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1.  The Dynamics of QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube Conversion and Reversion in a Cohort of South African Adolescents 
Rationale: Interferon-γ release assays are used to diagnose tuberculosis infection. In developed countries, high rates of reversion following conversion have been described.
Objectives: To assess QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT) conversion and reversion dynamics in a tuberculosis-endemic setting.
Methods: Adolescents aged 12–18 years residing near Cape Town were recruited. Tuberculin skin tests (TSTs) and QFTs were performed at baseline and after 2 years of follow up. Half of the participants had TST and QFT performed at additional time points. Participants were observed for incident tuberculosis disease for up to 5 years.
Measurements and Main Results: Among 5,357 participants, 2,751 (51.4%) and 2,987 (55.8%) had positive QFT and TST results, respectively, at baseline. Annualized QFT and TST conversion risks were 14.0 and 13.0%, respectively, and reversion risks were 5.1 and 4.1%, respectively. Concordance was excellent for conversions (κ = 0.74), but poor for reversions (κ = 0.12). Among recent QFT converters, the magnitude of the QFT value was strongly inversely associated with risk of reversion (P < 0.0001). When longitudinal QFT data were analyzed in a cross-sectional manner, the annual risk of infection was 7.3%, whereas inclusion of reversions in the analysis showed that the actual risk of infection was 14.0%. Incident tuberculosis was 8-fold higher among QFT reverters than in participants with all negative QFT results (1.47 vs. 0.18 cases/100 person-years, P = 0.011).
Conclusions: In this tuberculosis-endemic setting, annual risk of infection was extremely high, whereas QFT and TST conversion concordance was higher and QFT reversion rates were lower than reported in low-burden settings.
PMCID: PMC4384770  PMID: 25562578
tuberculosis; epidemiology; interferon-γ release assays; tuberculin skin tests; adolescents
2.  Time to Symptom Resolution in Young Children Treated for Pulmonary Tuberculosis 
Response to treatment may be useful for diagnostic confirmation of childhood tuberculosis (TB). We aimed to evaluate time to symptom resolution in children treated for pulmonary TB.
We compared pulmonary TB cases and non-cases, classified by a published diagnostic algorithm, in South African children younger than two years of age. TB treatment was prescribed independently on clinical grounds. We analyzed independent determinants of baseline symptom resolution by Cox regression.
191 symptomatic children, median age 12 months, were prescribed TB treatment. Chest radiograph features of TB were associated with longer time to resolution of cough (adjusted hazard ratio, AHR 0.31), wheeze (AHR 0.26) and failure to thrive (FTT) (AHR 0.41), (all p<0.05). However, median duration of baseline cough (63 vs. 70 days, p=0.98), wheeze (62 vs. 68 days, p=0.87) and FTT (76 vs. 66 days, p=0.59) did not differ in TB cases (n=48) vs. non-cases (n=46).
Baseline symptoms take longer than 60 days to resolve in the majority of young children after starting TB treatment. Further, since time to resolution does not differentiate TB cases from non-cases, clinical response to treatment is not an appropriate diagnostic criterion for pediatric trials of TB diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.
PMCID: PMC4229401  PMID: 25144794
Resolution; tuberculosis; children; symptoms; treatment
3.  A controlled trial of sputum induction and routine collection methods for TB diagnosis in a South African community 
Diagnostic yield of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) by sputum induction (SI) at first point of contact with health services, conducted in all patients with suspected TB regardless of ability to expectorate spontaneously, has not been evaluated. We compared diagnostic yield of SI to routine sputum collection in a South-African community setting.
Ambulatory patients with suspected TB provided a ‘spot’ expectorated sputum sample; an SI sample by hypertonic (5%) saline nebulization; and early morning expectorated sputum sample. Diagnostic yield of sputum smear microscopy and liquid culture (denominator all subjects with any positive Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture), and time-to-positivity of culture were compared between SI and expectorated samples.
555 subjects completed the SI procedure, of whom 132 (24%) were HIV-infected. One-hundred-twenty-nine samples (23%) were M. tuberculosis culture positive. Time-to-positivity of MGIT culture was shorter for SI (median difference 2 days, p=0·63), and for early morning expectorated sputum (median difference 2 days, p=0·02), compared to spot expectorated sputum. However, there was no difference in culture-positive diagnostic yield between SI and spot expectorated sputum (difference +0.7%; CI −7.0 to +8.5%, p=0·82), or SI and early morning expectorated sputum (difference +4.7%; CI −3.2 to +12.5%, p=0·20) for all subjects; or for HIV-infected subjects.
SI reduces time to positive M. tuberculosis culture, but does not increase the rate of positive culture, compared to routine expectorated sputum collection. SI cannot be recommended as the routine collection method at first contact among ambulatory patients with suspected TB in high burden communities.
