Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Research Publications

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    The Clinicopathologic Challenge of Nonneoplastic Vulvar Acanthosis.
    Day, T ; Scurry, J ; Haqshenas, G ; Murray, G ; Tran, H ; Dennerstein, G ; Garland, SM (Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2022-07-01)
    OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to evaluate clinicopathologic features of cases demonstrating an acanthotic tissue reaction not clearly consistent with psoriasis, lichen simplex chronicus, mycosis, or condyloma. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective pathologic case series of biopsies reported as "benign acanthotic lesion" and "acanthotic tissue reaction" that lacked a clear diagnosis on expert review. Cases with nuclear atypia were excluded. Clinical and histopathologic data were collected, immunohistochemistry for p16 and p53 were obtained, and molecular testing for 28 common anogenital human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes was undertaken. RESULTS: There were 17 cases with a median age of 47 years. Unilaterality and medial location were clinical reasons for diagnostic difficulty. Histopathologic uncertainty often related to lack of papillary dermal fibrosis to support lichen simplex chronicus or psoriasiform lesions without parakeratosis, subcorneal pustules, and/or mycotic elements. Firm pathologic diagnoses were not possible, but 3 groups emerged: favoring chronic dermatitis, favoring psoriasis, and unusual morphologies. p16 results were negative or nonblock positive while p53 was normal or basal overexpressed. Human papillomavirus testing was negative in 12, low positive for HPV 16 in 1, unassessable in 3, and not requested in 1. CONCLUSIONS: There is a group of acanthotic tissue reactions that cannot be classified with standard histopathologic assessment. Further clinicopathologic research into unilateral acanthotic lesions may provide insight into separation of psoriasis and mycosis when organisms are absent. Once nuclear atypia is excluded, immunohistochemistry for p16 and p53 and HPV molecular testing do not assist in diagnostic identification.
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    Prevalence and Determinants of Vaginal Infection With Human Papillomavirus Among Female University Students in Vietnam
    Van Trang, N ; Prem, K ; Toh, ZQ ; Ha, BTV ; Lan, PTN ; Tran, HP ; Pham, QD ; Van Khuu, N ; Jit, M ; Luu, DT ; Ly, LTK ; Van, C ; Le-Ha, T-D ; Bright, K ; Garland, SM ; Anh, DD ; Mulholland, K (INT INST ANTICANCER RESEARCH, 2022-01-01)
    BACKGROUND/AIM: Cervical cancer is the second most common malignancy among women in Vietnam, but the country is yet to introduce a national human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme targeted at adolescents. We determined HPV prevalence and HPV vaccine knowledge among female university students in Vietnam. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We surveyed and screened 1,491 female university students in Hanoi, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City for their sexual behaviours, HPV knowledge and low- and high-risk HPV infection. RESULTS: The prevalence of any HPV infection and any high-risk HPV infection were 4.2% (95%CI=3.3%-5.4%) and 3.4% (95%CI=2.5%-4.4%), respectively. Being sexually active [adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR): 6.22; 95%CI=3.4-11.37] and having ever been pregnant (aPR: 4.82; 95%CI=1.93-12.04) were positively associated with high-risk HPV infection. Whilst 60% of participants had heard of HPV vaccine, only 4.6% had received the vaccine. CONCLUSION: The low HPV prevalence found in university students in Vietnam indicates that they can benefit from HPV vaccination, along with a well-designed HPV health promotion programme.
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    Evaluation of ResistancePlus MG FleXible, a 'near- patient' test for the detection of Mycoplasma genitalium and macrolide resistance mutations, using freshly collected clinical samples
    Murray, GL ; Doyle, M ; Bodiyabadu, K ; Vodstrcil, LA ; Garland, SM ; Danielewski, J ; Machalek, DA ; McGuinness, C ; Plummer, EL ; De Petra, V ; Williamson, DA ; Bradshaw, CS (MICROBIOLOGY SOC, 2021-01-01)
    Introduction. Mycoplasma genitalium is a sexually transmitted pathogen with increasing resistance to first- and second-line antimicrobials. The 'near-patient test' ResistancePlus MG FleXible (SpeeDx) detects M. genitalium plus four macrolide resistance mutations (MRMs), facilitating same-day patient follow up.Hypothesis/Gap Statement. This assay has not been assessed on freshly collected samples.Aim. Our goal was to evaluate the performance of the ResistancePlus MG FleXible test against the standard of care open platform test.Methods. ResistancePlus MG FleXible (analysed on the Cepheid GeneXpert platform) was evaluated on freshly collected samples and compared to the standard of care open platform test ResistancePlus MG (SpeeDx) analysed on the LightCycler 480 II (Roche).Results. For 270 valid tests, ResistancePlus MG FleXible yielded a high positive per cent agreement (PPA) of 94.1% [96/102; 95 % confidence interval (CI): 87.6-97.8 %] and negative per cent agreement (NPA) of 95.2% (160/168; 95 % CI: 90.8-97.9%) for M. genitalium detection compared to the reference assay (kappa for test concordance of 0.89; 95 % CI: 0.83-0.95). Performance was similar across different sample types. For the detection of MRMs, ResistancePlus MG FleXible had a PPA of 97.1% (66/68; 95% CI: 89.8-99.6) and NPA of 78.6% (22/28; 95 % CI: 59.0-91.7), with test comparison kappa of 0.79 (95 % CI: 0.65-0.93). Notably, of six discordant results (i.e. determined to be wild type by the reference assay), five were positive for MRMs by Sanger sequencing, indicating that the ResistancePlus MG FleXible assay has an improved performance for mutation detection.Conclusion. ResistancePlus MG FleXible had comparable test performance for M. genitalium detection as the open platform assay, with improved detection of MRMs. The ResistancePlus MG FleXible 'near-patient' assay can deliver a rapid result to expedite appropriate treatment.
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    Self-reported anal symptoms and their association with anal pathology among gay and bisexual men: a cross-sectional observational analysis
    Goddard, SL ; Poynten, IM ; Petoumenos, K ; Jin, F ; Hillman, RJ ; Law, C ; Roberts, JM ; Fairley, CK ; Garland, SM ; Grulich, AE ; Templeton, DJ (CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2021-03-12)
    Background Anal symptoms may indicate serious pathology. Receptive anal intercourse (RAI) and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) may contribute to a higher prevalence of symptoms among gay and bisexual men (GBM). This study investigated associations with anal symptoms among GBM. METHODS: The Study of the Prevention of Anal Cancer was a longitudinal study of anal human papillomavirus and related lesions in Sydney, Australia. GBM aged ≥35 years were recruited from community settings between September 2010 and August 2015. Information about anal symptoms (discharge, itch, pain defecating, lump, bleeding, 'sores', tearing, tenesmus), STIs and sexual behaviours was collected. High-resolution anoscopy (HRA) and STI testing were performed. Logistic regression analyses on baseline data were performed to assess associations with each symptom. RESULTS: Among 616 participants (median age 49 years, 35.9% HIV positive), 35.3% reported at least one anal symptom within the past week and 65.3% were diagnosed with fistula, fissure, ulcer, warts, haemorrhoids and/or perianal dermatoses at HRA. Anal symptoms were not associated with anal chlamydia, gonorrhoea, warts or syphilis. Self-reported 'sores' were associated with previous anal herpes simplex virus (HSV; P < 0.001). 'Sores' (P < 0.001), itch (P = 0.019), discharge (P = 0.032) and lump (P = 0.028) were independently associated with ulceration. Among participants diagnosed with fissure, fistulae, haemorrhoids and perianal dermatoses, 61.9%, 100%, 62.0% and 63.9% respectively were asymptomatic. Only self-reported anal tear was independently associated with recent RAI. CONCLUSIONS: Previous anal HSV was the only STI associated with any symptom. Anal pathology was highly prevalent, but often asymptomatic. Anal symptoms do not appear to be useful markers of most anal pathology in GBM.
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    Accuracy of Self-reported Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Status Among Gay and Bisexual Adolescent Males: Cross-sectional Study
    Chow, EPF ; Fairley, CK ; Wigan, R ; Hocking, JS ; Garland, SM ; Cornall, AM ; Tabrizi, SN ; Chen, MY (JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2021-12-01)
    BACKGROUND: Men who have sex with men are a risk group for anal human papillomavirus (HPV) and anal cancer. Australia introduced a universal school-based HPV vaccination program in 2013. Self-reported HPV vaccination status has been widely used in clinical and research settings, but its accuracy is understudied. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine the accuracy of self-reported HPV vaccination status among gay and bisexual adolescent males. METHODS: We included 192 gay and bisexual males aged 16-20 years from the Human Papillomavirus in Young People Epidemiological Research 2 (HYPER2) study in Melbourne, Australia. All participants had been eligible for the universal school-based HPV vaccination program implemented in 2013 and were asked to self-report their HPV vaccination status. Written informed consent was obtained to verify their HPV vaccination status using records at the National HPV Vaccination Program Register and the Australian Immunisation Register. We calculated the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of self-reported HPV vaccination status. RESULTS: The median age of the 192 males was 19 (IQR 18-20) years. There were 128 males (67%) who had HPV vaccination records documented on either registry. Self-reported HPV vaccination had a sensitivity of 47.7% (95% CI 38.8%-56.7%; 61/128), a specificity of 85.9% (95% CI 75.0%-93.4%; 55/64), a positive predictive value of 87.1% (95% CI 77.0%-93.9%; 61/70), and a negative predictive value of 45.1% (95% CI 36.1%-54.3%; 55/122). CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported HPV vaccination status among Australian gay and bisexual adolescent males underestimates actual vaccination and may be inaccurate for clinical and research purposes.
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    Random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis reveals no clear link between Staphylococcus epidermidis and acute mastitis
    Cullinane, M ; Scofield, L ; Murray, GL ; Payne, MS ; Bennett, CM ; Garland, SM ; Amir, LH (WILEY, 2022-03-01)
    Mastitis is commonly experienced by breastfeeding women. While Staphylococcus aureus is usually implicated in infectious mastitis, coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) are a possible alternative pathogen. This case-control study examined the role of CoNS in mastitis using isolates cultured from breast milk of 20 women with mastitis and 16 women without mastitis. Gene sequencing determined bacterial species, and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis investigated strain-level variation. The majority of CoNS isolates were Staphylococcus epidermidis (182/199; 91%). RAPD analysis identified 33 unique S. epidermidis profiles, with no specific profile associated with mastitis cases.
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    Gene methylation of CADM1 and MAL identified as a biomarker of high grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia
    Phillips, S ; Cassells, K ; Garland, SM ; Machalek, DA ; Roberts, JM ; Templeton, DJ ; Jin, F ; Poynten, IM ; Hillman, RJ ; Grulich, AE ; Murray, GL ; Tabrizi, SN ; Molano, M ; Cornall, AM (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2022-03-03)
    Human papillomavirus (HPV) is detected in up to 96% of anal squamous cell cancers, where screening programs needed. However, the best methodology is still undetermined. Host DNA methylation markers CADM1, MAL and miR124 have been identified in cervical disease, but not anal disease. Anal swabs varying by disease grade were assessed for DNA methylation of CADM1, MAL and miR124-2. Each marker was compared across disease grades, stratified by HPV and HIV status. Receiver operating characteristic curves identified the predictive value of significant gene candidates. CADM1 methylation was significantly higher in high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) compared with low-grade (LSIL) (p = 0.005) or normal (p < 0.001) samples with 67.2% correctly identified as HSIL. MAL methylation was significantly (p = 0.002) increased in HSIL compared with LSIL in HIV positive participants with 79.8% correctly indicated as HSIL. Gene miR124-2, showed no difference between disease grades. Biomarkers with established diagnostic value in cervical disease have limited utility in the prediction of anal disease, with CADM1 identified as a marker with screening potential in a gay and bisexual men (GBM) population and MAL in HIV positive GBM population. New markers specific to the anal mucosa are required to improve triage of high-risk individuals.
