Publications by authors named "Salim Allana"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Effectiveness and cardiac safety of bedaquiline-based therapy for drug-resistant tuberculosis: a prospective cohort study.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, and Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Background: Bedaquiline improves treatment outcomes in patients with rifampin-resistant TB (RR-TB) but prolongs the QT-interval and carries a black-box warning by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The World Health Organization recommends that all patients with RR-TB receive a regimen containing bedaquiline, yet a phase 3 clinical trial demonstrating its cardiac safety has not been published.

Methods: We conducted an observational cohort study of RR-TB patients from 3 provinces in South Africa who received regimens containing bedaquiline. We performed rigorous cardiac monitoring, including electrocardiograms (ECGs) performed in triplicate at four time points during bedaquiline therapy. Participants were followed until the end of therapy or 24 months. Outcomes included final tuberculosis treatment outcome and QT-prolongation, defined as any QTcF>500 ms or an absolute change from baseline (△ QTcF) >60 ms.

Results: We enrolled 195 eligible participants, of whom 40% had extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB. Most participants (97%) received concurrent clofazimine. 74% of participants were cured or successfully completed treatment, and outcomes did not differ by HIV status. QTcF continued to increase throughout bedaquiline therapy, with a mean increase of 23.7 (SD 22.7) ms from baseline to month 6. Four participants experienced a QTcF>500 ms and 19 experienced a △QTcF>60 ms. Older age was independently associated with QT-prolongation. QT-prolongation was neither more common nor severe in participants receiving concurrent lopinavir-ritonavir.

Conclusions: Severe QT-prolongation was uncommon and did not require permanent discontinuation of either bedaquiline or clofazimine. Close QT-monitoring may be advisable in older patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciab335DOI Listing
April 2021

Adults from Kisumu, Kenya have robust γδ T cell responses to Schistosoma mansoni, which are modulated by tuberculosis.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 10 12;14(10):e0008764. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

Schistosoma mansoni (SM) is a parasitic helminth that infects over 200 million people and causes severe morbidity. It undergoes a multi-stage life cycle in human hosts and as such stimulates a stage-specific immune response. The human T cell response to SM is complex and varies throughout the life cycle of SM. Relative to the wealth of information regarding the immune response to SM eggs, little is known about the immune response to the adult worm. In addition, while a great deal of research has uncovered mechanisms by which co-infection with helminths modulates immunity to other pathogens, there is a paucity of data on the effect of pathogens on immunity to helminths. As such, we sought to characterize the breadth of the T cell response to SM and determine whether co-infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) modifies SM-specific T cell responses in a cohort of HIV-uninfected adults in Kisumu, Kenya. SM-infected individuals were categorized into three groups by Mtb infection status: active TB (TB), Interferon-γ Release Assay positive (IGRA+), and Interferon-γ Release Assay negative (IGRA-). U.S. adults that were seronegative for SM antibodies served as naïve controls. We utilized flow cytometry to characterize the T cell repertoire to SM egg and worm antigens. We found that T cells had significantly higher proliferation and cytokine production in response to worm antigen than to egg antigen. The T cell response to SM was dominated by γδ T cells that produced TNFα and IFNγ. Furthermore, we found that in individuals infected with Mtb, γδ T cells proliferated less in response to SM worm antigens and had higher IL-4 production compared to naïve controls. Together these data demonstrate that γδ T cells respond robustly to SM worm antigens and that Mtb infection modifies the γδ T cell response to SM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008764DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7580987PMC
October 2020

Modeling Missing Cases and Transmission Links in Networks of Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Am J Epidemiol 2020 07;189(7):735-745

Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Patterns of transmission of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) remain poorly understood, despite over half a million incident cases worldwide in 2017. Modeling TB transmission networks can provide insight into drivers of transmission, but incomplete sampling of TB cases can pose challenges for inference from individual epidemiologic and molecular data. We assessed the effect of missing cases on a transmission network inferred from Mycobacterium tuberculosis sequencing data on extensively drug-resistant TB cases in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, diagnosed in 2011-2014. We tested scenarios in which cases were missing at random, missing differentially by clinical characteristics, or missing differentially by transmission (i.e., cases with many links were under- or oversampled). Under the assumption that cases were missing randomly, the mean number of transmissions per case in the complete network needed to be larger than 20, far higher than expected, to reproduce the observed network. Instead, the most likely scenario involved undersampling of high-transmitting cases, and models provided evidence for super-spreading. To our knowledge, this is the first analysis to have assessed support for different mechanisms of missingness in a TB transmission study, but our results are subject to the distributional assumptions of the network models we used. Transmission studies should consider the potential biases introduced by incomplete sampling and identify host, pathogen, or environmental factors driving super-spreading.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7443195PMC
July 2020

CD4 T Cells in and Co-infected Individuals Maintain Functional TH1 Responses.

