Surgical site infections (SSIs) are difficult to treat and are associated with substantially longer hospital stay, higher treatment cost, morbidity and mortality, particularly when the etiological agent is multidrug-resistant (MDR). To address the limited data in Uganda on SSIs, we present the spectrum of bacteria isolated from hospitalized patients, the magnitude and impact of MDR bacterial isolates among patients with SSIs.
A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted from September 2011 through April 2012 involving 314 patients with SSIs in the obstetrics & gynecology, general surgery and orthopedic wards at Mulago National Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. Wound swabs were taken and processed using standard microbiological methods. Clinico-demographic characteristics of patients were obtained using structured questionnaires and patients’ files.
Of the 314 enrolled patients with SSIs (mean age 29.7 ±13.14 years), 239 (76.1%) were female. More than half of the patients were from obstetrics and gynecology (62.1%, 195/314). Of 314 wound swabs taken, 68.8% (216/314) were culture positive aerobically, yielding 304 bacterial isolates; of which 23.7% (72/304) were Escherichia coli and 21.1% (64/304) were Staphylococcus aureus. More than three quarters of Enterobacteriaceae were found to be extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) producers and 37.5% of S. aureus were Methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA). MDR occurred in 78.3% (238/304) of the isolates; these were more among Gram-negative bacteria (78.6%, 187/238) compared to Gram-positive bacteria (21.4%, 51/238), (p-value < 0.0001, χ2 = 49.219). Amikacin and imepenem for ESBL-producing Enterobacteriacea and vancomycin for MRSA showed excellent performance except that they remain expensive drugs in Uganda.
Most SSIs at Mulago National Hospital are due to MDR bacteria. Isolation of MRSA and ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in higher proportions than previously reported calls for laboratory guided SSIs- therapy and strengthening of infection control surveillance in this setting.
Antimicrobial resistance; Surgical patients; Uganda
The world health organization (WHO) declared tuberculosis (TB) a global emergency, mainly affecting people in sub-Saharan Africa. However there is little data about the burden of TB among adolescents. We estimated the prevalence and incidence of TB and assessed factors associated with TB among adolescents aged 12–18 years in a rural population in Uganda in order to prepare the site for phase III clinical trials with novel TB vaccines among adolescents.
In a prospective cohort study, we recruited 5000 adolescents and followed them actively, every 6 months, for 1–2 years. Participants suspected of having TB were those who had any of; TB signs and symptoms, history of TB contact or a positive tuberculin skin test (TST) of ≥10 mm. Laboratory investigations included sputum smear microscopy and culture.
Of the 5000 participants, eight culture confirmed cases of TB were found at baseline: a prevalence of 160/100,000 (95% confidence interval (CI), 69–315). There were 13 incident TB cases detected in an average of 1.1 person years: an incidence of 235/100,000 person years (95% CI, 125–402). None of the confirmed TB cases were HIV infected. Predictors for prevalent TB disease were: a history of TB contact and a cough ≥ 2 weeks at baseline and being out of school, while the only predictor for incident TB was a positive TST during follow-up.
The TB incidence among adolescents in this rural part of Uganda seemed too low for a phase III TB vaccine trial. However, the study site demonstrated capability to handle a large number of participants with minimal loss to follow-up and its suitability for future clinical trials. Improved contact tracing in TB program activities is likely to increase TB case detection among adolescents. Future studies should explore possible pockets of higher TB incidence in urban areas and among out of school youth.
The diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis remains a challenge worldwide. The Xpert MTB/RIF test, a rapid mycobacteria tuberculosis diagnostic tool, was recommended for use in children based on data from adult studies. We evaluated the performance of the Xpert MTB/RIF test for the diagnosis of childhood pulmonary tuberculosis using one induced sputum sample and described clinical characteristics associated with a positive Xpert MTB/RIF test. The sputum culture on both Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) and Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) was the gold standard.
We consecutively enrolled 250 Ugandan children aged 2 months to 12 years with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis between January 2011 and January 2012 into a cross-sectional diagnostic study at a tertiary care facility in Uganda.
We excluded data from 15 children (13 contaminated culture and 2 indeterminate MTB/RIF test results) and analysed 235 records. The Xpert MTB/RIF test had a sensitivity of 79.4% (95% CI 63.2 - 89.7) and a specificity of 96.5% (95% CI 93 – 98.3). The Xpert MTB/RIF test identified 13 of the 14 (92.9%) smear positive-culture positive and 14 of the 20 (70%) smear negative -culture positive cases. The Xpert MTB/RIF identified twice as many cases as the smear microscopy (79.4% Vs 41.2%). Age > 5 years (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.4 – 7.4, p value 0.005), a history of Tuberculosis (TB) contact (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.1 – 5.2, p value 0.03), and a positive tuberculin skin test (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.7 – 10, p value 0.02) was associated with a positive Xpert MTB/RIF test. The median time to TB detection was 49.5 days (IQR 38.4-61.2) for LJ, and 6 days (IQR 5 – 11.5) for MGIT culture and 2 hours for the Xpert MTB/RIF test.