PMCID: PMC4229508  PMID: 25022447
induced sputum; tuberculosis; diagnostic yield; mycobacterium
4.  Tuberculosis Vaccines and Prevention of Infection 
Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of death worldwide despite the availability of effective chemotherapy for over 60 years. Although Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination protects against active TB disease in some populations, its efficacy is suboptimal. Development of an effective TB vaccine is a top global priority that has been hampered by an incomplete understanding of protective immunity to TB. Thus far, preventing TB disease, rather than infection, has been the primary target for vaccine development. Several areas of research highlight the importance of including preinfection vaccines in the development pipeline. First, epidemiology and mathematical modeling studies indicate that a preinfection vaccine would have a high population-level impact for control of TB disease. Second, immunology studies support the rationale for targeting prevention of infection, with evidence that host responses may be more effective during acute infection than during chronic infection. Third, natural history studies indicate that resistance to TB infection occurs in a small percentage of the population. Fourth, case-control studies of BCG indicate that it may provide protection from infection. Fifth, prevention-of-infection trials would have smaller sample sizes and a shorter duration than disease prevention trials and would enable opportunities to search for correlates of immunity as well as serve as a criterion for selecting a vaccine product for testing in a larger TB disease prevention trial. Together, these points support expanding the focus of TB vaccine development efforts to include prevention of infection as a primary goal along with vaccines or other interventions that reduce the rate of transmission and reactivation.
PMCID: PMC4248657  PMID: 25428938
5.  Evaluation of Xpert® MTB/RIF Assay in Induced Sputum and Gastric Lavage Samples from Young Children with Suspected Tuberculosis from the MVA85A TB Vaccine Trial 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(11):e0141623.
Diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis is limited by the paucibacillary respiratory samples obtained from young children with pulmonary disease. We aimed to compare accuracy of the Xpert® MTB/RIF assay, an automated nucleic acid amplification test, between induced sputum and gastric lavage samples from young children in a tuberculosis endemic setting.
We analyzed standardized diagnostic data from HIV negative children younger than four years of age who were investigated for tuberculosis disease near Cape Town, South Africa [2009–2012]. Two paired, consecutive induced sputa and early morning gastric lavage samples were obtained from children with suspected tuberculosis. Samples underwent Mycobacterial Growth Indicator Tube [MGIT] culture and Xpert MTB/RIF assay. We compared diagnostic yield across samples using the two-sample test of proportions and McNemar’s χ2 test; and Wilson’s score method to calculate sensitivity and specificity.
1,020 children were evaluated for tuberculosis during 1,214 admission episodes. Not all children had 4 samples collected. 57 of 4,463[1.3%] and 26 of 4,606[0.6%] samples tested positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis on MGIT culture and Xpert MTB/RIF assay respectively. 27 of 2,198[1.2%] and 40 of 2,183[1.8%] samples tested positive [on either Xpert MTB/RIF assay or MGIT culture] on induced sputum and gastric lavage samples, respectively. 19/1,028[1.8%] and 33/1,017[3.2%] admission episodes yielded a positive MGIT culture or Xpert MTB/RIF assay from induced sputum and gastric lavage, respectively. Sensitivity of Xpert MTB/RIF assay was 8/30[26.7%; 95% CI: 14.2–44.4] for two induced sputum samples and 7/31[22.6%; 11.4–39.8] [p = 0.711] for two gastric lavage samples. Corresponding specificity was 893/893[100%;99.6–100] and 885/890[99.4%;98.7–99.8] respectively [p = 0.025].
Sensitivity of Xpert MTB/RIF assay was low, compared to MGIT culture, but diagnostic performance of Xpert MTB/RIF did not differ sufficiently between induced sputum and gastric lavage to justify selection of one sampling method over the other, in young children with suspected pulmonary TB.
Trial Registration NCT00953927
PMCID: PMC4640848  PMID: 26554383
6.  A randomized clinical trial in adults and newborns in South Africa to compare the safety and immunogenicity of bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine administration via a disposable-syringe jet injector to conventional technique with needle and syringe 
Vaccine  2015;33(37):4719-4726.
Intradermal bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination by needle-free, disposable-syringe jet injectors (DSJI) is an alternative to the Mantoux method using needle and syringe (NS). We compared the safety and immunogenicity of BCG administration via the DSJI and NS techniques in adults and newborn infants at the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) research site in South Africa.
Thirty adults and 66 newborn infants were randomized 1:1 to receive intradermal BCG vaccine (0.1 mL in adults; 0.05 mL in infants) via DSJI or NS. Wheal diameter (mm) and skin fluid deposition at the site of injection (SOI) were measured immediately post-vaccination. Adverse events and SOI reactogenicity data were collected 30 min and 1, 2, 4, and 12 weeks after vaccination for adults and at 30 min and 4, 10, and 14 weeks for infants. Blood was collected in infants at 10 and 14 weeks to assess BCG-specific T-cell immune responses.
