Bioaerosol sampling of patients with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis: a study protocol.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted in bioaerosols containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Despite being central to ongoing TB transmission, no routine diagnostic assay exists to measure Mtb in bioaerosols. Furthermore, published studies of Mtb in bioaerosol samples have been limited to individuals with sputum-positive pulmonary TB. Notably, TB diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms and sputum laboratory findings. This is despite the fact that approximately half of all patients commencing TB treatment are sputum-negative, resulting in a high proportion of presumptive treatments. Here, we propose to use a sensitive air sampling protocol to investigate the prevalence of Mtb-containing bioaerosols in both sputum-positive and sputum-negative TB suspects, at the same time evaluating the potential to identify unrecognized transmitters of TB. METHODS:Our parallel-group design will identify viable Mtb in bioaerosols produced by individuals attending a TB clinic in South Africa. Sampling will be performed on eligible individuals presenting with symptoms indicative of TB and repeated at 14?days if initially positive. Participants will be prospectively classified into three distinct groups based on National TB Control Program (NTBCP) criteria: Group A, TB notification with sputum-based laboratory confirmation; Group B, TB notification with empiric diagnosis; and Group C, individuals not notified. Group C individuals with detectable Mtb bioaerosol will be monitored until resolution of clinical and laboratory status. Collection of bioaerosol specimens will be via two consecutive sampling modalities: (1) direct sampling following a specific respiratory manoeuvre; and (2) indirect sampling during passive respiratory activity. Bioaerosol specimens will be analyzed for viable Mtb using DMN-trehalose staining and live-cell fluorescence microscopy. Mtb genomes and mycobacterial and host lipids will be detected using droplet digital PCR and mass spectrometry analyses, respectively. The primary objective is to determine the prevalence of Mtb bioaerosols in all TB clinic attendees and in each of the groups. Secondary objectives are to investigate differences in prevalence of Mtb bioaerosol by HIV status and current isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) use; we will also determine the impact of anti-TB chemotherapy on Mtb-containing bioaerosol production. DISCUSSION:Respiratory bioaerosol has a potential role in non-invasive TB diagnosis, infectivity measurement and treatment monitoring. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04241809 . Date of Registration: 27/1/2020.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in patient-derived bioaerosol is a potential tool to measure source case infectiousness. However, current bioaerosol sampling approaches have reported low detection yields in sputum-positive TB cases. To increase the utility of bioaerosol sampling, we present advances in bioaerosol collection and Mtb identification that improve detection yields. METHODS:A previously described Respiratory Aerosol Sampling Chamber (RASC) protocol, or "RASC-1", was modified to incorporate liquid collection of bioaerosol using a high-flow wet-walled cyclone (RASC-2). Individuals with GeneXpert-positive pulmonary TB were sampled pre-treatment over 60-minutes. Putative Mtb bacilli were detected in collected fluid by fluorescence microscopy utilising DMN-Trehalose. Exhaled air and bioaerosol volumes were estimated using continuous CO2 monitoring and airborne particle counting, respectively. Mtb capture was calculated per exhaled air volume sampled and bioaerosol volume for RASC-1 (n = 35) and for RASC-2 (n = 21). Empty chamber samples were collected between patients as controls. RESULTS:The optimised RASC-2 protocol sampled a median of 258.4L (IQR: 226.9-273.6) of exhaled air per patient compared with 27.5L (IQR: 23.6-30.3) for RASC-1 (p<0.0001). Bioaerosol volume collection was estimated at 2.3nL (IQR: 1.1-3.6) for RASC-2 compared with 0.08nL (IQR: 0.05-0.10) for RASC-1 (p<0.0001). The detection yield of viable Mtb improved from 43% (median 2 CFU, range: 1-14) to 95% (median 20.5 DMN-Trehalose positive bacilli, range: 2-155). These improvements represent a lowering of the limit of detection in the RASC-2 platform to 0.9 Mtb bacilli per 100L of exhaled air from 3.3 Mtb bacilli per 100L (RASC-1). CONCLUSION:This study demonstrates that technical improvements in particle collection together with sensitive detection enable rapid quantitation of viable Mtb in bioaerosols of sputum positive TB cases. Increased sampling sensitivity may allow future TB transmission studies to be extended to sputum-negative and subclinical individuals, and suggests the potential utility of bioaerosol measurement for rapid intervention in other airborne infectious diseases.