[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the extent of group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections in sub-Saharan Africa and the serotypes that cause disease, we analyzed surveillance data for 64,741 hospital admissions in Kilifi, Kenya, during 1998-2011. We evaluated incidence, clinical presentations, and emm types that cause invasive GAS infection. We detected 370 cases; of the 369 for which we had data, most were skin and soft tissue infections (70%), severe pneumonia (23%), and primary bacteremia (14%). Overall case-fatality risk was 12%. Incidence of invasive GAS infection was 0.6 cases/1,000 live births among neonates, 101/100,000 person-years among children <1 year of age, and 35/100,000 among children <5 years of age. Genome sequencing identified 88 emm types. GAS causes serious disease in children in rural Kenya, especially neonates, and the causative organisms have considerable genotypic diversity. Benefit from the most advanced GAS type-specific vaccines may be limited, and efforts must be directed to protect against disease in regions of high incidence.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Emerging infectious diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Success in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) raises the prospect of eliminating pediatric HIV infection. To achieve global elimination, however, strategies are needed to strengthen PMTCT interventions. This study aimed to determine PMTCT outcomes and identify challenges facing its successful implementation in a rural setting in Kenya.
A retrospective cohort design was used. Routine demographic and clinical data for infants and mothers enrolling for PMTCT care at a rural hospital in Kenya were analysed. Cox and logistic regression were used to determine factors associated with retention and vertical transmission respectively.
Between 2006 and 2012, 1338 infants were enrolled and followed up for PMTCT care with earlier age of enrollment and improved retention observed over time. Mother to child transmission of HIV declined from 19.4 % in 2006 to 8.9 % in 2012 (non-parametric test for trend p = 0.024). From 2009 to 2012, enrolling for care after 6 months of age, adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR]: 23.3 [95 % confidence interval (CI): 8.3-65.4], presence of malnutrition ([aOR]: 2.3 [95 % CI: 1.1-5.2]) and lack of maternal use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (aOR: 6.5 [95 % CI: 1.4-29.4]) was associated with increased risk of HIV infection. Infant's older age at enrollment, malnutrition and maternal HAART status, were also associated with drop out from care. Infants who were not actively followed up were more likely to drop out from care (adjusted Hazard Ratio: 6.6 [95 % CI: 2.9-14.6]).
We report a temporal increase in the proportion of infants enrolling for PMTCT care before 3 months of age, improved retention in PMTCT and a significant reduction in the proportion of infants enrolled who became HIV-infected, emphasizing the benefits of PMTCT.
A simple set of risk factors at enrollment can identify mother-infant pairs most at risk of infection or drop out for targeted intervention.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) accounts for approximately 1 million child deaths per year. High mortality is linked with comorbidities, such as diarrhea and pneumonia.
The aim of this systematic review was to determine the extent to which carbohydrate malabsorption occurs in children with SAM.
The PubMed and Embase databases were searched. Reference lists of selected articles were checked.
All observational and controlled intervention studies involving children with SAM in which direct or indirect measures of carbohydrate absorption were analyzed were eligible for inclusion. A total of 20 articles were selected for this review.
Most studies reported carbohydrate malabsorption, particularly lactose malabsorption, and suggested an increase in diarrhea and reduced weight gain in children on a lactose-containing diet. As most studies reviewed were observational, there was no conclusive scientific evidence of a causal relationship between lactose malabsorption and a worse clinical outcome among malnourished children.
