May, 2022

Case numbers of acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology among children in 24 countries up to 18 April 2022 compared to the previous 5 years


Authors: Beek JV, Fraaij PL, Giaquinto C, Shingadia D,  Horby P, Indolfi G, Koopmans M, Acute hepatitis study group

Published in: Eurosurveillance


Apr, 2022

Screening and vaccination against COVID-19 to minimise school closure: a modelling study

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Authors: Colosi E, Bassignana G, Contreras DA, Poirier C, Boëlle PY, Cauchemez S, Yazdanpanah Y, Lina B, Fontanet A, Barrat A, Colizza V

Published in: The Lancet


Mar, 2022

Determinants of B-Cell Compartment Hyperactivation in European Adolescents Living With Perinatally Acquired HIV-1 After Over 10 Years of Suppressive Therapy


Authors: Ruggiero A, Pascucci G.R, Cotugno N, Domínguez-Rodríguez S, Rinaldi S, Tagarro A, Rojo P, Foster C, Bamford A, De Rossi A, Nastouli E, Klein N, Morrocchi E, Fatou B, Smolen K.K, Ozonoff A, Di Pastena M, Luzuriaga K, Steen H, Giaquinto C, Goulder P, Rossi P, Levy O, Pahwa S, Palma P, the EPIICAL Consortium

Published in: Frontiers in Immunology 


Mar, 2022

The subphenotypes of early-treated children living with HIV-1


Authors: S Domínguez-Rodríguez, A Tagarro, C Foster, P Palma, N Cotugno, AD Rossi, A Dalzini, SG. Pahwa, E Nastouli, K Gärtner, AG Marcelin, P Rossi, C Giaquinto, P Rojo

Presented at: CROI 2022



Subphenotypes have been identified in several heterogeneous diseases. Having a specific subphenotype often has therapeutic implications or impacts disease progression. In this study, we aimed to assess if children with HIV may show subphenotypes according to clinical, virological and immunological features.

We collected data from 40 HIV+ children included in a cross-sectional multicentric study (CARMA Study, EPIICAL Consortium). All children commenced ART <2 years, suppressed (viral load (VL) <50 copies/ml) within 12 months and remained suppressed for >5 years. Immunological and virological assays were performed at a median of 12 years after ART initiation. We collected clinical and sociodemographic data, baseline VL, CD4 and CD8 data, age at ART, HIV DNA reservoir size, cell-associated RNA (CA-RNA), ultrasensitive VL, CD4 subsets (T effector CD25+, activated memory cells, Treg cells ), humoral-specific HIV response (T-bet B cells), innate response (CD56dim NK cells, NKp46+, perforin), exhaustion markers (PD-1, PD-L1, DNAM), CD8 senesence, and biomarkers for T-lymphocyte thymic output (TREC) and endothelial activation (VCAM). To build the subphenotypes, the most informative variables were selected using an unsupervised penalty selection. Hierarchical clustering was performed using Pearson correlation as distance metric and Ward.D2 as clustering method. Internal validation was applied to select the best number of clusters.

Three subphenotypes were revealed (Cluster 1 n=18, 45%; Cluster 2 n=11, 27.5%; Cluster 3 n=11, 27.5%). Cluster 1 (best controllers) consisted of early ART-treated patients with high baseline %CD4, low reservoir size, low WB score, high TREC values, and low VCAM values. In contrast, Cluster 3 (worst controller) consisted of later ART-treated patients with low baseline %CD4, high reservoir size, low TREC values, high innate response, immunosenescence markers and VCAM. Cluster 2 (low-level viremia, altered immune response) consisted of early-treated patients with low-level (10 to 50 c/mL) VL, high reservoir size but low CA-RNA, higher Treg CD4 than in the other clusters, low TREC, weak innate response and lower levels of T-bet expression.

Three subphenotypes with decreasing levels of viral control and increasing levels of immune well-being were discovered. Response to different therapies may be different across the different clusters.

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Mar, 2022

2-year outcome of early treated infants in Sub-Saharan Africa


Authors: A Tagarro, S Domínguez-Rodríguez, L Kuhn, T Nhampossa, K Otwombe, AJv Rensburg, N Klein, MG Lain, AI. Maiga, C Brehin, C Giaquinto, P Rossi, P Rojo

Presented at: CROI 2022



The real-world evolution of very early treated children born with HIV in high-prevalence settings during first years of life is unclear. We assessed the probability of death, progression to AIDS, viral load (VL) suppression, immunosuppression, and continuation in care of a cohort of early treated children born with HIV.