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Abundant evidence on Xpert MTB/RIF accuracy for diagnosing tuberculosis (TB) and rifampicin resistance has been produced, yet there are few data on the population benefit of its programmatic use. We assessed whether the implementation of Xpert MTB/RIF in routine conditions would (1) increase the notification rate of laboratory-confirmed pulmonary TB to the national notification system and (2) reduce the time to TB treatment initiation (primary endpoints).<h4>Methods and findings</h4>We conducted a stepped-wedge cluster-randomized trial from 4 February to 4 October 2012 in 14 primary care laboratories in two Brazilian cities. Diagnostic specimens were included for 11,705 baseline (smear microscopy) and 12,522 intervention (Xpert MTB/RIF) patients presumed to have TB. Single-sputum-sample Xpert MTB/RIF replaced two-sputum-sample smear microscopy for routine diagnosis of pulmonary TB. In total, 1,137 (9.7%) tests in the baseline arm and 1,777 (14.2%) in the intervention arm were positive (p<0.001), resulting in an increased bacteriologically confirmed notification rate of 59% (95% CI = 31%, 88%). However, the overall notification rate did not increase (15%, 95% CI = ?-6%, 37%), and we observed no change in the notification rate for those without a test result (-3%, 95% CI =?-37%, 30%). Median time to treatment decreased from 11.4 d (interquartile range [IQR]?= 8.5-14.5) to 8.1 d (IQR?= 5.4-9.3) (p = 0.04), although not among confirmed cases (median 7.5 [IQR = 4.9-10.0] versus 7.3 [IQR = 3.4-9.0], p = 0.51). Prevalence of rifampicin resistance detected by Xpert was 3.3% (95% CI = 2.4%, 4.3%) among new patients and 7.4% (95% CI = 4.3%, 11.7%) among retreatment patients, with a 98% (95% CI = 87%, 99%) positive predictive value compared to phenotypic drug susceptibility testing. Missing data in the information systems may have biased our primary endpoints. However, sensitivity analyses assessing the effects of missing data did not affect our results.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Replacing smear microscopy with Xpert MTB/RIF in Brazil increased confirmation of pulmonary TB. An additional benefit was the accurate detection of rifampicin resistance. However, no increase on overall notification rates was observed, possibly because of high rates of empirical TB treatment.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01363765. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We aimed to determine the prevalence of pulmonary TB amongst the adult population (?15 years) in 2016 in Kenya. METHOD:A nationwide cross-sectional survey where participants first underwent TB symptom screening and chest x-ray. Subsequently, participants who reported cough >2weeks and/or had a chest x-ray suggestive of TB, submitted sputum specimen for laboratory examination by smear microscopy, culture and Xpert MTB/RIF. RESULT:The survey identified 305 prevalent TB cases translating to a prevalence of 558 [95%CI 455-662] per 100,000 adult population. The highest disease burden was reported among people aged 25-34 years (716 [95% CI 526-906]), males (809 [(95% CI 656-962]) and those who live in urban areas (760 [95% CI 539-981]). Compared to the reported TB notification rate for Kenya in 2016, the prevalence to notification ratio was 2.5:1. The gap between the survey prevalence and notification rates was highest among males, age groups 25-34, and the older age group of 65 years and above. Only 48% of the of the survey prevalent cases reported cough >2weeks. In addition, only 59% of the identified cases had the four cardinal symptoms for TB (cough ?2 weeks, fever, night sweat and weight loss. However, 88.2% had an abnormal chest x-ray suggestive of TB. The use of Xpert MTB/RIF identified 77.7% of the cases compared to smear microscopy's 46%. Twenty-one percent of the survey participants with respiratory symptoms reported to have sought prior health care at private clinics and chemists. Among the survey prevalent cases who reported TB related symptoms, 64.9% had not sought any health care prior to the survey. CONCLUSION:This survey established that TB prevalence in Kenya is higher than had been estimated, and about half of the those who fall ill with the disease each year are missed.
