Francis E Martinson

Francis E Martinson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | UNC · Division of Infectious Diseases

BSc MBChB MPH PhD

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225
Publications
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Publications

Publications (225)
Article
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Understanding characteristics associated with adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) methods for HIV-1 prevention may assist with optimizing implementation efforts. The dapivirine vaginal ring is a novel topical PrEP delivery method. Using data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III trial of the dapivirine vaginal ring...
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Background: Clinical trials have found that a monthly dapivirine vaginal ring was well-tolerated and reduced HIV-1 risk among women in sub-Saharan Africa. However, in order for the ring or other novel prevention methods to have optimal impact, it is necessary to understand and address women's challenges to uptake and adherence. This paper provides...
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Aim: Health workers are the key drivers for strengthening Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) program information management in the health facilities. Thus understanding how health workers perceive information management can enlighten areas that require interventions to improve information management processes in the health faciliti...
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The World Health Organization has selected Malawi as one of three sites to pilot the roll-out of RTS,S/AS01 in phase 4 trials. As policy discussions for the expanded use of RTS,S/AS01 continue, it will be critical to determine the performance of the vaccine according to seasonal patterns of malaria transmission in regions of Africa. Given waning va...
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Background Plasmodium falciparum prevalence (PfPR) is a widely used metric for assessing malaria transmission intensity. This study was carried out concurrently with the RTS,S/AS01 candidate malaria vaccine Phase III trial and estimated PfPR over ≤ 4 standardized cross-sectional surveys. Methods This epidemiology study (NCT01190202) was conducted...
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Introduction Pneumonia is a leading cause of mortality among children in low-resource settings. Mortality is greatest among children with high-risk conditions including HIV infection or exposure, severe malnutrition and/or severe hypoxaemia. WHO treatment recommendations include low-flow oxygen for children with severe pneumonia. Bubble continuous...
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Background: The protective effect of insecticide-treated bed nets against individual-level malaria transmission is well known, however community-level effects are less understood. Protective effects from community-level bed net use against malaria transmission have been observed in clinical trials, however, the relationship is less clear outside o...
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Background: The relationship between mastitis and antiretroviral therapy among HIV-positive, breast-feeding women is unclear. Methods: In the Breastfeeding, Antiretrovirals, and Nutrition (BAN) study, conducted in Lilongwe, Malawi, 2369 mother-infant pairs were randomized to a nutritional supplement group and to one of three treatment groups: ma...
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Background: As the effect of biomedical prevention interventions on the natural history of HIV-1 infection in participants who seroconvert is unknown, the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) established a longitudinal study (MTN-015) to monitor virologic, immunological, and clinical outcomes, as well as behavioral changes among women who become HIV-i...
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Estimates of malaria transmission intensity (MTI) typically rely upon microscopy or rapid diagnostic testing (RDT). However, these methods are less sensitive than nucleic acid amplification techniques and may underestimate parasite prevalence. We compared microscopy, RDT, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparu...
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Objectives To explore acceptability of recruiting social contacts for HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening in Lilongwe, Malawi. Methods In this observational study, three groups of ‘seed’ patients were enrolled: 45 HIV-infected patients with STI, 45 HIV-uninfected patients with STI and 45 community controls, who were also tested f...
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Background: This was the first microbicide trial conducted in Africa to evaluate an antiretroviral-containing vaginal ring as an HIV prevention technology for women. Objectives: The trial assessed and compared the safety, acceptability and adherence to product use of a 4-weekly administered vaginal ring containing the antiretroviral microbicide,...
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Background Antiretroviral medications that are used as prophylaxis can prevent acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. However, in clinical trials among African women, the incidence of HIV-1 infection was not reduced, probably because of low adherence. Longer-acting methods of drug delivery, such as vaginal rings, may...
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We established Safeguard the Family (STF) to support Ministry of Health (MoH) scale-up of universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women (Option B+) and to strengthen the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) cascade from HIV testing and counseling (HTC) through maternal ART provision and post-...
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Objective: To assess the effect of oral and injectable contraceptive use compared to non-hormonal contraceptive use on HIV acquisition among Southern African women enrolled in a microbicide trial. Study design: Prospective cohort study using data from women enrolled in HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) protocol 035. At each quarterly visit, p...
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Polymorphisms within Plasmodium falciparum vaccine candidate antigens have the potential to compromise vaccine efficacy. Understanding the allele frequencies of polymorphisms in critical binding regions of antigens can help in the designing of strain-transcendent vaccines. Here, we adopt a pooled deep-sequencing approach, originally designed to stu...
