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Pienaar E.D.,South African Cochrane Center
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2010

Oral candidiasis (OC) associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection occurs commonly and recurs frequently, often presenting as an initial manifestation of the disease. Left untreated, these lesions contribute considerably to the morbidity associated with HIV infection. Interventions aimed at preventing and treating HIV-associated oral candidal lesions form an integral component of maintaining the quality of life for affected individuals. To determine the effects of any intervention in preventing or treating OC in children and adults with HIV infection. The search strategy was based on that of the Cochrane HIV/AIDS Review Group. The following electronic databases were searched for randomised controlled trials for the years 1982 to 2005: Medline, AIDSearch, EMBASE and CINAHL. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) were also searched through May 2005. The abstracts of relevant conferences, including the International Conferences on AIDS and the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, as indexed by AIDSLINE, were also reviewed. The strategy was iterative, in that references of included studies were searched for additional references. All languages were included.The updated database search was done for the period 2005 up to 2009. The following databases were searched: Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library. AIDSearch was not searched for the updated search as it ceased publication during 2008. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of palliative, preventative or curative therapy were considered, irrespective of whether the control group received a placebo. Participants were HIV positive adults and children. Two authors independently assessed the methodological quality of the trials and extracted data. Study authors were contacted for additional data where necessary. For the first publication of the review in 2006, forty studies were retrieved. Twenty eight trials (n=3225) met inclusion criteria. During the update search for the review a, further six studies were identified. Of these, five met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The review now includes 33 studies (n=3445): 22 assessing treatment and 11 assessing prevention of oropharyngeal candidiasis. Six studies were done in developing countries, 16 in the United States of America and the remainder in Europe.Treatment Treatment was assessed in the majority of trials looking at both clinical and mycological cures. In the majority of comparisons there was only one trial. Compared to nystatin, fluconazole favoured clinical cure in adults (1 RCT; n=167; RR 1.69; 95% CI 1.27 to 2.23). There was no difference with regard to clinical cure between fluconazole compared to ketoconazole (2 RCTs; n=83; RR 1.27; 95% CI 0.97 to 1.66), itraconazole (2 RCTs; n=434; RR 1.05; 95% CI 0.94 to 1.16), clotrimazole (2 RCTs; n=358; RR 1.14; 95% CI 0.92 to 1.42) or posaconazole (1 RCT; n=366; RR1.32; 95% CI 0.36 to 4.83). Two trials compared different dosages of fluconazole with no difference in clinical cure. When compared with clotrimazole, both fluconazole (2 RCTs; n=358; RR 1.47; 95% CI 1.16 to 1.87) and itraconazole (1 RCT; n=123; RR 2.20; 95% CI 1.43 to3.39) proved to be better for mycological cure. Both gentian violet (1 RCT; n=96; RR 5.28; 95% CI 1.23 to 22.55) and ketoconazole (1 RCT; n=92; RR 5.22; 95% CI 1.21 to 22.53) were superior to nystatin in bringing about clinical cure. A single trial compared gentian violet with lemon juice and lemon grass with no significant difference in clinical cure between the groups. Prevention Successful prevention was defined as the prevention of a relapse while receiving prophylaxis. Fluconazole was compared with placebo in five studies (5 RCTs; n=599; RR 0.61; 95% CI 0.5 to 0.74) and with no treatment in another (1 RCT; n=65; RR 0.16; 95% CI 0.08 to 0.34). In both instances the prevention of clinical episodes was favoured by fluconazole. Comparing continuous fluconazole treatment with intermittent treatment (2 RCTs; n=891; RR 0.65; 95% CI 0.23 to 1.83), there was no significant difference between the two treatment arms. Chlorhexidine was compared with normal saline in a single study with no significant difference between the treatment arms. Five new studies were added to the review, but their results do not alter the final conclusion of the review.Implications for practice Due to there being only one study in children, it is not possible to make recommendations for treatment or prevention of OC in children. Amongst adults, there were few studies per comparison. Due to insufficient evidence, no conclusion could be made about the effectiveness of clotrimazole, nystatin, amphotericin B, itraconazole or ketoconazole with regard to OC prophylaxis. In comparison to placebo, fluconazole is an effective preventative intervention. However, the potential for resistant Candida organisms to develop, as well as the cost of prophylaxis, might impact the feasibility of implementation. No studies were found comparing fluconazole with other interventions. The direction of findings suggests that ketoconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole and clotrimazole improved the treatment outcomes.Implications for research It is encouraging that low-cost alternatives are being tested, but more research needs to be on in this area and on interventions like gentian violet and other less expensive anti-fungal drugs to treat OC. More well-designed treatment trials with larger samples are needed to allow for sufficient power to detect differences in not only clinical, but also mycological, response and relapse rates. There is also a strong need for more research to be done on the treatment and prevention of OC in children as it is reported that OC is the most frequent fungal infection in children and adolescents who are HIV positive. More research on the effectiveness of less expensive interventions also needs to be done in resource-poor settings. Currently few trials report outcomes related to quality of life, nutrition, or survival. Future researchers should consider measuring these when planning trials. Development of resistance remains under-studied and more work must be done in this area. It is recommended that trials be more standardised and conform more closely to CONSORT. Source

