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1.  In-utero exposure to maternal HIV infection alters T-cell immune responses to vaccination in HIV-uninfected infants 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(10):1421-1430.
In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) infants have higher morbidity and mortality than HIV-unexposed infants. To evaluate whether immune dysfunction contributes to this vulnerability of HEU infants, we conducted a longitudinal, observational cohort study to assess T-cell immune responses to infant vaccines (Mycobacterium bovis BCG and acellular pertussis) and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB). In total, 46 HEU and 46 HIV-unexposed infants were recruited from Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
Vaccine-specific T-cell proliferation (Ki67 expression) and intracellular expression of four cytokines [interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-13 and IL-17] were measured after whole blood stimulation with antigens at 6 and 14 weeks of age.
HEU infants demonstrated elevated BCG-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell proliferative responses at 14 weeks (P = 0.041 and 0.002, respectively). These responses were significantly increased even after adjusting for birth weight, feeding mode and gestational age. Similar to BCG, increased CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell proliferation was evident in response to SEB stimulation (P = 0.004 and 0.002, respectively), although pertussis-specific T cells proliferated comparably between the two groups. Within HEU infants, maternal CD4+ cell count and length of antenatal antiretroviral exposure had no effect on T-cell proliferation to BCG or SEB. HIV exposure significantly diminished measurable cytokine polyfunctionality in response to BCG, Bordetella pertussis and SEB stimulation.
These data show for the first time, when adjusting for confounders, that exposure to HIV in utero is associated with significant alterations to CD4+ and CD8+T-cell immune responses in infants to vaccines and nonspecific antigens.
PMCID: PMC4333196  PMID: 24785950
cytokines; infants; maternal HIV; proliferation; T-cell immunity; vaccination
There is an emergence of drug-resistant-TB (DR-TB) in settings affected by HIV and tuberculosis (TB).
We investigated the prevalence of DR-TB in P1041, a multi-centred, randomized, double-blind trial which compared administration of INH to placebo, in HIV-exposed-uninfected and HIV-infected African infants in the absence of any documented TB exposure.
The prevalence of MDR-TB was 22.2% (95% CI: 8.5–45.8%) and INH monoresistance 5.6% (95% CI 0.1–27.6%) amongst culture-confirmed cases with all MDR-TB occurring in a single site. There was no association between INH treatment or placebo group, or between HIV infection status, and DR-TB prevalence.
There was a high prevalence of DR-TB amongst HIV-exposed and infected children. Surveillance of DR-TB amongst children in high-burden TB/HIV settings should be routine.
PMCID: PMC3265022  PMID: 22236919
3.  Anti-Group B Streptococcus antibody in infants born to mothers with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection☆ 
Vaccine  2015;33(5):621-627.
•HIV-infected women have lower anti-GBS surface binding antibody concentrations than uninfected controls with reduced antibody-mediated deposition of complement C3b/iC3b onto GBS bacteria.•HIV-exposed, uninfected infants have a lower concentration of antibody binding to the surface of GBS bacteria as well as a reduction in antibody-mediated deposition of complement C3b/iC3b onto the surface of GBS strains at birth compared to HIV-unexposed infants.•As a result, HIV-exposed uninfected infants may be at increased risk of early and late onset GBS disease compared to unexposed infants.
HIV-exposed uninfected infants have increased infection risk and mortality compared to HIV-unexposed infants. HIV-exposed infants may be at increased risk of invasive GBS disease due to reduced maternal antibody against GBS.
We quantified antibodies that bind to the surface of whole Group B Streptococcus (GBS) of serotypes Ia, Ib, II, III and V using novel flow cytometry assays in South African HIV-infected and non-infected mothers and their uninfected infants. Antibody-mediated complement C3b/iC3b deposition onto GBS of these serotypes was also quantified by a novel flow cytometry assay.