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Background The RTS,S/AS01 vaccine targets the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum and has partial protective efficacy against clinical and severe malaria disease in infants and children. We investigated whether the vaccine efficacy was specific to certain parasite genotypes at the circumsporozoite protein locus. Methods We used polym...
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The RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine targets the circumsporozoite protein, inducing antibodies associated with the prevention of Plasmodium falciparum infection. We assessed the association between anti-circumsporozoite antibody titres and the magnitude and duration of vaccine efficacy using data from a phase 3 trial done between 2009 and 2014. Using d...
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Summary Background The effi cacy and safety of the RTS,S/AS01 candidate malaria vaccine during 18 months of follow-up have been published previously. Herein, we report the fi nal results from the same trial, including the effi cacy of a booster dose. Methods From March 27, 2009, until Jan 31, 2011, children (age 5–17 months) and young infants (age...
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The efficacy and safety of the RTS,S/AS01 candidate malaria vaccine during 18 months of follow-up have been published previously. Herein, we report the final results from the same trial, including the efficacy of a booster dose. From March 27, 2009, until Jan 31, 2011, children (age 5-17 months) and young infants (age 6-12 weeks) were enrolled at...
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Women in sub-Saharan Africa are a priority population for evaluation of new biomedical HIV-1 prevention strategies. Antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis is a promising prevention approach; however, clinical trials among young women using daily or coitally-dependent products have found low adherence. Antiretroviral-containing vaginal microbicide...
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Objective The pipeline of vaginal microbicides for HIV prevention has expanded to include products for multipurpose prevention, but the interests of potential users and those advising on use have not been sufficiently investigated. Rather, assumptions about interest in multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) are inferred from what is known abou...
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Full-text available
Women in sub-Saharan Africa are a priority population for evaluation of new biomedical HIV-1 prevention strategies. Antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis is a promising prevention approach; however, clinical trials among young women using daily or coitally-dependent products have found low adherence. Antiretroviral-containing vaginal microbicide...
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Problem Traditional random sampling at community level requires a list of every individual household that can be randomly selected in the study community. The longitudinal demographic surveillance systems often used as sampling frames are difficult to create in many resource-poor settings. Approach We used Google Earth imagery and geographical ana...
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Background: A malaria vaccine could be an important addition to current control strategies. We report the safety and vaccine efficacy (VE) of the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine during 18 mo following vaccination at 11 African sites with varying malaria transmission. Methods and findings: 6,537 infants aged 6-12 wk and 8,923 children aged 5-17 mo were random...
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In sub-Saharan Africa, although male involvement in antenatal care is associated with positive outcomes for HIV-infected women and their infants, men rarely accompany female partners. We implemented a project to increase the number of male partners attending an antenatal clinic at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. We evaluated changes in the pro...
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Patients with newly diagnosed HIV may be part of social networks with elevated prevalence of undiagnosed HIV infection. Social network recruitment by persons with newly diagnosed HIV may efficiently identify undiagnosed cases of HIV infection. We assessed social network recruitment as a strategy for identifying undiagnosed cases of HIV infection. I...
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The objective of our intervention was to examine the benefits of incorporating traditional birth attendants (TBA) in HIV Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) service delivery. We developed a training curriculum for TBAs related to PMTCT and current TBA roles in Malawi. Fourteen TBAs and seven TBA assistants serving 4 urban health cent...
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Acute HIV infection (AHI) is a relatively brief period of time when individuals are highly infectious and the opportunity to intervene to prevent forward transmission is extremely limited. HPTN 062 partnered with CHAVI 001 to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a motivational interviewing (MI)-based counseling intervention to reduce HIV-t...
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An intensive, prospective, open-label pharmacokinetic (PK) study in a subset of HIV-infected mothers and their uninfected infants enrolled in the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral, and Nutrition study was performed to describe drug exposure and antiviral response. Women using Combivir(®)[zidovudine (ZDV)+ lamivudine (3TC)]+Aluvia®[lopinavir/ritonavir(L...
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The World Health Organization recommends the use of syndromic management for patients presenting with genital ulcer disease (GUD) in developing countries. However, effective treatment guidelines depend on a current country-specific GUD etiological profile, which may change over time. From 2004 to 2006, we conducted a cross-sectional analysis of bas...
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Abstract BACKGROUND & AIMS: The extent of HBV infection to infants of HBV/HIV-coinfected pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess prevalence of HBV infection among antiretroviral-naïve, HIV-infected pregnant women in Malawi and examine HBV transmission to their infants. METHODS: Plasma from 2048 HIV-infe...
