More than 500,000 deaths are attributed to rotavirus gastroenteritis annually worldwide, with the highest mortality in India. Two successive, naturally occurring rotavirus infections have been shown to confer complete protection against moderate or severe gastroenteritis during subsequent infections in a birth cohort in Mexico. We studied the protective effect of rotavirus infection on subsequent infection and disease in a birth cohort in India (where the efficacy of oral vaccines in general has been lower than expected).
We recruited children at birth in urban slums in Vellore; they were followed for 3 years after birth, with home visits twice weekly. Stool samples were collected every 2 weeks, as well as on alternate days during diarrheal episodes, and were tested by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase-chain-reaction assay. Serum samples were obtained every 6 months and evaluated for seroconversion, defined as an increase in the IgG antibody level by a factor of 4 or in the IgA antibody level by a factor of 3.
Of 452 recruited children, 373 completed 3 years of follow-up. Rotavirus infection generally occurred early in life, with 56% of children infected by 6 months of age. Levels of reinfection were high, with only approximately 30% of all infections identified being primary. Protection against moderate or severe disease increased with the order of infection but was only 79% after three infections. With G1P, the most common viral strain, there was no evidence of homotypic protection.
Early infection and frequent reinfection in a locale with high viral diversity resulted in lower protection than has been reported elsewhere, providing a possible explanation why rotavirus vaccines have had lower-than-expected efficacy in Asia and Africa. (Funded by the Wellcome Trust.)
It is difficult to longitudinally characterize cognitive impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) due to motor deficits, and existing instruments aren’t comparable with assessments in other dementias.
The ALS Brief Cognitive Assessment (ALS-BCA) was validated in 70 subjects (37 with ALS) who also underwent detailed neuropsychological analysis. Cognitive predictors for poor survival were then analyzed in a longitudinal cohort of 171 ALS patients.
The ALS-BCA was highly sensitive (90%) and specific (85%) for ALS-dementia (ALS-D). ALS-D patients had shorter overall survival, primarily due to the poor survival among ALS-D patients with disinhibited or apathetic behaviors after adjusting for demographic variables, ALS site of onset, medications, and supportive measures. ALS-D without behavioral changes was not a predictor of poor survival.
ALS-D can present with or without prominent behavioral changes. Cognitive screening in ALS patients should focus on behavioral changes for prognosis, while non-behavioral cognitive impairments may impact quality of life without impacting survival.
Shah Ebrahim and colleagues argue that more research on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in both high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries can result in mutual benefits and will help better address the growing burden of NCDs.
Infection with Chikungunya alphavirus (CHIKV) can cause severe arthralgia and chronic arthritis in humans with persistence of the virus in perivascular macrophages of the synovial membrane by mechanisms largely ill-characterized.
We herein analysed the innate immune response (cytokine and programmed cell death) of RAW264.7 mouse macrophages following CHIKV infection. We found that the infection was restrained to a small percentage of cells and was not associated with a robust type I IFN innate immune response (IFN-α4 and ISG56). TNF-α, IL-6 and GM-CSF expression were upregulated while IFN-γ, IL-1α, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 or IL-17 expression could not be evidenced prior to and after CHIKV exposure. Although CHIKV is known to drive apoptosis in many cell types, we found no canonical signs of programmed cell death (cleaved caspase-3, -9) in infected RAW264.7 cells.
These data argue for the capacity of CHIKV to infect and drive a specific innate immune response in RAW264.7 macrophage cell which seems to be polarized to assist viral persistence through the control of apoptosis and IFN signalling.