The combined data indicate that carbohydrate malabsorption is prevalent in children with SAM. Additional well-designed intervention studies are needed to determine whether outcomes of SAM complicated by carbohydrate malabsorption could be improved by altering the carbohydrate/lactose content of therapeutic feeds and to elucidate the precise mechanisms involved.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Nutrition Reviews
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Implementation of successful prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV strategies has resulted in an increased population of HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) infants. HEU infants have higher rates of morbidity and mortality than HIV-unexposed (HU) infants. Numerous factors may contribute to poor health in HEU infants including immunological alterations. The present study assessed T-cell phenotype and function in HEU infants with a focus on memory Th1 responses to vaccination. We compared cross-sectionally selected parameters at 3 and 12 months of age in HIV-exposed (n = 42) and HU (n = 28) Kenyan infants. We measured ex vivo activated and bulk memory CD4 and CD8 T-cells and regulatory T-cells by flow cytometry. In addition, we measured the magnitude, quality and memory phenotype of antigen-specific T-cell responses to Bacillus Calmette-Guerin and Tetanus Toxoid vaccine antigens, and the magnitude and quality of the T cell response following polyclonal stimulation with staphylococcal enterotoxin B. Finally, the influence of maternal disease markers on the immunological parameters measured was assessed in HEU infants. Few perturbations were detected in ex vivo T-cell subsets, though amongst HEU infants maternal HIV viral load positively correlated with CD8 T cell immune activation at 12 months. Conversely, we observed age-dependent differences in the magnitude and polyfunctionality of IL-2 and TNF-α responses to vaccine antigens particularly in Th1 cells. These changes mirrored those seen following polyclonal stimulation, where at 3 months, cytokine responses were higher in HEU infants compared to HU infants, and at 12 months, HEU infant cytokine responses were consistently lower than those seen in HU infants. Finally, reduced effector memory Th1 responses to vaccine antigens were observed in HEU infants at 3 and 12 months and higher central memory Th1 responses to M. tuberculosis antigens were observed at 3 months only. Long-term monitoring of vaccine efficacy and T-cell immunity in this vulnerable population is warranted.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Invasive salmonelloses are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa, but the incidence and case fatality of each disease vary markedly by region. We aimed to describe the incidence, clinical characteristics, and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of invasive salmonelloses among children and adults in Kilifi, Kenya.
Methods. We analyzed integrated clinical and laboratory records for patients presenting to the Kilifi County Hospital between 1998 and 2014. We calculated incidence, and summarized clinical features and multidrug resistance.
Results. Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) accounted for 10.8% and 5.8% of bacteremia cases in children and adults, respectively, while Salmonella Typhi accounted for 0.5% and 2.1%, respectively. Among 351 NTS isolates serotyped, 160 (45.6%) were Salmonella Enteritidis and 152 (43.3%) were Salmonella Typhimurium. The incidence of NTS in children aged <5 years was 36.6 per 100 000 person-years, being highest in infants aged <7 days (174/100 000 person-years). The overall incidence of NTS in children varied markedly by location and declined significantly during the study period; the pattern of dominance of the NTS serotypes also shifted from Salmonella Enteritidis to Salmonella Typhimurium. Risk factors for invasive NTS disease were human immunodeficiency virus infection, malaria, and malnutrition; the case fatality ratio was 22.1% (71/321) in children aged <5 years and 36.7% (11/30) in adults. Multidrug resistance was present in 23.9% (84/351) of NTS isolates and 46.2% (12/26) of Salmonella Typhi isolates.
Conclusions. In Kilifi, the incidence of invasive NTS was high, especially among newborn infants, but typhoid fever was uncommon. NTS remains an important cause of bacteremia in children <5 years of age.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Clinical Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Mortality in paediatric emergency care units in Africa often occurs within the first 24 h of admission and remains high. Alongside effective triage systems, a practical clinical bedside risk score to identify those at greatest risk could contribute to reducing mortality.
Data collected during the Fluid As Expansive Supportive Therapy (FEAST) trial, a multi-centre trial involving 3,170 severely ill African children, were analysed to identify clinical and laboratory prognostic factors for mortality. Multivariable Cox regression was used to build a model in this derivation dataset based on clinical parameters that could be quickly and easily assessed at the bedside. A score developed from the model coefficients was externally validated in two admissions datasets from Kilifi District Hospital, Kenya, and compared to published risk scores using Area Under the Receiver Operating Curve (AUROC) and Hosmer-Lemeshow tests. The Net Reclassification Index (NRI) was used to identify additional laboratory prognostic factors.
A risk score using 8 clinical variables (temperature, heart rate, capillary refill time, conscious level, severe pallor, respiratory distress, lung crepitations, and weak pulse volume) was developed. The score ranged from 0-10 and had an AUROC of 0.82 (95 % CI, 0.77-0.87) in the FEAST trial derivation set. In the independent validation datasets, the score had an AUROC of 0.77 (95 % CI, 0.72-0.82) amongst admissions to a paediatric high dependency ward and 0.86 (95 % CI, 0.82-0.89) amongst general paediatric admissions. This discriminative ability was similar to, or better than other risk scores in the validation datasets. NRI identified lactate, blood urea nitrogen, and pH to be important prognostic laboratory variables that could add information to the clinical score.
