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1.  Evaluation of Xpert MTB/RIF and MODS assay for the diagnosis of pediatric tuberculosis 
Background
Tuberculosis (TB) in children is rarely confirmed due to the lack of effective diagnostic tools; only 10 to 15% of pediatric TB is smear positive due to paucibacillary samples and the difficulty of obtaining high-quality specimens from children. We evaluate here the accuracy of Xpert MTB/RIF in comparison with the Micoroscopic observation drug susceptibility (MODS) assay for diagnosis of TB in children using samples stored during a previously reported evaluation of the MODS assay.
Methods
Ninety-six eligible children presenting with suspected TB were recruited consecutively at Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City Viet Nam between May to December 2008 and tested by Ziehl-Neelsen smear, MODS and Mycobacterial growth Indicator (MGIT, Becton Dickinson) culture. All samples sent by the treating clinician for testing were included in the analysis. An aliquot of processed sample deposit was stored at −20°C and tested in the present study by Xpert MTB/RIF test. 183 samples from 73 children were available for analysis by Xpert. Accuracy measures of MODS and Xpert were summarized.
Results
The sensitivity (%) in detecting children with a clinical diagnosis of TB for smear, MODS and Xpert were 37.9 [95% CI 25.5; 51.6], 51.7 [38.2; 65.0] and 50.0 [36.6; 63.4], respectively (per patient analysis). Xpert was significantly more sensitive than smear (P=0.046). Testing of additional samples did not increase case detection for MODS while testing of a second sputum sample by Xpert detected only two additional cases. The positive and negative predictive values (%) of Xpert were 100.0 [88.0; 100.0] and 34.1 [20.5; 49.9], respectively, while those of MODS were 96.8 [83.3; 99.9] and 33.3 [19.6; 49.5].
Conclusion
MODS culture and Xpert MTB/RIF test have similar sensitivities for the detection of pediatric TB. Xpert MTB RIF is able to detect tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance within two hours. MODS allows isolation of cultures for further drug susceptibility testing but requires approximately one week to become positive. Testing of multiple samples by xpert detected only two additional cases and the benefits must be considered against costs in each setting. Further research is required to evaluate the optimal integration of Xpert into pediatric testing algorithms.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-31
PMCID: PMC3562258  PMID: 23343418
Tuberculosis; GeneXpert MTB/RIF; MODS; Pediatric; Childhood
2.  Evaluation of microscopic observation drug susceptibility assay for diagnosis of multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis in Viet Nam 
Background
Early diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) is important for the elimination of TB. We evaluated the microscopic observation drug susceptibility (MODS) assay as a direct rapid drug susceptibility testing (DST) method for MDR-TB screening in sputum samples
Methods
All adult TB suspects, who were newly presenting to Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital from August to November 2008 were enrolled into the study. Processed sputum samples were used for DST by MODS (DST-MODS) (Rifampicin (RIF) 1 μg/ml and Isoniazid (INH) 0.4 μg/ml), MGIT culture (Mycobacterial Growth Indicator Tube) and Lowenstein Jensen (LJ) culture. Cultures positive by either MGIT or LJ were used for proportional DST (DST-LJ) (RIF 40 μg/ml and INH 0.2 μg/ml). DST profiles on MODS and LJ were compared. Discrepant results were resolved by multiplex allele specific PCR (MAS-PCR).
Results
Seven hundred and nine TB suspects/samples were enrolled into the study, of which 300 samples with DST profiles available from both MODS and DST-LJ were analyzed. Cording in MODS was unable to correctly identify 3 Mycobacteria Other Than Tuberculosis (MOTT) isolates, resulting in 3 false positive TB diagnoses. None of these isolates were identified as MDR-TB by MODS. The sensitivity and specificity of MODS were 72.6% (95%CI: 59.8, 83.1) and 97.9% (95%CI: 95.2, 99.3), respectively for detection of INH resistant isolates, 72.7% (95%CI: 30.9, 93.7) and 99.7% (95%CI: 98.1, 99.9), respectively for detecting RIF resistant isolates and 77.8% (95%CI: 39.9, 97.1) and 99.7% (95%CI: 98.1, 99.9), respectively for detecting MDR isolates. The positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV) of DST-MODS were 87.5% (95%CI: 47.3, 99.6) and 99.3% (95%CI: 97.5, 99.9) for detection of MDR isolates; and the agreement between MODS and DST-LJ was 99.0% (kappa: 0.8, P < 0.001) for MDR diagnosis. The low sensitivity of MODS for drug resistance detection was probably due to low bacterial load samples and the high INH concentration (0.4 μg/ml). The low PPV of DST-MODS may be due to the low MDR-TB rate in the study population (3.8%). The turnaround time of DST-MODS was 9 days and 53 days for DST-LJ.
