Publications by authors named "Kathryn L Hopkins"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Assessing national cervical cancer screening guidelines: Results from an HIV testing clinic also screening for cervical cancer and HPV in Soweto, South Africa.

PLoS One 2021 30;16(7):e0255124. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Objective: A screening centre in Soweto, South Africa (SA), investigated high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV), HIV, cervical cancer risk amongst women.

Methods: This cross-sectional study (June 2018-March 2019) describes screening results (Roche Linear Array HPV test and Pap smear liquid based cytology) and history of screening (known HIV status, antiretroviral therapy [ART] use, previous Pap smears). Data were stratified by age group (18-29, 30+ years), HIV status, Pap smear results and tested for statistical significance.

Results: Of 280 women, 20.4% were HIV-positive, 18.2% had abnormal Pap smears, 41.8% had HR-HPV. Of older women, 48.2% (n = 78/162) had never had a Pap smear. Of younger women, 89.0% (n = 105/118) never had a Pap smear, but had significantly more low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) and other HR-HPV infection than older women (12.7%[n = 15/118] vs 4.9%[n = 8/162], p = 0.0193; and 49.2%[n = 58/118] vs 29.0%[n = 47/162], p = 0.0006; respectively). HIV-positive women had more abnormal cytology results and infection with other HR-HPV types or co-infection with other HR-HPV type(s)/HPV-16 compared to HIV-negative women (35.1%[n = 20/57] vs 13.9%[n = 31/223], p = 0.0002; 56.1%[n = 32/57] vs 32.7%[n = 73/223], p = 0.001; and 12.3%[n = 7/57] vs 4.9%[n = 11/223], p = 0.044; respectively). Of 57 HIV-positive women, 45.6% (n = 26) already knew their HIV status; of which 69.2% were on ART and 34.6% never had a Pap smear.

Conclusion: South African women have high rates of HIV, Pap smear abnormalities and HR-HPV, with low cervical cancer screening coverage. SA cervical cancer screening policy excludes (undiagnosed) HIV-positive and HIV-negative women <30 years, both populations found to have high prevalence of HR-HPV. HPV-based primary screening from 25 years could improve outcomes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0255124PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8323926PMC
July 2021

The substantial burden of non-communicable diseases and HIV-comorbidity amongst adults: Screening results from an integrated HIV testing services clinic for adults in Soweto, South Africa.

EClinicalMedicine 2021 Aug 14;38:101015. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg 1864, South Africa.

Background: South Africa is disproportionately impacted by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and HIV/AIDS. We investigated the prevalence of known/unknown NCD risk factors, HIV, and NCD risk factor-HIV comorbidity; and treatment status on known diseases to determine the prevalence of controlled/uncontrolled disease.

Methods: This cross-sectional study (June 2018-March 2019) within an integrated testing centre in Soweto, South Africa, screened adults (aged ≥18 years) for body mass index (BMI), hypertension (HT), rapid glucose and cholesterol, and HIV. Results were stratified by age group, sex, HIV-status, and self-reported ART use. Analysis included Fisher's exact, chi-squared, Kruskal Wallis, and Student's T-tests.

Findings: Of 780 enrolled participants, 19.2% were HIV-positive, 37.5% were overweight/obese, 18.0% hypertensive, 10.8% hyperglycaemic, and 8.1% had hypercholesterolaemia. Significantly more women had overweight/obese BMI than men (46.8% vs 19.7%; <0.0001), and women aged 25-34 years had significantly more hypercholesterolaemia than same-aged men (18.2% vs 5.6%;  = 0.02). HIV-positive participants had significantly more hyperglycaemia than HIV-negative participants (16.1% vs 9.6%;  = 0.02), and those on ART (63.9%) had significantly more hypercholesterolaemia than those not on ART (21.7% vs. 4.9%;  = 0.002). Of participants with HT, hyperglycaemia, and hypercholesterolaemia; 72.4%, 96.1%, and 93.3% were newly diagnosed. All participants with previously diagnosed NCDs remained with uncontrolled disease.

