Nicola Cunningham

Holdsworth House, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Publications (6)85.3 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major health issue for HIV-positive individuals, associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Development and implementation of a risk score model for CKD would allow comparison of the risks and benefits of adding potentially nephrotoxic antiretrovirals to a treatment regimen and would identify those at greatest risk of CKD. The aims of this study were to develop a simple, externally validated, and widely applicable long-term risk score model for CKD in HIV-positive individuals that can guide decision making in clinical practice. A total of 17,954 HIV-positive individuals from the Data Collection on Adverse Events of Anti-HIV Drugs (D:A:D) study with ≥3 estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) values after 1 January 2004 were included. Baseline was defined as the first eGFR > 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 after 1 January 2004; individuals with exposure to tenofovir, atazanavir, atazanavir/ritonavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, other boosted protease inhibitors before baseline were excluded. CKD was defined as confirmed (>3 mo apart) eGFR ≤ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Poisson regression was used to develop a risk score, externally validated on two independent cohorts. In the D:A:D study, 641 individuals developed CKD during 103,185 person-years of follow-up (PYFU; incidence 6.2/1,000 PYFU, 95% CI 5.7-6.7; median follow-up 6.1 y, range 0.3-9.1 y). Older age, intravenous drug use, hepatitis C coinfection, lower baseline eGFR, female gender, lower CD4 count nadir, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) predicted CKD. The adjusted incidence rate ratios of these nine categorical variables were scaled and summed to create the risk score. The median risk score at baseline was -2 (interquartile range -4 to 2). There was a 1:393 chance of developing CKD in the next 5 y in the low risk group (risk score < 0, 33 events), rising to 1:47 and 1:6 in the medium (risk score 0-4, 103 events) and high risk groups (risk score ≥ 5, 505 events), respectively. Number needed to harm (NNTH) at 5 y when starting unboosted atazanavir or lopinavir/ritonavir among those with a low risk score was 1,702 (95% CI 1,166-3,367); NNTH was 202 (95% CI 159-278) and 21 (95% CI 19-23), respectively, for those with a medium and high risk score. NNTH was 739 (95% CI 506-1462), 88 (95% CI 69-121), and 9 (95% CI 8-10) for those with a low, medium, and high risk score, respectively, starting tenofovir, atazanavir/ritonavir, or another boosted protease inhibitor. The Royal Free Hospital Clinic Cohort included 2,548 individuals, of whom 94 individuals developed CKD (3.7%) during 18,376 PYFU (median follow-up 7.4 y, range 0.3-12.7 y). Of 2,013 individuals included from the SMART/ESPRIT control arms, 32 individuals developed CKD (1.6%) during 8,452 PYFU (median follow-up 4.1 y, range 0.6-8.1 y). External validation showed that the risk score predicted well in these cohorts. Limitations of this study included limited data on race and no information on proteinuria. Both traditional and HIV-related risk factors were predictive of CKD. These factors were used to develop a risk score for CKD in HIV infection, externally validated, that has direct clinical relevance for patients and clinicians to weigh the benefits of certain antiretrovirals against the risk of CKD and to identify those at greatest risk of CKD.