EARTH-EPIICAL Cohort is underway at 2 rural and 4 urban sites in Mozambique, Mali, and South Africa (SA). Infants with HIV who started ART in the first 3 months of life, are followed at 2, 6 and 12 weeks, and then 6-monthly for 4 years. Hereby, we provide the probability of death, progression, suppression and continuation in care during the first 2 years of life with multivariable cox regression models were used. Backward stepwise elimination was applied to reach the final multivariable model.

212 participants were enrolled and followed during a median time of 17 [6.8;27.5] months; 84 reached 2 years of follow-up. ART started at 34 [26;74] days of life, mostly 3TC+ABC+LPV/r (65%). Adherence was suboptimal (<90%) in 56% of visits. 23 patients (10.8%) died, at a median of 2.5 [0.6;6.8] months of age. At 2 years, probability (P) of death was 12% (CI95%,7 to 17), (P) of progression was 11% (CI95%,6 to 16%), (P) of continuation in care, 80% (CI95%,74 to 86%), (P) of VL suppression was 46% (CI95%, 0.34-0.49), and (P) of severe IS, 54% (CI95%, 44 to 62). Death occurred predominantly in the first 6 months (74%); mostly due to pneumonia (43%), malnutrition (13%) or diarrhea (8.7%). (P) of death was associated with baseline VL 2.19 (1.4-3.3), and suboptimal adherence 2.88 (1.18-7.2). (P) of progression was associated with baseline VL 1.71 (CI95%,1.14-2.58), and weight for age 0.53 (CI95%,0.39-0.71). (P) of lost to follow up also was associated with baseline VL (HR, 1.60 (CI95%,1.06-2.40) and weight for age (HR, 1.67 (CI95%,1.11-2.50). (P) of suppression associated with baseline VL (HR, 0.60 (CI95%,0.51-0.71) and CD4% (HR, 1.04, (CI95%,1.01-1.06), p=0.01. (P) of severe IS was associated with baseline VL, (HR, 1.4 (CI95% 1.15-1.69), baseline CD4% (HR, 0.91 (0.88-0.93), baseline weight for age (HR, 0.86 (CI95%, 0.76-0.99), and Mozambique (HR 1.88 (CI95%, 1.16-3.1).

Despite early treatment and a close follow-up, death, progression, and severe IS remain high in children born with HIV in Africa, especially in the 6 first months. Additional strategies are required to improve the care of this population.

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Mar, 2022

Birth outcomes following prenatal exposure to dolutegravir: the DOLOMITE-EPPICC study


Authors: C Thorne, K Aebi-Popp, L Ene, M Floridia, AM Gamell, M Illan, H Peters, A Samarina, L Ragone, C Giaquinto, V Vannappagari

Presented at: CROI 2022



Dolutegravir (DTG) is recommended and widely used during pregnancy for maternal viral suppression and preventing perinatal transmission of HIV. Our objective is to assess pregnancy and neonatal outcomes including birth defects following prenatal DTG use using real-world European data.

Dolomite-EPPICC is a multi-cohort European observational study of DTG use in pregnant women living with HIV and their infants. An analysis of prospectively collected data on all pregnancies with any prenatal DTG exposure and with birth outcomes was conducted among participating cohorts from Italy, Romania, the Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland and UK/Ireland. Periconception exposure was defined as being within the first 6 weeks of gestation.

Overall, 550 pregnancies (540 singleton, 10 twin pregnancies) from 7 cohorts were included in the analysis resulting in 508 liveborn infants (491 singletons and 17 twins). Overall, 72.1% (365/506) pregnancies were in parous women. A total of 27 pregnancies ended in spontaneous abortion, 18 pregnancies were terminated and five ended in still birth. One termination was for neuronal migration disorder and severe microcephaly, with periconception DTG exposure. All stillbirths were exposed to periconception DTG, none with birth defects. Among the 508 liveborn infants, earliest DTG exposure was periconception for 326 (64.9%) infants, later in trimester 1 for 36 (7.2%) and in trimester 2/3 for 140 (27.9%); 6 had unknown timing of exposure. There were 21 infants with birth defects (4.1%, 95% CI 2.6, 6.2); one infant had 2 defects. The 22 defects were in the following systems: genitourinary (7), heart (4), limb (4 [polydactyly, 3]), gastrointestinal (2), chromosomal (1), other (4); no CNS defects were reported.

