Publications by authors named "Aime Boakye"

5 Publications

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Defining the Role of Cellular Immune Signatures in Diagnostic Evaluation of Suspected Tuberculosis.

J Infect Dis 2021 Jul 31. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

TB Research Centre, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Diagnosis of paucibacillary tuberculosis (TB) including extrapulmonary TB is a significant challenge, particularly in high-income, low-incidence settings. Measurement of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-specific cellular immune signatures by flow cytometry discriminates active TB from latent TB infection (LTBI) in case-control studies; however, their diagnostic accuracy and clinical utility in routine clinical practice is unknown.

Methods: Using a nested case-control study design within a prospective multicenter cohort of patients presenting with suspected TB in England, we assessed diagnostic accuracy of signatures in 134 patients who tested interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA)-positive and had final diagnoses of TB or non-TB diseases with coincident LTBI. Cellular signatures were measured using flow cytometry.

Results: All signatures performed less well than previously reported. Only signatures incorporating measurement of phenotypic markers on functional Mtb-specific CD4 T cells discriminated active TB from non-TB diseases with LTBI. The signatures measuring HLA-DR+IFNγ + CD4 T cells and CD45RA-CCR7-CD127- IFNγ -IL-2-TNFα + CD4 T cells performed best with 95% positive predictive value (95% confidence interval, 90-97) in the clinically challenging subpopulation of IGRA-positive but acid-fast bacillus (AFB) smear-negative TB suspects.

Conclusions: Two cellular immune signatures could improve and accelerate diagnosis in the challenging group of patients who are IGRA-positive, AFB smear-negative, and have paucibacillary TB.
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July 2021

Interferon gamma release assays for Diagnostic Evaluation of Active tuberculosis (IDEA): test accuracy study and economic evaluation.

Health Technol Assess 2019 05;23(23):1-152

Tuberculosis Research Centre, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Background: Interferon gamma release assays (IGRAs) are blood tests recommended for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) infection. There is currently uncertainty about the role and clinical utility of IGRAs in the diagnostic workup of suspected active TB in routine NHS clinical practice.

Objectives: To compare the diagnostic accuracy and cost-effectiveness of T-SPOT. (Oxford Immunotec, Abingdon, UK) and QuantiFERON TB GOLD In-Tube (Cellestis, Carnegie, VIC, Australia) for diagnosis of suspected active TB and to estimate the diagnostic accuracy of second-generation IGRAs.

Design: Prospective within-patient comparative diagnostic accuracy study.

Setting: Secondary care.

Participants: Adults (aged ≥ 16 years) presenting as inpatients or outpatients at 12 NHS hospital trusts in London, Slough, Oxford, Leicester and Birmingham with suspected active TB.

Interventions: The index tests [T-SPOT. and QuantiFERON GOLD In-Tube (QFT-GIT)] and new enzyme-linked immunospot assays utilising novel antigens (Rv3615c, Rv2654, Rv3879c and Rv3873) were verified against a composite reference standard applied by a panel of clinical experts blinded to IGRA results.

Main Outcome Measures: Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and likelihood ratios were calculated to determine diagnostic accuracy. A decision tree model was developed to calculate the incremental costs and incremental health utilities [quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs)] of changing from current practice to using an IGRA as an initial rule-out test.

Results: A total of 363 patients had active TB (culture-confirmed and highly probable TB cases), 439 had no active TB and 43 had an indeterminate final diagnosis. Comparing T-SPOT. and QFT-GIT, the sensitivities [95% confidence interval (CI)] were 82.3% (95% CI 77.7% to 85.9%) and 67.3% (95% CI 62.1% to 72.2%), respectively, whereas specificities were 82.6% (95% CI 78.6% to 86.1%) and 80.4% (95% CI 76.1% to 84.1%), respectively. T-SPOT. was more sensitive than QFT-GIT (relative sensitivity 1.22, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.31;  < 0.001), but the specificities were similar (relative specificity 1.02, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.08;  = 0.3). For both IGRAs the sensitivity was lower and the specificity was higher for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive than for HIV-negative patients. The most promising novel antigen was Rv3615c. The added value of Rv3615c to T-SPOT. was a 9% (95% CI 5% to 12%) relative increase in sensitivity at the expense of specificity, which had a relative decrease of 7% (95% CI 4% to 10%). The use of current IGRA tests for ruling out active TB is unlikely to be considered cost-effective if a QALY was valued at £20,000 or £30,000. For T-SPOT., the probability of being cost-effective for a willingness to pay of £20,000/QALY was 26% and 21%, when patients with indeterminate test results were excluded or included, respectively. In comparison, the QFT-GIT probabilities were 8% and 6%. Although the use of IGRAs is cost saving, the health detriment is large owing to delay in diagnosing active TB, leading to prolonged illness. There was substantial between-patient variation in the tests used in the diagnostic pathway.

