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1.  Treatment Outcomes of New Tuberculosis Patients Hospitalized in Kampala, Uganda: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90614.
In most resource limited settings, new tuberculosis (TB) patients are usually treated as outpatients. We sought to investigate the reasons for hospitalisation and the predictors of poor treatment outcomes and mortality in a cohort of hospitalized new TB patients in Kampala, Uganda
Methods and findings
Ninety-six new TB patients hospitalised between 2003 and 2006 were enrolled and followed for two years. Thirty two were HIV-uninfected and 64 were HIV-infected. Among the HIV-uninfected, the commonest reasons for hospitalization were low Karnofsky score (47%) and need for diagnostic evaluation (25%). HIV-infected patients were commonly hospitalized due to low Karnofsky score (72%), concurrent illness (16%) and diagnostic evaluation (14%). Eleven HIV uninfected patients died (mortality rate 19.7 per 100 person-years) while 41 deaths occurred among the HIV-infected patients (mortality rate 46.9 per 100 person years). In all patients an unsuccessful treatment outcome (treatment failure, death during the treatment period or an unknown outcome) was associated with duration of TB symptoms, with the odds of an unsuccessful outcome decreasing with increasing duration. Among HIV-infected patients, an unsuccessful treatment outcome was also associated with male sex (P = 0.004) and age (P = 0.034). Low Karnofsky score (aHR = 8.93, 95% CI 1.88 – 42.40, P = 0.001) was the only factor significantly associated with mortality among the HIV-uninfected. Mortality among the HIV-infected was associated with the composite variable of CD4 and ART use, with patients with baseline CD4 below 200 cells/µL who were not on ART at a greater risk of death than those who were on ART, and low Karnofsky score (aHR = 2.02, 95% CI 1.02 – 4.01, P = 0.045).
Poor health status is a common cause of hospitalisation for new TB patients. Mortality in this study was very high and associated with advanced HIV Disease and no use of ART.
PMCID: PMC3948371  PMID: 24608875
2.  Natural history of Mycoplasma genitalium Infection in a Cohort of Female Sex Workers in Kampala, Uganda 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2013;40(5):422-427.
There have been few studies of the natural history of Mycoplasma genitalium in women. We investigated patterns of clearance and recurrence of untreated M. genitalium infection in a cohort of female sex workers in Uganda.
Women diagnosed as having M. genitalium infection at enrollment were retested for the infection at 3-month intervals. Clearance of infection was defined as testing negative after having a previous positive result: persistence was defined as testing positive after a preceding positive test result, and recurrence as testing positive after a preceding negative test result. Adjusted hazard ratios for M. genitalium clearance were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression.
Among 119 participants infected with M. genitalium at enrollment (prevalence, 14%), 55% had spontaneously cleared the infection within 3 months; 83%, within 6; and 93%, within 12 months. The overall clearance rate was 25.7/100 person-years (pyr; 95% confidence interval, 21.4–31.0). HIV-positive women cleared M. genitalium infection more slowly than did HIV-negative women (20.6/100 pyr vs. 31.3/100 pyr, P = 0.03). The clearance rate was slower among HIV-positive women with CD4 counts less than 350/mL3 than among those with higher CD4 counts (9.88/100 pyr vs. 29.5/100 pyr, P < 0.001). After clearing the infection, M. genitalium infection recurred in 39% women.
M. genitalium is likely to persist and recur in the female genital tract. Because of the urogenital tract morbidity caused by the infection and the observed association with HIV acquisition, further research is needed to define screening modalities, especially in populations at high risk for HIV, and to optimize effective and affordable treatment options.
PMCID: PMC3928562  PMID: 23588134
3.  Alcohol use, Mycoplasma genitalium and other STIs associated with HIV incidence among women at high risk in Kampala, Uganda 
In 2008, the first clinic for women involved in high risk sexual behaviour was established in Kampala, offering targeted HIV prevention. This paper describes rates, determinants and trends of HIV incidence over 3 years.
1027 women at high risk were enrolled into a closed cohort. At 3-monthly visits, data were collected on socio-demographic variables and risk behaviour; biological samples were tested for HIV and other STIs. Hazard ratios (HR) for HIV incidence were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression, among the 646 women HIV negative at enrolment.
HIV incidence was 3.66/100pyr and declined from 6.80/100pyr in the first calendar year to 2.24/100pyr and 2.53/100pyr in the following years (P-trend=0.003). Socio-demographic and behavioural factors independently associated with HIV incidence were younger age, younger age at first sex, alcohol use (including frequency of use and binge drinking), number of paying clients in the past month, inconsistent condom use with clients, and not being pregnant. HIV incidence was also independently associated with M. genitalium infection at enrolment (aHR=2.28, 95%CI: 1.15-4.52), and with N. gonorrhoeae (aHR=5.91, 95%CI: 3.04-11.49) and T. vaginalis infections at the most recent visit (aHR=2.72, 95%CI: 1.27-5.84). The PAF of HIV incidence for alcohol use was 63.5% (95%CI 6.5%-85.8%), and for treatable STI/RTI was 70.0% (95%CI 18.8%-87.5%).
