Publications

23

Apr, 2018

Weekends-off efavirenz-based antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected children, adolescents and young adults (BREATHER): Extended follow-up results of a randomised, open-label, non-inferiority trial

 

Authors: Turkova A, Moore CL, Butler K, et al.

Published in: PLoS One2018;13(4):e0196239.

Abstract: Background: Weekends off antiretroviral therapy (ART) may help engage HIV-1-infected young people facing lifelong treatment. BREATHER showed short cycle therapy (SCT; 5 days on, 2 days off ART) was non-inferior to continuous therapy (CT) over 48 weeks. Planned follow-up was extended to 144 weeks, maintaining original randomisation.

Methods: BREATHER was an open-label, non-inferiority trial. Participants aged 8-24yrs with virological suppression on efavirenz-based first-line ART were randomised 1:1, stratified by age and African/non-African sites, to remain on CT or change to SCT. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the proportion of participants with viral rebound (confirmed VL≥50 copies/mL) under intent-to-treat at 48 weeks (primary outcome), and in extended follow-up at 96, 144, and 192 weeks. SCT participants returned to CT following viral rebound, 3 VL blips or discontinuation of efavirenz.

Findings: Of 199 participants (99 SCT, 100 CT), 97 per arm consented to extended follow-up. Median follow-up was 185.3 weeks (IQR 160.9–216.1). 69 (70%) SCT participants remained on SCT at last follow-up. 105 (53%) were male, baseline median age 14 years (IQR 12–18), median CD4 count 735 cells/μL (IQR 576–968). 16 SCT and 16 CT participants had confirmed VL≥50 copies/mL by the end of extended follow-up (HR 1.00, 95% CI 0.50–2.00). Estimated difference in percentage with viral rebound (SCT minus CT) by week 144 was 1.9% (90% CI -6.6–10.4; p = 0.72) and was similar in a per-protocol analysis. There were no significant differences between arms in proportions of participants with grade 3/4 adverse events (18 SCT vs 16 CT participants; p = 0.71) or ART-related adverse events (10 vs 12; p = 0.82). 20 versus 8 serious adverse events (SAEs) were reported in 16 SCT versus 4 CT participants, respectively (p = 0.005 comparing proportions between groups; incidence rate ratio 2.49, 95%CI 0.71–8.66, p = 0.15). 75% of SAEs (15 SCT, 6 CT) were hospitalisations for a wide range of conditions. 3 SCT and 6 CT participants switched to second-line ART following viral failure (p = 0.50).

Conclusions: Sustainable non-inferiority of virological suppression in young people was shown for SCT versus CT over median 3.6 years. Standard-dose efavirenz-based SCT is a viable option for virologically suppressed HIV-1 infected young people on first-line ART with 3-monthly VL monitoring.

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15

Feb, 2018

What we know and what we don’t know about perinatal Zika virus infection: a systematic review

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Authors: Soriano-Arandes A, Rivero-Calle I, Nastouli E, et al.

Published inExpert Review of Anti-infective Therapy Vol. 0, Iss. ja, 2018

Abstract: Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has caused the most challenging worldwide infectious epidemic outbreak in recent months. ZIKV causes microcephaly and other congenital malformations. There is a need to perform updated systematic reviews on ZIKV infection periodically because this epidemic is bringing up new evidence with extraordinary speed.

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13

Dec, 2017

“How Do We Start? And How Will They React?” Disclosing to Young People with Perinatally Acquired HIV in Uganda

 

Authors: Namukwaya S, Paparini S, Seeley J, Bernays S.

