ResearchPad - genitourinary-infections https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Serum and cervicovaginal IgG immune responses against α7 and α9 HPV in non-vaccinated women at risk for cervical cancer: Implication for catch-up prophylactic HPV vaccination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15726 Cervical cancer associated with high risk-human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection is becoming the one of the most common female cancer in many sub-Saharan African countries. First-generation immigrant African women living in Europe are at-risk for cervical cancer, in a context of social vulnerability, with frequent lack of cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination.ObjectiveOur objective was to address immunologically the issue of catch-up prophylactic HPV vaccination in first-generation African immigrant women living in France.MethodsIgG immune responses and cross-reactivities to α7 (HPV-18, -45 and -68) and α9 (HPV-16, -31, -33, -35, -52 and -58) HPV types, including 7 HR-HPV targeted by the Gardasil-9® prophylactic vaccine, were evaluated in paired serum and cervicovaginal secretions (CVS) by HPV L1-virus-like particles-based ELISA. Genital HPV were detected by multiplex real time PCR (Seegene, Seoul, South Korea).ResultsFifty-one immigrant women (mean age, 41.7 years; 72.5% HIV-infected) were prospectively included. More than two-third (68.6%) of them carried genital HPV (group I) while 31.4% were negative (group II). The majority (90.2%) exhibited serum IgG to at least one α7/α9 HR-HPV. Serum HPV-specific IgG were more frequently detected in group I than group II (100% versus 68.7%; P = 0.002). The distribution of serum and genital HPV-specific IgG was similar, but mean number of IgG reactivities to α7/α9 HR-HPV was higher in serum than CVS (5.6 IgG per woman in serum versus 3.2 in CVS; P<0.001). Rates of IgG cross-reactivities against HPV different from detected cervicovaginal HPV were higher in serum and CVS in group I than group II. Finally, the majority of groups I and II women (68.6% and 68.7%, respectively) exhibited serum or cervicovaginal IgG to Gardasil-9® HR-HPV, with higher mean rates in group I than group II (6.1 Gardasil-9® HR-HPV per woman versus 1.4; P<0.01). One-third (31.2%) of group II women did not show any serum and genital HPV-specific IgG.ConclusionsAround two-third of first-generation African immigrant women living in France showed frequent ongoing genital HPV infection and high rates of circulating and genital IgG to α7/α9 HPV, generally cross-reacting, avoiding the possibility of catch-up vaccination. Nevertheless, about one-third of women had no evidence of previous HPV infection, or showed only low levels of genital and circulating HR-HPV-specific IgG and could therefore be eligible for catch-up vaccination. ]]> <![CDATA[Vulnerability profiles and prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among adolescent girls and young women in Ethiopia: A latent class analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14613 Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 15–24 years have among the highest risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI) across sub-Saharan Africa. A latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to identify intersecting social- and structural-level determinants of HIV/STI acquisition among AGYW in Ethiopia.MethodsAGYW were recruited from venues using time-location sampling, completing an interviewer-administered behavioral survey and biological testing for HIV, syphilis, and chlamydia. LCA was used to identify distinct groups, defined by social- and structural-level determinants of HIV/STI risk, among AGYW. Prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) compared differences in HIV/STI prevalence by group.ResultsA total of 1,501 AGYW were enrolled across Addis Ababa (March–May 2018) and Gambella (June–July 2019). We identified three patterns of vulnerability defined by schooling status, migration history, food insecurity, orphan status, social support, and employment. We labeled these groups as “highly vulnerable” (representing ~21% of the population), “stable, out-of-school, migrated” (~42%), and “stable, in-school, never migrated” (~37%). STI prevalence was nearly two-fold higher among AGYW in the “highly vulnerable” group compared to AGYW in the “stable, in-school, never migrated” group (PR 1.93; 95% CI 1.33, 2.80).ConclusionsCharacterizing patterns of vulnerability among AGYW that reflect higher-level social and structural factors can help facilitate early identification of AGYW at the highest risk of HIV/STI acquisition, thus differentiating groups of AGYW who may most benefit from targeted HIV prevention interventions during adolescence and early adulthood. ]]> <![CDATA[Feasibility of establishing an HIV vaccine preparedness cohort in a population of the Uganda Police Force: Lessons learnt from a prospective study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne890bb8a-5661-4c39-82f7-6f40a2e69675

Background

Members of uniformed armed forces are considered to be at high risk for HIV infection and have been proposed as suitable candidates for participation in HIV intervention studies. We report on the feasibility of recruitment and follow up of individuals from the community of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) for an HIV vaccine preparedness study.

