Rosanna W Peeling

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (215)1657.36 Total impact

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    The Lancet Global Health 05/2015; 3(5):e257-e258. DOI:10.1016/S2214-109X(15)70089-6
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    ABSTRACT: Electronic readers and smartphones have the potential to standardize the interpretation of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and provide timely surveillance program data. RDTs are widely used for HIV and are being increasingly used for syphilis screening in pregnant women. Following the WHO initiative for the validation of elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, there is a need for more extensive testing and data monitoring. However, access to timely and accurate data can be challenging once testing is decentralized as data quality at remote sites is often difficult to verify. Electronic RDT readers can help to ensure quality and allow automated data transmission, creating an opportunity for real-time surveillance to inform control strategies and assess intervention impact. Furthermore, by linking the data to existing supply chain management software, stockouts can be minimized. The present opinion piece looks at the opportunities and challenges of using these tools within national elimination programs.
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    ABSTRACT: The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Framework for the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children in Africa by 2015 identifies important synergies for the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in terms of prevention interventions, implementation logistics and service delivery, monitoring and evaluation systems, and need for sustained political commitment. The WHO advocates the use of an integrated, rights-based dual approach with partnerships and collaboration to make the best use of available resources. Through a consultative approach, six countries in the African Region committed to dual elimination and developed and implemented action plans for this purpose. Where interest and commitment are high, this may also be possible and effective in other African countries.
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    ABSTRACT: Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) is frequently used to test women for maternal syphilis. Rapid syphilis immunochromatographic strip tests detecting only Treponema pallidum antibodies (single RSTs) or both treponemal and non-treponemal antibodies (dual RSTs) are now available. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of algorithms using these tests to screen pregnant women.
  • PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0124161. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0124161 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Measurement of CD4+ T-lymphocytes (CD4) is a crucial parameter in the management of HIV patients, particularly in determining eligibility to initiate antiretroviral treatment (ART). A number of technologies exist for CD4 enumeration, with considerable variation in cost, complexity, and operational requirements. We conducted a systematic review of the performance of technologies for CD4 enumeration. Studies were identified by searching electronic databases MEDLINE and EMBASE using a pre-defined search strategy. Data on test accuracy and precision included bias and limits of agreement with a reference standard, and misclassification probabilities around CD4 thresholds of 200 and 350 cells/μl over a clinically relevant range. The secondary outcome measure was test imprecision, expressed as % coefficient of variation. Thirty-two studies evaluating 15 CD4 technologies were included, of which less than half presented data on bias and misclassification compared to the same reference technology. At CD4 counts <350 cells/μl, bias ranged from -35.2 to +13.1 cells/μl while at counts >350 cells/μl, bias ranged from -70.7 to +47 cells/μl, compared to the BD FACSCount as a reference technology. Misclassification around the threshold of 350 cells/μl ranged from 1-29% for upward classification, resulting in under-treatment, and 7-68% for downward classification resulting in overtreatment. Less than half of these studies reported within laboratory precision or reproducibility of the CD4 values obtained. A wide range of bias and percent misclassification around treatment thresholds were reported on the CD4 enumeration technologies included in this review, with few studies reporting assay precision. The lack of standardised methodology on test evaluation, including the use of different reference standards, is a barrier to assessing relative assay performance and could hinder the introduction of new point-of-care assays in countries where they are most needed.
    PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(3):e0115019. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115019 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundUNAIDS has called for greater HIV/syphilis testing worldwide just as local HIV/syphilis testing programs are cut or altered. New models are needed to make HIV/syphilis testing services sustainable while retaining their essential public health function. Social entrepreneurship, using business principles to promote a social cause, provides a framework to pilot programs that sustainably expand testing. Drawing on fieldwork in two South Chinese cities, we examined organizational and financial characteristics of current HIV/syphilis testing systems for men who have sex with men (MSM) in addition to new pilot programs focused on revenue-generation for sustainability.Methods We undertook a qualitative study to explore organizational and financial characteristics of HIV/syphilis testing for MSM. Data were collected from men who have sex with men and policy stakeholders in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Framework analysis was used to identify themes and then code the data.ResultsOur qualitative research study included MSM and policy stakeholders (n¿=¿84). HIV/syphilis testing services were implemented at a wide range of organizations which we grouped broadly as independent community-based organizations (CBOs), independent clinics, and hybrid CBO-clinic sites. From an organizational perspective, hybrid CBO-clinic sites offered the inclusive environment of an MSM CBO linked to the technical capacity and trained staff of a clinic. From a financial perspective, stakeholders expressed concern about the sustainability and effectiveness of sexual health services reliant on external funding. We identified four hybrid CBO-clinic organizations that launched pilot testing programs in order to generate revenue while expanding HIV testing.Conclusion Many MSM CBOs are searching for new organizational models to account for decreased external support. Hybrid CBO-clinic organizations create a strong foundation to increase HIV/syphilis testing using social entrepreneurship models in China.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 11/2014; 14(1):601. DOI:10.1186/s12879-014-0601-5 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic tests (IVD) are vital components of health delivery systems but access to these important tools is often limited in Africa. The regulation of health commodities by National Regulatory Authorities is intended to ensure their safety and quality whilst ensuring timely access to beneficial new products. Streamlining and harmonizing regulatory processes may reduce delays and unnecessary expense and improve access to new products. Whereas pharmaceutical products are widely regulated less attention has been placed on the regulation of other health products. A study was undertaken to assess regulation of medical diagnostics and medical devices across Partner States of the East African Community (EAC).Methods Data was collected during October 2012 through desk based review of documents and field research, including face to face interviews with the assistance of a structured questionnaire with closed and open ended questions. Key areas addressed were (i) existence and role of National Regulatory Authorities; (ii) policy and legal framework for regulation; (iii) premarket control; (iv) marketing controls; (v) post-marketing control and vigilance; (vi) country capacity for regulation; (vii) country capacity for evaluation studies for IVD and (viii) priorities and capacity building for harmonization in EAC Partner States.ResultsControl of medical devices and IVDs in EAC Partner States is largely confined to national disease programmes such as tuberculosis, HIV and malaria. National Regulatory Authorities for pharmaceutical products do not have the capacity to regulate medical devices and in some countries laboratory based organisations are mandated to ensure quality of products used. Some activities to evaluate IVDs are performed in research laboratories but post market surveillance is rare. Training in key areas is considered essential to strengthening regulatory capacity for IVDs and other medical devices.Conclusions Regulation of medical devices and in vitro diagnostics has been neglected in EAC Partner States. Regulation is weak across the region, and although the majority of States have a legal mandate to regulate medical devices there is limited capacity to do so. Streamlining regulation in the EAC is seen as a positive aspiration with diagnostic tests considered a priority area for harmonisation.
    BMC Health Services Research 10/2014; 14(1):524. DOI:10.1186/s12913-014-0524-2 · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Home-based, voluntary counselling and testing (HBCT) can help scale up early diagnosis. We aimed to evaluate the acceptance of HBCT for HIV and syphilis, estimate the prevalence among home-tested individuals and assess the performance of point-of-care testing by health staff using dried tube specimens (DTS) in a remote municipality of the Amazon region.
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    ABSTRACT: Commercially available diagnostic test kits for detection of dengue virus (DENV) non-structural protein 1 (NS1) and anti-DENV IgM were evaluated for their sensitivity and specificity and other performance characteristics by a diagnostic laboratory network developed by World Health Organization (WHO), the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative (PDVI). Each network laboratory contributed characterized serum specimens for the panels used in the evaluation. Microplate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and rapid diagnostic test (RDT formats) were represented by the kits. Each ELISA was evaluated by 2 laboratories and RDTs were evaluated by at least 3 laboratories. The reference tests for IgM anti-DENV were laboratory developed assays produced by the Armed Forces Research Institute for Medical Science (AFRIMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the NS1 reference test was reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results were analyzed to determine sensitivity, specificity, inter-laboratory and inter-reader agreement, lot-to-lot variation and ease-of-use. NS1 ELISA sensitivity was 60-75% and specificity 71-80%; NS1 RDT sensitivity was 38-71% and specificity 76-80%; the IgM anti-DENV RDTs sensitivity was 30-96%, with a specificity of 86-92%, and IgM anti-DENV ELISA sensitivity was 96-98% and specificity 78-91%. NS1 tests were generally more sensitive in specimens from the acute phase of dengue and in primary DENV infection, whereas IgM anti-DENV tests were less sensitive in secondary DENV infections. The reproducibility of the NS1 RDTs ranged from 92-99% and the IgM anti-DENV RDTs from 88-94%.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 10/2014; 8(10):e3171. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003171 · 4.49 Impact Factor
  • Rosanna W Peeling, David Mabey
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    ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Practical diagnostic tools of sufficient sensitivity to detect levels of infection that can lead to transmission have been identified as a critical component of successful disease elimination programmes. In this review we describe the diagnostic tests currently available for six neglected tropical diseases that have been targeted for elimination; assess their performance in the light of the requirements for surveillance, certification of elimination and post-elimination surveillance; consider the unmet need for diagnostic tests for these diseases; and review recent technical developments that could meet these needs.
