Health Technology Assessment review.
A comprehensive search strategy with no language restrictions was conducted across relevant databases from inception to May 2012. Randomized controlled trials of patients with COPD, recently discharged from hospital after an acute exacerbation and comparing a self-management intervention with control, usual care or other intervention were included. Study selection, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment were undertaken by two reviewers independently.
Of 13,559 citations, 836 full texts were reviewed with nine randomized controlled trials finally included in quantitative syntheses. Interventions were heterogeneous. Five trials assessed highly supported multi-component interventions and four trials were less supported with fewer contacts with health care professionals and mainly home-based interventions. Total sample size was 1,466 (range 33–464 per trial) with length of follow-up 2–12 months. Trials varied in quality; poor patient follow-up and poor reporting was common. No evidence of effect in favor of self-management support was observed for all-cause mortality (pooled hazard ratio =1.07; 95% confidence interval [0.74 to 1.55]; I2=0.0%, [n=5 trials]). No clear evidence of effect on all-cause hospital admissions was observed (hazard ratio 0.88 [0.61, 1.27] I2=66.0%). Improvements in St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire score were seen in favor of self-management interventions (mean difference =3.84 [1.29 to 6.40]; I2=14.6%), although patient follow-up rates were low.
There is insufficient evidence to support self-management interventions post-discharge. There is a need for good quality primary research to identify effective approaches.
PMCID: PMC4425235  PMID: 25995625
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; self-management support; post-discharge; systematic review
13.  Induced Sputum Is Safe and Well-Tolerated for TB Diagnosis in a Resource-Poor Primary Healthcare Setting 
Improved tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics are required. Induced sputum sampling is superior to spontaneous sputum analysis for diagnosis of pulmonary TB. Therefore, we examined the applicability of induced sputum in primary health centers of the Peruvian TB program and studied the safety and tolerability of this procedure. We show that induced sputum is safe, inexpensive, and well-tolerated in a resource-limited environment. Widespread use of induced sputum at primary health centers can be implemented and may improve TB diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC4350564  PMID: 25535311
14.  Prospective Memory and Antiretroviral Medication Non-Adherence in HIV: An Analysis of Ongoing Task Delay Length Using the Memory for Intentions Screening Test 
Using McDaniel & Einstein’s (2000) multi-process framework, the current study examined whether the length of prospective memory (PM) delay intervals as measured by the 2- and 15- minute subscales of the Memory for Intentions Screening Test (MIST) have differential predictive value for antiretroviral (ARV) adherence. Participants included 74 HIV-infected individuals whose ARV adherence was tracked with an electronic monitoring system. Participants were classified as “adherent” (n = 49) or “non-adherent” (n = 25) based on recorded pill bottle openings of ≥90% of prescribed doses over 30 days. An adherence group by MIST delay interval interaction was observed, such that non-adherent participants had worse performance on the 15-min, but not 2-min delay PM MIST subscales. The observed MIST 15- min delay effects were significantly more pronounced on time- versus event-cued PM trials. Long-delay time-based PM was predictive of non-adherence independent of demographics, mood state, self-reported adherence, and general cognitive functioning. Findings from this clinical study indicate that ARV non-adherence may be particularly associated with deficits in strategic cue monitoring over longer PM delays, which may inform interventions to improve adherence among persons living with HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC3693472  PMID: 23095304
episodic memory; medication adherence; everyday functioning; neuropsychological assessment; executive functions; AIDS dementia complex
15.  Prevalence of Chagas Disease in Latin-American Migrants Living in Europe: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis 
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases  2015;9(2):e0003540.
Few studies have assessed the burden of Chagas disease in non-endemic countries and most of them are based on prevalence estimates from Latin American (LA) countries that likely differ from the prevalence in migrants living in Europe. The aim of this study was to systematically review the existing data informing current understanding of the prevalence of Chagas disease in LA migrants living in European countries.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting prevalence of Chagas disease in European countries belonging to the European Union (EU) before 2004 in accordance with the MOOSE guidelines and based on the database sources MEDLINE and Global Health. No restrictions were placed on study date, study design or language of publication. The pooled prevalence was estimated using random effect models based on DerSimonian & Laird method.
We identified 18 studies conducted in five European countries. The random effect pooled prevalence was 4.2% (95%CI:2.2-6.7%); and the heterogeneity of Chagas disease prevalence among studies was high (I2 = 97%,p<0.001). Migrants from Bolivia had the highest prevalence of Chagas disease (18.1%, 95%CI:13.9–22.7%).
