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      Point-of-Care Lateral Flow Assays for Tuberculosis and Cryptococcal Antigenuria Predict Death in HIV Infected Adults in Uganda

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          Mortality in hospitalized, febrile patients in Sub-Saharan Africa is high due to HIV-infected, severely immunosuppressed patients with opportunistic co-infection, particularly disseminated tuberculosis (TB) and cryptococcal disease. We sought to determine if a positive lateral flow assay (LFA) result for urine lipoarabinomannan (LAM) and cryptococcal antigenuria was associated with mortality.


          351 hospitalized, HIV-positive adults with symptoms consistent with TB and who were able to provide both urine and sputum specimens were prospectively enrolled at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Uganda as part of a prospective accuracy evaluation of the lateral flow Determine TB LAM test. Stored frozen urine was retrospectively tested for cryptococcal antigen (CRAG) using the LFA. We fitted a multinomial logistic regression model to analyze factors associated with death within 2 months after initial presentation.


          The median CD4 of the participants was 57 (IQR: 14–179) cells/µl and 41% (145) were microbiologically confirmed TB cases. LAM LFA was positive in 38% (134), 7% (25) were CRAG positive, and 43% (151) were positive for either test in urine. Overall, 21% (75) died within the first 2 months, and a total of 32% (114) were confirmed dead by 6 months. At 2 months, 30% of LAM or CRAG positive patients were confirmed dead compared to 15.0% of those who were negative. In an adjusted model, LAM or CRAG positive results were associated with an increased risk of death (RRR 2.29, 95% CI: 1.29, 4.05; P = 0.005).


          In hospitalized HIV-infected patients, LAM or CRAG LFA positivity was associated with subsequent death within 2 months. Further studies are warranted to examine the impact of POC diagnostic ‘test and treat’ approach on patient-centered outcomes.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Estimation of the current global burden of cryptococcal meningitis among persons living with HIV/AIDS.

          Cryptococcal meningitis is one of the most important HIV-related opportunistic infections, especially in the developing world. In order to help develop global strategies and priorities for prevention and treatment, it is important to estimate the burden of cryptococcal meningitis. Global burden of disease estimation using published studies. We used the median incidence rate of available studies in a geographic region to estimate the region-specific cryptococcal meningitis incidence; this was multiplied by the 2007 United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS HIV population estimate for each region to estimate cryptococcal meningitis cases. To estimate deaths, we assumed a 9% 3-month case-fatality rate among high-income regions, a 55% rate among low-income and middle-income regions, and a 70% rate in sub-Saharan Africa, based on studies published in these areas and expert opinion. Published incidence ranged from 0.04 to 12% per year among persons with HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest yearly burden estimate (median incidence 3.2%, 720 000 cases; range, 144 000-1.3 million). Median incidence was lowest in Western and Central Europe and Oceania (
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            Tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa: opportunities, challenges, and change in the era of antiretroviral treatment.

            Rapid scale-up of antiretroviral treatment programmes is happening in Africa, driven by international advocacy and policy directives and supported by unprecedented donor funding and technical assistance. This welcome development offers hope to millions of HIV-infected Africans, among whom tuberculosis is the major cause of serious illness and death. Little in the way of HIV diagnosis or care was previously offered to patients with tuberculosis, by either national tuberculosis or AIDS control programmes, with tuberculosis services focused exclusively on diagnosis and treatment of rising numbers of patients. Tuberculosis control in Africa has yet to adapt to the new climate of antiretroviral availability. Many barriers exist, from drug interactions to historic differences in the way that tuberculosis and HIV are perceived, but failure to successfully integrate HIV and tuberculosis control will threaten the viability of both programmes. Here, we review tuberculosis epidemiology in Africa and policy implications of HIV/AIDS treatment scale-up.
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              Diagnostic accuracy of a low-cost, urine antigen, point-of-care screening assay for HIV-associated pulmonary tuberculosis before antiretroviral therapy: a descriptive study

