Frank Cobelens

Frank Cobelens
Academisch Medisch Centrum Universiteit van Amsterdam | AMC · Department of Global Health

MD PhD

About

382
Publications
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Publications

Publications (382)
Article
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a leading infectious cause of death worldwide and the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has negatively impacted the global TB burden of disease indicators. If the targets of TB mortality and incidence reduction set by the international community are to be met, new more effective adult and adolescent TB vaccines are urgentl...
Preprint
Background Individuals with bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis disease (TB) that do not report symptoms (subclinical TB) represent around half of all prevalent cases of TB, yet their contribution to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) transmission is unknown, especially compared to individuals who report symptoms at time of diagnosis (...
Article
BACKGROUND: Protection against infection by the bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine against Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains a subject of controversy. We investigated the association between BCG vaccination at birth and infection by M. tuberculosis.MATERIAL and METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of data from tuberculin skin test (TST) surveys in...
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Full-text available
Background Xpert MTB/Rif, a molecular test to detect tuberculosis (TB), has been proven to have high sensitivity and specificity when compared with liquid culture in clinical settings. However, little is known about its performance in community TB screening. Methods In Vietnam, a national TB prevalence survey was conducted in 2017. Survey particip...
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Background: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is known to reduce tuberculosis (TB) incidence among people living with HIV (PLWH). However, studies describing the impact of long-term ART and CD4 count recovery on TB incidence remain scarce due to limited follow up in previous studies. We evaluated TB incidence in a long-term cohort of PLWH on ART in Tha...
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Background An ecological relationship between economic development and reduction in tuberculosis prevalence has been observed. Between 2007 and 2017, Việt Nam experienced rapid economic development with equitable distribution of resources and a 37% reduction in tuberculosis prevalence. Analysing consecutive prevalence surveys, we examined how the r...
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Rapid, accurate, sputum-free tests for tuberculosis (TB) triage and confirmation are urgently needed to close the widening diagnostic gap. We summarise key technologies and review programmatic, systems, and resource issues that could affect the impact of diagnostics. Mid-to-early-stage technologies like artificial intelligence-based automated digit...
Article
Background: The utility of using PrEP eligibility assessments to identify eligibility in general populations has not been well studied in sub-Saharan Africa. We used the Rakai Community Cohort Study to conduct a cross-sectional analysis to estimate PrEP eligibility and a cohort analysis to estimate HIV incidence associated with PrEP eligibility....
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Objective: Incipient Tuberculosis (ITB) refers to M. tuberculosis infection that is likely to progress to active disease in the absence of treatment, but without clinical signs, symptoms, radiographic or microbiological evidence of disease. Biomarker-based tests to diagnose incipient TB hold promise for better prediction and, through TB preventive...
Article
To eliminate tuberculosis globally, a new, effective, and affordable vaccine is urgently needed, particularly for use in adults and adolescents in low-income and middle-income countries. We have created a roadmap that lists the actions needed to accelerate tuberculosis vaccine research and development using a participatory process. The vaccine pipe...
Preprint
Background Chest X-ray (CXR) screening is a useful diagnostic tool to test individuals at high risk of tuberculosis (TB), yet image interpretation requires trained human readers who are in short supply in many high TB burden countries. Therefore, CXR interpretation by computer-aided detection software (CAD) may overcome some of these challenges, bu...
Article
Background Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) infection can manifest in different states including sub-clinical tuberculosis (scTB) that is commonly defined as confirmed TB without having the classical symptoms (commonly persistent cough for ≥2 weeks). This narrow definition likely poses limitations for surveillance and control measures. The aims of the c...
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Full-text available
China is one of the high-burden countries for multidrug-resistant/rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/RR-TB). Moxifloxacin is one of the critical antituberculosis drugs for MDR/RR-TB treatment.
Article
Objective South Africa’s infant Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine policy changed from percutaneous (PC) BCG Japan to intradermal (ID) BCG Denmark in 2000. This study investigated whether this change in infant BCG vaccination had any durable impact on TB incidence rates (IR) into adolescence. Methods The Cape Town electronic TB register provide...
Article
BACKGROUND: Diagnostic tools to identify incipient or subclinical TB stages will be helpful for preventive intervention. A simple biomarker to predict TB may be the monocytes to lymphocytes ratio (ML ratio) in peripheral blood.METHODS: We assessed the relationship between multiple time-updated ML ratio measurements and incidence of TB in people liv...
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Background New medicines have become available for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) and are introduced in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by the national TB programs (NTPs) through special access schemes. Pharmacovigilance is typically the task of national medicines regulatory agencies (NMRAs), but the active drug safety monitoring and...
Preprint
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Background: Prevalence surveys have found a substantial burden of subclinical (asymptomatic but infectious) TB, from which individuals can progress, regress or even persist in a chronic disease state. We aimed to quantify these pathways across the spectrum of TB disease. Methods: We created deterministic framework of TB disease with progression and...
Article