Chikungunya virus; Macrophage; Apoptosis; Viral persistence; Inflammation
Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric illness commonly diagnosed during the early years of childhood. In many adolescents with undiagnosed ADHD, presentation may not be entirely similar to that in younger children. These adolescents pose significant challenges to parents and teachers coping with their disability. Often adolescents with behavioural problems are brought to medical attention as a last resort. This case describes an adolescent who presented to a primary care clinic with school truancy. He was initially treated for depression with oppositional defiant disorder and sibling rivalry. Only following a careful detailed history and further investigations was the diagnosis of ADHD made. He showed a positive improvement with the use of methylphenidate for his ADHD and escitalopram for his depression. The success of his management was further supported by the use of behavioural therapy and parenting interventions. There is a need to increase public awareness of ADHD, especially among parents and teachers so that early intervention can be instituted in these children.
attention-deficit hyperactive disorder; primary care; school truancy
γδ T cells rapidly produce cytokines and represent a first line of defence against microbes and other environmental insults at mucosal tissues and are thus thought to play a local immunoregulatory role. We show that allergic airway inflammation was associated with an increase in innate IL-17-producing γδ T (γδ-17) cells that expressed the αEβ7 integrin and were closely associated with the airway epithelium. Importantly, prostaglandin (PG)I2 and its receptor IP, which downregulated airway eosinophilic inflammation, promoted the emergence of these intraepithelial γδ-17 cells into the airways by enhancing IL-6 production by lung eosinophils and dendritic cells. Accordingly, a pronounced reduction of γδ-17 cells was observed in the thymus of naïve mice lacking the PGI2 receptor IP, as well as in the lungs during allergic inflammation, implying a critical role for PGI2 in the programming of “natural” γδ-17 cells. Conversely, iloprost, a stable analog of PGI2, augmented IL-17 production by γδ T cells but significantly reduced the airway inflammation. Together, these findings suggest that PGI2 plays a key immunoregulatory role by promoting the development of innate intraepithelial γδ-17 cells through an IL-6-dependent mechanism. By enhancing γδ-17 cell responses, stable analogs of PGI2 may be exploited in the development of new immunotherapeutic approaches.
Lung; inflammation; Th2 cells; γδ T cells; IL-17
Cannabinoid CB2 receptor has emerged as a very promising target over the last decades. We have synthesized and evaluated a new fluorescent probe designated NMP6 based on 6-methoxyisatin scaffold, which exhibited selectivity and Ki value at hCB2 of 387 nM. We have demonstrated its ability to be an effective probe for visualization of CB2 receptor binding using confocal microscopy and a flow cytometry probe for the analysis of CB2 protein expression. Furthermore, NMP6 was easily obtained in two chemical steps from commercially available building blocks.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthritogenic member of the Alphavirus genus (family Togaviridae) transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. CHIKV is now known to target non hematopoietic cells such as epithelial, endothelial cells, fibroblasts and to less extent monocytes/macrophages. The type I interferon (IFN) response is an early innate immune mechanism that protects cells against viral infection. Cells express different pattern recognition receptors (including TLR7 and RIG-I) to sense viruses and to induce production of type I IFNs which in turn will bind to their receptor. This should result in the phosphorylation and translocation of STAT molecules into the nucleus to promote the transcription of IFN-stimulated antiviral genes (ISGs). We herein tested the capacity of CHIKV clinical isolate to infect two different human fibroblast cell lines HS 633T and HT-1080 and we analyzed the resulting type I IFN innate immune response.
Indirect immunofluorescence and quantitative RT-PCR were used to test for the susceptibility of both fibroblast cell lines to CHIKV.
Interestingly, the two fibroblast cell lines HS 633T and HT-1080 were differently susceptible to CHIKV infection and the former producing at least 30-fold higher viral load at 48 h post-infection (PI). We found that the expression of antiviral genes (RIG-I, IFN-β, ISG54 and ISG56) was more robust in the more susceptible cell line HS 633T at 48 h PI. Moreover, CHIKV was shown to similarly interfere with the nuclear translocation of pSTAT1 in both cell lines.
Critically, CHIKV can control the IFN response by preventing the nuclear translocation of pSTAT1 in both fibroblast cell lines. Counter-intuitively, the relative resistance of HT-1080 cells to CHIKV infection could not be attributed to more robust innate IFN- and ISG-dependent antiviral responses. These cell lines may prove to be valuable models to screen for novel mechanisms mobilized differentially by fibroblasts to control CHIKV infection, replication and spreading from cell to cell.