Conclusion
The DST-MODS technique is rapid with low contamination rates. However, the sensitivity of DST-MODS for detection of INH and RIF resistance in this study was lower than reported from other settings.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-49
PMCID: PMC3347990  PMID: 22375832
MDR-TB; Tuberculosis; MODS; Diagnosis
3.  Usefulness and applicability of the revised dengue case classification by disease: multi-centre study in 18 countries 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:106.
Background
In view of the long term discussion on the appropriateness of the dengue classification into dengue fever (DF), dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS), the World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined in its new global dengue guidelines a revised classification into levels of severity: dengue fever with an intermediary group of "dengue fever with warning sings", and severe dengue. The objective of this paper was to compare the two classification systems regarding applicability in clinical practice and surveillance, as well as user-friendliness and acceptance by health staff.
Methods
A mix of quantitative (prospective and retrospective review of medical charts by expert reviewers, formal staff interviews), semi-quantitative (open questions in staff interviews) and qualitative methods (focus group discussions) were used in 18 countries. Quality control of data collected was undertaken by external monitors.
Results
The applicability of the DF/DHF/DSS classification was limited, even when strict DHF criteria were not applied (13.7% of dengue cases could not be classified using the DF/DHF/DSS classification by experienced reviewers, compared to only 1.6% with the revised classification). The fact that some severe dengue cases could not be classified in the DF/DHF/DSS system was of particular concern. Both acceptance and perceived user-friendliness of the revised system were high, particularly in relation to triage and case management. The applicability of the revised classification to retrospective data sets (of importance for dengue surveillance) was also favourable. However, the need for training, dissemination and further research on the warning signs was highlighted.
Conclusions
The revised dengue classification has a high potential for facilitating dengue case management and surveillance.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-106
PMCID: PMC3098176  PMID: 21510901
4.  The antimicrobial resistance patterns and associated determinants in Streptococcus suis isolated from humans in southern Vietnam, 1997-2008 
Background
Streptococcus suis is an emerging zoonotic pathogen and is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in adults in Vietnam. Systematic data on the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of S. suis strains isolated from human cases are lacking. We studied antimicrobial resistance and associated resistance determinants in S. suis isolated from patients with meningitis in southern Vietnam.
Methods
S. suis strains isolated between 1997 and 2008 were investigated for their susceptibility to six antimicrobial agents. Strains were screened for the presence and expression of tetracycline and erythromycin resistance determinants and the association of tet(M) genes with Tn916- like transposons. The localization of tetracycline resistance gene tet(L) was determined by pulse field gel electrophoresis and Southern blotting.
Results
We observed a significant increase in resistance to tetracycline and chloramphenicol, which was concurrent with an increase in multi-drug resistance. In tetracycline resistance strains, we identified tet(M), tet(O), tet(W) and tet(L) and confirmed their expression. All tet(M) genes were associated with a Tn916-like transposon. The co-expression of tet(L) and other tetracycline resistance gene(s) encoding for ribosomal protection protein(s) was only detected in strains with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of tetracycline of ≥ 64 mg/L
Conclusions
We demonstrated that multi-drug resistance in S. suis causing disease in humans in southern Vietnam has increased over the 11-year period studied. We report the presence and expression of tet(L) in S. suis strains and our data suggest that co-expression of multiple genes encoding distinct mechanism is required for an MIC ≥ 64 mg/L to tetracycline.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-6
PMCID: PMC3022717  PMID: 21208459
5.  Influenza A H5N1 and HIV co-infection: case report 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:167.
Background
The role of adaptive immunity in severe influenza is poorly understood. The occurrence of influenza A/H5N1 in a patient with HIV provided a rare opportunity to investigate this.
Case Presentation
A 30-year-old male was admitted on day 4 of influenza-like-illness with tachycardia, tachypnea, hypoxemia and bilateral pulmonary infiltrates. Influenza A/H5N1 and HIV tests were positive and the patient was treated with Oseltamivir and broad-spectrum antibiotics. Initially his condition improved coinciding with virus clearance by day 6. He clinically deteriorated as of day 10 with fever recrudescence and increasing neutrophil counts and died on day 16. His admission CD4 count was 100/μl and decreased until virus was cleared. CD8 T cells shifted to a CD27+CD28- phenotype. Plasma chemokine and cytokine levels were similar to those found previously in fatal H5N1.
