Publications by authors named "Kah Kee Tan"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of children with COVID-19 in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Int J Infect Dis 2021 Jun 1;108:347-352. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Department of Paediatrics, International Medical University, Seremban, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Objectives: To describe the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the state of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia in the setting of mandatory hospital isolation and quarantine for all confirmed cases.

Methods: A multi-centre, retrospective observational study was performed among children aged ≤12 years with laboratory-proven COVID-19 between 1 February and 31 December 2020.

Results: In total, 261 children (48.7% males, 51.3% females) were included in this study. The median age was 6 years [interquartile range (IQR) 3-10 years]. One hundred and fifty-one children (57.9%) were asymptomatic on presentation. Among the symptomatic cases, fever was the most common presenting symptom. Two hundred and forty-one (92.3%) cases were close contacts of infected household or extended family members. Twenty-one (8.4%) cases had abnormal radiological findings. All cases were discharged alive without requiring supplemental oxygen therapy or any specific treatment during hospitalization. The median duration of hospitalization was 7 days (IQR 6-10 days). One (2.1%) of the uninfected guardians accompanying a child in quarantine tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) upon discharge.

Conclusions: COVID-19 in children was associated with mild symptoms and a good prognosis. Familial clustering was an important epidemiologic feature in the outbreak in Negeri Sembilan. The risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from children to guardians in hospital isolation was minimal despite close proximity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2021.05.073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168297PMC
June 2021

A single-center pilot study in Malaysia on the clinical utility of whole-exome sequencing for inborn errors of immunity.

Clin Exp Immunol 2021 Jun 1. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Primary immunodeficiency diseases refer to inborn errors of immunity (IEI) that affect the normal development and function of the immune system. The phenotypical and genetic heterogeneity of IEI have made their diagnosis challenging. Hence, whole-exome sequencing (WES) was employed in this pilot study to identify the genetic etiology of 30 pediatric patients clinically diagnosed with IEI. The potential causative variants identified by WES were validated using Sanger sequencing. Genetic diagnosis was attained in 46.7% (14 of 30) of the patients and categorized into autoinflammatory disorders (n = 3), diseases of immune dysregulation (n = 3), defects in intrinsic and innate immunity (n = 3), predominantly antibody deficiencies (n = 2), combined immunodeficiencies with associated and syndromic features (n = 2) and immunodeficiencies affecting cellular and humoral immunity (n = 1). Of the 15 genetic variants identified, two were novel variants. Genetic findings differed from the provisional clinical diagnoses in seven cases (50.0%). This study showed that WES enhances the capacity to diagnose IEI, allowing more patients to receive appropriate therapy and disease management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cei.13626DOI Listing
June 2021

Estimating the population health and economic impacts of introducing a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Malaysia- an economic evaluation.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2020 07 17;16(7):1719-1727. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital , Seremban, Malaysia.

Pneumococcal disease is a potentially fatal bacterial infection that is vaccine-preventable. Malaysia has yet to adopt a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) into its national immunization program (NIP). In 2016, pneumonia was the 3 leading cause of death in children under five in Malaysia, accounting for 3.8% of under-five deaths. Introducing a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is an effective strategy to reduce the disease burden. This study used a decision-analytic model to assess the potential impacts of introducing the available PCVs (13-valent and 10-valent) in Malaysia. Epidemiological and costs inputs were sourced from published literature. For each vaccination program, health outcomes and associated healthcare costs were estimated. The scenarios of initiating PCV13 . PCV10 and the status quo (no pneumococcal vaccine) were compared. Serotype trends of Finland and the U.K. were used to model the clinical impacts of PCV10 and PCV13 respectively. The base-case analysis used a societal perspective over a 5-year time horizon. Compared with PCV10, PCV13 was projected to avert an additional 190,628 cases of pneumococcal disease and 1126 cases of death. The acquisition of PCV13 was estimated to cost an incremental US$89,904,777, offset by a cost reduction of -US$250,219,914 on pneumococcal disease-related medical care and lost productivity. PCV13 demonstrated a higher cost-saving potential over PCV10. Compared with no vaccination, PCV13 was estimated as cost-saving. Results were robust across a series of sensitivity analyses. The introduction of PCV13 in a NIP was estimated to reduce a significant burden of disease and to be a cost-saving for the Malaysian health system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2019.1701911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7482775PMC
July 2020

Burden of hospitalized childhood community-acquired pneumonia: A retrospective cross-sectional study in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2018 01 10;14(1):95-105. Epub 2017 Nov 10.

h GSK , Wavre , Belgium.