Front Immunol 2020 7;11:127. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States.

(Mtb) is a serious public health concern, infecting a quarter of the world and leading to 10 million cases of tuberculosis (TB) disease and 1. 5 million deaths annually. An effective type 1 CD4 T cell (TH1) immune response is necessary to control Mtb infection and defining factors that modulate Mtb-specific TH1 immunity is important to better define immune correlates of protection in Mtb infection. Helminths stimulate type 2 (TH2) immune responses, which antagonize TH1 cells. As such, we sought to evaluate whether co-infection with the parasitic helminth (SM) modifies CD4 T cell lineage profiles in a cohort of HIV-uninfected adults in Kisumu, Kenya. Individuals were categorized into six groups by Mtb and SM infection status: healthy controls (HC), latent Mtb infection (LTBI) and active tuberculosis (TB), with or without concomitant SM infection. We utilized flow cytometry to evaluate the TH1/TH2 functional and phenotypic lineage state of total CD4 T cells, as well as CD4 T cells specific for the Mtb antigens CFP-10 and ESAT-6. Total CD4 T cell lineage profiles were similar between SM and SM individuals in all Mtb infection groups. Furthermore, in both LTBI and TB groups, SM infection did not impair Mtb-specific TH1 cytokine production. In fact, SM LTBI individuals had higher frequencies of IFNγ Mtb-specific CD4 T cells than SM LTBI individuals. Mtb-specific CD4 T cells were characterized by expression of both classical TH1 markers, CXCR3 and T-bet, and TH2 markers, CCR4, and GATA3. The expression of these markers was similar between SM and SM individuals with LTBI. However, SM individuals with active TB had significantly higher frequencies of GATA3 CCR4 TH1 cytokine Mtb-specific CD4 T cells, compared with SM TB individuals. Together, these data indicate that Mtb-specific TH1 cytokine production capacity is maintained in SM-infected individuals, and that Mtb-specific TH1 cytokine CD4 T cells can express both TH1 and TH2 markers. In high pathogen burden settings where co-infection is common and reoccurring, plasticity of antigen-specific CD4 T cell responses may be important in preserving Mtb-specific TH1 responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7020828PMC
March 2021

The Impact of Concurrent Antiretroviral Therapy and MDR-TB Treatment on Adverse Events.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2020 01;83(1):47-55

Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY.

Background: South Africa has among the highest incidence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and more than 70% of patients are HIV co-infected. MDR-TB treatment is associated with frequent adverse events (AEs). Although guidelines recommend concurrent treatment of MDR-TB and HIV, safety data on concurrent therapy are limited.

Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study of MDR-TB patients with and without HIV-coinfection in South Africa between 2011 and 2015. Participants received standardized MDR-TB and HIV regimens. Participants were followed monthly for the duration of MDR-TB therapy and screened for clinical and laboratory AEs. Audiometry was performed monthly during the intensive phase; color discrimination testing was performed every 2 months.

Results: We enrolled 150 HIV-infected and 56 HIV-uninfected participants. Nearly all experienced at least one clinical (93%) or laboratory (96%) AE. The most common clinical AEs were peripheral neuropathy (50%) and difficulty sleeping (48%); the most common laboratory AEs were hypokalemia (47%) and decreased creatinine clearance (46%). Among 19 clinical and lab AEs examined, there were no differences by HIV status, except for diarrhea (27% HIV-infected vs. 13% HIV-uninfected, P = 0.03). Hearing loss was experienced by 72% of participants (8% severe loss). Fourteen percent experienced color discrimination loss (4% severe loss). There were no differences in frequency or severity of hearing or vision loss by HIV status.

