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1.  Detection of Trichomonas vaginalis DNA by Use of Self-Obtained Vaginal Swabs with the BD ProbeTec Qx Assay on the BD Viper System 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(3):885-889.
Trichomonas vaginalis is the most prevalent nonviral sexually transmitted infection worldwide, and improved diagnostic methods are critical for controlling this pathogen. Diagnostic assays that can be used in conjunction with routine chlamydia/gonorrhea nucleic acid-based screening are likely to have the most impact on disease control. Here we describe the performance of the new BD T. vaginalis Qx (TVQ) amplified DNA assay, which can be performed on the automated BD Viper system. We focus on data from vaginal swab samples, since this is the specimen type routinely used for traditional trichomonas testing and the recommended specimen type for chlamydia/gonorrhea screening. Vaginal swabs were obtained from women attending sexually transmitted disease or family planning clinics at 7 sites. Patient-collected vaginal swabs were tested by the TVQ assay, and the Aptima T. vaginalis (ATV) assay was performed using clinician-collected vaginal swabs. Additional clinician-collected vaginal swabs were used for the wet mount and culture methods. Analyses included comparisons versus the patient infection status (PIS) defined by positive results with the wet mount method or culture, direct comparisons assessed with κ scores, and latent class analysis (LCA) as an unbiased estimator of test accuracy. Data from 838 women, 116 of whom were infected with T. vaginalis, were analyzed. The TVQ assay sensitivity and specificity estimates based on the PIS were 98.3% and 99.0%, respectively. The TVQ assay was similar to the ATV assay (κ = 0.938) in direct analysis. LCA estimated the TVQ sensitivity and specificity as 98.3 and 99.6%, respectively. The TVQ assay performed well using self-collected vaginal swabs, the optimal sample type, as recommended by the CDC for chlamydia/gonorrhea screening among women.
PMCID: PMC3957762  PMID: 24391200
2.  Comparison of Nucleic Acid Amplification Assays with BD Affirm VPIII for Diagnosis of Vaginitis in Symptomatic Women 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(11):3694-3699.
A commercially available, nonamplified, nucleic acid probe-based test system (BD Affirm VPIII) was compared with nucleic acid amplification (NAA)-based assays for determining the etiology of vaginitis in a cohort of 323 symptomatic women. First, a semiquantitative, multiplexed PCR assay (BV-PCR) and the Affirm VPIII Gardnerellavaginalis test were compared with a unified bacterial-vaginosis (BV) reference standard incorporating both Nugent Gram stain scores and Amsel clinical criteria. In the evaluable population of 305 patients, BV-PCR was 96.9% (191/197) sensitive and 92.6% specific (100/108) for BV, while Affirm VPIII was 90.1% sensitive (179/197) and 67.6% specific (73/108). Second, a multiplexed PCR assay detecting Candida albicans and Candida glabrata (CAN-PCR) was compared with the Affirm VPIII Candida test using a reference standard for vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) of yeast culture plus exclusion of alternate vaginitis etiologies. In the population evaluated (n = 102), CAN-PCR was 97.7% sensitive (42/43) and 93.2% specific (55/59) and Affirm VP III was 58.1% sensitive (25/43) and 100% specific (59/59) for VVC. Finally, the results of a commercial NAA test (GenProbe Aptima Trichomonas vaginalis assay; ATV) for T. vaginalis were compared with the Affirm VPIII Trichomonas vaginalis test. In the absence of an independent reference standard for trichomonal vaginitis (TV), a positive result in either assay was deemed to represent true infection. In the evaluable cohort of 388 patients, the sensitivity of ATV was 98.1% (53/54) versus 46.3% (25/54) for Affirm VPIII. The diagnostic accuracy of the combined NAA-based test construct was approximately 20 to 25% higher than that of the Affirm VPIII when modeled in populations with various prevalences of infectious vaginitis.
PMCID: PMC3889753  PMID: 23985917
3.  Diagnostic Rates Differ on the Basis of the Number of Read Days with the Use of the InPouch Culture System for Trichomonas vaginalis Screening 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(11):3875-3876.
The InPouch Trichomonas vaginalis test is the gold standard for clinical culture for Trichomonas vaginalis screening. The current package insert recommends an examination period of 3 days. After review of 2,499 InPouch tests spanning 13 years, we observed that examination up to 3 days will detect only 82.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 79.0% to 86.2%) of positive specimens.
PMCID: PMC3889787  PMID: 24006006
4.  Association of ferroportin Q248H polymorphism with elevated levels of serum ferritin in African-Americans in the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) Study 
Blood cells, molecules & diseases  2007;38(3):247-252.
