• A Comparison of Miltefosine and Sodium Stibogluconate for Treatment of Visceral Leishmaniasis in an Ethiopian Population with High Prevalence of HIV Infection.

      Ritmeijer, K; Dejenie, A; Assefa, Y; Hundie, T B; Mesure, J; Boots, G; den Boer, M; Davidson, R N; Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. koert.ritmeijer@amsterdam.msf.org (Published by: Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2006-08-01)
      BACKGROUND: Antimonials are the mainstay of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) treatment in Africa. The increasing incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection requires alternative safe and effective drug regimens. Oral miltefosine has been proven to be safe and effective in the treatment of Indian VL but has not been studied in Africa or in persons with HIV and VL coinfection. METHODS: We compared the efficacy of miltefosine and sodium stibogluconate (SSG) in the treatment of VL in persons in Ethiopia. A total of 580 men with parasitologically and/or serologically confirmed VL were randomized to receive either oral miltefosine (100 mg per day for 28 days) or intramuscular SSG (20 mg/kg per day for 30 days). RESULTS: The initial cure rate was 88% in both treatment groups. Mortality during treatment was 2% in the miltefosine group, compared with 10% in the SSG group. Initial treatment failure was 8% in the miltefosine group, compared with 1% in the SSG group. Among the 375 patients (65%) who agreed to HIV testing, HIV seroprevalence was 29%. Among patients not infected with HIV, initial cure, mortality, and initial treatment failure rates were not significantly different (94% vs. 95%, 1% vs. 3%, and 5% vs. 1% for the miltefosine and SSG groups, respectively). Initial treatment failure with miltefosine occurred in 18% of HIV-coinfected patients, compared with treatment failure in 5% of non-HIV-infected patients. At 6 months after treatment, 174 (60%) of the 290 miltefosine recipients and 189 (65%) of the 290 SSG recipients experienced cure; 30 (10%) of 290 in the miltefosine group and 7 (2%) of 290 in the SSG group experienced relapse, and the mortality rate was 6% in the miltefosine group, compared with 12% in the SSG group. HIV-infected patients had higher rates of relapse (16 [25%] of 63 patients), compared with non-HIV-infected patients (5 [5%] of 131). CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with miltefosine is equally effective as standard SSG treatment in non-HIV-infected men with VL. Among HIV-coinfected patients, miltefosine is safer but less effective than SSG.
    • Eflornithine is Safer Than Melarsoprol for the Treatment of Second-Stage Trypanosoma Brucei Gambiense Human African Trypanosomiasis.

      Chappuis, F; Udayraj, N; Stietenroth, K; Meussen, A; Bovier, P A; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland. francois.chappuis@hcuge.ch (Published by: Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2005-09-01)
      Patients with second-stage human African trypanosomiasis treated with eflornithine (n = 251) in 2003 in Kiri, southern Sudan, had an adjusted relative risk of death of 0.2 and experienced significantly fewer cutaneous and neurological adverse effects than did patients who were treated with melarsoprol in 2001 and 2002 (n = 708).
    • HIV Viral Load Monitoring in Resource-Limited Regions: Optional or Necessary?

      Calmy, A; Ford, N; Hirschel, B; Reynolds, S; Lynen, L; Goemaere, E; Garcia de la Vega, F; Perrin, L; Rodriguez, W; Medecins sans Frontieres, Access to Medicines Campaign, Geneva, 1211, Switzerland. acalmy@gmail.com (Published by: Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2007-01-01)
      Although it is a standard practice in high-income countries, determination of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) load is not recommended in developing countries because of the costs and technical constraints. As more and more countries establish capacity to provide second-line therapy, and as costs and technological constraints associated with viral load testing decrease, the question of whether determination of the viral load is necessary deserves attention. Viral load testing could increase in importance as a guide for clinical decisions on when to switch to second-line treatment and on how to optimize the duration of the first-line treatment regimen. In addition, the viral load is a particularly useful tool for monitoring adherence to treatment, performing sentinel surveillance, and diagnosing HIV infection in children aged <18 months. Rather than considering viral load data to be an unaffordable luxury, efforts should be made to ensure that viral load testing becomes affordable, simple, and easy to use in resource-limited settings.
    • A Large Outbreak of Hepatitis E Among a Displaced Population in Darfur, Sudan, 2004: The Role of Water Treatment Methods.

      Guthmann, J P; Klovstad, H; Boccia, D; Hamid, N; Pinoges, L; Nizou, J Y; Tatay, M; Diaz, F; Moren, A; Grais, R; et al. (Published by: Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2006-06-15)
      BACKGROUND: The conflict in Darfur, Sudan, was responsible for the displacement of 1.8 million civilians. We investigated a large outbreak of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in Mornay camp (78,800 inhabitants) in western Darfur. METHODS: To describe the outbreak, we used clinical and demographic information from cases recorded at the camp between 26 July and 31 December 2004. We conducted a case-cohort study and a retrospective cohort study to identify risk factors for clinical and asymptomatic hepatitis E, respectively. We collected stool and serum samples from animals and performed a bacteriological analysis of water samples. Human samples were tested for immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M antibody to HEV (for serum samples) and for amplification of the HEV genome (for serum and stool samples). RESULTS: In 6 months, 2621 hepatitis E cases were recorded (attack rate, 3.3%), with a case-fatality rate of 1.7% (45 deaths, 19 of which involved were pregnant women). Risk factors for clinical HEV infection included age of 15-45 years (odds ratio, 2.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-4.46) and drinking chlorinated surface water (odds ratio, 2.49; 95% confidence interval, 1.22-5.08). Both factors were also suggestive of increased risk for asymptomatic HEV infection, although this was not found to be statistically significant. HEV RNA was positively identified in serum samples obtained from 2 donkeys. No bacteria were identified from any sample of chlorinated water tested. CONCLUSIONS: Current recommendations to ensure a safe water supply may have been insufficient to inactivate HEV and control this epidemic. This research highlights the need to evaluate current water treatment methods and to identify alternative solutions adapted to complex emergencies.
    • Liposomal Amphotericin B (AmBisome) in the Treatment of Complicated Kala-Azar Under Field Conditions.

