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1.  Trichomonas vaginalis Genital Infections: Progress and Challenges 
Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) infection is the most prevalent curable sexually transmitted infection in the United States and worldwide. Most TV infections are asymptomatic, and the accurate diagnosis of this infection has been limited by lack of sufficiently sensitive and specific diagnostic tests, particularly for men. To provide updates for the 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, a PubMed search was conducted of all TV literature published from 9 January 2004 through 24 September 2008. Approximately 175 pertinent abstracts and articles were reviewed and discussed with national experts. This article describes advances in TV diagnostics which have led to an improved understanding of the epidemiology of this pathogen, as well as potential biologic and epidemiological interactions between TV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). New data on treatment outcomes, metronidazole-resistant TV, management of nitroimidazole-allergic patients, frequency of recurrent TV infection following treatment, and screening considerations for TV in certain populations are also presented.
PMCID: PMC3897282  PMID: 22080269
2.  A CBPR Partnership Increases HIV Testing among men who have sex with men (MSM): Outcome Findings from a Pilot Test of the CyBER/testing Internet Intervention 
The Internet has emerged as an important tool for the delivery of health promotion and disease prevention interventions. Our community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership developed and piloted CyBER/testing, a culturally congruent intervention designed to promote HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) within existing Internet chat rooms. Using a quasi-experimental, single-group study design, cross-sectional data were collected from chat room participants, known as “chatters,” at pretest (n=346) and post-test (n=315). Extant profile data also were collected to describe the demographics of the online population. The intervention significantly increased self-reported HIV testing among chatters overall, increasing rates from 44.5% at pretest to nearly 60% at post-test (p<.001). Furthermore, chatters who reported having both male and female sexual partners had nearly 6 times the odds of reporting HIV testing at post-test. Findings suggest that chat room-based HIV testing intervention may increase testing among MSM who may be difficult to reach in traditional physical spaces.
PMCID: PMC3282160  PMID: 21393625
3.  Concordance of Rectal and Cervical Chlamydia trachomatis OmpA Genotypes Infecting Women in Birmingham, Alabama 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2010;37(1):32-33.
PMCID: PMC2796698  PMID: 19734824
chlamydia; OmpA; MOMP; genotype; serovar; cervical; rectal
4.  New Syphilis Cases and Concurrent STI Screening in a Southeastern U.S. HIV Clinic: A Call to Action 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2010;24(1):23-29.
Syphilis outbreaks in the United States have been reported since 2000 with highest rates in the South and many cases among HIV-infected individuals. We evaluated incident syphilis cases and concurrent gonorrhea and chlamydia screening at a southern HIV clinic. A retrospective cohort study included HIV-infected patients with at least one reactive plasma reagin (test for serum reagin antibodies to cardiolipin-cholesterol-lecithin antigen) and primary care visit from July 2004 to June 2007. Primary, secondary, and early latent syphilis cases were identified as incident syphilis and evaluation for gonorrhea and chlamydia within 1 month were described. Logistic regression was performed to determine factors associated with incident syphilis. Among 1544 patients, 40 incident syphilis cases were identified (5 primary, 29 secondary, and 6 early latent). The majority of patients were not virologically suppressed and only 25% had gonorrhea and chlamydia testing. In adjusted analyses, younger age (0.57 per 10 years, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.41–0.80) and minority race (2.26, 95% CI 1.12–4.59) were associated with incident syphilis. Among 40 incident syphilis cases, only 1 in 4 were further tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia. These low rates are concerning as concurrent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) increase risk for HIV transmission. HIV care provider education with emphasis on STI testing in the setting of incident syphilis is key in prevention.
PMCID: PMC2859761  PMID: 20095902
5.  Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests for Diagnosis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis Rectal Infections▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(5):1827-1832.