Geometric mean concentration (GMC) of both surface-binding anti-GBS antibody and antibody-mediated complement deposition onto GBS were reduced in HIV-infected women (n = 46) compared to HIV-uninfected women (n = 58) for ST1a (surface-binding: 19.3 vs 29.3; p = 0.003; complement deposition: 2.9 vs 5.3 SU/mL; p = 0.003), STIb (24.9 vs 47.6; p = 0.003; 2.6 vs 4.9 SU/mL; p = 0.003), STII (19.8 vs 50.0; p = 0.001; 3.1 vs 6.2 SU/mL; p = 0.001), STIII (27.8 vs 60.1; p = 0.001; 2.8 vs 5.3 SU/mL; p = 0.001) and STV (121.9 vs 185.6 SU/mL; p < 0.001) and in their infants for STIa (complement deposition 9.4 vs 27.0 SU/mL; p = 0.02), STIb (13.4 vs 24.5 SU/mL; p = 0.02), STII (14.6 vs 42.7 SU/mL; p = 0.03), STIII (26.6 vs 62.7 SU/mL; p = 0.03) and STV (90.4 vs 165.8 SU/mL; p = 0.04). Median transplacental transfer of antibody from HIV-infected women to their infants was reduced compared to HIV-uninfected women for GBS serotypes II (0.42 [IQR 0.22–0.59] vs 1.0 SU/mL [0.42–1.66]; p < 0.001), III (0.54 [0.31–1.03] vs 0.95 SU/mL [0.42–3.05], p = 0.05) and V (0.51 [0.28–0.79] vs 0.75 SU/mL [0.26–2.9], p = 0.04). The differences between infants remained significant at 16 weeks of age.
Maternal HIV infection was associated with lower anti-GBS surface binding antibody concentration and antibody-mediated C3b/iC3b deposition onto GBS bacteria of serotypes Ia, Ib, II, III and V. This may render these infants more susceptible to early and late onset GBS disease.
PMCID: PMC4315133  PMID: 25543061
Antibody; Group B Streptococcus; HIV-exposed-uninfected infants; HIV; Immunity
4.  Assessing the impact of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in children: an exploratory qualitative study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):426.
While the prevalence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) is high among children in the Western Cape of South Africa, the psychosocial implications of treatment for children with MDR-TB remain poorly understood. We sought to explore how MDR-TB and its treatment impact children on an individual, familial, and social level.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 children and caregivers purposively sampled from a prospective clinical cohort of children. The sample was stratified by age at the start of treatment (children >10 years, and 5-10 years). Caregiver proxy interviews were conducted with younger children, supplemented with child interviews; older children were interviewed directly, supplemented with caregiver proxy interviews. Data were analysed using grounded theory.
Findings revealed pill volume and adverse effects produced significant physical, psychological and academic disturbances in children. Adverse effects related to the medication were important obstacles to treatment adherence. While there appear to be no long-lasting effects in younger children, a few older children showed evidence of persisting internalised stigma. Caregivers suffered important treatment-related financial and psychological costs. Community support, notably through the continued involvement of children in strong social networks, promoted resilience among children and their families.
We found that the current treatment regimen for childhood MDR-TB has significant psychological, academic, and financial impacts on children and their families. There is a need for psychosocial support of children and caregivers to mitigate the negative effects of community stigma, and to manage the stressors associated with chronic illness.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-426) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4127187  PMID: 25084990
South Africa; Childhood MDR-TB; Psychosocial impact; Qualitative research
5.  Consensus Statement on Research Definitions for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Children 
Few children with drug-resistant (DR) tuberculosis (TB) are identified, diagnosed, and given an appropriate treatment. The few studies that have described this vulnerable population have used inconsistent definitions. The World Health Organization (WHO) definitions used for adults with DR-TB and for children with drug-susceptible TB are not always appropriate for children with DR-TB. The Sentinel Project on Pediatric Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis was formed in 2011 as a network of experts and stakeholders in childhood DR-TB. An early priority was to establish standardized definitions for key parameters in order to facilitate study comparisons and the development of an evidence base to guide future clinical management. This consensus statement proposes standardized definitions to be used in research. In particular, it suggests consistent terminology, as well as definitions for measures of exposure, drug resistance testing, previous episodes and treatment, certainty of diagnosis, site and severity of disease, adverse events, and treatment outcome.
