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1.  Guidelines for antiretroviral therapy in HIV-1 infected adults and adolescents 2014, Thailand 
New evidence has emerged regarding when to commence antiretroviral therapy (ART), optimal treatment regimens, management of HIV co-infection with opportunistic infections, and management of ART failure. The 2014 guidelines were developed by the collaborations of the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and the Thai AIDS Society (TAS). One of the major changes in the guidelines included recommending to initiating ART irrespective of CD4 cell count. However, it is with an emphasis that commencing HAART at CD4 cell count above 500 cell/mm3 is for public health, in term of preventing HIV transmission and personal benefit. In tuberculosis co-infected patients with CD4 cell counts ≤50 cells/mm3 or with CD4 cell counts >50 cells/mm3 who have severe clinical disease, ART should be initiated within 2 weeks of starting tuberculosis treatment. The preferred initial ART regimen in treatment naïve patients is efavirenz combined with tenofovir and emtricitabine or lamivudine. Plasma HIV viral load assessment should be done twice a year until achieving undetectable results; and will then be monitored once a year. CD4 cell count should be monitored every 6 months until CD4 cell count ≥350 cells/mm3 and with plasma HIV viral load <50 copies/mL; then it should be monitored once a year afterward. HIV drug resistance genotypic test is indicated when plasma HIV viral load >1,000 copies/mL while on ART. Ritonavir-boosted lopinavir or atazanavir in combination with optimized two nucleoside-analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors is recommended after initial ART regimen failure. Long-term ART-related safety monitoring has also been included in the guidelines.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12981-015-0053-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12981-015-0053-z
PMCID: PMC4407333  PMID: 25908935
2.  Adult-onset immunodeficiency in Thailand and Taiwan 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(8):725-734.
Background
Autoantibodies against interferon-γ are associated with severe disseminated opportunistic infection, but their importance and prevalence are unknown.
Methods
We enrolled 203 persons from sites in Thailand and Taiwan in five groups: 52 patients with disseminated, rapidly or slowly growing, nontuberculous mycobacterial infection (group 1); 45 patients with another opportunistic infection, with or without nontuberculous mycobacterial infection (group 2); 9 patients with disseminated tuberculosis (group 3); 49 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (group 4); and 48 healthy controls (group 5). Clinical histories were recorded, and blood specimens were obtained.
Results
Patients in groups 1 and 2 had CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts that were similar to those in patients in groups 4 and 5, and they were not infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Washed cells obtained from patients in groups 1 and 2 had intact cytokine production and a response to cytokine stimulation. In contrast, plasma obtained from these patients inhibited the activity of interferon-γ in normal cells. High-titer anti–interferon-γ autoantibodies were detected in 81% of patients in group 1, 96% of patients in group 2, 11% of patients in group 3, 2% of patients in group 4, and 2% of controls (group 5). Forty other anti-cytokine autoantibodies were assayed. One patient with cryptococcal meningitis had autoantibodies only against granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor. No other anti-cytokine autoantibodies or genetic defects correlated with infections. There was no familial clustering.
Conclusions
Neutralizing anti–interferon-γ autoantibodies were detected in 88% of Asian adults with multiple opportunistic infections and were associated with an adult-onset immunodeficiency akin to that of advanced HIV infection.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1111160
PMCID: PMC4190026  PMID: 22913682
3.  Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole versus trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole plus doxycycline as oral eradicative treatment for melioidosis (MERTH): a multicentre, double-blind, non-inferiority, randomised controlled trial 
Lancet  2014;383(9919):807-814.
Summary
Background
Melioidosis, an infectious disease caused by the Gram-negative bacillus Burkholderia pseudomallei, is difficult to cure. Antimicrobial treatment comprises intravenous drugs for at least 10 days, followed by oral drugs for at least 12 weeks. The standard oral regimen based on trial evidence is trimethoprim-sulfamethoxaxole (TMP-SMX) plus doxycycline. This regimen is used in Thailand but is associated with side-effects and poor adherence by patients, and TMP-SMX alone is recommended in Australia. We compared the efficacy and side-effects of TMP-SMX with TMP-SMX plus doxycycline for the oral phase of melioidosis treatment.
Methods
For this multi-centre, double-blind, non-inferiority, randomised placebo-controlled trial, we enrolled patients (aged ≥15 years) from five centres in northeast Thailand with culture-confirmed melioidosis who had received a course of parenteral antimicrobial drugs. Using a computer-generated sequence, we randomly assigned patients to receive TMP-SMX plus placebo or TMP-SMX plus doxycycline for 20 weeks (1:1; block size of ten, stratified by study site). We followed patients up every 4 months for 1 year and annually thereafter to the end of the study. The primary endpoint was culture-confirmed recurrent melioidosis, and the non-inferiority margin was a hazard ratio (HR) of 1·7. This study is registered with www.controlled-trials.com, number ISRCTN86140460.
Findings
We enrolled and randomly assigned 626 patients: 311 to TMP-SMX plus placebo and 315 to TMP-SMX plus doxycycline. 16 patients (5%) in the TMP-SMX plus placebo group and 21 patients (7%) in the TMP-SMX plus doxycycline group developed culture-confirmed recurrent melioidosis (HR 0·81; 95% CI 0·42–1·55). The criterion for non-inferiority was met (p=0.01). Adverse drug reactions were less common in the TMP-SMX plus placebo group than in the TMP-SMX plus doxycycline group (122 [39%] vs 167 [53%]).
Interpretation
Our findings suggest that TMP-SMX is not inferior to TMP-SMX plus doxycycline for the oral phase of melioidosis treatment, and is preferable on the basis of safety and tolerance by patients.
Funding
Thailand Research Fund, the Melioidosis Research Center, the Center of Excellence in Specific Health Problems in Greater Mekong Sub-region cluster, and the Wellcome Trust.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61951-0
PMCID: PMC3939931  PMID: 24284287
4.  Monitoring and impact of fluconazole serum and cerebrospinal fluid concentration in HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis-infected patients 
HIV medicine  2009;11(4):276-281.
Synopsis
Objectives
The aim of the present study was to assess fluconazole pharmacokinetic measures in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); and the correlation of these measures with clinical outcomes of invasive fungal infections.
Methods
A randomized trial was conducted in HIV-infected patients receiving 3 different regimens of fluconazole plus amphotericin B (AmB) for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis. Regimens included fluconazole 400 mg/day+AmB (AmB+Fluc400) or fluconazole 800 mg/day+AmB (AmB+Fluc800) (14 days followed by fluconazole alone at the randomized dose for 56 days); or AmB alone for 14 days followed by fluconazole 400 mg/day for 56 days. Serum (at 24 hours after dosing) and CSF samples were taken at Baseline and days 14 and 70 (serum only) for fluconazole measurement, using gas-liquid chromatography.
Results
Sixty-four treated patients had fluconazole measurements; 11 in AmB group, 12 in AmB+Fluc400 group and 41 in AmB+Fluc800 group. Day 14 serum concentration geometric means were 24.7 mg/L for AmB+Fluc400 and 37.0 mg/L for AmB+Fluc800. Correspondingly, CSF concentration geometric means were 25.1 mg/L and 32.7 mg/L. Day 14 Serum and CSF concentrations were highly correlated for AmB+Fluc800 (p<0.001, r=0.873) and for AmB+Fluc400 (p=0.005, r=0.943). Increased Serum AUC appears associated with decreased mortality at day 70 (p=0.061, odds-ratio=2.19) as well as with increased study composite endpoint success at Days 42 and 70 (p=0.081, odds-ratio=2.25 and 0.058, 4.08; respectively).
Conclusion
High fluconazole dosage (800 mg/day) for the treatment of HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis was associated with high serum and CSF fluconazole concentration. Overall, high serum and CSF concentration appear associated with increased survival and primary composite endpoint success.
doi:10.1111/j.1468-1293.2009.00778.x
PMCID: PMC3418324  PMID: 20002501
5.  Short Report: Consensus Guidelines for Dosing of Amoxicillin-Clavulanate in Melioidosis 
Melioidosis is an infectious disease endemic to northern Australia and Southeast Asia. In response to clinical confusion regarding the appropriate dose of amoxicillin-clavulanate, we have developed guidelines for the appropriate dosing of this second-line agent. For eradication therapy for melioidosis, we recommend 20/5 mg/kg orally, three times daily.
PMCID: PMC3034162  PMID: 18256414
7.  Increasing Incidence of Human Melioidosis in Northeast Thailand 
Melioidosis is a serious community-acquired infectious disease caused by the Gram-negative environmental bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. A prospective cohort study identified 2,243 patients admitted to Sappasithiprasong Hospital in northeast Thailand with culture-confirmed melioidosis between 1997 and 2006. These data were used to calculate an average incidence rate for the province of 12.7 cases of melioidosis per 100,000 people per year. Incidence increased incrementally from 8.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.2–10.0) in 2000 to 21.3 (95% CI = 19.2–23.6) in 2006 (P < 0.001; χ2 test for trend). Male sex, age ≥ 45 years, and either known or undiagnosed diabetes were independent risk factors for melioidosis. The average mortality rate from melioidosis over the study period was 42.6%. The minimum estimated population mortality rate from melioidosis in 2006 was 8.63 per 100,000 people (95% CI = 7.33–10.11), the third most common cause of death from infectious diseases in northeast Thailand after human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and tuberculosis.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.10-0038
PMCID: PMC2877420  PMID: 20519609
8.  Phenotypic and Functional Characterization of Human Memory T Cell Responses to Burkholderia pseudomallei 
Background
Infection with the Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei is an important cause of community-acquired lethal sepsis in endemic regions in southeast Asia and northern Australia and is increasingly reported in other tropical areas. In animal models, production of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) is critical for resistance, but in humans the characteristics of IFN-γ production and the bacterial antigens that are recognized by the cell-mediated immune response have not been defined.