Published in: Front Public Health. 2017;5:343

Abstract: Despite great advances in pediatric HIV care, rates and the extent of full disclosure of HIV status to infected children remain low especially in resource-constrained setting. The World Health Organisation recommends that, by the age of 10-12 years old, children should be made fully aware of their HIV-positive status. However, this awareness is often delayed until much later in their adolescence. Few studies have been conducted to investigate what influences caregivers’ decision-making process in this regard in low-income settings. In this article, we present an analysis of care dyads of caregivers and HIV-positive young people in Kampala, Uganda, as part of the findings of a longitudinal qualitative study about young people’s adherence to antiretroviral therapy embedded in an international clinical trial (BREATHER). Repeat in-depth interviews were conducted with 26 young people living with HIV throughout the course of the trial, and once-off interviews with 16 of their caregivers were also carried out toward the end of the trial. In this article, we examine why and how caregivers decide to disclose a young person’s HIV status to them and explore their feelings and dilemmas toward disclosure, as well as how young people reacted and the influence it had on their relationships with and attitudes toward their caregivers. Caregivers feared the consequences of disclosing the young person’s positive status to them and disclosure commonly occurred hurriedly in response to a crisis, rather than as part of an anticipated and planned process. A key impediment to disclosure was that caregivers feared that disclosing would damage their relationships with the young people and commonly used this as a reason to continue to postpone disclosure. However, young people did not report prolonged feelings of blame or anger toward their caregivers about their own infection, but they did express frustration at the delay and obfuscation surrounding the disclosure process. Our findings can inform the ways in which mainstream HIV services support caregivers through the disclosure process. This includes providing positive encouragement to disclose fully and to be more confident in initiating and sustaining the timely process of disclosure.

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16

Nov, 2017

Behavioral, climatic, and environmental risk factors for Zika and Chikungunya virus infections in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

 

Authors: Fuller TL, Calvet G, Genaro Estevam C, et al.

Abstract: The burden of arboviruses in the Americas is high and may result in long-term sequelae with infants disabled by Zika virus infection (ZIKV) and arthritis caused by infection with Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). We aimed to identify environmental drivers of arbovirus epidemics to predict where the next epidemics will occur and prioritize municipalities for vector control and eventual vaccination. We screened sera and urine samples (n = 10,459) from residents of 48 municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro for CHIKV, dengue virus (DENV), and ZIKV by molecular PCR diagnostics. Further, we assessed the spatial pattern of arbovirus incidence at the municipal and neighborhood scales and the timing of epidemics and major rainfall events. Lab-confirmed cases included 1,717 infections with ZIKV (43.8%) and 2,170 with CHIKV (55.4%) and only 29 (<1%) with DENV. ZIKV incidence was greater in neighborhoods with little access to municipal water infrastructure (r = -0.47, p = 1.2×10-8). CHIKV incidence was weakly correlated with urbanization (r = 0.2, p = 0.02). Rains began in October 2015 and were followed one month later by the largest wave of ZIKV epidemic. ZIKV cases markedly declined in February 2016, which coincided with the start of a CHIKV outbreak. Rainfall predicted ZIKV and CHIKV with a lead time of 3 weeks each time. The association between rainfall and epidemics reflects vector ecology as the larval stages of Aedes aegypti require pools of water to develop. The temporal dynamics of ZIKV and CHIKV may be explained by the shorter incubation period of the viruses in the mosquito vector; 2 days for CHIKV versus 10 days for ZIKV.

Published in: PLoS One. 2017;12(11):e0188002

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6

Nov, 2017

Treatment of Community-Acquired Pneumonia: Are All Countries Treating Children in the Same Way? A Literature Review

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Authors: Donà D, Luise D, Da Dalt L, Giaquinto C.

Published in: Int J Pediatr; 2017: 4239268. Epub 2017

AbstractBackground. Pneumonia represents an important threat to children’s health in both developed and developing countries. In the last 10 years, many national and international guidelines on the treatment of pediatric CAP have been published, in order to optimize the prescription of antibiotics and limit their cost and side effects. However, the practical implementation of these guidelines is still limited. Main Text. We analyzed the current recommendations for the therapy of pediatric community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) that all converge on the identification of aminopenicillins and beta-lactams as the optimal treatment for CAP. We also conducted a review of the current literature on antibiotic regimens used for pediatric CAP to identify the current state of guidelines implementation in different settings. We selected 37 studies published from 2010 to 2016, including both retrospective and prospective studies, mainly cross-sectional and hospital based. The results show a global heterogeneity in the antibiotics prescription for pediatric CAP, with application of guidelines varying from 0% to more than 91% and with important differences even within the same country. Conclusions. Our review has demonstrated that the implementation of the guidelines is still limited but also that achieving the optimal prescription is possible and can be done in both developed and developing countries.