Kredo T.,South African Cochrane Center
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Policy makers, health staff and communities recognise that health services in lower- and middle-income countries need to improve people's access to HIV treatment and retention to treatment programmes. One strategy is to move antiretroviral delivery from hospitals to more peripheral health facilities or even beyond health facilities. This could increase the number of people with access to care, improve health outcomes, and enhance retention in treatment programmes. On the other hand, providing care at less sophisticated levels in the health service or at community-level may decrease quality of care and result in worse health outcomes. To address these uncertainties, we summarised the research studies examining the risks and benefits of decentralising antiretroviral therapy service delivery. To assess the effects of various models that decentralised HIV treatment and care to more basic levels in the health system for initiating and maintaining antiretroviral therapy. We conducted a comprehensive search to identify all relevant studies regardless of language or publication status (published, unpublished, in press, and in progress) from 1 January 1996 to 31 March 2013, and contacted relevant organisations and researchers. The search terms included 'decentralisation', 'down referral', 'delivery of health care', and 'health services accessibility'. Our inclusion criteria were controlled trials (randomised and non-randomised), controlled-before and after studies, and cohorts (prospective and retrospective) in which HIV-infected people were either initiated on antiretroviral therapy or maintained on therapy in a decentralised setting in lower- and middle-income countries. We define decentralisation as providing treatment at a more basic level in the health system to the comparator. Two authors applied the inclusion criteria and extracted data independently. We designed a framework to describe different decentralisation strategies, and then grouped studies against these strategies. Data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Because loss to follow up in HIV programmes is known to include some deaths, we used attrition as our primary outcome, defined as death plus loss to follow-up. We assessed evidence quality with GRADE methodology. Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria, all but one were from Africa, comprising two cluster randomised trials and 14 cohort studies. Antiretroviral therapy started at a hospital and maintained at a health centre (partial decentralisation) probably reduces attrition (RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.71, 4 studies, 39 090 patients, moderate quality evidence). There may be fewer patients lost to care with this model (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.69, low quality evidence).We are uncertain whether there is a difference in attrition for antiretroviral therapy started and maintained at a health centre (full decentralisation) compared to a hospital at 12 months (RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.47 to 1.02; four studies, 56 360 patients, very low quality evidence), but there are probably fewer patients lost to care with this model (RR 0.3, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.54, moderate quality evidence).When antiretroviral maintenance therapy is delivered at home by trained volunteers, there is probably no difference in attrition at 12 months (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.62 to 1.46, two trials, 1453 patients, moderate quality evidence). Decentralisation of HIV care aims to improve patient access and retention in care. Most data were from good quality cohort studies but confounding between site of treatment and outcomes cannot be excluded. Nevertheless, this review found that attrition appears to be lower in partial decentralisation models of treatment, where antiretrovirals were started at hospital and continued in the health centre; with antiretroviral drugs started and continued at health centres, no difference in attrition was detected, but there were fewer patients lost to care. For antiretroviral therapy provided at home by trained volunteers, no difference in outcomes were detected when compared to facility-based care. Source

Kashangura R.,Stellenbosch University | Sena E.S.,University of Edinburgh | Sena E.S.,Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health | Young T.,Stellenbosch University | Young T.,South African Cochrane Center
International Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2015

Background: The existing Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination provides partial protection against tuberculosis (TB). The modified vaccinia ankara virus-expressing antigen 85A (MVA85A) aims to boost BCG immunity. We evaluated the animal evidence supporting the testing of MVA85A in humans. Methods: Our protocol included in vivo preclinical studies of the MVA85A booster with BCG compared with BCG alone, followed by a TB challenge. We used standard methods for systematic review of animal studies, and summarized mortality, measures of pathology and lung bacterial load. The comprehensive literature search was to September 2014. Two independent investigators assessed eligibility and performed data extraction. We assessed study quality and pooled bacteria load using random effect meta-analysis. Findings: We included eight studies in 192 animals. Three experiments were in mice, two in guinea pigs, two in macaques and one in calves. Overall, study quality was low with no randomization, baseline comparability not described and blinding not reported. For animal death (including euthanasia due to severe morbidity), studies were underpowered, and overall no benefit demonstrated. No difference was shown for lung pathology measured on an ordinal scale or bacterial load. The largest mortality trial carried out in macaques had more deaths in the MVA85A vaccine group, and was published after a trial in South Africa had started recruiting children. Conclusions: This independent assessment of the animal data does not provide evidence to support efficacy of MVA85A as a BCG booster. More rigorous conduct and reporting of preclinical research are warranted, and we believe the results of studies should be publicly available before embarking on trials in humans, irrespective of the findings. © The Author 2015. Source