Conclusions: AEs were common, but not more frequent or severe among MDR-TB/HIV co-infected participants receiving concurrent antiretroviral therapy. Given the favorable treatment outcomes associated with concurrent treatment, antiretroviral therapy initiation should not be delayed in MDR-TB patients with HIV-coinfection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000002190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6903405PMC
January 2020

Treatment Adherence Among Persons Receiving Concurrent Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis and HIV Treatment in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2019 10;82(2):124-130

Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Background: Success in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and HIV treatment requires high medication adherence despite high pill burdens, frequent adverse events, and long treatment duration, which may jeopardize adherence. We prospectively compared MDR-TB/HIV-coinfected persons to those with MDR-TB alone to determine the impact of concurrent treatment on adherence and outcomes.

Methods: We assessed medication adherence monthly using 3-day recall, 30-day recall, and visual analog scale and examined adherence to monthly study visits (months 0-12). We determined the proportion of participants fully adherent (no reported missed doses) to MDR-TB vs. HIV treatment by each measure. We assessed the association of medication and clinic visit adherence with MDR-TB treatment success (cure or completion, 18-24 months) and HIV virologic suppression.

Results: Among 200 patients with MDR-TB, 63% were women, median age was 33 years, 144 (72%) were HIV-infected, and 81% were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) at baseline. Adherence to medications (81%-98% fully adherent across all measures) and clinic visits (80% missed ≤1 visit) was high, irrespective of HIV status. Adherence to ART was significantly higher than to MDR-TB treatment by all self-reported measures (3-day recall: 92% vs. 84%, respectively; P = 0.003). In multivariable analysis, the adjusted risk ratio of unsuccessful MDR-TB treatment increased with every missed visit: 1.50, 2.25, and 3.37 for unsuccessful treatment, for 1, 2, and ≥3 missed visits.

Conclusions: Adherence to ART was higher than to MDR-TB treatment among persons with MDR-TB/HIV coinfection. Missed clinic visits may be a simple measure for identifying patients at risk of unsuccessful MDR-TB treatment outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000002120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6760842PMC
October 2019

Social Mixing and Clinical Features Linked With Transmission in a Network of Extensively Drug-resistant Tuberculosis Cases in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 05;70(11):2396-2402

Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious cause of death globally, and drug-resistant TB strains pose a serious threat to controlling the global TB epidemic. The clinical features, locations, and social factors driving transmission in settings with high incidences of drug-resistant TB are poorly understood.

Methods: We measured a network of genomic links using Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole-genome sequences.

Results: Patients with 2-3 months of cough or who spent time in urban locations were more likely to be linked in the network, while patients with sputum smear-positive disease were less likely to be linked than those with smear-negative disease. Associations persisted using different thresholds to define genomic links and irrespective of assumptions about the direction of transmission.

Conclusions: Identifying factors that lead to many transmissions, including contact with urban areas, can suggest settings instrumental in transmission and indicate optimal locations and groups to target with interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciz636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7245156PMC
May 2020

Osteoid osteoma: Contemporary management.

Orthop Rev (Pavia) 2018 Sep 25;10(3):7496. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Osteoid osteoma is a benign bone-forming tumor with hallmark of tumor cells directly forming mature bone. Osteoid osteoma accounts for around 5% of all bone tumors and 11% of benign bone tumors with a male predilection. It occurs predominantly in long bones of the appendicular skeleton. According to Musculoskeletal Tumor Society staging system for benign tumors, osteoid osteoma is a stage-2 lesion. It is classified based on location as cortical, cancellous, or subperiosteal. Nocturnal pain is the most common symptom that usually responds to salicyclates and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. CT is the modality of choice not only for diagnosis but also for specifying location of the lesion, . cortical sub periosteal or medullary. Non-operative treatment can be considered as an option since the natural history of osteoid osteoma is that of spontaneous healing. Surgical treatment is an option for patients with severe pain and those not responding to NSAIDs. Available surgical procedures include radiofrequency (RF) ablation, CT-guided percutaneous excision and resection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/or.2018.7496DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6187004PMC
September 2018

Unicameral bone cysts: Current concepts.