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15

Oct, 2017

Lowered Rilpivirine Exposure During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1-Infected Women

 

Authors: Schalkwijk S, Colbers A, Konopnicki D, et al.

Published in: Clin Infect Dis. 2017; 65(8):1335-1341

Abstract: The use of antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy is important for control of maternal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease and the prevention of perinatal HIV transmission. Physiological changes during pregnancy can reduce antiretroviral exposure. We studied the pharmacokinetics of rilpivirine 25 mg once daily in HIV-1-infected women during late pregnancy.

27

Sep, 2017

Rapid antigen tests for dengue virus serotypes and Zika virus in patient serum

 

Authors: Bosch I, de Puig H, Hiley M, et al.

Abstract: The recent Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak demonstrates that cost-effective clinical diagnostics are urgently needed to detect and distinguish viral infections to improve patient care. Unlike dengue virus (DENV), ZIKV infections during pregnancy correlate with severe birth defects, including microcephaly and neurological disorders. Because ZIKV and DENV are related flaviviruses, their homologous proteins and nucleic acids can cause cross-reactions and false-positive results in molecular, antigenic, and serologic diagnostics. We report the characterization of monoclonal antibody pairs that have been translated into rapid immunochromatography tests to specifically detect the viral nonstructural 1 (NS1) protein antigen and distinguish the four DENV serotypes (DENV1–4) and ZIKV without cross-reaction. To complement visual test analysis and remove user subjectivity in reading test results, we used image processing and data analysis for data capture and test result quantification. Using a 30-μl serum sample, the sensitivity and specificity values of the DENV1–4 tests and the pan-DENV test, which detects all four dengue serotypes, ranged from 0.76 to 1.00. Sensitivity/specificity for the ZIKV rapid test was 0.81/0.86, respectively, using a 150-μl serum input. Serum ZIKV NS1 protein concentrations were about 10-fold lower than corresponding DENV NS1 concentrations in infected patients; moreover, ZIKV NS1 protein was not detected in polymerase chain reaction–positive patient urine samples. Our rapid immunochromatography approach and reagents have immediate application in differential clinical diagnosis of acute ZIKV and DENV cases, and the platform can be applied toward developing rapid antigen diagnostics for emerging viruses.

Authors: Science Translational Medicine. 2017;9(409)

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1

Jul, 2017

“Not Taking it Will Just be Like a Sin”: Young People Living with HIV and the Stigmatization of Less-Than-Perfect Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy.

 

Authors: Bernays S, Paparini S, Seeley J, Rhodes T.

Published inMed Anthropol. 2017;36(5):485-499.

Abstract: Global health priorities are being set to address questions on adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy in adolescence. Few studies have explored young people’s perspectives on the complex host of social and relational challenges they face in dealing with their treatment in secret and their condition in silence. In redressing this, we present findings from a longitudinal qualitative study with young people living with HIV in the UK, Ireland, US, and Uganda, embedded within the BREATHER international clinical trial. Drawing from Goffman’s notion of stigma, we analyze relational dynamics in HIV clinics, as rare spaces where HIV is “known,” and how young people’s relationships may be threatened by non-adherence to treatment. Young people’s reflections on and strategies for maintaining their reputation as patients raise questions about particular forms of medicalization of HIV and the moralization of treatment adherence that affect them, and how these may restrict opportunities for care across the epidemic.

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1

Jun, 2017

The Challenge of Treating Children with Hepatitis C Virus Infection

 

Authors: Indolfi G, Thorne C, El-Sayed MH, Giaquinto C, Gonzalez-Peralta RP.

Published in: J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017.

Abstract: The development of oral hepatitis C virus (HCV) direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) has revolutionized the therapeutic field. Nowadays, multiple safe and highly effective antiviral regimens are commercially available to treat adults with hepatitis C infection. These new regimens for the first time genuinely raise the prospects of eradicating HCV. Many challenges, however, remain from identifying infected individuals to optimizing treatment and ensuring global access to antiviral therapy to all population groups, including children.

 

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27

Dec, 2016

Safety of zidovudine/lamivudine scored tablets in children with HIV infection in Europe and Thailand.

 

Published in: European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, in press.

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