Abrams A.L.,South African Cochrane Center
Pan African Medical Journal | Year: 2011

The 2004 Ministerial Summit on Health Research called on the World Health Organization to to establish a registry network with the intention of providing a single access point to identify trials. In 2007 the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors amended their support of this initiative stating that only trials registered prospectively on a member registry of the WHO's Network of Primary Registers would be published. The Pan African Clinical Trials Registry (www.pactr.org), was established in early 2007 as the AIDS, TB and Malaria (ATM) Clinical Trials Registry with the aim of piloting the concept of a registry that would cater to the specific needs of African trialists. In 2009 the ATM Registry expanded its remit to include all diseases for all regions of Africa; The Pan African Clinical Trials Registry became the first and is presently the only African member of the World Health Organization's Network of Primary Registers. © Amber L Abrams et al. Source

Zani B.,South African Cochrane Center
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2014

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. This review aims to assist the decision-making of malaria control programmes by providing an overview of the relative effects of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-P) versus other recommended ACTs. To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of DHA-P compared to other ACTs for treating uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in adults and children. We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) published in The Cochrane Library; MEDLINE; EMBASE; LILACS, and the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) up to July 2013. Randomized controlled trials comparing a three-day course of DHA-P to a three-day course of an alternative WHO recommended ACT in uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. Two authors independently assessed trials for eligibility and risk of bias, and extracted data. We analysed primary outcomes in line with the WHO 'Protocol for assessing and monitoring antimalarial drug efficacy' and compared drugs using risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Secondary outcomes were effects on gametocytes, haemoglobin, and adverse events. We assessed the quality of evidence using the GRADE approach. We included 27 trials, enrolling 16,382 adults and children, and conducted between 2002 and 2010. Most trials excluded infants aged less than six months and pregnant women. DHA-P versus artemether-lumefantrineIn Africa, over 28 days follow-up, DHA-P is superior to artemether-lumefantrine at preventing further parasitaemia (PCR-unadjusted treatment failure: RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.39, nine trials, 6200 participants, high quality evidence), and although PCR-adjusted treatment failure was below 5% for both ACTs, it was consistently lower with DHA-P (PCR-adjusted treatment failure: RR 0.42, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.62, nine trials, 5417 participants, high quality evidence). DHA-P has a longer prophylactic effect on new infections which may last for up to 63 days (PCR-unadjusted treatment failure: RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.78, two trials, 3200 participants, high quality evidence).In Asia and Oceania, no differences have been shown at day 28 (four trials, 1143 participants, moderate quality evidence), or day 63 (one trial, 323 participants, low quality evidence).Compared to artemether-lumefantrine, no difference was seen in prolonged QTc (low quality evidence), and no cardiac arrhythmias were reported. The frequency of other adverse events is probably similar with both combinations (moderate quality evidence). DHA-P versus artesunate plus mefloquineIn Asia, over 28 days follow-up, DHA-P is as effective as artesunate plus mefloquine at preventing further parasitaemia (PCR-unadjusted treatment failure: eight trials, 3487 participants, high quality evidence). Once adjusted by PCR to exclude new infections, treatment failure at day 28 was below 5% for both ACTs in all eight trials, but lower with DHA-P in two trials (PCR-adjusted treatment failure: RR 0.41 95% CI 0.21 to 0.80, eight trials, 3482 participants, high quality evidence). Both combinations contain partner drugs with very long half-lives and no consistent benefit in preventing new infections has been seen over 63 days follow-up (PCR-unadjusted treatment failure: five trials, 2715 participants, moderate quality evidence).In the only trial from South America, there were fewer recurrent parastaemias over 63 days with artesunate plus mefloquine (PCR-unadjusted treatment failure: RR 6.19, 95% CI 1.40 to 27.35, one trial, 445 participants, low quality evidence), but no differences were seen once adjusted for new infections (PCR-adjusted treatment failure: one trial, 435 participants, low quality evidence).DHA-P is associated with less nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleeplessness, and palpitations compared to artesunate plus mefloquine (moderate quality evidence). DHA-P was associated with more frequent prolongation of the QTc interval (low quality evidence), but no cardiac arrhythmias were reported. In Africa, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine reduces overall treatment failure compared to artemether-lumefantrine, although both drugs have PCR-adjusted failure rates of less than 5%. In Asia, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine is as effective as artesunate plus mefloquine, and is better tolerated. Source

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