Interpretation: There is a high burden of HIV, NCD risk factors, and comorbidity in Soweto, and amongst young adults (18-34 years), especially women. Lowering age requirements for glucose/cholesterol screening to 18+ years, regardless of BMI, HIV-status, or ART use, may yield timely NCD diagnosis/management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8283339PMC
August 2021

Does peer-navigated linkage to care work? A cross-sectional study of active linkage to care within an integrated non-communicable disease-HIV testing centre for adults in Soweto, South Africa.

PLoS One 2020 22;15(10):e0241014. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Introduction: South Africa is the HIV epidemic epicentre; however, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will be the most common cause of death by 2030. To improve identification and initiation of care for HIV and NCDs, we assessed proportion of clients referred and linked to care (LTC) for abnormal/positive screening results and time to LTC and treatment initiation from a HIV Testing Services (HTS) Centre before and after integrated testing for NCDs with optional peer-navigated linkage to care.

Materials And Methods: This two-phase prospective study was conducted at an adult HTS Centre in Soweto, South Africa. Phase 1 (February-June 2018) utilised standard of care (SOC) HTS services (blood pressure [BP], HIV rapid diagnostic testing (RDT), sexually transmitted infections [STI]/Tuberculosis [TB] symptom screening) with passive referral for abnormal/positive results. Phase 2 (June 2018-March 2019) further integrated blood glucose/cholesterol/chlamydia RDT, with optional peer-navigated referral. Enrolled referred clients completed telephonic follow-up surveys confirming LTC/treatment initiation ≤3 months post-screening. Socio-demographics, screening results, time to LTC/treatment initiation, peer-navigated referral uptake were reported. Analysis included Fisher's exact, chi-squared, Kruskal Wallis, and Student's T-tests. Thematic analysis was conducted for open-ended survey responses.

Results: Of all 320 referrals, 40.0% were HIV-infections, 11.9% STIs, 6.6% TB, and 28.8% high/low BP. Of Phase 2-only referrals, 29.4% were for glucose and 23.5% cholesterol. Integrated NCD-HTS had significantly more clients LTC for HIV (76.7%[n = 66/86] vs 52.4%[n = 22/42], p = 0.0052) and within a shorter average time (6-8 days [Interquartile range (IQR):1-18.5] vs 8-13 days [IQR:2-32]) as compared to SOC HTS. Integrated NCD-HTS clients initiated HIV/STIs/BP treatment on average more quickly as compared to SOC HTS (5 days for STIs [IQR:1-21], 8 days for HIV/BP [IQR:5-17 and 2-13, respectively] vs 10 days for STIs [IQR: 4-32], 19.5 days for HIV [IQR:6.5-26.5], 8 days for BP [IQR:2-29)]. Participants chose passive over active referral (89.1% vs 10.9%; p<0.0001). Participants rejecting peer-navigated referral preferred to go alone (55.7% [n = 39/70]). Non-LTC was due to being busy (41.1% [n = 39/95]) and not being ready/refusing treatment (31.6% [n = 30/95]). Normalised results assessed at referral clinic (49.7% [n = 98/196]), prescribed lifestyle modification/monitoring (30.9% [n = 61/196]), and poor clinic flow/congestion and/or further testing required (10.7% [n = 21/196]) were associated with non-treatment initiation.

Conclusion: Same-day treatment initiation is not achieved across diseases, despite peer-navigated referral. There are psychosocial and health systems barriers at entry to care/treatment initiation. Additional research may identify best strategies for rapid treatment initiation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241014PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7580918PMC
December 2020

Level of adult client satisfaction with clinic flow time and services of an integrated non-communicable disease-HIV testing services clinic in Soweto, South Africa: a cross-sectional study.

BMC Health Serv Res 2020 May 11;20(1):404. Epub 2020 May 11.

Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Background: While HIV Testing Services (HTS) have increased, many South Africans have not been tested. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the top cause of death worldwide. Integrated NCD-HTS could be a strategy to control both epidemics. Healthcare service strategies depends partially on positive user experience. We investigated client satisfaction of services and clinic flow time of an integrated NCD-HTS clinic.

Methods: This prospective, cross-sectional study evaluated HTS client satisfaction with an HTS clinic at two phases. Phase 1 (February-June 2018) utilised standard HTS services: counsellor-led height/weight/blood pressure measurements, HIV rapid testing, and symptoms screening for sexually transmitted infections/Tuberculosis. Phase 2 (June 2018-March 2019) further integrated counsellor-led obesity screening (body mass index/abdominal circumference measurements), rapid cholesterol/glucose testing; and nurse-led Chlamydia and human papilloma virus (HPV)/cervical cancer screening. Socio-demographics, proportion of repeat clients, clinic flow time, and client survey data (open/closed-ended questions using five-point Likert scale) are reported. Fisher's exact test, chi-square analysis, and Kruskal Wallis test conducted comparisons. Multiple linear regression determined predictors associated with clinic time. Content thematic analysis was conducted for free response data.

Results: Two hundred eighty-four and three hundred thirty-three participants were from Phase 1 and 2, respectively (N = 617). Phase 1 participants were significantly older (median age 36.5 (28.0-43.0) years vs. 31.0 (25.0-40.0) years; p = 0.0003), divorced/widowed (6.7%, [n = 19/282] vs. 2.4%, [n = 8/332]; p = 0.0091); had tertiary education (27.9%, [n = 79/283] vs. 20.1%, [n = 67/333]; p = 0.0234); and less female (53.9%, [n = 153/284] vs 67.6%, [n = 225/333]; p = 0.0005), compared to Phase 2. Phase 2 had 10.2% repeat clients (n = 34/333), and 97.9% (n = 320/327) were 'very satisfied' with integrated NCD-HTS, despite standard HTS having significantly shorter median time for counsellor-led HTS (36.5, interquartile range [IQR]: 31.0-45.0 vs. 41.5, IQR: 35.0-51.0; p < 0.0001). Phase 2 associations with longer clinic time were clients living together/married (est = 6.548; p = 0.0467), more tests conducted (est = 3.922; p < 0.0001), higher overall satisfaction score (est = 1.210; p = 0.0201). Those who matriculated experienced less clinic time (est = - 7.250; p = 0.0253).

Conclusions: It is possible to integrate counsellor-led NCD rapid testing into standard HTS within historical HTS timeframes, yielding client satisfaction. Rapid cholesterol/glucose testing should be integrated into standard HTS. Research is required on the impact of cervical cancer/HPV screenings to HTS clinic flow to determine if it could be scaled up within the public sector.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-05256-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7212607PMC
May 2020

HIV research in South Africa: Advancing life.

S Afr Med J 2019 Dec 5;109(11b):36-40. Epub 2019 Dec 5.

South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa; Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

South African (SA) researchers have made both national and global contributions to HIV prevention and treatment. Research conducted in SA has contributed markedly to improved survival in HIV-infected infants, children and adults. The translation of clinical research into practice has enabled the curtailment of paediatric HIV in SA. Along with international collaborators, SA has made pivotal contributions to biomedical prevention modalities including medical male circumcision and oral and topical microbicides, and is undertaking pivotal HIV vaccine research. Research into the structural and psychosocial drivers of HIV infection will be critical for sustaining biomedical interventions, and necessary to end AIDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i11b.14264DOI Listing
December 2019

Demographics and health profile on precursors of non-communicable diseases in adults testing for HIV in Soweto, South Africa: a cross-sectional study.

BMJ Open 2019 12 15;9(12):e030701. Epub 2019 Dec 15.

Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Soweto, South Africa.