More infant BCG vaccinations by DSJI deposited >5 μL fluid on the skin surface, compared to NS (49% versus 9%, p = 0.001). However, all 12 infant vaccinations that did not produce any SOI wheal occurred in the NS group (36%, p < 0.001). Median wheal diameter, in participants for which an SOI wheal formed, did not differ significantly between groups in infants (combined 3.0 mm IQR 2.0 to 4.0, p = 0.59) or in adults (combined 9.0 mm IQR 7.0 to 10.0, p = 0.13). Adverse events were similar between study arms. Proportion of participants with BCG scars after three months did not differ in adults (combined 97%, p = 0.67) or infants (combined 62%, p = 0.13). Frequencies of BCG-specific clusters of differentiation 4 (CD4) and clusters of differentiation 8 (CD8) T-cells co-expressing IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, and/or IL-17 were not different in the DSJI and NS groups.
BCG vaccination of newborn infants via DSJI was more likely to deliver an appropriate intradermal wheal at the SOI as compared to NS, despite leaving more fluid on the surface of the skin. Safety, reactogenicity, and antigen-specific T-cell immune responses did not differ between DSJI and NS techniques.
PMCID: PMC4564069  PMID: 25862299
BCG; Jet injector; Intradermal vaccine; Mantoux; Vaccine administration; AE, adverse event; BCG, bacille Calmette-Guérin; CD4/CD8, cluster of differentiation 4/8; CFU, colony-forming units; DSJI, disposable-syringe jet injector; ICS, intracellular cytokine staining; IQR, interquartile range; NS, needle and syringe; SATVI, South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative; SOI, site of injection; TB, tuberculosis; Th1, T helper type 1 cells
7.  Safety and Reactogenicity of BCG Revaccination with Isoniazid Pretreatment in TST Positive Adults 
Vaccine  2014;32(31):3982-3988.
Global tuberculosis (TB) control may require mass vaccination with a new TB vaccine, such as a recombinant bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) or attenuated Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). The safety profile of live mycobacterial vaccines in latently infected adults with prior infant BCG vaccination is unknown.
Evaluate safety and reactogenicity of BCG revaccination, with or without isoniazid (INH) pretreatment, in adults with latent MTB infection (LTBI).
Eighty-two healthy, HIV uninfected, South African adults, with a BCG scar and tuberculin skin test (TST) diameter ≥15mm, were randomized to receive 6 months of INH, starting either before, or 6 months after, intradermal revaccination with BCG Vaccine SSI (Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen). Safety and reactogenicity data are reported through 3 months post BCG revaccination.
Baseline characteristics were similar between treatment arms. Mean baseline TST diameter was 20 ± 4mm. Seventy-two subjects received BCG revaccination. Injection site erythema (68%) and induration (86%) peaked 1 week after revaccination. Ulceration (76%) peaked at 2 weeks, and resolved by 3 months in all but 3 subjects. Diameter of ulceration was >10mm in only 8%, but a residual scar was common (85%). No regional lymphadenitis or serious morbidity related to BCG was seen. Reactogenicity was not affected by INH pretreatment.
BCG revaccination of MTB infected adults is safe, well tolerated, and reactogenicity is similar to that of primary BCG vaccination. Clinical trials of live recombinant BCG or attenuated MTB vaccines may be considered in latently infected adults, with or without INH pretreatment ( identifier: NCT01119521).
PMCID: PMC4135306  PMID: 24814553
BCG; revaccination; safety; LTBI; isoniazid
8.  High-Dose Rifapentine with Moxifloxacin for Pulmonary Tuberculosis 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;371(17):1599-1608.
Tuberculosis regimens that are shorter and simpler than the current 6-month daily regimen are needed.
We randomly assigned patients with newly diagnosed, smear-positive, drug-sensitive tuberculosis to one of three regimens: a control regimen that included 2 months of ethambutol, isoniazid, rifampicin, and pyrazinamide administered daily followed by 4 months of daily isoniazid and rifampicin; a 4-month regimen in which the isoniazid in the control regimen was replaced by moxifloxacin administered daily for 2 months followed by moxifloxacin and 900 mg of rifapentine administered twice weekly for 2 months; or a 6-month regimen in which isoniazid was replaced by daily moxifloxacin for 2 months followed by one weekly dose of both moxifloxacin and 1200 mg of rifapentine for 4 months. Sputum specimens were examined on microscopy and after culture at regular intervals. The primary end point was a composite treatment failure and relapse, with noninferiority based on a margin of 6 percentage points and 90% confidence intervals.
We enrolled a total of 827 patients from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Zambia; 28% of patients were coinfected with the human immunodefiency virus. In the per-protocol analysis, the proportion of patients with an unfavorable response was 4.9% in the control group, 3.2% in the 6-month group (adjusted difference from control, −1.8 percentage points; 90% confidence interval [CI], −6.1 to 2.4), and 18.2% in the 4-month group (adjusted difference from control, 13.6 percentage points; 90% CI, 8.1 to 19.1). In the modified intention-to-treat analysis these proportions were 14.4% in the control group, 13.7% in the 6-month group (adjusted difference from control, 0.4 percentage points; 90% CI, −4.7 to 5.6), and 26.9% in the 4-month group (adjusted difference from control, 13.1 percentage points; 90% CI, 6.8 to 19.4).
