Doherty Institute - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 398
Multi-site assessment of rapid, point-of-care antigen testing for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a low-prevalence setting: A validation and implementation study.
(Elsevier BV, 2021-04)
Background: In Australia, COVID-19 diagnosis relies on RT-PCR testing which is relatively costly and time-consuming. To date, few studies have assessed the performance and implementation of rapid antigen-based SARS-CoV-2 testing in a setting with a low prevalence of COVID-19 infections, such as Australia. Methods: This study recruited participants presenting for COVID-19 testing at three Melbourne metropolitan hospitals during a period of low COVID-19 prevalence. The Abbott PanBioTM COVID-19 Ag point-of-care test was performed alongside RT-PCR. In addition, participants with COVID-19 notified to the Victorian Government were invited to provide additional swabs to aid validation. Implementation challenges were also documented. Findings: The specificity of the Abbott PanBioTM COVID-19 Ag test was 99.96% (95% CI 99.73 - 100%). Sensitivity amongst participants with RT-PCR-confirmed infection was dependent upon the duration of symptoms reported, ranging from 77.3% (duration 1 to 33 days) to 100% in those within seven days of symptom onset. A range of implementation challenges were identified which may inform future COVID-19 testing strategies in a low prevalence setting. Interpretation: Given the high specificity, antigen-based tests may be most useful in rapidly triaging public health and hospital resources while expediting confirmatory RT-PCR testing. Considering the limitations in test sensitivity and the potential for rapid transmission in susceptible populations, particularly in hospital settings, careful consideration is required for implementation of antigen testing in a low prevalence setting. Funding: This work was funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. The funder was not involved in data analysis or manuscript preparation.
Effect of aspirin on deaths associated with sepsis in healthy older people (ANTISEPSIS): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled primary prevention trial
(ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2021-02-01)
BACKGROUND: Sepsis is a serious global health issue and a major cause of death and disability. The availability of a simple, community-based preventive strategy could substantially reduce the burden of sepsis. We aimed to establish whether low-dose aspirin reduced deaths or hospital admissions associated with sepsis in older people. METHODS: ANTISEPSIS was a substudy of ASPREE (a randomised controlled primary prevention trial of low-dose aspirin [100 mg per day] compared with placebo in community dwelling older adults conducted in Australia and the USA), with the Australian cohort included in the ANTISEPSIS substudy. Inclusion criteria were participants aged at least 70 years who did not have major illnesses. Participants were block randomised (1:1) via a centralised web portal and stratified by general practice and age. Participants, investigators, and staff were masked to the intervention. Teams of clinical specialist investigators assessed potential sepsis events to establish if they satisfied the primary endpoint of death associated with sepsis. The analyses were by intention-to-treat with univariate survival analysis methods, the log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazards regression. This study is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12613000349741. RESULTS: Between March 10, 2010, and Dec 24, 2014, of 20 288 individuals assessed for eligibility, 16 703 participants aged 70 years and older at trial entry were enrolled and followed up for a median of 4·6 years (IQR 3·6-5·6). 8322 (49·8%) participants were assigned to receive aspirin and 8381 (50·2%) to placebo. 203 deaths were considered to be associated with sepsis. Univariate analysis showed similar rates of death associated with sepsis in the two study groups (hazard ratio for aspirin vs placebo 1·08, 95% CI 0·82-1·43; p=0·57). Adverse events were previously reported in the ASPREE trial. INTERPRETATION: Daily low-dose aspirin treatment did not reduce deaths associated with sepsis in community dwelling older adults. Our findings do not support the use of aspirin as a primary prevention strategy to reduce the burden of sepsis in this population. FUNDING: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, National Institutes of Health, Monash University.
Buruli ulcer: a new case definition for Victoria
(AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT, DEPT HEALTH & AGEING, 2020-12-21)
Abstract: Laboratory-confirmed infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans is currently notifiable to health departments in several jurisdictions. Accurate surveillance is imperative to understanding current and emerging areas of endemicity and to facilitate research into a neglected tropical disease with poorly-understood transmission dynamics. The state of Victoria currently reports some of the highest numbers of M. ulcerans cases in the world each year, with 340 cases notified in 2018 (an incidence of 5.5 per 100,000 population). In May 2019, a group of clinical, laboratory and public health experts met to discuss a new case definition for the surveillance of M. ulcerans disease in Victoria, incorporating clinical and epidemiological elements. The new case definition supports important public health messaging and actions for residents and visitors to popular tourist areas in Victoria.