Project description:A limited number of studies have been conducted to analyze ribosomal RNA (rRNA, present in the ribosome) in bioaerosol samples to identify currently or potentially active airborne microbes, although its genomic counterpart, the rRNA gene (on the chromosome) has been frequently targeted for airborne microbial community analysis. A knowledge gap still exists regarding whether the bioaerosol rRNA abundances are affected by the bioaerosol collection process. We investigated the effect of air sampling stress on the measurement and characterization of 16S rRNA for bioaerosols in the laboratory and field experiments using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and high-throughput sequencing techniques. In a laboratory study, known quantities of freshly grown Escherichia coli cells were spiked onto the filter of a Button Aerosol Sampler and into liquids of BioSampler and SpinCon air samplers and then exposed to sampling stress when the samplers were operated for 2h. We found that the recovered cellular 16S rRNA abundance as determined by qPCR was dependent on sampler type. Further, two devices (Button Aerosol Sampler and BioSampler) that exhibited markedly different efficiency in preserving 16S rRNA were employed in an outdoor environment to collect bioaerosols simultaneously on eight days in two different seasons. The abundance of 16S rRNA in the outdoor air sample (1.3×106-4.9×107copies/m3) was about two orders of magnitude higher than that of 16S rRNA gene (6.9×103-1.5×105copies/m3). The 16S rRNA sequences revealed a different bacterial community compared with 16S rRNA gene-based results across all samples, and this difference depended on the sampling device. In addition, a number of bacterial taxa exhibited higher abundance in the 16S rRNA gene sequences than in 16S rRNA sequences, which suggests the potential activities of certain microbes in airborne phase. Overall, this study highlights the importance of sampling device selection when analyzing RNA in bioaerosols.
Project description:Bioaerosols (or biogenic aerosols) have largely been overlooked by molecular ecologists. However, this is rapidly changing as bioaerosols play key roles in public health, environmental chemistry and the dispersal ecology of microbes. Due to the low environmental concentrations of bioaerosols, collecting sufficient biomass for molecular methods is challenging. Currently, no standardized methods for bioaerosol collection for molecular ecology research exist. Each study requires a process of optimization, which greatly slows the advance of bioaerosol science. Here, we evaluated air filtration and liquid impingement for bioaerosol sampling across a range of environmental conditions. We also investigated the effect of sampling matrices, sample concentration strategies and sampling duration on DNA yield. Air filtration using polycarbonate filters gave the highest recovery, but due to the faster sampling rates possible with impingement, we recommend this method for fine -scale temporal/spatial ecological studies. To prevent bias for the recovery of Gram-positive bacteria, we found that the matrix for impingement should be phosphate-buffered saline. The optimal method for bioaerosol concentration from the liquid matrix was centrifugation. However, we also present a method using syringe filters for rapid in-field recovery of bioaerosols from impingement samples, without compromising microbial diversity for high -throughput sequencing approaches. Finally, we provide a resource that enables molecular ecologists to select the most appropriate sampling strategy for their specific research question.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bioaerosols are defined as airborne particles of liquid or volatile compounds that contain living organisms or have been released from living organisms. The creation of bioaerosols is a recognized consequence of certain types of dental treatment and represents a potential mechanism for the spread of infection. OBJECTIVES:The aims of the present study were to assess the bioaerosols generated by certain dental procedures and to evaluate the efficiency of a commercially available Air Cleaning System (ACS) designed to reduce bioaerosol levels. METHODS:Bioaerosol sampling was undertaken in the absence of clinical activity (baseline) and also during treatment procedures (cavity preparation using an air rotor, history and oral examination, ultrasonic scaling and tooth extraction under local anaesthesia). For each treatment, bioaerosols were measured for two patient episodes (with and