    PLoS Medicine 03/2015; 12(3):e1001809. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001809 · 14.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are limited data on adherence to HIV treatment guidelines. We assessed adherence to US Department of Health and Human Services guidelines with Australian Commentary for adults initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART). Data were recorded regarding "when to start", "what to start" and pre-ART comorbid disease assessment for consecutive adults initiating ART at primary care and hospital clinics in Sydney and Melbourne from 2004 through 2008. Independent predictors of adherence to guidelines were calculated by stepwise logistic regression. For the 500 subjects (95.9% male, mean 40.2 years, median CD4 count 270 cells/μL) "when to start" adherence was 87.6%, and was less likely with initiation in a clinical trial [0.25 (95% CI: 0.13 to 0.49); P < 0.0001] and previous, short-term nontherapeutic antiretroviral exposure [0.08 (0.03 to 0.25); P < 0.0001]. "What to start" adherence was 69.0% for guideline-"preferred" regimens (85.8% for guideline-"preferred" or "alternative" regimens) and more likely with ART initiated in 2008 versus pre-2008 [OR: 2.69 (1.64 to 4.61); P = 0.0001]. Median comorbid disease assessment adherence was 56.8%, ranging from 25.6% for urinalysis to 99.2% for white blood cell count, and was more likely in patients with AIDS, and initiating ART in hospital or in a clinical trial. Hospital clinics were more likely to perform antiretroviral resistance testing (71.2% vs. 46.4%, P < 0.0001), to use "preferred" ART regimens (76.8% vs. 62.2%, P = 0.0002) but less likely to promote healthy diet and lifestyle (63.4% vs. 36.4%, P < 0.0001). "When to start" and "what to start" guidelines have been largely adhered to in Australia, but pre-ART comorbid disease assessment requires greater attention.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 02/2012; 59(5):478-88. DOI:10.1097/QAI.0b013e31824a5473 · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Bacterial pneumonia still contributes to morbidity/mortality in HIV infection despite effective combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). Evaluation of Subcutaneous Interleukin-2 in a Randomized International Trial (ESPRIT), a trial of intermittent recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2) with cART vs. cART alone (control arm) in HIV-infected adults with CD4 counts ≥300cells/μL, offered the opportunity to explore associations between bacterial pneumonia and rIL-2, a cytokine that increases the risk of some bacterial infections. METHODS: Baseline and time-updated factors associated with first-episode pneumonia on study were analysed using multivariate proportional hazards regression models. Information on smoking/pneumococcal vaccination history was not collected. RESULTS: IL-2 cycling was most intense in years 1-2. Over ≈7 years, 93 IL-2 [rate 0.67/100 person-years (PY)] and 86 control (rate 0.63/100 PY) patients experienced a pneumonia event [hazard ratio (HR) 1.06; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79, 1.42; P=0.68]. Median CD4 counts prior to pneumonia were 570cells/μL (IL-2 arm) and 463cells/μL (control arm). Baseline risks for bacterial pneumonia included older age, injecting drug use, detectable HIV viral load (VL) and previous recurrent pneumonia; Asian ethnicity was associated with decreased risk. Higher proximal VL (HR for 1 log(10) higher VL 1.28; 95% CI 1.11, 1.47; P<0.001) was associated with increased risk; higher CD4 count prior to the event (HR per 100 cells/μL higher 0.94; 95% CI 0.89, 1.0; P=0.04) decreased risk. Compared with controls, the hazard for a pneumonia event was higher if rIL-2 was received <180 days previously (HR 1.66; 95% CI 1.07, 2.60; P=0.02) vs.≥180 days previously (HR 0.98; 95% CI 0.70, 1.37; P=0.9). Compared with the control group, pneumonia risk in the IL-2 arm decreased over time, with HRs of 1.41, 1.71, 1.16, 0.62 and 0.84 in years 1, 2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Bacterial pneumonia rates in cART-treated adults with moderate immunodeficiency are high. The mechanism of the association between bacterial pneumonia and recent IL-2 receipt and/or detectable HIV viraemia warrants further exploration.