Methods

HIV-negative volunteers aged 18–49 years, were identified from UPF facilities situated in Kampala and Wakiso districts through community HIV counselling and testing. Potential volunteers were referred to the study clinic for screening, enrolment and quarterly visits for one year. HIV incidence, retention rates were estimated and expressed as cases per 100 person years of observation (PYO). Rate ratios were used to determine factors associated with retention using Poisson regression models.

Results

We screened 560 to enroll 500 volunteers between November 2015 and May 2016. One HIV seroconversion occurred among 431 PYO, for an incidence rate of 0.23/100 PYO (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.03–1.64). Overall, retention rate was 87% at one year, and this was independently associated with residence duration (compared to <1 year, 1 to 5 years adjusted rate ratio (aRR) = 1.19, 95%CI: 1.00–1.44); and >5 years aRR = 1.34, 95%CI: 0.95–1.37); absence of genital discharge in the last 3 months (aRR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.38–2.83, absence of genital ulcers (aRR = 1.90, 95%CI: 1.26–2.87, reporting of new sexual partner in the last month (aRR = 0.57, 95%CI: 0.45–0.71, being away from home for more than two nights (aRR = 1.27, 95%CI: 1.04–1.56, compared to those who had not travelled) and absence of knowledge on HIV prevention (aRR = 2.67, 95%CI: 1.62–4.39).

Conclusions

While our study demonstrates the feasibility of recruiting and retaining individuals from the UPF for HIV research, we did observe lower than anticipated HIV incidence, perhaps because individuals at lower risk of HIV infection may have been the first to come forward to participate or participants followed HIV risk reduction measures. Our findings suggest lessons for recruitment of populations at high risk of HIV infection.

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<![CDATA[Urea-mediated dissociation alleviate the false-positive Treponema pallidum-specific antibodies detected by ELISA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823e2d5eed0c484639234

The serological detection of antibodies to Treponema pallidum is essential to the diagnosis of syphilis. However, for the presence of cross-reaction, the specific antibody tests [e.g., enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)] always have false-positive results. In this study, we derived and validated the dissociation of urea in an attempt to alleviate the situation of false-positive antibodies to T. pallidum detected by ELISA. Six serum samples that were false-positive antibodies to T. pallidum detected by ELISA, and 16 control serum samples (8 sera positive for both specific IgG and IgM, and 8 IgG-positive and IgM-negative sera) were collected to select the appropriate dissociated concentration and time of urea. Our goal was to establish improved an ELISA method based on the original detection system of ELISA. The sensitivity of the improved ELISA was evaluated by 275 serum samples with class IgM-positive antibodies to T. pallidum. At 6 mol/L with 10 minutes dissociation of urea, 6 samples with false-positive antibodies to T. pallidum were converted to negative, and compared with true-positive antibodies to T. pallidum. The sensitivity of the improved ELISA was 100% by detecting the class IgM-positive antibodies to T. pallidum in sera of patients with syphilis. Considering the importance at the diagnosis of syphilis, antibodies to T. pallidum in serum samples should be retested by the improved ELISA method to avoid false-positive results.

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<![CDATA[Profile of the tprK gene in primary syphilis patients based on next-generation sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fecd5eed0c484007915

Background

The highly variable tprK gene of Treponema pallidum has been acknowledged to be one of the mechanisms that causes persistent infection. Previous studies have mainly focused on the heterogeneity in tprK in propagated strains using a clone-based Sanger approach. Few studies have investigated tprK directly from clinical samples using deep sequencing.

Methods/Principal findings

We conducted a comprehensive analysis of 14 primary syphilis clinical isolates of T. pallidum via next-generation sequencing to gain better insight into the profile of tprK in primary syphilis patients. Our results showed that there was a mixture of distinct sequences within each V region of tprK. Except for the predominant sequence for each V region as previously reported using the clone-based Sanger approach, there were many minor variants of all strains that were mainly observed at a frequency of 1–5%. Interestingly, the identified distinct sequences within the regions were variable in length and differed by only 3 bp or multiples of 3 bp. In addition, amino acid sequence consistency within each V region was found among the 14 strains. Among the regions, the sequence IASDGGAIKH in V1 and the sequence DVGHKKENAANVNGTVGA in V4 showed a high stability of inter-strain redundancy.