Ann Med Surg (Lond) 2018 Oct 28;34:43-49. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Unicameral bone cysts (UBC) or simple/solitary bone cysts are benign fluid filled cavities that enlarge over time, resulting in thinning of the bone. Usually these cysts are reported in the metaphyseal areas of long bones with open physes. 85% of UBCs occur almost exclusively in children and adolescents. UBCs are more aggressive in the first decade of life and correspondingly the recurrence rate for these patients is four times that for adolescents. The proximal humerus and femur account for almost 90% of these cases. UBCs are classified as active when they are within 1 cm of the physis and latent as they progress to a diaphyseal location. Differential diagnoses for UBC include aneurysmal bone cyst, fibrous dysplasia, enchondroma, and intraosseous ganglia. By the time of skeletal maturity most UBCs tend to resolve. Nonoperative treatment may be a viable option for many patients with small or symptomatic lesions. Interventions include steroid injection, open curettage and bone grafting, decompression and percutaneous injection of marrow or graft substitutes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amsu.2018.06.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6138978PMC
October 2018

Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in South Africa: genomic evidence supporting transmission in communities.

Eur Respir J 2018 10 18;52(4). Epub 2018 Oct 18.

School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Despite evidence that transmission is driving an extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) epidemic, our understanding of where and between whom transmission occurs is limited. We sought to determine whether there was genomic evidence of transmission between individuals without an epidemiologic connection.We conducted a prospective study of XDR-TB patients in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, during the 2011-2014 period. We collected sociodemographic and clinical data, and identified epidemiologic links based on person-to-person or hospital-based connections. We performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on the isolates and determined pairwise single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) differences.Among 404 participants, 123 (30%) had person-to-person or hospital-based links, leaving 281 (70%) epidemiologically unlinked. The median SNP difference between participants with person-to-person and hospital-based links was 10 (interquartile range (IQR) 8-24) and 16 (IQR 10-23), respectively. The median SNP difference between unlinked participants and their closest genomic link was 5 (IQR 3-9) and half of unlinked participants were within 7 SNPs of at least five participants.The majority of epidemiologically-unlinked XDR-TB patients had low pairwise SNP differences with at least one other participant, consistent with transmission. These data suggest that much of transmission may result from casual contact in community settings between individuals not known to one another.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.00246-2018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6195447PMC
October 2018

Spatial Patterns of Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Transmission in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

J Infect Dis 2018 11;218(12):1964-1973

Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: Transmission is driving the global drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) epidemic; nearly three-quarters of drug-resistant TB cases are attributable to transmission. Geographic patterns of disease incidence, combined with information on probable transmission links, can define the spatial scale of transmission and generate hypotheses about factors driving transmission patterns.

Methods: We combined whole-genome sequencing data with home Global Positioning System coordinates from 344 participants with extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, diagnosed from 2011 to 2014. We aimed to determine if genomically linked (difference of ≤5 single-nucleotide polymorphisms) cases lived close to one another, which would suggest a role for local community settings in transmission.

Results: One hundred eighty-two study participants were genomically linked, comprising 1084 case-pairs. The median distance between case-pairs' homes was 108 km (interquartile range, 64-162 km). Between-district, as compared to within-district, links accounted for the majority (912/1084 [84%]) of genomic links. Half (526 [49%]) of genomic links involved a case from Durban, the urban center of KwaZulu-Natal.

Conclusions: The high proportions of between-district links with Durban provide insight into possible drivers of province-wide XDR-TB transmission, including urban-rural migration. Further research should focus on characterizing the contribution of these drivers to overall XDR-TB transmission in KwaZulu-Natal to inform design of targeted strategies to curb the drug-resistant TB epidemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiy394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6217717PMC
November 2018

A High Throughput Whole Blood Assay for Analysis of Multiple Antigen-Specific T Cell Responses in Human Infection.

J Immunol 2018 04 14;200(8):3008-3019. Epub 2018 Mar 14.

Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30329;

Antigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells are important components of the immune response to , yet little information is currently known regarding how the breadth, specificity, phenotype, and function of -specific T cells correlate with infection outcome in humans. To facilitate evaluation of human -specific T cell responses targeting multiple different Ags, we sought to develop a high throughput and reproducible T cell response spectrum assay requiring low blood sample volumes. We describe here the optimization and standardization of a microtiter plate-based, diluted whole blood stimulation assay utilizing overlapping peptide pools corresponding to a functionally diverse panel of 60 Ags. Using IFN-γ production as a readout of Ag specificity, the assay can be conducted using 50 μl of blood per test condition and can be expanded to accommodate additional Ags. We evaluated the intra- and interassay variability, and implemented testing of the assay in diverse cohorts of -unexposed healthy adults, foreign-born adults with latent infection residing in the United States, and tuberculosis household contacts with latent infection in a tuberculosis-endemic setting in Kenya. The -specific T cell response spectrum assay further enhances the immunological toolkit available for evaluating -specific T cell responses across different states of infection, and can be readily implemented in resource-limited settings. Moreover, application of the assay to longitudinal cohorts will facilitate evaluation of treatment- or vaccine-induced changes in the breadth and specificity of Ag-specific T cell responses, as well as identification of -specific T cell responses associated with infection outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1701737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5995335PMC
April 2018

Improved Survival and Cure Rates With Concurrent Treatment for Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis-Human Immunodeficiency Virus Coinfection in South Africa.

Clin Infect Dis 2018 04;66(8):1246-1253

Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: Mortality in multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection has historically been high, but most studies predated the availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART). We prospectively compared survival and treatment outcomes in MDR tuberculosis-HIV-coinfected patients on ART to those in patients with MDR tuberculosis alone.

Methods: This observational study enrolled culture-confirmed MDR tuberculosis patients with and without HIV in South Africa between 2011 and 2013. Participants received standardized MDR tuberculosis and HIV regimens and were followed monthly for treatment response, adverse events, and adherence. The primary outcome was survival.

Results: Among 206 participants, 150 were HIV infected, 131 (64%) were female, and the median age was 33 years (interquartile range [IQR], 26-41). Of the 191 participants with a final MDR tuberculosis outcome, 130 (73%) were cured or completed treatment, which did not differ by HIV status (P = .50). After 2 years, CD4 count increased a median of 140 cells/mm3 (P = .005), and 64% had an undetectable HIV viral load. HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected participants had high rates of survival (86% and 94%, respectively; P = .34). The strongest risk factor for mortality was having a CD4 count ≤100 cells/mm3 (adjusted hazards ratio, 15.6; 95% confidence interval, 4.4-55.6).

Conclusions: Survival and treatment outcomes among MDR tuberculosis-HIV individuals receiving concurrent ART approached those of HIV-uninfected patients. The greatest risk of death was among HIV-infected individuals with CD4 counts ≤100 cells/mm3. These findings provide critical evidence to support concurrent treatment of MDR tuberculosis and HIV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/cix1125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5888963PMC
April 2018

Spatial distribution of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) patients in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

PLoS One 2017 13;12(10):e0181797. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Departments of Epidemiology and Global Health, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

Background: KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, has among the highest burden of XDR TB worldwide with the majority of cases occurring due to transmission. Poor access to health facilities can be a barrier to timely diagnosis and treatment of TB, which can contribute to ongoing transmission. We sought to determine the geographic distribution of XDR TB patients and proximity to health facilities in KwaZulu-Natal.

Methods: We recruited adults and children with XDR TB diagnosed in KwaZulu-Natal. We calculated distance and time from participants' home to the closest hospital or clinic, as well as to the actual facility that diagnosed XDR TB, using tools within ArcGIS Network analyst. Speed of travel was assigned to road classes based on Department of Transport regulations. Results were compared to guidelines for the provision of social facilities in South Africa: 5km to a clinic and 30km to a hospital.

Results: During 2011-2014, 1027 new XDR TB cases were diagnosed throughout all 11 districts of KwaZulu-Natal, of whom 404 (39%) were enrolled and had geospatial data collected. Participants would have had to travel a mean distance of 2.9 km (CI 95%: 1.8-4.1) to the nearest clinic and 17.6 km (CI 95%: 11.4-23.8) to the nearest hospital. Actual distances that participants travelled to the health facility that diagnosed XDR TB ranged from <10 km (n = 143, 36%) to >50 km (n = 109, 27%), with a mean of 69 km. The majority (77%) of participants travelled farther than the recommended distance to a clinic (5 km) and 39% travelled farther than the recommended distance to a hospital (30 km). Nearly half (46%) of participants were diagnosed at a health facility in eThekwini district, of whom, 36% resided outside the Durban metropolitan area.

