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.

  • 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.

  • Bhattacharya D, Dwivedi VP, Kumar S, Reddy MC, Van Kaer L, Moodley P, Das G

    The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol 289, Issue 48, 11/2014

    Tuberculosis affects nine million individuals and kills almost two million people every year. The only vaccine available, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), has been used since its inception in 1921. Although BCG induces host-protective T helper 1 (Th1) cell immune responses, which play a central role in host protection, its efficacy is unsatisfactory, suggesting that additional methods to enhance protective immune responses are needed. Recently we have shown that simultaneous inhibition of Th2 cells and Tregs by using the pharmacological inhibitors suplatast tosylate and D4476, respectively, dramatically enhances Mycobacterium tuberculosis clearance and induces superior Th1 responses. Here we show that treatment with these two drugs during BCG vaccination dramatically improves vaccine efficacy. Furthermore, we demonstrate that these drugs induce a shift in the development of T cell memory, favoring central memory T (Tcm) cell responses over effector memory T (Tem) cell responses. Collectively, our findings provide evidence that simultaneous inhibition of Th2 cells and Tregs during BCG vaccination promotes vaccine efficacy.

  • Vinod B. Patel, Cathy Connolly, Ravesh Singh, Laura Lenders, Brian Matinyenya, Grant Theron, Thumbi Ndung'u, Keertan Dheda

    Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Vol 52, Issue 10, 10/2014

    There are no data about the comparative accuracy of commercially available nucleic acid amplification tests (GeneXpert MTB/RIF and Roche Amplicor) for the diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis (TBM). A total of 148 patients with suspected TBM were evaluated, and cultures served as the reference standard. The sensitivities and specificities (95% confidence interval [CI]) for the Amplicor and Xpert MTB/RIF tests were similar: 46 (31–60) versus 50 (33–67) and 99 (93–100) and 94 (84–99), respectively.