• Urine antibiotic activity in patients presenting to Hospitals in Laos: Implications for worsening antibiotic resistance

    17 July 2018

    Widespread use of antibiotics may be important in the spread of antimicrobial resistance. We estimated the proportion of Lao in- and outpatients who had taken antibiotics before medical consultation by detecting antibiotic activity in their urine added to lawns of Bacillus stearothermophilus, Escherichia coli, and Streptococcus pyogenes. In the retrospective (N = 2,058) and prospective studies (N = 1,153), 49.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 47.4-52.0) and 36.2% (95% CI = 33.4-38.9), respectively, of Vientiane patients had urinary antibiotic activity detected. The highest frequency of estimated antibiotic pre-treatment was found in patients recruited with suspected central nervous system infections and community-acquired septicemia (both 56.8%). In Vientiane, children had a higher frequency of estimated antibiotic pre-treatment than adults (60.0% versus 46.5%; P < 0.001). Antibiotic use based on patients histories was significantly less frequent than when estimated from urinary antibiotic activity (P < 0.0001). Copyright © 2011 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  • Loop-mediated isothermal amplification for Rickettsia typhi (the causal agent of murine typhus): Problems with diagnosis at the limit of detection

    17 July 2018

    Murine typhus is a flea-borne disease of worldwide distribution caused by Rickettsia typhi. Although treatment with tetracycline antibiotics is effective, treatment is often misguided or delayed due to diagnostic difficulties. As the gold standard immunofluorescence assay is imperfect, we aimed to develop and evaluate a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay. LAMP assays have the potential to fulfill the WHO ASSURED criteria (affordable, sensitive, specific, user friendly, robust and rapid, equipment free, deliverable to those who need them) for diagnostic methodologies, as they can detect pathogen-derived nucleic acid with low technical expenditure. The LAMP assay was developed using samples of bacterial isolates (n=41), buffy coat specimens from R. typhi PCR-positive Lao patients (n=42), and diverse negative controls (n=47). The method was then evaluated prospectively using consecutive patients with suspected scrub typhus or murine typhus (n=266). The limit of detection was ∼40 DNA copies/LAMP reaction, with an analytical sensitivity of<10 DNA copies/reaction based on isolate dilutions. Despite these low cutoffs, the clinical sensitivity was disappointing, with 48% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 32.5 to 62.7%) (specificity, 100% [95% CI, 100 to 100%]) in the developmental phase and 33% (95% CI, 9.2 to 56.8%) (specificity, 98.5% [95% CI, 97.0% to 100%]) in the prospective study. This low diagnostic accuracy was attributed to low patient R. typhi bacterial loads (median, 210 DNA copies/ml blood; interquartile range, 130 to 500). PCR-positive but LAMP-negative samples demonstrated significantly lower bacterial loads than LAMP-positive samples. Our findings highlight the diagnostic challenges for diseases with low pathogen burdens and emphasize the need to integrate pathogen biology with improved template production for assay development strategies. Copyright © 2014 Dittrich et al.

  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the toll-like receptor 3 and CD44 genes are associated with persistence of vaccine-induced immunity to the serogroup C meningococcal conjugate vaccine

    17 July 2018

    The rate of decay of antibody concentration following serogroup C meningococcal (MenC) polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccination varies between individuals. This depends partly on vaccination age but may be influenced by human genetics. We studied 721 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across 131 candidate genes in a first cohort of 905 Caucasians (11 to 21 years old; mean time after vaccination, 4.9 years) and 30 SNPs across 17 genes in a replication study using 155 children, aged 6 to 12 years (mean time after vaccination, 6.7 years), and 196 infants (1 year old; mean time after vaccination, 8 months). Individuals were classified as responders or nonresponders for total MenC IgG concentration and MenC serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) measurements. Associated genes were examined further for quantitative outcome measures. Fifty-nine SNPs in 37 genes were associated with IgG persistence (adjusted for age at measurement), and 56 SNPs in 36 genes were associated with SBA persistence (adjusted for age at measurement and vaccine used). Three SNPs each within the Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) (rs3775291, rs3775292, and rs5743312) and CD44 (rs11033013, rs353644, and rs996076) genes were associated with IgG (adjusted for age at measurement) or SBA (adjusted for age at measurement and vaccine used) persistence in the initial genetic study (P, 0.02 to 0.04). Single SNPs within the TLR3 (rs7657186) (P = 0.004 [unadjusted]) and CD44 (rs12419062) (P = 0.01 [unadjusted]) genes were associated with IgG persistence in the replication study. These results suggest that genetic polymorphisms in the TLR3 and CD44 genes are associated with the persistence of the immune response to MenC vaccines 1 to 6 years after vaccination. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  • Evaluation of geospatial methods to generate subnational HIV prevalence estimates for local level planning.

    2 July 2018

    There is evidence of substantial subnational variation in the HIV epidemic. However, robust spatial HIV data are often only available at high levels of geographic aggregation and not at the finer resolution needed for decision making. Therefore, spatial analysis methods that leverage available data to provide local estimates of HIV prevalence may be useful. Such methods exist but have not been formally compared when applied to HIV.Six candidate methods - including those used by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to generate maps and a Bayesian geostatistical approach applied to other diseases - were used to generate maps and subnational estimates of HIV prevalence across three countries using cluster level data from household surveys. Two approaches were used to assess the accuracy of predictions: internal validation, whereby a proportion of input data is held back (test dataset) to challenge predictions; and comparison with location-specific data from household surveys in earlier years.Each of the methods can generate usefully accurate predictions of prevalence at unsampled locations, with the magnitude of the error in predictions similar across approaches. However, the Bayesian geostatistical approach consistently gave marginally the strongest statistical performance across countries and validation procedures.Available methods may be able to furnish estimates of HIV prevalence at finer spatial scales than the data currently allow. The subnational variation revealed can be integrated into planning to ensure responsiveness to the spatial features of the epidemic. The Bayesian geostatistical approach is a promising strategy for integrating HIV data to generate robust local estimates.

