EDCTP Alumni Network

Fostering excellence and collaboration in the next generation of researchers

Call Senior Fellowship (SF)
Programme EDCTP2
Start Date 2018-04-01
End Date 2023-03-31
Project Code TMA2016SF1509
Status Active

Title

Evaluation of a nitric oxide generating dressing (EDX) to improve management of Buruli ulcer disease

Objectives

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES • A comparison of rate of healing of ulcers between EDX110 with oral rifampicin and clarithromycin (“EDX-RC”) and Vaseline gauze dressings with oral rifampicin and clarithromycin (“VG-RC”). SECONDARY OBJECTIVES • To compare the tolerability of the two dressings • To evaluate the relationship between treatment, the immune profile and healing in each treatment arm • To compare the rate of bacterial killing of M. ulcerans in each treatment arm EXPLORATORY OBJECTIVES • To evaluate the quality and cosmetic appearance of healing • To document healing in lesions that have not ulcerated within 2 weeks of start of treatment. • To document recurrence rate and paradoxical reactions in the two treatment arms.

Host Organisation

Institution Country
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Ghana

Participants

Name Institution Country
220 Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research into Tropical Medicine Ghana

Study Design

A prospective randomised open-blinded end-point (PROBE) study of EDX dressing, compared to current standard of care. The design will comply with site-specific protocols for routine best practice ulcer care using vaseline gauze dressings. The comparator will consist of EDX110 applied to the wound, combined with standard antibiotic treatment. In both groups, dressing treatment will continue until the wound has healed plus up to 7 days. The duration of antibiotic treatment will be 8 weeks.

Sites

Agogo Presbyterian Hospital (APH) in the Asante- Akim district
Tepa government hospital, in the Ahafo Ano North district
Dunkwa government hospital in the Upper Denkyira district in the central region.

Phd Study

Title University Start Date End Date
Immunopathogenesis of M. ulcerans University of London 2002-03-01 2005-06-01

Students Supervised

Type Name Title University Start Date End Date
PhD Jonathan Kofi Adjei Mphil Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 2019 2023
PhD Bernadette Agbavor Mphil Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 2019 2023
PhD Nancy Ackam Mphil Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 2019 2023
PhD Isaac Acheampong Mphil Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 2021 2025
Mphil Wilfred Aniagyei Bsc Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 2019 2021
Mphil Venus N. B. Frimpong Bsc Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 2019 2021
Mphil Difery Minadzi Bsc Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 2019 2021
Mphil Monika M. Vivekanandan Bsc Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 2019 2021
Mphil Rejoice A. Arthur Bsc Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology 2019 2021

Results & Outcomes

In this thesis, I have studied the immune response in peripheral blood and at the site of disease of Ghanaian patients with Buruli ulcer caused by M. ulcerans infection. A modified polymerase chain reaction for M. ulcerans in punch biopsies was optimized and evaluated alongside Ziehl Neelsen staining for acid fast bacilli, culture and histology for selection of patients with Buruli ulcer. PCR was 98% sensitive whereas microscopy, culture and histology were 42%, 49% and 82% sensitive respectively. Studies of cytokine production in whole blood after stimulation with M. ulcerans and M. tuberculosis antigens showed that the IL-10 response started early and declined after healing whereas the IFN-g response developed later and was maintained after healing. There was cross reactivity between M. ulcerans and M. tuberculosis antigens but M. ulcerans sonicate was more specific. Studies of the local immune response using real time PCR to measure cytokine mRNA showed that Th1 and Th2 cytokines were expressed concurrently and there was no significant difference between ulcers and nodules but the median IFN-g mRNA expression for ulcers was higher than that in nodules reflecting what was found in the systemic response. Interleukin-8, associated with an acute neutrophilic response, was co-expressed with IL-1b, TNF-a, IL-12p35 and IL-12p40 whereas IFN-g, TNF-a, IL-12p35, IL-12p40, IL-1a, IL-8 and IL-15 expression was found in lesions containing granulomas.

Current Organisation

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Current Job Title

Scientific Director (KCCR), Associate Professor of Medicine

Awards

2019 National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) UK Award: Improving experiences of severe stigmatizing skin diseases in Ghana and Ethiopia

Students Supervised

Type Name Title University Start Date End Date
PhD Michael Frimpong Dr KNUST 2012 2015

Memberships

Role Committee/board Start Date End Date
Manuscript Reviewer PLOS Neglected Tropical Disease 2009

Education

Institution Degree Year
KNUST, Ghana BSc Human Biology 1990-05-01

Areas Of Specialisation

Neglected Infectious Diseases (NID)

Grants

Grant Code:
C0857
Source of funding:
AREF
Amount:
19999.39
Role:
Principal Investigator
Start Date:
2021-01-01
End Date:
2021-01-01
Grant Code:
2019_A150
Source of funding:
Else Kroner Fresenius Stiftung
Amount:
347235.00
Role:
Researcher
Start Date:
2020-01-01
End Date:
2023-01-01
Grant Code:
CSA2019ERC- 2671
Source of funding:
European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
Amount:
281038.75
Role:
Principal Investigator
Start Date:
2020-01-01
End Date:
2023-01-01
Grant Code:
RIA2016E-1609
Source of funding:
European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
Amount:
9997501
Role:
Principal Investigator
Start Date:
2018-01-01
End Date:
2022-01-01
Grant Code:
3486/17
Source of funding:
ANESVAD
Amount:
430092
Role:
Principal Investigator
Start Date:
2018-01-01
End Date:
2020-01-01
Grant Code:
Source of funding:
National Institute for Health Research
Amount:
4999182
Role:
Principal Investigator
Start Date:
2019-01-01
End Date:
2023-01-01
Grant Code:
GA:JA1479/9-1
Source of funding:
German Research Foundation
Amount:
769610
Role:
Principal Investigator
Start Date:
2019-01-01
End Date:
2022-01-01

Publications

Authors:
Frimpong, Michael; Simpson, Shirley Victoria; Ahor, Hubert Senanu; Agbanyo, Abigail; Gyabaah, Solomon; Agbavor, Bernadette; Amanor, Ivy Brago; Addo, Kennedy Kwasi; Böhlken-Fascher, Susanne; Kissenkötter, Jonas;
Date:
2020-10-06
Journal:
Tropical medicine and infectious disease
Content:

Yaws is a skin debilitating disease caused by Treponema pallidum subspecies pertenue with most cases reported in children. World Health Organization (WHO) aims at total eradication of this disease through mass treatment of suspected cases followed by an intensive follow-up program. However, effective diagnosis is pivotal in the successful implementation of this control program. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA), an isothermal nucleic acid amplification technique offers a wider range of differentiation of pathogens including those isolated from chronic skin ulcers with similar characteristics such as Haemophilus ducreyi (H. ducreyi). We have developed a RPA assay for the simultaneous detection of Treponema pallidum (T. pallidum) and H. ducreyi (TPHD-RPA). The assay demonstrated no cross-reaction with other pathogens and enable detection of T. pallidum and H. ducreyi within 15 min at 42 ◦C. The RPA assay was validated with 49 clinical samples from individuals confirmed to have yaws by serological tests. Comparing the developed assay with commercial multiplex real-time PCR, the assay demonstrated 94% and 95% sensitivity for T. pallidum and H. ducreyi, respectively and 100% specificity. This simple novel TPHD-RPA assay enables the rapid detection of both T. pallidum and H. ducreyi in yaws-like lesions. This test could support the yaws eradication efforts by ensuring reliable diagnosis, to enable monitoring of program success and planning of follow-up interventions at the community level.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Frimpong, Michael; Kyei-Tuffuor, Louis; Fondjo, Linda Ahenkorah; Ahor, Hubert Senanu; Adjei-Kusi, Priscilla; Maiga-Ascofare, Oumou; Phillips, Richard Odame;
Date:
2021-01-23
Journal:
Acta Tropica
Content:

Accurate diagnosis of urogenital schistosomiasis is vital for surveillance/control programs as well as achieving the WHO 2012–2020 road map for the total eradication of schistosomiasis. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) has emerged as a rapid and simple molecular tool adaptable for fewer resources with diagnostic accuracy similar to polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This rapid molecular assay employs the use of enzymes for the amplification of nucleic acid taget at a constant temperature. The aim of this study was to validate a real-time RPA assay targeting the Dra 1 repittitive sequence of Schistosoma (S.) haematobium and evaluate its use in urogenital schistosomiasis diagnosis. S. haematobium Dra 1 molecular DNA standard was applied to determine the assay's analytical sensitivity. DNA extracts of S. haematobium, other Schistosoma species, protozoa and bacteria species were used to determine the specificity of the RPA assay. Clinical performance of the assay was validated with a panel of 135 urine samples from volunteers of schistosomiasis endemic communities. The developed assay was evaluated with urine samples extracted by just boiling and with SpeedXtract® DNA extraction kit. A specific fragment of S. haematobium Dra 1 repetitive sequence was amplified within 15 minutes at a constant 42˚C using the developed S. haematobium RPA assay. The detection limit was 15 copies of Dra1 molecular DNA standard per reaction. There was no cross-reaction with other protozoan and bacterial species except Schistosoma species, S. mansoni and S. japonicum. Using 135 urine samples, Schistosoma RPA assay had a clinical sensitivity and specificity of 98.4% (95% CI, 91.6-100) and 100% (95% CI, 94.9-99) respectively when compared to S. haematobium Dra 1 qPCR assay. The diagnostic performance of S. haematobium real-time RPA assay was not affected by the use of crude DNA extracted samples. The S. haematobium RPA assay can serve as an alternative to PCR, especially in low resource settings.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Alferink, Marike; de Zeeuw, Janine; Sopoh, Ghislain; Agossadou, Chantal; Abass, Karibu M; Phillips, Richard O; Loth, Susanne; Jutten, Emma; Barogui, Yves T; Stewart, Roy E;
Date:
2015-01-06
Journal:
PloS one
Content:

Buruli ulcer (BU) is a necrotizing skin disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. People living in remote areas in tropical Sub Saharan Africa are mostly affected. Wound care is animportant component of BU management; this often needs to be extended for months afterthe initial antibiotic treatment. BU is reported in the literature as being painless, howeverclinical observations revealed that some patients experienced pain during wound care.This was the first study on pain intensity during and after wound care in BU patients andfactors associated with pain. In Ghana and Benin, 52 BU patients above 5 years of ageand their relatives were included between December 2012 and May 2014. Information onpain intensity during and after wound care was obtained during two consecutive weeksusing the Wong-Baker Pain Scale. Median pain intensity during wound care was in thelower range (Mdn= 2, CV = 1), but severe pain (score>6) was reported in nearly 30% ofthe patients. Nevertheless, only one patient received pain medication. Pain declined overtime to low scores 2 hours after treatment. Factors associated with higher self-reportedpain scores were; male gender, fear prior to treatment, pain during the night prior to treat-ment, and pain caused by cleaning the wound. The general idea that BU is painless is incorrect for the wound care procedure. This procedural pain deserves attention and appropriate intervention.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Di Cristanziano, Veronica; D´ Alfonso, Rossella; Berrilli, Federica; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Santoro, Maristella; Fabeni, Lavinia; Knops, Elena; Heger, Eva; Kaiser, Rolf; Dompreh, Albert;
Date:
2019-09-14
Journal:
Plos one
Content:

Background: Sub-Saharan Africa is endemic for intestinal parasites and distinguished for the largest burden of HIV cases. Blastocystis sp. is one of the most common protists infecting humans but its role in human disease is still controversial. Aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Blastocystis sp. in HIV positive and negative adults in Ghana and its association with immune status and other risk factors.

Methods: 122 HIV positive outpatients and 70 HIV negative blood donors from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, were included in the present study. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were collected and HIV positive patients distinguished for CD4+ T cell count <200 cells/μl (n = 54) and >200 cells/μl (n = 68). A Blastocystis's phylogenetic analysis was performed to determine sample subtype (ST).

Results: The prevalence of Blastocystis sp. in adult HIV positive individuals was lower than in HIV negative persons (6.6% vs. 20.0%, p = 0.008) and Blastocystis sp. ST1 was the most prevalent strain. Within HIV positive participants, the prevalence of Blastocystis sp. was lower in those individuals with CD4+ T cell count <200 cells/μl than in patients with higher CD4+ T cell count (1.9% vs. 10.3%, p = 0.076). Multiple regression analysis revealed that Blastocystis sp. was inversely associated with an obese Body Mass Index (BMI) in HIV negative persons (p = 0.040). Presence of Blastocystis sp. was correlated with higher CD4+ T cell count in HIV positive participants (p = 0.049).

Conclusion: It is largely reported that people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Africa are affected from parasite infections and that co-infections may adversely impact on their immune status, accelerating progress to AIDS and worsening gastrointestinal manifestations. Differently, in this study Blastocystis sp. was associated with a better immune status jointly with a healthy body weight while it seems to be reduced with the progression of HIV infection. This data agree with recent suggestions that Blastocystis sp. can represent a component of the healthy gut microbiota.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Debrah, Linda Batsa; Nausch, Norman; Opoku, Vera Serwaa; Owusu, Wellington; Mubarik, Yusif; Berko, Daniel Antwi; Wanji, Samuel; Layland, Laura E; Hoerauf, Achim; Jacobsen, Marc;
Date:
2017-01-07
Journal:
Parasites & vectors
Content:

Background

Mansonellosis was first reported in Ghana by Awadzi in the 1990s. Co-infections of Mansonella perstans have also been reported in a small cohort of patients with Buruli ulcer and their contacts. However, no study has assessed the exact prevalence of the disease in a larger study population. This study therefore aimed to find out the prevalence of M. perstans infection in some districts in Ghana and to determine the diversity of Culicoides that could be potential vectors for transmission.

Methods

From each participant screened in the Asante Akim North (Ashanti Region), Sene West and Atebubu Amantin (Brong Ahafo Region) districts, a total of 70 μl of finger prick blood was collected for assessment of M. perstans microfilariae. Centre for Disease Control (CDC) light traps as well as the Human Landing Catch (HLC) method were used to assess the species diversity of Culicoides present in the study communities.

Results

From 2,247 participants, an overall prevalence of 32% was recorded although up to 75% prevalence was demonstrated in some of the communities. Culicoides inornatipennis was the only species of Culicoides caught with the HLC method. By contrast, C. imicola (47%), C. neavei (25%) and C. schultzei (15%) were caught by the CDC light trap method. A wide diversity of other Culicoides spp. was also identified but correlation was only found between the prevalence of C. inornatipennis and M. perstans during the dry season.

Conclusions

Here we demonstrate for the first time that M. perstans is highly prevalent in three districts in Ghana. We found a wide spectrum of Culicoides spp. Culicoides inornatipennis was the most anthropophilic and is therefore likely to be the species responsible for transmission of infection but formal proof has yet to be obtained.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Eberhardt, Kirsten Alexandra; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Dompreh, Albert; Kuffour, Edmund Osei; Geldmacher, Christof; Soltau, Mareike; Schachscheider, Marei; Drexler, Jan Felix; Eis-Hübinger, Anna Maria; Häussinger, Dieter;
Date:
2015-03-06
Journal:
Clinical Infectious Diseases
Content:

Background.Helicobacter pylori coinfection in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients has been associated with higher CD4+ cell counts and lower HIV-1 viral loads, with the underlying mechanisms being unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of H. pylori infection on markers of T-cell activation in HIV-positive and HIV-negative individuals.

