[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The HIV-infection in adults or children and adolescent differs substantially. Differences include the mode of infection, viral dynamics facing a developing immune system and the clinical course of the infection. In addition to the virological, immunological and epidemiological aspects the psychosocial situation is also very different. The above aspects and the decreased number of antiretroviral substances underline the need for specific guidelines for HIV-therapy in children and adolescents. The German Pediatric Working group AIDS (PAAD) has formulated this guideline in 2011 based on new study results, changes in international recommendations and newly available drugs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: CD8 cells are key to antiviral immunity and can be divided by phenotype into early (CD28+ CD27+), intermediate (CD28-CD27+) and terminally differentiated subsets (CD28- CD27-). Despite effective HAART there is an unexplained expansion of CD8+CD28-CD27-T cells in HIV-infected children. The cytokine production and specificity of this terminally differentiated CD8 T cell subset in chronic virus infection is unclear. PATIENTS, METHODS & RESULTS: In a cohort of 26 HIV-infected children the cytokine production of terminally differentiated CD8 cells was analyzed by intracellular staining and FACS analysis and was compared to children with chronic hepatitis B infection and to healthy children. The specificity of CD8 subsets was analyzed by staining with Gag/Pol tetramers in a cohort of 13 patients. We show that an increased production of interferon-γ in terminally and early/intermediate differentiated CD8 cell subsets after stimulation is specific for HIV-infection. The expanded population of terminally differentiated CD8+CD28-CD27- T cells does include HIV Gag/Pol specific T cells in adults but not in children. CONCLUSION: The expansion of terminally differentiated CD8 cells might be important for immunomodulation but in children it does not appear to play a role in HIV Gag and Pol specific immunity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autosomal dominant hyper-IgE syndrome (AD-HIES), characterised by eczema, increased susceptibility to skin and lung infections, elevated IgE and skeletal abnormalities is associated with heterozygous STAT3 mutations. The autosomal recessive variant (AR-HIES) has similar immunological findings but mainly lacks extraimmune manifestations. Several AR-HIES patients have recently been shown to harbour mutations in the gene for dedicator of cytokinesis 8 (DOCK8). Here, we present the long-term outcome of a girl having received a hematopoietic stem cell graft for an at that time genetically undefined combined immunodeficiency associated with severe eczema, multiple food allergies, excessively elevated serum IgE levels and eosinophilia. She was recently found to carry a homozygous nonsense mutation in the DOCK8 gene. HSCT resulted in complete immunological correction, even though mixed donor chimerism occurred. Clinically, the outcome was characterised by disappearance of skin manifestations and severe infections, improvement of pulmonary function and constant decline of IgE levels. Outcome in untransplanted DOCK8 deficient patients is poor because of frequent life-threatening infections, CNS bleeding and infarction, and increased susceptibility to malignancy. This argues for early curative therapeutic approaches, supported by this report of successful long-term outcome after HSCT.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large proportion of patients with mutations in the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) protein gene exhibit the milder phenotype termed X-linked thrombocytopenia (XLT). Whereas stem cell transplantation at an early age is the treatment of choice for patients with WAS, therapeutic options for patients with XLT are controversial. In a retrospective multicenter study we defined the clinical phenotype of XLT and determined the probability of severe disease-related complications in patients older than 2 years with documented WAS gene mutations and mild-to-moderate eczema or mild, infrequent infections. Enrolled were 173 patients (median age, 11.5 years) from 12 countries spanning 2830 patient-years. Serious bleeding episodes occurred in 13.9%, life-threatening infections in 6.9%, autoimmunity in 12.1%, and malignancy in 5.2% of patients. Overall and event-free survival probabilities were not significantly influenced by the type of mutation or intravenous immunoglobulin or antibiotic prophylaxis. Splenectomy resulted in increased risk of severe infections. This analysis of the clinical outcome and molecular basis of patients with XLT shows excellent long-term survival but also a high probability of severe disease-related complications. These observations will allow better decision making when considering treatment options for individual patients with XLT.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PENTA Guidelines aim to provide practical recommendations for treating children with HIV infection in Europe. Changes to guidance since 2004 have been informed by new evidence and by expectations of better outcomes following the ongoing success of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Participation in PENTA trials of simplifying treatment is encouraged. The main changes are in the following sections: 'When to start ART': Treatment is recommended for all infants, and at higher CD4 cell counts and percentages in older children, in line with changes to adult guidelines. The number of age bands has been reduced to simplify and harmonize with other paediatric guidelines. Greater emphasis is placed on CD4 cell count in children over 5 years, and guidance is provided where CD4% and CD4 criteria differ. 'What to start with': A three-drug regimen of two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) with either a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) or a boosted protease inhibitor (PI) remains the first choice combination. Lamivudine and abacavir are the NRTI backbone of choice for most children, based on long-term follow-up in the PENTA 5 trial. Stavudine is no longer recommended. Whether to start with an NNRTI or PI remains unclear, but PENPACT 1 trial results in 2009 may help to inform this. All PIs should be ritonavir boosted. Recommendations on use of resistance testing, therapeutic drug monitoring and HLA testing draw from data in adults and from European paediatric cohort studies. Recently updated US and WHO paediatric guidelines provide more detailed review of the evidence base. Differences between guidelines are highlighted and explained.
