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Front Pediatr ; 10: 880355, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1979055


Background: Children living with HIV (CLHIV) and children who are exposed to HIV but uninfected (CHEU) are at increased risk of developing malnutrition. Severely malnourished children have high mortality rates, but mortality is higher in CLHIV/CHEU. This study aims to investigate whether empiric use of an antibiotic with greater antimicrobial sensitivity (ceftriaxone) than standard-of-care (ampicillin plus gentamicin) will reduce mortality among CLHIV/CHEU admitted with severe acute malnutrition. Methods: This is an open label randomized controlled trial involving 300 children; 76 CLHIV and 224 CHEU. The participants are being randomized to receive 1 week of ceftriaxone (n = 150) or standard-of-care (ampicillin/gentamicin) (n = 150), in addition to other routine care. The trial's primary outcome is in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes are: length of hospitalization; weight-for-height, weight-for-age and height-for-age z-scores; and pattern/antimicrobial sensitivity of pathogens. In addition, 280 severely malnourished children of unknown serostatus will be tested for HIV at admission to determine the prevalence and factors associated with HIV-infection. Furthermore, all the CLHIV on LPV/r will each provide sparse pharmacokinetic (PK) samples to evaluate the PK of LPV/r among malnourished children. In this PK sub-study, geometric means of steady-state LPV PK parameters [Area Under the Curve (AUC) 0-12h , maximum concentration (Cmax) and concentration at 12 h after dose (C12h)] will be determined. They will then be put in pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) models to determine optimal doses for the study population. Discussion: This study will ascertain whether antibiotics with higher sensitivity patterns to common organisms in Uganda and similar settings, will produce better treatment outcomes. The study will also provide insights into the current pattern of organisms isolated from blood cultures and their antimicrobial sensitivities, in this population. In addition, the study will ascertain whether there has been a significant change in the prevalence of HIV-infection among children presenting with severe malnutrition in the WHO recommended option B plus era, while determining the social/structural factors associated with HIV-infection. There will also be an opportunity to study PK parameters of antiretroviral drugs among severely malnourished children which is rarely done, and yet it is very important to understand the dosing requirements of this population. Trial Registration:, identifier: NCT05051163.

Int J Infect Dis ; 113: 355-358, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527703


Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) remains the gold standard for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). This study tested the performance of a pooled testing strategy for RT-PCR and its cost-effectiveness. In total, 1280 leftover respiratory samples collected between 19 April and 6 May 2021 were tested in 128 pools of 10 samples each, out of which 16 pools were positive. The positivity rate of the unpooled samples was 1.9% (24/1280). After parallel testing using the individual and pooled testing strategies, positive agreement was 100% and negative agreement was 99.8%. The overall median cycle threshold (Ct) value of the unpooled samples was 29.8 (interquartile range 22.3-34.3). Pools that remained positive when compared with the results of individual samples had lower median Ct values compared with those that turned out to be negative (28.8 versus 34.8; P=0.0.035). Pooled testing reduced the cost >4-fold. Pooled testing may be a more cost-effective approach to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 in resource-limited settings without compromising diagnostic performance.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity , Uganda
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251150, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226893


INTRODUCTION: Despite the limited evidence for its effectiveness, thermal screening at points of entry has increasingly become a standard protocol in numerous parts of the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to determine the effectiveness of thermal screening as a key step in diagnosing COVID-19 in a resource-limited setting. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective cross-sectional study based on a review of body temperature and Xpert Xpress SARS CoV-2 test results records for truck drivers entering Uganda through Mutukula between 15th May and 30th July 2020. All records missing information for body temperature, age, gender, and Xpert Xpress SARS CoV-2 status were excluded from the data set. A data set of 7,181 entries was used to compare thermal screening and Xpert Xpress SARS CoV-2 assay test results using the diagnostic statistical test in STATAv15 software. The prevalence of COVID-19 amongst the truck drivers based on Xpert Xpress SARS CoV-2 assay results was determined. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, positive and negative Likelihood ratios were obtained using Xpert Xpress SARS CoV-2 assay as the gold standard. RESULTS: Based on our gold standard test, the proportion of persons that tested positive for COVID-19 was 6.7% (95% CI: 6.1-7.3). Of the 7,181 persons that were thermally screened, 6,844 (95.3%) were male. The sample median age was 38 years (interquartile range, IQR: 31-45 years). The median body temperature was 36.5°C (IQR: 36.3-36.7) and only n (1.2%) had a body temperature above 37.5°C. The sensitivity and specificity of thermal screening were 9.9% (95% CI: 7.4-13.0) and 99.5% (95% CI: 99.3-99.6) respectively. The positive and negative predictive values were 57.8 (95% CI: 46.5-68.6) and 93.9 (95% CI: 93.3-94.4) respectively. The positive and negative Likelihood Ratios (LRs) were 19 (95% CI: 12.4-29.1) and 0.9 (95% CI: 0.88-0.93) respectively. CONCLUSION: In this study population, the use of Thermal screening alone is ineffective in the detection of potential COVID-19 cases at point of entry. We recommend a combination of screening tests or additional testing using highly sensitive molecular diagnostics such as Polymerase Chain Reaction.

COVID-19/diagnosis , Adult , Body Temperature , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Uganda/epidemiology , Young Adult