Methods. In a cross-sectional, observational study, HIV patients (n = 457) and HIV-negative blood donors (n = 79) presenting to an HIV clinic in Ghana were enrolled. Data on clinical and sociodemographic parameters, CD4+/CD8+ T-cell counts, and HIV-1 viral load were recorded. Helicobacter pylori status was tested using a stool antigen test. Cell surface and intracellular markers related to T-cell immune activation and turnover were quantified by flow cytometry and compared according to HIV and H. pylori status.

Results.Helicobacter pylori infection was associated with decreased markers of CD4+ T-cell activation (HLA-DR+CD38+CD4+; 22.55% vs 32.70%; P = .002), cell proliferation (Ki67; 15.10% vs 26.80%; P = .016), and immune exhaustion (PD-1; 32.45% vs 40.00%; P = .005) in 243 antiretroviral therapy (ART)–naive patients, but not in 214 patients on ART. In HIV-negative individuals, H. pylori infection was associated with decreased frequencies of activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells (6.31% vs 10.40%; P = .014 and 18.70% vs 34.85%, P = .006, respectively).

Conclusions. Our findings suggest that H. pylori coinfection effectuates a systemic immune modulatory effect with decreased T-cell activation in HIV-positive, ART-naive patients but also in HIV-negative individuals. This finding might, in part, explain the observed association of H. pylori infection with favorable parameters of HIV disease progression.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Amoako, Yaw Ampem; Phillips, Richard Odame; Arthur, Joshua; Abugri, Mark Ayaaba; Akowuah, Emmanuel; Amoako, Kwabena Oppong; Marfo, Benjamin Aboagye; Frimpong, Michael; van der Werf, Tjip; Ravensbergen, Sofanne Jacobine;
Date:
2020-10-22
Journal:
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Content:

Background

There is a dearth of data on scabies from Ghana. In September 2019, local health authorities in the East Mamprusi district of northern Ghana received reports of scabies from many parts of the district. Due to on-going reports of more cases, an assessment team visited the communities to assess the effect of the earlier individual treatment on the outbreak. The assessment team furthermore aimed to contribute to the data on scabies burden in Ghana and to demonstrate the use of the International Alliance for the Control of Scabies (IACS) diagnostic tool in a field survey in a resource limited setting.

Methodology/Principal findings

This was a cross sectional study. Demographic information and medical history was collected on all participants using a REDCap questionnaire. A standardised skin examination of exposed regions of the body was performed on all participants. Scabies was diagnosed based on the criteria of the International Alliance for the Control of Scabies (IACS). Participants were mostly female (61.5%) and had a median age of 18.8 years (IQR 13–25). Two hundred out of 283 (71%) of participants had scabies with most (47%) presenting with moderate disease. Impetigo was found in 22% of participants with scabies and 10.8% of those without scabies [RR 2.27 (95% CI 1.21–4.27)]. 119 participants who received scabies treatment in the past months still had clinical evidence of the disease. 97% of participants reported a recent scabies contact. Scabies was commoner in participants ≤16 years compared to those >16 years [RR 3.06 (95% CI 1.73–5.45)].

Conclusion/Significance

The prevalence of scabies was extremely high. The lack of a systematic approach to scabies treatment led to recurrence and ongoing community spread. The IACS criteria was useful in this outbreak assessment in Ghana. Alternative strategies such as Mass drug administration may be required to contain outbreaks early in such settings.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Powell, Richard C; Klinke, Ian; Jazeel, Tariq; Daley, Patricia; Kamata, Ng'wanza; Heffernan, H; Swain, Adam; McConnell, Fiona; Barry, Andrew; Phillips, Richard;
Date:
2016-05-07
Journal:
Political Geography
Content:
Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Velink, Anita; Woolley, Rebecca J; Phillips, Richard O; Abass, Kabiru M; van der Werf, Tjip S; Agumah, Emmanuel; de Zeeuw, Janine; Klis, Sandor; Stienstra, Ymkje;
Date:
2016-10-12
Journal:
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Content:

Background

Buruliulcer(BU),caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a neglected tropical disease frequently leading to permanent disabilities.The ulcers are treated with rifampicin and streptomycin,wound care and,if necessary surgical intervention. Professionals have exclusively shaped there search agenda concerning management and control, while patients’perspective on priorities and preferences have not explicitly been explored or addressed.

Methodology/Principalfindings

To get insight into patient perception of the management and control of Buruli ulcera mixed methods research design was applied with a questionnaire and focus group discussions among former BU patients.Data collection was obtained in collaboration with a local team of native speakers in Ghana. A questionnaire was completed by 60 former patients and four focus group discussions were conducted with eight participants per group. Former patients positively evaluated both the effectiveness of the treatment and the financial contribution received for the travel costs to the hospitals. Pain experienced  during treatment procedures,in particular wound care and the streptomycin injections,and the side-effects of the treatment were negatively evaluated. Former patients considered the development of preventive measures and knowledge on the transmission as priorities. Additionally,former patients asked for improved accessibility of health services,counselling and economic support.

Conclusions

These findings can be used to improve clinical management and to guide the international research agenda.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Frimpong, Michael
Date:
2020-12-01
Journal:
Archives of virology
Content:

Following the detection of the first imported case of COVID-19 in the northern sector of Ghana, we molecularly charac-terized and phylogenetically analysed sequences, including three complete genome sequences, of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 obtained from nine patients in Ghana. We performed high-throughput sequencing on nine samples that were found to have a high concentration of viral RNA. We also assessed the potential impact that long-distance transport of samples to testing centres may have on sequencing results. Here, two samples that were similar in terms of viral RNA concentration but were transported from sites that are over 400 km apart were analyzed. All sequences were compared to previous sequences from Ghana and representative sequences from regions where our patients had previously travelled. Three complete genome sequences and another nearly complete genome sequence with 95.6% coverage were obtained. Sequences with coverage in excess of 80% were found to belong to three lineages, namely A, B.1 and B.2. Our sequences clustered in two different clades, with the majority falling within a clade composed of sequences from sub-Saharan Africa. Less RNA fragmentation was seen in sample KATH23, which was collected 9 km from the testing site, than in sample TTH6, which was collected and transported over a distance of 400 km to the testing site. The clustering of several sequences from sub-Saharan Africa suggests regional circulation of the viruses in the subregion. Importantly, there may be a need to decentralize testing sites and build more capacity across Africa to boost the sequencing output of the subregion.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Loglo, Aloysius D; Frimpong, Michael; Duah, Mabel Sarpong; Sarfo, Fred; Sarpong, Francisca N; Agbavor, Bernadette; Boakye-Appiah, Justice K; Abass, Kabiru M; Dongyele, Mathias; Frempong, Margaret;
Date:
2018-07-31
Journal:
PeerJ
Content:

Background

Buruli ulcer is a disease of the skin and soft tissues caused by infection with a slow growing pathogen, Mycobacterium ulcerans. A vaccine for this disease is not available but M. ulcerans possesses a giant plasmid pMUM001 that harbours the polyketide synthase (PKS) genes encoding a multi-enzyme complex needed for the production of its unique lipid toxin called mycolactone, which is central to the pathogenesis of Buruli ulcer. We have studied the immunogenicity of enzymatic domains in humans with M. ulcerans disease, their contacts, as well as non-endemic areas controls.

Methods

Between March 2013 and August 2015, heparinized whole blood was obtained from patients confirmed with Buruli ulcer. The blood samples were diluted 1 in 10 in Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) medium and incubated for 5 days with recombinant mycolactone PKS domains and mycolyltransferase antigen 85A (Ag85A). Blood samples were obtained before and at completion of antibiotic treatment for 8 weeks and again 8 weeks after completion of treatment. Supernatants were assayed for interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-5 (IL-5) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Responses were compared with those of contacts and non-endemic controls.

Results

More than 80% of patients and contacts from endemic areas produced IFN-γ in response to all the antigens except acyl carrier protein type 3 (ACP3) to which only 47% of active Buruli ulcer cases and 71% of contacts responded. The highest proportion of responders in cases and contacts was to load module ketosynthase domain (Ksalt) (100%) and enoylreductase (100%). Lower IL-5 responses were induced in a smaller proportion of patients ranging from 54% after ketoreductase type B stimulation to only 21% with ketosynthase type C (KS C). Among endemic area contacts, the, highest proportion was 73% responding to KS C and the lowest was 40% responding to acyltransferase with acetate specificity type 2. Contacts of Buruli ulcer patients produced significantly higher IFN-γ and IL-5 responses compared with those of patients to PKS domain antigens and to mycolyltransferase Ag85A of M. ulcerans. There was low or no response to all the antigens in non-endemic areas controls. IFN-γ and IL-5 responses of patients improved after treatment when compared to baseline results.

Discussion

The major response to PKS antigen stimulation was IFN-γ and the strongest responses were observed in healthy contacts of patients living in areas endemic for Buruli ulcer. Patients elicited lower responses than healthy contacts, possibly due to the immunosuppressive effect of mycolactone, but the responses were enhanced after antibiotic treatment. A vaccine made up of the most immunogenic PKS domains combined with the mycolyltransferase Ag85A warrants further investigation.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Frimpong, Michael; Amoako, Yaw A; Anim, Kwadwo B; Ahor, Hubert S; Yeboah, Richmond; Arthur, Joshua; Dakorah, Justin S; Gborgblovor, Delphine; Akrofi, Samuel; Sekyi-Djan, Phyllis;
Date:
2020-12-31
Journal:
Ghana Medical Journal
Content:

Across the globe, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is causing distress with governments doing everything in their power to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) to prevent morbidity and mortality. Actions are being implemented to keep health care systems from being overstretched and to curb the outbreak. Any policy responses aimed at slowing down the spread of the virus and mitigating its immediate effects on health care systems require a firm basis of information about the absolute number of currently infected people, growth rates, and locations/hotspots of infections. The only way to obtain this base of information is by conducting numerous tests in a targeted way. Currently, in Ghana, there is a centralized testing approach, that takes 4-5 days for samples to be shipped and tested at central reference laboratories with results communicated to the district, regional and national
stakeholders. This delay in diagnosis increases the risk of ongoing transmission in communities and vulnerable institutions. We have validated, evaluated and deployed an innovative diagnostic tool on a mobile laboratory platform to accelerate the COVID-19 testing. A preliminary result of 74 samples from COVID-19 suspected cases has a positivity rate of 12% with a turn-around time of fewer than 3 hours from sample taking to reporting of results, significantly reducing the waiting time from days to hours, enabling expedient response by the health system for contact tracing to reduce transmission and additionally improving case management.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Barogui, Yves Thierry; Klis, Sandor-Adrian; Johnson, Roch Christian; Phillips, Richard O; van der Veer, Eveline; van Diemen, Cleo; van der Werf, Tjip S; Stienstra, Ymkje;
Date:
2016-10-04
Journal:
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Content:

Intoduction

Buruli ulcer (BU) is the third most frequent mycobacterial disease in immunocompetent per-sons after tuberculosis and leprosy. During the last decade, eight weeks of antimicrobialtreatment has become the standard of care. This treatment may be accompanied by transient clinical deterioration, known as paradoxical reaction. We investigate the incidence andthe risks factors associated with paradoxical reaction in BU.

Methods

The lesion size of participants was assessed by careful palpation and recorded by serialacetate sheet tracings. For every time point, surface area was compared with the previousassessment. All patients received antimicrobial treatment for 8 weeks. Serum concentrationof 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the primary indicator of vitamin D status, was determined in duplexfor blood samples at baseline by a radioimmunoassay. We genotyped four polymorphismsin theSLC11A1gene, previously associated with susceptibility to BU. For testing the associ-ation of genetic variants with paradoxical responses, we used a binary logistic regressionanalysis with the occurrence of a paradoxical response as the dependent variable.

Results

Paradoxical reaction occurred in 22% of the patients; the reaction was significantly associ-ated with trunk localization (p = .039 byΧ2), larger lesions (p = .021 byΧ2) and genetic factors. The polymorphisms 3’UTR TGTG ins/ins (OR 7.19, p<.001) had a higher risk fordeveloping paradoxical reaction compared to ins/del or del/del polymorphisms.

Conclusions

Paradoxical reactions are common in BU. They are associated with trunk localization, largerlesions and polymorphisms in theSLC11A1 gene.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Frimpong, Michael; Ahor, Hubert Senanu; Sakyi, Samuel Asamoah; Agbavor, Bernadette; Akowuah, Emmanuel; Phillips, Richard Odame;
Date:
2019-11-26
Journal:
Diagnostics
Content:

Isothermal amplification techniques such as recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for diagnosing Buruli ulcer, a necrotic skin disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, have renewed hope for the molecular diagnosis of clinically suspected Buruli ulcer cases in endemic districts. If these techniques are applied at district-level hospitals or clinics, they will help facilitate early case detection with prompt treatment, thereby reducing disability and associated costs of disease management. The accuracy as well as the application of these molecular techniques at point of need is dependent on simple and fast DNA extraction. We have modified and tested a rapid extraction protocol for use with an already developed recombinase polymerase amplification assay. The entire procedure from "sample in, extraction and DNA amplification" was conducted in a mobile suitcase laboratory within 40 min. The DNA extraction procedure was performed within 15 min, with only two manipulation/pipetting steps needed. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of this extraction protocol together with M. ulcerans RPA in comparison with standard DNA extraction with real-time PCR was 87% (n = 26) and 100% (n = 13), respectively. We have established a simple, fast and efficient protocol for the extraction and detection of M. ulcerans DNA in clinical samples that is adaptable to field conditions.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Layden, Jennifer E; Phillips, Richard O; Owusu-Ofori, Shirley; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Kliethermes, Stephanie; Mora, Nallely; Owusu, Dorcas; Nelson, Kenrad; Opare-Sem, Ohene; Dugas, Lara;
Date:
2016-01-06
Journal:
Clinical infectious diseases
Content:

Background. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has one of the highest global hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence estimates. However, reports that suggest high rates of serologic false positives and low levels of viremia have led to uncertainty regarding the burden of active infection in this region. Additionally, little is known about the predominant transmission risk factors in SSA.

Methods. We prospectively recalled 363 past blood donors (180 who were rapid screen assay [RSA] positive and 183 who were RSA negative at time of donation) to identify the level of active infection and risk factors for infection at a teaching hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Participants had repeat blood testing and were administered a questionnaire on risk factors.

Results. The frequency of HCV active infection ranged from 74.4% to 88% depending on the criteria used to define serologically positive cases. Individuals with active disease had biochemical evidence of liver inflammation and median viral loads of 5.7 log copies/mL. Individuals from the northern and upper regions of Ghana had greater risks of infection compared with participants from other areas. Additional risk factors included traditional circumcision, home birth, tribal scarring, and hepatitis B virus coinfection.