CHIKV; Type I IFN; HS 633T; HT-1080; RIG-I; TLR7; STAT-1
The QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-GIT) is a viable alternative to the tuberculin skin test (TST) for detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. However, within-subject variability may limit test utility. To assess variability, we compared results from the same subjects when QFT-GIT enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were performed in different laboratories.
Subjects were recruited at two sites and blood was tested in three labs. Two labs used the same type of automated ELISA workstation, 8-point calibration curves, and electronic data transfer. The third lab used a different automated ELISA workstation, 4-point calibration curves, and manual data entry. Variability was assessed by interpretation agreement and comparison of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) measurements. Data for subjects with discordant interpretations or discrepancies in TB Response >0.05 IU/mL were verified or corrected, and variability was reassessed using a reconciled dataset.
Ninety-seven subjects had results from three labs. Eleven (11.3%) had discordant interpretations and 72 (74.2%) had discrepancies >0.05 IU/mL using unreconciled results. After correction of manual data entry errors for 9 subjects, and exclusion of 6 subjects due to methodological errors, 7 (7.7%) subjects were discordant. Of these, 6 (85.7%) had all TB Responses within 0.25 IU/mL of the manufacturer's recommended cutoff. Non-uniform error of measurement was observed, with greater variation in higher IFN-γ measurements. Within-subject standard deviation for TB Response was as high as 0.16 IU/mL, and limits of agreement ranged from −0.46 to 0.43 IU/mL for subjects with mean TB Response within 0.25 IU/mL of the cutoff.
Greater interlaboratory variability was associated with manual data entry and higher IFN-γ measurements. Manual data entry should be avoided. Because variability in measuring TB Response may affect interpretation, especially near the cutoff, consideration should be given to developing a range of values near the cutoff to be interpreted as “borderline,” rather than negative or positive.
According to extensive epidemiological data, infertility is associated with increased ovarian cancer risk. Previous studies showed that both women with infertility and those with ovarian cancer have autoantibodies to ovarian antigens. The objective was to determine if women with infertility have antibodies to mesothelin, a well characterized ovarian cancer antigen.
Sera were obtained from women with infertility (n=109), ovarian cancer (n=28), benign ovarian tumors or cysts (n=24) and from healthy women (n=152). Infertility included those with a risk for ovarian cancer; endometriosis (n=23), ovulatory dysfunction (n=17), premature ovarian failure (n=25) and unexplained infertility (n=44). Sera were assayed for mesothelin antibodies and for circulating mesothelin antigen by immunoassay and compared to assay control sera (n=16) to determine a positive result.
Mesothelin antibodies were significantly more frequent in women with prematurely reduced ovarian function including ovulatory dysfunction (59%), ovarian failure (POF) (44%) and unexplained infertility (25%) compared to controls. In contrast, women with endometriosis, who also have a high risk for ovarian cancer, did not have mesothelin antibodies. Serum levels of mesothelin were rarely elevated in women with infertility but were high in most patients with ovarian cancer.
Conclusions and Significance
We show for the first time that antibodies to mesothelin, a well characterized ovarian cancer antigen, occur in some women with epidemiologic risk for ovarian cancer. The results suggest it may be possible to identify which women with infertility have ovarian cancer risk.
Autoantibodies; Mesothelin; Infertility; Ovarian Cancer
Citation analysis is currently one of the most widely used metrics for analyzing the scientific contribution in different fields. The Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) aims at promoting technical cooperation among Muslim scientists and their respected centers based on these theories. It also facilitates the accessibility of knowledge and research contribution among them. This paper aims at revealing some of the outmost features of ISC databases, in order to give a fairly clear view of what it is and what are its products. The paper consists of three major parts. After an introduction about the Islamic World Science Citation Center, the paper deals with major tools and products of ISC. In the third part ISCs’ journal Submission system is presented as an automatic means, by which users can upload journals’ papers into the respected databases.
Some complementary remarks have been made regarding the current state of ISC and its future plans.
The Islamic World Science Citation Center; ISC; Scientific contribution; Research Journals.
While not an uncommon tumor, urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder is rare in bladders draining pancreatic allografts. A case of urothelial carcinoma directly involving a pancreatic allograft with metastasis that occurred in a 49-year-old pancreas and kidney transplant recipient is described. Her initial clinical presentation and findings of CT scan of the abdomen suggested pancreatitis with features worrisome for rejection. A biopsy of her pancreatic allograft contained poorly differentiated carcinoma and cystoscopic biopsy disclosed an invasive high grade urothelial carcinoma arising in the background of extensive urothelial carcinoma in situ. Exploratory laparotomy revealed that the tumor invaded the right ovary and fallopian tube, cecum, and allograft with extensive retroperitoneal involvement. She underwent en bloc resection of distal ileum and cecum, resection of transplant pancreas, partial cystectomy, ileocolostomy anastomosis, and right salpingo-oophorectomy. Postoperatively, the patient was treated with four cycles of carboplatin and gemcitabine. She ultimately succumbed to her disease approximately 1 year after diagnosis. This case should alert physicians and radiologists to be aware of atypical presentation of urothelial carcinoma in bladder-drained pancreas grafts, the aggressiveness of such lesions, and the need for early biopsy to avoid diagnostic confusion with rejection.
Bladder cancer; Nested variant of urothelial carcinoma; Pancreas and kidney transplantation
Given that micronutrient deficiency, neglected intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) and poor socioeconomic status are closely linked, we conducted a cross-sectional study to assess the relationship between IPIs and nutritional status of children living in remote and rural areas in West Malaysia.
A total of 550 children participated, comprising 520 (94.5%) school children aged 7 to 12 years old, 30 (5.5%) young children aged 1 to 6 years old, 254 (46.2%) boys and 296 (53.8%) girls. Of the 550 children, 26.2% were anaemic, 54.9% iron deficient and 16.9% had iron deficiency anaemia (IDA). The overall prevalence of helminths was 76.5% comprising Trichuris trichiura (71.5%), Ascaris lumbricoides (41.6%) and hookworm infection (13.5%). It was observed that iron deficiency was significantly higher in girls (p = 0.032) compared to boys. Univariate analysis demonstrated that low level of mother's education (OR = 2.52; 95% CI = 1.38–4.60; p = 0.002), non working parents (OR = 2.18; 95% CI = 2.06–2.31; p = 0.013), low household income (OR = 2.02; 95% CI = 1.14–3.59; p = 0.015), T. trichiura (OR = 2.15; 95% CI = 1.21–3.81; p = 0.008) and A. lumbricoides infections (OR = 1.63; 95% CI = 1.04–2.55; p = 0.032) were significantly associated with the high prevalence of IDA. Multivariate analysis confirmed that low level of mother's education (OR = 1.48; 95 CI% = 1.33–2.58; p<0.001) was a significant predictor for IDA in these children.
It is crucial that a comprehensive primary health care programme for these communities that includes periodic de-worming, nutrition supplement, improved household economy, education, sanitation status and personal hygiene are taken into consideration to improve the nutritional status of these children.
Micronutrient deficiency and intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) share a similar geographical distribution. A conservative estimate indicated that almost 2 billion individuals suffer from anaemia due to iron deficiency (ID), corresponding to 24.8% of the world's population. Crucially, most of these individuals are children and women of reproductive age in developing countries. Intestinal parasitic infections, especially soil-transmitted helminthes (STH), are prevalent in areas where micronutrient deficiency is widespread and the relationship between them has been studied. Most studies have noted an association between iron deficiency and IPIs. Against this background we studied the association between micronutrient deficiency, IPIs and socioeconomic factors among rural children in West Malaysia. Overall, 26.2%, 54.9% and 16.9% of the participants had anaemia, ID and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA), respectively. The overall prevalence of STH infections was 76.5% with Trichuris trichiura (71.5%), Ascaris lumbricoides (41.6%) and hookworm (13.5%). Univariate analysis found that low level of mother's education, i.e., less than 6 years of formal education, non working parents, low house income, T. trichiura infection and A. lumbricoides infection were significantly associated with the odds of IDA. The final multivariate analysis indicated that low level of mother's education was a significant predictor for IDA in these children.
