• Cryptococcal antigen screening by lay cadres using a rapid test at the point of care: A feasibility study in rural Lesotho

      Rick, F; Niyibizi, AA; Shroufi, A; Onami, K; Steele, SJ; Kuleile, M; Muleya, I; Chiller, T; Walker, T; Van Cutsem, G (Public Library of Science, 2017-09-06)
      Cryptococcal meningitis is one of the leading causes of death among people with HIV in Africa, primarily due to delayed presentation, poor availability and high cost of treatment. Routine cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) screening of patients with a CD4 count less than 100 cells/mm3, followed by pre-emptive therapy if positive, might reduce mortality in high prevalence settings. Using the cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) lateral flow assay (LFA), screening is possible at the point of care (POC). However, critical shortages of health staff may limit adoption. This study investigates the feasibility of lay counsellors conducting CrAg LFA screening in rural primary care clinics in Lesotho.
    • Evaluation of FASTPlaqueTB to diagnose smear-negative tuberculosis in a peripheral clinic in Kenya

      Bonnet, M; Gagnidze, L; Varaine, F; Ramsay, A; Githui, W; Guerin, P J; Epicentre, Paris, France; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK; United Nations Children’s Fund/United Nations Development Programme/World Bank/World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training for Tropical Diseases (TDR), Geneva, Switzerland; Centre for Respiratory Diseases Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya (2009-09-01)
      OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance and feasibility of FASTPlaqueTB in smear-negative tuberculosis (TB) suspects in a peripheral clinic after laboratory upgrading. DESIGN: Patients with cough > or=2 weeks, two sputum smear-negative results, no response to 1 week of amoxicillin and abnormal chest X-ray were defined as smear-negative suspects. One sputum sample was collected, decontaminated and divided into two: half was tested with FASTPlaqueTB in the clinic laboratory and the other half was cultured on Löwenstein-Jensen medium in the Kenyan Medical Research Institute. Test sensitivity and specificity were evaluated in all patients and in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients. Feasibility was assessed by the contamination rate and the resources required to upgrade the laboratory. RESULTS: Of 208 patients included in the study, 56.2% were HIV-infected. Of 203 FASTPlaqueTB tests, 95 (46.8%) were contaminated, which interfered with result interpretation and led to the interruption of the study. Sensitivity and specificity were respectively 31.2% (95%CI 12.1-58.5) and 94.9% (95%CI 86.8-98.4) in all patients and 33.3% (95%CI 9.9-65.1) and 93.9% (95%CI 83.1-98.7) in HIV-infected patients. Upgrading the laboratory cost euro 20,000. CONCLUSION: FASTPlaqueTB did not perform satisfactorily in this setting. If contamination can be reduced, in addition to laboratory upgrading, its introduction in peripheral clinics would require further assessment in smear-negative and HIV co-infected patients and test adaptation for friendlier use.
    • Field research in humanitarian medical programmes. Treatment of a cohort of tuberculosis patients using the Manyatta regimen in a conflict zone in South Sudan.

      Keus, K; Houston, S; Melaku, Y; Burling, S; Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland, Max Euweplein 40, PO Box 10014, 1001 EA Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Elsevier, 2008-01-31)
      This is a descriptive report of a pilot project of tuberculosis (TB) treatment in a conflict zone. A TB programme was implemented by Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF)-Holland in a semi-nomadic population in a very insecure and underdeveloped area of Upper Nile province in Southern Sudan. Outcome measures were operational feasibility, default rate, and sputum smear conversion at 4 months. A cohort of TB patients was admitted over a 10-week period (July-September 2001). Adherence strategy, project implementation, and and contingency planning were adapted to local conditions. The treatment regimen (4 HRZE [4-month daily supervised regimen] followed by 3EH or 3TH [3-month unsupervised regimen]: isoniazid (H), rifampicin (R), pyrazinamide (Z), ethambutol (E) and thiacetazone (T)) was a variant on the Manyatta regimen developed for semi-nomads in Kenya. Of 163 patients, 84 (52%) were children aged < 15 years. Lymph node TB comprised 34% and spinal TB 15% of all patients. Among adults, 41% had smear-positive pulmonary disease. Only 1 patient (0.6%) defaulted. All sputum smear-positive patients who completed 4 months of therapy converted to smear-negative, although 2 were subsequently found to have relapsed. TB in complex emergency situations is an underrecognized priority. Using an approach adapted especially to this setting, TB treatment was successfully implemented with minimal risk of promoting drug resistance, in an unstable setting.
    • Mass Vaccination with a Two-Dose Oral Cholera Vaccine in a Refugee Camp.