without ACS operation) and between five and nine bioaerosol samples were collected. For baseline measurements, 15 bioaerosol samples were obtained. For bioaerosol sampling, environmental air was drawn on to blood agar plates using a bioaerosol sampling pump placed in a standard position 20 cm from the dental chair. Plates were incubated aerobically at 37°C for 48 hours and resulting growth quantified as colony forming units (cfu/m³). Distinct colony types were identified using standard methods. Results were analysed statistically using SPSS 12 and Wilcoxon signed rank tests. RESULTS:The ACS resulted in a significant reduction (p = 0.001) in the mean bioaerosols (cfu/m³) of all three clinics compared with baseline measurements. The mean level of bioaerosols recorded during the procedures, with or without the ACS activated respectively, was 23.9 cfu/m³ and 105.1 cfu/m³ (p = 0.02) for cavity preparation, 23.9 cfu/m³ and 62.2 cfu/m³ (p = 0.04) for history and oral examination; 41.9 cfu/m³ and 70.9 cfu/m³ (p = 0.01) for ultrasonic scaling and 9.1 cfu/m³ and 66.1 cfu/m³ (p = 0.01) for extraction. The predominant microorganisms isolated were Staphylococcus species and Micrococcus species. CONCLUSION:These findings indicate potentially hazardous bioaerosols created during dental procedures can be significantly reduced using an air cleaning system.
Project description:We present a novel bioaerosol sampling system based on a wet-cyclone for real-time and continuous monitoring of airborne microorganisms. The Automated and Real-time Bioaerosol Sampler based on Wet-cyclone (ARBSW) continuously collects bioaerosols in a liquid medium and delivers the samples to a sensing device using a wireless remote control system. Based on a high air-to-liquid-flow-rate ratio (? 1.4?×?10<sup>5</sup>) and a stable liquid thin film within a wet-cyclone, the system achieved excellent sampling performance as indicated by the high concentration and viability of bioaerosols (> 95% collection efficiency for > 0.5-?m-diameter particles, > 95% biological collection efficiency for <i>Staphylococcus epidermidis</i> and <i>Micrococcus luteus</i>). Furthermore, the continuous and real-time sampling performance of the ARBSW system under test-bed conditions and during a field test demonstrated that the ARBSW is capable of continuously monitoring bioaerosols in real time with high sensitivity. Therefore, the ARBSW shows promise for continuous real-time monitoring of bioaerosols and will facilitate the management of bioaerosol-related health and environmental issues.
Project description:South Africa is a country with a high incidence of tuberculosis (TB), complicated by coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The Xpert MTB/RIF (Cepheid, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) is used in South Africa as the test for the initial diagnosis of TB, and other molecular platforms such as the m2000 (Abbott Molecular, Des Plaines, IL, USA) are widely used for molecular monitoring of HIV load. The latter platform is now also equipped with the RealTime (RT) MTB and RealTime MTB RIF/INH assays for TB and first-line drug resistance screening but has not been evaluated in settings of HIV and TB coinfection. A prospective clinical validation study was conducted at a community health center in Johannesburg, South Africa, and consenting individuals with presumptive pulmonary TB were enrolled. The performance of the Abbott assays was compared with those of the Xpert MTB/RIF, liquid culture, drug susceptibility testing, and clinical case definitions. A statistical analysis was performed on 206 individuals (73% were HIV positive). The sensitivity and specificity of the RT MTB were 82.5% (confidence interval [CI], 67.2 to 92.7) and 93.1% (CI, 86.2 to 97.2) on raw sputum and 77.5% (CI, 61.5 to 89.2) and 95.1% (CI, 88.9 to 98.4) on concentrated sputum, respectively, compared with those from liquid culture. The RT MTB correctly identified 17/35 more smear-negative culture-positive specimens than the Xpert MTB/RIF. Both the RT MTB and the Xpert MTB/RIF displayed sensitivities >70% and specificities >90% in HIV-positive individuals. The available drug resistance results concurred with MTBDRplus and drug susceptibility profiles. The RT MTB assay has similar diagnostic performance to the Xpert MTB/RIF and is suited to testing presumptive TB patients coinfected with HIV. The existing laboratory information system connectivity, training, and technical support make this a viable polyvalent option to scale up TB alongside HIV laboratory testing services in South Africa.