Eight clinical prognostic factors that could be rapidly assessed by healthcare staff for triage were combined to create the FEAST Paediatric Emergency Triage (PET) score and externally validated. The score discriminated those at highest risk of fatal outcome at the point of hospital admission and compared well to other published risk scores. Further laboratory tests were also identified as prognostic factors which could be added if resources were available or as indices of severity for comparison between centres in future research studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the predictors of wasting, stunting and low mid-upper arm circumference among children aged 6-59 months in Somalia using data from household cross-sectional surveys from 2007 to 2010 in order to help inform better targeting of nutritional interventions.
Cross-sectional nutritional assessment surveys using structured interviews were conducted among communities in Somalia each year from 2007 to 2010. A two-stage cluster sampling methodology was used to select children aged 6-59 months from households across three livelihood zones (pastoral, agro-pastoral and riverine). Predictors of three anthropometric measures, weight-for-height (wasting), height-for-age (stunting) and mid-upper arm circumference, were analysed using Bayesian binomial regression, controlling for both spatial and temporal dependence in the data.
The study was conducted in randomly sampled villages, representative of three livelihood zones in Somalia.
Children between the ages of 6 and 59 months in Somalia.
The estimated national prevalence of wasting, stunting and low mid-upper arm circumference in children aged 6-59 months was 21 %, 31 % and 36 %, respectively. Although fever, diarrhoea, sex and age of the child, household size and access to foods were significant predictors of malnutrition, the strongest association was observed between all three indicators of malnutrition and the enhanced vegetation index. A 1-unit increase in enhanced vegetation index was associated with a 38 %, 49 % and 59 % reduction in wasting, stunting and low mid-upper arm circumference, respectively.
Infection and climatic variations are likely to be key drivers of malnutrition in Somalia. Better health data and close monitoring and forecasting of droughts may provide valuable information for nutritional intervention planning in Somalia.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Public Health Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Antenatal care early in pregnancy enables service providers to identify and manage risks to mother and fetus. In the global north, ultrasound scans are routinely offered in pregnancy to provide an accurate estimate of gestational age and identify potential problems. In sub-Saharan Africa, such services are rarely available and women often delay initiating antenatal care. This study describes the uptake and provision of antenatal care in a rural Kenyan hospital and explores how pregnant women and healthcare providers perceived the provision of ultrasound scanning, following its introduction in an international foetal growth study.
A descriptive study, using qualitative and quantitative methods, was conducted in Kilifi District Hospital, Kenya, between June 2011 and April 2012. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 nurses working in the antenatal clinic (ANC) and 59 pregnant women attending ANC. Structured observations of 357 ANC consultations and 30 ultrasound scans were made.
Women sought antenatal care for information about the health of their baby and the protection provided by the ANC services. Uncertainty about pregnancy status contributed to delay in ANC attendance; more than 78 % of women were over 20 weeks’ gestation at their first visit. Healthcare workers found it difficult to detect pregnancies below 16 weeks gestation and, accurate assessment of gestational age below 20 weeks’ gestation could be problematic. Provision of services depended on the pregnancy being detected and gestational age assessed. The “seeing”, made possible through ultrasound scanning was perceived by pregnant women and healthcare workers to be beneficial: confirming the pregnancy, and providing reassurance about the fetus’ condition. Few participants raised concerns about ultrasound scanning.
Uncertainty about pregnancy status and gestational age for women and healthcare providers is a key factor influencing timing of ANC attendance, contributing to delays and restricting early provision of ANC services. Ultrasound scanning was perceived to enhance antenatal care through confirmation of pregnancy status and enabling more accurate estimation of gestational age and the health status of the fetus. There is a need to make available more affordable means of pregnancy testing as a strategy towards encouraging early attendance, and delivery of antenatal care.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs) are a key component of a life-saving treatment for young children who present with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition in resource limited settings. Increasing recognition of the role of balanced dietary omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in neurocognitive and immune development led two independent groups to evaluate RUTFs. Jones et al. (BMC Med 13:93, 2015), in a study in BMC Medicine, and Hsieh et al. (J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2015), in a study in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, reformulated RUTFs with altered PUFA content and looked at the effects on circulating omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) status as a measure of overall omega-3 status. Supplemental oral administration of omega-3 DHA or reduction of RUTF omega-6 linoleic acid using high oleic peanuts improved DHA status, whereas increasing omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid in RUTF did not. The results of these two small studies are consistent with well-established effects in animal studies and highlight the need for basic and operational research to improve fat composition in support of omega-3-specific development in young children as RUTF use expands.
Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/13/93
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Scale up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to substantial declines in HIV related morbidity and mortality. However, attrition from ART care remains a major public health concern and has been identified as one of the key reportable indicators in assessing the success of ART programs.
To describe the incidence and predictors of attrition among adults initiating ART in a rural HIV clinic in Coastal Kenya.
A retrospective cohort study design was used. Adults (≥15 years) initiated ART between January 2008 and December 2010 were followed up for two years. Attrition was defined as individuals who were either reported dead or lost to follow up (LFU, ≥ 180 days late since the last clinic visit). Kaplan Meier survival probabilities and Weibull baseline hazard regression analyses were used to model the incidence and predictors of time to attrition.
Of the 928 eligible participants, 308 (33.2% [95% CI, 30.2 - 36.3]) underwent attrition at an incident rate of 23.1 (95% CI, 20.6 - 25.8)/100 pyo. Attrition at 6 and 12 months was 18.4% (95% CI, 16.0 - 21.1) and 23.2% (95% CI, 19.9 - 25.3) respectively. Gender (male vs. female, adjusted hazard ratio [95% CI], p-value: 1.5 [1.1 - 2.0], p = 0.014), age (15 - 24 vs. ≥ 45 years, 2.2 [1.3 - 3.7], p = 0.034) and baseline CD4 T-cell count (100 - 350 cells/uL vs. <100 cells/uL, 0.5 [0.3 - 0.7], p = 0.002) were independent predictors of time to attrition.
A third of individuals initiating ART were either reported dead or LFU during two years of care, with more than a half of these occurring within six months of treatment initiation. Practical and sustainable biomedical interventions and psychosocial support systems are warranted to improve ART retention in this setting.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · BMC Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) are lipid-based pastes widely used in the treatment of acute malnutrition. Current specifications for RUTF permit a high n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content and low n-3 PUFA, with no stipulated requirements for preformed long-chain n-3 PUFA. The objective of this study was to develop an RUTF with elevated short-chain n-3 PUFA and measure its impact, with and without fish oil supplementation, on children's PUFA status during treatment of severe acute malnutrition.
This randomized controlled trial in children with severe acute malnutrition in rural Kenya included 60 children aged 6 to 50 months who were randomized to receive i) RUTF with standard composition; ii) RUTF with elevated short chain n-3 PUFA; or iii) RUTF with elevated short chain n-3 PUFA plus fish oil capsules. Participants were followed-up for 3 months. The primary outcome was erythrocyte PUFA composition.
Erythrocyte docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content declined from baseline in the two arms not receiving fish oil. Erythrocyte long-chain n-3 PUFA content following treatment was significantly higher for participants in the arm receiving fish oil than for those in the arms receiving RUTF with elevated short chain n-3 PUFA or standard RUTF alone: 3 months after enrolment, DHA content was 6.3% (interquartile range 6.0-7.3), 4.5% (3.9-4.9), and 3.9% (2.4-5.7) of total erythrocyte fatty acids (P <0.001), respectively, while eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) content was 2.0% (1.5-2.6), 0.7% (0.6-0.8), and 0.4% (0.3-0.5) (P <0.001). RUTF with elevated short chain n-3 PUFA and fish oil capsules were acceptable to participants and carers, and there were no significant differences in safety outcomes.
PUFA requirements of children with SAM are not met by current formulations of RUTF, or by an RUTF with elevated short-chain n-3 PUFA without additional preformed long-chain n-3 PUFA. Clinical and growth implications of revised formulations need to be addressed in large clinical trials.
Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01593969 . Registered 4 May 2012.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review discusses the rational development of guidelines for the management of neonatal sepsis in developing countries.
