• Development and External Validation of a Clinical Prognostic Score for Death in Visceral Leishmaniasis Patients in a High HIV Co-Infection Burden Area in Ethiopia

      Abongomera, C; Ritmeijer, K; Vogt, F; Buyze, J; Mekonnen, Z; Admassu, H; Colebunders, R; Mohammed, R; Lynen, L; Diro, E; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2017-06-05)
      In Ethiopia, case fatality rates among subgroups of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients are high. A clinical prognostic score for death in VL patients could contribute to optimal management and reduction of these case fatality rates. We aimed to identify predictors of death from VL, and to develop and externally validate a clinical prognostic score for death in VL patients, in a high HIV co-infection burden area in Ethiopia.
    • Leishmania Antigenuria to Predict Initial Treatment Failure and Relapse in Visceral Leishmaniasis/HIV Coinfected Patients: An Exploratory Study Nested Within a Clinical Trial in Ethiopia

      van Griensven, J; Mengesha, B; Mekonnen, T; Fikre, H; Takele, Y; Adem, E; Mohammed, R; Ritmeijer, K; Vogt, F; Adriaensen, W; et al. (Frontiers Media, 2018-03-29)
      Background: Biomarkers predicting the risk of VL treatment failure and relapse in VL/HIV coinfected patients are needed. Nested within a two-site clinical trial in Ethiopia (2011-2015), we conducted an exploratory study to assess whether (1) levels of Leishmania antigenuria measured at VL diagnosis were associated with initial treatment failure and (2) levels of Leishmania antigenuria at the end of treatment (parasitologically-confirmed cure) were associated with subsequent relapse. Methods:Leishmania antigenuria at VL diagnosis and cure was determined using KAtex urine antigen test and graded as negative (0), weak/moderate (grade 1+/2+) or strongly-positive (3+). Logistic regression and Kaplan-Meier methods were used to assess the association between antigenuria and (1) initial treatment failure, and (2) relapse over the 12 months after cure, respectively. Results: The analysis to predict initial treatment failure included sixty-three coinfected adults [median age: 30 years interquartile range (IQR) 27-35], median CD4 count: 56 cells/μL (IQR 38-113). KAtex results at VL diagnosis were negative in 11 (17%), weak/moderate in 17 (27%) and strongly-positive in 35 (36%). Twenty (32%) patients had parasitologically-confirmed treatment failure, with a risk of failure of 9% (1/11) with KAtex-negative results, 0% (0/17) for KAtex 1+/2+ and 54% (19/35) for KAtex 3+ results. Compared to KAtex-negative patients, KAtex 3+ patients were at increased risk of treatment failure [odds ratio 11.9 (95% CI 1.4-103.0); P: 0.025]. Forty-four patients were included in the analysis to predict relapse [median age: 31 years (IQR 28-35), median CD4 count: 116 cells/μL (IQR 95-181)]. When achieving VL cure, KAtex results were negative in 19 (43%), weak/moderate (1+/2+) in 10 (23%), and strongly positive (3+) in 15 patients (34%). Over the subsequent 12 months, eight out of 44 patients (18%) relapsed. The predicted 1-year relapse risk was 6% for KAtex-negative results, 14% for KAtex 1+/2+ and 42% for KAtex 3+ results [hazard ratio of 2.2 (95% CI 0.1-34.9) for KAtex 1+/2+ and 9.8 (95% CI 1.8-82.1) for KAtex 3+, compared to KAtex negative patients; P: 0.03]. Conclusion: A simple field-deployable Leishmania urine antigen test can be used for risk stratification of initial treatment failure and VL relapse in HIV-patients. A dipstick-format would facilitate field implementation.
    • Long term outcomes and prognostics of visceral leishmaniasis in HIV infected patients with use of pentamidine as secondary prophylaxis based on CD4 level: a prospective cohort study in Ethiopia

      Diro, E; Edwards, T; Ritmeijer, K; Fikre, H; Abongomera, c; Kibret, A; Bardonneau, C; Soipei, P; Mutinda, B; Omollo, R; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2019-02-21)
      BACKGROUND: The long-term treatment outcome of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients with HIV co-infection is complicated by a high rate of relapse, especially when the CD4 count is low. Although use of secondary prophylaxis is recommended, it is not routinely practiced and data on its effectiveness and safety are limited. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted in Northwest Ethiopia from August 2014 to August 2017 (NCT02011958). HIV-VL patients were followed for up to 12 months. Patients with CD4 cell counts below 200/μL at the end of VL treatment received pentamidine prophylaxis starting one month after parasitological cure, while those with CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL were followed without secondary prophylaxis. Compliance, safety and relapse-free survival, using Kaplan-Meier analysis methods to account for variable time at risk, were summarised. Risk factors for relapse or death were analysed. RESULTS: Fifty-four HIV patients were followed. The probability of relapse-free survival at one year was 50% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 35-63%): 53% (30-71%) in 22 patients with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL without pentamidine prophylaxis and 46% (26-63%) in 29 with CD4 <200 cells/μL who started pentamidine. Three patients with CD4 <200 cells/μL did not start pentamidine. Amongst those with CD4 ≥200 cells/μL, VL relapse was an independent risk factor for subsequent relapse or death (adjusted rate ratio: 5.42, 95% CI: 1.1-25.8). Except for one case of renal failure which was considered possibly related to pentamidine, there were no drug-related safety concerns. CONCLUSION: The relapse-free survival rate for VL patients with HIV was low. Relapse-free survival of patients with CD4 count <200cells/μL given pentamidine secondary prophylaxis appeared to be comparable to patients with a CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL not given prophylaxis. Patients with relapsed VL are at higher risk for subsequent relapse and should be considered a priority for secondary prophylaxis, irrespective of their CD4 count.
    • Long-term Clinical Outcomes in Visceral Leishmaniasis-HIV Co-infected Patients during and after Pentamidine Secondary Prophylaxis in Ethiopia: a single-arm clinical trial

      Diro, E; Ritmeijer, K; Boelaert, M; Alves, F; Mohammed, R; Abongomera, C; Ravinetto, R; De Crop, M; Fikre, H; Adera, C; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2017-09-13)
      We have conducted a single-arm trial evaluating monthly pentamidine secondary prophylaxis (PSP) to prevent visceral leishmaniasis (VL) relapse in Ethiopian HIV-patients. Outcomes at 12 months of PSP have been previously reported, supporting PSP effectiveness and safety. However, remaining relapse-free after PSP discontinuation is vital. We now report outcomes and associated factors for a period of upto 2.5 years after initiating PSP, including one year follow-up after PSP discontinuation.
    • New insights into leishmaniasis in the immunosuppressed

      Akuffo, H; Costa, C; van Griensven, J; Burza, S; Moreno, J; Herrero, M (Public Library of Science, 2018-05-10)
      Immunosuppression contributes significantly to the caseload of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). HIV coinfection, solid organ transplantation, malnutrition, and helminth infections are the most important immunosuppression-related factors. This review briefly describes the challenges of these associations. East Africa and the Indian subcontinent are the places where HIV imposes the highest burden in VL. In the highlands of Northern Ethiopia, migrant rural workers are at a greater risk of coinfection and malnutrition, while in India, HIV reduces the sustainability of a successful elimination programme. As shown from a longitudinal cohort in Madrid, VL is an additional threat to solid organ transplantation. The association with malnutrition is more complex since it can be both a cause and a consequence of VL. Different regimes for therapy and secondary prevention are discussed as well as the role of nutrients on the prophylaxis of VL in poverty-stricken endemic areas.
    • Prognostic factors for mortality among patients with visceral leishmaniasis in East Africa: Systematic review and meta-analysis