Background: Few studies describe the community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) burden in children in Asia. We estimated the proportion of all CAP hospitalizations in children from nine hospitals across the Republic of Korea (high-income), Indonesia, Malaysia (middle-income), and Vietnam (low/middle-income).

Methods: Over a one or two-year period, children <5 years hospitalized with CAP were identified using ICD-10 discharge codes. Cases were matched to standardized definitions of suspected (S-CAP), confirmed (C-CAP), or bacterial CAP (B-CAP) used in a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine efficacy study (COMPAS). Median total direct medical costs of CAP-related hospitalizations were calculated.

Results: Vietnam (three centers): 7591 CAP episodes were identified with 4.3% (95% confidence interval 4.2;4.4) S-CAP, 3.3% (3.2;3.4) C-CAP and 1.4% (1.3;1.4) B-CAP episodes of all-cause hospitalization in children aged <5 years. The B-CAP case fatality rate (CFR) was 1.3%. Malaysia (two centers): 1027 CAP episodes were identified with 2.7% (2.6;2.9); 2.6% (2.4;2.8); 0.04% (0.04;0.1) due to S-CAP, C-CAP, and B-CAP, respectively. One child with B-CAP died. Indonesia (one center): 960 CAP episodes identified with 18.0% (17.0;19.1); 16.8% (15.8;17.9); 0.3% (0.2;0.4) due to S-CAP, C-CAP, and B-CAP, respectively. The B-CAP CFR was 20%. Korea (three centers): 3151 CAP episodes were identified with 21.1% (20.4;21.7); 11.8% (11.2;12.3); 2.4% (2.1;2.7) due to S-CAP, C-CAP, and B-CAP, respectively. There were no deaths.

Costs: CAP-related hospitalization costs were highest for B-CAP episodes: 145.00 (Vietnam) to 1013.3 USD (Korea) per episode.

Conclusion: CAP hospitalization causes an important health and cost burden in all four countries studied (NMRR-12-50-10793).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2017.1375073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5791577PMC
January 2018

Mycoplasma hominis, Ureaplasma urealyticum and Chlamydia trachomatis Respiratory Colonization in Malaysian Preterm Infants.

J Trop Pediatr 2017 Dec;63(6):447-453

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Malaysia.

This prospective observational study aims to determine the incidence, predictors and clinical features of Mycoplasma hominis (MH), Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) respiratory colonization in infants <37 weeks of gestation. A total of 200 preterm newborns admitted to a tertiary center in Malaysia between 2013 and 2015 for increased breathing effort had their respiratory secretions tested for these bacteria by polymerase chain reaction. Fifteen of the 200 (7.5%) infants were detected to have these organisms in their respiratory tracts. Preterm prelabor rupture of membrane was associated with positive detection (odds ratio: 3.7; 95% confidence interval: 1.2-11.3). Seventy-three of the 200 (36.5%) infants were given macrolide for presumed infection but only 4.1% (3 of 73) were positive for these organisms. The incidence of UU respiratory colonization among preterm infants in our center is lower than other published reports, while the frequency of MH and CT isolation is comparable with many studies. There should be judicious use of empirical antibiotics for presumed UU, MH and CT infection in preterm infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/fmx011DOI Listing
December 2017

Fatal case of amoebic liver abscess in a child.

Asian Pac J Trop Med 2015 Oct 9;8(10):878-80. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Electronic address:

We reported a case of amoebic liver abscess (ALA) in a 6-year-old Malaysian boy who presented with fever, lethargy, diarrhoea and right hypochondriac pain. On admission he was diagnosed with perforated acute appendicitis and a laparotomy was done. After surgery he developed acute respiratory distress. Ultrasonography, chest X-Ray and CT scan revealed two ALAs in the posterior segment of right lobe of liver, pleural effusion and collapsed consolidation of lungs bilaterally. Percutaneous liver abscesses drainage was done and intravenous Metronidazole was started. PCR carried out on the pus from the abscess was positive for Entamoeba histolytica. Patient however succumbed to the infection one week after admission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apjtm.2015.09.018DOI Listing
October 2015

Cost-effectiveness analysis of infant universal routine pneumococcal vaccination in Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2016 ;12(2):403-16

a School of Pharmacy; Monash University Malaysia ; Bandar Sunway , Malaysia.