Alcohol use and STIs remain important risk factors for HIV acquisition, which call for more intensive control measures in women at high risk. Further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the association between Mycoplasma genitalium and HIV acquisition.
PMCID: PMC3529920  PMID: 23075920
HIV incidence; Mycoplasma genitalium; STIs; alcohol; women at high risk; risk factors; Uganda
4.  Profile of T Cell Recognition of HIV Type 1 Consensus Group M Gag and Nef Peptides in a Clade A1- and D-Infected Ugandan Population 
Reagents for evaluating non-clade B HIV-specific T cell responses are uncommon. Peptides based on highly conserved HIV-1 consensus group M sequences that are phylogenetically closer to most circulating strains may provide potential alternative reagents in populations with diverse infections, and may be relevant for vaccine design. Recognition of such reagents in clade A1-and D-infected populations has not been previously evaluated. Interferon (IFN)-γ ELISpot assay was used to evaluate T cell recognition of Gag and Nef peptides based on consensus group M sequences in 50 treatment-naive adults predominantly infected with HIV-1 clades A1 and D. Gag-induced T cell responses were correlated with gag sequence diversity. Infecting clades were determined from gag sequences for 45 of the 50 subjects as 40% clade A1 (18/45), 45% clade D (20/45), 2% clade C (1/45), 2% A1/C recombinant (1/45), 2% A1/D (1/45), 7% CRF10_CD (3/45), and 2% U (unclassifiable) (1/45). The mean genetic divergence and diversity of clade A and D gag region compared to group M consensus sequences at synonymous and nonsynonymous nucleotide and amino acid levels were not always significant. Gag peptides were targeted at significantly higher frequency [88% (44/50)] than Nef [64% (32/50)]; p=0.014, although their mean IFN-γ magnitudes were comparable ([3703 (95% CI 2567–4839)] vs. [2120 (95% CI 478–3762)]), respectively. Measurable virus-induced IFN-γ responses were detected in 96% (48/50) individuals, primarily targeting the more conserved Gag p24 and Nef central core regions. Use of these reagents to screen for HIV-specific IFN-γ responses may mitigate the challenge of viral diversity; although this targeting is apparently biased toward a few highly conserved epitopes.
PMCID: PMC3316116  PMID: 21867408
5.  Effectiveness of the Standard WHO Recommended Retreatment Regimen (Category II) for Tuberculosis in Kampala, Uganda: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(3):e1000427.
Prospective evaluation of the effectiveness of the WHO-recommended standardized retreatment regimen for tuberculosis by Edward Jones-López and colleagues reveals an unacceptable proportion of unsuccessful outcomes.
Each year, 10%–20% of patients with tuberculosis (TB) in low- and middle-income countries present with previously treated TB and are empirically started on a World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended standardized retreatment regimen. The effectiveness of this retreatment regimen has not been systematically evaluated.
Methods and Findings
From July 2003 to January 2007, we enrolled smear-positive, pulmonary TB patients into a prospective cohort to study treatment outcomes and mortality during and after treatment with the standardized retreatment regimen. Median time of follow-up was 21 months (interquartile range 12–33 months). A total of 29/148 (20%) HIV-uninfected and 37/140 (26%) HIV-infected patients had an unsuccessful treatment outcome. In a multiple logistic regression analysis to adjust for confounding, factors associated with an unsuccessful treatment outcome were poor adherence (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] associated with missing half or more of scheduled doses 2.39; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10–5.22), HIV infection (2.16; 1.01–4.61), age (aOR for 10-year increase 1.59; 1.13–2.25), and duration of TB symptoms (aOR for 1-month increase 1.12; 1.04–1.20). All patients with multidrug-resistant TB had an unsuccessful treatment outcome. HIV-infected individuals were more likely to die than HIV-uninfected individuals (p<0.0001). Multidrug-resistant TB at enrolment was the only common risk factor for death during follow-up for both HIV-infected (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 17.9; 6.0–53.4) and HIV-uninfected (14.7; 4.1–52.2) individuals. Other risk factors for death during follow-up among HIV-infected patients were CD4<50 cells/ml and no antiretroviral treatment (aHR 7.4, compared to patients with CD4≥200; 3.0–18.8) and Karnofsky score <70 (2.1; 1.1–4.1); and among HIV-uninfected patients were poor adherence (missing half or more of doses) (3.5; 1.1–10.6) and duration of TB symptoms (aHR for a 1-month increase 1.9; 1.0–3.5).
The recommended regimen for retreatment TB in Uganda yields an unacceptable proportion of unsuccessful outcomes. There is a need to evaluate new treatment strategies in these patients.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
One-third of the world's population is currently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), and 5%–10% of HIV-uninfected individuals will go on to develop disease and become infectious. The risk of progression from infection to disease in HIV infected is much higher. If left untreated, each person with active TB may infect 10 to 15 people every year, reinforcing the public health priority of controlling TB through adequate treatment. Patients with a previous history of TB treatment are a major concern for TB programs throughout the world because these patients are at a much higher risk of harboring a form of TB that is resistant to the drugs most frequently used, resulting in poorer treatment outcomes and significantly complicating current management strategies. More then 1 million people in over 90 countries need to be “re-treated” after failing, interrupting, or relapsing from previous TB treatment.