Conclusions. Viremic infection was common among serologically confirmed cases. Attention to testing algorithms is needed in order to define the true HCV burden in SSA. These data also suggest that several transmission modes are likely contributing to the current HCV epidemic in Ghana and that the distribution of these practices may result in substantial regional variation in prevalence.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Rolling, T; Heinemann, M; Phillips, RO; Vinnemeier, CD; Rolling, C; Tannich, E;
Date:
2020-10-12
Journal:
Malaria Journal
Content:

Background: Ghana is among the high-burden countries for malaria infections and recently reported a notable increase in malaria cases. While asymptomatic parasitaemia is increasingly recognized as a hurdle for malaria elimination, studies on asymptomatic malaria are scarce, and usually focus on children and on non-falciparum species. The present study aims to assess the prevalence of asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum and non-falciparum infections in Ghanaian adults in the Ashanti region during the high transmission season. Methods: Asymptomatic adult residents from five villages in the Ashanti Region, Ghana, were screened for Plasmodium species by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) during the rainy season. Samples tested positive were subtyped using species-specific real-time PCR. For all Plasmodium ovale infections additional sub-species identification was performed. Results: Molecular prevalence of asymptomatic Plasmodium infection was 284/391 (73%); only 126 (32%) infections were detected by RDT. While 266 (68%) participants were infected with Plasmodium falciparum, 33 (8%) were infected with Plasmodium malariae and 34 (9%) with P. ovale. The sub-species P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri were identified to similar proportions. Non-falciparum infections usually presented as mixed infections with P. falciparum. Conclusions: Most adult residents in the Ghanaian forest zone are asymptomatic Plasmodium carriers. The high Plasmodium prevalence not detected by RDT in adults highlights that malaria eradication efforts must target all members of the population. Beneath Plasmodium falciparum, screening and treatment must also include infections with P. malariae, P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Ayisi-Boateng, Nana K; Owusu, Michael; Tawiah, Phyllis; Ampah, Brenda A; Sylverken, Augustina A; Wusu-Ansah, Osei K; Sarfo, Fred S; Phillips, Richard O;
Date:
2020-12-31
Journal:
Ghana Medical Journal
Content:

Background: In high-income countries, mortality related to hospitalized patients with the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is approximately 4-5%. However, data on COVID-19 admissions from sub-Saharan Africa are scanty.
Objective: To describe the clinical profile and determinants of outcomes of patients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted at a hospital in Ghana.
Methods: A prospective study involving 25 patients with real time polymerase chain reaction confirmed COVID-19 admitted to the treatment centre of the University Hospital, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana from 1st June to 27th July, 2020. They were managed and followed up for outcomes. Data were analysed descriptively, and predictors of mortality assessed using a multivariate logistic regression modelling.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 59.3 ± 20.6 years, and 14 (56%) were males. The main symptoms at presentation were breathlessness (68%) followed by fever (56%). The cases were categorized as mild (6), moderate (6), severe (10) and critical (3). Hypertension was the commonest comorbidity present in 72% of patients. Medications used in patient management included dexamethasone (68%), azithromycin (96%), and hydroxychloroquine (4%). Five of 25 cases died (Case fatality ratio 20%). Increasing age and high systolic blood pressure were associated with mortality.
Conclusion: Case fatality in this sample of hospitalized COVID-19 patients was high. Thorough clinical assessment, severity stratification, aggressive management of underlying co-morbidities and standardized protocols incountry might improve outcomes.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Amoako, YA; Frimpong, M; Awuah, DO; Plange-Rhule, G; Boakye-Yiadom, E; Agbavor, B; Sarpong, F; Ahor, H; Adu, E; Danso, KG;
Date:
2019-07-18
Journal:
Journal of medical case reports
Content:

Background: Buruli ulcer caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans is endemic in parts of West Africa and is most prevalent among the 5-15 years age group; Buruli ulcer is uncommon among neonates. The mode of transmission and incubation period of Buruli ulcer are unknown. We report two cases of confirmed Buruli ulcer in human immunodeficiency virus-unexposed, vaginally delivered term neonates in Ghana.

Case presentation: Patient 1: Two weeks after hospital delivery, a baby born to natives of the Ashanti ethnic group of Ghana was noticed by her mother to have a papule with associated edema on the right anterior chest wall and neck that later ulcerated. There was no restriction of neck movements. The diagnosis of Buruli ulcer was confirmed on the basis of a swab sample that had a positive polymerase chain reaction result for the IS2404 repeat sequence of M. ulcerans. Patient 2: This patient, from the Ashanti ethnic group in Ghana, had the mother noticing a swelling in the baby's left gluteal region 4 days after birth. The lesion progressively increased in size to involve almost the entire left gluteal region. Around the same time, the mother noticed a second, smaller lesion on the forehead and left side of neck. The diagnosis of Buruli ulcer was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction when the child was aged 4 weeks. Both patients 1 and 2 were treated with oral rifampicin and clarithromycin at recommended doses for 8 weeks in addition to appropriate daily wound dressing, leading to complete healing. Our report details two cases of polymerase chain reaction-confirmed Buruli ulcer in children whose lesions appeared at ages 14 and 4 days, respectively. The mode of transmission of M. ulcerans infection is unknown, so the incubation period is difficult to estimate and is probably dependent on the infective dose and the age of exposure. In our study, lesions appeared 4 days after birth in patient 2. Unless the infection was acquired in utero, this would be the shortest incubation period ever recorded.

Conclusions: Buruli ulcer should be included in the differential diagnosis of neonates who present with characteristic lesions. The incubation period of Buruli ulcer in neonates is probably shorter than is reported for adults.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Phillips, Richard Odame; Steinmetz, Alexis; Nichols, Justin; Adomako, Emmanuel; Ofori, Emmanuel; Antonio, Emilia; Peprah-Addae, Collins; Adams, William;
Date:
2018-07-28
Journal:
BMC infectious diseases
Content:

Background:HIV remains a significant public health dilemma in West and Central Africa. HIV-related morbidity and mortality are unjustly high, yet little is known about the spectrum of complicating comorbidities in HIV-positivepatients who are admitted to hospitals in these regions.

Methods:This study involved a retrospective chart review to determine the common comorbidities and mortalityrate of HIV-infected patients admitted over a six month period to the internal medicine service at the Komfo AnokyeTeaching Hospital (KATH), a tertiary care center in Ghana. Patients admitted with a known or new HIV diagnosis fromJanuary to July 2016 were included. Data were collected regarding the number of new versus known cases admitted,the most common presenting complaints, final admitting diagnoses, and causes of mortality in these patients.

Results:During the six-month study period, 250 HIV-positive patients were admitted to KATH, and 245 of theseindividuals had valid survival time recorded. Of these patients, 145/245 (59.2%) were female. Median age of patientsincluded in the study was 42 years old (IQR 35–51). The mortality rate for HIV patients admitted to the hospital was 35.5% (87 patients). One hundred and forty-five (59.4%) patients had a known history of HIV documented in their patientcharts, while the remaining patients were newly diagnosed with HIV during their inpatient stay. Pulmonary tuberculosispredominated among diagnostic findings, with 40.4% of HIV-infected patients diagnosed with the condition whileadmitted. Patients presenting with neurological symptoms on admission were 2.14 (95% CI: 1.27–3.61) times more likely to die than those without neurological symptoms (p=.004).

Conclusions:Over 40% of HIV-positive patients admitted to KATH were newly diagnosed with HIV at admission. While pulmonary tuberculosis was the most common comorbidity, patients presenting with neurological symptoms were at higher risk of death. This study suggests that enhanced outpatient screening is needed for early diagnosis and prompt HAART initiation, as well as increased access to diagnostic modalities and treatment for HIV-positive patients with neurological symptoms.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Sarpong-Duah, Mabel; Frimpong, Michael; Beissner, Marcus; Saar, Malkin; Laing, Ken; Sarpong, Francisca; Loglo, Aloysius Dzigbordi; Abass, Kabiru Mohammed; Frempong, Margaret; Sarfo, Fred Stephen;
Date:
2017-03-27
Journal:
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Content:

Introduction

Buruli ulcer(BU) caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans is effectively treated with rifampicin and streptomycin for 8 weeks but some lesions take several months to heal. We have shown previously that some slowly healing lesions contain mycolactone suggesting continuing infection after antibiotic therapy. Now we have determined how rapidly combined M.ulcerans16SrRNA reverse transcriptase/ IS2404qPCRassay(16SrRNA) became negative during antibiotic treatment and investigated its influence on healing.

Methods

Fine needle aspirates and swab samples were obtained for culture, acid fast bacilli(AFB) and detection of M.ulcerans 16SrRNA and IS2404 by qPCR(16SrRNA) from patients with IS2404PCR confirmed BU at baseline,during antibiotic and after treatment. Patients were followed up at 2 weekly intervals to determine the rate of healing.The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to analyse the time to clearance of M.ulcerans16SrRNA and the influence of persistent M ulcerans16SrRNA on time to healing.The Mann Whitney test was used to compare the bacillary load at baseline in patients with or without viable organisms at week 4, andto analyse rate of healing at week 4 in relation to detection of viable organisms.

Results

Out of 129 patients,16SrRNA was detected in 65%of lesions at baseline.The M.ulcerans16SrRNA remained positive in 78% of patients with unhealed lesions at 4 weeks,52%at 8weeks,23%at 12weeksand10%at week16.The median time to clearance of M.ulcerans 16SrRNA was 12weeks. BU lesions with positive16SrRNA after antibiotic treatment had significantly higher bacterial load at baseline, longer healing time and lower healing rate at week 4 compared with those in which16SrRNA was not detected at baseline or had become undetectable by week 4.

Conclusions

Current antibiotic therapy for BU is highly successful in most patients but it may be possible to abbreviate treatment to 4 weeks in patients witha low initial bacterial load.On the other hand persistent infection contributes to slow healing in patients with a high bacterial load at baseline,some of whom may need antibiotic treatment extended beyond 8 weeks.Bacterial load was estimated from a single sample taken at baseline. A better estimate could be made by taking multiple samples or biopsies but this was not ethically acceptable.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Adankwah, Ernest; Güler, Alptekin; Mayatepek, Ertan; Phillips, Richard Odame; Nausch, Norman; Jacobsen, Marc;
Date:
2019-07-18
Journal:
Microbes and infection
Content:

IFN-γ release assays (IGRAs) have suboptimal sensitivity for detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection and cannot discriminate between tuberculosis (TB) patients and healthy -potentially Mtb infected- contacts (HCs). In a case-control study, we determined T-cell phenotypes of IGRAs in TB patients (n = 20) and HCs (n = 20) from Ghana. CD27 expression of T-cells was significantly lower in TB patients as compared to HCs independent from Mtb-specificity. CD27 expression discriminated both study groups - including TB patients with low or indeterminate IGRA results - effectively. We conclude that CD27 is a promising biomarker for diagnosis of TB patients with inconclusive IGRA results.

Identifiers:
Authors:
El-Duah, Philip; Dei, Dickson; Binger, Tabea; Sylverken, Augustina; Wollny, Robert; Tasiame, William; Oppong, Samuel; Adu-Sarkodie, Yaw; Emikpe, Benjamin; Folitse, Raphael;
Date:
2020-07-20
Journal:
One Health Outlook
Content:

Background

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a major cause of human hepatitis worldwide. Zoonotic genotypes of the virus have been found in diverse animal species with pigs playing a major role. Putative risk of zoonotic infection from livestock particularly swine in Sub-Saharan Africa including Ghana is poorly understood due to scarcity of available data, especially HEV sequence information.

Methods

Serum samples were collected from cattle, sheep, goats and pigs from Kumasi in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Samples were subjected to nested RT-PCR screening and quantification of HEV RNA-positive samples using real-time RT-PCR and the World Health Organization International Standard for HEV. Testing of all pig samples for antibodies was done by ELISA. Sanger sequencing and genotyping was performed and one representative complete genome was generated to facilitate genome-wide comparison to other available African HEV sequences by phylogenetic analysis.

Results

A total of 420 samples were available from cattle (n = 105), goats (n = 124), pigs (n = 89) and sheep (n = 102). HEV Viral RNA was detected only in pig samples (10.1%). The antibody detection rate in pigs was 77.5%, with positive samples from all sampling sites. Average viral load was 1 × 105 (range 1.02 × 103 to 3.17 × 105) International Units per mL of serum with no statistically significant differences between age groups (≤ 6 month, > 6 months) by a T-test comparison of means (t = 1.4272, df = 7, p = 0.1966). Sequences obtained in this study form a monophyletic group within HEV genotype 3. Sequences from Cameroon, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Madagascar were found to share a most recent common ancestor; however this was not the case for other African HEV sequences.

Conclusion

HEV genotype 3 is highly endemic in pigs in Ghana and likely poses a zoonotic risk to people exposed to pigs. HEV genotype 3 in Ghana shares a common origin with other virus strains from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Villa, Giovanni; Abdullahi, Adam; Owusu, Dorcas; Smith, Colette; Azumah, Marilyn; Sayeed, Laila; Austin, Harrison; Awuah, Dominic; Beloukas, Apostolos; Chadwick, David;
Date:
2020-01-05
Journal:
EClinicalMedicine
Content:

Background: This prospective pilot study explored same-day point-of-care viral load testing in a setting in Ghana that has yet to implement virological monitoring of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Methods: Consecutive patients accessing outpatient care while on ART underwent HIV-1 RNA quantification by Xpert. Those with viraemia at the first measurement (T0) received immediate adherence counselling and were reassessed 8 weeks later (T1). Predictors of virological status were determined by logistic regression analysis. Drug resistance-associated mutations (RAMs) were detected by Sanger sequencing. Findings: At T0, participants had received treatment for a median of 8·9 years; 297/333 (89·2%) were on NNRTI-based ART. The viral load was ≥40 copies/mL in 164/333 (49·2%) patients and ≥1000 copies/mL in 71/333 (21·3%). In the latter group, 50/65 (76·9%) and 55/65 (84·6%) harboured NRTI and NNRTI RAMs, respectively, and 27/65 (41·5%) had ≥1 tenofovir RAM. Among 150/164 (91·5%) viraemic patients that reattended at T1, 32/150 (21·3%) showed resuppression <40 copies/mL, comprising 1/65 (1·5%) subjects with T0 viral load ≥1000 copies/mL and 31/85 (36·5%) subjects with lower levels. A T0 viral load ≥1000 copies/mL and detection of RAMs predicted ongoing T1 viraemia independently of self-reported adherence levels. Among participants with T0 viral load ≥1000 copies/mL, 23/65 (35·4%) showed resuppression <1000 copies/mL; the response was more likely among those with higher adherence levels and no RAMs. Interpretation: Same-day point-of-care viral load testing was feasible and revealed poor virological control and suboptimal resuppression rates despite adherence counselling. Controlled studies should determine optimal triaging modalities for same-day versus deferred viral load testing. Funding: University of Liverpool, South Tees Infectious Diseases Research Fund

Identifiers:
Authors:
Phillips, Richard O; Seyfarth, Julia; Sarfo-Kantanka, Osei; Rosenbauer, Joachim; Jacobsen, Marc;
Date:
2019-12-11
Journal:
Journal of Diabetes
Content:

Highlights Type 1 diabetes onset age in Kumasi/Ghana has a peak at around 17 to 20 years, whereas the peak is at 11 to 12 years in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Higher proportions of females were found in the type 1 diabetes cohort from Ghana, and males were more frequent in the German cohort.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Phillips, Richard Odame; Phanzu, Delphin Mavinga; Beissner, Marcus; Badziklou, Kossi; Luzolo, Elysée Kalundieko; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Halatoko, Wemboo Afiwa; Amoako, Yaw; Frimpong, Michael; Kabiru, Abass Mohammed;
Date:
2015-09-01
Journal:
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
Content:

Background:The only available vaccine that could be potentially beneficial against mycobacterial diseases contains liveattenuated bovine tuberculosis bacillus (Mycobacterium bovis) also called Bacillus Calmette-Gue ́rin (BCG). Even though the BCGvaccine is still widely used, results on its effectiveness in preventing mycobacterial diseases are partially contradictory, especiallyregarding Buruli Ulcer Disease (BUD). The aim of this case-control study is to evaluate the possible protective effect of BCGvaccination on BUD.

Methodology:The present study was performed in three different countries and sites where BUD is endemic: in theDemocratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, and Togo from 2010 through 2013. The large study population was comprised of401 cases with laboratory confirmed BUD and 826 controls, mostly family members or neighbors.