The 6-month regimen that included weekly administration of high-dose rifapentine and moxifloxacin was as effective as the control regimen. The 4-month regimen was not noninferior to the control regimen. (Funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and the Wellcome Trust; RIFAQUIN Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN44153044.)
PMCID: PMC4233406  PMID: 25337749
9.  Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA on the oral mucosa of tuberculosis patients 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8668.
Diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) usually includes laboratory analysis of sputum, a viscous material derived from deep in the airways of patients with active disease. As a diagnostic sample matrix, sputum can be difficult to collect and analyze by microbiological and molecular techniques. An alternative, less invasive sample matrix could greatly simplify TB diagnosis. We hypothesized that Mycobacterium tuberculosis cells or DNA accumulate on the oral epithelia of pulmonary TB patients, and can be collected and detected by using oral (buccal) swabs. To test this hypothesis, 3 swabs each were collected from 20 subjects with active pulmonary TB and from 20 healthy controls. Samples were tested by using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specific to the M. tuberculosis IS6110 insertion element. Eighteen out of 20 confirmed case subjects (90%) yielded at least 2 positive swabs. Healthy control samples were 100% negative. This case-control study supports past reports of M. tuberculosis DNA detection in oral swabs. Oral swab samples are non-invasive, non-viscous, and easy to collect with or without active TB symptoms. These characteristics may enable simpler and more active TB case finding strategies.
PMCID: PMC4345328  PMID: 25727773
10.  Moxifloxacin Population Pharmacokinetics and Model-Based Comparison of Efficacy between Moxifloxacin and Ofloxacin in African Patients 
Pharmacokinetic exposure and the MIC of fluoroquinolones are important determinants of their efficacy against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Population modeling was used to describe the steady-state plasma pharmacokinetics of moxifloxacin in 241 tuberculosis (TB) patients in southern Africa. Monte Carlo simulations were applied to obtain the area under the unbound concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h (fAUC0–24) after daily doses of 400 mg or 800 mg moxifloxacin and 800 mg ofloxacin. The MIC distributions of ofloxacin and moxifloxacin were determined for 197 drug-resistant clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. For a specific MIC, the probability of target attainment (PTA) was determined for target fAUC0–24/MIC ratios of ≥53 and ≥100. The PTAs were combined with the MIC distributions to calculate the cumulative fraction of response (CFR) for multidrug-resistant (MDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. Even with the less stringent target ratio of ≥53, moxifloxacin at 400 mg and ofloxacin at 800 mg achieved CFRs of only 84% and 58% for multidrug-resistant isolates with resistance to an injectable drug, while the 800-mg moxifloxacin dose achieved a CFR of 98%. Using a target ratio of ≥100 for multidrug-resistant strains (without resistance to injectable agents or fluoroquinolones), the CFR was 88% for moxifloxacin and only 43% for ofloxacin, and the higher dose of 800 mg moxifloxacin was needed to achieve a CFR target of >90%. Our results indicate that moxifloxacin is more efficacious than ofloxacin in the treatment of MDR-TB. Further studies should determine the optimal pharmacodynamic target for moxifloxacin in a multidrug regimen and clarify safety issues when it is administered at higher doses.
PMCID: PMC3910772  PMID: 24189253
11.  Inflammatory and myeloid-associated gene expression before and one day after infant vaccination with MVA85A correlates with induction of a T cell response 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:314.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global health problem, with vaccination likely to be a necessary part of a successful control strategy. Results of the first Phase 2b efficacy trial of a candidate vaccine, MVA85A, evaluated in BCG-vaccinated infants were published last year. Although no improvement in efficacy above BCG alone was seen, cryopreserved samples from this trial provide an opportunity to study the immune response to vaccination in this population.
We investigated blood samples taken before vaccination (baseline) and one and 28 days post-vaccination with MVA85A or placebo (Candin). The IFN-γ ELISpot assay was performed at baseline and on day 28 to quantify the adaptive response to Ag85A peptides. Gene expression analysis was performed at all three timepoints to identify early gene signatures predictive of the magnitude of the subsequent adaptive T cell response using the significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) statistical package and gene set enrichment analysis.
One day post-MVA85A, there is an induction of inflammatory pathways compared to placebo samples. Modules associated with myeloid cells and inflammation pre- and one day post-MVA85A correlate with a higher IFN-γ ELISpot response post-vaccination. By contrast, previous work done in UK adults shows early inflammation in this population is not associated with a strong T cell response but that induction of regulatory pathways inversely correlates with the magnitude of the T cell response. This may be indicative of important mechanistic differences in how T cell responses develop in these two populations following vaccination with MVA85A.
The results suggest the capacity of MVA85A to induce a strong innate response is key to the initiation of an adaptive immune response in South African infants but induction of regulatory pathways may be more important in UK adults. Understanding differences in immune response to vaccination between populations is likely to be an important aspect of developing successful vaccines and vaccination strategies.