Limitations: The recruitment target for the HIV co-infected population was not achieved.

Conclusions: Although T-SPOT. was more sensitive than QFT-GIT for the diagnosis of active TB, the tests are insufficiently sensitive for ruling out active TB in routine clinical practice in the UK. Novel assays offer some promise.

Future Work: The novel assays require evaluation in distinct clinical settings and in immunosuppressed patient groups.

Funding: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme and the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections, Imperial College London, London, UK.
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May 2019

Clinical utility of existing and second-generation interferon-γ release assays for diagnostic evaluation of tuberculosis: an observational cohort study.

Lancet Infect Dis 2019 02 14;19(2):193-202. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Tuberculosis Research Centre, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK; National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections, Imperial College London, London, UK. Electronic address:

Background: The clinical utility of interferon-γ release assays (IGRAs) for diagnosis of active tuberculosis is unclear, although they are commonly used in countries with a low incidence of tuberculosis. We aimed to resolve this clinical uncertainty by determining the accuracy and utility of commercially available and second-generation IGRAs in the diagnostic assessment of suspected tuberculosis in a low-incidence setting.

Methods: We did a prospective cohort study of adults with suspected tuberculosis in routine secondary care in England. Patients were tested for Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection at baseline with commercially available (T-SPOT.TB and QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube [QFT-GIT]) and second-generation (incorporating novel M tuberculosis antigens) IGRAs and followed up for 6-12 months to establish definitive diagnoses. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative likelihood ratios, and predictive values of the tests were determined.

Findings: Of the 1060 adults enrolled in the study, 845 were included in the analyses and 363 were diagnosed with tuberculosis. Sensitivity of T-SPOT.TB for all tuberculosis diagnosis, including culture-confirmed and highly probable cases, was 81·4% (95% CI 76·6-85·3), which was higher than QFT-GIT (67·3% [62·0-72·1]). Second-generation IGRAs had a sensitivity of 94·0% (90·0-96·4) for culture-confirmed tuberculosis and 89·2% (85·2-92·2) when including highly probable tuberculosis, giving a negative likelihood ratio for all tuberculosis cases of 0·13 (95% CI 0·10-0·19). Specificity ranged from 86·2% (95% CI 82·3-89·4) for T-SPOT.TB to 80·0% (75·6-83·8) for second-generation IGRAs.

Interpretation: Commercially available IGRAs do not have sufficient accuracy for diagnostic evaluation of suspected tuberculosis. Second-generation tests, however, might have sufficiently high sensitivity, low negative likelihood ratio, and correspondingly high negative predictive value in low-incidence settings to facilitate prompt rule-out of tuberculosis.

Funding: National Institute for Health Research.
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February 2019

DNGR-1 is dispensable for CD8+ T-cell priming during respiratory syncytial virus infection.

Eur J Immunol 2014 Aug 30;44(8):2340-8. Epub 2014 May 30.

Centre for Respiratory Infections, Section of Respiratory Infections, National Heart and Lung Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK.

During respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection CD8(+) T cells both assist in viral clearance and contribute to immunopathology. CD8(+) T cells recognize viral peptides presented by dendritic cells (DCs), which can directly present viral antigens when infected or, alternatively, "cross-present" antigens after endocytosis of dead or dying infected cells. Mouse CD8α(+) and CD103(+) DCs excel at cross-presentation, in part because they express the receptor DNGR-1 that detects dead cells by binding to exposed F-actin and routes internalized cell debris into the cross-presentation pathway. As RSV causes death in infected epithelial cells, we tested whether cross-presentation via DNGR-1 is necessary for CD8(+) T-cell responses to the virus. DNGR-1-deficient or wild-type mice were intranasally inoculated with RSV and the magnitude of RSV-specific CD8(+) T-cell induction was measured. We found that during live RSV infection, cross-presentation via DNGR-1 did not have a major role in the generation of RSV-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses. However, after intranasal immunization with dead cells infected with RSV, a dependence on DNGR-1 for RSV-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses was observed, confirming the ascribed role of the receptor. Thus, direct presentation by DCs may be the major pathway initiating CD8(+) T-cell responses to RSV, while DNGR-1-dependent cross-presentation has no detectable role.
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August 2014