Principal Findings:After stratification by the three countries, two sexes and four age groups, no significant correlation wasfound between the presence of BCG scar and BUD status of individuals. Multivariate analysis has shown that theindependent variables country (p= 0.31), sex (p= 0.24), age (p= 0.96), and presence of a BCG scar (p= 0.07) did notsignificantly influence the development of BUD category I or category II/III. Furthermore, the status of BCG vaccination wasalso not significantly related to duration of BUD or time to healing of lesions.

Conclusions:In our study, we did not observe significant evidence of a protective effect of routine BCG vaccination on the risk ofdeveloping either BUD or severe forms of BUD. Since accurate data on BCG strains used in these three countries were notavailable, no final conclusion can be drawn on the effectiveness of BCG strain in protecting against BUD. As has been suggestedfor tuberculosis and leprosy, well-designed prospective studies on different existing BCG vaccine strains are needed also for BUD.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Owusu, Dorcas Ohui; Phillips, Richard; Owusu, Michael; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Frempong, Margaret;
Date:
2020-10-07
Journal:
BMC Research Notes
Content:

Objective: Approximately 70% of all hepatitis C (HCV) infections develop chronic disease. Active or exacerbated chronic hepatitis C infection subsequently progress to liver disease. The role of T-cells secretions in achieving viral clearance is still not well understood. Thus, the current study was set to determine the relationship between the T cell cytokine profiles, biochemical parameters and persistent HCV infection or spontaneous recovery. Results: Twenty-five percent (41/163) of the anti-HCV positive participants had recovered from HCV and had significantly higher concentration of IL-10 compared to those with active HCV infection (P < 0.012). Other circulating cytokines measured; IL-2, IFN gamma, TNF alpha, IL-5 and IL-17 were similar in both groups. Participants with active HCV infection had significantly higher aspartate transaminase (AST) (35 units) and alanine transaminase (46 units) compared to those in the recovered state (P < 0.001). Thus, serum levels of IL10 could be explored in larger prospective cohort study as a predictive marker of recovering from an active HCV infection.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Yotsu, Rie R; Suzuki, Koichi; Simmonds, Rachel E; Bedimo, Roger; Ablordey, Anthony; Yeboah-Manu, Dorothy; Phillips, Richard; Asiedu, Kingsley;
Date:
2018-08-28
Journal:
Current tropical medicine reports
Content:

BU is distributed mainly in West Africa, but cases are also found in other parts of the world. We may be underestimating its true disease burden, due to the limited awareness of this disease. More awareness and more understanding of BU will surely contribute in enhancing our fight against this skin NTD.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Woolley, Rebecca J; Velink, Anita; Phillips, Richard O; Thompson, William A; Abass, K Mohammed; van der Werf, Tjip S; de Zeeuw, Janine; Stienstra, Ymkje;
Date:
2016-09-05
Journal:
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Content:

Buruli ulcer (BU) is one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases for which the World Health Organizationhas adopted resolutions to improve treatment. BU was previously described as a relatively painless condition; however,recent research has indicated that some patients experience substantial pain. The objective of this study was to explorepatients’experiences of pain and their expectations for its treatment. Semistructured interviews were conducted in aBU-endemic region of Ghana. Interviews were held with former BU patients (N= 20) and community controls (N=19).Former patients were asked about BU-related pain and their expectations for its treatment. The interviews wereconducted in October 2014, and were audiotaped, translated and transcribed into English, and then qualitatively ana-lyzed. Of the 20 former BU patients interviewed, 19 (95%) reported experiencing pain, with patients reporting pain asa consequence of the ulcer and wound management. Some participants expressed pain through crying, whereas othersdid not openly express pain, sometimes because they feared the repercussions of doing so. Patients wanted to receivepain relief; however, many were unable to name a medication. Nonpharmaceutical options were cited as being an alter-native. Many BU patients experience pain; however, former patients and community members alike appear to havea limited knowledge about available pain relief. A low-cost alternative to medication may be the use of non-pharmaceutical means for pain relief. Routine pain assessment may reduce patients’fear and unwillingness to express pain. Awareness of such issues will be valuable when implementing a BU pain relief guideline.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Marks, Michael; Mitjà, Oriol; Bottomley, Christian; Kwakye, Cynthia; Houinei, Wendy; Bauri, Mathias; Adwere, Paul; Abdulai, Abdul A; Dua, Fredrick; Boateng, Laud;
Date:
2018-05-06
Journal:
The Lancet Global Health
Content:

Background: A dose of 30 mg/kg of azithromycin is recommended for treatment of yaws, a disease targeted for global
eradication. Treatment with 20 mg/kg of azithromycin is recommended for the elimination of trachoma as a public
health problem. In some settings, these diseases are co-endemic. We aimed to determine the efficacy of 20 mg/kg of
azithromycin compared with 30 mg/kg azithromycin for the treatment of active and latent yaws.

 

Methods: We did a non-inferiority, open-label, randomised controlled trial in children aged 6–15 years who were
recruited from schools in Ghana and schools and the community in Papua New Guinea. Participants were enrolled
based on the presence of a clinical lesion that was consistent with infectious primary or secondary yaws and a positive
rapid diagnostic test for treponemal and non-treponemal antibodies. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to
receive either standard-dose (30 mg/kg) or low-dose (20 mg/kg) azithromycin by a computer-generated random
number sequence. Health-care workers assessing clinical outcomes in the field were not blinded to the patient’s
treatment, but investigators involved in statistical or laboratory analyses and the participants were blinded to treatment
group. We followed up participants at 4 weeks and 6 months. The primary outcome was cure at 6 months, defined as
lesion healing at 4 weeks in patients with active yaws and at least a four-fold decrease in rapid plasma reagin titre
from baseline to 6 months in patients with active and latent yaws. Active yaws was defined as a skin lesion that was
positive for Treponema pallidum ssp pertenue in PCR testing. We used a non-inferiority margin of 10%. This trial was
registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02344628.

 

Findings: Between June 12, 2015, and July 2, 2016, 583 (65·1%) of 895 children screened were enrolled; 292 patients were
assigned a low dose of azithromycin and 291 patients were assigned a standard dose of azithromycin. 191 participants had
active yaws and 392 had presumed latent yaws. Complete follow-up to 6 months was available for 157 (82·2%) of
191 patients with active yaws. In cases of active yaws, cure was achieved in 61 (80·3%) of 76 patients in the low-dose group
and in 68 (84·0%) of 81 patients in the standard-dose group (difference 3·7%; 95% CI −8·4 to 15·7%; this result did not
meet the non-inferiority criterion). There were no serious adverse events reported in response to treatment in either
group. The most commonly reported adverse event at 4 weeks was gastrointestinal upset, with eight (2·7%) participants
in each group reporting this symptom.

 

Interpretation: In this study, low-dose azithromycin did not meet the prespecified non-inferiority margin compared
with standard-dose azithromycin in achieving clinical and serological cure in PCR-confirmed active yaws. Only a
single participant (with presumed latent yaws) had definitive serological failure. This work suggests that 20 mg/kg of
azithromycin is probably effective against yaws, but further data are needed.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Amoako YA, Loglo AD, Frimpong M, Agbavor B, Abass MK, Amofa G, Ofori E, Ampadu E, Asiedu K, Stienstra Y, Wansbrough-Jones M, van der Werf T, Phillips RO.
Date:
2021-04-08
Journal:
BMC Infect Dis
Content:

Background:Previous studies have reported that presence and severity of Buruli ulcer (BU) may reflect theunderlying immunosuppression in HIV infected individuals by causing increased incidence of multiple, larger andulcerated lesions. We report cases of BU-HIV coinfection and the accompanying programmatic challengesencountered in central Ghana.

Methods:Patients with PCR confirmed BU in central Ghana who were HIV positive were identified and their BU01forms were retrieved and reviewed in further detail. A combined 16S rRNA reverse transcriptase / IS2404 qPCR assaywas used to assess theMycobacterium  ulceransload. The characteristics of coinfected patients (BU+HIV+) werecompared with a group of matched controls.

Results:The prevalence of HIV in this BU cohort was 2.4% (compared to national HIV prevalence of 1.7%). Eight of9BU+HIV+patients had a single lesion and ulcers were the most common lesion type. The lesions presented werepredominantly category II (5/9) followed by category I lesions. The median (IQR) time to healing was 14 (8–28)weeks in the BU+HIV+compared to 28 (12–33) weeks in the control BU+HIV−group (p= 0.360). Only one BU+HIV+developed a paradoxical reaction at week 16 but the lesion healed completely at week 20. The median bacterialload (16SrRNA) of BU+HIV+patients was 750 copies /ml (95% CI 0–398,000) versus 500 copies/ml (95% CI 0–126,855,500) in BU+HIV−group. Similarly, the median count using the IS2404 assay was 500 copies/ml (95% CI 0–500) forBU+HIV+patients versus 500 copies/ml (95% CI 500–31,000) for BU+HIV−patients. BU+HIV−patients mounted asignificantly higher interferon-γresponse compared to the BU+HIV+co-infected patients with respective median(range) responses of [1687(81.11–4399) pg/ml] versus [137.5(4.436–1406) pg/ml,p= 0.03]. There were challengeswith the integration of HIV and BU care in this cohort.

Conclusion:The prevalence of HIV in the BU+ infected population was not significantly increased when comparedto the prevalence of HIV in the general population. There was no clear relationship between BU lesion severity andHIV viral load or CD4 counts. Efforts should be made to encourage the integration of care of patients with BU-HIVcoinfection.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Date:
2021-03-01
Journal:
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis
Content:
Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Stockdale, Alexander; Phillips, Richard O; Sarfo, Fred S; Appiah, Lambert T; Bonnett, Laura J; Chadwicks, David; Villa, Giovanni; Bhagani, Sanjay; Smith, Colette; Geretti, Anna Maria;
Date:
2016-06-04
Journal:
HEPATOLOGY
Content:

Introduction Until recently lamivudine was the only available agent to treat hepatitis B in the context of HIV infection in sub‐Saharan Africa. Tenofovir is gradually becoming available although access remains far from universal. Long‐term outcomes of introducing tenofovir as part of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in subjects previously extensively exposed to lamivudine as the sole HBV‐active agent in the region are unknown. Methods We report from a prospective cohort of HIV/HBV co‐infected adults attending for HIV care in Kumasi, Ghana, where HBsAg prevalence is 14%. HBsAg‐positive subjects were invited to attend for transient elastography (TE) and blood sampling before the introduction of tenofovir (TO) as part of ART, and within 1 year (T1) and 4 years (T2) of starting tenofovir. Adherence and alcohol consumption were determined by a questionnaire‐based interview. Results Overall 178 patients underwent evaluation at T0/T1, of whom 98 (55%) also attended for assessment at T2. Remaining patients were lost to follow up (50; 28%); had died (10; 6%); declined to attend (17; 10%); or were excluded due to pregnancy (2; 1 %) or invalid TE (1; 1 %). Of the 98 subjects, 94 had started tenofovir‐based ART and had received tenofovir for median 4 years (IQR 3.8, 4.1), while continuing previous lamivudine (Table 1). By multivariable linear regression, female gender, no history of alcohol excess, and higher HBV DNA level, higher liver stiffness, and lower platelet count at T0/T1 were significant predictors of decreasing liver stiffness between TO/1 and T2. No treatment‐emergent resistance mutations in HBV polymerase were observed by Sanger sequencing among subjects with HBV DNA>100 lU/ml at T2; one subject showed M204V+V173L+L180M at both TO and T2. Conclusions This is the first report of the long‐term impact on liver stiffness and virologic parameters of introducing tenofovir as part of ART in extensively lamivudine exposed HIV/HBV co‐infected patients in sub‐Saharan Africa. Significant reductions in liver stiffness and improved HBV control were observed at four years.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Villa, G; Abdullahi, A; Owusu, D; Smith, C; Azumah, M; Sayeed, L; Austin, H; Awuah, D; Beloukas, A; Chadwick, D; , Villa, G., Abdullahi, A., Owusu, D., Smith, C., Azumah, M., Sayeed, L., Austin, H., Awuah, D., Beloukas, A., Chadwick, D. and Phillips, R., 2019, November. Drug resistance profile according to HIV-1 viral load after long-term exposure to antiretroviral treatment in the absence of routine virological monitoring: results from a programmatic cohort in sub-Saharan Africa. In HIV MEDICINE (Vol. 20, pp. 172-173). 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA: WILEY.
Date:
2019-07-20
Journal:
HIV MEDICINE
Content:
Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Villa, G; Phillips, RO; Smith, C; Stockdale, AJ; Beloukas, A; Appiah, LT; Chadwick, D; Ruggiero, A; Sarfo, FS; Post, F;
Date:
2018-06-07
Journal:
Journal of Infection
Content:

Objectives: The study assessed markers of renal health in HIV/HBV co-infected patients receiving TDF-containing antiretroviral therapy in Ghana.Methods: Urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio (uPCR) and albumin-to-protein ratio (uAPR) were measured cross-sectionally after a median of four years of TDF. At this time, alongside extensive laboratory testing, patients underwent evaluation of liver stiffness and blood pressure. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was measured longitudinally before and during TDF therapy.

Results: Among 101 participants (66% women, median age 44 years, median CD4 count 572 cells/mm3) 21% and 17% had detectable HIV-1 RNA and HBV DNA, respectively. Overall 35% showed hypertension, 6% diabetes, 7% liver stiffness indicative of cirrhosis, and 18% urinary excretion of Schistosoma antigen.
Tubular proteinuria occurred in 16% of patients and was independently predicted by female gender and hypertension. The eGFR declined by median 1.8 ml/min/year during TDF exposure (IQR −4.4, −0.0); more pronounced declines (≥ 5 ml/min/year) occurred in 22% of patients and were associated with receiving ritonavir-boosted lopinavir rather than efavirenz. HBV DNA, HBeAg, transaminases, and liver stiffness were not predictive of renal function abnormalities.

Conclusions: The findings mandate improved diagnosis and management of hypertension and suggest targeted laboratory monitoring of patients receiving TDF alongside a booster in sub-Saharan Africa.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Nausch, Norman; Antwi-Berko, Daniel; Mubarik, Yusif; Abass, Kabiru Mohammed; Owusu, Wellington; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis; Debrah, Linda Batsa; Debrah, Alexander Yaw; Jacobsen, Marc; Phillips, Richard O;
Date:
2017-02-27
Journal:
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Content:

Buruliulcerdisease(BUD),causedbyMycobacterium(M.)ulcerans,is the third most common mycobacterial disease after tuberculosis and leprosy. BUD causes necrotic skin lesions and is a significant problem for health care in the affected countries. As for other mycobacterial infections,T cell mediated immune responses are important for protection and recovery during treatment, but detailed studies investigating these immune responses in BUD patients are scarce. In this study,we aimed to characterise M.ulcerans-specific CD4+T cell responses in BUD patients and to analyse specific cytokine-producingT cells in the context of disease severity and progression.