Prevalence of Chagas in LA migrants living in Europe is high, particularly in migrants from Bolivia and Paraguay. Data are highly heterogeneous dependent upon country of origin and within studies of migrants from the same country of origin. Country-specific prevalence differs from the estimates available from LA countries. Our meta-analysis provides prevalence estimates of Chagas disease that should be used to estimate the burden of disease in European countries.
Author Summary
Chagas disease is emerging in European countries due to the migration flows from Latin-American endemic countries to Europe, particularly to southern countries. Some studies have evaluated the prevalence of this disease in several European countries although these estimates are based on national population prevalence rates from countries of origin and the estimated size of the corresponding migrant population. The objective of this study is to review the studies about the prevalence of Chagas disease in Latin American migrants living in European countries. Our meta-analysis provides prevalence estimates of Chagas disease that should be used to estimate the burden of disease in European countries. This accurate data about country specific prevalence of Chagas disease could be used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of screening programmes and also could help policy makers to design health interventions concerning Chagas disease.
PMCID: PMC4332678  PMID: 25680190
16.  Acute dietary nitrate supplementation does not augment submaximal forearm exercise hyperemia in healthy young men 
Despite the popularity of dietary nitrate supplementation and the growing evidence base of its potential ergogenic and vascular health benefits, there is no direct information about its effects on exercising limb blood flow in humans. We hypothesized that acute dietary nitrate supplementation from beetroot juice would augment the increases in forearm blood flow, as well as the progressive dilation of the brachial artery, during graded handgrip exercise in healthy young men. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, 12 young (22 ± 2 years) healthy men consumed a beetroot juice (140 mL Beet-It Sport, James White Juice Company) that provided 12.9 mmol (0.8 g) of nitrate or placebo (nitrate-depleted Beet-It Sport) on 2 study visits. At 3 h postconsumption, brachial artery diameter, flow, and blood velocity were measured (Doppler ultrasound) at rest and during 6 exercise intensities. Nitrate supplementation raised plasma nitrate (19.5-fold) and nitrite (1.6-fold) concentrations, and lowered resting arterial pulse wave velocity (PWV) versus placebo (all p < 0.05) indicating absorption, conversion, and a biological effect of this supplement. The supplement-associated lowering of PWV was also negatively correlated with plasma nitrite (r = -0.72, p = 0.0127). Despite these systemic effects, nitrate supplementation had no effect on brachial artery diameter, flow, or shear rates at rest (all p ≥ 0.28) or during any exercise workload (all p ≥ 0.18). These findings suggest that acute dietary nitrate supplementation favorably modifies arterial PWV, but does not augment blood flow or brachial artery vasodilation during non-fatiguing forearm exercise in healthy young men.
PMCID: PMC4314377  PMID: 25536008
inorganic nitrate; vascular function; pulse wave velocity
17.  Methamphetamine use and neuropsychiatric factors are associated with antiretroviral nonadherence 
AIDS care  2012;24(12):1504-1513.
The present study assesses the impact of methamphetamine (METH) on antiretroviral (ART) adherence among HIV+ persons, as well as examines the contribution of neurocognitive impairment and other neuropsychiatric factors (i.e., major depressive disorder (MDD), Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)) for ART nonadherence. We examined HIV+ persons with DSM-IV-diagnosed lifetime history of METH abuse/dependence (HIV+/METH+; n = 67) as compared to HIV+ participants with no history of METH abuse/dependence (HIV+/METH−; n = 50). Ancillary analyses compared these groups with a small group of HIV+/METH+ persons with current METH abuse/dependence (HIV+/CU METH+; n = 8). Nonadherence was defined as self-report of any skipped ART dose in the last four days. Neurocognitive functioning was assessed with a comprehensive battery, covering seven neuropsychological domains. Lifetime METH diagnosis was associated with higher rates of detectable levels of plasma and CSF HIV RNA. When combing groups (i.e., METH+ and METH− participants), univariate analyses indicated co-occurring ADHD, ASPD, and MDD predicted ART nonadherence (p’s<0.10; not lifetime METH status or neurocognitive impairment). A significant multivariable model including these variables indicated that only MDD uniquely predicted ART nonadherence after controlling for the other variables (p<0.05). Ancillary analyses indicated that current METH users (use within 30 days) were significantly less adherent (50% prevalence of nonadherence) than lifetime METH+ users and HIV+/METH-participants, and that neurocognitive impairment was associated with nonadherence (p’s<0.05). METH use disorders are associated with worse HIV disease outcomes and ART medication nonadherence. Interventions often target substance use behaviors alone to enhance antiretroviral treatment outcomes; however, in addition to targeting substance use behaviors, interventions to improve ART adherence may also need to address coexisting neuropsychiatric factors and cognitive impairment to improve ART medication taking.