HIV Medicine 11/2009; 10(10):591-613. · 3.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To accurately differentiate nonbacterial osteitis (NBO) from other bone lesions by applying a clinical score through the use of validated diagnostic criteria.
A retrospective study was conducted to assess data on patients from a pediatric clinic and an orthopedic tertiary care clinic, using administrative International Classification of Diseases codes as well as laboratory and department records from 1996 to 2006. Two hundred twenty-four patients older than age 3 years who had either NBO (n = 102), proven bacterial osteomyelitis (n = 22), malignant bone tumors (n = 48), or benign bone tumors (n = 52) were identified by chart review. Univariate logistic regression was used to determine associations of single risk factors with a diagnosis of NBO, and multivariable logistic regression was used to assess simultaneous risk factor associations with NBO.
NBO was best predicted by a normal blood cell count (odds ratio [OR] 81.5), symmetric bone lesions (OR 30.0), lesions with marginal sclerosis (OR 26.8), normal body temperature (OR 20.3) a vertebral, clavicular, or sternal location of lesions (OR 13.9), presence of >1 radiologically proven lesion (OR 10.9), and C-reactive protein level > or =1 mg/dl (OR 6.9). The clinical score for a diagnosis of NBO based on these predictors ranged from 0 to 63. A score for NBO of > or =39 had a positive predictive value of 97% and a sensitivity of 68%.
The proposed scoring system helps to facilitate the diagnostic process in patients with suspected NBO. Use of this system might spare unnecessary invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To characterize common variable immunodeficiency disorder (CVID) in childhood.
We retrospectively investigated clinical findings in 32 children with primary CVID by questionnaire and file review.
Clinical presentation included recurrent or chronic respiratory tract infections (88%), sinusitis (78%), otitis media (78%), and intestinal tract infections (34%), mainly with encapsulated bacteria. Meningitis was found in 25%, sepsis in 16%, and pyelonephritis in 16% of patients. Poliomyelitis after vaccination occurred in 2 patients and opportunistic infections occasionally. Allergic disorders were present in 38%, and autoimmune disease in 31% of patients. Eighty percent of the patients underwent surgical procedures because of recurrent infections. Growth retardation was seen in 28% of patients, and 16% showed retarded mental development. Bronchiectasis developed in 34%, and lymphoid proliferative disease in 13%. Incidence of allergic and autoimmune diseases was increased in first-degree relatives with normal immunologic findings. Mean time between symptoms and induction of immunoglobulin substitution therapy was 5.8 years (0.2-14.3).
CVID in children presents with comparable symptoms and disorders as in adults. We found a significant influence on growth and development. The marked delay of diagnosis may be due to overlap with common pediatric disorders, while also reflecting insufficient awareness of these disorders.
The Journal of pediatrics 03/2009; 154(6):888-94. · 4.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the long-term outcome of gene therapy for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) due to the lack of adenosine deaminase (ADA), a fatal disorder of purine metabolism and immunodeficiency.
