• Changes in Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate Over Time in South African HIV-1-Infected Patients Receiving Tenofovir: a Retrospective Cohort Study

      De Waal, R; Cohen, K; Fox, MP; Stinson, K; Maartens, G; Boulle, A; Igumbor, EU; Davies, MA (International AIDS Society, 2017-04-10)
      Tenofovir has been associated with decline in kidney function, but in patients with low baseline kidney function, improvements over time have been reported. Additionally, the magnitude and trajectory of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) changes may differ according to how eGFR is calculated. We described changes in eGFR over time, and the incidence of, and risk factors for, kidney toxicity, in a South African cohort.
    • Clinical Access to Bedaquiline Programme for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis

      Conradie, F; Meintjes, G; Hughes, J; Maartens, G; Ferreira, H; Siwendu, S; Master, I; Ndjeka, N (Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2014-03-26)
      While clinical disease caused by drug-sensitive Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) can usually be treated successfully, clinical disease caused by drug-insensitive MTB is associated with a poorer prognosis. In December 2012, a new drug, bedaquiline, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. This article documents the process whereby the National Department of Health, Right to Care and Médecins Sans Frontières obtained access to this medication for South Africans who might benefit from subsequent implementation of the Clinical Access to Bedaquiline Programme
    • Effect of Antiretroviral Therapy on the Diagnostic Accuracy of Symptom Screening for Intensified Tuberculosis Case Finding in a South African HIV clinic

      Rangaka, M X; Wilkinson, R J; Glynn, J R; Boulle, A; van Cutsem, G; Goliath, R; Mathee, S; Maartens, G; Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa. mxrangaka@yahoo.co.uk (Oxford University Press, 2012-12)
      Current symptom screening algorithms for intensified tuberculosis case finding or prior to isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were derived from antiretroviral-naive cohorts. There is a need to validate screening algorithms in patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART).
    • Effect of bedaquiline on mortality in South African patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis: a retrospective cohort study

      Schnippel, K; Ndjeka, N; Maartens, G; Meintjes, G; Master, I; Ismail, N; Hughes, J; Ferreira, H; Padanilam, X; Romero, R; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-07-09)
      Addition of bedaquiline to treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis was associated with an increased risk of death in a phase 2b clinical trial, resulting in caution from WHO. Following a compassionate access programme and local regulatory approval, the South African National Tuberculosis Programme began widespread use of bedaquiline in March, 2015, especially among patients with extensively drug resistant tuberculosis for whom no other effective treatment options were available. We aimed to compare mortality in patients on standard regimens with that of patients on regimens including bedaquiline.
    • Effect of HIV-1 infection on T-Cell-based and skin test detection of tuberculosis infection

      Rangaka, M X; Wilkinson, K A; Seldon, R; Van Cutsem, G; Meintjes, G A; Morroni, C; Mouton, P; Diwakar, L; Connell, T G; Maartens, G; et al. (2007-12-07)
      RATIONALE: Two forms of the IFN-gamma release assay (IFNGRA) to detect tuberculosis infection are available, but neither has been evaluated in comparable HIV-infected and uninfected persons in a high tuberculosis incidence environment. OBJECTIVE: To compare the ability of the T-SPOT.TB (Oxford Immunotec, Abingdon, UK), QuantiFERON-TB Gold (Cellestis, Melbourne, Australia), and Mantoux tests to identify latent tuberculosis in HIV-infected and uninfected persons. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 160 healthy adults without active tuberculosis attending a voluntary counseling and testing center for HIV infection in Khayelitsha, a deprived urban South African community with an HIV antenatal seroprevalence of 33% and a tuberculosis incidence of 1,612 per 100,000. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: One hundred and sixty (74 HIV(+) and 86 HIV(-)) persons were enrolled. A lower proportion of Mantoux results was positive in HIV-infected subjects compared with HIV-uninfected subjects (p < 0.01). By contrast, the proportion of positive IFNGRAs was not significantly different in HIV-infected persons for the T-SPOT.TB test (52 vs. 59%; p = 0.41) or the QuantiFERON-TB Gold test (43 and 46%; p = 0.89). Fair agreement between the Mantoux test (5- and 10-mm cutoffs) and the IFNGRA was seen in HIV-infected people (kappa = 0.52-0.6). By contrast, poor agreement between the Mantoux and QuantiFERON-TB Gold tests was observed in the HIV-uninfected group (kappa = 0.07-0.30, depending on the Mantoux cutoff). The pattern was similar for T-SPOT.TB (kappa = 0.18-0.24). Interpretation: IFNGRA sensitivity appears relatively unimpaired by moderately advanced HIV infection. However, agreement between the tests and with the Mantoux test varied from poor to fair. This highlights the need for prospective studies to determine which test may predict the subsequent risk of tuberculosis.
    • Effect of rifampicin-based antitubercular therapy on nevirapine plasma concentrations in South African adults with HIV-associated tuberculosis.