The Xpert MTB/RIF test on one sputum sample rapidly and correctly identified the majority of children with culture confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis with high specificity.
Children; Pulmonary tuberculosis; Sensitivity; Specificity; Xpert MTB/RIF
One of the most effective and widely used antituberculosis (anti-TB) drugs is isoniazid (INH), a prodrug activated via oxidation that forms an adduct with NAD+ to inhibit NADH-dependent targets of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, such as enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (InhA). The metabolic by-products and potentially toxic intermediates resulting from INH therapy have been identified through a large body of work. However, an INH-NAD adduct or structures related to this adduct have not been identified in specimens from human TB patients or animal models of TB. Analyses by mass spectrometry of urine collected from TB patients in a study conducted by the NIAID-funded Tuberculosis Research Unit identified 4-isonicotinoylnicotinamide (C12H9N3O2) as a novel metabolite of INH therapy. This compound was formed by M. tuberculosis strains in a KatG-dependent manner but could also be produced by mice treated with INH independent of an M. tuberculosis infection. Thus, the 4-isonicotinoylnicotinamide observed in human urine samples is likely derived from the degradation of oxidized INH-NAD adducts and provides direct evidence of host INH activation.
The occurrence of paratuberculosis in Ugandan cattle has recently been reported but there is no information on the strains of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) responsible for the disease. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterise MAP from seropositive cattle and paratuberculosis lesions in tissues obtained from slaughtered cattle in Uganda.
Twenty one isolates of MAP were differentiated into 11 genotype profiles using seven genotyping loci consisting of Insertion Sequence 1311(IS1311), Mycobacterial interspersed repeat units (MIRU) (loci 2, 3), Variable number tandem repeats (VNTR) locus 32 and Short sequence repeats (SSR) (loci 1, 2 and 8). Three different IS1311 types and three MIRU 2 profiles (7, 9, 15 repeats) were observed. Two allelic variants were found based on MIRU 3 (1, 5 repeats), while VNTR 32 showed no polymorphism in any of the isolates from which it was successfully amplified. SSR Locus 1 revealed 6 and 7 G1 repeats among the isolates whereas SSR locus 2 revealed 10, 11 and 12 G2 repeats. SSR locus 8 was the most polymorphic locus. Phylogenetic analysis of SSR locus 8 sequences based on their single nucleotide polymorphisms separated the isolates into 8 genotypes. We found that the use of Ethylene glycol as a PCR additive improved the efficiency of the PCR reactions for MIRUs (2, 3), VNTR 32 and SSR (loci 1 and 2).
There is a high strain diversity of MAP in Uganda since 21 isolates could be classified into 11 genotypes. The combination of the seven loci used in this study results into a very precise discrimination of isolates. However analysis of SNPs on locus alone 8 is very close to this combination. Most of the genotypes in this study are novel since they differed in one or more loci from other isolates of cattle origin in different studies. The large number of MAP strains within a relatively small area of the country implies that the epidemiology of paratuberculosis in Uganda may be complicated and needs further investigation. Finally, the use of Ethylene glycol as a PCR additive increases the efficiency of PCR amplification of difficult templates.
Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis; Cattle; Uganda; SSR; MIRUs; Genotyping; IS1311 PCR-REA
Sputum culture is the gold standard for diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). Although mostly used for research, culture is recommended by the World Health Organization for TB diagnosis among HIV infected smear negative PTB suspects. Even then, the number of sputum samples required remains unspecified. Here, we determined the Incremental Yield (IY) and number of samples required to diagnose an additional PTB case upon second and third serial sputum culture.
This was a cross sectional study done between January and March 2011. Serial sputum samples were provided by participants within two days and cultured using Lowenstein Jensen (LJ) and Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) methods. A PTB case was defined as a positive culture on either one or both methods. The IY from the second and third serial cultures was determined and the reciprocal of the product of the fractions of IY provided the number of samples required for an additional PTB case. Of the 170 smear negative PTB suspects, 62 (36.5%) met the case definition. The IY of the second sample culture was 12.7%, 23.6% and 12.6% and for the third sample culture was 6.8%, 7.5% and 7.3% with LJ, MGIT and LJ or MGIT, respectively. The number of samples required for an additional PTB case and 95% CI upon the second sample culture were 29.9 (16.6, 156.5), 11.3 (7.6, 21.9) and 20.8 (12.5, 62.7); while for the third sample culture were 55.6 (26.4, 500.4), 35.7 (19.0, 313.8) and 36.1 (19.1, 330.9) by LJ, MGIT and LJ or MGIT respectively.