Conclusions: XDR TB cases are widely distributed throughout KwaZulu-Natal province with a denser focus in eThekwini district. Patients travelled long distances to the health facility where they were diagnosed with XDR TB, suggesting a potential role for migration or transportation in the XDR TB epidemic.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181797PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5640212PMC
October 2017

Establishing a hospital based fracture liaison service to prevent secondary insufficiency fractures.

Int J Surg 2018 Jun 12;54(Pt B):328-332. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Department of Orthopaedics, University of British Columbia, Vacnouver, Canada.

In the aging population worldwide, osteoporosis is a relatively common condition and a major cause of long-term morbidity. Initial fragility fractures can lead to subsequent fractures. After a vertebral fracture, the risk of any another fracture increases 200% and that of a subsequent hip fracture increases 300%. For starting a hospital based Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) program, the nucleus is based on a physician champion, a FLS coordinator, and a nurse manager. A Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) is a multidisciplinary system approach to reducing subsequent fracture risk in patients with a recent fragility fracture due to compromised bone health by identifying them at or close to the time when they are treated at the hospital for fracture and providing them with easy access to osteoporosis care. It has been shown that when compared to other models such as referral letters to primary care physicians or endocrinologists, the FLS model results in a higher rate of diagnosis and treatment with less attrition in the posffracture phase. Insufficiency fracture care requires more than surgery to stabilize a fractured bone. The FLS program provides an opportunity to treat osteoporosis from a public health perspective rather than leaving this to the whims of individual physicians. This is achieved by providing a seamless integration of care by health care providers, nursing staff and administration. The FLS can be adapted to any model of care including academic health systems. FLS provides a holistic approach to identify patients as well as to provide evidence-based interventions to prevent subsequent fractures. The long term goal is that internationally FLS will result in in decreased fracture-related morbidity, mortality and overall health care expenditure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2017.09.010DOI Listing
June 2018

Polymorphisms in the vitamin D receptor gene are associated with reduced rate of sputum culture conversion in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients in South Africa.

PLoS One 2017 10;12(7):e0180916. Epub 2017 Jul 10.

Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, United States of America.

Background: Vitamin D modulates the inflammatory and immune response to tuberculosis (TB) and also mediates the induction of the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin. Deficiency of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene may increase the risk of TB disease and decrease culture conversion rates in drug susceptible TB. Whether these VDR SNPs are found in African populations or impact multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB treatment has not been established. We aimed to determine if SNPs in the VDR gene were associated with sputum culture conversion among a cohort of MDR TB patients in South Africa.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of adult MDR TB patients receiving second-line TB treatment in KwaZulu-Natal province. Subjects had monthly sputum cultures performed. In a subset of participants, whole blood samples were obtained for genomic analyses. Genomic DNA was extracted and genotyped with Affymetrix Axiom Pan-African Array. Cox proportional models were used to determine the association between VDR SNPs and rate of culture conversion.

Results: Genomic analyses were performed on 91 MDR TB subjects enrolled in the sub-study; 60% were female and median age was 35 years (interquartile range [IQR] 29-42). Smoking was reported by 21% of subjects and most subjects had HIV (80%), were smear negative (57%), and had cavitary disease (55%). Overall, 87 (96%) subjects initially converted cultures to negative, with median time to culture conversion of 57 days (IQR 17-114). Of 121 VDR SNPs examined, 10 were significantly associated (p<0.01) with rate of sputum conversion in multivariable analyses. Each additional risk allele on SNP rs74085240 delayed culture conversion significantly (adjusted hazard ratio 0.30, 95% confidence interval 0.14-0.67).

Conclusions: Polymorphisms in the VDR gene were associated with rate of sputum culture conversion in MDR TB patients in this high HIV prevalence setting in South Africa.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0180916PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5507304PMC
September 2017

pncA Gene Mutations Associated with Pyrazinamide Resistance in Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, South Africa and Georgia.

Emerg Infect Dis 2017 03;23(3):491-495

Although pyrazinamide is commonly used for tuberculosis treatment, drug-susceptibility testing is not routinely available. We found polymorphisms in the pncA gene for 70% of multidrug-resistant and 96% of extensively drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from South Africa and Georgia. Assessment of pyrazinamide susceptibility may be prudent before using it in regimens for drug-resistant tuberculosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2303.161034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5382742PMC
March 2017

Transmission of Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in South Africa.

