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Epidemiology of Meningitis in an HIV-Infected Ugandan Cohort

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  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Infectious Disease Institute, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul, Minnesota; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda

There is limited understanding of the epidemiology of meningitis among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected populations in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a prospective cohort study of HIV-infected adults with suspected meningitis in Uganda, to comprehensively evaluate the etiologies of meningitis. Intensive cerebrospiral fluid (CSF) testing was performed to evaluate for bacterial, viral, fungal, and mycobacterial etiologies, including neurosyphilis,16s ribosomal DNA (rDNA) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for bacteria, Plex-ID broad viral assay, quantitative-PCR for HSV-1/2, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), and Toxoplasma gondii; reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) for Enteroviruses and arboviruses, and Xpert MTB/RIF assay. Cryptococcal meningitis accounted for 60% (188 of 314) of all causes of meningitis. Of 117 samples sent for viral PCR, 36% were EBV positive. Among cryptococcal antigen negative patients, the yield of Xpert MTB/RIF assay was 22% (8 of 36). After exclusion of cryptococcosis and bacterial meningitis, 61% (43 of 71) with an abnormal CSF profile had no definitive diagnosis. Exploration of new TB diagnostics and diagnostic algorithms for evaluation of meningitis in resource-limited settings remains needed, and implementation of cryptococcal diagnostics is critical.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Radha Rajasingham, 420 Delaware Street, MMC250, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail: Radha.Rajasingham@gmail.com

Financial support: Research support for aspects of this project was received from the National Institutes of Health and Fogarty International Center (R21NS065713, K23AI073192, U01AI089244, T32AI055433, R25TW009345, T32HD068229). Partially funded by an Interagency Agreement between CDC and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Authors' addresses: Radha Rajasingham, University of Minnesota, Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, Minneapolis, MN, and Infectious Diseases Institute, Makarere University, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: radha.rajasingham@gmail.com. Joshua Rhein and Darlisha A. Williams, University of Minnesota, Medicine, Minneapolis, MN, and Infectious Diseases Institute, Makarere University, Kampala, Uganda, E-mails: joshua.rhein@gmail.com and coat.trial@gmail.com. Kate Klammer, Minnesota Department of Health, N/A, St. Paul, MN, E-mail: kate.klammer@mn.state.us. Abdu Musubire, Henry Nabeta, and Andrew Akampurira, Infectious Diseases Institute, Makarere University, Kampala, Uganda, E-mails: amusubire@yahoo.com, hwnabeta@gmail.com, and scandrie@yahoo.com. Eric C. Mossel and Barry R. Miller, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, N/A, Fort Collins, CO, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Fort Collins, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Fort Collins, CO, E-mails: ilv8@cdc.gov and brm4@cdc.gov. Dave J. Boxrud, Minnesota Department of Health, N/A, St Paul, MN, E-mail: dave.boxrud@state.mn.us. Melissa A. Rolfes and Supatida Tengsupakul, University of Minnesota, Medicine, Minneapolis, MN, E-mails: melissa.rolfes@gmail.com and tengs001@umn.edu. Alfred O. Andama, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Department of Medicine, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: andama.alf@gmail.com. David B. Meya, Makerere University, Faculty of Medicine, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: david.meya@gmail.com. David R. Boulware, University of Minnesota, Medicine, Minneapolis, MN, E-mail: boulw001@umn.edu.

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