*School of Pathology (Research Outputs)

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    ABBV744 as a potential inhibitor of SARSCoV2 main protease enzyme against COVID19
    (Nature Research) Zeynab Fakhar; Shama Khan; Afrah Alkhuriji; Suliman Y. AlOmar; Aijaz Ahmad
    A new pathogen severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2) has spread worldwide and become pandemic with thousands new deaths and infected cases globally. To address coronavirus disease (COVID‑19), currently no effective drug or vaccine is available. This necessity motivated us to explore potential lead compounds by considering drug repurposing approach targeting main protease (Mpro) enzyme of SARS‑CoV‑2. This enzyme considered to be an attractive drug target as it contributes significantly in mediating viral replication and transcription. Herein, comprehensive computational investigations were performed to identify potential inhibitors of SARS‑CoV‑2 Mpro enzyme. The structure‑based pharmacophore modeling was developed based on the co‑crystallized structure of the enzyme with its biological active inhibitor. The generated hypotheses were applied for virtual screening based PhaseScore. Docking based virtual screening workflow was used to generate hit compounds using HTVS, SP and XP based Glide GScore. The pharmacological and physicochemical properties of the selected lead compounds were characterized using ADMET. Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to explore the binding affinities of the considered lead compounds. Binding energies revealed that compound ABBV‑744 binds to the Mpro with strong affinity (ΔGbind −45.43 kcal/mol), and the complex is more stable in comparison with other protein–ligand complexes. Our study classified three best compounds which could be considered as promising inhibitors against main protease SARS‑CoV‑2 virus
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    HIV1 resupression on a firstline regimen despite the prescence of phenotypic drug resistance
    (Public Library of Science) Adriaan Basson; Salome Charalambous; Christopher Hoffmann; Lynn Morris
    We have previously reported on HIV-1 infected patients who fail anti-retroviral therapy but manage to re-suppress without a regimen change despite harbouring major drug resistance mutations. Here we explore phenotypic drug resistance in such patients in order to better understand this phenomenon. Patients (n = 71) failing a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based regimen, but who subsequently re-suppressed on the same regimen, were assessed for HIV-1 genotypic drug resistance through Sanger sequencing. A subset (n =23) of these samples, as well as genotypically matched samples from patients who did not re-suppress (n = 19), were further assessed for phenotypic drug resistance in an in vitro single cycle assay. Half of the patients (n = 36/71, 51%) harboured genotypic drug resistance, with M184V(n=18/36,50%)andK103N(n=16/36,44%)being the most prevalent mutations. No significant difference in the median time to re-suppression (31–39 weeks) were observed for either group (p = 0.41). However, re-suppressors with mutant virus rebounded significantly earlier than those with wild-type virus (16 vs. 33 weeks; p = 0.014). Similar phenotypic drug resistance profiles were observed between patients who re-suppressed and patients who failed to re-suppress. While most remained susceptible to stavudine (d4T) and zidovudine (AZT), both groups showed a reduced susceptibility to 3TC and NNRTIs. HIV- 1 infected patients on an NNRTI-based regimen can achieve viral re-suppression on the same regimen despite harbouring viruses with genotypic and phenotypic drug resistance. However, re-suppression was less durable in those with resistance, reinforcing the importance of appropriate regimen choices, ongoing viral load monitoring and adherence counselling.
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    The Novel Coronavirus and Haemostatic abnormalities pathophysiology clinical manifesttations and treatment recommendations
    Susan Louw; Barry Jacobson; Elizabeth Mayne; Tracey Wiggill
    The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-C0V-2 virus, was initially considered and managed in a similar manner to the previous SARS epidemic as they are both caused by coronaviruses. What has now become apparent is that a major cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 is abnormal thrombosis. This thrombosis occurs on a macro- and microvascular level and is unique to this disease. The virus has been demonstrated in the endothelium of the pulmonary alveoli and as such is thought to contribute to the devastating respiratory complications encountered. D-dimer concentrations are frequently raised in COVID to levels not frequently seen previously. The optimal anticoagulation treatment in COVID remains to be determined, and the myriad of pathophysiologic effects caused by this virus in the human host have also yet to be fully elucidated.