      Seaman, J; Boer, C; Wilkinson, R; de Jong, J; de Wilde, E; Sondorp, H; Davidson, R N; Medecins Sans Frontieres Holland, The Netherlands. (Published by: Infectious Diseases Society of America, 1995-07)
      An open trial of liposomal amphotericin B (AmBisome [L-AmB]; Vestar, San Dimas, CA) for treatment of complicated visceral leishmaniasis was performed in Sudan. Forty-nine patients were treated, and there were six deaths (12% mortality); these were not attributed to therapy. Thirty-seven patients were selected for the trial because of (1) relapse after treatment with a combination of pentavalent antimony (Sbv) and aminosidine, (2) incomplete parasitological response to Sbv and aminosidine, or (3) severe illness. Drug regimen 1 (3 doses of 3-5 mg/kg, on days 0, 3, and 10) cured 8 (50%) of 16 patients; regimen 2 (6 doses of 3-5 mg/kg, on days 0, 3, 6, 8, 10, and 13) cured 14 (88%) of 16. For four of 10 partial responders, "rescue" therapy with L-AmB alone (3 mg/kg daily for 10 days) resulted in cure. Twelve less-unwell patients received regimen 3 (4 doses of 4-5 mg/kg, on days 0, 2, 5, and 7); seven of 11 patients evaluated (64%) were cured. The optimal regimen of L-AmB in these circumstances is administration of 4 mg/kg on days 0, 3, 6, 8, 10, and 13.
    • Melarsoprol-Free Drug Combinations for Second-Stage Gambian Sleeping Sickness: The Way to Go.

      Chappuis, F; Travel and Migration Medicine Unit, Geneva University Hospital, and Medecins Sans Frontieres, Swiss Section, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland. francois.chappuis@hcuge.ch (Published by: Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2007-12-01)
    • Nifurtimox-eflornithine Combination Therapy for Second-Stage Trypanosoma Brucei Gambiense Sleeping Sickness: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Congo.

      Priotto, G; Kasparian, S; Ngouama, D; Ghorashian, S; Arnold, U; Ghabri, S; Karunakara, U; Epicentre, Paris, France. gpriotto@epicentre.msf.org (Published by: Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2007-12-01)
      BACKGROUND: Human African trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense is a fatal disease. Current treatment options for patients with second-stage disease are either highly toxic or impracticable in field conditions. We compared the efficacy and safety of the nifurtimox-eflornithine drug combination with the standard eflornithine regimen for the treatment of second-stage disease. METHODS: A randomized, open-label, active-control, phase III clinical trial comparing 2 arms was conducted at the Sleeping Sickness Treatment Center, which was run by Medecins Sans Frontieres, in Nkayi, Bouenza Province, Republic of Congo. Patients were screened for inclusion and randomly assigned to receive eflornithine alone (400 mg/kg per day given intravenously every 6 h for 14 days) or eflornithine (400 mg/kg per day given intravenously every 12 h for 7 days) plus nifurtimox (15 mg/kg per day given orally every 8 h for 10 days). Patients were observed for 18 months. The study's outcomes were cure and adverse events attributable to treatment. RESULTS: A total of 103 patients with second-stage disease were enrolled. Cure rates were 94.1% for the eflornithine group and 96.2% for the nifurtimox-eflornithine group. Drug reactions were frequent in both arms, and severe reactions affected 25.5% of patients in the eflornithine group and 9.6% of those in the nifurtimox-eflornithine group, resulting in 2 and 1 treatment suspensions, respectively. There was 1 death in the eflornithine arm and no deaths in the nifurtimox-eflornithine arm. CONCLUSIONS: The nifurtimox-eflornithine combination appears to be a promising first-line therapy for second-stage sleeping sickness. If our findings are corroborated by ongoing findings from additional sites (a multicenter extension of this study), the new nifurtimox-eflornithine combination therapy will mark a major and multifaceted advance over current therapies.
    • Treatment Outcomes Stratified by Baseline Immunological Status Among Young Children Receiving Nonnucleoside Reverse-Transcriptase Inhibitor-Based Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource-Limited Settings.

      O'Brien, D P; Sauvageot, D; Olson, D; Schaeffer, M; Humblet, P; Pudjades, M; Ellman, T; Zachariah, R; Szumilin, E; Arnould, L; et al. (Published by: Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2007-05-01)
      A study of 568 children aged <5 years who commenced nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor-based antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings revealed good early outcomes. After 12 months of antiretroviral therapy, survival probability was 0.89 (95% confidence interval, 0.86-0.92), with no significant difference among children stratified on the basis of baseline immunological levels; 62% attained a CD4 cell percentage >25%, and 7% continued to have a CD4 cell percentage <15%.