Diagnosis of neonatal sepsis with high specificity remains challenging in developing countries. Aetiology data, particularly from rural, community-based studies, are very limited, but molecular tests to improve diagnostics are being tested in a community-based study in South Asia. Antibiotic susceptibility data are limited, but suggest reducing susceptibility to first-and second-line antibiotics in both hospital and community-acquired neonatal sepsis. Results of clinical trials in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa assessing feasibility of simplified antibiotic regimens are awaited.
Effective management of neonatal sepsis in developing countries is essential to reduce neonatal mortality and morbidity. Simplified antibiotic regimens are currently being examined in clinical trials, but reduced antimicrobial susceptibility threatens current empiric treatment strategies. Improved clinical and microbiological surveillance is essential, to inform current practice, treatment guidelines, and monitor implementation of policy changes.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Neonatal Tetanus (NT) is a preventable cause of mortality and neurological sequelae that occurs at higher incidence in resource-poor countries, presumably because of low maternal immunisation rates and unhygienic cord care practices. We aimed to determine changes in the incidence of NT, characterize and investigate the associated risk factors and mortality in a prospective cohort study including all admissions over a 15-year period at a County hospital on the Kenyan coast, a region with relatively high historical NT rates within Kenya. Methods We assessed all neonatal admissions to Kilifi County Hospital in Kenya (1999-2013) and identified cases of NT (standard clinical case definition) admitted during this time. Poisson regression was used to examine change in incidence of NT using accurate denominator data from an area of active demographic surveillance. Logistic regression was used to investigate the risk factors for NT and factors associated with mortality in NT amongst were tested for anti-tetanus antibodies. Results There were 191 NT admissions, of whom 187 (98%) were home deliveries. Incidence of NT declined significantly (Incidence Rate Ratio: 0.85 (95% Confidence interval 0.81-0.89), P < 0.001) but the case fatality (62%) did not change over the study period (P = 0.536). Younger infant age at admission (P = 0.001) was the only independent predictor of mortality. Compared to neonatal hospital admittee controls, the proportion of home births was higher among the cases. Sera tested for antitetanus antibodies showed most mothers (50/61, 82%) had undetectable levels of antitetanus antibodies, and most (8/9, 89%) mothers with detectable antibodies had a neonate without protective levels. Conclusions Incidence of NT in Kilifi County has significantly reduced, with reductions following immunisation campaigns. Our results suggest immunisation efforts are effective if sustained and efforts should continue to expand coverage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:
Neonatal Tetanus (NT) is a preventable cause of mortality and neurological sequelae that occurs at higher incidence in resource-poor countries, presumably because of low maternal immunisation rates and unhygienic cord care practices. We aimed to determine changes in the incidence of NT, characterize and investigate the associated risk factors and mortality in a prospective cohort study including all admissions over a 15-year period at a County hospital on the Kenyan coast, a region with relatively high historical NT rates within Kenya.
We assessed all neonatal admissions to Kilifi County Hospital in Kenya (1999-2013) and identified cases of NT (standard clinical case definition) admitted during this time. Poisson regression was used to examine change in incidence of NT using accurate denominator data from an area of active demographic surveillance. Logistic regression was used to investigate the risk factors for NT and factors associated with mortality in NT amongst neonatal admissions. A subset of sera from mothers (n = 61) and neonates (n = 47) were tested for anti-tetanus antibodies.
There were 191 NT admissions, of whom 187 (98%) were home deliveries. Incidence of NT declined significantly (Incidence Rate Ratio: 0.85 (95% Confidence interval 0.81-0.89), P<0.001) but the case fatality (62%) did not change over the study period (P = 0.536). Younger infant age at admission (P = 0.001) was the only independent predictor of mortality. Compared to neonatal hospital admittee controls, the proportion of home births was higher among the cases. Sera tested for antitetanus antibodies showed most mothers (50/61, 82%) had undetectable levels of antitetanus antibodies, and most (8/9, 89%) mothers with detectable antibodies had a neonate without protective levels.
Incidence of NT in Kilifi County has significantly reduced, with reductions following immunisation campaigns. Our results suggest immunisation efforts are effective if sustained and efforts should continue to expand coverage.