Conclusions

The seven V regions of the tprK gene in primary syphilis infection demonstrated high diversity; they generally contained a high proportion sequence and numerous low-frequency minor variants, most of which are far below the detection limit of Sanger sequencing. The rampant variation in each V region was regulated by a strict gene conversion mechanism that maintained the length difference to 3 bp or multiples of 3 bp. The highly stable sequence of inter-strain redundancy may indicate that the sequences play a critical role in T. pallidum virulence. These highly stable peptides are also likely to be potential targets for vaccine development.

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<![CDATA[PML nuclear body-residing proteins sequentially associate with HPV genome after infectious nuclear delivery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95e9d5eed0c484734f7e

Subnuclear promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies (NBs) are targeted by many DNA viruses after nuclear delivery. PML protein is essential for formation of PML NBs. Sp100 and Small Ubiquitin-Like Modifier (SUMO) are also permanently residing within PML NBs. Often, large DNA viruses disassemble and reorganize PML NBs to counteract their intrinsic antiviral activity and support establishment of infection. However, human papillomavirus (HPV) requires PML protein to retain incoming viral DNA in the nucleus for subsequent efficient transcription. In contrast, Sp100 was identified as a restriction factor for HPV. These findings suggested that PML NBs are important regulators of early stages of the HPV life cycle. Nuclear delivery of incoming HPV DNA requires mitosis. Viral particles are retained within membrane-bound transport vesicles throughout mitosis. The viral genome is released from transport vesicles by an unknown mechanism several hours after nuclear envelope reformation. The minor capsid protein L2 mediates intracellular transport by becoming transmembranous in the endocytic compartment. Herein, we tested our hypothesis that PML protein is recruited to incoming viral genome prior to egress from transport vesicles. High-resolution microscopy revealed that PML protein, SUMO-1, and Sp100 are recruited to incoming viral genomes, rather than viral genomes being targeted to preformed PML NBs. Differential immunofluorescent staining suggested that PML protein and SUMO-1 associated with transport vesicles containing viral particles prior to egress, implying that recruitment is likely mediated by L2 protein. In contrast, Sp100 recruitment to HPV-harboring PML NBs occurred after release of viral genomes from transport vesicles. The delayed recruitment of Sp100 is specific for HPV-associated PML NBs. These data suggest that the virus continuously resides within a protective environment until the transport vesicle breaks down in late G1 phase and imply that HPV might modulate PML NB assembly to achieve establishment of infection and the shift to viral maintenance.

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<![CDATA[Perceptions of nurses on human papillomavirus vaccinations in the Republic of Korea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648cc6d5eed0c484c81769

Background

In June 2016, the Republic of Korea included free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations for all 12-year-old girls in its national immunization program.

Purpose

This study investigated perceptions of nurses on HPV vaccination and their intent to vaccinate preteens at the best ages.

Methods

Recruited for the survey were 514 health teachers (181, 35.2%), public health nurses (168, 32.7%), and clinical nurses (165, 32.1%). Factor-analysis was conducted to validate the Vaccine-Hesitancy Scale for Korean nurses. Related variables associated with vaccine-acceptance were examined using the Kruskal–Wallis test and Spearman’s rho coefficients, due to lack of normalization.

Results

Factor-analysis results showed that two factors of positive acceptance (7 items) and negative acceptance (3 items) accounted for 67.46% of the total variance, and explained 47.4% and 20.1%, respectively. Nurses who positively accepted HPV vaccine differed significantly in agreement to vaccinate girls or boys. For the proper vaccination age, a significant difference emerged between answers for girls and vaccine-acceptance scores, whereas no difference emerged between answers for boys and the scores. The vaccinated status of respondents significantly related to higher HPV vaccine acceptance, although age, religion, marital status, education, and working duration did not.

Conclusions

This study showed that vaccine-acceptance levels reflect nurses’ attitudes and opinions about HPV vaccination for girls and boys.

