Open Access Publications

Open Access HIV & TB PublicationsThe Victor Daitz Information Gateway provides financial support to HIV and TB researchers at the University of KwaZulu-Natal wishing to publish papers in Open Access journals. The list of Open Access articles below are papers published with the support of the Victor Daitz Information Gateway.

  • Mashamba-Thompson TP, Drain PK, Sartorius B

    BMJ Open, Vol 6, Issue 6, 06/2016

    Poor healthcare access is a major barrier to receiving antenatal care and a cause of high maternal mortality in South Africa (SA). ‘Point-of-care’ (POC) diagnostics is a powerful emerging healthcare approach to improve healthcare access. This study focuses on evaluating the accessibility and utility of POC diagnostics for maternal health in rural SA primary healthcare (PHC) clinics in order to generate a model framework of implementation of POC diagnostics in rural South African clinics.

    We will use several research methods, including a systematic review, quasi-experiments, survey, key informant interviews and audits. We will conduct a systematic review and experimental study to determine the impact of POC diagnostics on maternal health. We will perform a cross-sectional case study of 100 randomly selected rural primary healthcare clinics in KwaZulu-Natal to measure the context and patterns of POC diagnostics access and usage by maternal health providers and patients. We will conduct interviews with relevant key stakeholders to determine the reasons for POC deficiencies regarding accessibility and utility of HIV-related POC diagnostics for maternal health. We will also conduct a vertical audit to investigate all the quality aspects of POC diagnostic services including diagnostic accuracy in a select number of clinics. On the basis of information gathered, we will propose a model framework for improved implementation of POC diagnostics in rural South African public healthcare clinics. Statistical (Stata-13) and thematic (NVIVO) data analysis will be used in this study.

  • Coutsoudis A, Daniels B, Moodley-Govender E, Ngomane N, Zako L, Spooner E, Kiepiela P, Reddy S, Kuhn L, Ramjee G

    BMJ Open, Vol 6, Issue 7, 07/2016

    No randomised controlled trial (RCT) has examined the efficacy of cotrimoxazole (CTX) prophylaxis in HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) infants during the breastfeeding period, in this new era of effective prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) prophylaxis. The efficacy of CTX prophylaxis has presently been demonstrated only in HIV-infected children. The absence of proven benefits in HEU breastfed infants associated with infectious diseases justifies an RCT as proposed. Herewith lies the rationale for conducting the proposed study.

    A partially blinded RCT is proposed to evaluate the efficacy of CTX prophylaxis administered from 6 weeks of age to HEU infants receiving a PMTCT regimen. A non-inferiority design will be used, randomising 1298 infants to receive CTX or not to receive CTX. Participants will be reviewed at the following time points: 6 weeks (enrolment and randomisation), 10 weeks, 14 weeks, 4 months and monthly thereafter until 12 months of age. They will be evaluated for anthropometric growth, interval illness, CTX adherence, signs and symptoms of study drug toxicity, concomitant medication use, breastfeeding status and HIV infection status. The study will compare the incidence of grade 3 and grade 4 common childhood illnesses (focusing on pneumonia and diarrhoea) and all-cause mortality until 12 months of age. In a subset of participants, we will compare grade 3 and grade 4 haemoglobin and alanine aminotransferase results as well as investigate gut integrity.

  • Jaggernath M, Naicker R, Madurai S, Brockman MA, Ndung'u T, Gelderblom HC

    PLoS One, Vol 11, Issue 4, 04/2016

    In South Africa, various point-of-care hemoglobin meters are used. However, the regulatory framework for approval, implementation and oversight of use of point-of-care hemoglobin meters is suboptimal. We assessed the diagnostic accuracy of the HemoCue Hb 301, STAT-Site MHgb and URIT-12 point-of-care hemoglobin meters, compared to a central laboratory based reference assay, in a central laboratory and a community based clinic in Durban, South Africa. Differences in performance of the point-of-care assays, compared to the reference assay, were more pronounced in the community based clinic. Results were reasonable for the HemoCue Hb 301, but poor for the STAT-Site MHgb and the URIT-12. Poor test performance of point-of-care hemoglobin meters, and inadequate evaluations and oversight in South Africa, leads to suboptimal clinical care and clinical research, and increased costs. There is a need for proper evaluation and quality assurance of point-of-care tests, the results of which should be made widely available to key stakeholders.

  • Nlooto M, Naidoo P

    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 16, Issue 128, 05/2016

    The roll out of antiretroviral therapy in the South African public health sector in 2004 was preceded by the politicisation of HIV-infection which was used to promote traditional medicine for the management of HIV/AIDS. One decade has passed since; however, questions remain on the extent of the use of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) by HIV-infected patients. This study therefore aimed at investigating the prevalence of the use of African traditional medicine (ATM), complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) by adult patients in the eThekwini and UThukela Health Districts, South Africa.

  • Saini V, Cumming BM, Guidry L, Lamprecht DA, Adamson JH, Reddy VP, Chinta KC, Mazorodze JH, Glasgow JN, Richard-Greenblatt M, Gomez-Velasco A, Bach H, Av-Gay Y, Eoh H, Rhee K, Steyn AJ

    Cell Reports, Vol 14, Issue 3, 01/2016

    The mechanisms by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) maintains metabolic equilibrium to survive during infection and upon exposure to antimycobacterial drugs are poorly characterized. Ergothioneine (EGT) and mycothiol (MSH) are the major redox buffers present in Mtb, but the contribution of EGT to Mtb redox homeostasis and virulence remains unknown. We report that Mtb WhiB3, a 4Fe-4S redox sensor protein, regulates EGT production and maintains bioenergetic homeostasis. We show that central carbon metabolism and lipid precursors regulate EGT production and that EGT modulates drug sensitivity. Notably, EGT and MSH are both essential for redox and bioenergetic homeostasis. Transcriptomic analyses of EGT and MSH mutants indicate overlapping but distinct functions of EGT and MSH. Last, we show that EGT is critical for Mtb survival in both macrophages and mice. This study has uncovered a dynamic balance between Mtb redox and bioenergetic homeostasis, which critically influences Mtb drug susceptibility and pathogenicity.