      Cohen, K; Van Cutsem, G; Boulle, A; McIlleron, H; Goemaere, E; Smith, P J; Maartens, G; Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa. karen.cohen@uct.ac.za (Oxford Journals, 2008-02)
      BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Nevirapine-containing antiretroviral therapy (ART) and rifampicin-based antitubercular therapy are commonly co-administered in Africa, where nevirapine is often the only available non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. Rifampicin induces the metabolism of nevirapine, but the extent of the reduction in nevirapine concentrations has varied widely in previous studies. We describe the steady-state pharmacokinetics of nevirapine during and after antitubercular therapy in South African patients. METHODS: Sixteen patients receiving ART including standard doses of nevirapine were admitted twice for intensive pharmacokinetic sampling: during and after rifampicin-based antitubercular therapy. RESULTS: Geometric mean ratios for nevirapine pharmacokinetic parameters during versus after antitubercular therapy were 0.61 [90% confidence interval (CI) 0.49-0.79] for Cmax, 0.64 (90% CI 0.52-0.80) for area under the curve up to 12 h (AUC(0-12)) and 0.68 (90% CI 0.53-0.86) for Cmin. Nevirapine Cmin was subtherapeutic (<3 mg/L) in six patients during antitubercular therapy (one of whom developed virological failure) and in none afterwards. There was no correlation between rifampicin concentrations and the degree of nevirapine induction assessed by the proportional change in nevirapine concentrations between the two admissions. The ratio of nevirapine AUC(0-12) to the AUC(0-12) of its 12-hydroxy metabolite was significantly lower in the presence of antitubercular therapy, consistent with induced metabolism. CONCLUSIONS: Nevirapine concentrations were significantly decreased by concomitant rifampicin-based antitubercular therapy and a high proportion of patients had subtherapeutic plasma concentrations. Further study in African patients is required to determine the implications for treatment outcomes.
    • The Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, Transmission, Diagnosis, and Management of Multidrug-Resistant, Extensively Drug-Resistant, and Incurable Tuberculosis

      Dheda, K; Gumbo, T; Maartens, G; Dooley, KE; McNerney, R; Murray, M; Furin, J; Nardell, EA; London, L; Lessem, E; et al. (Elsevier. We regret that this article is behind a paywall., 2017-03-15)
      Global tuberculosis incidence has declined marginally over the past decade, and tuberculosis remains out of control in several parts of the world including Africa and Asia. Although tuberculosis control has been effective in some regions of the world, these gains are threatened by the increasing burden of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis. XDR tuberculosis has evolved in several tuberculosis-endemic countries to drug-incurable or programmatically incurable tuberculosis (totally drug-resistant tuberculosis). This poses several challenges similar to those encountered in the pre-chemotherapy era, including the inability to cure tuberculosis, high mortality, and the need for alternative methods to prevent disease transmission. This phenomenon mirrors the worldwide increase in antimicrobial resistance and the emergence of other MDR pathogens, such as malaria, HIV, and Gram-negative bacteria. MDR and XDR tuberculosis are associated with high morbidity and substantial mortality, are a threat to health-care workers, prohibitively expensive to treat, and are therefore a serious public health problem. In this Commission, we examine several aspects of drug-resistant tuberculosis. The traditional view that acquired resistance to antituberculous drugs is driven by poor compliance and programmatic failure is now being questioned, and several lines of evidence suggest that alternative mechanisms-including pharmacokinetic variability, induction of efflux pumps that transport the drug out of cells, and suboptimal drug penetration into tuberculosis lesions-are likely crucial to the pathogenesis of drug-resistant tuberculosis. These factors have implications for the design of new interventions, drug delivery and dosing mechanisms, and public health policy. We discuss epidemiology and transmission dynamics, including new insights into the fundamental biology of transmission, and we review the utility of newer diagnostic tools, including molecular tests and next-generation whole-genome sequencing, and their potential for clinical effectiveness. Relevant research priorities are highlighted, including optimal medical and surgical management, the role of newer and repurposed drugs (including bedaquiline, delamanid, and linezolid), pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic considerations, preventive strategies (such as prophylaxis in MDR and XDR contacts), palliative and patient-orientated care aspects, and medicolegal and ethical issues.
    • First-Line Antiretroviral Drug Discontinuations in Children

      Fortuin-de Smidt, M; de Waal, R; Cohen, K; Technau, KG; Stinson, K; Maartens, G; Boulle, A; Igumbor, EU; Davies, MA (Public Library of Science, 2017-02-13)
      There are a limited number of paediatric antiretroviral drug options. Characterising the long term safety and durability of different antiretrovirals in children is important to optimise management of HIV infected children and to determine the estimated need for alternative drugs in paediatric regimens. We describe first-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) durability and reasons for discontinuations in children at two South African ART programmes, where lopinavir/ritonavir has been recommended for children <3 years old since 2004, and abacavir replaced stavudine as the preferred nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor in 2010.
    • High treatment success rate for multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis using a bedaquiline-containing treatment regimen

      Ndjeka, N; Schnippel, K; Master, I; Meintjes, G; Maartens, G; Romero, R; Padanilam, X; Enwerem, M; Chotoo, S; Singh, N; et al. (European Respiratory Society, 2018-10-25)
      Background: South African patients with rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis and resistance to fluoroquinolones and/or injectables (pre/XDR-TB) were granted access to bedaquiline through a Clinical Access Programme with strict inclusion and exclusion criteria.Methods: Pre/XDR-TB and XDR-TB patients were treated with 24 weeks bedaquiline within an optimised, individualised background regimen that could include levofloxacin, linezolid and clofazimine as needed.Results: 200 patients were enrolled: 87 (43.9%) with XDR-TB, 99 (49.3%) were female, median age 34 years (IQR 27, 42). 134 (67.0%) were living with HIV; median CD4+ 281 (IQR 130; 467) and all on antiretroviral therapy.16/200 patients (8.0%) did not complete 6 months of bedaquiline of which 8 were lost to follow up, 6 died, 1 stopped for side effects and 1 patient was diagnosed with drug-sensitive TB.146/200 (73.0%) patients had favourable outcomes: 139/200 were cured (69.5%) and 7 completed treatment (3.5%). 25 died (12.5%), were lost from treatment (10.0%), 9 had treatment failure (4.5%).22 adverse events were attributed to bedaquiline: including QTcF >500 ms (n=5), QTcF increase >50 ms from baseline (n=11), paroxysmal atrial flutter (n=1).Conclusion: Bedaquiline added to an optimised background regimen was associated with a high rate of successful treatment outcomes for this MDR-TB and XDR-TB cohort.
    • Implementing novel regimens for drug-resistant TB in South Africa: what can the world learn?

      Ndjeka, N; Hughes, J; Reuter, A; Conradie, F; Enwerem, M; Ferreira, H; Ismail, N; Kock, Y; Master, I; Meintjes, G; et al. (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2020-10-01)
      Worldwide uptake of new drugs in the treatment of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB) has been extremely low. In June 2018, ahead of the release of the updated WHO guidelines for the management of RR-TB, South Africa announced that bedaquiline (BDQ) would be provided to virtually all RR-TB patients on shorter or longer regimens. South Africa has been the global leader in accessing BDQ for patients with RR-TB, who now represent 60% of the global BDQ cohort. The use of BDQ within a shorter modified regimen has generated the programmatic data underpinning the most recent change in WHO guidelines endorsing a shorter, injectable-free regimen. Progressive policies on access to new drugs have resulted in improved favourable outcomes and a reduction in mortality among RR-TB patients in South Africa. This supported global policy change. The strategies underpinning these bold actions include close collaboration between the South African National TB Programme and partners, introduction of new TB diagnostic tools in closely monitored conditions and the use of locally generated programmatic evidence to inform country policy changes. In this paper, we summarise a decade´s work that led to the bold decision to use a modified, short, injectable-free regimen with BDQ and linezolid under carefully monitored programmatic conditions.
    • Isoniazid plus antiretroviral therapy to prevent tuberculosis: a randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

      Rangaka, M X; Wilkinson, R J; Boulle, A; Glynn, J R; Fielding, K; van Cutsem, G; Wilkinson, K A; Goliath, R; Mathee, S; Goemaere, E; et al. (The Lancet, 2014-05-13)
      Antiretroviral therapy reduces the risk of tuberculosis, but tuberculosis is more common in people with HIV than in people without HIV. We aimed to assess the effect of isoniazid preventive therapy on the risk of tuberculosis in people infected with HIV-1 concurrently receiving antiretroviral therapy.
    • Outcomes after two years of providing antiretroviral treatment in Khayelitsha, South Africa.

      Coetzee, D; Hildebrand, K; Boulle, A; Maartens, G; Louis, F; Labatala, V; Reuter, H; Ntwana, N; Goemaere, E; Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Anzio Road, Observatory 7925, South Africa. (2004-04-09)
      BACKGROUND: A community-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) programme was established in 2001 in a South African township to explore the operational issues involved in providing ART in the public sector in resource-limited settings and demonstrate the feasibility of such a service. METHODS: Data was analysed on a cohort of patients with symptomatic HIV disease and a CD4 lymphocyte count < 200 x 10 cells/l. The programme used standardized protocols (using generic medicines whenever possible), a team-approach to clinical care and a patient-centred approach to promote adherence. RESULTS: Two-hundred and eighty-seven adults naive to prior ART were followed for a median duration of 13.9 months. The median CD4 lymphocyte count was 43 x 10 cells/l at initiation of treatment, and the mean log10 HIV RNA was 5.18 copies/ml. The HIV RNA level was undetectable (< 400 copies/ml) in 88.1, 89.2, 84.2, 75.0 and 69.7% of patients at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months respectively. The cumulative probability of remaining alive was 86.3% at 24 months on treatment for all patients, 91.4% for those with a baseline CD4 lymphocyte count > or =50 x 10 cells/l, and 81.8% for those with a baseline CD4 lymphocyte count < 50 x 10 cells/l. The cumulative probability of changing a single antiretroviral drug by 24 months was 15.1% due to adverse events or contraindications, and 8.4% due to adverse events alone. CONCLUSIONS: ART can be provided in resource-limited settings with good patient retention and clinical outcomes. With responsible implementation, ART is a key component of a comprehensive response to the epidemic in those communities most affected by HIV.
    • Outcomes of nevirapine- and efavirenz-based antiretroviral therapy when coadministered with rifampicin-based antitubercular therapy

      Boulle, A; Van Cutsem, G; Cohen, K; Hilderbrand, K; Mathee, S; Abrahams, M; Goemaere, E; Coetzee, D; Maartens, G; School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Médecins Sans Frontières, Cape Town, South Africa; Site B Community Health Centre, Department of Health, Provincial Government of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa (2008-08-06)
      CONTEXT: Rifampicin-based antitubercular therapy reduces the plasma concentrations of nevirapine and efavirenz. The virological consequences of these interactions are not well described. OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness and tolerability of concomitant efavirenz- or nevirapine-based combination antiretroviral therapy and rifampicin-based antitubercular therapy. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Cohort analysis of prospectively collected routine clinical data in a community-based South African antiretroviral treatment program. Antiretroviral treatment-naive adults enrolled between May 2001 and June 2006 were included in the analysis, and were followed up until the end of 2006. INTERVENTIONS: Patients starting antiretroviral therapy with or without concurrent antitubercular therapy received either efavirenz or nevirapine at standard doses. Patients developing tuberculosis while taking antiretroviral therapy that included nevirapine were either changed to efavirenz or continued taking nevirapine. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Viral load of 400 copies/mL or more after 6, 12, and 18 months of antiretroviral therapy; time to the first viral load of 400 copies/mL or more; time to confirmed virological failure (2 consecutive values > or = 5000 copies/mL); time to death; and time to treatment-limiting toxicity were assessed. RESULTS: The analysis included 2035 individuals who started antiretroviral therapy with efavirenz (1074 with concurrent tuberculosis) and 1935 with nevirapine (209 with concurrent tuberculosis). There were no differences in time to death or substitution of either antiretroviral drug for toxicity with and without concurrent tuberculosis. Patients starting nevirapine with concurrent tuberculosis were at a higher risk of elevated viral load most notably at 6 months (16.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 10.6%-23.5%) than those without tuberculosis (8.3%; 95% CI, 6.7%-10.0%; adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.4; and in the combined estimate, adjusted OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.6). In the time-to-event analysis of confirmed virological failure (2 consecutive values of > or = 5000 copies/mL), patients starting nevirapine with concurrent tuberculosis developed virological failure sooner (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2.2; 95% CI, 1.3-3.7). There were no differences between patients starting efavirenz with and without concurrent tuberculosis (adjusted OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.8-1.5 [combined estimate] and adjusted HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.6-2.0, respectively). There was no difference in time to virological rebound in patients free of tuberculosis and those developing tuberculosis during follow-up while taking nevirapine (adjusted HR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.5-2.0) or efavirenz (adjusted HR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.4-1.7). CONCLUSION: In this cohort study, virological outcomes were inferior when nevirapine-based antiretroviral therapy was commenced while taking antitubercular treatment (vs without concurrent tuberculosis) but comparable when starting efavirenz-based antiretroviral therapy (vs without concurrent tuberculosis) or when tuberculosis developed while taking established nevirapine- or efavirenz-based therapies.
    • Responding to SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa: what can we learn from drug-resistant tuberculosis?

      Ndjeka, N; Conradie, F; Meintjes, G; Reuter, A; Hughes, J; Padanilam, X; Ismail, N; Kock, Y; Master, I; Romero, R; et al. (European Respiratory Society, 2020-07-23)
      Rapid adoption of new diagnostic tools, parallel process of research and implementation, decentralisation of services, the use of personal protective equipment, as well as strong partnership and collaboration, could strengthen the fight against COVID-19
    • Southern African HIV Clinicians Society guidelines for antiretroviral therapy in adults: 2020 update

      Nel, J; Dlamini, S; Meintjes, G; Burton, R; Black, JM; Davies, NECG; Hefer, E; Maartens, G; Mangena, PM; Mathe, MT; et al. (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2020-09-16)
    • Substitutions due to antiretroviral toxicity or contraindication in the first 3 years of antiretroviral therapy in a large South African cohort.

      Boulle, A; Orrell, C; Kaplan, R; Van Cutsem, G; McNally, M; Hilderbrand, K; Myer, L; Egger, M; Coetzee, D; Maartens, G; et al. (International Medical Press, 2007)
      INTRODUCTION: The patterns and reasons for antiretroviral therapy (ART) drug substitutions are poorly described in resource-limited settings. METHODS: Time to and reason for drug substitution were recorded in treatment-naive adults receiving ART in two primary care treatment programmes in Cape Town. The cumulative proportion of patients having therapy changed because of toxicity was described for each drug, and associations with these changes were explored in multivariate models. RESULTS: Analysis included 2,679 individuals followed for a median of 11 months. Median CD4+ T-cell count at baseline was 85 cells/microl. Mean weight was 59 kg, mean age was 32 years and 71% were women. All started non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based ART (60% on efavrienz) and 75% started on stavudine (d4T). After 3 years, 75% remained in care on-site, of whom 72% remained on their initial regimen. Substitutions due to toxicity of nevirapine (8% by 3 years), efavirenz (2%) and zidovudine (8%) occurred early. Substitutions on d4T occurred in 21% of patients by 3 years, due to symptomatic hyperlactataemia (5%), lipodystrophy (9%) or peripheral neuropathy (6%), and continued to accumulate over time. Those at greatest risk of hyperlactataemia or lipodystrophy were women on ART > or =6 months, weighing > or =75 kg at baseline. DISCUSSION: A high proportion of adult patients are able to tolerate their initial ART regimen for up to 3 years. In most instances treatment-limiting toxicities occur early, but continue to accumulate over time in patients on d4T. Whilst awaiting other treatment options, the risks of known toxicities could be minimized through early identification of patients at the highest risk.
    • Treatment of Drug-resistant Tuberculosis with Bedaquiline in a High HIV Prevalence Setting: An Interim Cohort Analysis

      Ndjeka, N; Conradie, F; Schnippel, K; Hughes, J; Bantubani, N; Ferreira, H; Maartens, G; Mametja, D; Meintjes, G; Padanilam, X; et al. (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2015-08-01)
      South Africa has a large burden of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB); only 15% of XDR-TB patients have successful outcomes.