N Engl J Med 2017 01;376(3):243-253

From the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and School of Medicine (N.S.S., S.C.A., S.A., A.C., N.R.G.) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (N.S.S.) - both in Atlanta; Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center (N.S.S., J.C.M.B., N.R.G.), Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (B.M., T.S.B.), and the American Museum of Natural History (A.N.) - all in New York; the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg (N.I., H.M., S.V.O.), University of KwaZulu-Natal and National Health Laboratory Service, Durban (P. Moodley, K.M., T.M., P. Mpangase), and the South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town (N.M., T.K.) - all in South Africa; and the Public Health Research Institute, New Jersey Medical School-Rutgers University, Newark (E.S., B.K.).

Background: Drug-resistant tuberculosis threatens recent gains in the treatment of tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection worldwide. A widespread epidemic of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis is occurring in South Africa, where cases have increased substantially since 2002. The factors driving this rapid increase have not been fully elucidated, but such knowledge is needed to guide public health interventions.

Methods: We conducted a prospective study involving 404 participants in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, with a diagnosis of XDR tuberculosis between 2011 and 2014. Interviews and medical-record reviews were used to elicit information on the participants' history of tuberculosis and HIV infection, hospitalizations, and social networks. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates underwent insertion sequence (IS)6110 restriction-fragment-length polymorphism analysis, targeted gene sequencing, and whole-genome sequencing. We used clinical and genotypic case definitions to calculate the proportion of cases of XDR tuberculosis that were due to inadequate treatment of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (i.e., acquired resistance) versus those that were due to transmission (i.e., transmitted resistance). We used social-network analysis to identify community and hospital locations of transmission.

Results: Of the 404 participants, 311 (77%) had HIV infection; the median CD4+ count was 340 cells per cubic millimeter (interquartile range, 117 to 431). A total of 280 participants (69%) had never received treatment for MDR tuberculosis. Genotypic analysis in 386 participants revealed that 323 (84%) belonged to 1 of 31 clusters. Clusters ranged from 2 to 14 participants, except for 1 large cluster of 212 participants (55%) with a LAM4/KZN strain. Person-to-person or hospital-based epidemiologic links were identified in 123 of 404 participants (30%).

Conclusions: The majority of cases of XDR tuberculosis in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, an area with a high tuberculosis burden, were probably due to transmission rather than to inadequate treatment of MDR tuberculosis. These data suggest that control of the epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis requires an increased focus on interrupting transmission. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1604544DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330208PMC
January 2017

OSATS for total knee replacement: Assessment of surgical competence in the operating room.

J Pak Med Assoc 2015 Nov;65(11 Suppl 3):S52-4

Department of Epidemiology, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA.

Traditionally the surgical and technical competence of Residents has been assessed inadequately and has received little attention among the core competencies defined by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada\'s CanMEDS programme and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). With the development of novel and advanced surgical techniques with different learning curves, time pressure in busy operating rooms, and increasing complexity of cases at university hospitals, acquiring technical skills for Residents has become more challenging. Over the last two decades, methods have been developed to assess technical competence objectively. In this paper we describe use of an Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) for total knee replacement (TKR).
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November 2015

Measles susceptibility in children in Karachi, Pakistan.

Vaccine 2011 Apr 9;29(18):3419-23. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Measles, despite being vaccine preventable is still a major public health problem in many developing countries. We estimated the proportion of measles susceptible children in Karachi, the largest metropolitan city of Pakistan, one year after the nationwide measles supplementary immunization activity (SIA) of 2007-2008. Oral fluid specimens of 504 randomly selected children from Karachi, aged 12-59 months were collected to detect measles IgG antibodies. Measles antibodies were detected in only 55% children. The proportion of children whose families reported receiving a single or two doses of measles vaccine were 78% and 12% respectively. Only 3% of parents reported that their child received measles vaccine through the SIA. Among the reported single dose measles vaccine recipients, 58% had serologic immunity against measles while among the reported two dose measles vaccine recipients, 64% had evidence of measles immunity. Urgent strengthening of routine immunization services and high quality mass vaccination campaigns against measles are recommended to achieve measles elimination in Pakistan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.02.087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3082702PMC
April 2011

Evolution of trauma management at a tertiary care hospital: a cohort study.