Among HIV infected smear negative PTB suspects in Kampala, 93% of PTB cases are diagnosed upon the second serial sputum culture. The number of cultures needed to diagnose an additional PTB case, ranges from 11–30 and 35–56 by the second and third sputum samples, respectively.
There is limited data on Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Uganda where, as in most low income countries, the routine use of chromogenic agar for MRSA detection is not affordable. We aimed to determine MRSA prevalence among patients, healthcare workers (HCW) and the environment in the burns units at Mulago hospital, and compare the performance of CHROMagar with oxacillin for detection of MRSA.
One hundred samples (from 25 patients; 36 HCW; and 39 from the environment, one sample per person/item) were cultured for the isolation of Staphylococcus aureus. Forty one S. aureus isolates were recovered from 13 patients, 13 HCW and 15 from the environment, all of which were oxacillin resistant and mecA/femA/nuc-positive. MRSA prevalence was 46% (41/89) among patients, HCW and the environment, and 100% (41/41) among the isolates. For CHROMagar, MRSA prevalence was 29% (26/89) among patients, HCW and the environment, and 63% (26/41) among the isolates. There was high prevalence of multidrug resistant isolates, which concomitantly possessed virulence and antimicrobial resistance determinants, notably biofilms, hemolysins, toxin and ica genes. One isolate positive for all determinants possessed the bhp homologue which encodes the biofilm associated protein (BAP), a rare finding in human isolates. SCCmec type I was the most common at 54% prevalence (22/41), followed by SCCmec type V (15%, 6/41) and SCCmec type IV (7%, 3/41). SCCmec types II and III were not detected and 10 isolates (24%) were non-typeable.
Hyper-virulent methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus is prevalent in the burns unit of Mulago hospital.
Although there are over 90 serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae, antimicrobial resistance is predominantly found in a limited number of serotypes/serogroups, namely 6, 9, 14, 19 and 23. There is no compelling mechanism to account for this restriction. We aimed to determine whether serotypes commonly associated with drug resistance have higher transformation frequencies than those that are susceptible to antimicrobial agents. An in vitro investigation of the genetic transformation frequency of drug-resistant serotypes compared with that of susceptible serotypes under the influence of synthetic competence-stimulating peptides was performed. The transforming DNA was genomic DNA carrying a Tn916-like transposon containing the mefE gene that confers resistance to erythromycin. It was observed that serotypes 6, 9, 14, 19 and 23, which are highly associated with drug resistance, do not exhibit a higher degree of transformation efficiency than other serotypes. These findings suggest that the association of serotype with drug resistance is likely due to prolonged exposure to transforming DNA resulting from longer nasopharyngeal carriage and to a greater selective pressure from antimicrobials, particularly in children. This is the first study to compare the transformation frequencies of pneumococcal clinical isolates using genomic DNA that carries the composite Tn916-like element.
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Drug-resistant serotypes/serogroups; Transformation frequency; Tn916 transposon; mefE gene
The most common method for detection of drug resistant (DR) TB in resource-limited settings (RLSs) is indirect susceptibility testing on Lowenstein-Jensen medium (LJ) which is very time consuming with results available only after 2–3 months. Effective therapy of DR TB is therefore markedly delayed and patients can transmit resistant strains. Rapid and accurate tests suitable for RLSs in the diagnosis of DR TB are thus highly needed. In this study we compared two direct techniques - Nitrate Reductase Assay (NRA) and Microscopic Observation Drug Susceptibility (MODS) for rapid detection of MDR-TB in a high burden RLS. The sensitivity, specificity, and proportion of interpretable results were studied. Smear positive sputum was collected from 245 consecutive re-treatment TB patients attending a TB clinic in Kampala, Uganda. Samples were processed at the national reference laboratory and tested for susceptibility to rifampicin and isoniazid with direct NRA, direct MODS and the indirect LJ proportion method as reference. A total of 229 specimens were confirmed as M. tuberculosis, of these interpretable results were obtained in 217 (95%) with either the NRA or MODS. Sensitivity, specificity and kappa agreement for MDR-TB diagnosis was 97%, 98% and 0.93 with the NRA; and 87%, 95% and 0.78 with the MODS, respectively. The median time to results was 10, 7 and 64 days with NRA, MODS and the reference technique, respectively. The cost of laboratory supplies per sample was low, around 5 USD, for the rapid tests. The direct NRA and MODS offered rapid detection of resistance almost eight weeks earlier than with the reference method. In the study settings, the direct NRA was highly sensitive and specific. We consider it to have a strong potential for timely detection of MDR-TB in RLS.
Determination of the prevalence and drug susceptibility of the M. tuberculosis strains is important in tuberculosis control. We determined the genetic diversity and susceptibility profiles of mycobacteria isolated from tuberculosis patients in Mbarara, South Western Uganda.
