Paediatrics (RCH) - Research Publications

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    Performance of Xpert MTB/RIF and Mycobacterial Culture on Multiple Specimen Types for Diagnosis of Tuberculosis Disease in Young Children and Clinical Characterization According to Standardized Research Case Definitions.
    Click, ES ; Song, R ; Smith, JP ; Mchembere, W ; Fajans, M ; Hariri, P ; Okeyo, E ; McCarthy, KD ; Gethi, D ; Odeny, L ; Musau, S ; Okumu, A ; Orwa, J ; Perez-Velez, CM ; Wright, CA ; Andres, M ; Marais, BJ ; Schaaf, HS ; Graham, SM ; Cruz, AT ; Cain, KP (Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2022-08-01)
    BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of illness and death in children globally. Improved bacteriologic and clinical diagnostic approaches in children are urgently needed. METHODS: In a prospective cohort study, a consecutive series of young (<5 years) children presenting with symptoms suggestive of TB and parenchymal abnormality on chest radiograph in inpatient and outpatient settings in Kisumu County, Kenya from October 2013 to August 2015 were evaluated at baseline and over 6 months. Up to 14 specimens per child were tested for the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex by fluorescence microscopy, Xpert MTB/RIF and mycobacterial culture. Using detailed clinical characterization, cases were retrospectively classified according to standardized research case definitions and the sensitivity and specificity of microbiological tests on different specimen types were determined. RESULTS: Among 300 young children enrolled, 266 had sufficient information to be classified according to the research clinical case definition. Of these, 36% (96/266) had TB disease; 32% (31/96) with bacteriologically confirmed intrathoracic TB. Compared to culture, the sensitivity of a single Xpert test ranged from 60 to 67% and specificity from 97.5 to 100% for different specimen types. CONCLUSIONS: Despite extensive specimen collection and laboratory testing, TB could not be bacteriologically confirmed in almost two-thirds of children with intrathoracic TB classified by research clinical case definitions. Improved diagnostic tests are needed to identify children with TB and to exclude other potential causes of illness.
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    Childhood pneumonia in humanitarian emergencies in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic scoping review
    Chen, SJ ; Walker, PJB ; Mulholland, K ; Graham, HR (INT SOC GLOBAL HEALTH, 2022-01-01)
    Background: Humanitarian emergencies increase many risk factors for pneumonia, including disruption to food, water and sanitation, and basic health services. This review describes pneumonia morbidity and mortality among children and adolescents affected by humanitarian emergencies. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed databases for publications reporting pneumonia morbidity or mortality among children aged 1 month to 17 years in humanitarian emergencies (eg, natural disaster, armed conflict, displacement) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Results: We included 22 papers published between January 2000 and July 2021 from 33 countries, involving refugee/displaced persons camps (n = 5), other conflict settings (n = 14), and natural disaster (n = 3). Population pneumonia incidence was high for children under 5 years of age (73 to 146 episodes per 100 patient-years); 6%-29% met World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for severe pneumonia requiring admission. Pneumonia accounted for 13%-34% of child and adolescent presentations to camp health facilities, 7%-48% of presentations and admissions to health facilities in other conflict settings, and 12%-22% of admissions to hospitals following natural disasters. Pneumonia related deaths accounted for 7%-30% of child and adolescent deaths in hospital, though case-fatality rates varied greatly (0.5%-17.2%). The risk for pneumonia was greater for children who are: recently displaced, living in crowded settings (particularly large camps), with deficient water and sanitation facilities, and those who are malnourished. Conclusion: Pneumonia is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children and adolescents affected by humanitarian emergencies. Future research should address population-based pneumonia burden, particularly for older children and adolescents, and describe contextual factors to allow for more meaningful interpretation and guide interventions.
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    Evolution and spread of a highly drug resistant strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea.