Multiply spliced HIV RNA is a predictive measure of virus production ex vivo and in vivo following reversal of HIV latency
BACKGROUND: One strategy being pursued to clear latently infected cells that persist in people living with HIV (PLWH) on antiretroviral therapy (ART) is to activate latent HIV infection with a latency reversing agent (LRA). Surrogate markers that accurately measure virus production following an LRA are needed. METHODS: We quantified cell-associated unspliced (US), multiply spliced (MS) and supernatant (SN) HIV RNA by qPCR from total and resting CD4+ T cells isolated from seven PLWH on ART before and after treatment ex vivo with different LRAs, including histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi). MS and plasma HIV RNA were also quantified from PLWH on ART (n-11) who received the HDACi panobinostat. FINDINGS: In total and resting CD4+ T cells from PLWH on ART, detection of US RNA was common while detection of MS RNA was infrequent. Primers used to detect MS RNA, in contrast to US RNA, bound sites of the viral genome that are commonly mutated or deleted in PLWH on ART. Following ex vivo stimulation with LRAs, we identified a strong correlation between the fold change increase in SN and MS RNA, but not the fold change increase in SN and US RNA. In PLWH on ART who received panobinostat, MS RNA was significantly higher in samples with detectable compared to non0detectable plasma HIV RNA. INTERPRETATION: Following administration of an LRA, quantification of MS RNA is more likely to reflect an increase in virion production and is therefore a better indicator of meaningful latency reversal. FUNDING: NHMRC, NIH DARE collaboratory.
A clinical trial of non-invasive imaging with an anti-HIV antibody labelled with copper-64 in people living with HIV and uninfected controls
BACKGROUND: A research priority in finding a cure for HIV is to establish methods to accurately locate and quantify where and how HIV persists in people living with HIV (PLWH) receiving suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). Infusing copper-64 (64Cu) radiolabelled broadly neutralising antibodies targeting HIV envelope (Env) with CT scan and positron emission tomography (PET) identified HIV Env in tissues in SIV infected non-human primates . We aimed to determine if a similar approach was effective in people living with HIV (PLWH). METHODS: Unmodified 3BNC117 was compared with 3BNC117 bound to the chelator MeCOSar and 64Cu (64Cu-3BNC117) in vitro to assess binding and neutralization. In a clinical trial 64Cu-3BNC117 was infused into HIV uninfected (Group 1), HIV infected and viremic (viral load, VL >1000 c/mL; Group 2) and HIV infected aviremic (VL <20 c/mL; Group 3) participants using two dosing strategies: high protein (3mg/kg unlabeled 3BNC117 combined with <5mg 64Cu-3BNC117) and trace (<5mg 64Cu-3BNC117 only). All participants were screened for 3BNC117 sensitivity from virus obtained from viral outgrowth. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/PET and pharmacokinetic assessments (ELISA for serum 3BNC117 concentrations and gamma counting for 64Cu) were performed 1, 24- and 48-hours post dosing. The trial (clincialtrials.gov NCT03063788) primary endpoint was comparison of PET standard uptake values (SUVs) in regions of interest (e.g lymph node groups and gastrointestinal tract). FINDINGS: Comparison of unmodified and modified 3BNC117 in vitro demonstrated no difference in HIV binding or neutralisation. 17 individuals were enrolled of which 12 were dosed including Group 1 (n=4, 2 high protein, 2 trace dose), Group 2 (n=6, 2 high protein, 4 trace) and Group 3 (n=2, trace only). HIV+ participants had a mean CD4 of 574 cells/microL and mean age 43 years. There were no drug related adverse effects and no differences in tissue uptake in regions of interest (e.g lymph node gut, pharynx) between the 3 groups. In the high protein dosing group, serum concentrations of 3BNC117 and gamma counts were highly correlated demonstrating that 64Cu-3BNC117 remained intact in vivo. INTERPRETATION: In PLWH on or off ART, the intervention of infusing 64Cu-3BNC117 and MRI/PET imaging over 48 hours, was unable to detect HIV-1 env expression in vivo. Future studies should investigate alternative radiolabels such as zirconium which have a longer half-life in vivo. FUNDING: Funded by the Alfred Foundation, The Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology Research with additional support from the Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, US National Institutes of Health (USAI126611). JHM and SRL are supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
Integrated immune dynamics define correlates of COVID-19 severity and antibody responses
SARS-CoV-2 causes a spectrum of COVID-19 disease, the immunological basis of which remains ill defined. We analyzed 85 SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals at acute and/or convalescent time points, up to 102 days after symptom onset, quantifying 184 immunological parameters. Acute COVID-19 presented with high levels of IL-6, IL-18, and IL-10 and broad activation marked by the upregulation of CD38 on innate and adaptive lymphocytes and myeloid cells. Importantly, activated CXCR3+cTFH1 cells in acute COVID-19 significantly correlate with and predict antibody levels and their avidity at convalescence as well as acute neutralization activity. Strikingly, intensive care unit (ICU) patients with severe COVID-19 display higher levels of soluble IL-6, IL-6R, and IL-18, and hyperactivation of innate, adaptive, and myeloid compartments than patients with moderate disease. Our analyses provide a comprehensive map of longitudinal immunological responses in COVID-19 patients and integrate key cellular pathways of complex immune networks underpinning severe COVID-19, providing important insights into potential biomarkers and immunotherapies.