      Legros, D; Paquet, C; Perea, W; Marty, I; Mugisha, N K; Royer, H; Neira, M; Ivanoff, B; Epicentre, Kampala, Uganda. (Published by WHO, 1999)
      In refugee settings, the use of cholera vaccines is controversial since a mass vaccination campaign might disrupt other priority interventions. We therefore conducted a study to assess the feasibility of such a campaign using a two-dose oral cholera vaccine in a refugee camp. The campaign, using killed whole-cell/recombinant B-subunit cholera vaccine, was carried out in October 1997 among 44,000 south Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Outcome variables included the number of doses administered, the drop-out rate between the two rounds, the proportion of vaccine wasted, the speed of administration, the cost of the campaign, and the vaccine coverage. Overall, 63,220 doses of vaccine were administered. At best, 200 vaccine doses were administered per vaccination site and per hour. The direct cost of the campaign amounted to US$ 14,655, not including the vaccine itself. Vaccine coverage, based on vaccination cards, was 83.0% and 75.9% for the first and second rounds, respectively. Mass vaccination of a large refugee population with an oral cholera vaccine therefore proved to be feasible. A pre-emptive vaccination strategy could be considered in stable refugee settings and in urban slums in high-risk areas. However, the potential cost of the vaccine and the absence of quickly accessible stockpiles are major drawbacks for its large-scale use.
    • Screening of patients with diabetes mellitus for tuberculosis in India

      Kumar, A; Gupta, D; Nagaraja, S B; Nair, S A; Satyanarayana, S; Zachariah, R; Harries, A D (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2013-05)
      To assess the feasibility, results and challenges of screening patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) for tuberculosis (TB) within the healthcare setting of six DM clinics in tertiary hospitals across India.
    • Screening of patients with tuberculosis for diabetes mellitus in India

      Kumar, A; Jain, D C; Gupta, D; Satyanarayana, S; Zachariah, R; Harries, A D (2013-05)
      To assess feasibility and results of screening patients with tuberculosis (TB) for diabetes mellitus (DM) within the routine healthcare setting across the country at: eight tertiary care hospitals and more than 60 peripheral health institutions in eight tuberculosis units.
    • Voluntary Counselling, HIV Testing and Adjunctive Cotrimoxazole Reduces Mortality in Tuberculosis Patients in Thyolo, Malawi.

      Zachariah, R; Spielmann M P; Chinji, C; Gomani, P; Arendt, V; Hargreaves, N J; Salaniponi, F M L; Harries, A D; Medecins Sans Frontieres-Luxembourg, Blantyre, Malawi. zachariah@internet.Lu (2003-05-02)
      OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility and effectiveness of voluntary counselling, HIV testing and adjunctive cotrimoxazole in reducing mortality in a cohort of tuberculosis (TB) patients registered under routine programme conditions in a rural district of Malawi. DESIGN: 'Before' and 'after' cohort study using historical controls. METHODS: Between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2000 all TB patients were started on standardized anti-TB treatment, and offered voluntary counselling and HIV testing (VCT). Those found to be HIV-positive were offered cotrimoxazole at a dose of 480 mg twice daily, provided there were no contraindications. Side-effects were monitored clinically. End-of-treatment outcomes in this cohort (intervention group) were compared with a cohort registered between 1 July 1998 and 30 June 1999 in whom VCT and cotrimoxazole was not offered (control group). FINDINGS: A total of 1986 patients was registered in the study: 1061 in the intervention group and 925 in the control cohort. In the intervention group, 1019 (96%) patients were counselled pre-test, 964 (91%) underwent HIV testing and 938 (88%) were counselled post-test. The overall HIV-seroprevalence rate was 77%. A total of 693 patients were given cotrimoxazole of whom 14 (2%) manifested minor dermatological reactions. The adjusted relative risk of death in the intervention group compared with the control group was 0.81 (P < 0.001). The number needed to treat with VCT and adjunctive cotrimoxazole to prevent one death during anti-TB treatment was 12.5. INTERPRETATION: This study shows that VCT and adjunctive cotrimoxazole is feasible, safe and reduces mortality rates in TB patients under routine programme conditions.