• Cetyl-pyridinium chloride is useful for isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from sputa subjected to long-term storage.

      Pardini, M; Varaine, F; Iona, E; Arzumanian, E; Checchi, F; Oggioni, M R; Orefici, G; Fattorini, L; Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Parassitarie e Immunomediate, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy. (2005-01)
      Recovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from sputa treated with cetyl-pyridinium chloride (CPC) and stored for 20 +/- 9 days was significantly higher than that from sputa that were untreated and processed by the N-acetyl-L-cisteine-NaOH method. Addition of CPC is useful for isolation of M. tuberculosis from sputa subjected to long-term storage received from remote areas of the world.
    • Challenges and Opportunities for the Implementation of Virological Testing in resource-limited settings

      Roberts, Teri; Bygrave, Helen; Fajardo, Emmanuel; Ford, Nathan; Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign, Geneva, Switzerland. teri.roberts@geneva.msf.org (2012-10-09)
      Though the advantages of routine virological monitoring for patients on anti-retroviral therapy have been established, cost and complexity limit its full implementation. Monitoring is important for diagnosing virological failure early on, before the development of drug resistance mutations, and to trigger early adherence interventions. Simple and cost-effective viral load tests that facilitate simplification and decentralization of testing and strategies, such as the use of dried blood spots and pooled sample testing, which further aid simplification, are becoming available. In addition, replacing immunological monitoring with virological monitoring in non-viremic patients in a phased manner will reduce the costs associated with dual immuno-virological monitoring. Going forward, the simplification of testing paired with price reducing strategies that will allow for healthy competition between multiple manufacturers will enable the implementation of viral load testing in resource-poor settings. It is important that future HIV and AIDS treatment guidelines provide clear recommendations for routine virological monitoring and that governments and donors fund the implementation of accurate and operationally proven testing platforms in a comprehensive manner.
    • Outbreak of hepatitis E virus infection in Darfur, Sudan: effectiveness of real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis of dried blood spots

      Mérens, Audrey; Guérin, Philippe Jean; Guthmann, Jean-Paul; Nicand, Elisabeth; National Reference Laboratory for Hepatitis E, Hospital Val-de-Grâce, Paris, France; Epicentre, Paris, France (2009-04-01)
      Biological samples collected in refugee camps during an outbreak of hepatitis E were used to compare the accuracy of hepatitis E virus RNA amplification by real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) for sera and dried blood spots (concordance of 90.6%). Biological profiles (RT-PCR and serology) of asymptomatic individuals were also analyzed.
    • Reducing the Number of Sputum Samples Examined and Thresholds for Positivity: An Opportunity to Optimise Smear Microscopy.

      Bonnet, M; Ramsay, A; Gagnidze, L; Githui, W; Guerin, P J J; Varaine, F; Epicentre, Paris, France. maryline.bonnet@geneva.msf.org (International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, 2007-09)
      SETTING: Urban health clinic, Nairobi. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact on tuberculosis (TB) case detection and laboratory workload of reducing the number of sputum smears examined and thresholds for diagnosing positive smears and positive cases. DESIGN: In this prospective study, three Ziehl-Neelsen stained sputum smears from consecutive pulmonary TB suspects were examined blind. The standard approach (A), > or = 2 positive smears out of 3, using a cut-off of 10 acid-fast bacilli (AFB)/100 high-power fields (HPF), was compared with approaches B, > or = 2 positive smears (> or = 4 AFB/100 HPF) out of 3, one of which is > or = 10 AFB/100 HPF; C, > or = 2 positive smears (> or = 4 AFB/100 HPF) out of 3; D, > or = 1 positive smear (> or = 10 AFB/100 HPF) out of 2; and E, > or = 1 positive smear (> or = 4 AFB/100 HPF) out of 2. The microscopy gold standard was detection of at least one positive smear (> or = 4 AFB/100 HPF) out of 3. RESULTS: Among 644 TB suspects, the alternative approaches detected from 114 (17.7%) (approach B) to 123 cases (19.1%) (approach E) compared to 105 cases (16.3%) for approach A (P < 0.005). Sensitivity ranged between 82.0% (105/128) for A and 96.1% (123/128) for E. The single positive smear approaches reduced the number of smears by 36% compared to approach A. CONCLUSION: Reducing the number of specimens and the positivity threshold to define a positive case increased the sensitivity of microscopy and reduced laboratory workload.
    • Use of filter paper as a transport medium for laboratory diagnosis of cholera under field conditions

      Page, Anne-Laure; Alberti, Kathryn P; Guénolé, Alain; Mondongue, Vital; Lonlas Mayele, Sylvaine; Guerin, Philippe J; Quilici, Marie-Laure; Epicentre, Paris, France; Institut Pasteur, Centre National de Reference des Vibrions et du Cholera, Unite des Bacteries Pathogenes Enteriques, Paris, France; Ministry of Health, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Medecins Sans Frontieres, Brussels, Belgium; Centre for Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom (American Society for Microbiology, 2011-06-22)
      Confirmation of a cholera epidemic is based on bacteriological identification of the agent and requires the sending of samples to a culture laboratory, often in countries with limited resources. Comparison of the use of filter paper with the use of Cary-Blair reference medium for stool transport showed that this simple transport medium is appropriate for the recovery of Vibrio cholerae.