Methodology/Principalfindings: For this case-control study,whole blood samples of BUDpatients (N= 36,1.5–17yearsof age) and healthy contacts(N= 22,3–15yearsof age) were stimulated with antigen prepared from M.ulcerans and CD4+T cells were analysed for the expression of TNFα, IFNγ and CD40L by flow cytometry.Theproportionsandprofileof cytokine producing CD4+T cells was compared between the two study groups and correlated with disease progression and severity. Proportions of cytokine double positive IFNγ+TNFα+,TNFα+CD40L+,IFNγ+CD40L+(p = 0.014,p = 0.010,p = 0.002,respectively) and triple positive IFNγ+TNFα+CD40L+(p = 0.010) producing CD4+T cell subsets were increased in BUD patients. In addition,TNFα+CD40L-IFNγ-CD4+T cells differed between patients and controls (p =0.034). TNFα+CD40L-IFNγ-CD4+T cells were correlated with lesion size (p = 0.010) and proportion were higher in ‘slow’healers compared to ‘fasthealers’ (p = 0.030)

Conclusions: We were able to identify M.ulcerans-specific CD4+T cell subsets with specific cytokine profiles. In particulara CD4+T cell subset, producingTNFα but not IFNγ and CD40L,showed association with lesion size and healing progress. Further studies are required to investigate, if the identified CD4+T cell subset has the potential to be used as biomarker for diagnosis,severity and/or progression of disease.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Maaroufi, A; Vince, A; Himatt, SM; Mohamed, R; Fung, J; Opare‐Sem, O; Workneh, A; Njouom, R; Al Ghazzawi, I; Abdulla, M;
Date:
2017-02-04
Journal:
Journal of viral hepatitis
Content:

Due to the introduction of newer, more efficacious treatment options, there is a pressing need for policy makers and public health officials to develop or adapt national hepatitis C virus (HCV) control strategies to the changing epidemiological landscape. To do so, detailed, country-specific data are needed to characterize the burden of chronic HCV infection. In this study of 17 countries, a literature review of published and unpublished data on HCV prevalence, viraemia, genotype, age and gender distribution, liver transplants and diagnosis and treatment rates was conducted, and inputs were validated by expert consensus in each country. Viraemic prevalence in this study ranged from 0.2% in Hong Kong to 2.4% in Taiwan, while the largest viraemic populations were in Nigeria (2 597 000 cases) and Taiwan (569 000 cases). Diagnosis, treatment and liver transplant rates varied widely across the countries included in this analysis, as did the availability of reliable data. Addressing data gaps will be critical for the development of future strategies to manage and minimize the disease burden of hepatitis C.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Neary M, Olagunju A, Sarfo F, Phillips R, Moss D, Owen A, Chadwick D
Date:
2014-02-14
Journal:
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
Content:

Objectives

To assess associations between polymorphisms within genes encoding proximal tubule transporters implicated in tenofovir renal clearance and kidney tubular dysfunction (KTD), chronic kidney disease (CKD) and individual biochemical parameters.

Patients and methods

The study included a cohort of HIV-positive Ghanaians receiving regimens containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (n = 66) for at least 6 months prior to study enrolment. SNPs in ABCC10ABCC2 and ABCC4 were selected for analysis based on previous published associations. All SNPs were genotyped by real-time PCR allelic discrimination. Creatinine clearance (CLCR), serum and urine creatinine concentrations and biochemical measures of KTD were assessed. Statistical significance was determined through univariate linear or binary logistical regression (P ≤ 0.05).

Results

None of the SNPs evaluated was associated with CKD or KTD. A trend between body weight and higher incidence of CKD (P = 0.012, OR = 0.9) was observed. ABCC10 2843T>C (rs2125739) was significantly associated with lower log10 baseline creatinine (P = 0.001, β= −0.4), higher baseline CLCR (P = 0.008, β = 65.2) and lower CLCR after 1 year (P = 0.024, β= −26.6).

Conclusions

This study demonstrates an association of ABCC10 rs2125739 with indicators of declining renal function and builds on current knowledge of this interaction within a Ghanaian cohort.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Simpson H, Tabah EN, Phillips RO, Frimpong M, Maman I, Ampadu E, Timothy J, Saunderson P, Pullan RL, Cano J
Date:
2021-03-03
Journal:
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
Content:

Buruli ulcer (BU) is a disabling and stigmatising neglected tropicaldisease(NTD).Its distribution and burden are unknown because of under diagnosis and under reporting. It is caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, an environmental pathogen whose environmental niche and transmission routes are not fully understood.Themaincontrolstrategyis activesurveillanceto promote early treatment and thus limit morbidity, but these activities are mostly restricted to well-known endemic areas. A betterunderstanding of environmental suitability for the bacterium and disease could inform targeted surveillance, and advance understanding of the ecology and burden of BU.We used previously compiled point-level datasets of BU and M.ulcerans occurrence,evidence for BU occurrence with in national and sub-national areas, and a suite of relevant environmental covariates in a distribution modelling framework. We fitted relationships between BU and M.ulcerans occurrence and environmental predictors by applying regression and machine learning based algorithms, combined in an ensemble model to characterise the optimal ecological niche for the disease and bacterium across Africa at a resolution of 5km x 5km.Proximity to water bodies was the strongest predictor of suitability for BU, followed potential evapotranspiration. The strongest predictors of suitability for M.ulcerans were deforestation and potential evapotranspiration. We identified patchy foci of suitability throughout West and Central Africa,including areas with no previous evidence of the disease. Predicted suitability for M.ulcerans was wider but overlapping with that of BU.The estimated population living in areas predicted suitable for the bacterium and disease was 46.1million.These maps could be used to inform burden estimations and case searches which would generate a more complete understanding of the spatial distribution of BU in Africa,and may guide control programmes to identify cases beyond the well known endemic areas.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Frimpong, Michael; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Duah, Mabel Sarpong; Wansbrough-Jones, Mark; Phillips, Richard O;
Date:
2016-03-07
Journal:
Chronic Wound Care Management and Research
Content:

: Buruli ulcer caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans is a neglected tropical disease characterized by extensive ulceration involving predominantly the upper and lower limbs of patients. The disease is common in rural tropical communities in West and Central Africa, where access to proper health care is limited. Pathogenesis of the characteristic painless ulcers is linked to the elaboration by M. ulcerans of a lipid toxin called mycolactone that has potent cytopathic, immunosuppressive, and analgesic effects on a host of cells in cutaneous tissues. Mycolactone is known to profoundly inhibit secretion of a plethora of proteins that are essential for wound healing. Even though a combination antibacterial therapy of streptomycin and rifampicin for 8 weeks is effective for treatment, it relies on good and appropriate wound management to prevent secondary bacterial infections and improve healing. Evidence-based interventions for wound care in Buruli ulcer disease are often lacking and have relied on expert advice and recommendations. Surgical interventions are limited to debridement of necrotic tissue and grafting of extensive ulcers, usually after antibiotic therapy. Patients’ rehabilitation is an important component of care to reduce disabilities associated with the disease and proper integration into the community after treatment.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Awua‑Boateng, Nana Yaa; Mohammed, Aliyu; Aglanu, Leslie Mawuli; Acheampong, Godfred; Amuasi, John Humphrey; Bonsu, Frank Adae; Phillips, Richard Odame; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis;
Date:
2019-09-08
Journal:
International Journal Microbiology
Content:

Background: Despite appropriate prevention and control measures, tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant contributor to maternal morbidity and mortality. Diagnosis of the disease in pregnancy is usually challenging, as the symptoms may be attributed to the pregnancy. Little is known about the true burden of the disease and its associated risk factors among pregnant women. This study sought to assess the prevalence of TB among pregnant women and associated sociodemographic characteristics in Ghana.

Methods: The study used nationally representative data gathered from the national TB project in 2013. A total of 1747 pregnant women were sampled from 56 randomly selected diagnostic health centers across the ten regions of Ghana. TB was confirmed with Ziehl-Neelsen staining technique using morning sputum samples from pregnant women who reported coughing for more than 2 weeks. We assessed how the observed TB prevalence differed by some sociodemographic characteristics and other factors. We further examined the regional spatial distribution of pregnant women with TB in the country.

Results: Up to 11.2% of the pregnant women had a history of cough during pregnancy. Eighteen (1.1%) cases of TB were confirmed among the pregnant women during the 2-year period, with the Eastern region of the country recording the highest (n = 13, 72%), followed by Volta region ( n = 2, 11.1%). No cases were recorded in five regions. The geographical region of residence was the only determinant of TB in pregnancy significantly associated with TB (P = 0.001).

Conclusion: Although the burden of TB was found to be low, appropriate control measures have to be put in place to detect the disease during the early stages of pregnancy to safeguard the health of the expectant mother and the unborn child.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Neary, M; Olagunju, A; Sarfo, F; Phillips, R; Moss, D; Owen, A; Chadwick, D;
Date:
2020-02-14
Journal:
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Content:

To assess associations between polymorphisms within genes encoding proximal tubule transporters implicated in tenofovir renal clearance and kidney tubular dysfunction (KTD), chronic kidney disease (CKD) and individual biochemical parameters. Patients and methods: The study included a cohort of HIV-positive Ghanaians receiving regimens containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (n = 66) for at least 6 months prior to study enrolment. SNPs in ABCC10, ABCC2 and ABCC4 were selected for analysis based on previous published associations. All SNPs were genotyped by real-time PCR allelic discrimination. Creatinine clearance (CLCR), serum and urine creatinine concentrations and biochemical measures of KTD were assessed. Statistical significance was determined through univariate linear or binary logistical regression (P ≤ 0.05). Results: None of the SNPs evaluated was associated with CKD or KTD. A trend between body weight and higher incidence of CKD (P = 0.012, OR = 0.9) was observed. ABCC10 2843T>C (rs2125739) was significantly associated with lower log10 baseline creatinine (P = 0.001, β= -0.4), higher baseline CLCR (P = 0.008, β = 65.2) and lower CLCR after 1 year (P = 0.024, β= -26.6). Conclusions: This study demonstrates an association of ABCC10 rs2125739 with indicators of declining renal function and builds on current knowledge of this interaction within a Ghanaian cohort.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Soumya Swaminathan
Date:
2020-11-06
Journal:
Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Content:

To maximise the likelihood of success, global health programmes need repeated, honest appraisal of their own weaknesses, with research undertaken to address any identified gaps. There is still much to be learned to optimise work against neglected tropical diseases. To facilitate that learning, a comprehensive research and development plan is required. Here, we discuss how such a plan might be developed.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Omansen, Till Frederik; van der Werf, Tjip S; Phillips, Richard Odame;
Date:
2019-04-30
Journal:
Buruli ulcer
Content:

MacCallum and coworkers described Buruli ulcer (BU) as an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans in Victoria, Australia. They first considered the skin lesions in their patients to be caused by tuberculosis or leprosy, when they observed numerous acid-fast bacilli in the biopsy specimens [1]. The typical duration of illness was between 1 and 2 years; treatment was essentially surgical. With the advent of chemotherapy for tuberculosis [2–4], and later for leprosy, doctors made individual attempts to treat the lesions with anti-tuberculosis and anti-leprosy drugs. The anecdotal evidence suggested poor or no response to chemotherapy with rifampicin monotherapy [5], despite the fact that in vitro susceptibility of 33 strains of M. ulcerans was as good as for M. tuberculosis [6]. A randomized clinical trial by the British Medical Research Council in Buruli county (now called Nakasongola; Uganda) failed to show any benefit from clofazimine, a drug then first marketed for leprosy [7]. A small-sized trial with cotrimoxazole (18 participants; 12 evaluable) was inconclusive [8]. A small-sized randomized study in Côte d’Ivoire compared a combination of dapsone and rifampicin with placebo; the follow-up was limited; the ulcer size decreased slightly faster in the intervention group but the baseline characteristics of both groups differed, and the study did not allow to draw any firm conclusions about the effectiveness of these drugs [9]. By the turn of the millennium, the discrepancy between in vitro efficacy of rifampicin [6] or clarithromycin [10] and lack of clinical response prompted to stressing the need for well-designed and well-powered drug trials, but in the meantime, to also improve early detection and surgical treatment [11].

Identifiers:
Authors:
Stockdale, Alexander J; Phillips, Richard Odame; Beloukas, Apostolos; Appiah, Lambert Tetteh; Chadwick, David; Bhagani, Sanjay; Bonnett, Laura; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Dusheiko, Geoffrey; Geretti, Anna Maria;
Date:
2016-06-01
Journal:
Clinical Infectious Diseases
Content:

Background. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) programs in sub-Saharan Africa have for many years included lamivudine as the sole hepatitis B virus (HBV) inhibitor. Long-term outcomes and the effects of introducing tenofovir as part of ART in these populations have not been characterized.

Methods. The study comprised a cross-sectional analysis of 106 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/HBV–coinfected subjects maintained on lamivudine, as well as a prospective analysis of 76 lamivudine-experienced subjects who introduced tenofovir. Patients underwent assessment of liver fibrosis by transient elastography (TE) and testing to characterize HIV type 1 (HIV-1) and HBV replication.

Results. After a median of 45 months of lamivudine treatment, HIV-1 RNA and HBV DNA were detectable in 35 of 106 (33.0%) and 54 of 106 (50.9%) subjects, respectively, with corresponding drug resistance rates of 17 of 106 (16.0%) and 31 of 106 (29.2%), respectively. Median TE values were 5.7 kPa (interquartile range, 4.7–7.2 kPa) and independently associated with HBV DNA load, aspartate aminotransferase levels, and platelet counts; 13 of 106 (12.3%) subjects had TE measurements >9.4 kPa. Twelve months after the first assessment, and a median of 7.8 months after introducing tenofovir, HBV DNA levels declined by a mean of 1.5 log10 IU/mL (P < .001). TE values changed by a mean of −0.2 kPa (P = .097), and declined significantly in subjects who had pretenofovir HBV DNA levels >2000 IU/mL (mean, −0.8 kPa; P = .048) or TE values >7.6 kPa (mean, −1.2 kPa; P = .021). HIV-1 RNA detection rates remained unchanged.

Conclusions. A proportion of HIV/HBV-coinfected patients on long-term lamivudine-containing ART had poor HIV and HBV suppression, drug resistance, and TE values indicative of advanced liver fibrosis. Tenofovir improved HBV control and reduced liver stiffness in subjects with high HBV DNA load and TE values.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Owusu, Michael; Sylverken, Augustina Angelina; Ankrah, Sampson Twumasi; El-Duah, Philip; Ayisi-Boateng, Nana Kwame; Yeboah, Richmond; Gorman, Richmond; Asamoah, Jesse; Binger, Tabea; Acheampong, Godfred;
Date:
2020-12-10
Journal:
PloS one
Content:

Background

Global cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, causing havoc to several economies. So far, Ghana has recorded 48,643 confirmed cases with 320 associated deaths. Although summaries of data are usually provided by the Ministry of Health, detailed epidemiological profile of cases are limited. This study sought to describe the socio-demographic features, pattern of COVID-19 spread and the viral load dynamics among subjects residing in northern, middle and part of the southern belt of Ghana.

Methods

This was a cross-sectional retrospective study that reviewed records of samples collected from February to July, 2020. Respiratory specimens such as sputum, deep-cough saliva and nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from suspected COVID-19 subjects in 12 regions of Ghana for laboratory analysis and confirmation by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Results

A total of 72,434 samples were collected during the review period, with majority of the sampled individuals being females (37,464; 51.9%). The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 identified in the study population was 13.2% [95%CI: 12.9, 13.4). Males were mostly infected (4,897; 51.5%) compared to females. Individuals between the ages 21–30 years recorded the highest number of infections (3,144, 33.4%). Symptomatic subjects had higher viral loads (1479.7 copies/μl; IQR = 40.6–178919) than asymptomatic subjects (49.9; IQR = 5.5–3641.6). There was significant association between gender or age and infection with SARS-CoV-2 (p<0.05). Among all the suspected clinical presentations, anosmia was the strongest predictor of SARS-CoV-2 infection (Adj. OR (95%CI): 24.39 (20.18, 29.49). We observed an average reproductive number of 1.36 with a minimum of 1.28 and maximum of 1.43. The virus trajectory shows a gradual reduction of the virus reproductive number.