We enrolled, consecutively; all newly diagnosed and previously treated smear-positive TB patients aged ≥ 18 years. The isolates were characterized using regions of difference (RD) analysis and spoligotyping. Drug resistance against rifampicin and isoniazid were tested using the Genotype® MDRTBplus assay and the indirect proportion method on Lowenstein-Jensen media. HIV-1 testing was performed using two rapid HIV tests.
A total of 125 isolates from 167 TB suspects (60% males) with a mean age 33.7 years and HIV prevalence of 67.9% (55/81) were analyzed. Majority (92.8%) were new cases while only 7.2% were retreatment cases. All the 125 isolates were identified as M. tuberculosis strict sense with the majority (92.8%) of the isolates being modern strains while seven (7.2%) isolates were ancestral strains. Spoligotyping revealed 79 spoligotype patterns, with an overall diversity of 63.2%. Sixty two (49.6%) of the isolates formed 16 clusters consisting of 2-15 isolates each. A majority (59.2%) of the isolates belong to the Uganda genotype group of strains. The major shared spoligotypes in our sample were SIT 135 (T2-Uganda) with 15 isolates and SIT 128 (T2) with 3 isolates. Sixty nine (87%) of the 79 patterns had not yet been defined in the SpolDB4.0.database. Resistance mutations to either RIF or INH were detected in 6.4% of the isolates. Multidrug resistance, INH and RIF resistance was 1.6%, 3.2% and 4.8%, respectively. The rpoβ gene mutations seen in the sample were D516V, S531L, H526Y H526D and D516V, while one strain had a Δ1 mutation in the wild type probes. There were three strains with katG (codon 315) gene mutations only while one strain showed the inhA promoter gene mutation.
The present study shows that the TB epidemic in Mbarara is caused by modern M. tuberculosis strains mainly belonging to the Uganda genotype and anti-TB drug resistance rate in the region is low.
Rhomboids are ubiquitous proteins with diverse functions in all life kingdoms, and are emerging as important factors in the biology of some pathogenic apicomplexa and Providencia stuartii. Although prokaryotic genomes contain one rhomboid, actinobacteria can have two or more copies whose sequences have not been analyzed for the presence putative rhomboid catalytic signatures. We report detailed phylogenetic and genomic analyses devoted to prokaryotic rhomboids of an important genus, Mycobacterium.
Many mycobacterial genomes contained two phylogenetically distinct active rhomboids orthologous to Rv0110 (rhomboid protease 1) and Rv1337 (rhomboid protease 2) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv, which were acquired independently. There was a genome-wide conservation and organization of the orthologs of Rv1337 arranged in proximity with glutamate racemase (mur1), while the orthologs of Rv0110 appeared evolutionary unstable and were lost in Mycobacterium leprae and the Mycobacterium avium complex. The orthologs of Rv0110 clustered with eukaryotic rhomboids and contained eukaryotic motifs, suggesting a possible common lineage. A novel nonsense mutation at the Trp73 codon split the rhomboid of Mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis into two hypothetical proteins (MAP2425c and MAP2426c) that are identical to MAV_1554 of Mycobacterium avium. Mycobacterial rhomboids contain putative rhomboid catalytic signatures, with the protease active site stabilized by Phenylalanine. The topology and transmembrane helices of the Rv0110 orthologs were similar to those of eukaryotic secretase rhomboids, while those of Rv1337 orthologs were unique. Transcription assays indicated that both mycobacterial rhomboids are possibly expressed.
Mycobacterial rhomboids are active rhomboid proteases with different evolutionary history. The Rv0110 (rhomboid protease 1) orthologs represent prokaryotic rhomboids whose progenitor may be the ancestors of eukaryotic rhomboids. The Rv1337 (rhomboid protease 2) orthologs appear more stable and are conserved nearly in all mycobacteria, possibly alluding to their importance in mycobacteria. MAP2425c and MAP2426c provide the first evidence for a split homologous rhomboid, contrasting whole orthologs of genetically related species. Although valuable insights to the roles of rhomboids are provided, the data herein only lays a foundation for future investigations for the roles of rhomboids in mycobacteria.
The ideal identification of Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates requires a battery of tests and this is costly in resource limited settings. In many developing countries, the tube coagulase test is usually confirmatory for S. aureus and is routinely done using either human or sheep plasma. This study evaluated Mannitol salt agar and the deoxyribonuclease (DNase) test for improving the efficiency of the tube coagulase test in resource limited settings. The efficiency of human and sheep plasma with tube coagulase tests was also evaluated.