Int J Surg 2011 7;9(1):75-8. Epub 2010 Oct 7.

Orthopaedic Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Stadium Road, PO Box 3500, Karachi, Pakistan.

Objective: To analyze the characteristics of polytrauma patients and to assess the outcome of trauma care as this specialty has evolved over the years at a university hospital.

Methods: The study included all polytrauma patients treated between January 1998 and September 2005 at a tertiary care hospital in a megacity. Data of 1009 patients was collected prospectively and analyzed retrospectively. Patients were divided into two groups A and B, based on their presentation before and after the introduction of a formal trauma training course in 2002. The analysis included demographic data, injury severity score, vital signs including hemodynamics and GCS on admission, intubation rates, mortality and complications.

Results: 435 patients were included in group A (1998-2001) whereas group B (2002-2005) comprised of 574 patients. The proportion of patients with accidental versus intentional injuries was similar in both groups. The mean injury severity score of group A was 11.9 whereas that of group B was 11.7. Almost 50% of patients were transferred from other hospitals. Transferred patients had significantly lower GCS (p < 0.001), higher ISS (p < 0.001) and longer ICU stays (p < 0.001) in both (A and B) patient groups, while in group A mortality was also higher (p = 0.018). A significantly higher number of patients in group B went into shock. The overall mortality rate was 9.7% for group A which significantly decreased to 5.7% for group B (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: This study supports the view that as trauma care evolved at our hospital with the establishment of a formal training program, the mortality rates have significantly decreased.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2010.09.009DOI Listing
June 2011

Incidence of pneumonia, bacteremia, and invasive pneumococcal disease in Pakistani children.

Trop Med Int Health 2010 Sep 15;15(9):1029-36. Epub 2010 Jul 15.

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Objective: To determine the incidence of pneumonia, bacteremia, and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in Pakistani children <5 years old.

Methods: Household surveillance from 1st February 2007 to 12th May 2008 was conducted in two low-income, coastal communities of Karachi. Community health workers referred each sick child <5 years old to the local clinic. Blood culture was obtained whenever possible from children meeting inclusion criteria.

Results: Overall, 5570 children contributed 3949 observation years. There were 1039 clinical cases of pneumonia, of which 54 were severe pneumonia and four cases of very severe disease according to WHO criteria. The overall pneumonia incidence was 0.26 (95% CI: 0.25-0.28) episodes per child-year. A pathogen was isolated from the blood of 29 (2.8%) pneumonia cases. Bacteremia incidence was 912 (95% CI: 648-1248) episodes per 100,000 child-years with a case fatality rate of 8%. The detected IPD incidence was 25 (95% CI: 1-125) episodes per 100,000 child-years. The under-five mortality rate was 55 per 1000 live births, with pneumonia causing 12 (22%) deaths among children <5 years old.

Conclusion: Clinical pneumonia is common in Pakistani children, with one in four deaths attributable to the disease. Bacteremia occurs at a high rate but surveillance for pneumococcus underestimates the burden of IPD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2010.02591.xDOI Listing
September 2010

Surgical management of neglected bilateral obligatory patella dislocation.

J Pediatr Orthop B 2010 Jul;19(4):337-40

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Congenital dislocation of the patella may present as an isolated anomaly or may be associated with other lower limb deformities as part of a more complex malformative or dystrophic syndrome. One type is the congenitally dislocated patella fixed irreducibly from birth in a lateral position, and second is the obligatory patella dislocation that is hypoplastic to start with and gradually gets fixed into the lateral position as the child grows. We report the surgical management of a 16-year-old boy with neglected obligatory dislocation of bilateral patellae with 2-year follow-up results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPB.0b013e3283391901DOI Listing
July 2010

Well leg compartment syndrome: the debit side of hemilithotomy position.

J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2009 Jan-Mar;21(1):166-8

Section of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

We describe a case of well leg compartment syndrome following unilateral lithotomy position in a patient undergoing contralateral antegrade intramedullary femoral nailing. Following two-incision four compartment fasciotomy, the patient recovered with no residual defects. We dissuade use of the hemilithotomy position for antegrade femoral nailing procedures in favour of another previously described position, because this predisposes patients to position-associated complications without offering any substantial advantage.
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May 2011