Conclusion

This study has described the epidemiological profile of COVID-19 cases in northern, middle and part of the southern belt of Ghana, with males and younger individuals at greater risk of contracting the disease. Health professionals should be conscious of individuals presenting with anosmia since this was seen as the strongest predictor of virus infection.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Chan, HLY; Chen, CJ; Omede, O; Al Qamish, J; Al Naamani, K; Bane, A; Tan, SS; Simonova, M; Cardenas, I; Derbala, M;
Date:
2017-02-04
Journal:
Journal of viral hepatitis
Content:

Factors influencing the morbidity and mortality associated with viremic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection change over time and place, making it difficult to compare reported estimates. Models were developed for 17 countries (Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar and Taiwan) to quantify and characterize the viremic population as well as forecast the changes in the infected population and the corresponding disease burden from 2015 to 2030. Model inputs were agreed upon through expert consensus, and a standardized methodology was followed to allow for comparison across countries. The viremic prevalence is expected to remain constant or decline in all but four countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan and Oman); however, HCV-related morbidity and mortality will increase in all countries except Qatar and Taiwan. In Qatar, the high-treatment rate will contribute to a reduction in total cases and HCV-related morbidity by 2030. In the remaining countries, however, the current treatment paradigm will be insufficient to achieve large reductions in HCV-related morbidity and mortality.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Phillips, Richard; Wansbrough‐Jones, Mark; Simmonds, Rachel E; , Sarfo, F. S., Phillips, R., Wansbrough‐Jones, M., & Simmonds, R. E. (2016). Recent advances: role of mycolactone in the pathogenesis and monitoring of Mycobacterium ulcerans infection/Buruli ulcer disease. Cellular microbiology, 18(1), 17-29.
Date:
2016-12-01
Journal:
Cellular microbiology
Content:

Infection of subcutaneous tissue with Mycobacterium ulcerans can lead to chronic skin ulceration known as Buruli ulcer. The pathogenesis of this neglected tropical disease is dependent on a lipid-like toxin, mycolactone, which diffuses through tissue away from the infecting organisms. Since its identification in 1999, this molecule has been intensely studied to elucidate its cytotoxic and immunosuppressive properties. Two recent major advances identifying the underlying molecular targets for mycolactone have been described. First, it can target scaffolding proteins (such as Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome Protein), which control actin dynamics in adherent cells and therefore lead to detachment and cell death by anoikis. Second, it prevents the co-translational translocation (and therefore production) of many proteins that pass through the endoplasmic reticulum for secretion or placement in cell membranes. These pleiotropic effects underpin the range of cell-specific functional defects in immune and other cells that contact mycolactone during infection. The dose and duration of mycolactone exposure for these different cells explains tissue necrosis and the paucity of immune cells in the ulcers. This review discusses recent advances in the field, revisits older findings in this context and highlights current developments in structure-function studies as well as methodology that make mycolactone a promising diagnostic biomarker.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Debrah, Linda Batsa; Phillips, Richard O; Pfarr, Kenneth; Klarmann-Schulz, Ute; Opoku, Vera Serwaa; Nausch, Norman; Owusu, Wellington; Mubarik, Yusif; Sander, Anna-Lena; Lämmer, Christine;
Date:
2019-07-10
Journal:
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Content:

Treating Mansonella perstans is challenged by the low efficacy of registered antihelminthics. Wolbachia endobacteria provide an alternative treatment target because depletion results in amicrofilaremia in filarial infections with Wuchereria bancrofti and Onchocerca volvulus infections. This open-label, randomized study sought to confirm that i) Wolbachia are present in M. perstans in Ghana and ii) doxycycline treatment will deplete Wolbachia and cause a slow, sustained decline in microfilariae (MF). Two hundred and two Ghanaians with M. perstans infection were randomized into early (immediate) and delayed (6 months deferred) treatment groups, given doxycycline 200 mg/day for 6 weeks, and monitored for MF and Wolbachia levels at baseline, 4, 12, and 24 months after the study onset (= time of randomization and start of treatment for the early group). Per protocol analysis revealed that the median MF/mL in the early group declined from 138 at baseline to 64 at month 4 and further to 0 at month 12. In the delayed group, MF load did not change from a baseline median of 97 to 102 at month 4 but declined to 42 at month 12, that is, 6 months after receiving treatment, trailing the early group as expected. By month 24, both treatment groups had reached a median MF level of 0. After treatment, Wolbachia were depleted from MF by ≥ 1-log drop compared with baseline levels. We conclude that M. perstans in Ghana harbor Wolbachia that are effectively depleted by doxycycline with subsequent reduction in MF loads, most likely because of interruption of fertility of adult worms.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Phillips, Richard O; Robert, Jérôme; Abass, Kabiru Mohamed; Thompson, William; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Wilson, Tuah; Sarpong, Godfred; Gateau, Thierry; Chauty, Annick; Omollo, Raymond;
Date:
2020-03-12
Journal:
The Lancet
Content:

Background: Buruli ulcer is a neglected tropical disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans infection that damages the skin and subcutis. It is most prevalent in western and central Africa and Australia. Standard antimicrobial treatment with oral rifampicin 10 mg/kg plus intramuscular streptomycin 15 mg/kg once daily for 8 weeks (RS8) is highly effective, but streptomycin injections are painful and potentially harmful. We aimed to compare the efficacy and tolerability of fully oral rifampicin 10 mg/kg plus clarithromycin 15 mg/kg extended release once daily for 8 weeks (RC8) with that of RS8 for treatment of early Buruli ulcer lesions. Methods: We did an open-label, non-inferiority, randomised (1:1 with blocks of six), multicentre, phase 3 clinical trial comparing fully oral RC8 with RS8 in patients with early, limited Buruli ulcer lesions. There were four trial sites in hospitals in Ghana (Agogo, Tepa, Nkawie, Dunkwa) and one in Benin (Pobè). Participants were included if they were aged 5 years or older and had typical Buruli ulcer with no more than one lesion (caterories I and II) no larger than 10 cm in diameter. The trial was open label, and neither the investigators who took measurements of the lesions nor the attending doctors were masked to treatment assignment. The primary clinical endpoint was lesion healing (ie, full epithelialisation or stable scar) without recurrence at 52 weeks after start of antimicrobial therapy. The primary endpoint and safety were assessed in the intention-to-treat population. A sample size of 332 participants was calculated to detect inferiority of RC8 by a margin of 12%. This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01659437. Findings: Between Jan 1, 2013, and Dec 31, 2017, participants were recruited to the trial. We stopped recruitment after 310 participants. Median age of participants was 14 years (IQR 10–29) and 153 (52%) were female. 297 patients had PCR-confirmed Buruli ulcer; 151 (51%) were assigned to RS8 treatment, and 146 (49%) received oral RC8 treatment. In the RS8 group, lesions healed in 144 (95%, 95% CI 91 to 98) of 151 patients, whereas lesions healed in 140 (96%, 91 to 99) of 146 patients in the RC8 group. The difference in proportion, −0·5% (–5·2 to 4·2), was not significantly greater than zero (p=0·59), showing that RC8 treatment is non-inferior to RS8 treatment for lesion healing at 52 weeks. Treatment-related adverse events were recorded in 20 (13%) patients receiving RS8 and in nine (7%) patients receiving RC8. Most adverse events were grade 1–2, but one (1%) patient receiving RS8 developed serious ototoxicity and ended treatment after 6 weeks. No patients needed surgical resection. Four patients (two in each study group) had skin grafts. Interpretation: Fully oral RC8 regimen was non-inferior to RS8 for treatment of early, limited Buruli ulcer and was associated with fewer adverse events. Therefore, we propose that fully oral RC8 should be the preferred therapy for early, limited lesions of Buruli ulcer. Funding: WHO with additional support from MAP International, American Leprosy Missions, Fondation Raoul Follereau France, Buruli ulcer Groningen Foundation, Sanofi-Pasteur, and BuruliVac.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Geretti, Anna Maria; King, Simon; Adjei-Asante, Kwabena; Appiah, Lambert Tetteh; Owusu, Dorcas Ohui; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Chadwick, David; Phillips, Richard Odame; Beloukas, Apostolos;
Date:
2017-08-09
Journal:
Journal of Clinical Virology
Content:

Background: HCV RNA screening of large sample repositories provides data on HCV epidemic patterns that mayhelp guide control policies. In resource-limited settings, shipment of frozen samples to molecular laboratory facilities and testing of individual samples may be prohibitively expensive.

Objective: Our aim was to detect and sequence HCV RNA in a large HIV-positive cohort from Kumasi, Ghana,using pooled and individual dried plasma spots (DPS) produced from samples stored at −80 °C.

Study design: In the validation phase, replicate DPS were prepared with six dilutions (500–10,000 IU/ml) of the 4th International Standard for HCV and tested in three independent experiments. In the testing phase, DPS prepared with plasma samples from 875 HIV-positive subjects were pooled for screening, followed by testing of
individual DPS of positive pools. Input from individual DPS was two 6 mm punches; pools comprised two punches from each of five DPS. Genotypes were determined by Sanger sequencing of HCV core and NS5B.

Results: With the dilution series, sensitivity of HCV RNA detection was ≥2500 IU/ml. Replicate DPS gave intra-assay and inter-assay coefficients of variation ≤1.4%. With the stored samples, HCV RNA was detected in 5/175 DPS pools and in one DPS from each positive pool, yielding a HCV RNA prevalence of 5/875 (0.57%; 95% confidence interval 0.07-1.07%). The five samples were sequenced as HCV genotypes 2l and 2r.

Discussion: DPS allowed reproducible HCV RNA detection, and pooling effectively contained the cost and labour
of screening a previously untested, low-prevalence cohort. DPS were also suitable for HCV sequencing.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Wadagni, Anita C; Steinhorst, Jonathan; Barogui, Yves T; Catraye, PM; Gnimavo, Ronald; Abass, Kabiru M; Amofa, George; Frimpong, Michael; Sarpong, Francisca N; van der Werf, Tjip S;
Date:
2019-10-28
Journal:
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Content:

Background: Antibiotic treatment proved itself as the mainstay of treatment for Buruli ulcer disease. This neglected tropical disease is caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. Surgery persists as an adjunct therapy intended to reduce the mycobacterial load. In an earlier clinical trial, patients benefited from delaying the decision to operate. Nevertheless, the rate of surgical interventions differs highly per clinic.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted in six different Buruli ulcer (BU) treatment centers in Benin and Ghana. BU patients clinically diagnosed between January 2012 and December 2016 were included and surgical interventions during the follow-up period, at least one year after diagnosis, were recorded. Logistic regression analysis was carried out to estimate the effect of the treatment center on the decision to perform surgery, while controlling for interaction and confounders.

Results: A total of 1193 patients, 612 from Benin and 581 from Ghana, were included. In Benin, lesions were most frequently (42%) categorized as the most severe lesions (WHO criteria, category III), whereas in Ghana lesions were most frequently (44%) categorized as small lesions (WHO criteria, category I). In total 344 (29%) patients received surgical intervention. The percentage of patients receiving surgical intervention varied between hospitals from 1.5% to 72%. Patients treated in one of the centers in Benin were much more likely to have surgery compared to the clinic in Ghana with the lowest rate of surgical intervention (RR = 46.7 CI 95% [17.5-124.8]). Even after adjusting for confounders (severity of disease, age, sex, limitation of movement at joint at time of diagnosis, ulcer and critical sites), rates of surgical interventions varied highly.

Conclusion: The decision to perform surgery to reduce the mycobacterial load in BU varies highly per clinic. Evidence based guidelines are needed to guide the role of surgery in the treatment of BU.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Di Cristanziano, Veronica; Weimer, Kristina; Böttcher, Sindy; Sarfo, Fred Stephen; Dompreh, Albert; Cesar, Lucio-Garcia; Knops, Elena; Heger, Eva; Wirtz, Maike; Kaiser, Rolf;
Date:
2020-02-16
Journal:
Viruses
Content:

In the post-polio eradication era, increasing attention is given to non-polio enteroviruses. Most of the data about enteroviruses in sub-Saharan Africa are related to acute flaccid paralysis surveillance and target the pediatric population. This study aimed to investigate the presence of enterovirus in PLHIV (people living with HIV) and HIV-negative individuals in Ghana. Stool samples from HIV-positive individuals (n = 250) and healthy blood donors (n = 102) attending the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, were screened by real-time PCR for enterovirus. Molecular typing of the VP1 region was performed. Enterovirus-positive samples were tested for norovirus, adenovirus, rotavirus, sapovirus, and cosaviruses. Twenty-six out of 250 HIV-positive subjects (10.4%) and 14 out of 102 HIV-negative individuals (13.7%) were detected enterovirus-positive, not showing a significant different infection rate between the two groups. HIV-negative individuals were infected with Enterovirus C strains only. HIV-positive participants were detected positive for species Enterovirus A, Enterovirus B, and Enterovirus C. Co-infections with other viral enteric pathogens were almost exclusively detected among HIV-positive participants. Overall, the present study provides the first data about enteroviruses within HIV-positive and HIV-negative adults living in Ghana.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Frimpong, Michael; Agbavor, Bernadette; Duah, Mabel Sarpong; Loglo, Aloysius; Sarpong, Francisca N; Boakye-Appiah, Justice; Abass, Kabiru M; Dongyele, Mathias; Amofa, George; Tuah, Wilson;
Date:
2019-08-26
Journal:
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Content:

Background: We investigated the relationship between bacterial load in Buruli ulcer (BU) lesions and the development of paradoxical reaction following initiation of antibiotic treatment.

Methods: This was a longitudinal study involving BU patients from June 2013 to June 2017. Fine needle aspirates (FNA) and swab samples were obtained to establish the diagnosis of BU by PCR. Additional samples were obtained at baseline, during and after treatment (if the lesion had not healed) for microscopy, culture and combined 16S rRNA reverse transcriptase/ IS2404 qPCR assay. Patients were followed up at regular intervals until complete healing.

Results: Forty-seven of 354 patients (13%) with PCR confirmed BU had a PR, occurring between 2 and 42 (median 6) weeks after treatment initiation. The bacterial load, the proportion of patients with positive M. ulcerans culture (15/34 (44%) vs 29/119 (24%), p = 0.025) and the proportion with positive microscopy results (19/31 (61%) vs 28/90 (31%), p = 0.003) before initiation of treatment were significantly higher in the PR compared to the no PR group. Plaques (OR 5.12; 95% CI 2.26-11.61; p<0.001), oedematous (OR 4.23; 95% CI 1.43-12.5; p = 0.009) and category II lesions (OR 2.26; 95% CI 1.14-4.48; p = 0.02) were strongly associated with the occurrence of PR. The median time to complete healing (28 vs 13 weeks, p <0.001) was significantly longer in the PR group.

Conclusions: Buruli ulcer patients who develop PR are characterized by high bacterial load in lesion samples taken at baseline and a higher rate of positive M. ulcerans culture. Occurrence of a PR was associated with delayed healing.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Boakye-Appiah, Justice K; Steinmetz, Alexis R; Pupulampu, Peter; Ofori-Yirenkyi, Stephen; Tetteh, Ishmael; Frimpong, Michael; Oppong, Patrick; Opare-Sem, Ohene; Norman, Betty R; Stienstra, Ymkje; , Boakye-Appiah, J. K., Steinmetz, A. R., Pupulampu, P., Ofori-Yirenkyi, S., Tetteh, I., Frimpong, M., ... & Phillips, R. O. (2016). High prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis among patients with rifampicin resistance using GeneXpert Mycobacterium tuberculosis/rifampicin in Ghana. International journal of mycobacteriology, 5(2), 226-230.
Date:
2016-05-02
Journal:
International journal of mycobacteriology
Content:

Objective/Background: Drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis (TB) represent a major threat to global TB control. In low- and middle-income countries, resource constraints make it difficult to identify and monitor cases of resistance using drug susceptibility testing and culture. Molecular assays such as the GeneXpert Mycobacterium tuberculosis/rifampicin may prove to be a cost-effective solution to this problem in these settings. The objective of this study is to evaluate the use of GeneXpert in the diagnosis of pulmonary TB since it was introduced into two tertiary hospitals in Ghana in 2013.