Streptobacillus moniliformis is a fastidious growing Gram-negative bacillus responsible of rat-bite fever. We describe here the first report of this disease in la Réunion and the first isolation using shell vial cell culture from a blood culture bottle with a bacterium suspected to be dead.
Background. There are scarce data on the long-termsurvival of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—infected children receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in lower-middle income countries beyond 2 years of follow-up.
Methods. Previously untreated children who initiated ART on meeting immunological and/or clinical criteria were followed in a prospective cohort in Thailand. The probability of survival up to 5 years from initiation was estimated using Kaplan-Meier methods, and factors associated with mortality were assessed using Cox regression analyses.
Results. Five hundred seventy-eight children received ART; of these, 111 (19.2%) were followed since birth. At start of ART (baseline), the median age was 6.7 years, 128 children (22%) were aged <2 years, and the median CD4 cell percentage was 7%. Median duration of follow-up was 53 months; 42 children (7%) died, and 38 (7%) were lost to follow-up. Age <12 months, low CD4 cell percentage, and low weight-for-height z score at ART initiation were independently associated with mortality (P < .001). The probability of survival among infants aged <12 months at baseline was 84.3% at 1 year and 76.7% at 5 years of ART, compared with 95.7% and 94.8%, respectively, among children aged ⩾1 year. Low CD4 cell percentage and wasting at baseline had a strong association with mortality among older children but weak or no association among infants.
Conclusions. Children who initiated ART as infants after meeting immunological and/or clinical criteria had a high risk of mortality which persisted beyond the first year of therapy. Among older children, those with severe wasting or low CD4 cell percentage at treatment initiation were at high risk of mortality during the first 6 months of therapy. These findings support the scale-up of early HIV diagnosis and immediate treatment in infants, before advanced disease progression in older children.
HIV prevention among young people in southern Africa is a public health priority. There is little rigorous evidence of the effectiveness of different intervention approaches. We describe findings of a cluster randomised trial of a community-based, multi-component HIV and reproductive health intervention aimed at changing social norms for adolescents in rural Zimbabwe.
Thirty rural communities were randomised to early or deferred implementation of the intervention in 2003. Impact was assessed in a representative survey of 18–22 year olds after 4 years. Participants self-completed a questionnaire and gave a dried blood spot sample for HIV and HSV-2 antibody testing. Young women had a urinary pregnancy test. Analyses were by intention-to-treat and were adjusted for clustering.
4,684 18–22 year olds participated in the survey (97.1% of eligibles, 55.5% female). Just over 40% had been exposed to ≥ 10 intervention sessions. There were modest improvements in knowledge and attitudes among young men and women in intervention communities, but no impact on self-reported sexual behaviour. There was no impact of the intervention on prevalence of HIV or HSV-2 or current pregnancy. Women in intervention communities were less likely to report ever having been pregnancy.
Despite an impact on knowledge, some attitudes and on reported pregnancy, there was no impact of this intervention on HIV or HSV-2 prevalence, further evidence that behavioural interventions alone are unlikely to be sufficient to reverse the HIV epidemic. The challenge remains to find effective HIV prevention approaches for young people in the face of continued and unacceptably high HIV incidence, particularly among young women.
Randomised trial; adolescents; prevention; HIV infection; sexually transmitted infections; pregnancy; Zimbabwe
There have been few reports of long-term survival of HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Africa managed under near normal health service conditions.
Participants starting ART between February 2005 and December 2006 in The AIDS Support (TASO) clinic in Jinja, Uganda, were enrolled into a cluster-randomised trial of home versus facility-based care and followed up to January 2009. The trial was integrated into normal service delivery with patients managed by TASO staff according to national guidelines. Rates of survival, virological failure, hospital admissions and CD4 count over time were similar between the two arms. Data for the present analysis were analysed using Cox regression analyses.
