• 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.
    • Effect of 3 Days of Oral Azithromycin on Young Children With Acute Diarrhea in Low-Resource Settings: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

      Ahmed, Tahmeed; Chisti, Mohammod Jobayer; Rahman, Muhammad Waliur; Alam, Tahmina; Ahmed, Dilruba; Parvin, Irin; Kabir, Md Farhad; Sazawal, Sunil; Dhingra, Pratibha; Dutta, Arup; et al. (American Medical Association, 2021-12-01)
      Importance: World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines do not recommend routine antibiotic use for children with acute watery diarrhea. However, recent studies suggest that a significant proportion of such episodes have a bacterial cause and are associated with mortality and growth impairment, especially among children at high risk of diarrhea-associated mortality. Expanding antibiotic use among dehydrated or undernourished children may reduce diarrhea-associated mortality and improve growth. Objective: To determine whether the addition of azithromycin to standard case management of acute nonbloody watery diarrhea for children aged 2 to 23 months who are dehydrated or undernourished could reduce mortality and improve linear growth. Design, setting, and participants: The Antibiotics for Children with Diarrhea (ABCD) trial was a multicountry, randomized, double-blind, clinical trial among 8266 high-risk children aged 2 to 23 months presenting with acute nonbloody diarrhea. Participants were recruited between July 1, 2017, and July 10, 2019, from 36 outpatient hospital departments or community health centers in a mixture of urban and rural settings in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Pakistan, and Tanzania. Each participant was followed up for 180 days. Primary analysis included all randomized participants by intention to treat. Interventions: Enrolled children were randomly assigned to receive either oral azithromycin, 10 mg/kg, or placebo once daily for 3 days in addition to standard WHO case management protocols for the management of acute watery diarrhea. Main outcomes and measures: Primary outcomes included all-cause mortality up to 180 days after enrollment and linear growth faltering 90 days after enrollment. Results: A total of 8266 children (4463 boys [54.0%]; mean [SD] age, 11.6 [5.3] months) were randomized. A total of 20 of 4133 children in the azithromycin group (0.5%) and 28 of 4135 children in the placebo group (0.7%) died (relative risk, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.40-1.27). The mean (SD) change in length-for-age z scores 90 days after enrollment was -0.16 (0.59) in the azithromycin group and -0.19 (0.60) in the placebo group (risk difference, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.01-0.06). Overall mortality was much lower than anticipated, and the trial was stopped for futility at the prespecified interim analysis. Conclusions and relevance: The study did not detect a survival benefit for children from the addition of azithromycin to standard WHO case management of acute watery diarrhea in low-resource settings. There was a small reduction in linear growth faltering in the azithromycin group, although the magnitude of this effect was not likely to be clinically significant. In low-resource settings, expansion of antibiotic use is not warranted. Adherence to current WHO case management protocols for watery diarrhea remains appropriate and should be encouraged.