Relationship between CD4 T cell turnover, cellular differentiation and HIV persistence during ART
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2021-01-01)
The precise role of CD4 T cell turnover in maintaining HIV persistence during antiretroviral therapy (ART) has not yet been well characterized. In resting CD4 T cell subpopulations from 24 HIV-infected ART-suppressed and 6 HIV-uninfected individuals, we directly measured cellular turnover by heavy water labeling, HIV reservoir size by integrated HIV-DNA (intDNA) and cell-associated HIV-RNA (caRNA), and HIV reservoir clonality by proviral integration site sequencing. Compared to HIV-negatives, ART-suppressed individuals had similar fractional replacement rates in all subpopulations, but lower absolute proliferation rates of all subpopulations other than effector memory (TEM) cells, and lower plasma IL-7 levels (p = 0.0004). Median CD4 T cell half-lives decreased with cell differentiation from naïve to TEM cells (3 years to 3 months, p<0.001). TEM had the fastest replacement rates, were most highly enriched for intDNA and caRNA, and contained the most clonal proviral expansion. Clonal proviruses detected in less mature subpopulations were more expanded in TEM, suggesting that they were maintained through cell differentiation. Earlier ART initiation was associated with lower levels of intDNA, caRNA and fractional replacement rates. In conclusion, circulating integrated HIV proviruses appear to be maintained both by slow turnover of immature CD4 subpopulations, and by clonal expansion as well as cell differentiation into effector cells with faster replacement rates.
Metabolomic Biomarkers of Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-12-14)
Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, and the McDonald's clinical criteria are currently utilized tools in diagnosing multiple sclerosis. However, a more conclusive, consistent, and efficient way of diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS) is yet to be discovered. A potential biomarker, discovered using advances in high-throughput sequencing such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and other "Omics"-based techniques, may make diagnosis and prognosis more reliable resulting in a more personalized and targeted treatment regime and improved outcomes. The aim of this review was to systematically search the literature for potential biomarkers from any bodily fluid that could consistently and accurately diagnose MS and/or indicate disease progression. Methods: A systematic literature review of EMBASE, PubMed (MEDLINE), The Cochrane Library, and CINAHL databases produced over a thousand potential studies. Inclusion criteria stated studies with potential biomarker outcomes for people with MS were to be included in the review. Studies were limited to those with human participants who had a clinically defined diagnosis of MS and published in English, with no limit placed on date of publication or the type of bodily fluid sampled. Results: A total of 1,805 studies were recorded from the literature search. A total of 1,760 studies were removed based on their abstract, with a further 18 removed after considering the full text. A total of 30 studies were considered relevant and had their data retrieved and analyzed. Due to the heterogeneity of focus and results from the refined studies, a narrative synthesis was favored. Conclusion: Several promising candidate biomarkers suitable for clinical application in MS have been studied. It is recommended follow-up studies with larger sample sizes be completed on several potential biomarkers.
HIV cure research in the time of COVID-19 - Antiretroviral therapy treatment interruption trials: A discussion paper
(MEDISCRIPT LTD, 2021-03-01)
This discussion paper addresses the safety of HIV cure studies, particularly those involving stopping antiretroviral therapy, known as an analytic treatment interruption (ATI) in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. More than 30 studies listed on ClinicalTrials.gov include an ATI and many others were planned to begin over the next 12 months but most were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We consider the ethics, risks and practical considerations to be taken into account before re-opening HIV cure clinical trials, noting the specific risks of ATI in the context of circulating SARS-CoV-2.