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Now showing 1 - 10 of 190
  • Publication
    Cardio-haemodynamic assessment and venous lactate in severe dengue: Relationship with recurrent shock and respiratory distress
    (2017-07-01) Simmons, Cameron
    BACKGROUND: Dengue can cause plasma leakage that may lead to dengue shock syndrome (DSS). In approximately 30% of DSS cases, recurrent episodes of shock occur. These patients have a higher risk of fluid overload, respiratory distress and poor outcomes. We investigated the association of echocardiographically-derived cardiac function and intravascular volume parameters plus lactate levels, with the outcomes of recurrent shock and respiratory distress in severe dengue. METHODS/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: We performed a prospective observational study in Paediatric and adult ICU, at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Patients with dengue were enrolled within 12 hours of admission to paediatric or adult ICU. A haemodynamic assessment and portable echocardiograms were carried out daily for 5 days from enrolment and all interventions recorded. 102 patients were enrolled; 22 patients did not develop DSS, 48 had a single episode of shock and 32 had recurrent shock. Patients with recurrent shock had a higher enrolment pulse than those with 1 episode or no shock (median: 114 vs. 100 vs. 100 b/min, P = 0.002), significantly lower Stroke Volume Index (SVI), (median: 21.6 vs. 22.8 vs. 26.8mls/m2, P<0.001) and higher lactate levels (4.2 vs. 2.9 vs. 2.2 mmol/l, P = 0.001). Higher SVI and worse left ventricular function (higher Left Myocardial Performance Index) on study days 3-5 was associated with the secondary endpoint of respiratory distress. There was an association between the total IV fluid administered during the ICU admission and respiratory distress (OR: 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.06, P = 0.001). Admission lactate levels predicted patients who subsequently developed recurrent shock (P = 0.004), and correlated positively with the total IV fluid volume received (rho: 0.323, P = 0.001) and also with admission ALT (rho: 0.764, P<0.001) and AST (rho: 0.773, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Echo-derived intravascular volume assessment and venous lactate levels can help identify dengue patients at high risk of recurrent shock and respiratory distress in ICU. These findings may serve to, not only assist in the management of DSS patients, but also these haemodynamic endpoints could be used in future dengue fluid intervention trials.
  • Publication
    Comparison of the abilities of different attenuated Salmonella typhimurium strains to elicit humoral immune responses against a heterologous antigen
    (1998-02-01) Simmons, Cameron
    We compared the abilities of different Salmonella enterica var. Typhimurium (S. typhimurium) strains harboring mutations in the genes aroA, aroAD, purA, ompR, htrA, and cya crp to present the heterologous antigen, C fragment of tetanus toxin, to the mouse immune system. Plasmid pTETtac4, encoding C fragment, was transferred into the various S. typhimurium mutants, and the levels of antigen expression were found to be equivalent. After primary oral immunization of BALB/c mice, all attenuated strains were capable of penetrating the gut epithelium and colonizing the Peyer's patches and spleens of mice. Of all strains compared, the delta purA mutant colonized and persisted in the Peyer's patches at the lowest level, whereas the delta htrA mutant colonized and persisted in the spleen at the lowest level. The level of specific antibody elicited by the different strains against either S. typhimurium lipopolysaccharide or tetanus toxoid was strain dependent and did not directly correlate to the mutants' ability to colonize the spleen. The level of immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2a antibody specific for tetanus toxoid was determined in mice immunized with four S. typhimurium mutants. The level of antigen-specific IgG1 and IgG2a was significantly lower in animals immunized with S. typhimurium delta purA. Antigen-specific T-cell proliferation assays indicated a degree of variability in the capacity of some strains to elicit T cells to the heterologous antigen. Cytokine profiles (gamma interferon and interleukin-5) revealed that the four S. typhimurium mutants tested induced a Th1-type immune response. Mice were challenged with a lethal dose of tetanus toxin 96 days after oral immunization. With the exception of the S. typhimurium delta purA mutant, all strains elicited a protective immune response. These data indicate that the level of total Ig specific for the carried antigen, C fragment, does not correlate with the relative invasiveness of the vector, but it is determined by the carrier mutation and the background of the S. typhimurium strain.