It is uncertain which methods for the diagnosis of rectal gonococcal and chlamydial infection are optimal. This study evaluated the performance of culture and nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for rectal chlamydial and gonococcal diagnosis. From July 2003 until February 2007, 441 rectal test sets were collected from individuals attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic and three HIV clinics who gave a history of anal intercourse or were women at high risk for Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis infections. Rectal swab specimens were tested using culture and commercial NAATs employing transcription-mediated amplification (TMA), strand displacement amplification (SDA), and PCR amplification. Test performance was evaluated using a rotating standard by which patients were classified as infected if either two or three comparator tests were positive. Test sensitivities for the detection of N. gonorrhoeae ranged from 66.7% to 71.9% for culture to 100% for TMA. Specificities were 99.7% to 100% for culture and greater than 95.5% for all three NAATs. Test sensitivities for C. trachomatis ranged from 36.1% to 45.7% for culture and among NAATS from 91.4% to 95.8% for PCR to 100% for TMA. Specificities of the NAATs ranged from 95.6% to 98.5% (two-of-three standard) and from 88.8% to 91.8% (three-of-three standard). Over 60% and 80% of gonococcal and chlamydial infections, respectively, among men who have sex with men and over 20% of chlamydial infections in women would have been missed if the rectal site had not been tested. Currently available NAATs are more sensitive for the detection of chlamydial and gonococcal infection at the rectal site than is culture.
PMCID: PMC2863861  PMID: 20335410
6.  The impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy on prevalence and incidence of cervical human papillomavirus infections in HIV-positive adolescents 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:295.
The implementation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) among HIV-positive patients results in immune reconstitution, slower progression of HIV disease, and a decrease in the occurrence of opportunistic infections. However, the impact of HAART on cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, clearance, and persistence in high-risk adolescents remains controversial.
HIV-positive and high-risk HIV-negative female adolescents were enrolled in the Reaching for Excellence in Adolescent Care and Health (REACH) longitudinal cohort study. At each semi-annual clinical visit, cervical lavage samples were tested for 30 HPV types. Type-specific and carcinogenic risk-specific HPV prevalence and incidence were compared in 373 eligible participants: 146 HIV-negative female adolescents with a median follow-up of 721.5 [IQR: 483-1301] days and 227 HIV-positive female adolescents. Of the 227 HIV-positive participants, a fixed set (n = 100) were examined both before and after HAART initiation; 70 were examined only before HAART initiation; and 57 were examined only after HAART initiation, with overall median follow-up of 271 [IQR: 86.5-473] and 427.25 [IQR: 200-871] days respectively for before and after HAART initiation.
Of the 373 eligible participants, 262 (70%) were infected with at least one type of HPV at baseline, and 78 of the remaining 111 (70%) became infected with at least one type of HPV by the end of the study. Overall, the incidence and prevalence of HPV types 58, 53/66, 68/70, and 31/33/35 were much higher than the established carcinogenic and HPV vaccine types 16 and 18, especially in HIV-positive females both before and after HAART initiation. Baseline prevalence for individual high-risk HPV types ranged, depending on type, from 0.7-10%, 1-17%, and 1-18% in the HIV-negative group, the HIV-positive before HAART initiation group, and the HIV-positive after HAART initiation group, respectively. Likewise, the incidence ranged, depending on HPV type, from 0.64-9.83 cases/100 PY, 3.00-12.80 cases/100 PY, and 1.49-17.05 cases/100 PY in the three groups, respectively. The patterns of each HPV type infection, clearance, and persistence did not differ considerably before or after the introduction of HAART and were clearly independent of CD4+ change within the short post-HAART follow-up period.
HAART did not immediately affect the incidence of type-specific HPV infections within a short-period follow-up; however, future studies are warranted in larger populations to evaluate HAART's impact over longer periods.
PMCID: PMC2965148  PMID: 20946655
7.  Adverse Events in a Cohort of HIV Infected Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women Treated with Nevirapine versus Non-Nevirapine Antiretroviral Medication 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(9):e12617.
Predictors of adverse events (AE) associated with nevirapine use are needed to better understand reports of severe rash or liver enzyme elevation (LEE) in HIV+ women.
AE rates following ART initiation were retrospectively assessed in a multi-site cohort of 612 women. Predictors of onset of rash or LEE were determined using univariate and multivariate analyses.
Principal Findings
Of 612 subjects, 152 (24.8%) initiated NVP-based regimens with 86 (56.6%) pregnant; 460 (75.2%) initiated non-NVP regimens with 67 (14.6%) pregnant.
No significant difference was found between regimens in the development of new grade ≥2 LEE (p = 0.885). Multivariate logistic regression demonstrated an increased likelihood of LEE with HCV co-infection (OR 2.502, 95% CI: 1.04 to 6, p = 0.040); pregnancy, NVP-based regimen, and baseline CD4 >250 cells/mm3 were not associated with this toxicity.