Conclusions
The course of H5N1 infection was not notably different from other cases. Virus was cleared despite profound CD4 T cell depletion and aberrant CD8 T cell activation but this may have increased susceptibility to a fatal secondary infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-167
PMCID: PMC2901358  PMID: 20540811
6.  Comparison of two dengue NS1 rapid tests for sensitivity, specificity and relationship to viraemia and antibody responses 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:142.
Background
Dengue is a major public health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. Rapid and easy diagnosis of dengue can assist patient triage and care-management. The detection of DENV NS1 on rapid lateral flow tests offers a fast route to a presumptive dengue diagnosis but careful evaluations are urgently needed as more and more people use them.
Methods
The sensitivity and specificity of the Bio-Rad NS1 Ag Strip and SD Dengue Duo (NS1/IgM/IgG) lateral flow rapid tests were evaluated in a panel of plasma samples from 245 Vietnamese patients with RT-PCR confirmed dengue and 47 with other febrile illnesses.
Results
The NS1 rapid tests had similar diagnostic sensitivities (respectively 61.6% and 62.4%) in confirmed dengue cases but were 100% specific. When IgM/IgG results from the SD Dengue Duo were included in the test interpretation, the sensitivity improved significantly from 62.4% with NS1 alone to 75.5% when NS1 and/or IgM was positive and 83.7% when NS1 and/or IgM and/or IgG was positive. Both NS1 assays were significantly more sensitive for primary than secondary dengue. NS1 positivity was associated with the underlying viraemia as NS1-positive samples had a significantly higher viraemia than NS1-negative samples.
Conclusions
These data suggest that the NS1 test component of these assays are highly specific and have similar levels of sensitivity. The IgM parameter in the SD Duo test improved overall test sensitivity without compromising specificity. The SD Dengue Duo lateral flow rapid test deserves further prospective evaluation in dengue endemic settings.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-142
PMCID: PMC2895602  PMID: 20509940
7.  The sensitivity of real-time PCR amplification targeting invasive Salmonella serovars in biological specimens 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:125.
Background
PCR amplification for the detection of pathogens in biological material is generally considered a rapid and informative diagnostic technique. Invasive Salmonella serovars, which cause enteric fever, can be commonly cultured from the blood of infected patients. Yet, the isolation of invasive Salmonella serovars from blood is protracted and potentially insensitive.
Methods
We developed and optimised a novel multiplex three colour real-time PCR assay to detect specific target sequences in the genomes of Salmonella serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A. We performed the assay on DNA extracted from blood and bone marrow samples from culture positive and negative enteric fever patients.
Results
The assay was validated and demonstrated a high level of specificity and reproducibility under experimental conditions. All bone marrow samples tested positive for Salmonella, however, the sensitivity on blood samples was limited. The assay demonstrated an overall specificity of 100% (75/75) and sensitivity of 53.9% (69/128) on all biological samples. We then tested the PCR detection limit by performing bacterial counts after inoculation into blood culture bottles.
Conclusions
Our findings corroborate previous clinical findings, whereby the bacterial load of S. Typhi in peripheral blood is low, often below detection by culture and, consequently, below detection by PCR. Whilst the assay may be utilised for environmental sampling or on differing biological samples, our data suggest that PCR performed directly on blood samples may be an unsuitable methodology and a potentially unachievable target for the routine diagnosis of enteric fever.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-125
PMCID: PMC2886058  PMID: 20492644
8.  A changing picture of shigellosis in southern Vietnam: shifting species dominance, antimicrobial susceptibility and clinical presentation 
Background
Shigellosis remains considerable public health problem in some developing countries. The nature of Shigellae suggests that they are highly adaptable when placed under selective pressure in a human population. This is demonstrated by variation and fluctuations in serotypes and antimicrobial resistance profile of organisms circulating in differing setting in endemic locations. Antimicrobial resistance in the genus Shigella is a constant threat, with reports of organisms in Asia being resistant to multiple antimicrobials and new generation therapies.
Methods
Here we compare microbiological, clinical and epidemiological data from patients with shigellosis over three different periods in southern Vietnam spanning14 years.
Results
Our data demonstrates a shift in dominant infecting species (S. flexneri to S. sonnei) and resistance profile of the organisms circulating in southern Vietnam. We find that there was no significant variation in the syndromes associated with either S. sonnei or S. flexneri, yet the clinical features of the disease are more severe in later observations.
Conclusions
Our findings show a change in clinical presentation of shigellosis in this setting, as the disease may be now more pronounced, this is concurrent with a change in antimicrobial resistance profile. These data highlight the socio-economic development of southern Vietnam and should guide future vaccine development and deployment strategies.
Trial Registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN55945881
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-204
PMCID: PMC2803792  PMID: 20003464

Results 1-8 (8)