Medical Research Council Laboratories

Banjul, Gambia

Medical Research Council Laboratories

Banjul, Gambia
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Cunnington A.J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | De Souza J.B.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | De Souza J.B.,University College London | Walther M.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Riley E.M.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Nature Medicine | Year: 2012

In sub-Saharan Africa, invasive nontyphoid Salmonella (NTS) infection is a common and often fatal complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection. Induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) mediates tolerance to the cytotoxic effects of heme during malarial hemolysis but might impair resistance to NTS by limiting production of bactericidal reactive oxygen species. We show that co-infection of mice with Plasmodium yoelii 17XNL (Py17XNL) and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium 12023 (Salmonella typhimurium) causes acute, fatal bacteremia with high bacterial load, features reproduced by phenylhydrazine- induced hemolysis or hemin administration. S. typhimurium localized predominantly in granulocytes. Py17XNL, phenylhydrazine and hemin caused premature mobilization of granulocytes from bone marrow with a quantitative defect in the oxidative burst. Inhibition of HO by tin protoporphyrin abrogated the impairment of resistance to S. typhimurium by hemolysis. Thus, a mechanism of tolerance to one infection, malaria, impairs resistance to another, NTS. Furthermore, HO inhibitors may be useful adjunctive therapy for NTS infection in the context of hemolysis. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bejon P.,Kenya Medical Research Institute | Bejon P.,University of Oxford | White M.T.,Imperial College London | Olotu A.,Kenya Medical Research Institute | And 9 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: The efficacy of RTS,S/AS01 as a vaccine for malaria is being tested in a phase 3 clinical trial. Early results show significant, albeit partial, protection against clinical malaria and severe malaria. To ascertain variations in vaccine efficacy according to covariates such as transmission intensity, choice of adjuvant, age at vaccination, and bednet use, we did an individual-participant pooled analysis of phase 2 clinical data. Methods: We analysed data from 11 different sites in Africa, including 4453 participants. We measured heterogeneity in vaccine efficacy by estimating the interactions between covariates and vaccination in pooled multivariable Cox regression and Poisson regression analyses. Endpoints for measurement of vaccine efficacy were infection, clinical malaria, severe malaria, and death. We defined transmission intensity levels according to the estimated local parasite prevalence in children aged 2-10 years (PrP2-10), ranging from 5% to 80%. Choice of adjuvant was either AS01 or AS02. Findings: Vaccine efficacy against all episodes of clinical malaria varied by transmission intensity (p=0·001). At low transmission (PrP2-10 10%) vaccine efficacy was 60% (95% CI 54 to 67), at moderate transmission (PrP2-10 20%) it was 41% (21 to 57), and at high transmission (PrP2-10 70%) the efficacy was 4% (-10 to 22). Vaccine efficacy also varied by adjuvant choice (p<0·0001)-eg, at low transmission (PrP2-10 10%), efficacy varied from 60% (95% CI 54 to 67) for AS01 to 47% (14 to 75) for AS02. Variations in efficacy by age at vaccination were of borderline significance (p=0·038), and bednet use and sex were not significant covariates. Vaccine efficacy (pooled across adjuvant choice and transmission intensity) varied significantly (p<0·0001) according to time since vaccination, from 36% efficacy (95% CI 24 to 45) at time of vaccination to 0% (-38 to 38) after 3 years. Interpretation: Vaccine efficacy against clinical disease was of limited duration and was not detectable 3 years after vaccination. Furthermore, efficacy fell with increasing transmission intensity. Outcomes after vaccination cannot be gauged accurately on the basis of one pooled efficacy figure. However, predictions of public-health outcomes of vaccination will need to take account of variations in efficacy by transmission intensity and by time since vaccination. Funding: Medical Research Council (UK); Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Vaccine Modelling Initiative; Wellcome Trust. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Finney O.C.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Finney O.C.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Finney O.C.,Seattle Biomedical Research Institute | Riley E.M.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Walther M.,Medical Research Council Laboratories
European Journal of Immunology | Year: 2010

Regulatory T cells (Treg) play crucial roles in regulating autoimmune responses and immunity to tumors and infectious diseases. However, numerous subpopulations of Treg are now being described and the utility of various Treg markers is being reassessed. Here we report the results of a detailed phenotypic comparison of two supposedly regulatory human T-cell populations, namely CD4+FOXP3+ T cells and CD4+CD25hi T cells. We find that CD4+FOXP3+ cells are extremely heterogeneous with respect to CD25 expression and that FOXP3+ and CD25hi CD4+ T cells differ in their expression of chemokine receptors (CCR), CD95 and Bcl-2, suggestive of distinct migration characteristics and susceptibility to apoptosis. Further, we propose that CD25 expression should be regarded as an activation marker rather than as a defining marker of Treg. Lastly, CD4+FOXP3+ T cells activated in vitro with malaria antigen expressed the highest levels of CCR4 and CD95, and the lowest levels of CCR7, indicating that they are most likely generated from effector memory cells during an immune response and rapidly succumb to apoptosis at the end of the response. © 2009 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