NVP initiation was associated with rash after controlling for CD4 and pregnancy (OR 2.78; 95%CI: 1.14–6.76), as was baseline CD4 >250 cells/mm3 when controlling for pregnancy and type of regimen (OR 2.68; 95% CI: 1.19–6.02 p = 0.017).
CD4 at initiation of therapy was a predictor of rash but not LEE with NVP use in HIV+ women. Pregnancy was not an independent risk factor for the development of AEs assessed. The findings from this study have significant implications for women of child-bearing age initiating NVP-based ART particularly in resource limited settings. This study sheds more confidence on the lack of LEE risk and the need to monitor rash with the use of this medication.
PMCID: PMC2935387  PMID: 20838641
8.  Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests for Diagnosis of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Oropharyngeal Infections▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(4):902-907.
The optimal methods for the diagnosis of pharyngeal Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection are uncertain. The objective of this study was to define the performance of culture and nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) for the diagnosis of pharyngeal N. gonorrhoeae. In this cross-sectional study, males and females >15 years old who acknowledged performing fellatio or cunnilingus (in the previous 2 months) were recruited from three clinics (two human immunodeficiency virus clinics and one sexually transmitted diseases clinic) located in Birmingham, AL. The test performance of culture for N. gonorrhoeae, the Gen-Probe Aptima Combo 2 transcription-mediated amplification assay (TMA), the BD ProbeTec ET amplified DNA strand displacement assay (SDA), and the Roche Cobas Amplicor PCR was defined by using a rotating “gold standard” of any positive results by two or three of the three tests that excluded the test being evaluated. A total of 961 evaluable test sets were collected. On the basis of a rotating gold standard of positive results by two of three comparator tests, the sensitivity and the specificity were as follows: culture for N. gonorrhoeae, 50.0% and 99.4%, respectively; PCR, 80.3% and 73.0%, respectively; TMA, 83.6% and 98.6%, respectively; and SDA, 93.2% and 96.3%, respectively. On the basis of a rotating gold standard of positive results by three of three comparator tests, the sensitivity and specificity were as follows: culture for N. gonorrhoeae, 65.4% and 99.0%, respectively; PCR, 91.9% and 71.8%, respectively; TMA, 100% and 96.2%, respectively; and SDA, 97.1% and 94.2%, respectively. In conclusion, currently available NAATs are more sensitive than culture for the detection of pharyngeal gonorrhea in at-risk patients. PCR is substantially less specific than culture, TMA, or SDA and should not be used for the detection of pharyngeal gonorrhea.
PMCID: PMC2668347  PMID: 19193848
10.  Duration of Persistence of Gonococcal DNA Detected by Ligase Chain Reaction in Men and Women following Recommended Therapy for Uncomplicated Gonorrhea 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(10):3596-3601.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection remains relatively common in the United States, representing a public health challenge. Ligase chain reaction (LCR) is both highly sensitive and specific for the detection of N. gonorrhoeae in urine and patient-obtained vaginal swab specimens. Because of the LCR test's exquisite sensitivity, it may potentially detect DNA from nonviable organisms following effective therapy, leading to false-positive test results and unnecessary additional treatment. The purpose of the present study was to determine the duration that gonococcal DNA is detectable by LCR following therapy for uncomplicated gonococcal infection. One hundred thirty men and women between the ages of 16 and 50 years presenting to a sexually transmitted disease clinic with urogenital gonorrhea were enrolled. After the standard history was taken and a genital examination was done, the patients were asked to submit either a urine specimen (men) or a urine specimen plus a self-obtained vaginal swab specimen (women) for N. gonorrhoeae testing by LCR at the initial visit and each day during the study period. At enrollment, patients were treated with single doses of ofloxacin, cefixime, or ceftriaxone. The median time to a negative urine LCR test result was 1 day for the men (mean, 1.6 ± 0.14 days) and 2 days for the women (mean, 1.7 ± 0.19 days). Among the women the clearance time was significantly longer for vaginal specimens (mean, 2.8 ± 0.30 days) than for urine specimens (mean, 1.7 ± 0.11 days). Irrespective of patient gender and specimen type, gonococcal DNA can be expected to be absent from urogenital specimens within 2 weeks following successful therapy.
PMCID: PMC130863  PMID: 12354851

Results 1-10 (10)