    Bainomugisa, A ; Lavu, E ; Pandey, S ; Majumdar, S ; Banamu, J ; Coulter, C ; Marais, B ; Coin, L ; Graham, SM ; du Cros, P (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-05-06)
    BACKGROUND: Molecular mechanisms determining the transmission and prevalence of drug resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are poorly understood. We used genomic and drug susceptibility data to explore the evolutionary history, temporal acquisition of resistance and transmission dynamics of DR-TB across PNG. METHODS: We performed whole genome sequencing on isolates from Central Public Health Laboratory, PNG, collected 2017-2019. Data analysis was done on a composite dataset that also included 100 genomes previously sequenced from Daru, PNG (2012-2015). RESULTS: Sampled isolates represented 14 of the 22 PNG provinces, the majority (66/94; 70%) came from the National Capital District (NCD). In the composite dataset, 91% of strains were Beijing 2.2.1.1, identified in 13 provinces. Phylogenetic tree of Beijing strains revealed two clades, Daru dominant clade (A) and NCD dominant clade (B). Multi-drug resistance (MDR) was repeatedly and independently acquired, with the first MDR cases in both clades noted to have emerged in the early 1990s, while fluoroquinolone resistance emerged in 2009 (95% highest posterior density 2000-2016). We identified the presence of a frameshift mutation within Rv0678 (p.Asp47fs) which has been suggested to confer resistance to bedaquiline, despite no known exposure to the drug. Overall genomic clustering was significantly associated with rpoC compensatory and inhA promoter mutations (p < 0.001), with high percentage of most genomic clusters (12/14) identified in NCD, reflecting its role as a potential national amplifier. CONCLUSIONS: The acquisition and evolution of drug resistance among the major clades of Beijing strain threaten the success of DR-TB treatment in PNG. With continued transmission of this strain in PNG, genotypic drug resistance surveillance using whole genome sequencing is essential for improved public health response to outbreaks. With occurrence of resistance to newer drugs such as bedaquiline, knowledge of full drug resistance profiles will be important for optimal treatment selection.
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    Quality of care for children with acute respiratory infections in health facilities: A comparative analysis of assessment tools
    Quach, A ; Tosif, S ; Graham, SM ; von Mollendorf, C ; Mulholland, K ; Graham, H ; Duke, T ; Russell, FM (INT SOC GLOBAL HEALTH, 2022-01-01)
    Background: Severe childhood pneumonia requires treatment in hospital by trained health care workers. It is therefore important to determine if health facilities provide quality health services for children with acute respiratory infections (ARI), including pneumonia. Using established indicators from WHO to measure quality of care (QoC) as a reference standard, this review aims to evaluate how well existing tools assess QoC for children presenting to health facilities with ARI. Methods: Existing assessment tools identified from a published systematic literature review that evaluated QoC assessment tools for children (<15 years) in health facilities for all health conditions were included in this ARI-specific review. 27 ARI-specific indicators or "quality measures" from the WHO "Standards for improving quality of care for children and young adolescents in health facilities" were selected for use as a reference standard to assess QoC for children presenting to health facilities with ARI symptoms. Each included assessment tool was evaluated independently by two paediatricians to determine how many of the WHO ARI quality measures were assessable by the tool. The assessment tools were then ranked in order of percentage of ARI quality measures assessable. Results: Nine assessment tools that assessed QoC for children attending health facilities were included. Two hospital care tools developed by WHO had the most consistency with ARI-specific indicators, assessing 22/27 (81.5%) and 20/27 (74.1%) of the quality measures. The remaining tools were less consistent with the ARI-specific indicators, including between zero to 16 of the 27 quality measures. The most common indicators absent from the tools were assessment of appropriate use of pulse oximetry and administration of oxygen, how often oxygen supply was unavailable, and mortality rates. Conclusions: The existing WHO hospital-based QoC assessment tools are comprehensive but could be enhanced by improved data quality around oxygen availability and appropriate use of pulse oximetry and oxygen administration. Any tools, however, should be considered within broader assessments of QoC, rather than utilised in isolation. Further adaptation to local settings will improve feasibility and facilitate progress in the delivery of quality health care for children with ARI. Registration: The protocol of the original systematic review was registered in PROSPERO ID: CRD42020175652.
