The latest medical research on Infectious Disease

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about infectious disease gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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TB or not TB? Challenges in diagnosing and treating maternal and neonatal tuberculosis.

Int J Tuberc

We present the case of a pregnant woman who died from disseminated tuberculosis (TB), and the difficulties encountered in diagnosing TB disease in ...

Point of care HbA1c level for diabetes mellitus management and its accuracy among tuberculosis patients: a study in four countries.

Int J Tuberc

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is common among tuberculosis (TB) patients and often undiagnosed or poorly controlled. We compared point of care (POC) with laboratory glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) testing among newly diagnosed TB patients to assess POC test accuracy, safety and acceptability in settings in which immediate access to DM services may be difficult.

We measured POC and accredited laboratory HbA1c (using high-performance liquid chromatography) in 1942 TB patients aged 18 years recruited from Peru, Romania, Indonesia and South Africa. We calculated overall agreement and individual variation (mean ± 2 standard deviations) stratified by country, age, sex, body mass index (BMI), HbA1c level and comorbidities (anaemia, human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]). We used an error grid approach to identify disagreement that could raise significant concerns.

Overall mean POC HbA1c values were modestly higher than laboratory HbA1c levels by 0.1% units (95%CI 0.1-0.2); however, there was a substantial discrepancy for those with severe anaemia (1.1% HbA1c, 95%CI 0.7-1.5). For 89.6% of 1942 patients, both values indicated the same DM status (no DM, HbA1c <6.5%) or had acceptable deviation (relative difference <6%). Individual agreement was variable, with POC values up to 1.8% units higher or 1.6% lower. For a minority, use of POC HbA1c alone could result in error leading to potential overtreatment (n = 40, 2.1%) or undertreatment (n = 1, 0.1%). The remainder had moderate disagreement, which was less likely to influence clinical decisions.

POC HbA1c is pragmatic and sufficiently accurate to screen for hyperglycaemia and DM risk among TB patients.

NAT2 variants and toxicity related to anti-tuberculosis agents: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Int J Tuberc

Tuberculosis (TB) patients receiving anti-tuberculosis treatment may experience serious adverse drug reactions (ADRs) such as hepatotoxicity. Variants of the N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) gene may increase the risk of experiencing such toxicity events.

To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the evidence base for associations between NAT2 variants and anti-tuberculosis drug-related toxicity.

This was a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched for studies in Medline, PubMed, EMBASE, BIOSIS and Web of Science. We included data from 41 articles (39 distinct cohorts of patients). We pooled effect estimates for each genotype on each outcome using meta-analyses stratified by country.

We assessed the quality of the included studies, which was variable, with many areas of concern. Slow/intermediate NAT2 acetylators were statistically significantly more likely to experience hepatotoxicity than rapid acetylators (OR 1.59, 95%CI 1.26-2.01). Heterogeneity was not detected in the overall pooled analysis (I² = 0%). NAT2 acetylator status was significantly associated with the likelihood of experiencing anti-tuberculosis drug-related hepatotoxicity.

We encountered several challenges in performing robust syntheses of data from pharmacogenetic studies, and we outline recommendations for the future reporting of pharmacogenetic studies to enable high-quality systematic reviews and meta-analyses to be performed.

HIV-related tuberculosis: mortality risk in persons without vs. with culture-confirmed disease.

Int J Tuberc

Tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive persons is difficult, particularly in resource-limited settings. The relationship between TB culture status and mortality in HIV-positive persons treated for TB is unclear.

We evaluated HIV-positive adults treated for TB at or after their first HIV clinic visit in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Mexico or Peru from 2000 to 2015. Anti-tuberculosis treatment included 2 months of isoniazid, rifampicin (RMP)/rifabutin (RBT), pyrazinamide ± ethambutol, followed by continuation phase treatment with isoniazid + RMP/RBT.

Of 759 TB-HIV patients, 238 (31%) were culture-negative, 228 (30%) had unknown culture status or did not undergo culture and 293 (39%) were culture-positive. The median CD4 at TB diagnosis was 96 (interquartile range 40-228); 636 (84%) received concurrent antiretroviral therapy (ART) and anti-tuberculosis treatment. There were 123 (16%) deaths: 90/466 (19%) with TB culture-negative, unknown or not performed vs. 33/293 (11%) who were TB culture-positive (P = 0.005). In Kaplan-Meier analysis, mortality in TB patients without culture-confirmed disease was higher (P = 0.002). In a Cox model adjusted for age, sex, CD4, ART timing, disease site and stratified by study site, mortality in persons without culture-confirmed TB was not significantly increased compared to those with culture-positive TB (hazard ratio 1.39, 95%CI 0.89-2.16, P = 0.15).

Most HIV-positive patients treated for TB did not have culture-confirmed TB, and mortality tended to be higher in patients without culture-confirmed disease, although the association was not statistically different after adjusting for other variables. Accurate TB diagnosis in HIV-positive persons is crucial.