One hundred and eighty Gram positive, Catalase positive cocci occurring in pairs, short chains or clusters were subjected to growth on Mannitol salt agar, deoxyribonuclease and tube coagulase tests. Of these, isolates that were positive for at least two of the three tests (n = 60) were used to evaluate the performance of the tube coagulase test for identification of S. aureus, using PCR-amplification of the nuc gene as a gold standard.
Human plasma was more sensitive than sheep plasma for the tube coagulase test (sensitivity of 91% vs. 81% respectively), but both plasmas had very low specificity (11% and 7% respectively). The sensitivity and specificity of the tube coagulase test (human plasma) was markedly improved when Mannitol salt agar and DNase were introduced as a tri-combination test for routine identification of Staphylococcus aureus (100% specificity and 75% sensitivity). The specificity and sensitivity of Mannitol salt agar/DNase/tube coagulase (sheep plasma) combination was 100% and 67%, respectively.
The efficiency of the tube coagulase test can be markedly improved by sequel testing of the isolates with Mannitol salt agar, DNase and Tube coagulase. There is no single phenotypic test (including tube coagulase) that can guarantee reliable results in the identification of Staphylococcus aureus.
Drug resistance levels and patterns among Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from newly diagnosed and previously treated tuberculosis patients in Mbarara Uganda were investigated.
We enrolled, consecutively, all newly diagnosed and previously treated smear-positive TB patients aged ≥ 18 years. Isolates were tested for drug resistance against rifampicin (RIF) and isoniazid (INH) using the Genotype® MDRTBplus assay and results were compared with those obtained by the indirect proportion method on Lowenstein-Jensen media. HIV testing was performed using two rapid HIV tests.
A total of 125 isolates from 167 TB suspects with a mean age 33.7 years and HIV prevalence of 67.9% (55/81) were analysed. A majority (92.8%) of the participants were newly presenting while only 7.2% were retreatment cases. Resistance mutations to either RIF or INH were detected in 6.4% of the total isolates. Multidrug resistance, INH and RIF resistance was 1.6%, 3.2% and 4.8%, respectively. The rpoβ gene mutations seen in the sample were D516V, S531L, H526Y H526 D and D516V, while one strain had a Δ1 mutation in the wild type probes. There were three strains with katG (codon 315) gene mutations while only one strain showed the inhA promoter region gene mutation.
The TB resistance rate in Mbarara is relatively low. The GenoType® MTBDRplus assay can be used for rapid screening of MDR-TB in this setting.
One of the challenges facing the tuberculosis (TB) control programmes in resource-limited settings is lack of rapid techniques for detection of drug resistant TB, particularly multi drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB). Results obtained with the conventional indirect susceptibility testing methods come too late to influence a timely decision on patient management. More rapid tests directly applied on sputum samples are needed. This study compared the sensitivity, specificity and time to results of four direct drug susceptibility testing tests with the conventional indirect testing for detection of resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid in M. tuberculosis. The four direct tests included two in-house phenotypic assays – Nitrate Reductase Assay (NRA) and Microscopic Observation Drug Susceptibility (MODS), and two commercially available tests – Genotype® MTBDR and Genotype® MTBDRplus (Hain Life Sciences, Nehren, Germany).
A literature review and meta-analysis of study reports was performed. The Meta-Disc software was used to analyse the reports and tests for sensitivity, specificity, and area under the summary receiver operating characteristic (sROC) curves. Heterogeneity in accuracy estimates was tested with the Spearman correlation coefficient and Chi-square.
Eighteen direct DST reports were analysed: NRA – 4, MODS- 6, Genotype MTBDR® – 3 and Genotype® MTBDRplus – 5. The pooled sensitivity and specificity for detection of resistance to rifampicin were 99% and 100% with NRA, 96% and 96% with MODS, 99% and 98% with Genotype® MTBDR, and 99% and 99% with the new Genotype® MTBDRplus, respectively. For isoniazid it was 94% and 100% for NRA, 92% and 96% for MODS, 71% and 100% for Genotype® MTBDR, and 96% and 100% with the Genotype® MTBDRplus, respectively. The area under the summary receiver operating characteristic (sROC) curves was in ranges of 0.98 to 1.00 for all the four tests. Molecular tests were completed in 1 – 2 days and also the phenotypic assays were much more rapid than conventional testing.
Direct testing of rifampicin and isoniazid resistance in M. tuberculosis was found to be highly sensitive and specific, and allows prompt detection of MDR TB.
The identification and differentiation of strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by DNA fingerprinting has provided a better understanding of the epidemiology and tracing the transmission of tuberculosis. We set out to determine if there was a relationship between the risk of belonging to a group of tuberculosis patients with identical mycobacterial DNA fingerprint patterns and the HIV sero-status of the individuals in a high TB incidence peri-urban setting of Kampala, Uganda.
One hundred eighty three isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from 80 HIV seropositive and 103 HIV seronegative patients were fingerprinted by standard IS6110-RFLP. Using the BioNumerics software, strains were considered to be clustered if at least one other patient had an isolate with identical RFLP pattern.
