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Evaluation of the Nova StatSensor® XpressTM Creatinine Point-Of-Care Handheld AnalyzerCreatinine is a parameter that is required to monitor renal function and is important to follow in patients under treatment with potentially toxic renal drugs, such as the anti-HIV drug Tenofovir. A point of care instrument to measure creatinine would be useful for patients monitoring in resource-limited settings, where more instruments that are sophisticated are not available. The StatSensor Xpress Creatinine (Nova Biomedical Cooperation, Waltham, MA, USA) point of care analyzer was evaluated for its diagnostic performance in indicating drug therapy change. Creatinine was measured in parallel using the Nova StatSensor Xpress Creatinine analyzer and the Vitros 5,1FS (Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Inc, Rochester, USA), which served as reference standard. The precision (i.e., repeatability and reproducibility) and accuracy of the StatSensor Xpress Creatinine analyzer were calculated using a panel of specimens with normal, low pathological and high pathological values. Two different Nova StatSensor Xpress Creatinine analyzers were used for the assessment of accuracy using repeated measurements. The coefficient of variation of the StatSensor Xpress Creatinine analyzers ranged from 2.3 to 5.9% for repeatability and from 4.2 to 9.0% for between-run reproducibility. The concordance correlation agreement was good except for high values (>600 µmol/L). The Bland-Altman analysis in high pathological specimens suggests that the Nova StatSensor Xpress Creatinine test tends to underestimate high creatinine values (i.e., >600 µmol/L). The Nova StatSensor Xpress Creatinine analyzers showed acceptable to good results in terms of repeatability, inter-device reproducibility and between-run reproducibility over time using quality control reagents. The analyzer was found sufficiently accurate for detecting pathological values in patients (age >10 year) and can be used with a moderate risk of misclassification.
Heat-stability study of various insulin types in tropical temperature conditions: New insights towards improving diabetes care.Strict storage recommendations for insulin are difficult to follow in hot tropical regions and even more challenging in conflict and humanitarian emergency settings, adding an extra burden to the management of people with diabetes. According to pharmacopeia unopened insulin vials must be stored in a refrigerator (2-8°C), while storage at ambient temperature (25-30°C) is usually permitted for the 4-week usage period during treatment. In the present work we address a critical question towards improving diabetes care in resource poor settings, namely whether insulin is stable and retains biological activity in tropical temperatures during a 4-week treatment period. To answer this question, temperature fluctuations were measured in Dagahaley refugee camp (Northern Kenya) using log tag recorders. Oscillating temperatures between 25 and 37°C were observed. Insulin heat stability was assessed under these specific temperatures which were precisely reproduced in the laboratory. Different commercialized formulations of insulin were quantified weekly by high performance liquid chromatography and the results showed perfect conformity to pharmacopeia guidelines, thus confirming stability over the assessment period (four weeks). Monitoring the 3D-structure of the tested insulin by circular dichroism confirmed that insulin monomer conformation did not undergo significant modifications. The measure of insulin efficiency on insulin receptor (IR) and Akt phosphorylation in hepatic cells indicated that insulin bioactivity of the samples stored at oscillating temperature during the usage period is identical to that of the samples maintained at 2-8°C. Taken together, these results indicate that insulin can be stored at such oscillating ambient temperatures for the usual four-week period of use. This enables the barrier of cold storage during use to be removed, thereby opening up the perspective for easier management of diabetes in humanitarian contexts and resource poor settings.
Target Product Profile for a Diagnostic Assay to Differentiate between Bacterial and Non-Bacterial Infections and Reduce Antimicrobial Overuse in Resource-Limited Settings: An Expert ConsensusAcute fever is one of the most common presenting symptoms globally. In order to reduce the empiric use of antimicrobial drugs and improve outcomes, it is essential to improve diagnostic capabilities. In the absence of microbiology facilities in low-income settings, an assay to distinguish bacterial from non-bacterial causes would be a critical first step. To ensure that patient and market needs are met, the requirements of such a test should be specified in a target product profile (TPP). To identify minimal/optimal characteristics for a bacterial vs. non-bacterial fever test, experts from academia and international organizations with expertise in infectious diseases, diagnostic test development, laboratory medicine, global health, and health economics were convened. Proposed TPPs were reviewed by this working group, and consensus characteristics were defined. The working group defined non-severely ill, non-malaria infected children as the target population for the desired assay. To provide access to the most patients, the test should be deployable to community health centers and informal health settings, and staff should require <2 days of training to perform the assay. Further, given that the aim is to reduce inappropriate antimicrobial use as well as to deliver appropriate treatment for patients with bacterial infections, the group agreed on minimal diagnostic performance requirements of >90% and >80% for sensitivity and specificity, respectively. Other key characteristics, to account for the challenging environment at which the test is targeted, included: i) time-to-result <10 min (but maximally <2 hrs); ii) storage conditions at 0-40°C, ≤90% non-condensing humidity with a minimal shelf life of 12 months; iii) operational conditions of 5-40°C, ≤90% non-condensing humidity; and iv) minimal sample collection needs (50-100μL, capillary blood). This expert approach to define assay requirements for a bacterial vs. non-bacterial assay should guide product development, and enable targeted and timely efforts by industry partners and academic institutions.