  • Publication
    Use of in vivo-regulated promoters to deliver antigens from attenuated Salmonella enterica var. typhimurium
    (1999-10-01) Simmons, Cameron
    This study describes the construction and analysis of three in vivo-inducible promoter expression plasmids, containing pnirB, ppagC, and pkatG, for the delivery of foreign antigens in the DeltaaroAD mutant of Salmonella enterica var. Typhimurium (hereafter referred to as S. typhimurium). The reporter genes encoding beta-galactosidase and firefly luciferase were used to assess the comparative levels of promoter activity in S. typhimurium in vitro in response to different induction stimuli and in vivo in immunized mice. It was determined that the ppagC construct directed the expression of more beta-galactosidase and luciferase in S. typhimurium than the pnirB and pkatG constructs, both in vitro and in vivo. The gene encoding the C fragment of tetanus toxin was expressed in the aroAD mutant of S. typhimurium (BRD509) under the control of the three promoters. Mice orally immunized with attenuated S. typhimurium expressing C fragment under control of the pagC promoter [BRD509(pKK/ppagC/C frag)] mounted the highest tetanus toxoid-specific serum antibody response. Levels of luciferase expression in vivo and C-fragment expression in vitro from the pagC promoter appeared to be equivalent to if not lower than the levels of expression detected with the constitutive trc promoter. However, mice immunized with BRD509(pKK/ppagC/C frag) induced significantly higher levels of tetanus toxoid-specific antibody than BRD509(pKK/C frag)-immunized mice, suggesting that the specific location of foreign antigen expression may be important for immunogenicity. Mutagenesis of the ribosome binding sites (RBS) in the three promoter/C fragment expression plasmids was also performed. Despite optimization of the RBS in the three different promoter elements, the expression levels in vivo and overall immunogenicity of C fragment when delivered to mice by attenuated S. typhimurium were not affected. These studies suggest that in vivo-inducible promoters may give rise to enhanced immunogenicity and increase the efficacy of S. typhimurium as a vaccine vector.
  • Publication
    Endothelial nitric oxide pathways in the pathophysiology of dengue: a prospective observational study.
    (2017-06-29) Simmons, Cameron
    Background: Dengue can cause increased vascular permeability that may lead to hypovolemic shock. Endothelial dysfunction may underlie this; however the association of endothelial nitric oxide pathways with disease severity is unknown. Methods: We performed a prospective observational study in two Vietnamese hospitals, assessing patients presenting early (<72 hours fever) and patients hospitalized with warning signs or severe dengue. The reactive hyperaemic index (RHI), which measures endothelium-dependent vasodilation and is a surrogate marker of endothelial function and NO bioavailability was evaluated using peripheral artery tonometry (EndoPAT) and plasma levels of L-arginine, Arginase-1 and ADMA were measured at serial time-points. The main outcome of interest was plasma leakage severity. Results: 314 patients were enrolled, median age of the participants was 21 (IQR 13-30) years. No difference was found in the endothelial parameters between dengue and other febrile illness (OFI). Considering dengue patients, the RHI was significantly lower for patients with severe plasma leakage compared to those with no leakage (1.46 vs. 2.00, P<0.001), over acute time-points, apparent already in the early febrile phase (1.29 vs. 1.75, P=0.012). RHI correlated negatively with arginase-1, and positively with L-arginine (P=0.001). Endothelial dysfunction/NO bioavailability is associated with worse plasma leakage, occurs early in dengue illness and correlates with hypoargininaemia and high arginase-1 levels.
  • Publication
    Genetic Variants of MICB and PLCE1 and Associations with Non-Severe Dengue
    (2013-03-11) Simmons, Cameron
    BACKGROUND: A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified susceptibility loci for dengue shock syndrome (DSS) at MICB rs3132468 and PLCE1 rs3740360. The aim of this study was to define the extent to which MICB (rs3132468) and PLCE1 (rs3740360) were associated with less severe clinical phenotypes of pediatric and adult dengue. METHODS: 3961 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases and 5968 controls were genotyped at MICB rs3132468 and PLCE1 rs3740360. Per-allele odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for each patient cohort. Pooled analyses were performed for adults and paediatrics respectively using a fixed effects model. RESULTS: Pooled analysis of the paediatric and adult cohorts indicated a significant association between MICB rs3132468 and dengue cases without shock (OR  =  1.15; 95%CI: 1.07 - 1.24; P  =  0.0012). Similarly, pooled analysis of pediatric and adult cohorts indicated a significant association between dengue cases without shock and PLCE1 rs3740360 (OR  =  0.92; 95%CI: 0.85 - 0.99; P  =  0.018). We also note significant association between both SNPs (OR  =  1.48; P  =  0.0075 for MICB rs3132468 and OR  =  0.75, P  =  0.041 for PLCE1 rs3740360) and dengue in infants. DISCUSSION: This study confirms that the MICB rs3132468 and PLCE1 rs3740360 risk genotypes are not only associated with DSS, but are also associated with less severe clinical phenotypes of dengue, as well as with dengue in infants. These findings have implications for our understanding of dengue pathogenesis.