PMCID: PMC3665326  PMID: 23717785
Pediatric; Children; Tuberculosis; Drug-Resistance; Definition; Consensus
6.  Does an Isoniazid Prophylaxis Register Improve Tuberculosis Contact Management in South African Children? 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e80803.
We compared the change in child household contact management of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) cases before and after the implementation of an isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) register in an urban clinic setting in Cape Town, South Africa.
We determined if the presence of an IPT register was associated with an increase in the number of child contacts identified per infectious case and the proportion of identified children who were started on IPT.
We reviewed routine programme data on IPT delivery to children during two time periods (May 2008–October 2008 and May 2011–October 2011), before and after the implementation of an IPT register used by routine clinic personnel.
Adult TB case demographic and clinical characteristics from the two observation periods were similar. During the post-register period, more child contacts per adult case were identified (0.7 (54 children) vs. 0.3 (24 children)), more of the identified children were started on IPT (54 vs. 4) and 37% of those who started, completed six months of treatment compared to the pre-register period where no adherence information was recorded.
After pilot implementation of an IPT register, documented identification of child contacts, IPT initiation and IPT adherence documentation in TB exposed children was improved. Our findings support further exploration of the potential impact of using standardised IPT recording and reporting in routine clinics in high-burden TB settings to improve TB prevention efforts targeted at young children. Future efforts to improve IPT delivery should be systematic and comprehensive in order to support a change in current operational IPT delivery practices in TB programs.
PMCID: PMC3858233  PMID: 24339884
7.  Risk factors for infection and disease in child contacts of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:392.
Young children exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis have a high risk of disease progression following infection. This study aimed to determine risk factors for M. tuberculosis infection and disease in children following exposure to adults with multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB).
Cross-sectional study; all children aged < 5 years, routinely referred per local guidelines to the provincial specialist MDR-TB clinic, Western Cape Province, South Africa, following identification as contacts of adult MDR-TB source cases, were eligible for enrolment from May 2010 through April 2011. Demographic, clinical and social characteristics were collected. All children underwent HIV and tuberculin skin testing.
Of 228 children enrolled (median age: 30 months), 102 (44.7%) were classified as infected. Of these, 15 (14.7%) had TB disease at enrolment. Of 217 children tested for HIV, 8 (3.7%) were positive. In adjusted analysis, child’s age (AOR: 1.43; 95% CI: 1.13-1.91; p = 0.002) and previous TB treatment history (AOR: 2.51; 95% CI: 1.22-5.17; p = 0.01) were independent risk factors for infection. Increasing age of the MDR-TB source case (AOR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.45-1.00; p = 0.05) was protective and source case alcohol use (AOR: 2.59; 95% CI: 1.29-5.22; p = 0.007) was associated with increased odds of infection in adjusted analysis. Decreasing age of the child (p = 0.01) and positive HIV status (AOR: 25.3; 95% CI: 1.63-393; p = 0.01) were associated with prevalent TB disease.
A high proportion of children exposed to MDR-TB are infected or diseased. Early contact tracing might provide opportunities to prevent the progression to TB disease in children identified as having been exposed to MDR-TB.
PMCID: PMC3765928  PMID: 23977834
Pediatric; Infection; Disease; Drug-resistant; Tuberculosis; Children
8.  Evaluation of Tuberculosis Diagnostics in Children: 2. Methodological Issues for Conducting and Reporting Research Evaluations of Tuberculosis Diagnostics for Intrathoracic Tuberculosis in Children. Consensus From an Expert Panela 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(Suppl 2):S209-S215.