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<![CDATA[A mobile-phone based high-resolution microendoscope to image cervical precancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce0d5eed0c484c819d1

Nearly 90% of cervical cancer cases and deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries that lack comprehensive national HPV immunization and cervical cancer screening programs. In these settings, it is difficult to implement screening programs due to a lack of infrastructure and shortage of trained personnel. Screening programs based on visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) have been successfully implemented in some low-resource settings. However, VIA has poor specificity and up to 90% of patients receiving treatment based on a positive VIA exam are over-treated. A number of studies have suggested that high-resolution cervical imaging to visualize nuclear morphology in vivo can improve specificity by better distinguishing precancerous and benign lesions. To enable high-resolution imaging in low-resource settings, we developed a portable, low-cost, high-resolution microendoscope that uses a mobile phone to detect and display images of cervical epithelium in vivo with subcellular resolution. The device was fabricated for less than $2,000 using commercially available optical components including filters, an LED and triplet lenses assembled in a 3D-printed opto-mechanical mount. We show that the mobile high-resolution microendoscope achieves similar resolution and signal-to-background ratio as previously reported high-resolution microendoscope systems using traditional cameras and computers to detect and display images. Finally, we demonstrate the ability of the mobile high-resolution microendoscope to image normal and precancerous squamous epithelium of the cervix in vivo in a gynecological referral clinic in Barretos, Brazil.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of high-risk human papilloma virus in women with high-grade squamous cell intraepithelial lesions in Botswana using Abbott RealTime HPV assay]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52a6d5eed0c4842bcd6b

Background

High-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) has been demonstrated to be the necessary cause of cervical carcinoma. High-risk HPV detection has a prognostic significance for the women who are at increased risk of disease progression. HPV genotyping in cervical cancer precursor lesions is crucial for prevention and management of cervical cancer. This study was designed to investigate the distribution of HR-HPV genotypes among a group of patients with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions and higher, of the cervix, in Botswana.

Materials and methods

185-archived residual formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cervical biopsies collected between the years, 2006 and 2008 were studied. These tissues were diagnosed with HSIL (n = 146) and squamous cell carcinoma (n = 39). DNA was extracted using the Abbott m2000 analyser (Abbott Laboratories, Illinois) using reagents provided by the manufacturer. HPV genotyping was done using the Abbott RealTime HR-HPV PCR, which qualitatively detects 14 HR-HPV (reported as HPV 16, 18 & Other HR-HPV).

Results

DNA was successfully extracted from 162/185 (87.6%) tissues as indicated by a positive β-globin test. 132/162 (82%) tested positive for HR-HPV The HPV 16 prevalence was 50% (66/132), HPV 18 at 15.2% (20/132) and other Group 1 HR-HPV plus HPV 66 and 68 had a prevalence of 56.1% (74/132). Other HR-HPV types were common in HSIL than in carcinoma, while HPV 16 was more prevalent in carcinomas than other HR-HPV genotypes.

Conclusion

In this study, HPV 16 and other HR-HPV genotypes were commonly associated with HSIL but HPV 18 was uncommon among Botswana women. Our data highlights the need for multivalent HPV vaccines with cross coverage for other high risk HPV other than HPV 16 and 18.

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<![CDATA[An efficient and cost-effective method for purification of small sized DNAs and RNAs from human urine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633929d5eed0c484ae611f

Urine holds great promise as a non-invasive sampling method for molecular diagnostics. The cell-free nucleic acids of urine however are small, labile, and difficult to purify. Here an efficient method for the purification of these nucleic acids is presented. An empirically derived protocol was devised by first identifying conditions that allowed recovery of a 100 base pair (bp) DNA, followed by optimization using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay. The resulting method efficiently purifies both small sized DNAs and RNAs from urine, which when combined with quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRTPCR), demonstrably improves detection sensitivity. Fractionation experiments reveal that nucleic acids in urine exist both in the cell-free and cellular fraction, roughly in equal proportion. Consistent with previous studies, amplicons > 180bp show a marked loss in PCR sensitivity for cell-free nucleic acids. Finally, the lysis buffer developed here also doubles as an effective preservative, protecting against nucleic acid degradation for at least two weeks under simulated field conditions. With this method, volumes of up to 25ml of whole urine can be purified in a high-throughput and cost-effective manner. Coupled with its ability to purify both DNA and RNA, the described method may have broad applicability for improving the diagnostic utility of urine, particularly for the detection of low abundant targets.