Background: Tuberculosis preventive therapy for persons with HIV infection is effective, but its durability is uncertain. Objective: To compare treatment completion rates of weekly isoniazid-rifapentine for 3 months versus daily isoniazid for 6 months as well as the effectiveness of the 3-month rifapentine-isoniazid regimen given annually for 2...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: New medicines have become available for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) and are introduced in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by the national TB programs (NTPs) through special access schemes. Pharmacovigilance is typically the task of national medicines regulatory agencies (NMRAs), but the active drug safety monitoring an...
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Full-text available
Objectives To examine changes in the screening, diagnosis, treatment and management of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DRTB) patients, and investigate the impacts of DRTB-related policies on patients of different demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Design A retrospective cohort study using registry data, plus a survey on DRTB-related polic...
Article
Vietnam, a high tuberculosis (TB) burden country, conducted national TB prevalence surveys in 2007 and 2017. In both surveys participants were screened by using a questionnaire and chest radiograph; sputum samples were then collected to test for Mycobacterium tuberculosis by smear microscopy and Löwenstein-Jensen culture. Culture-positive, smear-po...
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Background A decline in mortality rates during the first 12 months of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been mainly linked to increased ART initiation at higher CD4 counts and at less advanced World Health Organization (WHO) clinical stages of HIV infection; however, the role of improved patient care has not been well studied. We estimated improveme...
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Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted in bioaerosols containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Despite being central to ongoing TB transmission, no routine diagnostic assay exists to measure Mtb in bioaerosols. Furthermore, published studies of Mtb in bioaerosol samples have been limited to individuals with sputum-positive pulmonary TB....
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
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Background: Most studies evaluating the effect of Xpert MTB/RIF testing for tuberculosis (TB) concluded that it did not reduce overall mortality compared to usual care. We conducted a systematic review to assess whether key study design and execution features contributed to earlier identification of patients with TB and decreased pre-treatment loss...
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Full-text available
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0232142.].
Article
BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis incidence varies seasonally in many settings. However, the role of seasonal variation in reactivation vs. transmission is unclear. METHODS: We reviewed data on TB notifications in Cape Town, South Africa, from 1903 to 2017 (exclusive of 1995–2002, which were unavailable). Data from 2003 onward were stratified by HIV status,...
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Background: Retreatment tuberculosis (TB) disease is common in high-prevalence settings. The risk of repeated episodes of recurrent TB is unknown. We calculated the rate of recurrent TB per subsequent episode by matching individual treatment episodes over a period of 13 years. Methods: All recorded TB episodes in Cape Town between 2003-2016 were...
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Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Vietnam. The current TB burden is unknown as not all individuals with TB are diagnosed, recorded and notified. The second national TB prevalence survey was conducted in 2017-2018 to assess the current burden of TB disease in the country. Method: Eighty-two...
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Background Mass administrations of antimalarial drugs (MDA) have reduced the incidence and prevalence of P. falciparum infections in a trial in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Here we assess the impact of the MDA on P. vivax infections. Methods Between May 2013 and July 2017, four villages in each Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR were selected...
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Full-text available
Following publication of the original article [1], it was brought to the authors' attention that one of the names in the author list had been provided with the incorrect spelling.
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Achieving the ambitious targets for global tuberculosis (TB) control, will require an increased emphasis on preventing development of active disease in those with latent TB infection (LTBI) by preventative treatment or vaccination [1]. New shortened regimens of 1–3 months duration potentially allow much wider and more effective use of preventive th...
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Background: Pyrazinamide still may be a useful drug for treatment of rifampin-resistant (RR-TB) or multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in China while awaiting scale up of new drugs and regimens including bedaquiline and linezolid. The level of pyrazinamide resistance among MDR-TB patients in China is not well established. Therefore, we asses...
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Background: Trials to assess the efficacy of the radical cure of Plasmodium vivax malaria with 8-aminoquinolines require that most post-treatment relapses are identified, but there is no consensus on the optimal duration of follow-up in either symptomatic or asymptomatic vivax malaria. The efficacy of a 14-day course of primaquine on the cumulativ...
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Full-text available
Background: Although public medical insurance covers over 95% of the population in China, disparities in health service use and out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditure across income groups are still widely observed. This study aims to investigate the socio-economic disparities in perceived healthcare needs, informal care, formal care and payment fo...
Preprint
Background: Although public medical insurance covers over 95% of the population in China, disparities in health service use and out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditure across income groups are still widely observed. This study aims to investigate the socio-economic disparities in perceived healthcare needs, informal care, formal care and payment for...