  • Making Sense of SNPs: Women's Understanding and Experiences of Receiving a Personalized Profile of Their Breast Cancer Risks.

    2 July 2018

    Genome wide association studies have identified a number of common genetic variants - single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - that combine to increase breast cancer risk. SNP profiling may enhance the accuracy of risk assessment and provides a personalized risk estimate. SNP testing for breast cancer risks may supplement other genetic tests in the future, however, before it can be implemented in the clinic we need to know how it will be perceived and received. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 39 women who had previously had a breast cancer diagnosis and undergone BRCA1/2 testing, participated in the Variants in Practice (ViP) study and received personalized risk (SNP) profiles. Interviews explored their understanding and experiences of receiving this SNP information. Women reported feeling positive about receiving their personalized risk profile, because it: provided an explanation for their previous diagnosis of cancer, vindicated previous risk management decisions and clarified their own and other family members' risks. A small group was initially shocked to learn of the increased risk of a second primary breast cancer. This study suggests that the provision of personalized risk information about breast cancer generated by SNP profiling is understood and well received. However, a model of genetic counseling that incorporates monogenic and polygenic genetic information will need to be developed prior to clinical implementation.

  • A pragmatic group sequential, placebo-controlled, randomised trial to determine the effectiveness of glyceryl trinitrate for retained placenta (GOT-IT): a study protocol.

    3 July 2018

    A retained placenta is diagnosed when the placenta is not delivered following delivery of the baby. It is a major cause of postpartum haemorrhage and treated by the operative procedure of manual removal of placenta (MROP).The aim of this pragmatic, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind UK-wide trial, with an internal pilot and nested qualitative research to adjust strategies to refine delivery of the main trial, is to determine whether sublingual glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) is (or is not) clinically and cost-effective for (medical) management of retained placenta. The primary clinical outcome is need for MROP, defined as the placenta remaining undelivered 15 min poststudy treatment and/or being required within 15 min of treatment due to safety concerns. The primary safety outcome is measured blood loss between administration of treatment and transfer to the postnatal ward or other clinical area. The primary patient-sided outcome is satisfaction with treatment and a side effect profile. The primary economic outcome is net incremental costs (or cost savings) to the National Health Service of using GTN versus standard practice. Secondary outcomes are being measured over a range of clinical and economic domains. The primary outcomes will be analysed using linear models appropriate to the distribution of each outcome. Health service costs will be compared with multiple trial outcomes in a cost-consequence analysis of GTN versus standard practice.Ethical approval has been obtained from the North-East Newcastle & North Tyneside 2 Research Ethics Committee (13/NE/0339). Dissemination plans for the trial include the Health Technology Assessment Monograph, presentation at international scientific meetings and publication in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.ISCRTN88609453; Pre-results.

  • Multi-ethnic genome-wide association study for atrial fibrillation.

    3 July 2018

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects more than 33 million individuals worldwide 1 and has a complex heritability 2 . We conducted the largest meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for AF to date, consisting of more than half a million individuals, including 65,446 with AF. In total, we identified 97 loci significantly associated with AF, including 67 that were novel in a combined-ancestry analysis, and 3 that were novel in a European-specific analysis. We sought to identify AF-associated genes at the GWAS loci by performing RNA-sequencing and expression quantitative trait locus analyses in 101 left atrial samples, the most relevant tissue for AF. We also performed transcriptome-wide analyses that identified 57 AF-associated genes, 42 of which overlap with GWAS loci. The identified loci implicate genes enriched within cardiac developmental, electrophysiological, contractile and structural pathways. These results extend our understanding of the biological pathways underlying AF and may facilitate the development of therapeutics for AF.

  • Erratum:Measuring progress and projecting attainment on the basis of past trends of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 (The Lancet (2017) 390(10100) (1423–1459) (S014067361732336X)(10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32336-X))

    3 July 2018

    © 2017 Elsevier Ltd GBD 2016 SDG Collaborators. Measuring progress and projecting attainment on the basis of past trends of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2017; 390: 1423–59—In figure 8B of this Article (published Online First on Sept 12, 2017), the number of indicator targets has been changed from 1 to 9 for Turkmenistan, from 0 to 1 for Afghanistan, and from 1 to 2 for Yemen. Ettore Beghi, Neeraj Bhala, Hélène Carabin, Raimundas Lunevicius, Donald H Silberberg, and Caitlyn Steiner have been added to the list of GBD 2016 SDG Collaborators. Their affiliations, along with the affiliation of Soumya Swaminathan, have been added to the Affiliations section. These corrections have been made to the online version as of Sept 18, 2017, and the printed Article is correct.

  • Erratum: Measuring progress and projecting attainment on the basis of past trends of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 (The Lancet (2017) 390(10100) (1423–1459) (S014067361732336X) (10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32336-X))

    3 July 2018

    © 2017 Elsevier Ltd GBD 2016 SDG Collaborators. Measuring progress and projecting attainment on the basis of past trends of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2017; 390: 1423–59—The full-text version of this Article has been updated so that the list of authors is displayed in the correct order, in line with the pdf version, rather than in alphabetical order. This correction has been made to the online version as of Oct 12, 2017.