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<![CDATA[HPV-driven oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer in Croatia — Demography and survival]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df339d5eed0c484580f3c

Objectives

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common malignancy worldwide. Main HNSCC risk factors are tobacco, alcohol, and high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV+ oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer (OPSCC) usually have different etiology, increasing incidence and often show an improved survival when compared to HPV-negative cases. The objective of the current study was to retrospectively examine the influence of HPV on the survival of OPSCC patients in a non-Western population setting.

Materials and methods

We determined the presence of HPV DNA and/or RNA in 99 formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue samples of OPSCC patients treated between 2002 and 2015. Patients were compared based on laboratory, demographic, clinical, life style characteristics and survival.

Results

HPV RNA was found in 29.3% cases. However, groups based on HPV data (either RNA, DNA or retrospectively collected p16 staining) did not show significant differences. Overall, 5-year survival was 30% with minimal influence of the HPV positivity.

Conclusions

The HPV influence on survival of OPSCC patients is not identical between populations probably due to other factors overshadowing the HPV effect. This should be taken into account when treatment or policy decisions are made in each particular setting.

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<![CDATA[The molecular biology and HPV drug responsiveness of cynomolgus macaque papillomaviruses support their use in the development of a relevant in vivo model for antiviral drug testing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6c2d5eed0c484ef3d31

Due to the extreme tissue and species restriction of the papillomaviruses (PVs), there is a great need for animal models that accurately mimic PV infection in humans for testing therapeutic strategies against human papillomaviruses (HPVs). In this study, we present data that demonstrate that in terms of gene expression during initial viral DNA amplification, Macaca fascicularis PV (MfPV) types 5 and 8 appear to be similar to mucosal oncogenic HPVs, while MfPV1 (isolated from skin) resembles most high-risk cutaneous beta HPVs (HPV5). Similarities were also observed in replication properties during the initial amplification phase of the MfPV genomes. We demonstrate that high-risk mucosal HPV-specific inhibitors target the transient replication of the MfPV8 genomes, which indicates that similar pathways are used by the high-risk HPVs and MfPVs during their genome replication. Taking all into account, we propose that Macaca fascicularis may serve as a highly relevant model for preclinical tests designed to evaluate therapeutic strategies against HPV-associated lesions.

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<![CDATA[Epithelial stratification shapes infection dynamics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c52182bd5eed0c48479763d

Infections of stratified epithelia contribute to a large group of common diseases, such as dermatological conditions and sexually transmitted diseases. To investigate how epithelial structure affects infection dynamics, we develop a general ecology-inspired model for stratified epithelia. Our model allows us to simulate infections, explore new hypotheses and estimate parameters that are difficult to measure with tissue cell cultures. We focus on two contrasting pathogens: Chlamydia trachomatis and Human papillomaviruses (HPV). Using cervicovaginal parameter estimates, we find that key infection symptoms can be explained by differential interactions with the layers, while clearance and pathogen burden appear to be bottom-up processes. Cell protective responses to infections (e.g. mucus trapping) generally lowered pathogen load but there were specific effects based on infection strategies. Our modeling approach opens new perspectives for 3D tissue culture experimental systems of infections and, more generally, for developing and testing hypotheses related to infections of stratified epithelia.

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<![CDATA[Clinical performance of Anyplex II HPV28 by human papillomavirus type and viral load in a referral population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217cad5eed0c4847945b2