Initiation of anti-tuberculosis treatment in children following gastric aspirate testing, Botswana, 2008-2012.

Int J Tuberc

Children with smear or culture-positive GA or those clinically diagnosed were referred for anti-tuberculosis treatment. Treatment initiation and outcomes were assessed from February 2008 to December 2012 using name-based matching algorithms of the GA database; treatment initiation was captured in the electronic TB registry. Analyses included descriptive statistics and regression models.

To describe treatment initiation and outcomes in children with a positive GA result and those treated empirically.

GA was conducted in 1268 children. Among these, 121 (9.5%) were GA-positive; and treatment was initiated in 90 (74.3%). An additional 137 (11.9%) were treated empirically. More than a third (36.4%) had known human immunodeficiency virus status (positive or negative); this was significantly associated with TB treatment initiation (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.8, 95%CI 1.3-2.5); P < 0.05). Among the 90 children with a positive GA result, nearly all either completed treatment (78.9%) or were on treatment (20.0%) at the time of data collection.

We could not find documentation of treatment for more than a quarter of the children with laboratory-confirmed TB, an important gap that calls for further examination. The failure to initiate prompt treatment requires investigation and urgent action.

IPT in people living with HIV in Myanmar: a five-fold decrease in incidence of TB disease and all-cause mortality.

Int J Tuberc

A retrospective cohort study of routinely collected data on PLHIV enrolled into care between 2009 and 2014.

To assess the effect of isoniazid (INH) preventive therapy (IPT) on the risk of TB disease and mortality among people living with HIV (PLHIV).

Of 7177 patients (median age 36 years, interquartile range 31-42; 53% male) included in the study, 1278 (18%) patients received IPT. Among patients receiving IPT, 855 (67%) completed 6 or 9 months of INH. Patients who completed IPT had a significantly lower risk of incident TB than those who never received IPT (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.21, 95%CI 0.12-0.34) after controlling for potential confounders. PLHIV who received IPT had a significantly lower risk of death than those who never received IPT (PLHIV who completed IPT, aHR 0.25, 95%CI 0.16-0.37; those who received but did not complete IPT, aHR 0.55, 95%CI 0.37-0.82).

Among PLHIV in Myanmar, completing a course of IPT significantly reduced the risk of TB disease, and receiving IPT significantly reduced the risk of death.

Risk factors for unfavourable treatment outcomes among rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis patients in Tajikistan.

Int J Tuberc

Retrospective medical chart review of RR/MDR-TB patients enrolled for treatment in 2012-2013.

To investigate the risk factors for unfavourable treatment outcomes among rifampicin-resistant (RR)/MDR-TB patients.

Of 601 RR/MDR-TB patients, 58 (9.7%) had pre-extensively drug-resistant TB (pre-XDR-TB; i.e., MDR-TB with additional resistance to a fluoroquinolone or second-line injectable agent) and 45 (8%) had XDR-TB (MDR-TB with additional resistance to both). Treatment failure and death were reported in respectively 40 (7%) and 89 (15%) cases; 60 (10%) patients were lost to follow-up (LTFU). In multivariable analysis, treatment failure was associated with pre-XDR-TB (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.67, 95%CI 1.47-9.18) or XDR-TB (aOR 8.61, 95%CI 3.48-21.34). Death was associated with age >45 years vs. <25 years (aOR 3.47, 95%CI 1.68-7.19) and no record of any adverse event during treatment (aOR 2.55, 95%CI 1.48-4.39). Changing place of residence during treatment was an independent predictor of LTFU (aOR 4.61, 95%CI 2.41-8.8).

Our findings highlight the need for 1) the use of regimens with new anti-tuberculosis drugs; 2) good handover of TB patients and 3) effective tracing mechanisms if patients change a place of residence to prevent LTFU.

Contacts of underserved tuberculosis patients have higher odds of TB disease in North West England: a cohort study.

Int J Tuberc

To investigate the association between patients' social risk factors and the risk of tuberculous infection and TB disease among their contacts in England.

This was a cohort study of all TB cases from North West England diagnosed between 27 March 2012 and 28 June 2016. The social risk factors of TB cases were evaluated to estimate their need for enhanced case management (ECM), from 0 (standard of care) to 3 (intensive social support).

A total of 2139 cases and their 10 019 contacts met the eligibility criteria. Being a contact of a patient with smear-positive TB with high ECM or being of Black Caribbean ethnicity was independently associated with greater odds of active TB disease (smear-positive vs. smear-negative, OR 5.3, 95%CI 3.2-8.7; ECM-3 vs. ECM-0, OR 2.2, 95%CI 1.01-5.0; Black Caribbean vs. White, OR 7.4, 95%CI 2.1-25). Being a contact of a patient with smear-positive TB or of Black Caribbean ethnicity was also independently associated with greater odds of tuberculous infection (smear-positive vs. smear-negative, OR 5.3, 95%CI 3.8-7.3; and Black Caribbean vs. White, OR 6.7, 95%CI 2.0-25).