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Background Persons with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, are more likely to have sexual partners with STIs. It is not known whether persons with STIs are more likely to have social contacts with STIs. We compared the prevalence of HIV and STIs in the social networks of STI patients to the social networks of community controls....
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Background Cervical cancer is the most common female cancer in Malawi with high mortality. Cervical cancer can be averted if pre-cancerous lesions are detected early and treated. Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) is an effective screening method for resource-limited settings. In an STI Clinic in Lilongwe, Malawi, VIA screening implementation...
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Humoral immunity to Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein is partly mediated by a polymorphic NANP tetra-amino acid repeat. Antibody response to these repeats is the best correlate of protective immunity to the RTS,S malaria vaccine, but few descriptions of the natural variation of these repeats exist. Using capillary electrophoresis to de...
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Circumsporozoite protein (CS) is a leading vaccine antigen for falciparum malaria, but is highly polymorphic in natural parasite populations. The factors driving this diversity are unclear, but non-random assortment of the T cell epitopes TH2 and TH3 has been observed in a Kenyan parasite population. The recent publication of the crystal structure...
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Background The candidate malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01 reduced episodes of both clinical and severe malaria in children 5 to 17 months of age by approximately 50% in an ongoing phase 3 trial. We studied infants 6 to 12 weeks of age recruited for the same trial. Methods We administered RTS,S/AS01 or a comparator vaccine to 6537 infants who were 6 to...
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Background: The candidate malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01 reduced episodes of both clinical and severe malaria in children 5 to 17 months of age by approximately 50% in an ongoing phase 3 trial. We studied infants 6 to 12 weeks of age recruited for the same trial. Methods: We administered RTS,S/AS01 or a comparator vaccine to 6537 infants who were 6...
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Like most of sub-Saharan Africa, Malawi suffers from a paucity of human resources in the health sector. With an average of one physician for every 50,000 persons, and a health care professional to in-patient population ratio of 1:277, patient care suffers. At Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) of Lilongwe, Malawi, family members, termed Hospital Guardia...
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To investigate the willingness of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) to provide single dose antiretroviral prophylaxis to infants born to mothers with HIV and the feasibility of providing the TBAs with antiretroviral medication. 2 focus groups with a total of 17 registered TBAs. Lilongwe, Malawi. TBAs were recruited by local health workers and par...
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In Sub-Saharan Africa, prevalence estimates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) vary widely. To assess the prevalence of HCV infection among HIV-infected, pregnant women screened for a large clinical trial in Lilongwe, Malawi. Plasma from 2041 HIV-infected, pregnant women was screened for anti-HCV IgG using a chemiluminiscent immunometric assay (CIA). Speci...
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The development of an effective malaria vaccine has been hampered by the genetic diversity of commonly used target antigens. This diversity has led to concerns about allele-specific immunity limiting the effectiveness of vaccines. Despite extensive genetic diversity of circumsporozoite protein (CS), the most successful malaria vaccine is RTS/S, a m...
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In resource-limited settings where no safe alternative to breastfeeding exists, WHO recommends that antiretroviral prophylaxis be given to either HIV-infected mothers or infants throughout breastfeeding. We assessed the effect of 28 weeks of maternal or infant antiretroviral prophylaxis on postnatal HIV infection at 48 weeks. The Breastfeeding, Ant...
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Life-threatening infections present major challenges for health systems in Malawi and the developing world because routine microbiologic culture and sensitivity testing are not performed due to lack of capacity. Use of empirical antimicrobial therapy without regular microbiologic surveillance is unable to provide adequate treatment in the face of e...
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Provider-assisted methods of partner notification increase testing and counseling among sexual partners of patients diagnosed with HIV, however they are resource-intensive. The sexual partners of individuals enrolled in a clinical trial comparing different methods of HIV partner notification were analyzed to identify who was unlikely to seek testin...
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There are potential health risks associated with the use of early weaning to prevent mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in resource-poor settings. Our objective was to examine growth and nutrient inadequacies among a cohort of children weaned early. Children participating in the Breastfeeding Antiretrovirals and Nutr...
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An ongoing phase 3 study of the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of candidate malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01 is being conducted in seven African countries. From March 2009 through January 2011, we enrolled 15,460 children in two age categories--6 to 12 weeks of age and 5 to 17 months of age--for vaccination with either RTS,S/AS01 or a non-malaria c...