      Abongomera, C; van Henten, S; Vogt, F; Buyze, J; Verdonck, K; van Griensven, J (Public Library of Science, 2020-05-15)
      Background Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a vector-borne disease that is deadly if left untreated. Understanding which factors have prognostic value may help to focus clinical management and reduce case fatality. However, information about prognostic factors is scattered and conflicting. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify prognostic factors for mortality among VL patients in East Africa. Methodology/Principal findings The review protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42016043112). We included studies published in English after 1970 describing VL patients treated in East African health facilities. To be included, studies had to report on associations between clinical or laboratory factors and mortality during admission or during VL treatment, with a minimal study size of ten patients. Conference abstracts and evaluations of genetic or immunological prognostic factors were excluded. We searched for studies in MEDLINE and four other databases in December 2018. To assess the risk of bias in observational studies and clinical trials, we used the Quality in Prognostic Studies (QUIPS) tool. We included 48 studies in the systematic review, describing 150,072 VL patients of whom 7,847 (5.2%) died. Twelve prognostic factors were evaluated in five or more studies and these results were submitted to meta-analysis producing one pooled crude odds ratio (OR) per prognostic factor. The following factors were strongly (OR>3) and significantly (P-value<0.05) associated with mortality: jaundice (OR = 8.27), HIV (OR = 4.60), tuberculosis (OR = 4.06), age >45 years (OR = 3.69), oedema (OR = 3.52), bleeding (OR = 3.37), and haemoglobin ≤6.5 g/dl (OR = 3.26). Factors significantly and moderately (OR between one and three) associated with death were severe malnutrition, long duration of illness, young age (<5 years), and large spleen size. Conclusions/Significance These prognostic factors can be identified by health professionals in resource-constrained settings. They should be considered as “core” prognostic factors in future studies that aim at improving the prognosis of VL patients.
    • Prognostic factors for mortality among patients with visceral leishmaniasis in East Africa: Systematic review and meta-analysis

      Abongomera, C; van Henten, S; Vogt, F; Buyze, J; Verdonck, K; van Griensven, J (Public Library of Sciences, 2020-05-15)
      Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a vector-borne disease that is deadly if left untreated. Understanding which factors have prognostic value may help to focus clinical management and reduce case fatality. However, information about prognostic factors is scattered and conflicting. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify prognostic factors for mortality among VL patients in East Africa. Methodology/principal findings: The review protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42016043112). We included studies published in English after 1970 describing VL patients treated in East African health facilities. To be included, studies had to report on associations between clinical or laboratory factors and mortality during admission or during VL treatment, with a minimal study size of ten patients. Conference abstracts and evaluations of genetic or immunological prognostic factors were excluded. We searched for studies in MEDLINE and four other databases in December 2018. To assess the risk of bias in observational studies and clinical trials, we used the Quality in Prognostic Studies (QUIPS) tool. We included 48 studies in the systematic review, describing 150,072 VL patients of whom 7,847 (5.2%) died. Twelve prognostic factors were evaluated in five or more studies and these results were submitted to meta-analysis producing one pooled crude odds ratio (OR) per prognostic factor. The following factors were strongly (OR>3) and significantly (P-value<0.05) associated with mortality: jaundice (OR = 8.27), HIV (OR = 4.60), tuberculosis (OR = 4.06), age >45 years (OR = 3.69), oedema (OR = 3.52), bleeding (OR = 3.37), and haemoglobin ≤6.5 g/dl (OR = 3.26). Factors significantly and moderately (OR between one and three) associated with death were severe malnutrition, long duration of illness, young age (<5 years), and large spleen size. Conclusions/significance: These prognostic factors can be identified by health professionals in resource-constrained settings. They should be considered as "core" prognostic factors in future studies that aim at improving the prognosis of VL patients.
    • The Risk and Predictors of Visceral Leishmaniasis Relapse in HIV Co-infected Patients in Ethiopia: A Retrospective Cohort Study

      Abongomera, C; Diro, E; Vogt, F; Tsoumanis, A; Mekonnen, Z; Admassu, H; Colebunders, R; Mohammed, R; Ritmeijer, K; van Griensven, J (Oxford University Press, 2017-07-20)