We infused autologous CD34+ bone marrow cells transduced with a retroviral vector containing the ADA gene into 10 children with SCID due to ADA deficiency who lacked an HLA-identical sibling donor, after nonmyeloablative conditioning with busulfan. Enzyme-replacement therapy was not given after infusion of the cells.
All patients are alive after a median follow-up of 4.0 years (range, 1.8 to 8.0). Transduced hematopoietic stem cells have stably engrafted and differentiated into myeloid cells containing ADA (mean range at 1 year in bone marrow lineages, 3.5 to 8.9%) and lymphoid cells (mean range in peripheral blood, 52.4 to 88.0%). Eight patients do not require enzyme-replacement therapy, their blood cells continue to express ADA, and they have no signs of defective detoxification of purine metabolites. Nine patients had immune reconstitution with increases in T-cell counts (median count at 3 years, 1.07x10(9) per liter) and normalization of T-cell function. In the five patients in whom intravenous immune globulin replacement was discontinued, antigen-specific antibody responses were elicited after exposure to vaccines or viral antigens. Effective protection against infections and improvement in physical development made a normal lifestyle possible. Serious adverse events included prolonged neutropenia (in two patients), hypertension (in one), central-venous-catheter-related infections (in two), Epstein-Barr virus reactivation (in one), and autoimmune hepatitis (in one).
Gene therapy, combined with reduced-intensity conditioning, is a safe and effective treatment for SCID in patients with ADA deficiency. (ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00598481 and NCT00599781.)
New England Journal of Medicine 02/2009; 360(5):447-58. · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previously, several individuals with X-linked SCID (SCID-X1) were treated by gene therapy to restore the missing IL-2 receptor gamma (IL2RG) gene to CD34+ BM precursor cells using gammaretroviral vectors. While 9 of 10 patients were successfully treated, 4 of the 9 developed T cell leukemia 31-68 months after gene therapy. In 2 of these cases, blast cells contained activating vector insertions near the LIM domain-only 2 (LMO2) proto-oncogene. Here, we report data on the 2 most recent adverse events, which occurred in patients 7 and 10. In patient 10, blast cells contained an integrated vector near LMO2 and a second integrated vector near the proto-oncogene BMI1. In patient 7, blast cells contained an integrated vector near a third proto-oncogene,CCND2. Additional genetic abnormalities in the patients' blast cells included chromosomal translocations, gain-of-function mutations activating NOTCH1, and copy number changes, including deletion of tumor suppressor gene CDKN2A, 6q interstitial losses, and SIL-TAL1 rearrangement. These findings functionally specify a genetic network that controls growth in T cell progenitors. Chemotherapy led to sustained remission in 3 of the 4 cases of T cell leukemia, but failed in the fourth. Successful chemotherapy was associated with restoration of polyclonal transduced T cell populations. As a result, the treated patients continued to benefit from therapeutic gene transfer.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 10/2008; · 12.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To demonstrate that the 2-yr clinical follow-up of our patient strongly suggests that long-term therapy with posaconazole (POS) is safe and beneficial in treatment and prevention of relapses of, otherwise fatal, central nervous system mucormycosis. Mucormycosis is a very rare opportunistic mycotic infection of diabetic children. We present the 30-month follow-up of a 12-yr-old girl affected by diabetic ketoacidotic coma, complicated by rhinocerebral mucormycosis and successfully treated with POS at the initial daily dose of 5 mg/kg t.i.d. with fatty food for 3 wk, followed by a daily dose of 10 mg/kg in four doses for 2 months and then 20 mg/kg/d in four doses for 16 months and in two doses for further 5 months. The previous amphotericin B, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, hyperbaric oxygen and nasal and left maxillary sinus surgical debridement therapy was ineffective in stopping the progression of the infection to the brain. The patient improved within 10 d with reduced ocular swelling and pain, and 6 months after therapy stop, she is in good health and cultures are sterile. This article demonstrates that POS may be a useful drug in mucormycosis in children. We also strongly draw the attention to the main preventive procedure against invasive fungal infection that is the correct management of antidiabetic therapy that prevents the predisposing temporary neutrophils activity deficit, contributing to a better survival rate of diabetic children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Paediatric Working Group AIDS (PAAD) initiated a prospective cohort study in order to investigate disease progression in HIV- infected children and adolescents and the effect of antiretroviral treatment regimes.