Every year, 10%–20% of people with TB in low- and middle-income countries are started on a standardized five-drug retreatment regimen as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Yet, unlike treatment regimens for newly diagnosed TB patients, the recommended retreatment regimen (also known as the category II regimen) has never been properly evaluated in randomized clinical trials or prospective cohort studies. Rather, this regimen was recommended by experts before the current situation of widespread drug-resistant TB and HIV infection.
Why Was This Study Done?
WHO surveillance data suggest that the retreatment regimen is successful in about 70% of patients, but retrospective studies that have evaluated the regimen's efficacy showed variable treatment responses with success rates ranging from 26% to 92%. However, these studies have generally only assessed outcomes at the completion of the retreatment regimen, and few have examined the risk of TB recurrence, especially in people who are also infected with HIV and so are more likely to experience TB recurrence—an issue of particular concern in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, in this study based in Kampala, Uganda, the researchers conducted a prospective cohort study to assess treatment and survival outcomes in patients previously treated for TB and to identify factors associated with poor outcomes. Given the overwhelming contribution of HIV infection to death, the researchers categorized their survival analysis by HIV status.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited consecutive smear-positive TB patients who were admitted to Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda, for the retreatment of TB with the standard retreatment regimen between July 2003 and January 2007. Eligible patients received daily directly observed therapy and after hospital discharge, were seen every month during their 8-month TB-retreatment course. Home health visitors assessed treatment adherence through treatment card review, monthly pill counts, and patient self-report. After the completion of the retreatment regimen, patients were evaluated for TB recurrence every 3 months for a median of 21 months. The researchers then used a statistical model to identify treatment outcomes and mortality HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected patients.
The researchers found that 29/148 (20%) of HIV-uninfected and 37/140 (26%) of HIV-infected patients had an unsuccessful treatment outcome. Factors associated with an unsuccessful treatment outcome were poor adherence, HIV infection, increasing age, and duration of TB symptoms. All patients with multidrug resistant TB, a form of TB that is resistant to the two most important drugs used to treat TB, had an unsuccessful treatment outcome. In addition, HIV-infected subjects were more likely to die than HIV-uninfected subjects (p<0.0001), and having multidrug resistant TB at enrollment was the only common risk factor for death during follow-up for both HIV-infected and HIV uninfected patients. Other risk factors for death among HIV-infected patients were CD4<50 cells/ml and no antiretroviral therapy treatment and among HIV-uninfected patients were poor adherence and duration of TB symptoms.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The researchers found that although 70%–80% of patients had a successful treatment outcome on completion of antituberculous therapy (a result that compares well with retrospective studies), the standard retreatment regimen had low treatment response rates and was associated with poor long-term outcomes in certain subgroups of patients, particularly those with multidrug resistant TB and HIV.
These findings indicate that the standard retreatment approach to TB as implemented in low- and middle-income settings is inadequate and stress the importance of a new, more effective, strategies. Improved access to rapid diagnostics for TB drug-resistance, second-line TB treatment, and antiretroviral therapy is urgently needed, along with a strong evidence base to guide clinicians and policy makers on how best to use these tools.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization has information on TB, TB retreatment, and multidrug-resistant TB
WHO also provides information on TB/HIV coinfection
The Stop TB Partnership provides information on the global plan to stop TB
PMCID: PMC3058098  PMID: 21423586
6.  Rate and Amplification of Drug Resistance among Previously-Treated Patients with Tuberculosis in Kampala, Uganda 
Drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis has emerged as a global threat. In resource-constrained settings, patients with a history of tuberculosis (TB) treatment may have drug-resistant disease and may experience poor outcomes. There is a need to measure the extent of and risk factors for drug resistance in such patients.
From July 2003 through November 2006, we enrolled 410 previously treated patients with TB in Kampala, Uganda. We measured the prevalence of resistance to first- and second-line drugs and analyzed risk factors associated with baseline and acquired drug resistance.
The prevalence of multidrug-resistant TB was 12.7% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 9.6%–16.3%). Resistance to second-line drugs was low. Factors associated with multidrug-resistant TB at enrollment included a history of treatment failure (odds ratio, 23.6; 95% CI, 7.7–72.4), multiple previous TB episodes (odds ratio, 15.6; 95% CI, 5.0–49.1), and cavities present on chest radiograph (odds ratio, 5.9; 95% CI, 1.2–29.5). Among a cohort of 250 patients, 5.2% (95% CI, 2.8%–8.7%) were infected with M. tuberculosis that developed additional drug resistance. Amplification of drug resistance was associated with existing drug resistance at baseline (P<.01) and delayed sputum culture conversion (P<.01).
The burden of drug resistance in previously treated patients with TB in Uganda is sizeable, and the risk of generating additional drug resistance is significant. There is an urgent need to improve the treatment for such patients in low-income countries.
PMCID: PMC2883442  PMID: 18808360

Results 1-6 (6)