Methods: A 2-year retrospective audit of clinical cases involving patients who presentedwith clinically suspected TB or documented TB not improving on standard therapy and had samples sent for GeneXpert testing.Results: GeneXpert identified 169 cases of TB, including 17 cases of rifampicin-resistant TB. Of the seven cases with final culture and drug susceptibility testing results, six demonstrated further drug resistance and five of these were multidrug-resistant TB.

Conclusion: These findings call for a scale-up of TB control in Ghana and provide evidence that the expansion of GeneXpert may be an optimal means to improve case finding and guide treatment of drug-resistant TB in this setting.

 

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Adankwah, Ernest; Lundtoft, Christian; Güler, Alptekin; Franken, Kees LMC; Ottenhoff, Tom HM; Mayatepek, Ertan; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis; Phillips, Richard Odame; Nausch, Norman; Jacobsen, Marc;
Date:
2019-07-03
Journal:
Frontiers in immunology
Content:

IFN-γ release assays [e.g., QuantiFERON (QFT)] are widely used for diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. T-cell responses against QFT antigens ESAT6 and CFP10 are highly Mtb specific but previous studies indicated suboptimal assay sensitivity. Especially for potentially infected healthy contacts (HCs) of tuberculosis patients, alternative antigen usage and more sensitive tests may contribute to improved detection of latent Mtb infection. In a pilot case-control study of tuberculosis patients (n = 22) and HCs (n = 20) from Ghana, we performed multifaceted in vitro assays to identify optimal assay conditions. This included a two-hit stimulation assay, which is based on initial and second re-stimulation with the same antigen on d6 and intracellular IFN-γ analysis, to compare T-cell responses against ESAT6/CFP10 (E6/C10) and selected latency antigens (i.e. Rv2628, Rv1733, Rv2031, Rv3407) of Mtb. Considerable subgroups of tuberculosis patients (64%) and HCs (75%) had negative or indeterminate QFT results partially accompanied by moderate PHA induced responses and high IFN-γ background values. Intracellular IFN-γ analysis of E6/C10 specific CD4+ T-cell subpopulations and evaluation of responder frequencies had only moderate effects on assay sensitivity. However, two-hit in vitro stimulation significantly enhanced E6/C10 specific IFN-γ positive T-cell proportions especially in QFT non-responders, and in both study groups. Mtb latency antigen-specific T cells against Rv1733 and Rv2628 were especially detected in HCs after two-hit stimulation and T-cell responses against Rv2628 were highly capable to discriminate tuberculosis patients and HCs. Two-hit in vitro stimulation may improve moderate sensitivity of short term IFN-γ based assays, like QFT, to detect Mtb infection. Latency stage-specific antigens added significantly to detection of Mtb infection in HCs and tuberculosis patients with negative QFT test results.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Kliethermes, Stephanie; Gantenberg, Jason; Mora, Nallely; Phillips, Richard O; Opare-Sem, Ohene; Owusu, Dorcas; Layden, Jennifer E; , Kliethermes, S., Gantenberg, J., Mora, N., Phillips, R. O., Opare-Sem, O., Owusu, D., & Layden, J. E. (2016, October). Age and Region specific Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus in Ghana: A population-based Study. In HEPATOLOGY (Vol. 63, No. 1 SUPP, pp. 391A-392A). 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA: WILEY-BLACKWELL.
Date:
2016-06-03
Journal:
HEPATOLOGY
Content:
Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Van Der Werf, Tjip S; Barogui, Yves T; Converse, Paul J; Phillips, Richard O; Stienstra, Ymkje;
Date:
2020-04-20
Journal:
Expert review of clinical pharmacology
Content:

Introduction: Pharmacological treatment of Buruli ulcer (Mycobacterium ulcerans infection; BU) is highly effective, as shown in two randomized trials in Africa. Areas covered: We review BU drug treatment–in vitro, in vivo and clinical trials (PubMed: ‘(Buruli OR (Mycobacterium AND ulcerans)) AND (treatment OR therapy).’ We also highlight the pathogenesis of M. ulcerans infection that is dominated by mycolactone, a secreted exotoxin, that causes skin and soft tissue necrosis, and impaired immune response and tissue repair. Healing is slow, due to the delayed wash-out of mycolactone. An array of repurposed tuberculosis and leprosy drugs appears effective in vitro and in animal models. In clinical trials and observational studies, only rifamycins (notably, rifampicin), macrolides (notably, clarithromycin), aminoglycosides (notably, streptomycin) and fluoroquinolones (notably, moxifloxacin, and ciprofloxacin) have been tested. Expert opinion: A combination of rifampicin and clarithromycin is highly effective but lesions still take a long time to heal. Novel drugs like telacebec have the potential to reduce treatment duration but this drug may remain unaffordable in low-resourced settings. Research should address ulcer treatment in general; essays to measure mycolactone over time hold promise to use as a readout for studies to compare drug treatment schedules for larger lesions of Buruli ulcer.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Collinson, Shelui; Frimpong, Venus NB; Agbavor, Bernadette; Montgomery, Bethany; Oppong, Michael; Frimpong, Michael; Amoako, Yaw A; Marks, Michael; Phillips, Richard O;
Date:
2020-05-26
Journal:
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Content:

Background Buruli ulcer is a chronic ulcerating skin condition, with the highest burden found in Central and West Africa where it disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations. Treatment is demanding, comprising eight-weeks of daily antibiotics, regular wound care and possible surgical intervention. Treatment completion is key to optimising outcomes, however the degree of and barriers to this are not well understood. Recent change from injectable treatment (SR8) to oral treatment (CR8) has made it feasible to further decentra-lise care, potentially improving treatment access and completion. However, the impact of this and of other demographic and clinical influences on treatment completion must be explored first to ensure appropriate models of care are developed. Methodology/Principal findings A retrospective clinical notes review and secondary data analysis of records from patients diagnosed between 1 January 2006–31 December 2018 at four district hospital clinics in the Ashanti and Central Regions, Ghana. Univariable analyses and multivariable logistic regres-sion were performed to assess the association between explanatory variables and treatment completion. There were 931 patient episodes across the four clinics with overall treatment completion of 84.4%. CR8 was associated with higher treatment completion compared to SR8 (OR 4.1, P = 0.001). There was no statistically significant association found between distance from patient residence to clinic and treatment completion. Conclusions/Significance Improved treatment completion with CR8 supports its use as first line therapy and may enable decentralisation to fully community-based care. We did not find an association between distance to care and treatment completion, though analyses were limited by data availability. However, we did find evidence that distance to care continues to be associated with more severe forms of disease, which may reflect the higher costs of accessing care and lower awareness of the condition the further a patient lives. Decentralised care must therefore also continue to support community engagement and active outreach to identify cases early.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Stienstra, Ymkje; Beeres, Dorien T; Phillips, Richard; Vonk, Machiel; Ravensbergen, Sofanne J;
Date:
2019-07-06
Journal:
The Lancet
Content:

Scabies is a parasitic disease of the skin that disproportionately affects disadvantaged populations. The disease causes considerable morbidity and leads to severe bacterial infection and immune-mediated disease. Scientific advances from the past 5 years suggest that scabies is amenable to population-level control, particularly through mass drug administration. In recognition of these issues, WHO added scabies to the list of neglected tropical diseases in 2017. To develop a global control programme, key operational research questions must now be addressed. Standardised approaches to diagnosis and methods for mapping are required to further understand the burden of disease. The safety of treatments for young children, including with ivermectin and moxidectin, should be investigated. Studies are needed to inform optimum implementation of mass treatment, including the threshold for intervention, target, dosing, and frequency. Frameworks for surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation of control strategies are also necessary.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Blach, Sarah; Zeuzem, Stefan; Manns, Michael; Altraif, Ibrahim; Duberg, Ann-Sofi; Muljono, David H; Waked, Imam; Alavian, Seyed M; Lee, Mei-Hsuan; Negro, Francesco;
Date:
2017-02-03
Journal:
The lancet Gastroenterology & hepatology
Content:

Background: The 69th World Health Assembly approved the Global Health Sector Strategy to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection by 2030, which can become a reality with the recent launch of direct acting antiviral therapies. Reliable disease burden estimates are required for national strategies. This analysis estimates the global prevalence of viraemic HCV at the end of 2015, an update of—and expansion on—the 2014 analysis, which reported 80 million (95% CI 64–103) viraemic infections in 2013.

Methods: We developed country-level disease burden models following a systematic review of HCV prevalence (number of studies, n=6754) and genotype (n=11 342) studies published af ter 2013. A Delphi process was used to gain country expert consensus and validate inputs. Published estimates alone were used for countries where expert panel meetings could not be scheduled. Global prevalence was estimated using regional averages for countries without data.

Findings: Models were built for 100 countries, 59 of which were approved by country experts, with the remaining 41 estimated using published data alone. The remaining countries had insufficient data to create a model. The global prevalence of viraemic HCV is estimated to be 1·0% (95% uncertainty interval 0·8–1·1) in 2015, corresponding to 71·1 million (62·5–79·4) viraemic infections. Genotypes 1 and 3 were the most common cause of infections (44% and 25%, respectively).

Interpretation: The global estimate of viraemic infections is lower than previous estimates, largely due to more recent (lower) prevalence estimates in Africa. A dditionally, increased mortality due to liver-related causes and an ageing population may have contributed to a reduction in infections.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Frimpong, Michael; Ahor, Hubert Senanu; Abd El Wahed, Ahmed; Agbavor, Bernadette; Sarpong, Francisca Naana; Laing, Kenneth; Wansbrough-Jones, Mark; Phillips, Richard Odame;
Date:
2019-02-01
Journal:
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Content:

Background: Access to an accurate diagnostic test for Buruli ulcer (BU) is a research priority according to the World Health Organization. Nucleic acid amplification of insertion sequence IS2404 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most sensitive and specific method to detect Mycobacterium ulcerans (M. ulcerans), the causative agent of BU. However, PCR is not always available in endemic communities in Africa due to its cost and technological sophistication. Isothermal DNA amplification systems such as the recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) have emerged as a molecular diagnostic tool with similar accuracy to PCR but having the advantage of amplifying a template DNA at a constant lower temperature in a shorter time. The aim of this study was to develop RPA for the detection of M. ulcerans and evaluate its use in Buruli ulcer disease.

Methodology and principal findings: A specific fragment of IS2404 of M. ulcerans was amplified within 15 minutes at a constant 42°C using RPA method. The detection limit was 45 copies of IS2404 molecular DNA standard per reaction. The assay was highly specific as all 7 strains of M. ulcerans tested were detected, and no cross reactivity was observed to other mycobacteria or clinically relevant bacteria species. The clinical performance of the M. ulcerans (Mu-RPA) assay was evaluated using DNA extracted from fine needle aspirates or swabs taken from 67 patients in whom BU was suspected and 12 patients with clinically confirmed non-BU lesions. All results were compared to a highly sensitive real-time PCR. The clinical specificity of the Mu-RPA assay was 100% (95% CI, 84-100), whiles the sensitivity was 88% (95% CI, 77-95).

Conclusion: The Mu-RPA assay represents an alternative to PCR, especially in areas with limited infrastructure.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Abass, Kabiru Mohammed; Van Der Werf, Tjip S; Phillips, Richard O; Sarfo, Fred S; Abotsi, Justice; Mireku, Samuel Osei; Thompson, William N; Asiedu, Kingsley; Stienstra, Ymkje; Klis, Sandor-Adrian;
Date:
2015-02-09
Journal:
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Content:

Buruli ulcer (BU) is an infectious skin disease that occurs mainly in West and Central Africa. It can lead to severe disability and stigma because of scarring and contractures. Effective treatment with antibiotics is available, but patients often report to the hospital too late to prevent surgery and the disabling consequences of the disease. In a highly endemic district in Ghana, intensified public health efforts, mainly revolving around training and motivating community-based surveillance volunteers (CBSVs), were implemented. As a result, 70% of cases were reported in the earliest—World Health Organization category I—stage of the disease, potentially minimizing the need for surgery. CBSVs referred more cases in total and more cases in the early stages of the disease than any other source. CBSVs are an important resource in the early detection of BU.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Phillips, Richard; Evans, Bethan;
Date:
2018-02-01
Journal:
Urban Studies
Content:

The city is not just a context for friendships or a problem to be solved through them; it can be a cat-alyst for these relationships, sparking and strengthening connections between individuals and groups.Shared experiences of and curiosity in cities – expressed through practices that include revisitingfamiliar places and exploring others for the first time – can draw people together in beneficial ways.These principles underpin a health and wellbeingagenda, pioneered in Liverpool, which encouragespeople to ‘take notice’ and ‘connect’ – two of five ‘ways to wellbeing’ promoted through theLiverpool Decade of Health and Wellbeing. This paper focusses upon one particular set of schemesand relationships which brings all this into focus: befriending schemes designed to support people with dementia, which engage with objects and placesas catalysts for connection. These observationsshed a broader light upon the meanings and uses of friendship, with particular reference to cities.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Stockdale, Alexander J; Chaponda, Mas; Beloukas, Apostolos; Phillips, Richard Odame; Matthews, Philippa C; Papadimitropoulos, Athanasios; King, Simon; Bonnett, Laura; Geretti, Anna Maria; , Stockdale, A. J., Chaponda, M., Beloukas, A., Phillips, R. O., Matthews, P. C., Papadimitropoulos, A., ... & Geretti, A. M. (2017). Prevalence of hepatitis D virus infection in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet global health, 5(10), e992-e1003.
Date:
2017-05-09
Journal:
The Lancet Global health
Content:

Background: Hepatitis D virus (also known as hepatitis delta virus) can establish a persistent infection in people with chronic hepatitis B, leading to accelerated progression of liver disease. In sub-Saharan Africa, where HBsAg prevalence is higher than 8%, hepatitis D virus might represent an important additive cause of chronic liver disease. We aimed to establish the prevalence of hepatitis D virus among HBsAg-positive populations in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: We systematically reviewed studies of hepatitis D virus prevalence among HBsAg-positive populations in sub-Saharan Africa. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Scopus for papers published between Jan 1, 1995, and Aug 30, 2016, in which patient selection criteria and geographical setting were described. Search strings included sub-Saharan Africa, the countries therein, and permutations of hepatitis D virus. Cohort data were also added from HIV-positive populations in Malawi and Ghana. Populations undergoing assessment in liver disease clinics and those sampled from other populations (defined as general populations) were analysed. We did a meta-analysis with a DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model to calculate a pooled estimate of hepatitis D virus seroprevalence.

Findings: Of 374 studies identified by our search, 30 were included in our study, only eight of which included detection of hepatitis D virus RNA among anti-hepatitis D virus seropositive participants. In west Africa, the pooled seroprevalence of hepatitis D virus was 7·33% (95% CI 3·55–12·20) in general populations and 9·57% (2·31–20·43)
in liver-disease populations. In central Africa, seroprevalence was 25·64% (12·09–42·00) in general populations and 37·77% (12·13–67·54) in liver-disease populations. In east and southern Africa, seroprevalence was 0·05% (0·00–1·78) in general populations. The odds ratio for anti-hepatitis D virus detection among HBsAg-positive patients
with liver fibrosis or hepatocellular carcinoma was 5·24 (95% CI 2·74–10·01; p<0·0001) relative to asymptomatic controls.