Confirming the diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis is a major challenge. However, research on childhood tuberculosis as it relates to better diagnostics is often neglected because of technical difficulties, such as the slow growth in culture, the difficulty of obtaining specimens, and the diverse and relatively nonspecific clinical presentation of tuberculosis in this age group. Researchers often use individually designed criteria for enrollment, diagnostic classifications, and reference standards, thereby hindering the interpretation and comparability of their findings. The development of standardized research approaches and definitions is therefore needed to strengthen the evaluation of new diagnostics for detection and confirmation of tuberculosis in children.
In this article we present consensus statements on methodological issues for conducting research of Tuberculosis diagnostics among children, with a focus on intrathoracic tuberculosis. The statements are complementary to a clinical research case definition presented in an accompanying publication and suggest a phased approach to diagnostics evaluation; entry criteria for enrollment; methods for classification of disease certainty, including the rational use of culture within the case definition; age categories and comorbidities for reporting results; and the need to use standard operating procedures. Special consideration is given to the performance of microbiological culture in children and we also recommend for alternative methodological approaches to report findings in a standardized manner to overcome these limitations are made. This consensus statement is an important step toward ensuring greater rigor and comparability of pediatric tuberculosis diagnostic research, with the aim of realizing the full potential of better tests for children.
PMCID: PMC3334504  PMID: 22476719
9.  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
10.  Utility of Host Markers Detected in Quantiferon Supernatants for the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Children in a High-Burden Setting 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64226.
The diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis (TB) disease remains a challenge especially in young and HIV-infected children. Recent studies have identified potential host markers which, when measured in Quantiferon (QFT-IT) supernatants, show promise in discriminating between Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) infection states. In this study, the utility of such markers was investigated in children screened for TB in a setting with high TB incidence.
Methodology and Principal Findings
76 children (29% HIV-infected) with or without active TB provided blood specimens collected directly into QFT-IT tubes. After overnight incubation, culture supernatants were harvested, aliquoted and frozen for future immunological research purposes. Subsequently, the levels of 12 host markers previously identified as potential TB diagnostic markers were evaluated in these supernatants for their ability to discriminate between M.tb infection and disease states using the Luminex platform. Of the 76 children included, 19 (25%) had culture confirmed TB disease; 26 (46%) of the 57 without TB had positive markers of M.tb infection defined by a positive QFT-IT test. The potentially most useful analytes for diagnosing TB disease included IFN-α2, IL-1Ra, sCD40L and VEGF and the most useful markers for discriminating between QFT-IT positive children as TB or latent infection included IL-1Ra, IP-10 and VEGF. When markers were used in combinations of four, 84% of all children were accurately classified into their respective groups (TB disease or no TB), after leave-one-out cross validation.
Measurement of the levels of IFN-α2, IL-1Ra, sCD40L, IP-10 and VEGF in QFT-IT supernatants may be a useful method for diagnosing TB disease and differentiating between active TB disease and M.tb infection in children. Our observations warrant further investigation in larger well-characterized clinical cohorts.
PMCID: PMC3655018  PMID: 23691173
11.  Effect of Ascaris Lumbricoides specific IgE on tuberculin skin test responses in children in a high-burden setting: a cross-sectional community-based study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:211.
M.tuberculosis (M.tb) is associated with enhanced T helper cell type 1 (Th1) immune responses while helminth infection is associated with T helper cell type 2 (Th2) immune responses. Our aim was to investigate whether helminth infection could influence the ability to generate an appropriate Th1 immune response that is characterized by a positive tuberculin skin test (TST), in M.tb exposed children.
We completed a community-based, cross sectional household contact tracing study, using matched enrolment of HIV negative children with and without documented household M.tb exposure. We documented demographics, clinical characteristics, HIV status, M.tb exposure (using a standard contact score) and M.tb infection status (TST > = 10 mm). Ascaris lumbricoides-specific IgE was used as proxy for Ascaris infection/exposure.