Trial registration number NCT00953927
PMCID: PMC4061512  PMID: 24912498
Tuberculosis; Vaccine; Innate immunity; Transcriptomics; MVA85A
12.  The Candidate TB Vaccine, MVA85A, Induces Highly Durable Th1 Responses 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87340.
Vaccination against tuberculosis (TB) should provide long-term protective immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). The current TB vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), protects against disseminated childhood TB, but protection against lung TB in adolescents and adults is variable and mostly poor. One potential reason for the limited durability of protection may be waning of immunity through gradual attrition of BCG-induced T cells. We determined if a MVA85A viral-vector boost could enhance the durability of mycobacteria-specific T cell responses above those induced by BCG alone.
We describe a long-term follow-up study of persons previously vaccinated with MVA85A. We performed a medical history and clinical examination, a tuberculin skin test and measured vaccine-specific T cell responses in persons previously enrolled as adults, adolescents, children or infants into three different Phase II trials, between 2005 and 2011.
Of 252 potential participants, 183 (72.6%) consented and completed the study visit. Vaccine-induced Ag85A-specific CD4+ T cell responses were remarkably persistent in healthy, HIV-uninfected adults, adolescents, children and infants, up to 6 years after MVA85A vaccination. Specific CD4+ T cells expressed surface markers consistent with either CD45RA−CCR7+ central memory or CD45RA−CCR7− effector memory T cells. Similarly durable Ag85A-specific CD4+ T cell responses were detected in HIV-infected persons who were on successful antiretroviral therapy when MVA85A was administered. By contrast, Ag85A-specific CD4+ T cell frequencies in untreated MVA85A-vaccinated HIV-infected persons were mostly undetectable 3–5 years after vaccination.
MVA85A induces remarkably durable T cell responses in immunocompetent persons. However, results from a recent phase IIb trial of MVA85A, conducted in infants from the same geographic area and study population, showed no vaccine efficacy, suggesting that these durable T cell responses do not enhance BCG-induced protection against TB in infants.
PMCID: PMC3911992  PMID: 24498312
13.  Evaluation of Tuberculosis Diagnostics in Children: 1. Proposed Clinical Case Definitions for Classification of Intrathoracic Tuberculosis Disease. Consensus From an Expert Panel 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(Suppl 2):S199-S208.
There is a critical need for improved diagnosis of tuberculosis in children, particularly in young children with intrathoracic disease as this represents the most common type of tuberculosis in children and the greatest diagnostic challenge. There is also a need for standardized clinical case definitions for the evaluation of diagnostics in prospective clinical research studies that include children in whom tuberculosis is suspected but not confirmed by culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A panel representing a wide range of expertise and child tuberculosis research experience aimed to develop standardized clinical research case definitions for intrathoracic tuberculosis in children to enable harmonized evaluation of new tuberculosis diagnostic technologies in pediatric populations. Draft definitions and statements were proposed and circulated widely for feedback. An expert panel then considered each of the proposed definitions and statements relating to clinical definitions. Formal group consensus rules were established and consensus was reached for each statement. The definitions presented in this article are intended for use in clinical research to evaluate diagnostic assays and not for individual patient diagnosis or treatment decisions. A complementary article addresses methodological issues to consider for research of diagnostics in children with suspected tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC3334506  PMID: 22448023
14.  TB Incidence in an Adolescent Cohort in South Africa 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59652.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem globally. Little is known about TB incidence in adolescents who are a proposed target group for new TB vaccines. We conducted a study to determine the TB incidence rates and risk factors for TB disease in a cohort of school-going adolescents in a high TB burden area in South Africa.
We recruited adolescents aged 12 to 18 years from high schools in Worcester, South Africa. Demographic and clinical information was collected, a tuberculin skin test (TST) performed and blood drawn for a QuantiFERON TB Gold assay at baseline. Screening for TB cases occurred at follow up visits and by surveillance of registers at public sector TB clinics over a period of up to 3.8 years after enrolment.
A total of 6,363 adolescents were enrolled (58% of the school population targeted). During follow up, 67 cases of bacteriologically confirmed TB were detected giving an overall incidence rate of 0.45 per 100 person years (95% confidence interval 0.29–0.72). Black or mixed race, maternal education of primary school or less or unknown, a positive baseline QuantiFERON assay and a positive baseline TST were significant predictors of TB disease on adjusted analysis.
The adolescent TB incidence found in a high burden setting will help TB vaccine developers plan clinical trials in this population. Latent TB infection and low socio-economic status were predictors of TB disease.
PMCID: PMC3606161  PMID: 23533639
15.  Lessons learnt from the first efficacy trial of a new infant tuberculosis vaccine since BCG 
New tuberculosis (TB) vaccines are being developed to combat the global epidemic. A phase IIb trial of a candidate vaccine, MVA85A, was conducted in a high burden setting in South Africa to evaluate proof-of-concept efficacy for prevention of TB in infants.