Nweneka C.V.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Prentice A.M.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Prentice A.M.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
BMC Gastroenterology | Year: 2011

Background: The nature of the association between ghrelin, an orexigenic hormone produced mainly in the stomach, and Helicobacter pylori (H pylori), a bacterium that colonises the stomach, is still controversial. We examined available evidence to determine whether an association exists between the two; and if one exists, in what direction.Methods: We reviewed original English language studies on humans reporting circulating ghrelin levels in H pylori infected and un-infected participants; and circulating ghrelin levels before and after H pylori eradication. Meta-analyses were conducted for eligible studies by combining study specific estimates using the inverse variance method with weighted average for continuous outcomes in a random effects model.Results: Seventeen out of 27 papers that reported ghrelin levels in H pylori positive and negative subjects found lower circulating ghrelin levels in H pylori positive subjects; while 10 found no difference. A meta-analysis of 19 studies with a total of 1801 participants showed a significantly higher circulating ghrelin concentration in H pylori negative participants than in H pylori positive participants (Effect estimate (95%CI) = -0.48 (-0.60, -0.36)). However, eradicating H pylori did not have any significant effect on circulating ghrelin levels (Effect estimate (95% CI) = 0.08 (-0.33, 0.16); Test for overall effect: Z = 0.67 (P = 0.5)).Conclusions: We conclude that circulating ghrelin levels are lower in H pylori infected people compared to those not infected; but the relationship between circulating ghrelin and eradication of H pylori is more complex. © 2011 Nweneka and Prentice; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Young J.M.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Young J.M.,University of Manchester | Adetifa I.M.O.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Ota M.O.C.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Sutherland J.S.,Medical Research Council Laboratories
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: T cells producing multiple factors have been shown to be required for protection from disease progression in HIV but we have recently shown this not to be the case in TB. Subjects with active disease had a greater proportion of polyfunctional cells responding to ESAT-6/CFP-10 stimulation than their infected but non-diseased household contacts (HHC). We therefore wanted to assess this profile in subjects who had successfully completed standard TB chemotherapy. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study using PBMC from TB cases (pre- and post-treatment) and HHC. Samples were stimulated overnight with TB antigens (ESAT-6/CFP-10 and PPD) and their CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were assessed for production of CD107a, IFN-c, IL-2 and TNF-a and the complexity of the responses was determined using SPICE and PESTLE software. Results and Conclusions: We found that an increase in complexity (i.e., production of more than 1 factor simultaneously) of the T cell profile was associated with TB disease and that this was significantly reduced following TB treatment. This implies that T cells are able to respond adequately to TB antigens with active disease (at least initially) but the ability of this response to protect the host from disease progression is hampered, presumably due to immune evasion strategies by the bacteria. These findings have implications for the development of new diagnostics and vaccine strategies. © 2010 Young et al.

Nyamweya S.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Hegedus A.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Hegedus A.,St George's, University of London | Jaye A.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | And 3 more authors.
Reviews in Medical Virology | Year: 2013

HIV-1 and HIV-2 share many similarities including their basic gene arrangement, modes of transmission, intracellular replication pathways and clinical consequences: both result in AIDS. However, HIV-2 is characterised by lower transmissibility and reduced likelihood of progression to AIDS. The underlying mechanistic differences between these two infections illuminate broader issues of retroviral pathogenesis, which remain incompletely understood. Comparisons between these two infections from epidemiological, clinical, virologic and immunologic viewpoints provide a basis for hypothesis generation and testing in this 'natural experiment' in viral pathogenesis. In terms of epidemiology, HIV-2 remains largely confined to West Africa, whereas HIV-1 extends worldwide. Clinically, HIV-2 infected individuals seem to dichotomise, most remaining long-term non-progressors, whereas most HIV-1 infected individuals progress. When clinical progression occurs, both diseases demonstrate very similar pathological processes, although progression in HIV-2 occurs at higher CD4 counts. Plasma viral loads are consistently lower in HIV-2, as are average levels of immune activation. Significant differences exist between the two infections in all components of the immune system. For example, cellular responses to HIV-2 tend to be more polyfunctional and produce more IL-2; humoral responses appear broader with lower magnitude intratype neutralisation responses; innate responses appear more robust, possibly through differential effects of tripartite motif protein isoform 5 alpha. Overall, the immune response to HIV-2 appears more protective against disease progression suggesting that pivotal immune factors limit viral pathology. If such immune responses could be replicated or induced in HIV-1 infected patients, they might extend survival and reduce requirements for antiretroviral therapy. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Lemoine M.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Thursz M.,Imperial College London | Njie R.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Dusheiko G.,University College London
Liver International | Year: 2014