Of 271 children (median age 4 years (range: 4 months to 15 years)) enrolled, 65 participants (24%) were serum positive for Ascaris IgE. There were 168 (62%) children with a documented household tuberculosis contact and 107 (40%) were (TST) positive overall.
A positive TST was associated with increasing age (Odds Ratio (OR) =1.17, p < 0.001), increasing M.tb contact score (OR = 1.17, p < 0.001), previous tuberculosis treatment (OR = 4.8, p = 0.06) and previous isoniazid preventive treatment (OR = 3.16, p = 0.01). A visible bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) scar was associated with reduced odds of being TST positive (OR = 0.42, p = 0.01).
Ascaris IgE was not associated with TST status in univariate analysis (OR = 0.9, p = 0.6), but multivariable logistic regression analysis suggested an inverse association between Ascaris IgE status and a positive TST (OR = 0.6, p = 0.08), when adjusted for age, and M.tb contact score. The addition of an age interaction term to the model suggested that the age effect was stronger among Ascaris IgE positive children; the effect of being Ascaris IgE positive significantly reduced the odds of being TST positive amongst younger children while this effect weakened with increasing age.
Our preliminary findings highlight a high prevalence of both Ascaris exposure/infection and M.tb infection in children in an urban setting. Helminth exposure/infection may reduce the immune response following M.tb exposure when controlling for epidemiological and clinical covariates. These findings might be relevant to the interpretation of immunological tests of M.tb infection in children.
PMCID: PMC3482567  PMID: 22966931
Tuberculosis; Helminth infection; Ascaris, M.tb infection; Immune polarization; Paediatric tuberculosis
12.  Operational challenges in managing Isoniazid Preventive Therapy in child contacts: A high-burden setting perspective 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:544.
The study was conducted at a high TB-HIV burden primary health community clinic in Cape Town, South Africa. We describe the management of children under five years of age in household contact with a smear and/or culture-positive adult TB case.
This study was a record review of routinely-collected programme data.
A total of 1094 adult TB case folders were reviewed. From all identified contacts, 149 children should have received IPT based on local guidelines; in only 2/149 IPT was initiated. Management of child contacts of sputum smear and/or culture-positive compared to sputum-negative TB patients were similar.
IPT delivery to children remains an operational challenge, especially in high TB-HIV burden communities. A tool to improve IPT management and targeting sputum smear and/or culture-positive TB child contacts may overcome some of these challenges and should be developed and piloted in such settings.
PMCID: PMC3150266  PMID: 21740580
13.  Delaying BCG vaccination from birth to 10 weeks of age may result in an enhanced memory CD4 T cell response 
Vaccine  2009;27(40):5488-5495.
In most tuberculosis (TB) endemic countries, bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG) is usually given around birth to prevent severe TB in infants. The neonatal immune system is immature. Our hypothesis was that delaying BCG vaccination from birth to 10 weeks of age would enhance the vaccine-induced immune response.
In a randomized clinical trial, BCG was administered intradermally either at birth (n=25) or at 10 weeks of age (n=21). Ten weeks after vaccination, and at 1 year of age, vaccine-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell responses were measured with a whole blood intracellular cytokine assay.
Infants who received delayed BCG vaccination demonstrated higher frequencies of BCG-specific CD4 T cells, particularly polyfunctional T cells co-expressing IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-2, and most strikingly at 1 year of age.
Delaying BCG vaccination from birth to 10 weeks of age enhances the quantitative and qualitative BCG-specific T cell response, when measured at one year of age.
PMCID: PMC2745558  PMID: 19616494
BCG; vaccination; birth; delayed; polyfunctional CD4 T cells
14.  Culture-confirmed childhood tuberculosis in Cape Town, South Africa: a review of 596 cases 
The clinical, radiological and microbiological features of culture-confirmed childhood tuberculosis diagnosed at two referral hospitals are described.
Cultures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from children less than 13 years of age at Tygerberg and Red Cross Children's Hospitals, Cape Town, South Africa, were collected from March 2003 through February 2005. Folder review and chest radiography were performed and drug susceptibility tests done.