To describe the study design and implementation lessons from an infant TB vaccine efficacy trial.
This was a randomised, controlled, double-blind clinical trial comparing the safety and efficacy of MVA85A to Candin control administered to 4–6-month-old, BCG-vaccinated, HIV-negative infants at a rural site in South Africa. Infants were followed up for 15–39 months for incident TB disease based on pre-specified endpoints.
2797 infants were enrolled over 22 months. Factors adversely affecting recruitment and the solutions that were implemented are discussed. Slow case accrual led to six months extension of trial follow up.
The clinical, regulatory and research environment for modern efficacy trials of new TB vaccines are substantially different to that when BCG vaccine was first evaluated in infants. Future infant TB vaccine trials will need to allocate sufficient resources and optimise operational efficiency. A stringent TB case definition is necessary to maximize specificity, and TB case accrual must be monitored closely.
PMCID: PMC3608032  PMID: 23410889
BCG; Vaccine; Tuberculosis; Lessons learnt; Implementation
16.  Moxifloxacin Population Pharmacokinetics in Patients with Pulmonary Tuberculosis and the Effect of Intermittent High-Dose Rifapentine 
We described the population pharmacokinetics of moxifloxacin and the effect of high-dose intermittent rifapentine in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis who were randomized to a continuation-phase regimen of 400 mg moxifloxacin and 900 mg rifapentine twice weekly or 400 mg moxifloxacin and 1,200 mg rifapentine once weekly. A two-compartment model with transit absorption best described moxifloxacin pharmacokinetics. Although rifapentine increased the clearance of moxifloxacin by 8% during antituberculosis treatment compared to that after treatment completion without rifapentine, it did not result in a clinically significant change in moxifloxacin exposure.
PMCID: PMC3421597  PMID: 22585223
17.  A Phase IIa Trial of the New Tuberculosis Vaccine, MVA85A, in HIV- and/or Mycobacterium tuberculosis–infected Adults 
Rationale: Novel tuberculosis (TB) vaccines should be safe and effective in populations infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) and/or HIV for effective TB control.
Objective: To determine the safety and immunogenicity of MVA85A, a novel TB vaccine, among M.tb- and/or HIV-infected persons in a setting where TB and HIV are endemic.
Methods: An open-label, phase IIa trial was conducted in 48 adults with M.tb and/or HIV infection. Safety and immunogenicity were analyzed up to 52 weeks after intradermal vaccination with 5 × 107 plaque-forming units of MVA85A. Specific T-cell responses were characterized by IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot and whole blood intracellular cytokine staining assays.
Measurements and Main Results: MVA85A was well tolerated and no vaccine-related serious adverse events were recorded. MVA85A induced robust and durable response of mostly polyfunctional CD4+ T cells, coexpressing IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, and IL-2. Magnitudes of pre- and postvaccination T-cell responses were lower in HIV-infected, compared with HIV-uninfected, vaccinees. No significant effect of antiretroviral therapy on immunogenicity of MVA85A was observed.
Conclusions: MVA85A was safe and immunogenic in persons with HIV and/or M.tb infection. These results support further evaluation of safety and efficacy of this vaccine for prevention of TB in these target populations.
PMCID: PMC3326425  PMID: 22281831
tuberculosis; HIV-1; vaccine; MVA85A; clinical trial
18.  Specific T Cell Frequency and Cytokine Expression Profile Do Not Correlate with Protection against Tuberculosis after Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Vaccination of Newborns 
Rationale: Immunogenicity of new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines is commonly assessed by measuring the frequency and cytokine expression profile of T cells.
Objectives: We tested whether this outcome correlates with protection against childhood TB disease after newborn vaccination with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG).
Methods: Whole blood from 10-week-old infants, routinely vaccinated with BCG at birth, was incubated with BCG for 12 hours, followed by cryopreservation for intracellular cytokine analysis. Infants were followed for 2 years to identify those who developed culture-positive TB—these infants were regarded as not protected against TB. Infants who did not develop TB disease despite exposure to TB in the household, and another group of randomly selected infants who were never evaluated for TB, were also identified—these groups were regarded as protected against TB. Cells from these groups were thawed, and CD4, CD8, and γδ T cell–specific expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, and IL-17 measured by flow cytometry.
Measurements and Main Results: A total of 5,662 infants were enrolled; 29 unprotected and two groups of 55 protected infants were identified. There was no difference in frequencies of BCG-specific CD4, CD8, and γδ T cells between the three groups of infants. Although BCG induced complex patterns of intracellular cytokine expression, there were no differences between protected and unprotected infants.
Conclusions: The frequency and cytokine profile of mycobacteria-specific T cells did not correlate with protection against TB. Critical components of immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, such as CD4 T cell IFN-γ production, may not necessarily translate into immune correlates of protection against TB disease.