Anyplex II HPV28 (`Anyplex`) is a semi-quantitative DNA PCR assay divided into set A, comprising 14 high risk (hr)HPV types; and set B, comprising 5 possibly hrHPV types and 9 low risk (lr)HPV types. We compared the ability of Anyplex to that of Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2) and PreTect HPV-Proofer (`Proofer`) to detect cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade two or worse (CIN2+) by HPV types and viral load. This cross-sectional study included 296 women referred to colposcopy with abnormal cervical cytology and/or persistent HPV infection. CIN2+ was identified in 175/296 women. Liquid based cytology samples were used to perform HPV testing. The sensitivity of Anyplex to detect CIN2+ was 98.9% (95% CI 95.9–99.9) and specificity 43.0% (95% CI 34.0–52.3). Restricting to medium and high viral loads in Anyplex set A, sensitivity and specificity were 97.1% (95% CI 93.5–99.1) and 59.5% (95% CI 50.2–68.3) with positive (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) 77.6% and 93.5%, respectively, comparable to HC2. Restricting Anyplex to the hrHPV types in Proofer, HPV16, 18, 31, 33 and 45, sensitivity and specificity for CIN2+ were 85.1% (95% CI 79.0–90.1) and 71.1% (95% CI 62.1–79.0), comparable to Proofer`s. When adding HPV52 and 58, the sensitivity for CIN2+ was 92.6% (95% CI 87.6–96.0) and CIN3+ 96.5% (95% CI 92.0–98.8). No value of Anyplex set B was found in detecting CIN2+. In conclusion, the clinical performance of medium and high viral loads in Anyplex set A was comparable to HC2. Restricting the test to the 7 hrHPV types included in the 9-valent HPV-vaccine, HPV16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58, satisfies the international criteria for cervical cancer screening with relative sensitivity compared to HC2 for CIN2+ and CIN3+ of 0.98 and 1.01, respectively. Detecting all 28 Anyplex HPV types adds no benefit in a referral population.

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<![CDATA[Association between vaginal washing and vaginal bacterial concentrations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536b0ad5eed0c484a47f26

Vaginal washing is a common practice associated with adverse outcomes including bacterial vaginosis (BV) and HIV infection. Prior studies have not examined the associations between vaginal washing and individual vaginal bacteria, or whether these associations are independent of the effect of vaginal washing on BV. The purpose of this study was to characterize the association between vaginal washing and the presence and concentrations of vaginal bacteria associated with optimal and sub-optimal vaginal states. The analysis utilized data from participants in the placebo arm of the Preventing Vaginal Infections trial, which enrolled HIV-uninfected women from the United States and Kenya. Detection of bacterial taxa associated with BV was compared between visits with versus without reported vaginal washing. The effect of vaginal washing on a number of vaginal bacteria differed substantially (p<0.05) between the US and Kenya, so results were stratified by country. In US women, vaginal washing was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of detection of BV associated bacterium 1 (BVAB1) (relative risk [RR] 1.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.15–2.09, p = 0.004), BVAB2 (RR 1.99, 95%CI 1.46–2.71, p<0.001), Mageeibacillus indolicus (RR 2.08, 95%CI 1.46–2.96, p<0.001), Atopobium vaginae (RR 1.34, 95%CI 1.13–1.59, p = 0.001), Leptotrichia/Sneathia species (RR 1.66, 95% CI 1.33–2.09, p<0.001), Megasphaera species (RR 1.78, 95%CI 1.34–2.37, p<0.001) and Gardnerella vaginalis (RR 1.08, 95%CI 1.01–1.16, p = 0.02). No significant association between vaginal washing and bacterial detection was found in Kenyan women. Adjustment for bacterial vaginosis diagnosed by Gram stain did not alter these results. This study provides evidence that the association between vaginal washing and detection of individual bacterial taxa can vary regionally. For some vaginal bacteria, the association with vaginal washing may be independent of the effect on Gram stain detection of BV. Larger prospective studies in diverse geographic settings should explore whether eliminating vaginal washing impacts the presence and concentrations of key vaginal bacteria.

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<![CDATA[Topical treatment with gallium maltolate reduces Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue burden in primary experimental lesions in a rabbit model of yaws]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c366801d5eed0c4841a6d64

Background

Gallium is a semi-metallic element known since the 1930s to have antimicrobial activity. This activity stems primarily from gallium's ability to mimic trivalent iron and disrupt specific Fe(III)-dependent pathways, particularly DNA synthesis (due to inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase). Because of its novel mechanism of action, gallium is currently being investigated as a new antibacterial agent, particularly in light of the increasing resistance of many pathogenic bacteria to existing antibiotics. Gallium maltolate (GaM) is being developed as an orally and topically administrable form of gallium. Yaws is a neglected tropical disease affecting mainly the skin and skeletal system of children in underprivileged settings. It is currently the object of a WHO-promoted eradication campaign using mass administration of the macrolide azithromycin, an antibiotic to which the yaws agent Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue has slowly begun to develop genetic resistance.