PMCID: PMC3466384  PMID: 22530794
HIV/AIDS; Cognition; Medication Adherence; Antiretroviral; Methamphetamine
18.  Evidence for the emergence of leg sympathetic vasoconstrictor tone with age in healthy women 
Physiological Reports  2015;3(1):e12275.
While muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) is elevated with advancing age, correlational evidence suggests that, in contrast to men, basal MSNA is not related to resting lower limb hemodynamics in women. However, limited data exists in women that have attempted to directly assess the degree of limb sympathetic vasoconstrictor tone, and whether it is altered with age. To address this issue, we measured changes in femoral artery vascular conductance (FVC) during an acute sympatho‐inhibitory stimulus (−60 mm Hg neck suction, NS) in groups of healthy younger (n = 8, 23 ± 1 years) and older (n = 7, 66 ± 1 years) women. The percent change in FVC in response to NS was significantly augmented in the older (P = 0.006 vs. young) women. Although NS caused no significant change (3 ± 3%, P = 0.33) in FVC in the young women, there was a robust increase in FVC (21 ± 5%, P = 0.003) in the old women. Collectively, these findings provide evidence that in women, leg sympathetic vasoconstrictor tone emerges with age.
In the present study, we sought to compare the amount of sympathetic vasoconstriction in the resting lower limbs (i.e., legs) of younger and older women. Leg (femoral artery) vascular conductance increased in older but not younger women during an acute sympatho‐inhibitory stimulus. These findings suggest that in women there is an emergence of lower limb sympathetic vasoconstrictor tone with advanced age.
PMCID: PMC4387747  PMID: 25626874
Aging; blood flow; sympathetic; vascular conductance
19.  HIV-infected individuals with co-occurring bipolar disorder evidence poor antiretroviral and psychiatric medication adherence 
AIDS and behavior  2012;16(8):2257-2266.
The contribution of bipolar disorder (BD), a prevalent serious mental illness characterized by impulsivity and mood instability, to antiretroviral (ART) and psychiatric medication adherence among HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals is unknown. We examined medication adherence among 44 HIV+/BD+ persons as compared to 33 demographically- and medically-comparable HIV+/BD− persons. Classification of adherent (≥90%) or non-adherent (<90%) based on proportion of correctly taken doses over 30 days was determined using electronic medication monitoring devices. HIV+/BD+ persons were significantly less likely to be ART adherent (47.7%) as compared to HIV+/BD− (90.9%) persons. Within the HIV+/BD+ group, mean psychiatric medication adherence was significantly worse than ART medication adherence, although there was a significant correlation between ART and psychiatric adherence levels. Importantly, 30-day ART adherence was associated with plasma virologic response among HIV+/BD+ individuals. Given the high overlap of HIV and BD, and the observed medication adherence difficulties for these persons, specialized adherence improvement interventions are needed.
PMCID: PMC3351543  PMID: 22041931
Medication Adherence; HIV/AIDS; Bipolar Disorder
20.  Modulation of BK Channel by MicroRNA-9 in Neurons After Exposure to HIV and Methamphetamine 
MicroRNAs (miR) regulate phenotype and function of neurons by binding to miR-response elements (MRE) in the 3′ untranslated regions (3′UTR) of various messenger RNAs to inhibit translation. MiR expression can be induced or inhibited by environmental factors like drug exposure and viral infection, leading to changes in cellular physiology. We hypothesized that the effects of methamphetamine (MA) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infection in the brain will induce changes in miR expression, and have downstream regulatory consequences in neurons. We first used a PCR-based array to screen for differential expression of 380 miRs in frontal cortex autopsy tissues of HIV-positive MA abusers and matched controls. These results showed significantly increased expression of the neuron-specific miR-9. In vitro, we used SH-SY5Y cells, an experimental system for dopaminergic studies, to determine miR expression by quantitative PCR after exposure to MA in the presence or absence of conditioned media from HIV-infected macrophages. Again, we found that miR-9 was significantly increased compared to controls. We also examined the inwardly rectifying potassium channel, KCNMA1, which has alternative splice variants that contain an MRE to miR-9. We identified alternate 3′UTRs of KCNMA1 both in vitro and in the autopsy specimens and found differential splice variant expression of KCNMA1, operating via the increased miR-9. Our results suggest that HIV and MA -induced elevated miR-9, leading to suppression of MRE-containing splice variants of KCNMA1, which may affect neurotransmitter release in dopaminergic neurons.