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    Effect of a School-Based Educational Intervention About the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine on Psychosocial Outcomes Among Adolescents Analysis of Secondary Outcomes of a Cluster Randomized Trial
    Davies, C ; Marshall, HS ; Zimet, G ; McCaffery, K ; Brotherton, JML ; Kang, M ; Garland, S ; Kaldor, J ; McGeechan, K ; Skinner, SR (AMER MEDICAL ASSOC, 2021-11-02)
    Importance: Delivery of vaccination to adolescents via a school-based program provides an opportunity to promote their involvement in health decision-making, service provision, and self-efficacy (belief in one's ability to perform a certain behavior). Objective: To examine the effect of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination education and logistical intervention on adolescent psychosocial outcomes. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this cluster randomized trial and process and qualitative evaluation, adolescents aged 12 to 13 years (first year of high school) were recruited at high schools in Western Australia (WA) and South Australia (SA) in 2013 and 2014. Statistical analysis was performed from January 2016 to December 2020. Interventions: The complex intervention consisted of an adolescent intervention to promote knowledge and psychosocial outcomes, shared decisional support tool, and logistical strategies. Main Outcomes and Measures: Prespecified secondary outcomes were assessed. The HPV Adolescent Vaccination Intervention Questionnaire (HAVIQ) was used to measure changes in adolescent knowledge (6-item subscale), fear and anxiety (6-item subscale), self-efficacy (5-item subscale), and decision-making (8-item subscale). The hypothesis was that the intervention would improve adolescent involvement in vaccine decision-making (measured before dose 1 only), improve vaccine-related self-efficacy, and reduce vaccine-related fear and anxiety (measured before doses 1, 2, and 3). Mean (SD) scores for each subscale were compared between intervention and control students. In the process evaluation, focus groups were conducted. Analyses of the HAVIQ data were conducted from 2016 to 2020. Qualitative analyses of the focus groups were undertaken from 2017 to 2020. Results: The trial included 40 schools (21 intervention and 19 control) across sectors with 6967 adolescents (mean [SD] age, 13.70 [0.45] years). There were 3805 students (1689 girls and 2116 boys) in the intervention group and 3162 students (1471 girls and 1691 boys) in the control group. The overall response rate for the HAVIQ was 55%. In WA, where parental consent was required, the response rate was 35% (1676 of 4751 students); in SA, where parental consent was not required, it was 97% (2166 of 2216 students). The mean (SD) score for decision-making in the intervention group before dose 1 was 3.50 (0.42) of 5 points and 3.40 (0.40) in the control group, a small but significant difference of 0.11 point (95% CI, 0.06 to 0.16 point; P < .001). There was a small difference in favor of the intervention group in reduced vaccination-related anxiety (pre-dose 1 difference, -0.11 point [95% CI, -0.19 to -0.02 point]; pre-dose 2 difference, -0.18 point [95% CI, -0.26 to -0.10 point]; pre-dose 3 difference, -0.18 [95% CI, -0.24 to -0.11]) and increased vaccination self-efficacy (pre-dose 1 difference, 4.0 points; [95% CI, 1.0 to 7.0 points]; pre-dose 2 difference, 4.0 points [95% CI, 2.0 to 6.0 points]; pre-dose 3 difference, 3.0 points [95% CI, 1.0 to 5.0 points]). Focus group data from 111 adolescents in 6 intervention and 5 control schools revealed more confidence and less anxiety with each vaccine dose. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cluster randomized trial, there was a small difference in adolescent decisional involvement and vaccine-related confidence and reduced vaccination-related fear and anxiety that was maintained throughout the vaccine course in the intervention vs control groups. Guidelines for vaccination at school should incorporate advice regarding how this outcome can be achieved. Trial Registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12614000404628.