The ferroportin (FPN1) Q248H polymorphism has been associated with increased serum ferritin (SF) levels in sub-Saharan Africans and in African Americans (AA). AA participants of the HEIRS Study who did not have HFE C282Y or H63D who had elevated initial screening SF (≥300 μg/L in men and ≥200 μg/L in women) (defined as cases) were frequency-matched to AA participants with normal SF (defined as controls) to investigate the association of the Q248H with elevated SF. 10.4% of cases and 6.7% of controls were Q248H heterozygotes (P = 0.257). Q248H homozygosity was observed in 0.5% of the cases and none of the controls. The frequency of Q248H was higher among men with elevated SF than among control men (P = 0.047); corresponding differences were not observed among women. This appeared to be unrelated to self-reports of a previous diagnosis of liver disease. Men with elevated SF were three times more likely than women with elevated SF to have Q248H (P = 0.012). There were no significant differences in Q248H frequencies in men and women control participants. We conclude that the frequency of the FPN1 Q248H polymorphism is greater in AA men with elevated SF than in those with normal SF.
PMCID: PMC3727273  PMID: 17276706
genetics; mutation; transferrin saturation
5.  Can mailed swab samples be dry-shipped for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis by nucleic acid amplification tests? 
Dry-shipped and mailed vaginal swabs collected at home have been used in research studies for the detection of C. trachomatis (CT), N. gonorrhoeae (GC), and Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) by nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) in screening programs. A verification study was performed to compare the limit of detection of CT, GC, and TV on swabs that were dry-shipped to paired swabs that were wet-shipped in transport media through the U.S. mail.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prepared inocula in sterile water to mock simulated urogenital swabs with high to low concentrations of CT and GC. Replicate swabs were inoculated with 100µl of dilutions, were dry transported or placed into commercial transport media (“wet”) for mailing for NAAT testing. The University of Alabama prepared replicate concentrations of TV, which were similarly shipped and tested by NAAT.
All paired dry and wet swabs were detectable for CT. For GC, all paired dry and wet swabs were detectable for GC at concentrations ≥103. At 102 and 10 CFU/ml, the 10 replicate GC results were variably positive. For TV, wet and dry shipped concentrations > 102 TV/ml tested positive, while results at 10 TV/ml were negative for dry swabs. Holding replicate dry swabs at 55°C 5 days before testing did not affect results.
NAATs were able to detect CT, GC, and TV on dry transported swabs. Using NAATs for testing home-collected, urogenital swabs mailed in a dry state to a laboratory may be useful for outreach screening programs.
PMCID: PMC3425852  PMID: 22578934
Dry-shipped simulated swabs; chlamydia; gonorrhea; trichomonas; NAAT testing
6.  Development and Validation of a Semiquantitative, Multitarget PCR Assay for Diagnosis of Bacterial Vaginosis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(7):2321-2329.
Quantitative PCR assays were developed for 4 organisms reported previously to be useful positive indicators for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis (BV)—Atopobium vaginae, Bacterial Vaginosis-Associated Bacterium 2 (BVAB-2), Gardnerella vaginalis, and Megasphaera-1—and a single organism (Lactobacillus crispatus) that has been implicated as a negative indicator for BV. Vaginal samples (n = 169), classified as positive (n = 108) or negative (n = 61) for BV based on a combination of the Nugent Gram stain score and Amsel clinical criteria, were analyzed for the presence and quantity of each of the marker organisms, and the results were used to construct a semiquantitative, multiplex PCR assay for BV based on detection of 3 positive indicator organisms (A. vaginae, BVAB-2, and Megasphaera-1) and classification of samples using a combinatorial scoring system. The prototype BV PCR assay was then used to analyze the 169-member developmental sample set and, in a prospective, blinded manner, an additional 227 BV-classified vaginal samples (110 BV-positive samples and 117 BV-negative samples). The BV PCR assay demonstrated a sensitivity of 96.7% (202/209), a specificity of 92.2% (153/166), a positive predictive value of 94.0%, and a negative predictive value of 95.6%, with 21 samples (5.3%) classified as indeterminate for BV. This assay provides a reproducible and objective means of evaluating critical components of the vaginal microflora in women with signs and symptoms of vaginitis and is comparable in diagnostic accuracy to the conventional gold standard for diagnosis of BV.