1453 subjects were enrolled with baseline median count of 108 cells/μl. Over time, 119 (8%) withdrew and 34 (2%) were lost to follow-up. 197/1453 (14%) died. Mortality rates (95% CI) per 100 person-years were 11.8 (10.1, 13.8) deaths in the first year and 2.4 (1.8, 3.2) deaths thereafter. The one, two and three year survival probabilities (95% CI) were 0.89 (0.87 - 0.91), 0.86 (0.84 - 0.88) and 0.85 (0.83 - 0.87) respectively. Low baseline CD4 count, low body weight, advanced clinical condition (WHO stages III and IV), not being on cotrimoxazole prophylaxis and male gender were associated independently with increased mortality. Tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis and diarrhoeal disease were estimated to be major causes of death.
Practical and affordable interventions are needed to enable earlier initiation of ART and to reduce mortality risk among those who present late for treatment with advanced disease.
Antiretroviral therapy; HIV; Africa; survival; cause of death; adult; Uganda; health care delivery
The HE4 protein is overexpressed in ovarian carcinomas and can be detected in serum by an ELISA with sensitivity similar to CA125 and higher specificity for malignant disease. We now demonstrate that HE4 can also be detected in the urine at a specificity level of 94.4%, including 13/15 (86.6%) with stage I/II and 57/64 (89.0%) with stage III/IV disease and including 90.5% of patients with serous ovarian carcinoma. Assaying serum and urine from the same patients showed similar sensitivity. Our data indicate that measuring HE4 in urine may aid diagnosis and the monitoring of response to therapy.
ELISA; ovarian cancer diagnostics; urine; HE4
To date, there is little information that reflects the true extent of spread of the pH1N1/2009v influenza pandemic at the community level as infection often results in mild or no clinical symptoms. This study aimed at assessing through a prospective study, the attack rate of pH1N1/2009 virus in Reunion Island and risk factors of infection, during the 2009 season.
A serosurvey was conducted during the 2009 austral winter, in the frame of a prospective population study. Pairs of sera were collected from 1687 individuals belonging to 772 households, during and after passage of the pandemic wave. Antibodies to pH1N1/2009v were titered using the hemagglutination inhibition assay (HIA) with titers ≥1/40 being considered positive. Seroprevalence during the first two weeks of detection of pH1N1/2009v in Reunion Island was 29.8% in people under 20 years of age, 35.6% in adults (20–59 years) and 73.3% in the elderly (≥60 years) (P<0.0001). Baseline corrected cumulative incidence rates, were 42.9%, 13.9% and 0% in these age groups respectively (P<0.0001). A significant decline in antibody titers occurred soon after the passage of the epidemic wave. Seroconversion rates to pH1N1/2009 correlated negatively with age: 63.2%, 39.4% and 16.7%, in each age group respectively (P<0.0001). Seroconversion occurred in 65.2% of individuals who were seronegative at inclusion compared to 6.8% in those who were initially seropositive.
Seroincidence of pH1N1/2009v infection was three times that estimated from clinical surveillance, indicating that almost two thirds of infections occurring at the community level have escaped medical detection. People under 20 years of age were the most affected group. Pre-epidemic titers ≥1/40 prevented seroconversion and are likely protective against infection. A concern was raised about the long term stability of the antibody responses.
Chikungunya Virus (ChikV) surprised by a massive re-emerging outbreak in Indian Ocean in 2006, reaching Europe in 2007 and exhibited exceptional severe physiopathology in infants and elderly patients. In this context, it is important to analyze the innate immune host responses triggered against ChikV. Autophagy has been shown to be an important component of the innate immune response and is involved in host defense elimination of different pathogens. However, the autophagic process was recently observed to be hijacked by virus for their own replication. Here we provide the first evidence that hallmarks of autophagy are specifically found in HEK.293 infected cells and are involved in ChikV replication.