One hundred and eighteen different fingerprint patterns were obtained from the 183 isolates. There were 34 clusters containing 54% (99/183) of the patients (average cluster size of 2.9), and a majority (96.2%) of the strains possessed a high copy number (≥ 5 copies) of the IS6110 element. When strains with <5 bands were excluded from the analysis, 50.3% (92/183) were clustered, and there was no difference in the level of diversity of DNA fingerprints observed in the two sero-groups (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.85, 95%CI 0.46–1.56, P = 0.615), patients aged <40 years (aOR 0.53, 95%CI 0.25–1.12, P = 0.100), and sex (aOR 1.12, 95%CI 0.60–2.06, P = 0.715).
The sample showed evidence of a high prevalence of recent transmission with a high average cluster size, but infection with an isolate with a fingerprint found to be part of a cluster was not associated with any demographic or clinical characteristics, including HIV status.
The poor peri-urban areas of developing countries with inadequate living conditions and a high prevalence of HIV infection have been implicated in the increase of tuberculosis (TB). Presence of different lineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been described in different parts of the world. This study determined the predominant strain lineages that cause TB in Rubaga division, Kampala, Uganda, and the prevalence of resistance to key anti-tuberculosis drugs in this community.
This was a cross-sectional study of newly diagnosed sputum smear-positive patients aged ≥ 18 years. A total of 344 isolates were genotyped by standard spoligotyping and the strains were compared with those in the international spoligotype database (SpolDB4). HIV testing and anti-tuberculosis drug susceptibility assays for isoniazid and rifampicin were performed and association with the most predominant spoligotypes determined.
A total of 33 clusters were obtained from 57 spoligotype patterns. According to the SpolDB4 database, 241 (70%) of the isolates were of the T2 family, while CAS1-Kili (3.5%), LAM9 (2.6%), CAS1-Delhi (2.6%) were the other significant spoligotypes. Furthermore, a major spoligotype pattern of 17 (4.5%) strains characterized by lack of spacers 15–17 and 19–43 was not identified in SpolDB4. A total of 92 (26.7%) of the patients were HIV sero-positive, 176 (51.2%) sero-negative, while 76 (22.1%) of the patients did not consent to HIV testing. Resistance to isoniazid was found in 8.1% of strains, while all 15 (4.4%) strains resistant to rifampicin were multi-drug resistant. Additionally, there was no association between any strain types in the sample with either drug resistance or HIV sero-status of the patients.
The TB epidemic in Kampala is localized, mainly caused by the T2 family of strains. Strain types were neither associated with drug resistance nor HIV sero-status.
Resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs is a serious public health problem. Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), defined as resistance to at least rifampicin and isoniazid, has been reported in all regions of the world. Current phenotypic methods of assessing drug susceptibility of M. tuberculosis are slow. Rapid molecular methods to detect resistance to rifampicin have been developed but they are not affordable in some high prevalence countries such as those in sub Saharan Africa. A simple multi-well plate assay using mycobacteriophage D29 has been developed to test M. tuberculosis isolates for resistance to rifampicin. The purpose of this study was to investigate the performance of this technology in Kampala, Uganda.
In a blinded study 149 M. tuberculosis isolates were tested for resistance to rifampicin by the phage assay and results compared to those from routine phenotypic testing in BACTEC 460. Three concentrations of drug were used 2, 4 and 10 μg/ml. Isolates found resistant by either assay were subjected to sequence analysis of a 81 bp fragment of the rpoB gene to identify mutations predictive of resistance. Four isolates with discrepant phage and BACTEC results were tested in a second phenotypic assay to determine minimal inhibitory concentrations.
Initial analysis suggested a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 96.5% respectively for the phage assay used at 4 and 10 μg/ml when compared to the BACTEC 460. However, further analysis revealed 4 false negative results from the BACTEC 460 and the phage assay proved the more sensitive and specific of the two tests. Of the 39 isolates found resistant by the phage assay 38 (97.4%) were found to have mutations predictive of resistance in the 81 bp region of the rpoB gene. When used at 2 μg/ml false resistant results were observed from the phage assay. The cost of reagents for testing each isolate was estimated to be 1.3US$ when testing a batch of 20 isolates on a single 96 well plate. Results were obtained in 48 hours.
The phage assay can be used for screening of isolates for resistance to rifampicin, with high sensitivity and specificity in Uganda. The test may be useful in poorly resourced laboratories as a rapid screen to differentiate between rifampicin susceptible and potential MDR-TB cases.