    HIV Medicine 04/2011; 12(4):219-227. · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    M Bloch · J Hoy · N Cunningham · N Roth · N Andrianopoulos · C Rayner · A Carr ·

    Journal of the International AIDS Society 11/2010; 13(Suppl 4). DOI:10.1186/1758-2652-13-S4-P172 · 5.09 Impact Factor
  • Mark Bloch · Maria Farris · Dominic Tilden · Andrew Gowers · Nicola Cunningham ·
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the prevalence, characteristics and virological outcomes of triple-class antiretroviral drug failure (TCF) and triple-class virological failure (TCVF) in HIV-infected patients attending an Australian high caseload primary care clinic. Cross-sectional observational study using a retrospective review of electronic medical records from 1007 patients with HIV attending Holdsworth House Medical Practice in Darlinghurst, Australia, between 2007 and 2008. TCF was defined as failure (virological, immunological, clinical, intolerance or other) of at least one drug in each of the three major classes of highly active antiretroviral therapy. A total of 51 patients (5.1%) with TCF were identified. Of these patients, 31.4% had experienced virological failure of each of the three main drug classes. Eighty-eight percent of patients with TCF and 75% of patients with TCVF had achieved virological suppression (HIV RNA <400 copies mL(-1)). Total mean (s.d.) duration on antiretroviral therapy (ART) was 12.2 (3.3) years, with patients receiving an average of 18 antiretroviral drugs during this period. Reasons for treatment change included intolerance (88% of patients), virological failure (84%), immunological failure (24%) and poor adherence (20%). The prevalence of TCF and TCVF in patients with long-term HIV infection and extensive antiretroviral experience is low in primary care sites. Despite experiencing failure to the three main classes of ART, successful virological outcomes are still achievable in the majority of such patients.
    Sexual Health 03/2010; 7(1):17-24. DOI:10.1071/SH09039 · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Used in combination with antiretroviral therapy, subcutaneous recombinant interleukin-2 raises CD4+ cell counts more than does antiretroviral therapy alone. The clinical implication of these increases is not known. METHODS: We conducted two trials: the Subcutaneous Recombinant, Human Interleukin-2 in HIV-Infected Patients with Low CD4+ Counts under Active Antiretroviral Therapy (SILCAAT) study and the Evaluation of Subcutaneous Proleukin in a Randomized International Trial (ESPRIT). In each, patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who had CD4+ cell counts of either 50 to 299 per cubic millimeter (SILCAAT) or 300 or more per cubic millimeter (ESPRIT) were randomly assigned to receive interleukin-2 plus antiretroviral therapy or antiretroviral therapy alone. The interleukin-2 regimen consisted of cycles of 5 consecutive days each, administered at 8-week intervals. The SILCAAT study involved six cycles and a dose of 4.5 million IU of interleukin-2 twice daily; ESPRIT involved three cycles and a dose of 7.5 million IU twice daily. Additional cycles were recommended to maintain the CD4+ cell count above predefined target levels. The primary end point of both studies was opportunistic disease or death from any cause. RESULTS: In the SILCAAT study, 1695 patients (849 receiving interleukin-2 plus antiretroviral therapy and 846 receiving antiretroviral therapy alone) who had a median CD4+ cell count of 202 cells per cubic millimeter were enrolled; in ESPRIT, 4111 patients (2071 receiving interleukin-2 plus antiretroviral therapy and 2040 receiving antiretroviral therapy alone) who had a median CD4+ cell count of 457 cells per cubic millimeter were enrolled. Over a median follow-up period of 7 to 8 years, the CD4+ cell count was higher in the interleukin-2 group than in the group receiving antiretroviral therapy alone--by 53 and 159 cells per cubic millimeter, on average, in the SILCAAT study and ESPRIT, respectively. Hazard ratios for opportunistic disease or death from any cause with interleukin-2 plus antiretroviral therapy (vs. antiretroviral therapy alone) were 0.91 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70 to 1.18; P=0.47) in the SILCAAT study and 0.94 (95% CI, 0.75 to 1.16; P=0.55) in ESPRIT. The hazard ratios for death from any cause and for grade 4 clinical events were 1.06 (P=0.73) and 1.10 (P=0.35), respectively, in the SILCAAT study and 0.90 (P=0.42) and 1.23 (P=0.003), respectively, in ESPRIT. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a substantial and sustained increase in the CD4+ cell count, as compared with antiretroviral therapy alone, interleukin-2 plus antiretroviral therapy yielded no clinical benefit in either study. ( numbers, NCT00004978 [ESPRIT] and NCT00013611 [SILCAAT study].)
    New England Journal of Medicine 10/2009; 361:1548-59. · 55.87 Impact Factor