To test the capacity of ChikV to mobilize the autophagic machinery, we performed fluorescence microscopy experiments on HEK.GFP.LC3 stable cells, and followed the LC3 distribution during the time course of ChikV infection. To confirm this, we performed electron microscopy on HEK.293 infected cells. To test the effect of ChikV-induced-autophagy on viral replication, we blocked the autophagic process, either by pharmacological (3-MA) or genetic inhibition (siRNA against the transcript of Beclin 1, an autophagic protein), and analyzed the percentage of infected cells and the viral RNA load released in the supernatant. Moreover, the effect of induction of autophagy by Rapamycin on viral replication was tested.
The increasing number of GFP-LC3 positive cells with a punctate staining together with the enhanced number of GFP-LC3 dots per cell showed that ChikV triggered an autophagic process in HEK.293 infected cells. Those results were confirmed by electron microscopy analysis since numerous membrane-bound vacuoles characteristic of autophagosomes were observed in infected cells. Moreover, we found that inhibition of autophagy, either by biochemical reagent and RNA interference, dramatically decreases ChikV replication.
Taken together, our results suggest that autophagy may play a promoting role in ChikV replication. Investigating in details the relationship between autophagy and viral replication will greatly improve our knowledge of the pathogenesis of ChikV and provide insight for the design of candidate antiviral therapeutics.
ChikV; alphavirus; autophagy; innate immunity
As immune compromised HIV sero-positive people regain health after initiating antiretroviral treatment (ART), they may seek a return to an active 'normal' life, including sexual activity. The aim of the paper is to explore the changing sexual desires and behaviour of people on ART in Uganda over a 30 month period.
This study employed longitudinal qualitative interviews with forty people starting ART. The participants received their ART, adherence education and counselling support from The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO). The participants were selected sequentially as they started ART, stratified by sex, ART delivery mode (clinic or home-based) and HIV progression stage (early or advanced) and interviewed at enrolment, 3, 6, 18 and 30 months of their ART use.
Sexual desire changed over time with many reporting diminished desire at 3 and 6 months on ART compared to 18 and 30 months of use. The reasons for remaining abstinent included fear of superinfection or infecting others, fear that engaging in sex would awaken the virus and weaken them and a desire to adhere to the counsellors' health advice to remain abstinent. The motivations for resumption of sexual activity were: for companionship, to obtain material support, social norms around marriage, desire to bear children as well as to satisfy sexual desires. The challenges for most of the participants were using condoms consistently and finding a suitable sexual partner (preferably someone with a similar HIV serostatus) who could agree to have a sexual relationship with them and provide for their material needs.
These findings point to the importance of tailoring counselling messages to the changing realities of the ART users' cultural expectations around child bearing, marriage and sexual desire. People taking ART require support so they feel comfortable to disclose their HIV status to sexual partners.
Sexual desire; ART; HIV; Longitudinal; Sexual behaviour
Short/branched chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (SBCAD) deficiency, also known as 2-methylbutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, is a recently described autosomal recessive disorder of isoleucine metabolism. Most patients reported thus far have originated from a founder mutation in the Hmong Chinese population. While the first reported patients had severe disease, most of the affected Hmong have remained asymptomatic. In this study we describe 11 asymptomatic non-Hmong patients brought to medical attention by elevated C5-carnitine found by newborn screening and one discovered because of clinical symptoms. The diagnosis of SBCAD deficiency was determined by metabolite analysis of blood, urine, and fibroblast samples. PCR and bidirectional sequencing were performed on genomic DNA from five of the patients covering the entire SBCAD (ACADSB) gene sequence of 11 exons. Sequence analysis of genomic DNA from each patient identified variations in the SBCAD gene not previously reported. E. coli expression studies revealed that the missense mutations identified lead to inactivation or instability of the mutant SBCAD enzymes. These findings confirm that SBCAD deficiency can be identified through newborn screening by acylcarnitine analysis. Our patients have been well without treatment and call for careful follow-up studies to learn the true clinical impact of this disorder.
Branched Chain Acyl Coenzyme A Dehydrogenase; 2-Methylbutyryl Coenzyme A dehydrogenase; organic acidemia; isoleucine metabolism; acyl-CoA dehydrogenase; newborn screening
High early mortality rate among HIV infected patients following initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in resource limited settings may indicate high pre-treatment mortality among ART-eligible patients. There is dearth of data on pre-treatment mortality in ART programmes in sub-Sahara Africa. This study aims to determine pre-treatment mortality rate and predictors of pre-treatment mortality among ART-eligible adult patients in a West Africa clinic-based cohort.