The social complexity and ethnicity of patients were associated with tuberculous infection and TB disease in their contacts.

Effect of neonatal bacille Calmette-Guérin on the tuberculin skin test reaction in the first 2 years of life.

Int J Tuberc

This was a cross-sectional study in children up to 2 years of age who received neonatal BCG vaccination. In the absence of baseline comorbidities or contact with the bacillus, the children were given the TST.

To analyse the effect of the neonatal BCG vaccine on TST reaction in the first 2 years of life in children with no identified contact with tuberculosis (TB).

Seventy-nine children participated in the study. A decline in TST reactivity was observed in the first 12-24 months of age in patients who had been vaccinated with neonatal BCG but with no contact with TB. After the age of 10 months, no patient showed a TST reaction of >5 mm.

BCG had low impact on the TST in children with no TB contact. This finding suggests the need to reassess the cut-off point to 5 mm of induration to improve TST specificity in LTBI identification.

High prevalence and incidence of tuberculosis in people living with the HIV in Mandalay, Myanmar, 2011-2017.

Int J Tuberc

Cohort study using secondary data.

To assess prevalent TB at enrolment, incident TB during follow-up and associated risk factors in adult people living with HIV (PLHIV) between 2011 and 2017.

Of 11 777 PLHIV, 2911 (25%) had prevalent TB at or within 6 weeks of enrolment. Independent risk factors for prevalent TB were being male or single/widowed, daily alcohol consumption, CD4 count 200 cells/μl and anaemia. During 6 years follow-up in 8866 PLHIV with no prevalent TB, the rate of new TB was 2.9 per 100 person-years (95%CI 2.6-3.1). Cumulative TB incidence was 9.6%, with 370 (72%) of 517 new TB cases occurring in the first year. Independent risk factors for incident TB were being male and anaemia. Incident TB was highest in the first year of ART, in PLHIV with CD4 counts 200 cells/μl and those not receiving isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT). Incident TB declined with time on ART and rising CD4 counts.

Prevalent and incident TB were high in PLHIV in the Mandalay clinics. Consideration should be given to earlier TB diagnosis using more sensitive diagnostic tools, effective ART and scaling up IPT.

Spatial epidemiology of tuberculosis in the high-burden counties of Kisumu and Siaya, Western Kenya, 2012-2015.

Int J Tuberc

Effective management of tuberculosis (TB) and reduction of TB incidence relies on knowledge of where, when and to what degree the disease is present.

In a retrospective cross-sectional study, we analysed the spatial distribution of notified TB incidence from 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2015 in Siaya and Kisumu Counties, Western Kenya. TB data were obtained from the Division of Leprosy, Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Nairobi, Kenya, as part of an approved TB case detection study. Cases were linked to their corresponding geographic location using physical address identifiers. Spatial analysis techniques were used to examine the spatial and temporal patterns of TB. Assessment of spatial clustering was carried out following Moran's I method of spatial autocorrelation and the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic.

The notified TB incidence varied from 638.0 to 121.4 per 100 000 at the small area level. Spatial analysis identified 16 distinct geographic regions with high TB incidence clustering (GiZScore 2.58, P < 0.01). There was a positive correlation between population density and TB incidence that was statistically significant (rs = 0.5739, P = 0.0001).

The present study presents an opportunity for targeted interventions in the identified subepidemics to supplement measures aimed at the general population.

Provider barriers to the uptake of isoniazid preventive therapy among people living with HIV in Ethiopia.

Int J Tuberc

A cross-sectional study to evaluate the provider-related factors associated with high IPT coverage at the facility level.

To examine clinician barriers to implementing isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) among people living with HIV.

On bivariate analysis, the odds of high IPT implementation were lower when clinicians felt patients were negatively affected by the side effects of IPT (OR 0.18, 95%CI 0.04-0.81) and perceived that IPT increased multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates (OR 0.66, 95%CI 0.44-0.98). The presence of IPT guidelines on site (OR 2.93, 95%CI 1.10-7.77) and TB-HIV training (OR 3.08, 95%CI 1.11-8.53) had a positive relationship with high IPT uptake. In the multivariate model, clinician's perception that active TB was difficult to rule out had a negative association with a high IPT rate (OR 0.93; 95%CI 0.90-0.95).

Clinician impression that ruling out active TB among HIV patients is difficult was found to be a significant barrier to IPT uptake. Continued advancement of IPT relies greatly on improving the ability of providers to determine IPT eligibility and more confidently care for patients on IPT. Improved clinician support and training as well as development of new TB diagnostic technologies could impact IPT utilization among providers.