  • Publication
    Synchrony of Dengue Incidence in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok
    (2016-12-01) Simmons, Cameron
    BACKGROUND: Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok are highly dengue endemic. The extent to which disease patterns are attributable to local versus regional dynamics remains unclear. To address this gap we compared key transmission parameters across the locations. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used 2003-2009 age-stratified case data to inform catalytic transmission models. Further, we compared the spatial clustering of serotypes within each city. We found that annual case numbers were highly consistent across the two cities (correlation of 0.77, 95% CI: 0.74-0.79) as was the annual force of infection (correlation of 0.57, 95% CI: 0.46-0.68). Serotypes were less similar with serotype-specific correlations ranging from 0.65 for DENV1 to -0.14 for DENV4. Significant spatial clustering of serotypes was observed in HCMC at distances <500m, similar to previous observations from Bangkok. DISCUSSIONS: Dengue dynamics are comparable across these two hubs. Low correlation in serotype distribution suggests that similar built environments, vector populations and climate, rather than viral flow drives these observations.
  • Publication
    DNA vaccines for bacterial infections
    (1997-08-01) Simmons, Cameron
    DNA vaccines are an exciting development in vaccine technology which may have a special role in preventing viral infections and as 'theracines' for cancer. Their use in preventing bacterial infections has, by comparison, been less well documented. While it is unlikely that traditional, highly successful and cheap vaccines for diseases such as diphtheria will be replaced by DNA vaccines, naked DNA may be particularly appropriate for preventing bacterial infections where cytotoxic T cells confer protection, or where a Th1 type T cell response mediates resistance. For example, DNA vaccines containing different mycobacterial antigens have been shown to inhibit overt infections by Mycobacterium tuberculosis in rodent models. The use of DNA vaccines in bacterial infections may be complicated by fundamental differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes and gene products, including mRNA stability, codon bias, secondary structures surrounding native start sequences and glycosylation. These problems can be solved by re-synthesis of bacterial genes to produce 'new' sequences which are more highly expressed by eukaryotic cells.
  • Publication
    Chikungunya and Zika Virus Cases Detected against a Backdrop of Endemic Dengue Transmission in Vietnam
    (2017-01-01) Simmons, Cameron
    Between 2010 and 2014, four chikungunya and two Zika virus infections were identified among 8,105 febrile children in southern Vietnam. Zika viruses were linked to French Polynesian strains, chikungunya to Cambodian strains. Against a backdrop of endemic dengue transmission, chikungunya and Zika present an additional arboviral disease burden in Vietnam.
  • Publication
  • Publication
    The Early Whole-Blood Transcriptional Signature of Dengue Virus and Features Associated with Progression to Dengue Shock Syndrome in Vietnamese Children and Young Adults
    (2010-12-01) Simmons, Cameron
    Dengue is a pantropic public health problem. In children, dengue shock syndrome (DSS) is the most common life-threatening complication. The ability to predict which patients may develop DSS may improve triage and treatment. To this end, we conducted a nested case-control comparison of the early host transcriptional features in 24 DSS patients and 56 sex-, age-, and virus serotype-matched uncomplicated (UC) dengue patients. In the first instance, we defined the "early dengue" profile. The transcriptional signature in acute rather than convalescent samples (≤72 h post-illness onset) was defined by an overabundance of interferon-inducible transcripts (31% of the 551 overabundant transcripts) and canonical gene ontology terms that included the following: response to virus, immune response, innate immune response, and inflammatory response. Pathway and network analyses identified STAT1, STAT2, STAT3, IRF7, IRF9, IRF1, CEBPB, and SP1 as key transcriptional factors mediating the early response. Strikingly, the only difference in the transcriptional signatures of early DSS and UC dengue cases was the greater abundance of several neutrophil-associated transcripts in patients who progressed to DSS, a finding supported by higher plasma concentrations of several canonical proteins associated with neutrophil degranulation (bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein [BPI], elastase 2 [ELA2], and defensin 1 alpha [DEF1A]). Elevated levels of neutrophil-associated transcripts were independent of the neutrophil count and also of the genotype of the infecting virus, as genome-length sequences of dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV-1) (n = 15) and DENV-2 (n = 3) sampled from DSS patients were phylogenetically indistinguishable from those sampled from uncomplicated dengue patients (32 DENV-1 and 9 DENV-2 sequences). Collectively, these data suggest a hitherto unrecognized association between neutrophil activation, pathogenesis, and the development of DSS and point to future strategies for guiding prognosis.