The gab operon (gabDTPC) in Escherichia coli functions in the conversion of γ-aminobutyrate to succinate. One component of gab operon regulation involves the RpoS sigma factor, which mediates activation at high cell density. Transposon mutagenesis was used to identify new genes that regulate gab operon expression in rich media. A Tn5tmp insertion in the hldD (formerly rfaD) gene increased gabT::lacZ expression 12-fold. The hldD gene product, an ADP-l-glycerol-d-mannoheptose-6-epimerase, catalyzes the conversion of ADP-d-glycerol-d-mannoheptose to ADP-l-glycerol-d-mannoheptose, a precursor for the synthesis of inner-core lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Defined mutations in hldE, required for heptose synthesis, and waaF, required for the addition of the second heptose to the inner core, also resulted in high-level gabT::lacZ expression. The hldD, hldE, and waaF mutants exhibited a mucoid colony phenotype due to production of a colanic acid capsule. However, in the hldD::cat background, the high-level expression of gabT::lacZ was independent of the regulatory components for colanic acid synthesis (rcsA, rcsB, and rcsC) and also independent of manC (cpsB), a structural gene for colanic acid synthesis. Activation of gabT::lacZ in the hldD::cat background was dependent on the RpoS sigma factor. The hldD::cat mutation resulted in a sixfold increase in the levels of a translational RpoS-LacZ fusion and had a marginal effect on a transcriptional fusion. This study reveals a stress-induced pathway, mediated by loss of the LPS inner core, that increases RpoS translation and gab operon expression in E. coli.
The Etest method for susceptibility testing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was compared to the agar proportion method using four first-line agents and two fluoroquinolones. Catergorical agreement between the methods was 100% for rifampin, ethambutol, streptomycin, and ofloxacin and 98% for isoniazid. Results were obtained in 6 to 10 days by Etest. The Etest method is suitable for testing the agents evaluated against M. tuberculosis.
When manifested as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteremia, disseminated MTB infection clinically mimics other serious blood stream infections often hindering early diagnosis and initiation of potentially life-saving anti-tuberculosis therapy. In a cohort of hospitalized HIV-infected Ugandan patients with severe sepsis, we report the frequency, management and outcomes of patients with MTB bacteremia and propose a risk score based on clinical predictors of MTB bacteremia.
We prospectively enrolled adult patients with severe sepsis at two Ugandan hospitals and obtained blood cultures for MTB identification. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to determine predictors of MTB bacteremia and to inform the stratification of patients into MTB bacteremia risk categories based on relevant patient characteristics.
Among 368 HIV-infected patients with a syndrome of severe sepsis, eighty-six (23%) had MTB bacteremia. Patients with MTB bacteremia had a significantly lower median CD4 count (17 vs 64 lymphocytes/mm3, p<0.001) and a higher 30-day mortality (53% vs 32%, p = 0.001) than patients without MTB bacteremia. A minority of patients with MTB bacteremia underwent standard MTB diagnostic testing (24%) or received empiric anti-tuberculosis therapy (15%). Independent factors associated with MTB bacteremia included male sex, increased heart rate, low CD4 count, absence of highly active anti-retroviral therapy, chief complaint of fever, low serum sodium and low hemoglobin. A risk score derived from a model containing these independent predictors had good predictive accuracy [area under the curve = 0.85, 95% CI 0.80–0.89].
Nearly 1 in 4 adult HIV-infected patients hospitalized with severe sepsis in 2 Ugandan hospitals had MTB bacteremia. Among patients in whom MTB was suspected, standard tests for diagnosing pulmonary MTB were inaccurate for correctly classifying patients with or without bloodstream MTB infection. A MTB bacteremia risk score can improve early diagnosis of MTB bacteremia particularly in settings with increased HIV and MTB co-infection.
Multidrug resistant and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) have become major threats to control of tuberculosis globally. The rates of anti-TB drug resistance in Uganda are not known. We conducted a national drug resistance survey to investigate the levels and patterns of resistance to first and second line anti-TB drugs among new and previously treated sputum smear-positive TB cases.
Sputum samples were collected from a nationally representative sample of new and previously treated sputum smear-positive TB patients registered at TB diagnostic centers during December 2009 to February 2011 using a weighted cluster sampling method. Culture and drug susceptibility testing was performed at the national TB reference laboratory.
A total of 1537 patients (1397 new and 140 previously treated) were enrolled in the survey from 44 health facilities. HIV test result and complete drug susceptibility testing (DST) results were available for 1524 (96.8%) and 1325 (85.9%) patients, respectively. Of the 1209 isolates from new cases, resistance to any anti-TB drug was 10.3%, 5% were resistant to isoniazid, 1.9% to rifampicin, and 1.4% were multi drug resistant. Among the 116 isolates from previously treated cases, the prevalence of resistance was 25.9%, 23.3%, 12.1% and 12.1% respectively. Of the 1524 patients who had HIV testing 469 (30.7%) tested positive. There was no association between anti-TB drug resistance (including MDR) and HIV infection.