PMCID: PMC2970848  PMID: 20558627
mycobacteria immunity; pediatric settings
20.  The Novel Tuberculosis Vaccine, AERAS-402, Induces Robust and Polyfunctional CD4+ and CD8+ T Cells in Adults 
Rationale: AERAS-402 is a novel tuberculosis vaccine designed to boost immunity primed by bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), the only licensed vaccine.
Objectives: We investigated the safety and immunogenicity of AERAS-402 in healthy Mycobacterium tuberculosis–uninfected BCG-vaccinated adults from a tuberculosis-endemic region of South Africa.
Methods: Escalating doses of AERAS-402 vaccine were administered intramuscularly to each of three groups of healthy South African BCG-vaccinated adults, and a fourth group received two injections of the maximal dose. Participants were monitored for 6 months, with all adverse effects documented. Vaccine-induced CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell immunity was characterized by an intracellular cytokine staining assay of whole blood and peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Measurements and Main Results: AERAS-402 was well tolerated, and no vaccine-related serious adverse events were recorded. The vaccine induced a robust CD4+ T-cell response dominated by cells coexpressing IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, and IL-2 (“polyfunctional” cells). AERAS-402 also induced a potent CD8+ T-cell response, characterized by cells expressing IFN-γ and/or tumor necrosis factor-α, which persisted for the duration of the study.
Conclusions: Vaccination with AERAS-402 is safe and immunogenic in healthy adults. The immunity induced by the vaccine appears promising: polyfunctional T cells are thought to be important for protection against intracellular pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and evidence is accumulating that CD8+ T cells are also important. AERAS-402 induced a robust and durable CD8+ T-cell response, which appears extremely promising.
Clinical trial registered with (NHREC no. 1381).
PMCID: PMC2894413  PMID: 20167847
tuberculosis; vaccine; immunity; CD4; CD8
21.  The Tuberculin Skin Test versus QuantiFERON TB Gold® in Predicting Tuberculosis Disease in an Adolescent Cohort Study in South Africa 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17984.
This study was conducted in a high tuberculosis (TB) burden area in Worcester, South Africa, with a notified all TB incidence rate of 1,400/100,000.
Main Objective
To compare the predictive value of a baseline tuberculin skin test (TST) with that of the QuantiFERON TB Gold (In-tube) assay (QFT) for subsequent microbiologically confirmed TB disease among adolescents.
Adolescents aged 12–18 years were recruited from high schools in the study area. At baseline, blood was drawn for QFT and a TST administered. Participants were followed up for up to 3.8 years for incident TB disease (median 2.4 years).
After exclusions, 5244 (82.4%) of 6,363 adolescents enrolled, were analysed. The TB incidence rate was 0.60 cases per 100 person years (pyrs) (95% CI 0.43–0.82) for baseline TST positive (≥5 mm) participants and 0.64 cases per 100 pyrs (95% CI 0.45–0.87) for baseline QFT positive participants. TB incidence rates were 0.22 per 100 pyrs (0.11–0.39) and 0.22 per 100 pyrs (0.12–0.38) among those with a negative baseline TST and QFT respectively. Sensitivity for incident TB disease was 76.9% for TST and 75.0% for QFT (p = 0.81). Positive predictive value was 1.4% for TST and 1.5% for QFT.
Positive TST and QFT tests were moderately sensitive predictors of progression to microbiologically confirmed TB disease. There was no significant difference in the predictive ability of these tests for TB disease amongst adolescents in this high burden setting. Therefore, these findings do not support use of QFT in preference to TST to predict the risk of TB disease in this study population.
PMCID: PMC3066222  PMID: 21479236
22.  MVA85A, a novel TB vaccine, is safe in adolescents and children, and induces complex subsets of polyfunctional CD4+ T cells 
European journal of immunology  2010;40(1):279-290.
MVA85A is a new tuberculosis vaccine aimed at enhancing immunity induced by BCG. We investigated the safety and immunogenicity of MVA85A in healthy adolescents and children from a tuberculosis endemic region, who received BCG at birth.
Twelve adolescents and 24 children were vaccinated and followed up for 12 or 6 months, respectively. Adverse events were documented and vaccine-induced immune responses assessed by IFN-γ ELISpot and intracellular cytokine staining.
The vaccine was well tolerated and there were no vaccine-related serious adverse events. MVA85A induced potent and durable T cell responses. Multiple CD4+ T cell subsets, based on expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, IL-17 and GM-CSF, were induced. Polyfunctional CD4+ T cells co-expressing IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-2 dominated the response in both age groups. A novel CD4+ cell subset co-expressing these three Th1 cytokines and IL-17 was induced in adolescents, while a novel CD4+ T cell subset co-expressing Th1 cytokines and GM-CSF was induced in children. Antigen-specific CD8+ T cells were not detected.
We conclude that in adolescents and children MVA85A safely induces the type of immunity thought to be important in protection against tuberculosis. This includes induction of novel Th1 cell populations which have not been previously described in humans.
PMCID: PMC3044835  PMID: 20017188
MVA85A; tuberculosis; vaccine; polyfunctional; IL-17
23.  Safety and immunogenicity of a new tuberculosis vaccine, MVA85A, in healthy adults in South Africa1 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2008;198(4):544-552.