In 2010, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution calling for interventions for the prevention and control of chronic viral hepatitis. These infectious diseases mostly affect resource-limited countries accounting for 80% of the world's population and facing numerous obstacles to contain the epidemic. At a time when morbidity and mortality of chronic liver disease have been considerably improved in wealthy countries by new innovative strategies and new potent antiviral drugs, it is now urgent to recall for concrete actions from stakeholders of global health policy to reduce the burden in resource-limited countries. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Sutherland J.S.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | de Jong B.C.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Jeffries D.J.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Adetifa I.M.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Ota M.O.C.,Medical Research Council Laboratories
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb) infects approximately 2 billion people world-wide resulting in almost 2 million deaths per year. Determining biomarkers that distinguish different stages of tuberculosis (TB) infection and disease will provide tools for more effective diagnosis and ultimately aid in the development of new vaccine candidates. The current diagnostic kits utilising production of IFN-γ in response to TB antigens can detect MTb infection but are unable to distinguish between infection and disease. The aim of this study was to assess if the use of a longer term assay and the analysis of multiple cytokines would enhance diagnosis of active TB in a TB-endemic population. Methods: We compared production of multiple cytokines (TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12(p40), IL-13, IL-17 and IL-18) following long-term (7 days) stimulation of whole-blood with TB antigens (ESAT-6/CFP-10 (EC), PPD or TB10.4) from TB cases (n = 36) and their Mycobacterium-infected (TST+; n = 20) or uninfected (TST2; n = 19) household contacts (HHC). Results and Conclusions: We found that TNF-α production following EC stimulation and TNF-a and IL-12(p40) following TB10.4 stimulation were significantly higher from TB cases compared to TST+ HHC, while production of IFN-γ and IL-13 were significantly higher from TST+ compared to TST- HHC following PPD or EC stimulation. Combined analysis of TNF-α, IL- 12(p40) and IL-17 following TB10.4 stimulation resulted in 85% correct classification into TB cases or TST+ HHC. 74% correct classification into TST+ or TST2 HHC was achieved with IFN-γ alone following TB10.4 stimulation (69% following EC) and little enhancement was seen with additional cytokines. We also saw a tendency for TB cases infected with M. africanum to have increased TNF-α and IL-10 production compared to those infected with M. tuberculosis. Our results provide further insight into the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and may enhance the specificity of the currently available diagnostic tests, particularly for diagnosis of active TB. © 2010 Sutherland et al.

Peterson K.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Drame D.,Medical Research Council Laboratories
Sexually Transmitted Infections | Year: 2010

A woman presenting to an STI/HIV clinic in The Gambia with T vaginalis and a history of a digital vaginal 'exam' by a traditional healer implies non-sexual transmission of trichomonas between patients and reinforces the role of practitioner hygiene in preventing spread of infections.

Gomez-Escobar N.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Amambua-Ngwa A.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Walther M.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | Okebe J.,Medical Research Council Laboratories | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

Erythrocyte invasion is central to malaria parasite replication and virulence. Plasmodium falciparum parasites use different alternative erythrocyte receptors and vary in expression of erythrocyte-binding antigenic (EBA) proteins and reticulocyte-binding protein homologues (Rh). Parasite invasion phenotypes and schizont-stage transcript expression profiles of the 8 eba and Rh protein-coding genes without internal stop codons were determined for 163 clinical isolates cultured ex vivo in The Gambia. There was extensive diversity in ability to invade erythrocytes treated with neuraminidase, trypsin, or chymotrypsin, and severe malaria isolates were less restricted by trypsin treatment than were mild malaria isolates (P = .015). Expression profiles of the eba and Rh genes showed distinct clusters indicating coordinated alternative transcription. The most divergent of 5 major clusters was dominated by Rh2b, with virtually no expression of eba175 or eba140 genes (which were dominant in the other 4 clusters). Particular transcripts were significantly correlated with parasitemia (Rh5 was positively correlated and eba140 negatively correlated; P < .001 for both) and age of patients (eba181 was positively correlated and eba175 negatively correlated; P< .01 for both) but not with invasion phenotypes or severity of malaria. Severe and mild malaria isolates were also evenly represented across the different expression clusters. © 2010 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.

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