Methods

Because yaws transmission is mainly due to direct skin contact with an infectious skin lesion, we evaluated the treponemicidal activity of GaM applied topically to skin lesions in a rabbit model of yaws. Treatment efficacy was evaluated by measuring lesion diameter, treponemal burden in lesion aspirates as determined by dark field microscopy and amplification of treponemal RNA, serology, and immunohistochemistry of biopsied tissue samples.

Results

Our results show that topical GaM was effective in reducing treponemal burden in yaws experimental lesions, particularly when applied at the first sign of lesion appearance but, as expected, did not prevent pathogen dissemination.

Conclusion

Early administration of GaM to yaws lesions could reduce the infectivity of the lesions and thus yaws transmission, potentially contributing to current and future yaws control campaigns.

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<![CDATA[Fetal and infant mortality of congenital syphilis reported to the Health Information System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390b99d5eed0c48491d6f8

Background

Congenital syphilis (CS) is a major cause of mortality in several countries, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. This study aimed to analyze fetal and infant mortality of CS reported to the Health Information System in a State in Northeastern Brazil.

Methods and results

This was a cross-sectional study that analyzed the deaths of CS from 2010 to 2014 through the linkage of the Mortality Information System (SIM) and the Notifiable Diseases Information System (Sinan). The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0 was used to calculate the rates of Fetal, Perinatal, Neonatal (early and late), and Postneonatal Mortality. Simple linear regression was performed. Fisher's exact test or Pearson's chi-square test were used for comparison of proportions and Student's t-test was used for comparison of means.

Of the 414 cases reported to the SIM as deaths possibly caused by CS, 44 (10.6%) presented CS as the underlying cause. From 2010 to 2014 the Infant Mortality Rate of CS was 16.3 per 100,000 live births (y = 0.65x + 14.33, R2 = 0.2338, p = 0.003). There was an 89.4% underreporting of deaths. Perinatal deaths and fetal deaths of CS accounted for 87.7% and 73.9% of total deaths, respectively.

Conclusions

The results of the study revealed a significant Fetal and Infant Mortality rate of CS and demonstrated the importance of using the linkage method in studies that involve the analysis of secondary data obtained from mortality and disease reporting systems. The underreporting of CS as a cause of fetal and infant mortality leads to unawareness of the reality of deaths from this disease, hindering the development of public policies aimed at its prevention.

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<![CDATA[Role of genomic DNA methylation in detection of cytologic and histologic abnormalities in high risk HPV-infected women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390b8ed5eed0c48491d389

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common malignancy affecting women worldwide. The development of disease is related to high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) infection. Cytology has been the most recommended triage for primary cervical (pre)cancer screening despite relatively low sensitivity. Recently, genomic DNA methylation has been proposed as an additional marker to increase sensitivity for detecting cervical precancerous lesion. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of methylation status of three tumor suppressor genes (CADM1, FAM19A4, and MAL) and HPV genotyping in detection of cytologic and histologic abnormalities in cervical cancer screening. Two hundred and sixty samples with available frozen cell pellets including 70 randomly selected cases of negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy (NILM)&HPV-negative, 70 randomly selected cases of NILM&HPV-positive, and 120 cytologic abnormalities & HPV-positive from a population-based cervical cancer screening program (n = 7,604) were investigated for the DNA methylation pattern of CADM1, FAM19A4, and MAL. Of 120 cytologic abnormalities & HPV-positive cases, there were 115 available histologic results. HPV52 and HPV58 were most commonly found in histologic HSIL+. The methylation levels of CADM1, FAM19A4, and MAL were elevated with the severity of cytologic abnormality which significantly increased by 3.37, 6.65 and 2 folds, respectively, in cytologic HSIL comparing with NILM. A significant increase in methylation levels of these three genes was also observed in histologic HSIL+ compared with negative histology but only CADM1 showed a significant higher methylation level than histologic LSIL. Using the ROC curve analysis, DNA methylation levels of FAM19A4 performed best in differentiating high-grade cytology (ASC-H+ from NILM/ASC-US/LSIL), followed by CADM1 and MAL. Whilst the CADM1 methylation performed best in distinguishing histologic HSIL+ from negative/LSIL with an area under the ROC curve of 0.684, followed by MAL (0.663) and FAM19A4 (0.642). Interestingly, after combining high DNA methylation levels to HPV16/18 genotypes, rates of histologic HSIL+ detection were substantially increased from 25% to 79.55% for CADM1, 77.27% for FAM19A4, and 72.73% for MAL, respectively. The rate further increased up to 95.45% when at least one of three genes had a high methylation level. This suggests a possible role of genomic DNA methylation, especially CADM1, in detecting histologic HSIL+ lesions in combination with hrHPV testing.