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    Preventive therapy in children exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis: problems and solutions
    Rutherford, ME ; Hill, PC ; Triasih, R ; Sinfield, R ; van Crevel, R ; Graham, SM (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2012-10-01)
    Young children living with a tuberculosis patient are at high risk of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and disease. WHO guidelines promote active screening and isoniazid (INH) preventive therapy (PT) for such children under 5 years, yet this well-established intervention is seldom used in endemic countries. We review the literature regarding barriers to implementation of PT and find that they are multifactorial, including difficulties in screening, poor adherence, fear of increasing INH resistance and poor acceptability among primary caregivers and healthcare workers. These barriers are largely resolvable, and proposed solutions such as the adoption of symptom-based screening and shorter drug regimens are discussed. Integrated multicomponent and site-specific solutions need to be developed and evaluated within a public health framework to overcome the policy-practice gap and provide functional PT programmes for children in endemic settings.
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    Importance of tuberculosis control to address child survival
    Graham, SM ; Sismanidis, C ; Menzies, HJ ; Marais, BJ ; Detjen, AK ; Black, RE (ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2014-05-03)
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    A Prospective Evaluation of the Symptom-Based Screening Approach to the Management of Children Who Are Contacts of Tuberculosis Cases
    Triasih, R ; Robertson, CF ; Duke, T ; Graham, SM (OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2015-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Child tuberculosis contact screening and management can enhance case finding and prevent tuberculosis disease. It is universally recommended but rarely implemented in tuberculosis-endemic settings. The World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended symptom-based screening approach could improve implementation but has not been prospectively evaluated. METHODS: We conducted a cohort study of children who were close contacts of pulmonary tuberculosis patients in Indonesia from August 2010 to December 2012. We performed clinical assessment, tuberculin skin test, and chest radiography in all eligible children irrespective of symptoms at baseline. Mycobacterial culture and Xpert MTB/RIF assay were performed on sputum from children with persistent symptoms of suspected tuberculosis. Children were managed according to WHO guidelines and were prospectively followed for 12 months. RESULTS: A total of 269 child contacts of 140 index cases were evaluated. At baseline, 21 (8%) children had tuberculosis diagnosed clinically; an additional 102 (38%) had evidence of infection without disease. Of children with any tuberculosis-related symptoms at baseline, 21% had tuberculosis diagnosed compared with none of the asymptomatic children (P < .001). After 12 months of follow-up, none of the 99 eligible young child contacts (<5 years) who received isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) had developed disease compared with 4 of 149 (2.6%) asymptomatic older children who did not receive IPT. CONCLUSIONS: Symptom-based screening is an effective and simple approach to child tuberculosis contact management that can be implemented at the primary healthcare level.
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    Tuberculosis as a cause or comorbidity of childhood pneumonia in tuberculosis-endemic areas: a systematic review
    Oliwa, JN ; Karumbi, JM ; Marais, BJ ; Madhi, SA ; Graham, SM (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2015-03-01)
    Pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in infants and children worldwide, with most cases occurring in tuberculosis-endemic settings. Studies have emphasised the potential importance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in acute severe pneumonia in children as a primary cause or underlying comorbidity, further emphasised by the changing aetiological range with rollout of bacterial conjugate vaccines in high mortality settings. We systematically reviewed clinical and autopsy studies done in tuberculosis-endemic settings that enrolled at least 100 children aged younger than 5 years with severe pneumonia, and that prospectively included a diagnostic approach to tuberculosis in all study participants. We noted substantial heterogeneity between studies in terms of study population and diagnostic methods. Of the 3644 patients who had culture of respiratory specimens for M tuberculosis undertaken, 275 (7·5%) were culture positive, and an acute presentation was common. Inpatient case-fatality rate for pneumonia associated with tuberculosis ranged from 4% to 21% in the four clinical studies that reported pathogen-related outcomes. Prospective studies are needed in high tuberculosis-burden settings to address whether tuberculosis is a cause or comorbidity of childhood acute severe pneumonia.