Project description:Xpert MTB/RIF assay is a highly sensitive test for TB diagnosis, but still costly to most low-income countries. Several implementation strategies instead of frontline have been suggested; however with scarce data. We assessed accuracy of different Xpert MTB/RIF implementation strategies to inform national roll-out.This was a cross-sectional study of 1,924 adult presumptive TB patients in five regional referral hospitals of Uganda. Two sputum samples were collected, one for fluorescent microscopy (FM) and Xpert MTB/RIF examined at the study site laboratories. The second sample was sent to the Uganda Supra National TB reference laboratory for culture using both Lowenstein Jensen (LJ) and liquid culture (MGIT). We compared the sensitivities of FM, Xpert MTB/RIF and the incremental sensitivity of Xpert MTB/RIF among patients negative on FM using LJ and/or MGIT as a reference standard.A total 1924 patients were enrolled of which 1596 (83%) patients had at least one laboratory result and 1083 respondents had a complete set of all the laboratory results. A total of 328 (30%) were TB positive on LJ and /or MGIT culture. The sensitivity of FM was n (%; 95% confidence interval) 246 (63.5%; 57.9-68.7) overall compared to 52 (55.4%; 44.1-66.3) among HIV positive individuals, while the sensitivity of Xpert MTB/RIF was 300 (76.2%; 71.7-80.7) and 69 (71.6%; 60.5-81.1) overall and among HIV positive individuals respectively. Overall incremental sensitivity of Xpert MTB/RIF was 60 (36.5%; 27.7-46.0) and 20 (41.7%; 25.5-59.2) among HIV positive individuals.Xpert MTB/RIF has a higher sensitivity than FM both in general population and HIV positive population. Xpert MTB/RIF offers a significant increase in terms of diagnostic sensitivity even when it is deployed selectively i.e. among smear negative presumptive TB patients. Our results support frontline use of Xpert MTB/RIF assay in high HIV/TB prevalent countries. In settings with limited access, mechanisms to refer smear negative sputum samples to Xpert MTB/RIF hubs are recommended.
Project description:Background: Bioaerosols are a major concern for public health and sampling for exposure assessment purposes is challenging. The nasopharyngeal region could be a potent carrier of long-term bioaerosol exposure agents. This study aimed to evaluate the correlation between nasopharyngeal bacterial flora of swine workers and the swine barns bioaerosol biodiversity. Methods: Air samples from eight swine barns as well as nasopharyngeal swabs from pig workers (n = 25) and from a non-exposed control group (n = 29) were sequenced using 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing. Wastewater treatment plants were used as the industrial, low-dust, non-agricultural environment control to validate the microbial link between the bioaerosol content (air) and the nasopharynxes of workers. Results: A multivariate analysis showed air samples and nasopharyngeal flora of pig workers cluster together, compared to the non-exposed control group. The significance was confirmed with the PERMANOVA statistical test (p-value of 0.0001). Unlike the farm environment, nasopharynx samples from wastewater workers did not cluster with air samples from wastewater treatment plants. The difference in the microbial community of nasopharynx of swine workers and a control group suggest that swine workers are carriers of germs found in bioaerosols. Conclusion: Nasopharynx sampling and microbiota could be used as a proxy of air sampling for exposure assessment studies or for the determination of exposure markers in highly contaminated agricultural environments.