Interpretation: Findings suggest localised clusters of hepatitis D virus endemicity across sub-Saharan Africa. Epidemiological data are needed from southern and east Africa, and from patients with established liver disease. Further studies should aim to define the reliability of hepatitis D virus testing methods, identify risk factors for
transmission, and characterise the natural history of the infection in the region.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Phillips, R.O.
Date:
2019-12-31
Journal:
In The Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection, Henry Stewart Talks. Retrieved January 7, 2020, from https://hstalks.com/bs/3962/.
Content:
Identifiers:
Authors:
Adankwah, Ernest; Nausch, Norman; Minadzi, Difery; Abass, Mohammed K; Franken, Kees LMC; Ottenhoff, Tom HM; Mayatepek, Ertan; Phillips, Richard O; Jacobsen, Marc;
Date:
2020-11-08
Journal:
Journal of Infection
Content:

Objectives: IFNγ-release assays (IGRAs) used for diagnosis of Mycobacterium (M.) tuberculosis infection have limited sensitivity. Alternative cytokines and M. tuberculosis latency-associated antigens may improve immune-based tests. Methods: Multiplex cytokine analyses was done in culture supernatants after 6-day in vitro restimulation with M. tuberculosis IGRA and latency-associated antigens (i.e. Rv2628, Rv1733) in tuberculosis patients (n = 22) and asymptomatic contacts (AC)s (n = 20) from Ghana. Results: Four cytokines (i.e. IFNγ, IP-10, IL-22 and IL-6) were significantly increased after IGRA-antigen specific restimulation. IFNγ, IP-10, and IL-22 correlated positively and showed no differences between the study groups whereas IGRA-antigen induced IL-6 was significantly higher in tuberculosis patients. Using adjusted IGRA criteria, IL-6 showed the highest sensitivity for detection of tuberculosis patients (91%) and ACs (85%) as compared to IFNγ, IP-10, and IL-22. Rv2628 and Rv1733 restimulation induced significantly higher IFNγ, IP-10, and IL-22 concentrations in ACs. Combined antigen/cytokine analyses identified study group specific patterns and a combination of Rv2628/Rv1733 induced IFNγ with IGRA-antigen induced IL-6 was optimal for classification of tuberculosis patients and ACs (AUC: 0.92, p<0.0001). Conclusions: We demonstrate the potency of alternative cytokines, especially IL-6, and latency-associated antigens Rv1733/Rv2628 to improve detection of M. tuberculosis infection and to classify tuberculosis patients and healthy contacts.

Identifiers:
Authors:
King, S; Adjei‐Asante, K; Appiah, L; Adinku, D; Beloukas, A; Atkins, M; Sarfo, SF; Chadwick, D; Phillips, RO; Geretti, AM; , King, S., Adjei‐Asante, K., Appiah, L., Adinku, D., Beloukas, A., Atkins, M., ... & Geretti, A. M. (2015). Antibody screening tests variably overestimate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection among HIV‐infected adults in G hana. Journal of viral hepatitis, 22(5), 461-468.
Date:
2015-02-02
Journal:
Journal of viral hepatitis
Content:

HIV coinfection with HCV has been poorly studied in sub-Saharan Africa, and the reliability of available seroprevalence estimates remains uncertain. The study aim was to determine HCV RNA prevalence in HIV-infected subjects receiving care in Kumasi, Ghana, and relate the findings to HCV antibody detection. From a population of 1520 HIV-infected adults, all HBsAg-positive subjects (= 236) and a random subset of HBsAg-negative subject (= 172) were screened for HCV RNA using pooled plasma; positive samples were genotyped by core and NS5B sequencing. HCV antibodies were detected by three commercial screening assays and confirmed by the line immunoassay. HCV RNA was detected in 4/408 subjects (1.0%, 95% confidence interval 0.0–1.9%), comprising 3/236 (1.3%; 0.0–2.8%) HBsAg-positive and 1/172 (0.6%; 0.0–1.8%) HBsAg-negative subjects. HCV RNA-positive subjects showed reactivity in all three antibody screening assays. Among HCV RNA-negative subjects, 5/67 (7.5%), 5/67 (7.5%) and 19/67 (28.4%) showed antibody reactivity by each screening assay, respectively, including two (3.0%) with reactivity by all three assays. Only one sample (1.5%) had confirmed antibody reactivity by line immunoassay indicating past HCV infection. HCV-positive subjects (three males, two females) were aged 30–46 years, by questionnaire-based interview reported surgical procedures and blood transfusion as risk factors for infection. HCV genotypes were 2 (subtypes 2j, 2l, 2k/unassigned) and 1 (subtype unassigned). Without further testing, HCV antibody screening assays variably overestimated HCV prevalence among HIV-infected subjects in Ghana. These findings inform the interpretation of previous seroprevalence estimates based upon screening assays alone.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Ofori, Afua; Steinmetz, Alexis R; Akaasi, John; Frimpong, George A Asafu Adjaye; Norman, Betty R; Obeng-Baah, Joseph; Bedu-Addo, George; Phillips, Richard O; , Ofori, A., Steinmetz, A. R., Akaasi, J., Frimpong, G. A. A. A., Norman, B. R., Obeng-Baah, J., ... & Phillips, R. O. (2016). Pulmonary aspergilloma: An evasive disease. International Journal of Mycobacteriology, 5(2), 235-239.
Date:
2016-05-02
Journal:
International journal of mycobacteriology
Content:

Aspergillomas are often misdiagnosed as tuberculosis (TB) in developing countries where the prevalence of TB is high, hemoptysis is often equated with TB, and most patients are diagnosed clinically. This report describes the case of a patient being treated for smear-negative TB who presented with hemoptysis and was found to have an aspergilloma.

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed
Authors:
Beeres, Dorien T; Horstman, Jacolien; van der Tak, Pierre; Phillips, Richard O; Abass, Kabiru M; van der Werf, Tjip; Johnson, Roch C; Sopoh, Ghislain E; de Zeeuw, Janine; Dijkstra, Pieter U;
Date:
2019-03-14
Journal:
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Content:

Background: Buruli Ulcer (BU) is a neglected tropical disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. Former BU patients may experience participation restrictions due to physical limitations, stigmatization and other social factors. A scale that measures participation restrictions among children, who represent almost half of the affected population, has not been developed yet. Here, we present the development of a scale that measures participation restrictions in former BU paediatric patients, the psychometric properties of this scale and the scales' results.

Methods: Items were selected and a scale was developed based on interviews with health care workers and former BU patients in and around the BU treatment centre in Lalo, Benin. Construct validity was tested using six a priori formulated hypotheses. Former BU patients under 15 years of age who received treatment in one of the BU treatment centres in Ghana and Benin between 2007-2012 were interviewed.

Results: A feasible 16-item scale that measures the concept of participation among children under 15 years of age was developed. In total, 109 (Ghana) and 90 (Benin) former BU patients were interviewed between 2012-2017. Five construct validity hypotheses were confirmed of which 2 hypotheses related to associations with existing questionnaires were statistically significant (p<0.05). In Ghana 77% of the former patients had a Paediatric Participation (PP) scale score of 0 compared to 22% in Benin. More severe lesions related to BU were seen in Benin. Most of the reported participation problems were related to sports, mainly in playing games with others, going to the playfield and doing sports at school.

Conclusion: The preliminary results of the PP-scale validation are promising but further validation is needed. The developed PP-scale may be valid for use in patients with more severe BU lesions. This is the first research to confirm that former BU patients under 15-year face participation restrictions in important aspects of their lives.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Lundtoft, Christian; Awuah, Anthony Afum-Adjei; Güler, Alptekin; Harling, Kirstin; Schaal, Heiner; Mayatepek, Ertan; Phillips, Richard O; Nausch, Norman; Owusu-Dabo, Ellis; Jacobsen, Marc;
Date:
2019-07-20
Journal:
Genes & Immunity
Content:

Functional interleukin-7 receptor α-chain (IL-7Rα) genetic variants, which affect alternative splicing and expression of the soluble IL-7Rα, are associated with susceptibility to autoimmunity. We previously described aberrant IL-7Rα expression and impaired IL-7-mediated T-cell functions in tuberculosis patients. In the present study, we investigated a possible role of IL7RA gene variants. Six exonic IL7RA polymorphisms were genotyped and two minor alleles were found at lower frequencies in tuberculosis patients as compared to healthy contacts from Ghana (rs11567764, p = 0.002; rs1494558, p = 0.01). The rs11567764 polymorphism tags an IL7RA haplotype exclusively found in African populations and was predicted to affect splicing of exon 5. Reduced mRNA expression of the Δexon_5-6 variant was found in T-cells from carriers of the protective rs11567764 allele. Although we were not able to demonstrate the causative effect of rs11567764, our findings suggested functional implications of genetic variants on IL-7Rα splicing and with potential impact on T-cell protection against tuberculosis.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Chen, DS; Hamoudi, W; Mustapha, B; Layden, J; Nersesov, A; Reic, T; Garcia, V; Rios, C; Mateva, L; Njoya, O;
Date:
2017-04-02
Journal:
Journal of viral hepatitis
Content:

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic was forecasted through 2030 for 17 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, and interventions for achieving the Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis targets—“WHO Targets” (65% reduction in HCV-related deaths, 90% reduction in new infections and 90% of infections diagnosed by 2030) were considered. Scaling up treatment and diagnosis rates over time would be required to achieve these targets in all but one country, even with the introduction of high SVR therapies. The scenarios developed to achieve the WHO Targets in all countries studied assumed the implementation of national policies to prevent new infections and to diagnose current infections through screening

Identifiers:
Not Informed: not informed

Projects

Fellow:
Richard Phillips
Collaborators:
Name Country Institution
Prof Richard Phillips Ghana Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR)at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi
Dr Mark Wansbrough-Jones United Kingdom Institute for Infection and Immunity St George’s, University of London Cranmer Terrace
Dr Michael Frimpong Ghana Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi,
Dr Yaw Ampem Amoako, Ghana Department of Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital
Dr Alex Owusu Ofori Ghana Department of Microbiology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST), Kumasi
Miss Bernadette Agbavor Ghana Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi
Miss Venus Nana Boakyewaa Frimpong Ghana Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi
Mr Jonathan Kofi Adjei Ghana Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi
Miss Nancy Ackam Ghana Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi
Dr Solomon Gyabaah Ghana Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi
Mr. Derrick Boateng Kontoh Ghana Department of Pharmacy,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi,
Objectives:
1. A comparison of time to complete healing of EDX dressing with oral rifampicin and clarithromycin (RC-EDX) versus routine gauze dressing with standard oral rifampicin and clarithromycin (RC). 2. A comparison of rate of killing of M. ulcerans in EDX dressing and control groups (RC-EDX vs RC). 3. A comparison of recurrence rate in EDX dressing and control groups (RC-EDX vs RC). 4. Effect of treatment on the immune profiles of stimulated blood cells for biomarkers of healing (RC-EDX vs RC) 5. A comparison of the tolerability of the two dressings. 6. Training/ Mentoring of a cadre of Junior Scientists (PhD/Master students/Post doc/Clinical scientists)
Sites:
Tepa Government Hospital in the Ahafo Ano North District, Agogo Presbyterian Hospital in the Asante Akim North District, Nkawie-Toase Government Hospital in the Atwima Nwabiangya district, Dunkwa Government Hospital in the Upper Denkyira district
Study Design:
A prospective randomised open-blinded end-point (PROBE) study of either rifampicin 10mg/kg and clarithromycin 15mg/kg daily AND NOx-generating gel dressing (EDX) applied on alternate days to the wound (RC-EDX) or rifampicin 10mg/kg and clarithromycin 15mg/kg daily AND vaseline gauze dressings applied daily to the wound (RC) representing current standard of care.
Subjects:
Consented male and female patients , willing to follow protocol requirements aged 5 years or older with an IS2404 PCR positive nodule, plaque or ulcer <15cm diameter, with or without associated oedema.
Outcomes:
The main objective of this study is to determine the ability of EDX dressing materials combined with oral antibiotics to improve healing outcomes in Buruli ulcer lesions. Success in this study will not only provide insight into faster healing leading to shorter treatment duration, it will lead to significant economic and social benefits. The study will also lead to the training of community-based volunteers and junior scientists.
Start Date:
2021-01-01
End Date:
2024-01-01
Fellow:
Richard Phillips
Collaborators:
Name Country Institution
Dr Richard K. Amewu Ghana Department of Chemistry, University of Ghana, Accra-Legon
Mr Gideon Akolgo Ghana Department of Chemistry
Prof Dorothy Yeboah-Manu Ghana Department of Bacteriology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
Prof. Kwasi Addo Ghana Bacteriology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana
Dr Anthony Ablordey Ghana Department of Bacteriology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
Ms. Shirley Victoria Simpson Ghana Department of Bacteriology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
Dr. Richard Phillips Ghana Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi
Prof. Yaw Adu-Sarkodie Ghana KATH, KNUST, KCCR
Objectives:
• To purchase and install f-TLC equipment at three health facilities in selected districts • To build capacity at the district level by training laboratory technicians and health workers on the proper methods of specimen collection, storage and transport to the reference laboratories. • To provide continuous monitoring and supervision to ensure that the skills and performance of trained laboratory technicians and health workers are maintained. • To provide laboratory confirmation of clinically suspicious Buruli ulcer, Yaws, Leprosy cases • To provide timely results of analyzed samples to the health facilities, districts and national control programmes.
Sites:
Ashanti Akim North, Sekyere Afram Plains, Nkoranza South, Upper Denkyira West, Upper Denkyira East, Mpokor and Wa Municipal
Study Design:
Laboratory-based capacity building to provide laboratory diagnostic confirmation for suspected Buruli ulcer, Yaws and Leprosy cases
Subjects:
Suspected BU, Yaws and Leprosy patients
Outcomes:
• Laboratory diagnosis of BU/yaws/leprosy improved through strengthening of national and selected district laboratories • A cohort of trained laboratory technicians and health workers • Prepared harmonized SOPs for Buruli, Yaws and Leprosy • Establishment of fTLC in selected BU endemic districts
Start Date:
2018-04-01
End Date:
2022-06-30
Fellow:
Richard Phillips
Collaborators:
Name Country Institution
Prof. Richard Phillips Ghana Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR)at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi
Coordinator Ghana Food and Drugs Authority
Dr Christoph Conrad Germany Paul-Ehrlich-Institut
Dr Svein Anderson Norway Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI
Dr Patricia Akweongo Ghana University of Ghana School of Public Health
Objectives:
1. Training of regulators from National Medicines Regulatory Agencies (NMRAs) under the RCORE Fellowship Training including those from Francophone countries 2. Training and mobility actions for African regulators, including trainers of RCORE trainees through short term training and regulatory/industrial attachments.
Sites:
Ghana Gambia Tanzania Zambia Nigeria Sierra Leone Uganda Liberia Rwanda Uganda
Study Design:
Capacity building project involving trainings and mobility actions for regulatory bodies of 10 RCORE Anglophone and Francophone Countries in Africa
Subjects:
1. Regulators from National Medicines Regulatory Agencies (NMRAs) in Africa under the RCORE 2. Regulatory Officers in Africa
Outcomes:
1. Equip regulators with improved technical know-how in quality review/assessment of Clinical Trials Applications. 2. Enable regulators to set up the requisite regulatory systems and structures (guidelines, forms and procedures) in their respective countries. 3. Ensure compliance in the conduct of clinical trials, especially in the early phases. 4. Enable regulators to apply globally accepted measures and technologies in regulating clinical trials (from early phases to late phases).
Start Date:
2020-09-01
End Date:
2023-09-01

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