    Parasitology 09/2014; 141(14):1-6. DOI:10.1017/S0031182014000973 · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    AIDS research and treatment 05/2014; 2014:625082. DOI:10.1155/2014/625082
  • Rosanna W Peeling, Ruth McNerney
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging molecular technologies to diagnose infectious diseases at the point at which care is delivered have the potential to save many lives in developing countries where access to laboratories is poor. Molecular tests are needed to improve the specificity of syndromic management, monitor progress towards disease elimination and screen for asymptomatic infections with the goal of interrupting disease transmission and preventing long-term sequelae. In simplifying laboratory-based molecular assays for use at point-of-care, there are inevitable compromises between cost, ease of use and test performance. Despite significant technological advances, many challenges remain for the development of molecular diagnostics for resource-limited settings. There needs to be more advocacy for these technologies to be applied to infectious diseases, increased efforts to lower the barriers to market entry through streamlined and harmonized regulatory approaches, faster policy development for adoption of new technologies and novel financing mechanisms to enable countries to scale up implementation.
    Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics 05/2014; DOI:10.1586/14737159.2014.915748 · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dried blood spots (DBS) have been used as alternative specimens to plasma to increase access to HIV viral load (VL) monitoring and early infant diagnosis (EID) in remote settings. We systematically reviewed evidence on the performance of DBS compared to plasma for VL monitoring and EID. Thirteen peer reviewed HIV VL publications and five HIV EID papers were included. Depending on the technology and the viral load distribution in the study population, the percentage of DBS samples that are within 0.5 log of VL in plasma ranged from 52-100%. Because the input sample volume is much smaller in a blood spot, there is a risk of false negatives with DBS. Sensitivity of DBS VL was found to be 78-100% compared to plasma at VL below 1000 copies/ml, but this increased to 100% at a threshold of 5000 copies/ml. Unlike a plasma VL test which measures only cell free HIV RNA, a DBS VL also measures proviral DNA as well as cell-associated RNA, potentially leading to false positive results when using DBS. The systematic review showed that specificity was close to 100% at DBS VL above 5000 copies/ml, and this threshold would be the most reliable for predicting true virologic failure using DBS. For early infant diagnosis, DBS has a sensitivity of 100% compared to fresh whole blood or plasma in all studies. Although limited data are available for EID, DBS offer a highly sensitive and specific sampling strategy to make viral load monitoring and early infant diagnosis more accessible in remote settings. A standardized approach for sampling, storing, and processing DBS samples would be essential to allow successful implementation. PROSPERO Registration #: CRD42013003621.
    PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e86461. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0086461 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this review was to examine different monitoring strategies (clinical, immunologic (CD4 T cell count measurement) and virologic (viral load measurement)) to inform revision of the 2013 WHO guidelines for antiretroviral therapy (ART) in low and middle-income countries.
    AIDS (London, England) 03/2014; 28 Suppl 2:S151-60. · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Viral load (VL) monitoring is the standard of care in developing country settings for detecting HIV treatment failure. Since 2010 the World Health Organization has recommended a phase-in approach to VL monitoring in resource-limited settings. We conducted a systematic review of the accuracy and precision of HIV VL technologies for treatment monitoring. A search of Medline and Embase was conducted for studies evaluating the accuracy or reproducibility of commercially available HIV VL assays. 37 studies were included for review including evaluations of the Amplicor Monitor HIV-1 v1.5 (n = 25), Cobas TaqMan v2.0 (n = 11), Abbott RealTime HIV-1 (n = 23), Versant HIV-1 RNA bDNA 3.0 (n = 15), Versant HIV-1 RNA kPCR 1.0 (n = 2), ExaVir Load v3 (n = 2), and NucliSens EasyQ v2.0 (n = 1). All currently available HIV VL assays are of sufficient sensitivity to detect plasma virus levels at a lower detection limit of 1,000 copies/mL. Bias data comparing the Abbott RealTime HIV-1, TaqMan v2.0 to the Amplicor Monitor v1.5 showed a tendency of the Abbott RealTime HIV-1 to under-estimate results while the TaqMan v2.0 overestimated VL counts. Compared to the Amplicor Monitor v1.5, 2-26% and 9-70% of results from the Versant bDNA 3.0 and Abbott RealTime HIV-1 differed by greater than 0.5log10. The average intra and inter-assay variation of the Abbott RealTime HIV-1 were 2.95% (range 2.0-5.1%) and 5.44% (range 1.17-30.00%) across the range of VL counts (2log10-7log10). This review found that all currently available HIV VL assays are of sufficient sensitivity to detect plasma VL of 1,000 copies/mL as a threshold to initiate investigations of treatment adherence or possible treatment failure. Sources of variability between VL assays include differences in technology platform, plasma input volume, and ability to detect HIV-1 subtypes. Monitoring of individual patients should be performed on the same technology platform to ensure appropriate interpretation of changes in VL. Prospero registration # CD42013003603.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e85869. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085869 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tropical infectious diseases diagnosis and surveillance are often hampered by difficulties of sample collection and transportation. Filter paper potentially provides a useful medium to help overcome such problems. We reviewed the literature on the use of filter paper, focusing on the evaluation of nucleic acid and serological assays for diagnosis of infectious diseases using dried blood spots (DBSs) compared with recognized gold standards. We reviewed 296 eligible studies: 101 studies evaluating DBSs and 192 studies on other aspects of filter paper use. We also discuss the use of filter paper with other body fluids and for tropical veterinary medicine. In general, DBSs perform with sensitivities and specificities similar or only slightly inferior to gold standard sample types. However, important problems were revealed with the uncritical use of DBS, inappropriate statistical analysis, and lack of standardized methodology. DBSs have great potential to empower healthcare workers by making laboratory-based diagnostic tests more readily accessible, but additional and more rigorous research is needed.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 12/2013; 90(2). DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0463 · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • Natasha S Kay, Rosanna W Peeling, David C Mabey
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    ABSTRACT: Syphilis remains an important and entirely preventable cause of stillbirth and neonatal mortality. More than 1 million women with active syphilis become pregnant each year. Without treatment, 25% of them will deliver a stillborn baby, 33% will deliver a live low-birth weight baby with an increased chance of dying in the first month of life. Adverse pregnancy outcomes due to syphilis can be prevented by screening pregnant women, and treating those who test positive with a single dose of penicillin before 28 weeks gestation. Until recently access to screening in low- and middle-income countries has been limited, since screening tests have been laboratory based, requiring equipment, electricity and trained laboratory staff. Now a number of rapid, cheap, simple and accurate screening tests are available and can give a result in 15-20 min, enabling those who require treatment to be treated at their first visit.
    Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy 11/2013; DOI:10.1586/14787210.2014.860356 · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: External quality assurance (EQA) programmes, which are routinely used in laboratories, have not been widely implemented for point-of- care tests (POCTs). A study was performed in ten health centres in Tanzania, to implement the use of dried blood spots (DBS) as an EQA method for HIV and syphilis (POCTs). DBS samples were collected for retesting at a reference laboratory and the results compared to the POCT results obtained at the clinic. In total, 2341 DBS samples were collected from 10 rural health facilities over a period of nine months, of which 92.5% were correctly collected and spotted. The EQA method was easily implemented by healthcare workers under routine conditions in Northern Tanzania. For HIV, 967 out of 972 samples (99.5%) were concordant between DBS and POCT results. For syphilis, the sensitivity of syphilis tests varied between clinics with a median of 96% (25th and 75th quartile; 95-98%). The specificity of syphilis POCT was consistent compared to laboratory based test using DBS, with a median of 96% (25th and 75th quartiles; 95-98%). Overall, the quality of testing varied at clinics and EQA results can be used to identify clinics where healthcare workers require remedial training, suggesting the necessity for stringent quality assurance programmes for POC testing. As Tanzania embarks on scaling up HIV and syphilis testing, DBS can be a useful and robust tool to monitor the quality of testing performed by healthcare workers and trigger corrective action to ensure accuracy of test results.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 11/2013; 13(1):530. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-13-530 · 2.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

7k Citations
1,657.36 Total Impact Points


  • 1998–2015
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      • Department of Clinical Research
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • McGill University
      • Department of Medicine
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2011
    • Peking Union Medical College Hospital
      Peping, Beijing, China
  • 2010
    • Pedro Kourí Tropical Medicine Institute
      La Habana, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
  • 2002–2009
    • World Health Organization WHO
      • Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR)
      Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
    • University of Toronto
      • Department of Medicine
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2007
    • University of Bristol
      Bristol, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Laboratory Medicine
      Seattle, WA, United States
    • University of KwaZulu-Natal
      Port Natal, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
    • Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire de Québec (CHA)
      Québec, Quebec, Canada
  • 2004
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • Department of Medicine
      Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 2003
    • Laval University
      • Department of Social and Preventive Medicine
      Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • 1992–2002
    • BC Centre for Disease Control
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2000
    • University of Freiburg
      Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1988–2000
    • University of Manitoba
      • Faculty of Medicine
      Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 1999
    • University of Nairobi
      Nairoba, Nairobi Area, Kenya
    • International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh
      Mujib City, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • 1996
    • The Ottawa Hospital
      • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 1994
    • Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg
      Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada