PCOM Library / Hot Topics in Research / Internal Medicine / Archive for "Infectious Disease"

Category: Infectious Disease

Hot Topics: Flu Vaccine Antibodies Inhibit Two Viral Proteins

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Infectious Disease

Neuraminidase inhibition contributes to influenza A virus neutralization by anti-hemagglutinin stem antibodies

Kosik I, Angeletti D, Gibbs JS, et al. Neuraminidase inhibition contributes to influenza A virus neutralization by anti-hemagglutinin stem antibodies. J Exp Med. 2019. dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20181624.

Broadly neutralizing antibodies (Abs) that bind the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) stem may enable universal influenza vaccination. Here, we show that anti-stem Abs sterically inhibit viral neuraminidase (NA) activity against large substrates, with activity inversely proportional to the length of the fibrous NA stalk that supports the enzymatic domain. By modulating NA stalk length in recombinant IAVs, we show that anti-stem Abs inhibit virus release from infected cells by blocking NA, accounting for their in vitro neutralization activity. NA inhibition contributes to anti-stem Ab protection in influenza-infected mice, likely due at least in part to NA-mediated inhibition of FcγR-dependent activation of innate immune cells by Ab bound to virions. Food and Drug Administration–approved NA inhibitors enhance anti-stem–based Fc-dependent immune cell activation, raising the possibility of therapeutic synergy between NA inhibitors and anti-stem mAb treatment in humans.

Hot Topics: New Drug Found Effective for Influenza

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Infectious Disease, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Baloxavir Marboxil for Uncomplicated Influenza in Adults and Adolescents

Hayden FG, Sugaya N, Hirotsu N, et al. Baloxavir marboxil for uncomplicated influenza in adults and adolescents. N Engl J Med. 2018;379(10):913-923. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1716197.

BACKGROUND

Baloxavir marboxil is a selective inhibitor of influenza cap-dependent endonuclease. It has shown therapeutic activity in preclinical models of influenza A and B virus infections, including strains resistant to current antiviral agents.

METHODS

We conducted two randomized, double-blind, controlled trials involving otherwise healthy outpatients with acute uncomplicated influenza. After a dose-ranging (10 to 40 mg) placebo-controlled trial, we undertook a placebo- and oseltamivir-controlled trial of single, weight-based doses of baloxavir (40 or 80 mg) in patients 12 to 64 years of age during the 2016–2017 season. The dose of oseltamivir was 75 mg twice daily for 5 days. The primary efficacy end point was the time to alleviation of influenza symptoms in the intention-to-treat infected population.

RESULTS

In the phase 2 trial, the median time to alleviation of influenza symptoms was 23.4 to 28.2 hours shorter in the baloxavir groups than in the placebo group (P<0.05). In the phase 3 trial, the intention-to-treat infected population included 1064 patients; 84.8 to 88.1% of patients in each group had influenza A(H3N2) infection. The median time to alleviation of symptoms was 53.7 hours (95% confidence interval [CI], 49.5 to 58.5) with baloxavir, as compared with 80.2 hours (95% CI, 72.6 to 87.1) with placebo (P<0.001). The time to alleviation of symptoms was similar with baloxavir and oseltamivir. Baloxavir was associated with greater reductions in viral load 1 day after initiation of the regimen than placebo or oseltamivir. Adverse events were reported in 20.7% of baloxavir recipients, 24.6% of placebo recipients, and 24.8% of oseltamivir recipients. The emergence of polymerase acidic protein variants with I38T/M/F substitutions conferring reduced susceptibility to baloxavir occurred in 2.2% and 9.7% of baloxavir recipients in the phase 2 trial and phase 3 trial, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Single-dose baloxavir was without evident safety concerns, was superior to placebo in alleviating influenza symptoms, and was superior to both oseltamivir and placebo in reducing the viral load 1 day after initiation of the trial regimen in patients with uncomplicated influenza. Evidence for the development of decreased susceptibility to baloxavir after treatment was also observed.

Hot Topics: Flu May Be Spread By Breathing

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Infectious Disease

Infectious virus in exhaled breath of symptomatic seasonal influenza cases from a college community

Yan J, Grantham M, Pantelic J, et al. Infectious virus in exhaled breath of symptomatic seasonal influenza cases from a college community. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716561115

Little is known about the amount and infectiousness of influenza virus shed into exhaled breath. This contributes to uncertainty about the importance of airborne influenza transmission. We screened 355 symptomatic volunteers with acute respiratory illness and report 142 cases with confirmed influenza infection who provided 218 paired nasopharyngeal (NP) and 30-minute breath samples (coarse >5-µm and fine ≤5-µm fractions) on days 1–3 after symptom onset. We assessed viral RNA copy number for all samples and cultured NP swabs and fine aerosols. We recovered infectious virus from 52 (39%) of the fine aerosols and 150 (89%) of the NP swabs with valid cultures. The geometric mean RNA copy numbers were 3.8 × 104/30-minutes fine-, 1.2 × 104/30-minutes coarse-aerosol sample, and 8.2 × 108 per NP swab. Fine- and coarse-aerosol viral RNA were positively associated with body mass index and number of coughs and negatively associated with increasing days since symptom onset in adjusted models. Fine-aerosol viral RNA was also positively associated with having influenza vaccination for both the current and prior season. NP swab viral RNA was positively associated with upper respiratory symptoms and negatively associated with age but was not significantly associated with fine- or coarse-aerosol viral RNA or their predictors. Sneezing was rare, and sneezing and coughing were not necessary for infectious aerosol generation. Our observations suggest that influenza infection in the upper and lower airways are compartmentalized and independent.

Hot Topics: Resistance to HIV Drugs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Rising

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Infectious Disease

HIV-1 drug resistance before initiation or re-initiation of first-line antiretroviral therapy in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis

Gupta RK, Gregson J, Parkin N, et al. HIV-1 drug resistance before initiation or re-initiation of first-line antiretroviral therapy in low-income and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-regression analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseaseshttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30702-8.

Background
Pretreatment drug resistance in people initiating or re-initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) containing non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) might compromise HIV control in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). We aimed to assess the scale of this problem and whether it is associated with the intiation or re-initiation of ART in people who have had previous exposure to antiretroviral drugs.

Methods
This study was a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. We assessed regional prevalence of pretreatment drug resistance and risk of pretreatment drug resistance in people initiating ART who reported previous ART exposure. We systematically screened publications and unpublished datasets for pretreatment drug-resistance data in individuals in LMICs initiating or re-initiating first-line ART from LMICs. We searched for studies in PubMed and Embase and conference abstracts and presentations from the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, the International AIDS Society Conference, and the International Drug Resistance Workshop for the period Jan 1, 2001, to Dec 31, 2016. To assess the prevalence of drug resistance within a specified region at any specific timepoint, we extracted study level data and pooled prevalence estimates within the region using an empty logistic regression model with a random effect at the study level. We used random effects meta-regression to relate sampling year to prevalence of pretreatment drug resistance within geographical regions.

Findings
We identified 358 datasets that contributed data to our analyses, representing 56 044 adults in 63 countries. Prevalence estimates of pretreatment NNRTI resistance in 2016 were 11·0% (7·5–15·9) in southern Africa, 10·1% (5·1–19·4) in eastern Africa, 7·2% (2·9–16·5) in western and central Africa, and 9·4% (6·6–13·2) in Latin America and the Caribbean. There were substantial increases in pretreatment NNRTI resistance per year in all regions. The yearly increases in the odds of pretreatment drug resistance were 23% (95% CI 16–29) in southern Africa, 17% (5–30) in eastern Africa, 17% (6–29) in western and central Africa, 11% (5–18) in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 11% (2–20) in Asia. Estimated increases in the absolute prevalence of pretreatment drug resistance between 2015 and 2016 ranged from 0·3% in Asia to 1·8% in southern Africa.

Interpretation
Pretreatment drug resistance is increasing at substantial rate in LMICs, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2016, the prevalence of pretreatment NNRTI resistance was near WHO’s 10% threshold for changing first-line ART in southern and eastern Africa and Latin America, underscoring the need for routine national HIV drug-resistance surveillance and review of national policies for first-line ART regimen composition.

Hot Topics: Shortened Tuberculosis Treatment As Effective as Current Recommended Treatment

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Infectious Disease

Short-course treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: the STREAM trials.

Moodley, R., Godec, T. R., & STREAM Trial Team. (2016). Short-course treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: The STREAM trials. European Respiratory Review : An Official Journal of the European Respiratory Society, 25(139), 29-35. doi:10.1183/16000617.0080-2015

Multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) is a threat to global TB control, as suboptimal and poorly tolerated treatment options have resulted in largely unfavourable outcomes for these patients. The last of six cohort studies conducted in Bangladesh which assessed a new shorter regimen using currently available TB drugs showed promising results and offered the possibility of a more acceptable and more effective regimen than the one recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The aims of stage 1 of the STREAM (Evaluation of a Standardised Treatment Regimen of Anti-tuberculosis Drugs for Patients with Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis) trial are to evaluate the efficacy and safety of this regimen, compared to the current WHO-recommended standard of care. Stage 2 evaluates two new bedaquiline-containing regimens: one an all-oral regimen and the second a further shortened and simplified version of the stage 1 study regimen, comparing the efficacy and safety of each to that of the stage 1 study regimen and also to the WHO-recommended standard of care. Success of the stage 1 study regimen would in all probability provide a new standard of care for MDR-TB patients, while positive results from the bedaquiline-containing regimens in stage 2 may allow for even greater progress in the management of this difficult population.

Hot Topics: Monthly Injections Could Replace Pills for HIV Treatment

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Infectious Disease

Long-acting intramuscular cabotegravir and rilpivirine in adults with HIV-1 infection (LATTE-2): 96-week results of a randomised, open-label, phase 2b, non-inferiority trial

Margolis DA, Gonzalez-Garcia J, Stellbrink H, et al. Long-acting intramuscular cabotegravir and rilpivirine in adults with HIV-1 infection (LATTE-2): 96-week results of a randomised, open-label, phase 2b, non-inferiority trial. The Lancethttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31917-7.

Summary
Background
Cabotegravir and rilpivirine are antiretroviral drugs in development as long-acting injectable formulations. The LATTE-2 study evaluated long-acting cabotegravir plus rilpivirine for maintenance of HIV-1 viral suppression through 96 weeks.

Methods
In this randomised, phase 2b, open-label study, treatment-naive adults infected with HIV-1 initially received oral cabotegravir 30 mg plus abacavir–lamivudine 600–300 mg once daily. The objective of this study was to select an intramuscular dosing regimen based on a comparison of the antiviral activity, tolerability, and safety of the two intramuscular dosing regimens relative to oral cabotegravir plus abacavir–lamivudine. After a 20-week induction period on oral cabotegravir plus abacavir–lamivudine, patients with viral suppression (plasma HIV-1 RNA <50 copies per mL) were randomly assigned (2:2:1) to intramuscular long-acting cabotegravir plus rilpivirine at 4-week intervals (long-acting cabotegravir 400 mg plus rilpivirine 600 mg; two 2 mL injections) or 8-week intervals (long-acting cabotegravir 600 mg plus rilpivirine 900 mg; two 3 mL injections) or continued oral cabotegravir plus abacavir–lamivudine. Randomisation was computer-generated with stratification by HIV-1 RNA (<50 copies per mL, yes or no) during the first 12 weeks of the induction period. The primary endpoints were the proportion of patients with viral suppression at week 32 (as defined by the US Food and Drug Administration snapshot algorithm), protocol-defined virological failures, and safety events through 96 weeks. All randomly assigned patients who received at least one dose of study drug during the maintenance period were included in the primary efficacy and safety analyses. The primary analysis used a Bayesian approach to evaluate the hypothesis that the proportion with viral suppression for each long-acting regimen is not worse than the oral regimen proportion by more than 10% (denoted comparable) according to a prespecified decision rule (ie, posterior probability for comparability >90%). Difference in proportions and associated 95% CIs were supportive to the primary analysis. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02120352.

Findings
Among 309 enrolled patients, 286 were randomly assigned to the maintenance period (115 to each of the 4-week and 8-week groups and 56 to the oral treatment group). This study is currently ongoing. At 32 weeks following randomisation, both long-acting regimens met primary criteria for comparability in viral suppression relative to the oral comparator group. Viral suppression was maintained at 32 weeks in 51 (91%) of 56 patients in the oral treatment group, 108 (94%) of 115 patients in the 4-week group (difference 2·8% [95% CI −5·8 to 11·5] vs oral treatment), and 109 (95%) of 115 patients in the 8-week group (difference 3·7% [−4·8 to 12·2] vs oral treatment). At week 96, viral suppression was maintained in 47 (84%) of 56 patients receiving oral treatment, 100 (87%) of 115 patients in the 4-week group, and 108 (94%) of 115 patients in the 8-week group. Three patients (1%) experienced protocol-defined virological failure (two in the 8-week group; one in the oral treatment group). Injection-site reactions were mild (3648 [84%] of 4360 injections) or moderate (673 [15%] of 4360 injections) in intensity and rarely resulted in discontinuation (two [<1%] of 230 patients); injection-site pain was reported most frequently. Serious adverse events during maintenance were reported in 22 (10%) of 230 patients in the intramuscular groups (4-week and 8-week groups) and seven (13%) of 56 patients in the oral treatment group; none were drug related.

Interpretation
The two-drug combination of all-injectable, long-acting cabotegravir plus rilpivirine every 4 weeks or every 8 weeks was as effective as daily three-drug oral therapy at maintaining HIV-1 viral suppression through 96 weeks and was well accepted and tolerated.

Hot Topics: Most Pediatric Flu Deaths Could Be Prevented With Flu Shot

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Infectious Disease

Influenza vaccine effectiveness against pediatric deaths: 2010–2014

Flannery B, Reynolds SB, Blanton L, et al. Influenza vaccine effectiveness against pediatric deaths: 2010–2014. Pediatrics. 2017;139(5). doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-4244.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Surveillance for laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths since 2004 has shown that most deaths occur in unvaccinated children. We assessed whether influenza vaccination reduced the risk of influenza-associated death in children and adolescents.

METHODS: We conducted a case–cohort analysis comparing vaccination uptake among laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths with estimated vaccination coverage among pediatric cohorts in the United States. Case vaccination and high-risk status were determined by case investigation. Influenza vaccination coverage estimates were obtained from national survey data or a national insurance claims database. We estimated odds ratios from logistic regression comparing odds of vaccination among cases with odds of vaccination in comparison cohorts. We used Bayesian methods to compute 95% credible intervals (CIs) for vaccine effectiveness (VE), calculated as (1 − odds ratio) × 100.

RESULTS: From July 2010 through June 2014, 358 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported among children aged 6 months through 17 years. Vaccination status was determined for 291 deaths; 75 (26%) received vaccine before illness onset. Average vaccination coverage in survey cohorts was 48%. Overall VE against death was 65% (95% CI, 54% to 74%). Among 153 deaths in children with underlying high-risk medical conditions, 47 (31%) were vaccinated. VE among children with high-risk conditions was 51% (95% CI, 31% to 67%), compared with 65% (95% CI, 47% to 78%) among children without high-risk conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccination was associated with reduced risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric death. Increasing influenza vaccination could prevent influenza-associated deaths among children and adolescents.

Hot Topics: More Species of Mosquitos Than Previously Thought May Transmit Zika

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Infectious Disease

Data-driven identification of potential Zika virus vectors

Evans MV, Dallas TA, Han BA, Murdock CC, Drake JM. Data-driven identification of potential zika virus vectors. eLife. 2017;6:e22053. https://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22053.

Zika is an emerging virus whose rapid spread is of great public health concern. Knowledge about transmission remains incomplete, especially concerning potential transmission in geographic areas in which it has not yet been introduced. To identify unknown vectors of Zika, we developed a data-driven model linking vector species and the Zika virus via vector-virus trait combinations that confer a propensity toward associations in an ecological network connecting flaviviruses and their mosquito vectors. Our model predicts that thirty-five species may be able to transmit the virus, seven of which are found in the continental United States, including Culex quinquefasciatus and Cx. pipiens. We suggest that empirical studies prioritize these species to confirm predictions of vector competence, enabling the correct identification of populations at risk for transmission within the United States.

Hot Topics: Experimental Ebola Vaccine Gives 100% Protection

Jackie Werner Hot Topics in Research, Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine, January

Efficacy and effectiveness of an rVSV-vectored vaccine in preventing Ebola virus disease: final results from the Guinea ring vaccination, open-label, cluster-randomised trial (Ebola Ça Suffit!)

Henao-Restrepo A, Camacho A, Longini IM, et al. Efficacy and effectiveness of an rVSV-vectored vaccine in preventing ebola virus disease: Final results from the guinea ring vaccination, open-label, cluster-randomised trial (ebola ça suffit!). The Lancet. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32621-6.

Background
rVSV-ZEBOV is a recombinant, replication competent vesicular stomatitis virus-based candidate vaccine expressing a surface glycoprotein of Zaire Ebolavirus. We tested the effect of rVSV-ZEBOV in preventing Ebola virus disease in contacts and contacts of contacts of recently confirmed cases in Guinea, west Africa.

Methods
We did an open-label, cluster-randomised ring vaccination trial (Ebola ça Suffit!) in the communities of Conakry and eight surrounding prefectures in the Basse-Guinée region of Guinea, and in Tomkolili and Bombali in Sierra Leone. We assessed the efficacy of a single intramuscular dose of rVSV-ZEBOV (2×107 plaque-forming units administered in the deltoid muscle) in the prevention of laboratory confirmed Ebola virus disease. After confirmation of a case of Ebola virus disease, we definitively enumerated on a list a ring (cluster) of all their contacts and contacts of contacts including named contacts and contacts of contacts who were absent at the time of the trial team visit. The list was archived, then we randomly assigned clusters (1:1) to either immediate vaccination or delayed vaccination (21 days later) of all eligible individuals (eg, those aged ≥18 years and not pregnant, breastfeeding, or severely ill). An independent statistician generated the assignment sequence using block randomisation with randomly varying blocks, stratified by location (urban vs rural) and size of rings (≤20 individuals vs >20 individuals). Ebola response teams and laboratory workers were unaware of assignments. After a recommendation by an independent data and safety monitoring board, randomisation was stopped and immediate vaccination was also offered to children aged 6–17 years and all identified rings. The prespecified primary outcome was a laboratory confirmed case of Ebola virus disease with onset 10 days or more from randomisation. The primary analysis compared the incidence of Ebola virus disease in eligible and vaccinated individuals assigned to immediate vaccination versus eligible contacts and contacts of contacts assigned to delayed vaccination. This trial is registered with the Pan African Clinical Trials Registry, number PACTR201503001057193.

Findings
In the randomised part of the trial we identified 4539 contacts and contacts of contacts in 51 clusters randomly assigned to immediate vaccination (of whom 3232 were eligible, 2151 consented, and 2119 were immediately vaccinated) and 4557 contacts and contacts of contacts in 47 clusters randomly assigned to delayed vaccination (of whom 3096 were eligible, 2539 consented, and 2041 were vaccinated 21 days after randomisation). No cases of Ebola virus disease occurred 10 days or more after randomisation among randomly assigned contacts and contacts of contacts vaccinated in immediate clusters versus 16 cases (7 clusters affected) among all eligible individuals in delayed clusters. Vaccine efficacy was 100% (95% CI 68·9–100·0, p=0·0045), and the calculated intraclass correlation coefficient was 0·035. Additionally, we defined 19 non-randomised clusters in which we enumerated 2745 contacts and contacts of contacts, 2006 of whom were eligible and 1677 were immediately vaccinated, including 194 children. The evidence from all 117 clusters showed that no cases of Ebola virus disease occurred 10 days or more after randomisation among all immediately vaccinated contacts and contacts of contacts versus 23 cases (11 clusters affected) among all eligible contacts and contacts of contacts in delayed plus all eligible contacts and contacts of contacts never vaccinated in immediate clusters. The estimated vaccine efficacy here was 100% (95% CI 79·3–100·0, p=0·0033). 52% of contacts and contacts of contacts assigned to immediate vaccination and in non-randomised clusters received the vaccine immediately; vaccination protected both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in those clusters. 5837 individuals in total received the vaccine (5643 adults and 194 children), and all vaccinees were followed up for 84 days. 3149 (53·9%) of 5837 individuals reported at least one adverse event in the 14 days after vaccination; these were typically mild (87·5% of all 7211 adverse events). Headache (1832 [25·4%]), fatigue (1361 [18·9%]), and muscle pain (942 [13·1%]) were the most commonly reported adverse events in this period across all age groups. 80 serious adverse events were identified, of which two were judged to be related to vaccination (one febrile reaction and one anaphylaxis) and one possibly related (influenza-like illness); all three recovered without sequelae.

Interpretation
The results add weight to the interim assessment that rVSV-ZEBOV offers substantial protection against Ebola virus disease, with no cases among vaccinated individuals from day 10 after vaccination in both randomised and non-randomised clusters.

Henao-Restrepo A, Camacho A, Longini IM, et al. Efficacy and effectiveness of an rVSV-vectored vaccine in preventing ebola virus disease: Final results from the guinea ring vaccination, open-label, cluster-randomised trial (ebola ça suffit!). The Lancet. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32621-6.