The efficacy of BCG may be enhanced by heterologous vaccination strategies that boost the BCG-primed immune response. One leading booster vaccine, MVA85A, has shown promising safety and immunogenicity in UK human trials. We investigated the safety and immunogenicity of MVA85A in mycobacteria-exposed, but Mycobacterium tuberculosis-uninfected, healthy adults from a TB-endemic region of South Africa.
Twenty-four adults were vaccinated with MVA85A. All subjects were followed up for one year for adverse events and for immunological assessment.
MVA85A vaccination was well tolerated and induced potent T cell responses, measured by IFN-γ ELISPOT assay, which exceeded pre-vaccination levels up to 364 days after vaccination. BCG-specific CD4+ T cells boosted by MVA85A comprised of multiple populations expressing combinations of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2 and IL-17, as measured by polychromatic flow cytometry. IFN-γ expressing and polyfunctional IFN-γ+TNF-α+IL-2+ CD4+ T cells were boosted during the peak BCG-specific response 7 days post-vaccination.
The excellent safety profile and quantitative and qualitative immunogenicity data strongly support further trials to assess the efficacy of MVA85A as a boosting vaccine in TB endemic countries.
PMCID: PMC2822902  PMID: 18582195
Vaccination; tuberculosis; T cells; MVA85A; South Africa
24.  Comparison of Mantoux and Tine Tuberculin Skin Tests in BCG-Vaccinated Children Investigated for Tuberculosis 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e8085.
Tuberculin skin tests (TSTs) are long-established screening methods for tuberculosis (TB). We aimed to compare agreement between the intradermal Mantoux and multipuncture percutaneous Tine methods and to quantify risk factors for a positive test result.
Methodology/Principal Findings
1512 South African children younger than 5 years of age who were investigated for tuberculosis (TB) during a Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) trial were included in this analysis. Children underwent both Mantoux and Tine tests. A positive test was defined as Mantoux ≥15 mm or Tine ≥ Grade 3 for the binary comparison. Agreement was evaluated using kappa (binary) and weighted kappa (hierarchical). Multivariate regression models identified independent risk factors for TST positivity. The Mantoux test was positive in 430 children (28.4%) and the Tine test in 496 children (32.8%, p<0.0001), with observed binary agreement 87.3% (kappa 0.70) and hierarchical agreement 85.0% (weighted kappa 0.66). Among 173 children culture-positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mantoux was positive in 49.1% and Tine in 54.9%, p<0.0001 (kappa 0.70). Evidence of digit preference was noted for Mantoux readings at 5 mm threshold intervals. After adjustment for confounders, a positive culture, suggestive chest radiograph, and proximity of TB contact were risk factors for a positive test using both TST methods. There were no independent associations between ethnicity, gender, age, or over-crowding, and TST result.
The Tine test demonstrated a higher positive test rate than the Mantoux, with substantial agreement between TST methods among young BCG-vaccinated children. TB disease and exposure factors, but not demographic variables, were independent risk factors for a positive result using either test method. These findings suggest that the Tine might be a useful screening tool for childhood TB in resource-limited countries.
PMCID: PMC2779491  PMID: 19956612
25.  Efficacy of percutaneous versus intradermal BCG in the prevention of tuberculosis in South African infants: randomised trial 
Objective To compare the incidence of tuberculosis over two years in infants vaccinated at birth with intradermal BCG or with percutaneous BCG.
Design Randomised trial.
Setting South Africa.
Participants 11 680 newborn infants.
Interventions Infants were randomised by week of birth to receive Tokyo 172 BCG vaccine through the percutaneous route (n=5775) or intradermal route (n=5905) within 24 hours of birth and followed up for two years.
Main outcome measures The primary outcome measure was documented Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection or radiological and clinical evidence of tuberculosis disease. Secondary outcome measures were rates of adverse events, all cause and tuberculosis specific admissions to hospital, and mortality.
Results The difference in the cumulative incidence of definite, probable, and possible tuberculosis between the intradermal group and the percutaneous group, as defined using study definitions based on microbiological, radiological, and clinical findings was −0.36% (95.5% confidence interval −1.27% to 0.54%). No significant differences were found between the routes in the cumulative incidence of tuberculosis using a range of equivalence of “within 25%.” Additionally, no significant differences were found between the routes in the cumulative incidence of adverse events (risk ratio 0.98, 95% confidence interval 0.91 to 1.06), including deaths (1.19, 0.89 to 1.58).
Conclusion Equivalence was found between intradermal BCG vaccine and percutaneous BCG in the incidence of tuberculosis in South African infants vaccinated at birth and followed up for two years. The World Health Organization should consider revising its policy of preferential intradermal vaccination to allow national immunisation programmes to choose percutaneous vaccination if that is more practical.
Trial registration NCT00242047.
PMCID: PMC2583390  PMID: 19008268

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