Between 1998 and 2003, paediatric centres documented HIV-infected patients under clinical care using a questionnaire for basic data and annual follow up. Main outcome measures were: use of antiretroviral therapy, adverse events, disease progression and change of therapeutic regimes.
174 HIV- infected paediatric patients were followed up in 12 centres in Germany and Austria between 1998 and 2003. Initially 54 (31%) patients had no antiretroviral therapy, 35 (20%) received a two-drug regimen (ART) and 85 patients (49%) a highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART>or=3 drugs). After an observation period of 5 years, 8 patients (4%) had no therapy, 17 (10%) were on ART and 134 patients on HAART (77%). The number of patients with salvage therapy (>or=4 drugs) increased from 5 (3%) to 15 patients (9%). 72 of 166 treated patients (43%) had no change of their drug regimes, 68 patients (41%) had one change and 26 patients (16%)>or=2 changes. Main reasons for changes were increased viral load (49%), immunologic deterioration (21%) and adverse events (14%). During the follow up period no patient died. According to the CDC classification, disease progression was seen in 48 of 174 patients (28%), of whom 20 had deteriorations of clinical categories (A, B, C) and 28 of immunologic categories. Using Kaplan-Meier curves, the mean time from study onset until change of clinical categories was 61 months for patients on HAART, 26 months for patients on ART and 14 months for patients without ART.
In paediatric patients with HIV infection, disease progression has declined substantially by introduction of HAART. Superiority of HAART compared with ART was demonstrated. Non-adherence as well as other reasons for treatment failure have to be studied more carefully.
European journal of medical research 08/2008; 13(8):371-8. · 1.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report on a 3-year-old boy presenting with left-sided eyelid myocloni due to an intracranial abscess harboring Haemophilus paraphrophilus. This is the first description of an intracranial infection with this pathogen in a child.
European Journal of Pediatrics 07/2008; 167(6):629-32. · 1.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To obtain data on the pharmacokinetics of efavirenz in children in clinical practice.
HIV-1-infected children received efavirenz capsules or tablets in accordance with manufacturer's dosing recommendations. Plasma was collected at regular visits and analysed by HPLC. The therapeutic range of efavirenz was defined as 1.0-4.0 mg/L.
Thirty-three children were included. Median (range) age, body weight, dose and dose/kg were 8.2 (2.1-16.7) years, 24 (12-62) kg, 300 (200-800) mg and 13.3 (9.7-22.5) mg/kg, respectively. Median (range) efavirenz plasma concentration at first sampling was 2.8 (0.13-11.6) mg/L. Plasma concentrations were not dependent on age (P = 0.97) or dose/kg (P = 0.87). A total of 307 efavirenz plasma concentrations were determined. Forty-five samples (14.7%) contained >4.0 mg/L, and 27 samples (8.8%) contained <1.0 mg/L. Eight children (24%) reported persistent adverse events probably caused by efavirenz [concentration problems (5), sleep disorder (1), psychotic reaction (1) and seizure (1)]; six discontinued efavirenz for this reason. A non-significant trend existed towards a higher proportion of toxic efavirenz plasma concentrations (>4.0 mg/L) in subjects who reported efavirenz adverse events: 25.9% versus 12.8% (P = 0.23; t-test). Viral load was <50 copies/mL in all 27 subjects who continued efavirenz, despite occasional subtherapeutic efavirenz plasma concentrations in 12 children. The occasional subtherapeutic levels suggest that temporal non-adherence was present.
Efavirenz as part of highly active antiretroviral therapy was highly effective in children able to tolerate the drug. Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) as part of toxicity management may prevent discontinuation in a subset of patients. Temporal non-adherence occurs frequently. TDM may allow initiation of adherence interventions before viral load becomes detectable.
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 06/2008; 61(6):1336-9. · 5.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Without antiretroviral therapy (ART), approximately 20% of HIV-1 vertically infected infants develop severe disease manifestations before the age of 1 year  and surrogate markers poorly predict infants at higher risk of rapid disease progression. Several small prospective and retrospective studies in developed countries have suggested that ART initiated early in life could prevent this rapid clinical and immunologic deterioration [2-6].
