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Goldfarb D.M.,McMaster University | Goldfarb D.M.,University of Botswana | Steenhoff A.P.,Botswana UPenn Partnership | Steenhoff A.P.,Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology

Two-hundred eighty matched bulk stool and anatomically designed flocked rectal swab samples were collected from children admitted to the hospital with acute diarrhea in Botswana. Their parents were asked about the acceptability of the swab collection method compared with bulk stool sampling. All samples underwent identical testing with a validated 15-target (9 bacterial, 3 viral, and 3 parasite) commercial multiplex PCR assay. The flocked swabs had a 12% higher yield for bacterial pathogen targets (241 versus 212; P = 0.003) compared with that of stool samples, as well as similar yields for viral targets (110 versus 113; P = 0.701) and parasite targets (59 versus 65; P = 0.345). One hundred sixty-four of the flocked swab-stool pairs were also tested with separate laboratory-developed bacterial and viral multiplex assays, and the flocked rectal swabs had a performance that was similar to that seen with commercial assay testing. Almost all parents/guardians found the swabs acceptable. Flocked rectal swabs significantly facilitate the molecular diagnosis of diarrheal disease in children. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

Shapiro R.L.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Shapiro R.L.,Harvard University | Shapiro R.L.,Public Health AIDS Institute Partnership for HIV Research and Education | Souda S.,Public Health AIDS Institute Partnership for HIV Research and Education | And 18 more authors.

Background: Increased stillbirth rates occur among HIV-infected women, but no studies have evaluated the pathological basis for this increase, or whether highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) influences the etiology of stillbirths. It is also unknown whether HIV infection of the fetus is associated with stillbirth. Methods: HIV-infected women and a comparator group of HIV-uninfected women who delivered stillbirths were enrolled at the largest referral hospital in Botswana between January and November 2010. Obstetrical records, including antiretroviral use in pregnancy, were extracted at enrollment. Verbal autopsies; maternal HIV, CD4 and HIV RNA testing; stillbirth HIV PCR testing; and placental pathology (blinded to HIV and treatment status) were performed. Results: Ninety-nine stillbirths were evaluated, including 62 from HIV-infected women (34% on HAART from conception, 8% on HAART started in pregnancy, 23% on zidovudine started in pregnancy, and 35% on no antiretrovirals) and 37 from a comparator group of HIV-uninfected women. Only 2 (3.7%) of 53 tested stillbirths from HIV-infected women were HIV PCR positive, and both were born to women not receiving HAART. Placental insufficiency associated with hypertension accounted for most stillbirths. Placental findings consistent with chronic hypertension were common among HIV-infected women who received HAART and among HIV-uninfected women (65% vs. 54%, p = 0.37), but less common among HIV-infected women not receiving HAART (28%, p = 0.003 vs. women on HAART). Conclusions: In utero HIV infection was rarely associated with stillbirths, and did not occur among women receiving HAART. Hypertension and placental insufficiency were associated with most stillbirths in this tertiary care setting. © 2012 Shapiro et al. Source

Tesfalul M.,University of Pennsylvania | Tesfalul M.,University of Botswana | Simbiri K.,University of Pennsylvania | Wheat C.M.,University of Botswana | And 9 more authors.
International Journal of Gynecological Cancer

Objective: The primary aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of select oncogenic viruses within vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) and their association with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status in women in Botswana, where the national HIV prevalence is the third highest in the world. Methods: A cross-sectional study of biopsy-confirmed VSCC specimens and corresponding clinical data was conducted in Gaborone, Botswana. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) viral testing were done for Epstein-Barr virus, human papillomavirus (HPV) strains, and Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus, and PCR viral testing alone was done for John Cunningham virus. Results: Human papillomavirus prevalence by PCR was 100% (35/35) among tested samples. Human papillomavirus type 16was the most prevalent HPV strain (82.9%by PCR, 94.7% by either PCR or IHC). Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus prevalence by PCR had a significant association with HIV status (P = 0.013), but not by IHC (P = 0.650). Conclusions: The high burden of HPV, specifically HPV16, in vulvar squamous cell cancer in Botswana suggests a distinct HPV profile that differs from other studied populations, which provides increasedmotivation for HPV vaccination efforts. Oncogenic viruses Kaposi sarcoma herpes virus and Epstein-Barr virus were also more prevalent in our study population, although their potential role in vulvar squamous cell cancer pathology is unclear. Copyright © 2014 by IGCS and ESGO. Source

Rowe J.S.,Botswana UPenn Partnership | Rowe J.S.,University of Pennsylvania | Shah S.S.,University of Pennsylvania | Shah S.S.,Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia | And 9 more authors.

Background The epidemiology of diarrheal disease in Botswana, an HIV endemic region, is largely unknown. Our primary objective was to characterize the prevalent bacterial and parasitic enteropathogens in Gaborone, Botswana. Secondary objectives included determining corresponding antimicrobial resistance patterns and the value of stool white and red blood cells for predicting bacterial and parasitic enteropathogens. Methodology/Principal Findings A retrospective cross-sectional study examined laboratory records of stool specimens analyzed by the Botswana National Health Laboratory in Gaborone, Botswana from February 2003 through July 2008. In 4485 specimens the median subject age was 23 [interquartile range 1.6-34] years. Overall, 14.4% (644 of 4485) of samples yielded a pathogen. Bacteria alone were isolated in 8.2% (367 of 4485), parasites alone in 5.6% (253 of 4485) and both in 0.5% (24 of 4485) of samples. The most common bacterial pathogens were Shigella spp. and Salmonella spp., isolated from 4.0% (180 of 4485) and 3.9% (175 of 4485) of specimens, respectively. Escherichia coli (22 of 4485) and Campylobacter spp. (22 of 4485) each accounted for 0.5% of pathogens. Comparing antimicrobial resistance among Shigella spp. and Salmonella spp. between two periods, February 2003 to February 2004 and July 2006 to July 2008, revealed an increase in ampicillin resistance among Shigella spp. from 43% to 83% (p<0.001). Among Salmonella spp., resistance to chloramphenicol decreased from 56% to 6% (p<0.001). The absence of stool white and red blood cells correlated with a high specificity and negative predictive value. Conclusions/Significance Most gastroenteritis stools were culture and microscopy negative suggesting that viral pathogens were the majority etiologic agents in this Botswana cohort. Shigella spp. and Salmonella spp. were the most common bacteria; Isospora spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. were the most common parasites. Resistance to commonly used antimicrobials is high and should be closely monitored. © 2010 Rowe et al. Source

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