PMCID: PMC3405607  PMID: 22535982
7.  Potential Nonresponse Bias in a Clinical Examination After Initial Screening Using Iron Phenotyping and HFE Genotyping in the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening Study 
Background: Little is known about the factors affecting participation in clinical assessments after HEmochromatosis and IRon Overload Screening. Methods: Initial screening of 101,168 primary care patients in the HEmochromatosis and IRon Overload Screening study was performed using serum iron measures and hemochromatosis gene (HFE) genotyping. Using iron phenotypes and HFE genotypes, we identified 2256 cases and 1232 controls eligible to participate in a clinical examination. To assess the potential for nonresponse bias, we compared the sociodemographic, health status, and attitudinal characteristics of participants and nonparticipants using adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: Overall participation was 74% in cases and 52% in controls; in both groups, participation was highest at a health maintenance organization and lowest among those under 45 years of age (cases: OR = 0.68; 95% CI 0.53, 0.87; controls: OR = 0.59; 95% CI 0.44, 0.78). In controls only, participation was also lower among those over 65 years of age than the reference group aged 46–64 (OR = 0.64; 95% CI 0.47, 0.88). Among cases, participation was higher in HFE C282Y homozygotes (OR = 3.98; 95% CI 2.60, 6.09), H63D homozygotes (OR = 2.79; 95% CI 1.23, 6.32), and C282Y/H63D compound heterozygotes (OR = 1.82; 95% CI 1.03, 3.22) than in other genotypes, and lower among non-Caucasians and those who preferred a non-English language than in Caucasians and those who preferred English (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Subjects with greatest risk to have iron overload (C282Y homozygotes; cases ≥45 years; Caucasians) were more likely to participate in a postscreening clinical examination than other subjects. We detected no evidence of strong selection bias.
PMCID: PMC2935839  PMID: 19860558
8.  Allele frequencies of hemojuvelin gene (HJV) I222N and G320V missense mutations in white and African American subjects from the general Alabama population 
BMC Medical Genetics  2004;5:29.
Homozygosity or compound heterozygosity for coding region mutations of the hemojuvelin gene (HJV) in whites is a cause of early age-of-onset iron overload (juvenile hemochromatosis), and of hemochromatosis phenotypes in some young or middle-aged adults. HJV coding region mutations have also been identified recently in African American primary iron overload and control subjects. Primary iron overload unexplained by typical hemochromatosis-associated HFE genotypes is common in white and black adults in Alabama, and HJV I222N and G320V were detected in a white Alabama juvenile hemochromatosis index patient. Thus, we estimated the frequency of the HJV missense mutations I222N and G320V in adult whites and African Americans from Alabama general population convenience samples.
We evaluated the genomic DNA of 241 Alabama white and 124 African American adults who reported no history of hemochromatosis or iron overload to detect HJV missense mutations I222N and G320V using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique. Analysis for HJV I222N was performed in 240 whites and 124 African Americans. Analysis for HJV G320V was performed in 241 whites and 118 African Americans.
One of 240 white control subjects was heterozygous for HJV I222N; she was also heterozygous for HFE C282Y, but had normal serum iron measures and bone marrow iron stores. HJV I222N was not detected in 124 African American subjects. HJV G320V was not detected in 241 white or 118 African American subjects.
HJV I222N and G320V are probably uncommon causes or modifiers of primary iron overload in adult whites and African Americans in Alabama. Double heterozygosity for HJV I222N and HFE C282Y may not promote increased iron absorption.
PMCID: PMC544351  PMID: 15610558
9.  Polymorphisms in HLA Class I Genes Associated with both Favorable Prognosis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Type 1 Infection and Positive Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Responses to ALVAC-HIV Recombinant Canarypox Vaccines 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(18):8681-8689.
Carriers of certain human leukocyte antigen class I alleles show favorable prognosis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, presumably due to effective CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses, but close relationships between class I variants mediating such responses to natural and to vaccine HIV-1 antigen have not been established. During 6 to 30 months of administration and follow-up in trials of ALVAC-HIV recombinant canarypox vaccines, cells from 42% of 291 HIV-1-negative vaccinated subjects typed at class I loci responded to an HIV-1 protein in a lytic bulk CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte assay. By 2 weeks after the second dose, higher proportions of vaccinees carrying one of two alleles consistently associated with slower progression of natural HIV-1 infection reacted at least once: B∗27 carriers reacted to Gag (64%; odds ratio [OR] = 10.3, P = 0.001) and Env (36%; OR = 4.6, P = 0.04), and B∗57 carriers reacted to Env (44%; OR = 6.6, P < 0.05). By 2 weeks after the third or fourth dose, B∗27 carriers had responded (two or more reactions) to Gag (33%; OR = 4.4, P < 0.05) and B∗57 carriers had responded to both Gag (39%; OR = 5.3, P = 0.013) and Env (39%; OR = 9.5, P = 0.002). Homozygosity at class I loci, although conferring an unfavorable prognosis following natural infection, showed no such disadvantage for vaccine response. Individual class I alleles have not previously demonstrated such clear and consistent relationship with both the clinical course of an infection and cellular immunity to a vaccine against the infectious agent. This proof of principle that class I an alleles modulate both processes has implications for development of HIV-1 and presumably other vaccines.
PMCID: PMC115113  PMID: 11507213

Results 1-9 (9)