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is the most common inherited disorder of neutrophil function, is caused by mutations in the reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, and results in recurrent bacterial infections.
We sought to investigate the expression and function of innate immune receptors on neutrophils in patients with CGD.
We quantified mRNA and protein expression of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), complement receptors, and chemokine receptors on neutrophils from 15 patients with CGD compared with that seen in healthy control subjects (n = 15) and control patients with bacterial pneumonia (n = 15). Phagocytosis, chemotaxis, and TLR function of isolated neutrophils were analyzed. The effect of NADPH oxidase inhibition on receptor expression and function was analyzed in control neutrophils.
Neutrophils from patients with CGD had lower expression levels of TLR5, TLR9, CD11b, CD18, CD35, and CXCR1 compared with those from healthy control subjects, whereas similar or increased receptor expressions were found in patients without CGD but with bacterial pneumonia. Reduced TLR5 expression resulted in impaired neutrophil activation by bacterial flagella, reduced CD11b/CD18 expression was associated with impaired phagocytosis of Staphylococcus aureus, and reduced CXCR1 expression was associated with decreased chemotaxis. TLR5 and CD18 expression levels correlated with disease severity in patients with CGD. TLR5 and TLR9 expression were greater in patients with residual NADPH oxidase activity. Inhibition of the NADPH oxidase in control neutrophils in vitro decreased TLR5 and TLR9 expression and impaired TLR5 function.
These results provide the first evidence that innate immune receptors are dysregulated in patients with CGD.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 03/2008; 121(2):375-382.e9. · 12.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe the long-term efficacy over 5 years of regimens including combinations of abacavir, lamivudine and/or zidovudine in previously untreated children in the PENTA 5 trial.
PENTA 5 was a 48-week randomised controlled trial comparing three dual nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) combinations as part of first triple antiretroviral therapy (ART).
128 ART-naïve children were randomised to zidovudine\lamivudine (n = 36), zidovudine\abacavir (45) or lamivudine\abacavir (47). Asymptomatic children (n = 55) were also randomised to nelfinavir or placebo; all other children received open-label nelfinavir. Analyses are intent-to-treat and adjusted for minor baseline imbalances and receipt of nelfinavir/placebo.
Median follow-up was 5.8 years. By 5 years, 17 (47%), 28 (64%) and 18 (39%) children had changed their randomised NRTIs in the zidovudine\lamivudine, zidovudine\abacavir and lamivudine\abacavir groups respectively, but 18%, 50% and 50% of these changes were either early single drug substitutions for toxicity or switches with viral suppression (HIV-1 RNA < 400 copies/ml; e.g. to simplify regimen delivery). At 5 years, 55%/32% zidovudine\lamivudine, 50%/25% zidovudine\abacavir and 79%/63% lamivudine\abacavir had HIV-1 RNA < 400/< 50 copies/ml respectively (p = 0.03/p = 0.003). Mean increase in height-for-age 0.42, 0.68, 1.05 (p = 0.02); weight-for-age 0.03, 0.13, 0.75 (p = 0.02). Reverse transcriptase resistance mutations emerging on therapy differed between the groups: zidovudine\lamivudine (M41L, D67N, K70R, M184V, L210W, T215Y); zidovudine\abacavir (M41L, D67N, K70R, L210W, T215F/Y, K219Q); lamivudine\abacavir (K65R, L74V, Y115F, M184V).
Five year data demonstrate that lamivudine\abacavir is more effective in terms of HIV-1 RNA suppression and growth changes, with lower rates of switching with detectable HIV-1 RNA than zidovudine\lamivudine or zidovudine\abacavir, and should be preferred as first-line NRTI backbone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: "Hair-on-end" skull changes are typically seen in individuals suffering from thalassaemia. They are induced by widening of the diploic space due to marrow expansion that is a consequence of ineffective and excessive erythropoiesis. We present a child with severe congenital neutropenia who exhibited the typical hair-on-end sign on plain skull radiographs and MRI. In this patient the skull changes were very likely induced by the expansion of white blood cell precursors induced by long-term daily injections of recombinant human granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) to treat his confounding disease. This case report is the first description of hair-on-end changes associated with the use of G-CSF.