The prevalence of anti-TB drug resistance among new patients in Uganda is low relative to WHO estimates. The higher levels of MDR-TB (12.1%) and resistance to any drug (25.3%) among previously treated patients raises concerns about the quality of directly observed therapy (DOT) and adherence to treatment. This calls for strengthening existing TB control measures, especially DOT, routine DST among the previously treated TB patients or periodic drug resistance surveys, to prevent and monitor development and transmission of drug resistant TB.
The prevalence of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is progressively increasing globally with significant regional variation. Understanding the Staphylococcus aureus lineages is crucial in controlling nosocomial infections. Recent studies on S. aureus in Uganda have revealed an escalating burden of MRSA. However, the S. aureus genotypes circulating among patients are not known. Here, we report S. aureus lineages circulating in patients with surgical site infections (SSI) at Mulago National hospital, Kampala, Uganda.
A cross-sectional study involving 314 patients with SSI at Mulago National Hospital was conducted from September 2011 to April 2012. Pus swabs from the patients’ SSI were processed using standard microbiological procedures. Methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and MRSA were identified using phenotypic tests and confirmed by PCR-detection of the nuc and mecA genes, respectively. SCCmec genotypes were determined among MRSA isolates using multiplex PCR. Furthermore, to determine lineages, spa sequence based-genotyping was performed on all S. aureus isolates.
Of the 314 patients with SSI, S. aureus accounted for 20.4% (64/314), of which 37.5% (24/64) were MRSA. The predominant SCCmec types were type V (33.3%, 8/24) and type I (16.7%, 4/24). The predominant spa lineages were t645 (17.2%, 11/64) and t4353 (15.6%, 10/64), and these were found to be clonally circulating in all the surgical wards. On the other hand, lineages t064, t355, and t4609 were confined to the obstetrics and gynecology wards. A new spa type (t10277) was identified from MSSA isolate. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, cancer and inducible clindamycin resistance remained as independent predictors of MRSA-SSI.
SCCmec types I and V are the most prevalent MRSA mecA types from the patients’ SSI. The predominant spa lineages (t645 and t4353) are clonally circulating in all the surgical wards, calling for strengthening of infection control practices at Mulago National Hospital.
Smear microscopy, a mainstay of tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis in developing countries, cannot differentiate M. tuberculosis complex from NTM infection, while pulmonary TB shares clinical signs with NTM disease, causing clinical and diagnostic dilemmas. This study used molecular assays to identify species and assess genotypic diversity of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) isolates from children investigated for pulmonary tuberculosis at a demographic surveillance site in rural eastern Uganda.
Children were investigated for pulmonary tuberculosis as part of a TB vaccine surveillance program (2009–2011). Two cohorts of 2500 BCG vaccinated infants and 7000 adolescents (12–18 years) were recruited and followed up for one to two years to determine incidence of tuberculosis. Induced sputum and gastric aspirates were processed by the standard N-acetyl L-cysteine (NALC)-NaOH method. Sediments were cultured in the automated MGIT (Becton Dickson) liquid culture system and incubated at 37°C for at least six weeks. Capilia TB assay was used to classify mycobacteria into MTC and NTM. The GenoType CM/AS assays were performed to identify species while Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) PCR genotyping was used to assess genetic diversity of the strains within each species.
Among 2859 infants and 2988 adolescents screened, the numbers of TB suspects were 710 and 1490 infants and adolescents respectively. The prevalence of NTM in infant suspects was 3.7% (26/710) (95% CI 2.5–5.2) while that in adolescent suspects was 4.6% (69/1490) (95% CI 3.6–5.8). On culture, 127 isolates were obtained, 103 of which were confirmed as mycobacteria comprising of 95 NTM and eight M. tuberculosis complex. The Genotype CM/AS assay identified 63 of the 95 NTM isolates while 32 remained un-identified. The identified NTM species were M. fortuitum (40 isolates, 63.5%), M. szulgai (9 isolates, 14.3%), M. gordonae (6 isolates, 9.5%), M. intracellulare (3 isolates, 4.7%), M. scrofulaceum (2 isolates, 3.2%), M. lentiflavum (2 isolates, 3.2%), and M. peregrinum (1 isolate, 1.6%). Genotyping did not reveal any clustering in M. intracellulare, M. gordonae and M. szulgai species. M. fortuitum, on the other hand, had two clusters, one with three isolates of M. fortuitum 1 and the other with two isolates of M. fortuitum 2 subspecies. The remaining 35 of the 40 isolates of M. fortuitum had unique fingerprint patterns.
M. fortuitum is the most common cause of infection by NTM among Infants and adolescents in rural Uganda. There is a varied number of species and genotypes, with minimal clustering within species, suggesting ubiquitous sources of infection to individuals in this community.