Pneumococcal disease causes large morbidity, mortality and health care utilization and medical and non-medical costs, which can all be reduced by effective infant universal routine immunization programs with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV). We evaluated the clinical and economic benefits of such programs with either 10- or 13-valent PCVs in Malaysia and Hong Kong by using an age-stratified Markov cohort model with many country-specific inputs. The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) was calculated to compare PCV10 or PCV13 against no vaccination and PCV13 against PCV10 over a 10-year birth cohort's vaccination. Both payer and societal perspectives were used. PCV13 had better public health and economic outcomes than a PCV10 program across all scenarios considered. For example, in the base case scenario in Malaysia, PCV13 would reduce more cases of IPD (+2,296), pneumonia (+705,281), and acute otitis media (+376,967) and save more lives (+6,122) than PCV10. Similarly, in Hong Kong, PCV13 would reduce more cases of IPD cases (+529), pneumonia (+172,185), and acute otitis media (+37,727) and save more lives (+2,688) than PCV10. During the same time horizon, PCV13 would gain over 74,000 and 21,600 additional QALYs than PCV10 in Malaysia and Hong Kong, respectively. PCV13 would be cost saving when compared against similar program with PCV10, under both payer and societal perspective in both countries. PCV13 remained a better choice over PCV10 in multiple sensitivity, scenario, and probabilistic analyses. PCV13s broader serotype coverage in its formulation and herd effect compared against PCV10 were important drivers of differences in outcomes.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5049716PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2015.1067351DOI Listing
December 2016

Epidemiology of adenovirus respiratory infections among hospitalized children in Seremban, Malaysia.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2015 Jul 1;109(7):433-9. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43300 Serdang, Malaysia.

Background: There is scarcity of data regarding epidemiology and clinical aspects of human adenovirus acute respiratory infection (ARI) among children in developing countries.

Methods: Retrospective data on demographics, clinical presentation, outcomes and laboratory findings of 116 children admitted into Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban, Malaysia from 2012 to 2013 with documented diagnosis of community-acquired adenovirus ARI were collected and analyzed.

Results: Male to female ratio was 1.70. Median age was 14 (1-107) months. The commonest symptoms were fever (94.8%; 110/116), cough (82.8%, 96), rhinorrhea (63.8%; 74), interrupted feeding (66.4%; 77), diarrhea (33.6%; 39) and conjunctivitis (21.6%; 25). Mean temperature on admission was 38.4°C±0.9°C. Among all 116 subjects, 20.7% (24) needed oxygen supplementation, 57.8% (67) required intravenous hydration, 11.2% (13) were admitted into the pediatric intensive care unit and 6.9% (8) required mechanical ventilation. Only 1% (1/87) had positive blood culture (Streptococcus pneumoniae) among 87 who received antibiotic treatment. Case fatality rate was 2.6% (3/116) and 1.7% (2/116) developed bronchiolitis obliterans. Median length of hospital stay was 4 (1-50) days.

Conclusion: Adenovirus ARI caused significant morbidity and substantial resource utilization among hospitalized Malaysian children. It should be considered in the differential diagnosis of infants below two years presenting with ARI associated with high fever. Antibiotics should not be prescribed as secondary bacterial infections are uncommon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/trstmh/trv042DOI Listing
July 2015

A randomised trial to evaluate the immunogenicity, reactogenicity, and safety of the 10-valent pneumococcal non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae protein D conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV) co-administered with routine childhood vaccines in Singapore and Malaysia.

BMC Infect Dis 2014 Oct 2;14:530. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, 3 Fusionopolis Link #03-08, [email protected], Singapore 138543, Singapore.

Background: The immunogenicity, reactogenicity, and safety of the 10-valent pneumococcal non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae protein D conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV) co-administered with routine childhood vaccines were evaluated among infants from Singapore and Malaysia, where PHiD-CV has been licensed.

Methods: In the primary vaccination phase, 298 infants from Singapore and 168 infants from Malaysia were randomised to receive the Phase III Clinical (Clin) or the Commercial (Com) lot of PHiD-CV at 2, 3, and 5 months of age. In the booster vaccination phase, 238 toddlers from Singapore received one dose of the PHiD-CV Commercial lot at 18-21 months of age. Immune responses to pneumococcal polysaccharides were measured using 22F-inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and functional opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) assay and to protein D, using ELISA.

Results: Immune responses induced by primary vaccination with the PHiD-CV Commercial lot were non-inferior to the Phase III Clinical lot in terms of adjusted antibody geometric mean concentration (GMC) ratios for each vaccine pneumococcal serotype and protein D. For each vaccine pneumococcal serotype, ≥93.6% and ≥88.5% of infants from Malaysia and Singapore had post-primary vaccination antibody concentrations ≥0.2 μg/mL and OPA titres ≥8, in the Clin and Com groups, respectively. For each vaccine pneumococcal serotype, ≥60.8% and ≥98.2% of toddlers from Singapore had pre- and post-booster antibody concentrations ≥0.2 μg/mL, in the Clin and Com groups, respectively. All children, except one, had measurable anti-protein D antibodies and the primary and booster doses of the co-administered vaccines were immunogenic. The incidence of each grade 3 solicited symptom was ≤11.1% in both study phases. No serious adverse events considered causally related to vaccination were reported throughout the study.