Objectives: This cross-sectional study investigated the burden of HIV-non-communicable disease (NCD) precursor comorbidity by age and sex. Policies stress integrated HIV-NCD screenings; however, NCD screening is poorly implemented in South African HIV testing services (HTS).

Setting: Walk-in HTS Centre in Soweto, South Africa.

Participants: 325 voluntary adults, aged 18+ years, who provided written or verbal informed consent (with impartial witness) for screening procedures were enrolled.

Primary And Secondary Outcomes: Data on sociodemographics, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infection symptoms, blood pressure (BP) (≥140/90=elevated) and body mass index (<18.5 underweight; 18.5-25.0 normal; >25 overweight/obese) were stratified by age-group, sex and HIV status.

Results: Of the 325 participants, the largest proportions were female (51.1%; n=166/325), single (71.5%; n=231/323) and 25-34 years (33.8%; n=110/325). Overall, 20.9% (n=68/325) were HIV infected, 27.5% (n=89/324) had high BP and 33.5% (n=109/325) were overweight/obese. Among HIV-infected participants, 20.6% (14/68) had high BP and 30.9% (21/68) were overweight/obese, as compared with 29.3% (75/256) and 12.1% (31/256) of the HIV-uninfected participants, respectively. Females were more likely HIV-infected compared with males (26.5% (44/166) vs 15.1% (24/159); p=0.012). In both HIV-infected and uninfected groups, high BP was most prevalent in those aged 35-44 years (25% (6/24) vs 36% (25/70); p=0.3353) and >44 years (29% (4/14) vs 48% (26/54); p=0.1886). Males had higher BP than females (32.9% (52/158) vs 22.3% (37/166); p=0.0323); more females were overweight/obese relative to males (45.8% (76/166) vs 20.8% (33/159); p<0.0001). Females were more likely to be HIV infected and overweight/obese.

Conclusion: Among HTS clients, NCD precursors rates and co-morbidities were high. Elevated BP occurred more in older participants. Targeted integrated interventions for HIV-infected females and HIV-infected people aged 18-24 and 35-44 years could improve HIV public health outcomes. Additional studies on whether integrated HTS will improve the uptake of NCD treatment and improve health outcomes are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030701DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6924733PMC
December 2019

Will the current National Strategic Plan enable South Africa to end AIDS, Tuberculosis and Sexually Transmitted Infections by 2022?

South Afr J HIV Med 2018 4;19(1):796. Epub 2018 Oct 4.

Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Background: In May 2017, the South African National AIDS Council released the fourth National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections. This five-year plan (2017-2022), which aims to track the progress towards transitioning these epidemics to no longer being public health threats by the year 2030, is built on the successes and barriers of the previous NSP (2012-2016). However, the NSP does not address some critical components, which may contribute to a future failure in achieving its hefty goals.

Objectives: This article outlines the gaps within the new NSP, as well as highlighting aspects requiring careful focus, which are critical to address in order for South Africa to make progress towards the set targets.

Method: This commentary included an in depth review of the NSP, other South African National Strategic Plans and documents, and scientific literature.

Results: The NSP does not address gaps in funding, oversights in prevention and treatment strategies, human resource shortages and lacking health system requirements.

Conclusion: To realistically achieve the NSP targets and goals, a robust, client-centred strategy addressing the NSP gaps needs to be implemented. The strategy must be cost-effective; provide active linkage to care; and address health system weaknesses that inhibit its successful implementation, including human resources, service delivery and supply chain management, accountability and monitoring and evaluation (M&E).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v19i1.796DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6191675PMC
October 2018

Analysis of Prehospital Transport Use for Trauma Patients in Lusaka, Zambia.

World J Surg 2016 Dec;40(12):2868-2874

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA.

Despite an increasing burden of injuries, prehospital transport systems remain underdeveloped in many low- and middle-income countries. Little information exists on the use of prehospital services for trauma patients in Zambia.