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    The Effect of Exogenous Sex Steroids on the Vaginal Microbiota: A Systematic Review
    Ratten, LK ; Plummer, EL ; Bradshaw, CS ; Fairley, CK ; Murray, GL ; Garland, SM ; Bateson, D ; Tachedjian, G ; Masson, L ; Vodstrcil, LA (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-11-12)
    Background: Exogenous sex steroids within hormonal contraception and menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) have been used for family planning and management of menopausal symptoms, without consideration of their effects on the vaginal microbiota. This is largely because their use predates our understanding of the importance of the vaginal microbiome on human health. We conducted a systematic review (PROSPERO: CRD42018107730) to determine the influence of exogenous sex steroids, stratified by oestrogen-containing or progestin-only types of contraception, and MHT on the vaginal microbiome, as measured by molecular methods. Methods: Embase, PubMed and Medline were searched for relevant literature published through to December 1st 2020. Eligible studies reported on the effect of specific exogenous sex steroids on the vaginal microbiome using a molecular method. Data regarding the 'positive', 'negative' or 'neutral' effect of each type of contraceptive or MHT on the vaginal microbiome was extracted and summarised. A positive effect reflected sex steroid exposure that was associated with increased abundance of lactobacilli, a change to, or maintenance of, an optimal vaginal microbiota composition, or a decrease in bacterial diversity (specifically reflecting a low-diversity optimal microbiota state), relative to the control group. An exogenous sex steroid was designated as having a negative effect on the vaginal microbiome if it resulted in opposing effects (i.e. loss of lactobacilli, a non-optimal microbiota state). When no significant change was found, this was considered neutral/inconclusive. Results: We identified 29 manuscripts reporting on the effect of exogenous sex steroids on the vaginal microbiome; 25 investigating hormonal contraceptives, and 4 investigating MHT. Oestrogen-containing contraception, particularly reflecting the combined oestrogen and progestin-containing contraceptive pill, had a positive effect on the composition of the vaginal microbiota. Progestin-only contraception, particularly reflecting depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate, had mixed effects on the microbiota. Among post-menopausal women using MHT, exogenous oestrogen applied topically was associated with increased prevalence of lactobacilli. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that oestrogen-containing compounds may promote an optimal vaginal microbiota, which could have clinical applications. The impact of progestin-only contraceptives on the vaginal microbiota is less clear; more data is needed to determine how progestin-only contraceptives contribute to adverse reproductive and sexual health outcomes.
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    The effect of probiotic supplementation on the gut microbiota of preterm infants.
    Plummer, EL ; Danielewski, JA ; Garland, SM ; Su, J ; Jacobs, SE ; Murray, GL (Microbiology Society, 2021-08)
    Introduction. Probiotic supplementation of preterm infants may prevent serious morbidities associated with prematurity.Aim. To investigate the impact of probiotic supplementation on the gut microbiota and determine factors associated with detection of probiotic species in the infant gut.Hypothesis/Gap Statement. Probiotic supplementation increases the long-term colonization of probiotic species in the gut of preterm infants.Methodology. Longitudinal stool samples were collected from a cohort of very preterm infants participating in a blinded randomized controlled trial investigating the impact of probiotic supplementation (containing Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis BB-02, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 and Streptococcus thermophilus TH-4) for prevention of late-onset sepsis. The presence of B. longum subsp. infantis, B. animalis subsp. lactis and S. thermophilus was determined for up to 23 months after supplementation ended using real-time PCR. Logistic regression was used to investigate the impact of probiotic supplementation on the presence of each species.Results. Detection of B. longum subsp. infantis [odds ratio (OR): 53.1; 95 % confidence interval (CI): 35.6-79.1; P < 0.001], B. animalis subsp. lactis (OR: 89.1; 95 % CI: 59.0-134.5; P < 0.001) and S. thermophilus (OR: 5.66; 95 % CI: 4.35-7.37; P < 0.001) was increased during the supplementation period in infants receiving probiotic supplementation. Post-supplementation, probiotic-supplemented infants had increased detection of B. longum subsp. infantis (OR: 2.53; 95 % CI: 1.64-3.90; P < 0.001) and B. animalis subsp. lactis (OR: 1.59; 95 % CI: 1.05-2.41; P=0.030). Commencing probiotic supplementation before 5 days from birth was associated with increased detection of the probiotic species over the study period (B. longum subsp. infantis, OR: 1.20; B. animalis subsp. lactis, OR: 1.28; S. thermophilus, OR: 1.45).Conclusion. Probiotic supplementation with B. longum subsp. infantis BB-02, B. animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 and S. thermophilus TH-4 enhances the presence of probiotic species in the gut microbiota of very preterm infants during and after supplementation. Commencing probiotic supplementation shortly after birth may be important for improving the long-term colonization of probiotic species.