The prevalence rate for overall birth defects here is the same as recently reported from the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry for periconception exposure to DTG. Dolomite-EPPICC will continue to monitor use and safety of DTG-based regimens in pregnancy, noting that our sample size of periconception exposures is currently too small to exclude potential associations with rare birth defects like NTDs.

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Mar, 2022

Respiratory Syncytial Virus–Associated Hospital Admissions and Bed Days in Children <5 Years of Age in 7 European Countries


Authors: X Wang, Y Li, L.V Fernandez, A.C Teirlinck, T Lehtonen, M.V Wijhe, L Stona, M Bangert, R.M Reeves, H Bøås, M.V Boven, T Heikkinen, C.K Johannesen, E Baraldi, D Donà, S Tong, H Campbell, Respiratory Syncytial Virus Consortium in Europe (RESCEU) Investigators

Published in: The Journal of Infectious Diseases


Mar, 2022

ZIKAction paediatric registry: maternal characteristics and clinical, radiological, and follow-up features of children born with congenital zika infection in brazil


Authors: B.L de Almeida, I.C de Siqueira, M.L.C Lage, L.S Lopes, A.L de Carvalho, M.M de Lima, M.d.F.N Goes, M.N Crispim, B.G.G Costa, C Giaquinto, G Fernandes, E Ruiz-Burga, C Thorne on belhaf of Zikaction consortium

Presented at: WSPID 2022


Background: In 2015, Brazil experienced an unexpected increase in newborns with microcephaly. Subsequently, the association between microcephaly and Congenital Zika Infection (CZI) was confirmed.

Aims: This study, part of the ZIKAction Paediatric Registry, intends to describe clinical, radiological, neurodevelopmental, and laboratory features and follow-up of children with CZI in Bahia, Brazil.

Methods: This observational study had following inclusion criteria: intrauterine exposure to ZIKV, laboratory-confirmed CZI, or meeting the definition of suspected CZI, based on clinical and radiological features. Results: Of 129 participants, 57% were female. Most mothers (75%) had symptoms suggestive of Zika infection during pregnancy. Median gestational age at delivery was 38 weeks, with 19% delivered preterm. Median birth length and weight were 46cm and 2690g, respectively. Most infants (118, 91.5%) had microcephaly (median head circumference Zscore -3.51, IQR -4.69,-2.73), and 17 (13.2%) have arthrogryposis. During follow-up, 96% and 92% of children had hearing and ophthalmological assessments, with 21% and 57% having abnormalities respectively. Brain image was abnormal in all cases, with ventriculomegaly (70.1%), cerebral parenchyma calcifications (62.1%), and cortical atrophy (48.6%) were main findings. Median age at last follow-up was 5 years; to date, 54 (42%) participants needed hospitalization, 44 (35%) needed care in the emergency department, and two (1.5%) died.

Conclusion: CZI is an emerging disease shown to have a varied spectrum. Registry children were biased towards those with more severe disease, with several abnormalities and complications observed. Continued long-term follow-up is essential to understand the prognosis and clinical spectrum as these children reach school-age.

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Feb, 2022

Borrowing information across patient subgroups in clinical trials, with application to a paediatric trial


Authors: R.M. Turner, A Turkova, C.L. Moore, A Bamford, M Archary, L.N. Barlow-Mosha, M.F. Cotton, T.R. Cressey, E Kaudha, A Lugemwa, H Lyall, H.A. Mujuru, V Mulenga, V Musiime, P Rojo, G Tudor-Williams, S.B. Welch, D.M. Gibb, D Ford, I.R. White & and the ODYSSEY Trial Team

Published in: BMC Medical Research Methodology


Feb, 2022

Dolutegravir dosing for children with HIV weighing less than 20 kg: pharmacokinetic and safety substudies nested in the open-label, multicentre, randomised, non-inferiority ODYSSEY trial


Authors: H Waalewijn, M.K Chan, P.D.J Bollen, H.A Mujuru, S Makumbi, A.R Kekitiinwa, E Kaudha, T Sarfati, G Musoro, A Nanduudu, A Lugemwa, P Amuge, C.L Moore, P Rojo, C Giaquinto, A Colbers, D.M Gibb, D Ford, A Turkova, D.M Burger

Published in: The Lancet


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