Of 596 children (median age 31 months), 330 (55.4%) were males. Of all children, 281 (47.1%) were HIV-uninfected, 133 (22.3%) HIV-infected and 182 (30.5%) not tested. Contact with infectious tuberculosis adults was recorded in 295 (49.5%) children. Missed opportunities for chemoprophylaxis were present in 117/182 (64.3%) children less than 5 years of age.
Extrathoracic TB was less common in HIV-infected than in HIV-uninfected children (49/133 vs. 156/281; odds ratio 0.50, 95% confidence interval 0.32–0.78). Alveolar opacification (84/126 vs. 128/274; OR 1.85, 95%CI 1.08–3.19) and cavitation (33/126 vs. 44/274; OR 2.28, 95%CI 1.44–3.63) were more common in HIV-infected than in HIV-uninfected children. Microscopy for acid-fast bacilli on gastric aspirates and sputum was positive in 29/142 (20.4%) and 40/125 (32.0%) children, respectively. Sixty-seven of 592 (11.3%) children's isolates showed resistance to isoniazid and/or rifampicin; 43 (7.3%) were isoniazid-monoresistant, 2 (0.3%) rifampicin-monoresistant and 22 (3.7%) multidrug-resistant. Death in 41 children (6.9%) was more common in HIV-infected children and very young infants.
HIV infection and missed opportunities for chemoprophylaxis were common in children with culture-confirmed TB. With cavitating disease and sputum or gastric aspirates positive for acid-fast bacilli, children may be infectious. Transmission of drug-resistant TB is high in this setting.
PMCID: PMC2225409  PMID: 18047651
15.  Beijing and Haarlem Genotypes Are Overrepresented among Children with Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in the Western Cape Province of South Africa▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2006;44(10):3539-3543.
Drug resistance among children with culture-confirmed tuberculosis (TB) provides an accurate measure of transmitted drug resistance within the community. We describe the genotype diversity in children with culture-confirmed TB and investigate the relationship between genotype and drug resistance. A prospective study was conducted from March 2003 through August 2005 at Tygerberg Children's Hospital, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. All children (<13 years of age) diagnosed with culture-confirmed TB were included. Genotype analysis and phenotypic drug susceptibility testing were performed on the first culture-positive isolate from each patient. Mutation analysis was performed on all drug-resistant isolates. Spoligotyping was successfully performed on isolates from 391/399 (98%) children diagnosed with culture-confirmed TB. Drug susceptibility testing was also performed on 391 isolates; 49 (12.5%) were resistant to isoniazid, and 20 (5.1%) of these were resistant to both isoniazid and rifampin. Beijing was the most common genotype family, identified in 130/391 (33.2%) cases, followed by LAM in 114/391 (29.2%) cases. The presence of both Beijing and Haarlem genotype families was significantly associated with drug resistance (26/49 [53.1%] versus 113/342 [33.0%]; odds ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 2.9). The high prevalence of Beijing and LAM in children with culture-confirmed TB reflects considerable transmission of these genotype families within the community. The overrepresentation of Beijing and Haarlem genotype families in children with drug-resistant TB demonstrates their contribution to transmitted drug resistance and their potential importance in the emergent drug-resistant TB epidemic.
PMCID: PMC1594752  PMID: 16928967
16.  Childhood tuberculosis: progress requires an advocacy strategy now 
The European Respiratory Journal  2012;40(2):294-297.
Childhood tuberculosis (TB) is a preventable and curable infectious disease that remains overlooked by public health authorities, health policy makers and TB control programmes. Childhood TB contributes significantly to the burden of disease and represents the failure to control transmission in the community. Furthermore, the pool of infected children constitutes a reservoir of infection for the future burden of TB. It is time to prioritise childhood TB, advocate for addressing the challenges and grasp the opportunities in its prevention and control. Herein, we propose a scientifically informed advocacy agenda developed at the International Childhood TB meeting held in Stockholm, Sweden, from March 17 to 18, 2011, which calls for a renewed effort to improve the situation for children affected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposure, infection or disease. The challenges and needs in childhood TB are universal and apply to all settings and must be addressed more effectively by all stakeholders.