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<![CDATA[Facilitators and barriers for healthcare providers to recommend HPV vaccination to attendees of public sexually transmitted diseases clinics in Hong Kong, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa58dd5eed0c484ca5b0d

Background

Attendees of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinics could also benefit from HPV vaccination. Healthcare providers’ recommendation is the most effective published method in motivating HPV vaccination initiation. This study was to investigate practice of recommending HPV vaccination to attendees among healthcare providers (doctors and nurses) working in public STD clinics in Hong Kong, China.

Method

Participants were medical doctors, registered nurses and enrolled nurses working in all eight public STD clinics in Hong Kong. All of them (29 doctors and 82 nurses) were approached by telephone. A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to them. A total of 98 completed questionnaires were received (28 doctors and 70 nurses). The study was conducted during January to May, 2018. Using recommendation of HPV vaccination to any attendees in the last year as the dependent variable, univariate and multiple logistic regression models were fitted.

Results

In the last 12 months, 16.3% and 36.7% of the participants had recommended HPV vaccination to any male attendees and to any female attendees of their clinics; 41.8% had recommended it to either male or female attendees. Adjusting for significant background variables (professions and years of working experience in the clinic), three constructs of the Theory of Planned Behavior were significantly associated with the dependent variable in expected directions. They were: 1) the Positive Attitude Scale (adjusted odds ratios, AOR: 1.20, 95%CI: 1.02, 1.41), 2) the Negative Attitude Scale (AOR: 0.85, 95%CI: 0.77, 0.94), and 3) the Perceived Behavioral Control Scale (AOR: 1.37, 95%CI: 1.08, 1.75).

Conclusion

STD clinics are ideal settings that allow healthcare providers to access individuals who are at high-risk of HPV infection and promote HPV vaccination. Health promotion targeting these healthcare providers is warranted to enhance their perceived importance of recommending HPV vaccination. Such promotion should modify their attitudes and perceived behavioral control related to recommending HPV vaccination to attendees.

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<![CDATA[Differential replication efficiencies between Japanese encephalitis virus genotype I and III in avian cultured cells and young domestic ducklings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c22a0a6d5eed0c4849eb9a0

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) genotype dominance has shifted to genotype I (GI) from genotype III (GIII) in China as demonstrated by molecular epidemiological surveillance. In this study, we performed a serological survey in JEV-non-vaccinated pigs to confirm JEV genotype shift at the sero-epidemiological level. The average ratio of GI/GIII infection was 1.87, suggesting co-circulation of GI and GIII infections with GI infection being more prevalent in pigs in China. To gain an insight into the reasons for this JEV genotype shift, the replication kinetics of seven recently-isolated JEV isolates including three GI strains and four GIII strains were compared in mosquito C6/36 cells, chicken fibroblast cells (DF-1) and porcine iliac artery endothelial cells (PIEC). We observed that GI strains replicated more efficiently than GIII strains in DF-1 and PIEC cells, particularly in DF-1 cells with titers reaching 22.9–225.3 fold higher than GIII strains. This shows an enhanced replication efficiency of GI viruses in avian cells. To examine this enhanced replication efficiency in vivo, young domestic ducklings were used as the animal model and inoculated with GI and GIII strains at day 2 post-hatching. We observed that GI-inoculated ducklings developed higher viremia titers and displayed a comparatively longer viremic duration than GIII-inoculated ducklings. These results conform to the hypothesis of an enhanced replication efficiency for GI viruses in birds. There are 36 amino acid differences between GI and GIII viruses, some of which may be responsible for the enhanced replication efficiency of GI viruses in birds. Based on these findings, we speculated that the enhanced replication of GI viruses in birds would have resulted in higher exposure and therefore infection in mosquitoes, which could result in an increased transmission efficiency of GI viruses in the birds-mosquitoes-birds enzootic transmission cycle, thereby contributing to JEV genotype shift.

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