All HIV-infected patients aged 15 years or older eligible for ART between June 2004 and September 2009 were included in the analysis. Assessment for eligibility was based on the Gambia ART guideline. Survival following ART-eligibility was determined by Kaplan-Meier estimates and predictors of pre-treatment mortality determined by Cox proportional hazard models.
Overall, 790 patients were assessed as eligible for ART based on their clinical and/or immunological status among whom 510 (64.6%) started treatment, 26 (3.3%) requested transfer to another health facility, 136 (17.2%) and 118 (14.9%) were lost to follow-up and died respectively without starting ART. ART-eligible patients who died or were lost to follow-up were more likely to be male or to have a CD4 T-cell count < 100 cells/μL, while patients in WHO clinical stage 3 or 4 were more likely to die without starting treatment. The overall pre-treatment mortality rate was 21.9 deaths per 100 person-years (95% CI 18.3 - 26.2) and the rate for the composite end point of death or loss to follow-up was 47.1 per 100 person-years (95% CI 41.6 - 53.2). Independent predictors of pre-treatment mortality were CD4 T-cell count <100 cells/μL (adjusted Hazard ratio [AHR] 3.71; 95%CI 2.54 - 5.41) and WHO stage 3 or 4 disease (AHR 1.91; 95% CI 1.12 - 3.23). Forty percent of ART-eligible patients lost to follow-up seen alive at field visit cited difficulty with the requirement of disclosing their HIV status as reason for not starting ART.
Approximately one third of ART-eligible patients did not start ART and pre-treatment mortality rate was found high among HIV infected patients in our cohort. CD4 T-cell count <100 cells/μL is the strongest independent predictor of pre-treatment mortality. The requirement to disclose HIV status as part of ART preparation counselling constitutes a huge barrier for eligible patients to access treatment.
With clinical trials under pressure to produce more convincing results faster, we reexamine relative efficiencies for the semiparametric comparison of cause-specific rather than all-cause mortality events, observing that in many settings misclassification of cause of failure is not negligible. By incorporating known misclassification rates, we derive an adapted logrank test that optimizes power when the alternative treatment effect is confined to the cause-specific hazard. We derive sample size calculations for this test as well as for the corresponding all-cause mortality and naive cause-specific logrank test which ignores the misclassification. This may lead to new options at the design stage which we discuss. We reexamine a recently closed vaccine trial in this light and find the sample size needed for the new test to be 32% smaller than for the equivalent all-cause analysis, leading to a reduction of 41 224 participants.
Cause-specific analysis; Clinical trials; Competing risks; Misclassification; Sample size; Survival analysis; Verbal autopsy
Background. Teratoma with malignant transformation (TMT) is rare and most commonly encountered in adult patient with germ cell tumor (GCT). Method. We report a rare case of testicular teratoma with metastatic TMT/embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS). A 44-year-old man underwent right orchiectomy which revealed a malignant teratoma, he subsequently had right pneumonectomy with two pulmonary masses containing a high-grade embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. The patient developed liver metastasis three months after initial diagnosis. He was treated with a chemotherapy regimen with vincristine, dactinomycin, and cyclophosphamide (VAC) alternating with vincristine and irinotecan (VI) with complete resolution of his liver lesion. The tumors were examined with a battery of cytogenetic, immunohistochemical, and molecular assays. Results. The malignant cells were immunohistochemically positive for desmin, myogenin, and MyoD1. Molecular cytogenetics of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma tissue revealed the presence of i(12p). The tumor expressed high level of TOPO2A, TOPO1, MRP1, MGMT, BCRP, ERCC1, RRM1, and TS. Conclusion. The activity of topoisomerase inhibitors and the potential usefulness of topoisomerase expression as biomarkers should be further tested in aprospective study.