              Summary Background The diagnostic accuracy of sputum smear microscopy and routine chest radiology for HIV-associated tuberculosis is poor, and culture-based diagnosis is slow, expensive, and is unavailable in most resource-limited settings. We assessed the diagnostic accuracy of a urine antigen test Determine TB-LAM Ag (Determine TB-LAM; Alere, Waltham, MA, USA) for screening for HIV-associated pulmonary tuberculosis before antiretroviral therapy (ART). Methods In this descriptive study, consecutive adults referred to a community-based ART clinic in Gugulethu township, South Africa, were all screened for tuberculosis by obtaining sputum samples for fluorescence microscopy, automated liquid culture (gold-standard test), and Xpert MTB/RIF assays (Cepheid, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) and urine samples for the Clearview TB-ELISA (TB-ELISA; Alere, Waltham, MA, USA) and Determine TB-LAM test. Patients with Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultured from one or more sputum samples were defined as cases of tuberculosis. The diagnostic accuracy of Determine TB-LAM used alone or combined with sputum smear microscopy was compared with that of sputum culture and the Xpert MTB/RIF assay for all patients and subgroups of patients stratified by CD4 cell count. Findings Patients were recruited between March 12, 2010, and April 20, 2011. Of 602 patients enrolled, 542 were able to provide one or more sputum samples, and 94 had culture-positive tuberculosis (prevalence 17·4%, 95% CI 14·2–20·8). Complete results from all tests were available for 516 patients (median CD4 count, 169·5 cells per μL; IQR 100–233), including 85 culture-positive tuberculosis, 24 of whom (28·2%, 95% CI 19·0–39·0) had sputum smear-positive disease. Determine TB-LAM test strips provided results within 30 min. Agreement was very high between two independent readers of the test strips (κ=0·97) and between the test strips and TB-ELISA (κ=0·84). Determine TB-LAM had highest sensitivity at low CD4 cell counts: 66·7% (95% CI 41·0–86·7) at <50 cells per μL, 51·7% (32·5–70·6) at <100 cells per μL, and 39·0% (26·5–52·6) at <200 cells per μL; specificity was greater than 98% for all strata. When combined with smear microscopy (either test positive), sensitivity was 72·2% (95% CI 46·5–90·3) at CD4 counts less than 50 cells per μL, 65·5% (45·7–82·1) at less than 100 cells per μL, and 52·5% (39·1–65·7) at less than 200 cells per μL, which did not differ statistically from the sensitivities obtained by testing a single sputum sample with the Xpert MTB/RIF assay. Interpretation Determine TB-LAM is a simple, low-cost, alternative to existing diagnostic assays for tuberculosis screening in HIV-infected patients with very low CD4 cell counts and provides important incremental yield when combined with sputum smear microscopy. Funding Wellcome Trust.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                7 July 2014
                : 9
                : 7
                [1 ]Infectious Diseases Institute, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
                [2 ]Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [3 ]Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [4 ]Department of Microbiology, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
                [5 ]Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
                National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories, Canada
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: YCM MS JE SED. Performed the experiments: YCM LN OM GL. Analyzed the data: YCM BN MS LHM. Wrote the paper: YCM BN LN OM GL MS LHM MJ JE SED.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Pages: 7
                The project was funded with federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under contract #HHSN2722000900050C, “TB Clinical Diagnostics Research Consortium.” Additional Support was provided to YCM by the Johns Hopkins University Center for AIDS Research (Grant Number 1P30AI094189 from the National Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Medical Microbiology
                Microbial Pathogens
                Viral Pathogens
                Immunodeficiency Viruses
                Population Biology
                Population Metrics
                Death Rates
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Diagnostic Medicine
                Infectious Diseases
                Bacterial Diseases
                Viral Diseases
                People and Places
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Design
                Clinical Research Design
                Prospective Studies
                Retrospective Studies



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