Method: A prospective, observational study of trauma presentations was undertaken for 6 months in Lusaka, Zambia, to establish the epidemiology and outcomes of injury in the region. In addition to demographics and mechanism of injury, data were collected on prehospital transport as well as inpatient resources utilization. Trained study personnel gathered data on trauma presentations 24 h a day. Statistical analysis was conducted using SAS 9.3 from a Microsoft Access database.

Results: 3498 trauma patients were enrolled in the study on arrival to University Teaching Hospital (UTH). 3264 patients had a transport means recorded (95.3 %). Two-thirds (66 %) arrived within 6 h of injury, and 23 % arrived within the first hour after injury. A majority arrived by private vehicle (53.4 %) or public transport (37.7 %); only 5.9 % were transported by public or private ambulance. Of those arriving within the first hour after injury, 69.1 % came by private car, 24.6 % by public transport and 3.1 % by ambulance. There was a small statistical increase in Kampala Trauma Score II among ambulance arrivals.

Conclusion: Trauma patient use a variety of transport methods to get to UTH. A majority of patients use no formal ambulance transport. Despite this fact, a majority arrives within 6 h of injury but receive no formal prehospital care. An integrated, multilayered prehospital care and transport system may be the most effective approach for Zambia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00268-016-3629-4DOI Listing
December 2016

Implementation and Operational Research: Integration of PMTCT and Antenatal Services Improves Combination Antiretroviral Therapy Uptake for HIV-Positive Pregnant Women in Southern Zambia: A Prototype for Option B+?

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2015 Dec;70(4):e123-9

*Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA; †Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA; ‡Department of Global Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA; §Department of Pediatrics, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA; ‖Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development, Lusaka, Zambia; ¶Marie Stopes International, Lilongwe, Malawi; #Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lusaka, Zambia; **Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Government of the Republic of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia; and ††Perinatal HIV Research Unit, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Background: Early initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for HIV-positive pregnant women can decrease vertical transmission to less than 5%. Programmatic barriers to early cART include decentralized care, disease-stage assessment delays, and loss to follow-up.

Intervention: Our intervention had 3 components: integrated HIV and antenatal services in 1 location with 1 provider, laboratory courier to expedite CD4 counts, and community-based follow-up of women-infant pairs to improve prevention of mother-to-child transmission attendance. Preintervention HIV-positive pregnant women were referred to HIV clinics for disease-stage assessment and cART initiation for advanced disease (CD4 count <350 cells/μL or WHO stage >2).

Methods: We used a quasi-experimental design with preintervention/postintervention evaluations at 6 government antenatal clinics (ANCs) in Southern Province, Zambia. Retrospective clinical data were collected from clinic registers during a 7-month baseline period. Postintervention data were collected from all antiretroviral therapy-naive, HIV-positive pregnant women and their infants presenting to ANC from December 2011 to June 2013.

Results: Data from 510 baseline women-infant pairs were analyzed and 624 pregnant women were enrolled during the intervention period. The proportion of HIV-positive pregnant women receiving CD4 counts increased from 50.6% to 77.2% [relative risk (RR) = 1.81; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.57 to 2.08; P < 0.01]. The proportion of cART-eligible pregnant women initiated on cART increased from 27.5% to 71.5% (RR = 2.25; 95% CI: 1.78 to 2.83; P < 0.01). The proportion of eligible HIV-exposed infants with documented 6-week HIV PCR test increased from 41.9% to 55.8% (RR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.18 to 1.51; P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Integration of HIV care into ANC and community-based support improved uptake of CD4 counts, proportion of cART-eligible women initiated on cART, and infants tested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000000760DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6754251PMC
December 2015

Exposure to and experiences of violence among adolescents in lower socio-economic groups in Johannesburg, South Africa.

BMC Public Health 2015 May 1;15:450. Epub 2015 May 1.

Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, P.O Box 114, , Diepkloof, 1864, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Background: We explored exposure to and experiences of violence and their risk factors amongst ethnically diverse adolescents from lower socio economic groups in Johannesburg.

Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited a stratified sample of 16-18 year old adolescents from four low socio-economic suburbs in Johannesburg to reflect ethnic group clustering. We collected socio-demographic, sexual behaviour, alcohol and drug use and trauma events data. Proportions and risk factors were assessed by chi-square and logistic regression.

Results: Of 822 adolescents, 57% (n = 469) were female. Approximately 62% (n = 506) were Black, 13% (n = 107) Coloured, 13% (n = 106) Indian and 13% (n = 103) White. Approximately 67% (n = 552) witnessed violence to a non-family member, 28% (n = 228) experienced violence by a non-family member, and 10% (n = 83) reported sexual abuse. Multivariate analysis determined that witnessing violence in the community was associated with being Black (OR: 4.6, 95%CI: 2.7-7.9), Coloured (OR: 3.9, 95%CI: 2.0-7.4) or White (OR: 8.0, 95%CI:4.0-16.2), repeating a grade (OR: 1.5, 95%CI: 1.01-2.1), having more than one sexual partner (OR: 1.7, 95%CI: 1.1-2.5) and ever taking alcohol (OR: 2.1, 95%CI: 1.5-2.9). Witnessing violence in the family was associated with being female (OR: 1.8, 95%CI: 1.3-2.6), being Black (OR: 2.2, 95%CI: 1.1-4.1), or White (OR: 3.0, 95%CI: 1.4-6.4), repeating a grade (OR: 1.6, 95%CI: 1.1-2.2) and ever taking alcohol (OR: 2.9, 95%CI: 2.0-4.3).

Conclusions: In low socio-economic areas in Johannesburg, Black, White and Coloured adolescents experience a high burden of violence. Interventions to mitigate the effects of violence are urgently required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-1780-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4419458PMC
May 2015

Predictors of HVTN 503 MRK-AD5 HIV-1 gag/pol/nef vaccine induced immune responses.

PLoS One 2014 4;9(8):e103446. Epub 2014 Aug 4.

Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Background: Phambili, the Merck (MRK)-Adenovirus Type 5 (Ad5) HIV-1 gag/pol/nef subtype B vaccine study, conducted in South Africa, suspended enrollment and vaccination when companion study, Step, was found non-efficacious. Although the vaccine did not prevent HIV-1 infection or lower viral-load setpoint, immune responses recognized clades B and C HIV-1 subtypes. We investigated predictors of the vaccine-induced antigen-specific immune responses.

Methods: Vaccine-induced immunogenicity was ascertained by interferon-γ ELISpot assays on the first 186 enrolled participants receiving two vaccinations. Analyses, stratified by study arm/sex, were performed on baseline demographics [sex, age, Body Mass Index (BMI), site, Adenovirus Type-5 (Ad5) titer, Herpes Simplex Virus Type-2 (HSV2) status, heavy drinking]. Multivariate logistic regression determined predictors.

Results: Of the 186 participants, 53.7% (n = 100) were female, median BMI was 22.5 [IQR: 20.4-27.0], 85.5% (n = 159) were Ad5 seropositive, and 18.8% (n = 35) drank heavily. All vaccine recipients responded to both clade B (n = 87; 47%) and/or C (n = 74; 40%), p = 0.17. In multivariate analysis, female sex [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 6.478; p = 0.0159], overweight/obese BMI (AOR: 0.186; p = 0.0452), and heavy drinking (AOR: 0.270; p = 0.048) significantly predicted immune response to clade C for any antigens. A marginally significant predictor of clade C-pol antigen was female sex (AOR: 3.182; p = 0.0500).

Conclusions: Sex, BMI, and heavy drinking affected vaccine-induced HIV-1 specific immune responses to clade C antigens. The role of female sex and overweight/obese BMI boosting and suppressing vaccine-induced HIV-1 specific immune responses, respectively, requires elucidation, including any effect on HIV vaccine efficacy, especially in the era of colliding epidemics (HIV and obesity).
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103446PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121165PMC
April 2015
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