There is limited understanding of the epidemiology of meningitis among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected populations in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a prospective cohort study of HIV-infected adults with suspected meningitis in Uganda, to comprehensively evaluate the etiologies of meningitis. Intensive cerebrospiral fluid (CSF) testing was performed to evaluate for bacterial, viral, fungal, and mycobacterial etiologies, including neurosyphilis,16s ribosomal DNA (rDNA) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for bacteria, Plex-ID broad viral assay, quantitative-PCR for HSV-1/2, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and Toxoplasma gondii; reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) for Enteroviruses and arboviruses, and Xpert MTB/RIF assay. Cryptococcal meningitis accounted for 60% (188 of 314) of all causes of meningitis. Of 117 samples sent for viral PCR, 36% were EBV positive. Among cryptococcal antigen negative patients, the yield of Xpert MTB/RIF assay was 22% (8 of 36). After exclusion of cryptococcosis and bacterial meningitis, 61% (43 of 71) with an abnormal CSF profile had no definitive diagnosis. Exploration of new TB diagnostics and diagnostic algorithms for evaluation of meningitis in resource-limited settings remains critical.
Cryptococcal meningitis is the most common cause of adult meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa. Raised intracranial pressure (ICP) is common in cryptococcosis. Prior studies suggest elevated ICP is associated with mortality, and guidelines recommend frequent lumbar punctures (LPs) to control ICP. However, the magnitude of the impact of LPs on cryptococcal-related mortality is unknown.
Cryptococcal meningitis accounts for 20 to 25% of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related deaths in Africa. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is essential for survival; however, the question of when ART should be initiated after diagnosis of cryptococcal meningitis remains unanswered.
Cryptococcal meningitis is the most common cause of adult meningitis in Africa, yet neurocognitive outcomes are unknown. We investigated the incidence and predictors of neurologic impairment among cryptococcal survivors. HIV-infected, antiretroviral-naive Ugandans with cryptococcal meningitis underwent standardized neuropsychological testing at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. A quantitative neurocognitive performance z-score (QNPZ) was calculated based on population z-scores from HIV-negative Ugandans (n?=?100). Comparison was made with an HIV-infected, non-meningitis cohort (n?=?110). Among 78 cryptococcal meningitis survivors with median CD4 count of 13 cells/?L (interquartile range: 6-44), decreased global cognitive function occurred through 12 months compared with the HIV-infected, non-cryptococcosis cohort (QNPZ-6 at 12 months, P?=?0.036). Tests of performance in eight cognitive domains was impaired 1 month after cryptococcal diagnosis; however, cryptococcal meningitis survivors improved their global neurocognitive function over 12 months with residual impairment (mean z-scores?-1), only in domains of motor speed, gross motor and executive function at 12 months. There was no evidence that neurocognitive outcome was associated with initial demographics, HIV parameters, or meningitis severity. Paradoxically, persons with sterile CSF cultures after 14 days of induction amphotericin therapy had worse neurocognitive outcomes than those still culture-positive at 14 days (P?=?0.002). Cryptococcal meningitis survivors have significant short-term neurocognitive impairment with marked improvement over the first 12 months. Few characteristics related to severity of cryptococcosis, including Cryptococcus burden, were associated with neurocognitive outcome.
Cryptococcal meningitis can best be diagnosed by cerebrospinal fluid India ink microscopy, cryptococcal antigen detection, or culture. These require invasive lumbar punctures. The utility of cryptococcal antigen detection in saliva is unknown. We evaluated the diagnostic performance of the point-of-care cryptococcal antigen lateral flow assay (CrAg LFA) in saliva.
Cryptococcal meningitis is common in sub-Saharan Africa. Given the need for data for a rapid, point-of-care cryptococcal antigen (CRAG) lateral flow immunochromatographic assay (LFA), we assessed diagnostic performance of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture, CRAG latex agglutination, India ink microscopy, and CRAG LFA for 832 HIV-infected persons with suspected meningitis during 2006-2009 (n = 299) in Uganda and during 2010-2012 (n = 533) in Uganda and South Africa. CRAG LFA had the best performance (sensitivity 99.3%, specificity 99.1%). Culture sensitivity was dependent on CSF volume (82.4% for 10 ?L, 94.2% for 100 ?L). CRAG latex agglutination test sensitivity (97.0%-97.8%) and specificity (85.9%-100%) varied between manufacturers. India ink microscopy was 86% sensitive. Laser thermal contrast had 92% accuracy (R = 0.91, p<0.001) in quantifying CRAG titers from 1 LFA strip to within <1.5 dilutions of actual CRAG titers. CRAG LFA is a major advance for meningitis diagnostics in resource-limited settings.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) have the highest incidence of HIV infection in the United States. One of the contributing factors to HIV spread among this group is the use of crystal methamphetamine ("meth"). The objective was to review the behavioral impact of crystal meth use in HIV-infected MSM and potential treatment options. A systematic review of MEDLINE identified studies that evaluated the clinical effects of crystal meth on the HIV-infected MSM population. Search terms included HIV, methamphetamine, MSM, antiretroviral therapy, adherence, resistance, and treatment. U.S. citations in the English language in peer-reviewed journals until December 2010 were included. The primary author reviewed eligible articles, and relevant data including study design, sample, and outcomes were entered into an electronic data table. The 61 included studies highlight that HIV-infected MSM who use crystal meth are more likely to report high-risk sexual behaviors, incident sexually transmitted infections, and serodiscordant unprotected anal intercourse, compared to HIV-infected MSM who do not use crystal meth. Medication adherence in this population is notably low, which may contribute to transmission of resistant virus. No medications have proven effective in the treatment of crystal meth addiction, and the role of behavioral therapies, such as contingency management are still in question. HIV-infected MSM who abuse crystal meth have worse HIV-related health outcomes. Behavioral interventions have shown variable results in treating crystal meth addiction, and more investigation into rehabilitation options are needed. The results presented support efforts to develop and implement novel interventions to reduce crystal meth use in HIV-infected MSM.
Neurocysticercosis is one of the most common causes of seizures in the developing world. Due to the high volumes of immigration from South America and Asia, American physicians are increasingly encountering this condition. This case report attempts to present a brief overview of some of the difficulties associated with the treatment of patients with a high disease burden.
Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) is the most common form of meningitis in Africa. World Health Organization guidelines recommend 14-d amphotericin-based induction therapy; however, this is impractical for many resource-limited settings due to cost and intensive monitoring needs. A cost-effectiveness analysis was performed to guide stakeholders with respect to optimal CM treatment within resource limitations.
Cryptococcal meningitis is a leading cause of death in AIDS patients in sub-Saharan Africa. Cryptococcal antigen (CRAG) can be detected weeks before onset of symptoms, and those who are asymptomatic but CRAG positive have a high risk of subsequent cryptococcal meningitis and mortality. A new CRAG point of care immunochromatographic test is available that is remarkably easy to administer without laboratory infrastructure or expertise and has excellent sensitivity and specificity. We review the benefits of targeted CRAG screening, developments in CRAG diagnostics, and evidence regarding treatment options that can be implemented into routine HIV care in areas of high cryptococcal burden. Based on published CRAG+ prevalence rates of 2%-12%, the cost to save one life is between $20 to $140 in sub-Saharan Africa. We provide recommendations for implementation, pre-emptive treatment, and identify the gaps in our current knowledge.
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