Methods
Peripheral blood from 133 healthy individuals who lived in the endemic area and had no history of melioidosis, 60 patients who had recovered from melioidosis, and 31 other patient control subjects were stimulated by whole bacteria or purified bacterial proteins in vitro, and IFN-γ responses were analyzed by ELISPOT and flow cytometry.
Findings
B. pseudomallei was a potent activator of human peripheral blood NK cells for innate production of IFN-γ. In addition, healthy individuals with serological evidence of exposure to B. pseudomallei and patients recovered from active melioidosis developed CD4+ (and CD8+) T cells that recognized whole bacteria and purified proteins LolC, OppA, and PotF, members of the B. pseudomallei ABC transporter family. This response was primarily mediated by terminally differentiated T cells of the effector–memory (TEMRA) phenotype and correlated with the titer of anti-B. pseudomallei antibodies in the serum.
Conclusions
Individuals living in a melioidosis-endemic region show clear evidence of T cell priming for the ability to make IFN-γ that correlates with their serological status. The ability to detect T cell responses to defined B. pseudomallei proteins in large numbers of individuals now provides the opportunity to screen candidate antigens for inclusion in protein or polysaccharide–conjugate subunit vaccines against this important but neglected disease.
Author Summary
The Gram-negative bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei, is a public health problem in southeast Asia and northern Australia and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed Category B potential bioterrorism agent. It is the causative agent of melioidosis, and clinical manifestations vary from acute sepsis to chronic localized and latent infection, which can reactivate decades later. B. pseudomallei is the major cause of community-acquired pneumonia and septicemia in northeast Thailand. In spite of the medical importance of B. pseudomallei, little is known about the mechanisms of pathogenicity and the immunological pathways of host defense. There is no available vaccine, and the mortality rate in acute cases can exceed 40% with 10–15% of survivors relapsing or being reinfected despite prolonged and complete treatments. In this article, we describe cell-mediated immune responses to B. pseudomallei in humans living in northeast Thailand and demonstrate clear evidence of T cell priming in healthy seropositive individuals and patients who recovered from melioidosis. This is the most detailed study yet performed on the cell types that produce interferon-gamma to B. pseudomallei in humans and the antigens that they recognize and the first to study large sample numbers in the primary endemic focus of melioidosis in the world.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000407
PMCID: PMC2660609  PMID: 19352426
9.  The Impact of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy and its Interruption on Anxiety, Stress, Depression and Quality of Life in Thai Patients 
The Open AIDS Journal  2009;3:38-45.
Objective:
Investigation on anxiety, stress, depression, and quality of life (QoL) within STACCATO, a randomised trial of two treatment strategies: CD4 guided scheduled treatment interruption (STI) compared to continuous treatment (CT).
Participants:
Thai patients with HIV-infection enrolled in the STACCATO trial.
Methods:
Anxiety, depression assessed by the questionnaires Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and DASS, stress assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), and QoL evaluated by the HIV Medical Outcome Study (MOS-HIV) questionnaires. Answers to questionnaires were evaluated at 4 time-points: baseline, 24 weeks, 48 weeks and at the end of STACCATO.
Results:
A total of 251 patients answered the HADS/DASS and 241 answered the MOS-HIV of the 379 Thai patients enrolled into STACCATO (66.2 and 63.6% respectively). At baseline 16.3% and 7.2% of patients reported anxiety and depression using HADS scale. Using the DASS scale, 35.1% reported mild to moderate and 9.6% reported severe anxiety; 8.8% reported mild to moderate and 2.0% reported severe depression; 42.6% reported mild to moderate and 4.8% reported severe stress. We showed a significant improvement of the MHS across time (p=0.001), but no difference between arms (p=0.17). The summarized physical health status score (PHS) did not change during the trial (p=0.15) nor between arm (p=0.45). There was no change of MHS or PHS in the STI arm, taking into account the number of STI cycle (p=0.30 and 0.57) but MHS significant increased across time-points (p=0.007).
Conclusion:
Antiretroviral therapy improved mental health and QOL, irrespective of the treatment strategy.
doi:10.2174/1874613600903010038
PMCID: PMC2757643  PMID: 19812705
HIV infection; mental health; quality of life; treatment interruption.

Results 1-9 (9)