PMCID: PMC3715589  PMID: 23508624
BK-channel; microRNA; microRNA-9; methamphetamine; human immunodeficiency virus; HIV; neuron; brain
21.  Real-World Impact of Neurocognitive Deficits in Acute and Early HIV Infection 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;19(6):10.1007/s13365-013-0218-2.
The acute and early period of HIV-1 infection (AEH) is characterized by neuroinflammatory and immunopathogenic processes that can alter the integrity of neural systems and neurocognitive functions. However, the extent to which central nervous system changes in AEH confer increased risk of real-world functioning (RWF) problems is not known. In the present study, 34 individuals with AEH and 39 seronegative comparison participants completed standardized neuromedical, psychiatric, and neurocognitive research evaluations, alongside a comprehensive assessment of RWF that included cognitive symptoms in daily life, basic and instrumental activities of daily living, clinician-rated global functioning, and employment. Results showed that AEH was associated with a significantly increased risk of dependence in RWF, which was particularly elevated among AEH persons with global neurocognitive impairment (NCI). Among those with AEH, NCI (i.e., deficits in learning and information processing speed), mood disorders (i.e., Bipolar Disorder), and substance dependence (e.g., methamphetamine dependence) were all independently predictive of RWF dependence. Findings suggest that neurocognitively impaired individuals with AEH are at notably elevated risk of clinically significant challenges in normal daily functioning. Screening for neurocognitive, mood, and substance use disorders in AEH may facilitate identification of individuals at high risk of functional dependence who may benefit from psychological and medical strategies to manage their neuropsychiatric conditions.
PMCID: PMC3865175  PMID: 24277439
Infectious disease; Disability; Substance use; Neuropsychology; AIDS-related Dementia
22.  Effects of Dosage, Comorbidities, and Food on Isoniazid Pharmacokinetics in Peruvian Tuberculosis Patients 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2014;58(12):7164-7170.
Poor response to tuberculosis (TB) therapy might be attributable to subtherapeutic levels in drug-compliant patients. Pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters can be affected by several factors, such as comorbidities or the interaction of TB drugs with food. This study aimed to determine the PK of isoniazid (INH) in a Peruvian TB population under observed daily and twice-weekly (i.e., biweekly) therapy. Isoniazid levels were analyzed at 2 and 6 h after drug intake using liquid chromatography mass spectrometric methods. A total of 107 recruited patients had available PK data; of these 107 patients, 42.1% received biweekly isoniazid. The mean biweekly dose (12.8 mg/kg of body weight/day) was significantly lower than the nominal dose of 15 mg/kg/day (P < 0.001), and this effect was particularly marked in patients with concurrent diabetes and in males. The median maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and area under the concentration-time curve from 0 to 6 h (AUC0–6) were 2.77 mg/liter and 9.71 mg·h/liter, respectively, for daily administration and 8.74 mg/liter and 37.8 mg·h/liter, respectively, for biweekly administration. There were no differences in the Cmax with respect to gender, diabetes mellitus (DM) status, or HIV status. Food was weakly associated with lower levels of isoniazid during the continuation phase. Overall, 34% of patients during the intensive phase and 33.3% during the continuation phase did not reach the Cmax reference value. However, low levels of INH were not associated with poorer clinical outcomes. In our population, INH exposure was affected by weight-adjusted dose and by food, but comorbidities did not indicate any effect on PK. We were unable to demonstrate a clear relationship between the Cmax and treatment outcome in this data set. Twice-weekly weight-adjusted dosing of INH appears to be quite robust with respect to important potentially influential patient factors under program conditions.