PMCID: PMC3409406  PMID: 22337859
Control; infectious disease; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; public health
17.  Influence of Age and Nutritional Status on the Performance of the Tuberculin Skin Test and QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube in Young Children Evaluated for Tuberculosis in Southern India 
Reliable identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection or tuberculosis (TB) disease in young children is vital to assure adequate preventive and curative treatment. The tuberculin skin test (TST) and IFNγ-release assays may supplement the diagnosis of pediatric TB as cases are typically bacteriologically unconfirmed. However, it is unclear to what extent the performance of TST and QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT; Cellestis’ IFNγ-release assay test) depends on the demographic, clinical and nutritional characteristics of children in whom they are tested.
During a 2-year prospective observational study of 4382 neonates in Southern India, children with suspected TB were investigated and classified by a standard TB diagnostic algorithm.
Clinical TB was diagnosed in 13 of 705 children referred for case verification with suspected TB. TST and QFT had a susceptibility for clinical TB of 31% and 23%, respectively, in this group. Children <2 years were more likely to test QFT indeterminate. A height-for-age Z score within the lowest quartile increased the odds ratio (OR) for a positive or indeterminate QFT result [OR 2.46 (1.19–5.06), OR 3.08 (1.10–8.58)], whereas the OR for a positive TST was reduced with a weight-for-height Z score within the lowest quartile [OR 0.17 (0.06–0.47)].
The sensitivities of the TST and QFT for clinical TB in children <3 years of age were equally poor in this population. Stunted children were more susceptible to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and more prone to indeterminate QFT results. TST was less reliable in children with wasting.
PMCID: PMC4165482  PMID: 24797993
tuberculosis; tuberculin skin test; interferon gamma release assay; malnutrition; child; multivariate analyses
18.  The impact of HIV exposure and maternal Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection on infant immune responses to bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination 
AIDS (London, England)  2015;29(2):155-165.
The objective of this study is to assess the effect of maternal HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection on cellular responses to bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunization.
A mother–infant cohort study.
Samples were collected from mother–infant pairs at delivery. Infants were BCG-vaccinated at 6 weeks of age and a repeat blood sample was collected from infants at 16 weeks of age. BCG-specific T-cell proliferation and intracellular cytokine expression were measured by flow cytometry. Secreted cytokines and chemokines in cell culture supernatants were analysed using a Multiplex assay.
One hundred and nine (47 HIV-exposed and 62 HIV-unexposed) mother–infants pairs were recruited after delivery and followed longitudinally. At birth, proportions of mycobacteria-specific proliferating T cells were not associated with either in-utero HIV exposure or maternal Mtb sensitization. However, in-utero HIV exposure affected infant-specific T-cell subsets [tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) single positive proliferating CD4+ T cells and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), TNF-α dual-positive CD4+ T cells]. Levels of TNF-α protein in cell culture supernatants were also significantly higher in HIV-exposed infants born to Mtb-sensitized mothers. In the presence of maternal Mtb sensitization, frequencies of maternal and newborn BCG-specific proliferating CD4+ T cells were positively correlated. Following BCG vaccination, there was no demonstrable effect of HIV exposure or maternal Mtb infection on infant BCG-specific T-cell proliferative responses or concentrations of secreted cytokines and chemokines.
Effects of maternal HIV and Mtb infection on infant immune profiles at birth are transient only, and HIV-exposed, noninfected infants have the same potential to respond to and be protected by BCG vaccination as HIV-unexposed infants.
PMCID: PMC4284011  PMID: 25535752
bacille Calmette-Guérin; HIV infection; HIV-exposed; immunogenicity; Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection; uninfected infants; vaccination

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