Conclusions: PHiD-CV given as three-dose primary vaccination to infants in Singapore and Malaysia and booster vaccination to toddlers in Singapore was shown to be immunogenic with a clinically acceptable-safety profile.This study has been registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.govNCT00808444 and NCT01119625.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-14-530DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4286912PMC
October 2014

Safety and immunogenicity of a tetravalent dengue vaccine in healthy children aged 2-11 years in Malaysia: a randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase III study.

Vaccine 2013 Dec 14;31(49):5814-21. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Jalan Hospital, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Background: Dengue disease is a major public health problem across the Asia-Pacific region for which there is no licensed vaccine or treatment. We evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of Phase III lots of a candidate vaccine (CYD-TDV) in children in Malaysia.

Methods: In this observer-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase III study, children aged 2-11 years were randomized (4:1) to receive CYD-TDV or placebo at 0, 6 and 12 months. Primary endpoints included assessment of reactogenicity following each dose, adverse events (AEs) and serious AEs (SAEs) reported throughout the study, and immunogenicity expressed as geometric mean titres (GMTs) and distribution of dengue virus (DENV) neutralizing antibody titres.

Results: 250 participants enrolled in the study (CYD-TDV: n=199; placebo: n=51). There was a trend for reactogenicity to be higher with CYD-TDV than with placebo post-dose 1 (75.4% versus 68.6%) and post-dose 2 (71.6% versus 62.0%) and slightly lower post-dose 3 (57.9% versus 64.0%). Unsolicited AEs declined in frequency with each subsequent dose and were similar overall between groups (CYD-TDV: 53.8%; placebo: 49.0%). Most AEs were of Grade 1 intensity and were transient. SAEs were reported by 5.5% and 11.8% of participants in the CYD-TDV and placebo groups, respectively. No deaths were reported. Baseline seropositivity against each of the four DENV serotypes was similar between groups, ranging from 24.0% (DENV-4) to 36.7% (DENV-3). In the CYD-TDV group, GMTs increased post-dose 2 for all serotypes compared with baseline, ranging from 4.8 (DENV-1) to 8.1-fold (DENV-3). GMTs further increased post-dose 3 for DENV-1 and DENV-2. Compared with baseline, individual titre increases ranged from 6.1-fold (DENV-1) to 7.96-fold (DENV-3).

Conclusions: This study demonstrated a satisfactory safety profile and a balanced humoral immune response against all four DENV serotypes for CYD-TDV administered via a three-dose regimen to children in Malaysia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.10.013DOI Listing
December 2013

Characteristics of children hospitalized for pandemic (H1N1) 2009, Malaysia.

Emerg Infect Dis 2011 Apr;17(4):708-10

Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

To determine effects of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 on children in the tropics, we examined characteristics of children hospitalized for this disease in Malaysia. Of 1,362 children, 51 (3.7%) died, 46 of whom were in an intensive care unit. Although disease was usually mild, ≥ 1 concurrent conditions were associated with higher death rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1704.101212DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3377409PMC
April 2011

Influenza vaccine concurrently administered with a combination measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine to young children.

Vaccine 2010 Feb 8;28(6):1566-74. Epub 2009 Dec 8.

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Children aged 11 to <24 months received 2 intranasal doses of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) or placebo, 35+/-7 days apart. Dose 1 was administered concomitantly with a combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (Priorix). Seroresponses to measles and mumps were similar between groups. Compared with placebo, response rates to rubella in LAIV+Priorix recipients were statistically lower at a 15 IU/mL threshold (83.9% vs 78.0%) and the prespecified noninferiority criteria were not met. In a post hoc analysis using an alternate widely accepted threshold of 10 IU/mL, the noninferiority criteria were met (93.4% vs 89.8%). Concomitant administration with Priorix did not affect the overall influenza protection rate of LAIV (78.4% and 63.8% against antigenically similar influenza strains and any strain, respectively).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.11.054DOI Listing
February 2010

Importance of a thorough examination.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2008 Jun;27(6):569-70

Paediatric Department, Hospital Tuanku Jaafar Seremban, Seremban, Malaysia.

Scrub typhus is a common cause of febrile illness among children from rural regions in tropical countries. We described 2 cases of scrub typhus with an eschar localized in the genitalia that was missed during the routine medical examination of a febrile child.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/INF.0b013e318168db08DOI Listing
June 2008