• The Clinical Presentation of Culture-positive and Culture-negative, Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR)-Attributable Shigellosis in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study and Derivation of a Shigella Severity Score: Implications for Pediatric Shigella Vaccine Trials

      Pavlinac, Patricia B; Platts-Mills, James A; Tickell, Kirkby D; Liu, Jie; Juma, Jane; Kabir, Furqan; Nkeze, Joseph; Okoi, Catherine; Operario, Darwin J; Uddin, Jashim; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2020-10-12)
      BACKGROUND: Shigella is a leading cause of childhood diarrhea and target for vaccine development. Microbiologic and clinical case definitions are needed for pediatric field vaccine efficacy trials. METHODS: We compared characteristics of moderate to severe diarrhea (MSD) cases in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) between children with culture positive Shigella to those with culture-negative, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)-attributable Shigella (defined by an ipaH gene cycle threshold <27.9). Among Shigella MSD cases, we determined risk factors for death and derived a clinical severity score. RESULTS: Compared to culture-positive Shigella MSD cases (n = 745), culture-negative/qPCR-attributable Shigella cases (n = 852) were more likely to be under 12 months, stunted, have a longer duration of diarrhea, and less likely to have high stool frequency or a fever. There was no difference in dehydration, hospitalization, or severe classification from a modified Vesikari score. Twenty-two (1.8%) Shigella MSD cases died within the 14-days after presentation to health facilities, and 59.1% of these deaths were in culture-negative cases. Age <12 months, diarrhea duration prior to presentation, vomiting, stunting, wasting, and hospitalization were associated with mortality. A model-derived score assigned points for dehydration, hospital admission, and longer diarrhea duration but was not significantly better at predicting 14-day mortality than a modified Vesikari score. CONCLUSIONS: A composite severity score consistent with severe disease or dysentery may be a pragmatic clinical endpoint for severe shigellosis in vaccine trials. Reliance on culture for microbiologic confirmation may miss a substantial number of Shigella cases but is currently required to measure serotype specific immunity. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
    • Evaluation of Molecular Serotyping Assays for Shigella flexneri Directly on Stool Samples.

      Liu, Jie; Pholwat, Suporn; Zhang, Jixian; Taniuchi, Mami; Haque, Rashidul; Alam, Masud; Ochieng, John Benjamin; Jones, Jennifer A; Platts-Mills, James A; Tennant, Sharon M; et al. (American Society for Microbiology, 2021-01-21)
      Shigella flexneri is prevalent worldwide and is the most common Shigella species in many countries. At least 19 S. flexneri serotypes exist, and serotype information is important for epidemiologic and vaccine development purposes. We evaluated the performance of real-time PCR assays for O-antigen modification genes to identify the major serotypes on isolates and direct stool samples. The assays were formulated into two multiplex panels: one panel included gtrII, gtrV, gtrX, oac, and wzx6 to identify S. flexneri serotypes 2a, 2b, 3a, 5a, 5b, 6, and X, and the other panel included ipaH, gtrI, gtrIc, and gtrIV to confirm Shigella detection and further identify S. flexneri serotypes 1a, 1b, 1d, 3b, 4a, 4b, 7a, and 7b. We first evaluated 283 Shigella isolates, and PCR serotyping demonstrated 97.0% (95% confidence interval, 93.0% to 99.0%) sensitivity and 99.9% (99.9% to 100%) specificity compared to conventional serotyping. The assays then were utilized on direct stool specimens. A quantitative detection algorithm was developed with a validation set of 174 Shigella culture-positive stool samples and further tested with a derivation set of 164 samples. The PCR serotyping on stool achieved 93% (89% to 96%) sensitivity and 99% (99% to 100%) specificity compared to serotyping. Most discrepancies were genotypic-phenotypic discordance, not genotypic failure. These real-time PCR assays provide an efficient and novel tool for S. flexneri serotype identification.
    • External validation of a mobile clinical decision support system for diarrhea etiology prediction in children: a multicenter study in Bangladesh and Mali.

      Garbern, Stephanie Chow; Nelson, Eric J; Nasrin, Sabiha; Keita, Adama Mamby; Brintz, Ben J; Gainey, Monique; Badji, Henry; Nasrin, Dilruba; Howard, Joel; Taniuchi, Mami; et al. (eLife Sciences Publications, 2022-02-09)
      Background: Diarrheal illness is a leading cause of antibiotic use for children in low- and middle-income countries. Determination of diarrhea etiology at the point-of-care without reliance on laboratory testing has the potential to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use. Methods: This prospective observational study aimed to develop and externally validate the accuracy of a mobile software application ('App') for the prediction of viral-only etiology of acute diarrhea in children 0-59 months in Bangladesh and Mali. The App used a previously derived and internally validated model consisting of patient-specific ('present patient') clinical variables (age, blood in stool, vomiting, breastfeeding status, and mid-upper arm circumference) as well as location-specific viral diarrhea seasonality curves. The performance of additional models using the 'present patient' data combined with other external data sources including location-specific climate, data, recent patient data, and historical population-based prevalence were also evaluated in secondary analysis. Diarrhea etiology was determined with TaqMan Array Card using episode-specific attributable fraction (AFe) >0.5. Results: Of 302 children with acute diarrhea enrolled, 199 had etiologies above the AFe threshold. Viral-only pathogens were detected in 22% of patients in Mali and 63% in Bangladesh. Rotavirus was the most common pathogen detected (16% Mali; 60% Bangladesh). The present patient + viral seasonality model had an AUC of 0.754 (0.665-0.843) for the sites combined, with calibration-in-the-large α=-0.393 (-0.455 - -0.331) and calibration slope β=1.287 (1.207 - 1.367). By site, the present patient + recent patient model performed best in Mali with an AUC of 0.783 (0.705 - 0.86); the present patient + viral seasonality model performed best in Bangladesh with AUC 0.710 (0.595 - 0.825). Conclusion: The App accurately identified children with high likelihood of viral-only diarrhea etiology. Further studies to evaluate the App's potential use in diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship are underway.