PMCID: PMC4249529  PMID: 25224007
23.  HIV-infected persons with bipolar disorder are less aware of memory deficits as compared to HIV-infected persons without bipolar disorder 
Episodic memory deficits are common in HIV infection and bipolar disorder, but patient insight into such deficits remains unclear. Thirty-four HIV-infected individuals without bipolar disorder l(HIV+/BD−) and 47 HIV+ individuals with comorbid bipolar disorder (HIV+/BD+) were administered the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised to examine objective learning/memory functioning. Subjective memory complaints were assessed via the memory subscale of the Patient’s Assessment of Own Functioning Inventory. HIV+/BD+ individuals performed poorer on tests of visual learning and visual/verbal recall compared to HIV+/BD− participants (ps<0.05). Memory complaints only predicted verbal learning (at a trend level, p=0.10) and recall (p=0.03) among the HIV+/BD− individuals. Memory complaints were not associated with memory performance within the HIV+/BD+ group (ps>0.10). Memory complaints were associated with affective symptoms in both groups. These complaints were also predictive of immunosuppression, higher unemployment, and greater dependence on Activities of Daily Living among the HIV+/BD+ individuals (ps<0.05). Awareness of memory abilities was particularly poor among HIV+/BD+ individuals (i.e., objective learning/memory did not correspond to reported complaints), which has important implications for the capacity of these individuals to engage in error-monitoring and compensatory strategies in daily life. Memory complaints are associated with depressed mood regardless of group membership. Among HIV+/BD+ individuals, these complaints may also signify worse HIV disease status and problems with everyday functioning. Clinicians and researchers should be cognizant of what these complaints indicate in order to lead treatment most effectively; use of objective neurocognitive assessments may still be warranted when working with these populations.
PMCID: PMC3718038  PMID: 22571839
Self report; Infectious Diseases; Affective Disorders; Episodic Memory; Cognition
24.  Sustained Attention Deficits Among HIV-Positive Individuals With Comorbid Bipolar Disorder 
Difficulties with sustained attention have been found among both persons with HIV infection (HIV+) and bipolar disorder (BD). The authors examined sustained attention among 39 HIV+ individuals with BD (HIV+/BD+) and 33 HIV-infected individuals without BD (HIV+/BD−), using the Conners’ Continuous Performance Test–II (CPT–II). A Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score was also assigned to each participant as an overall indicator of daily functioning abilities. HIV+/BD+ participants had significantly worse performance on CPT–II omission errors, hit reaction time SE (Hit RT SE), variability of SE, and perseverations than HIV+/BD− participants. When examining CPT–II performance over the six study blocks, both HIV+/BD+ and HIV+/BD− participants evidenced worse performance on scores of commission errors and reaction times as the test progressed. The authors also examined the effect of current mood state (i.e., manic, depressive, euthymic) on CPT–II performance, but no significant differences were observed across the various mood states. HIV+/BD+ participants had significantly worse GAF scores than HIV+/BD− participants, which indicates poorer overall functioning in the dually-affected group; among HIV+/BD+ persons, significant negative correlations were found between GAF scores and CPT–II omission and commission errors, detectability, and perseverations, indicating a possible relationship between decrements in sustained attention and worse daily-functioning outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3575087  PMID: 22450615
25.  A Field Evaluation of the Hardy TB MODS Kit™ for the Rapid Phenotypic Diagnosis of Tuberculosis and Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107258.
Even though the WHO-endorsed, non-commercial MODS assay offers rapid, reliable TB liquid culture and phenotypic drug susceptibility testing (DST) at lower cost than any other diagnostic, uptake has been patchy. In part this reflects misperceptions about in-house assay quality assurance, but user convenience of one-stop procurement is also important. A commercial MODS kit was developed by Hardy Diagnostics (Santa Maria, CA, USA) with PATH (Seattle, WA, USA) to facilitate procurement, simplify procedures through readymade media, and enhance safety with a sealing silicone plate lid. Here we report the results from a large-scale field evaluation of the MODS kit in a government service laboratory.
Methods & Findings
2446 sputum samples were cultured in parallel in Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ), conventional MODS and in the MODS kit. MODS kit DST was compared with conventional MODS (direct) DST and proportion method (indirect) DST. 778 samples (31.8%) were Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture-positive. Compared to conventional MODS the sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values (95% confidence intervals) of the MODS Kit were 99.3% (98.3–99.8%), 98.3% (97.5–98.8%), 95.8% (94.0–97.1%), and 99.7% (99.3–99.9%). Median (interquartile ranges) time to culture-positivity (and rifampicin and isoniazid DST) was 10 (9–13) days for conventional MODS and 8.5 (7–11) for MODS Kit (p<0.01). Direct rifampicin and isoniazid DST in MODS kit was almost universally concordant with conventional MODS (97.9% agreement, 665/679 evaluable samples) and reference indirect DST (97.9% agreement, 687/702 evaluable samples).
MODS kit delivers performance indistinguishable from conventional MODS and offers a convenient, affordable alternative with enhanced safety from the sealing silicone lid. The availability in the marketplace of this platform, which conforms to European standards (CE-marked), readily repurposed for second-line DST in the near future, provides a fresh opportunity for improving equity of access to TB diagnosis and first and second-line DST in settings where the need is greatest.
PMCID: PMC4167337  PMID: 25225802

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