Preprint
Background: Although public medical insurance covers over 95% of the population in China, disparities in health service use and out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditure across income groups are still widely observed. This study aims to investigate the socio-economic disparities in perceived healthcare needs, informal care, formal care and payment for...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Studies evaluating the impact of Xpert MTB/RIF testing for tuberculosis (TB) have demonstrated varied effects on health outcomes with many studies showing inconclusive results. We explored perceptions among diverse stakeholders about studies evaluating the impact of TB diagnostic tests, and identified suggestions for improving these stu...
Preprint
Background: Although public medical insurance covers over 95% of the population in China, disparities in health service use and out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditure across income groups are still widely observed. This study aims to investigate the socio-economic disparities in perceived healthcare needs, informal care, formal care and payment for...
Article
Background: Most studies evaluating the effect of Xpert MTB/RIF testing for tuberculosis (TB) concluded that it did not reduce overall mortality compared to usual care. We conducted a systematic review to assess whether key study design and execution features contributed to earlier identification of patients with TB and decreased pre-treatment loss...
Preprint
Background: Although public medical insurance covers over 95% of the population in China, disparities in health service use and out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditure across income groups are still widely observed. This study aims to investigate the socio-economic disparities in perceived healthcare needs, informal care, formal care and payment for...
Article
Full-text available
Approximately 3.6 million cases of active tuberculosis (TB) go potentially undiagnosed annually, partly due to limited access to confirmatory diagnostic tests, such as molecular assays or mycobacterial culture, in community and primary healthcare settings. This article provides guidance for TB triage test evaluations. A TB triage test is designed f...
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Full-text available
Global Health has not featured as prominently in the European Union (EU) research agenda in recent years as it did in the first decade of the new millennium, and participation of low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) in EU health research has declined substantially. The Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Framework adopted by the Europe...
Article
Introduction Evidence on conditions for implementation of latent tuberculosis (TB) infection screening and treatment among asylum seekers is needed to inform TB control policies. We used mixed-methods to evaluate the implementation of a latent TB infection (LTBI) screening and treatment program among asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Methods We o...
Preprint
Background: Although public medical insurance covers over 95% of the population in China, disparities in health service use and out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditure across income groups are still widely observed. This study aims to investigate the socio-economic disparities in perceived health care needs, informal care, formal care and payment fo...
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Full-text available
Rifampicin heteroresistance – where rifampicin-resistant and -susceptible tuberculosis (TB) bacilli co-exist – may result in failed standard TB treatment and potential spread of rifampicin-resistant strains. Detection of rifampicin heteroresistance in routine rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) allows for patients to receive prompt and effective multidru...
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Full-text available
Sensitive tools are needed to accurately establish the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) at death, especially in low-income countries. The objective of this study was to evaluate the burden of TB in a series of patients who died in a tertiary referral hospital in sub-Saharan Africa using an in-house real time PCR (TB-PCR) and the Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra (...
Article
The increase in drug-resistant tuberculosis in China calls for scaling up rapid diagnosis. We evaluated introduction of rapid resistance testing by line-probe assay for all patients with a diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis in 2 prefectures in middle and eastern China. We analyzed sputum samples for smear-positive patients and cultures for smear-n...
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Full-text available
Introduction: To reach pre-elimination levels of tuberculosis (TB) incidence in the Netherlands, prevention of TB among immigrants through diagnosis and treatment of latent TB infection (LTBI) is needed. We studied the feasibility of a LTBI screening and treatment program among newly arriving immigrants for national implementation. Methods: We u...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rifampicin heteroresistance – where rifampicin-resistant and -susceptible tuberculosis bacilli co-exist – may result in failed standard TB treatment and potential spread of rifampicin-resistant strains. Detection of rifampicin heteroresistance in routine rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) allows for patients to receive prompt and effective multidrug-res...
Article
Much remains unknown about Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission. Seminal experimental studies from the 1950s demonstrated that airborne expulsion of droplet nuclei from an infectious tuberculosis patient is the primary route of transmission. However, these findings did not rule out other routes of M. tuberculos is transmission. We reviewed histo...
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Background In response to the high financial burden of health services facing tuberculosis (TB) patients in China, the China-Gates TB project, Phase II, has implemented a new financing and payment model as an important component of the overall project in three cities in eastern, central and western China. The model focuses on increasing the reimbur...
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Background: Currently in Vietnam contact tracing for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) entails passive case finding among symptomatic household contacts who present themselves for diagnosis. Close contacts of MDR-TB cases are therefore not identified adequately. We assessed the added value of active contact tracing within and beyond househ...