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    Overview of the Haematological effects of COVID19 infection
    Wiggill, Tracey M.; Mayne, Elizabeth S.; Vaughan, Jenifer L.; Louw, Susan
    From its early origins, COVID-19 has spread extensively and was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in March of 2020. Although initially thought to be predominantly a respiratory infection, more recent evidence points to a multisystem systemic disease which is associated with numerous haematological and immunological disturbances in addition to its other effects. Here we review the current knowledge on the haematological effects of COVID-19.
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    Blood pressure measurements in the ankle are not equivalent to blood pressure measurements in the arm
    (2014-12) Goldstein, L.N.; Wells, M.; Sliwa, K.
    Background. Blood pressure (BP) is often measured on the ankle in the emergency department (ED), but this has never been shown to be an acceptable alternative to measurements performed on the arm. Objective. To establish whether the differences between arm and ankle non-invasive BP measurements were clinically relevant (i.e. a difference of ≥10 mmHg). Methods. This was a prospective cross-sectional study in an urban ED making use of a convenience sample of 201 patients (18 - 50 years of age) who were not in need of emergency medical treatment. BP was measured in the supine position on both arms and ankles with the correct size cuff according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. The arm and ankle BP measurements were compared. Results. There was a clinically and statistically significant difference between arm and ankle systolic BP (SBP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) (–13 mmHg, 95% confidence interval (CI) –28 - 1 mmHg and –5 mmHg, 95% CI –13 - 4 mmHg, respectively), with less difference in diastolic BP (DBP) (2 mmHg, 95% CI –7 - 10 mmHg). Only 37% of SBP measurements and 83% of MAP measurements were within an error range of 10 mmHg, while 95% of DBP measurements agreed within 10 mmHg. While the average differences (or the bias) were generally not large, large variations in individual patients (indicating poor precision) made the prediction of arm BP from ankle measurements unreliable. Conclusion. Ankle BP cannot be used as a substitute for arm BP in the ED.
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    National sentinel site surveillance for antimicrobial resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates in South Africa, 2010-2012
    (South African Medical Association, 2014-08) Perovic, O.; Singh- Moodley, A.; Duse, A.; Elliott, G.; Bamford, C.; Swe Swe-Han, K.; R Kularatne, R.; Lowman, W.; Whitelaw, A.; Nana, T.; Wadula, J.; Lekalakala, R.; Saif, A.; Marais, E.
    Background: The increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance observed in the nosocomial pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae are of major public health concern worldwide. Objectives: To describe the antibiotic susceptibility profiles of K. pneumoniae isolates from bacteraemic patients submitted by sentinel laboratories in five regions of South Africa from mid-2010 to mid-2012. Molecular methods were used to detect the most commonly found extended-spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase resistance genes. Methods: Thirteen academic centres serving the public healthcare sector in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo and Western Cape provinces submitted K. pneumoniae isolates from patients with bloodstream infections. Vitek 2 and MicroScan instruments were used for organism identification and susceptibility testing. Multiplex polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) were used to detect blaCTX-M, blaSHV and blaTEM genes in a proportion of the ESBL isolates. All isolates exhibiting reduced susceptibility to carbapenems were PCR tested for blaKPC and blaNDM-1 resistance genes. Results: Overall, 68.3% of the 2 774 isolates were ESBL-positive, showing resistance to cefotaxime, ceftazidime and cefepime. Furthermore, 46.5% of all isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin and 33.1% to piperacillin-tazobactam. The major ESBL genes were abundantly present in the sample analysed. Most isolates (95.5%) were susceptible to the carbapenems tested, and no isolates were positive for blaKPC or blaNDM-1. There was a trend towards a decrease in susceptibility to most antibiotics. Conclusion: The high proportion of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates observed, and the prevalence of ESBL genes, are of great concern. Our findings represent a baseline for further surveillance in SA, and can be used for policy and treatment decisions.
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    Laboratory information system data demonstrate successful implementation of the prevention of the mother- child transmission programme in South Africa
    (2014-03) Sherman, G.G.; Lilian, R.R.; Bhardwaj, S.
    Background: Monitoring the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme to identify gaps for early intervention is essential as South Africa progresses from prevention to elimination of HIV infection in children. Early infant diagnosis (EID) by an HIV polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is recommended at 6 weeks of age for all HIV-exposed infants. The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) performs the PCR tests for the public health sector and stores test data in a corporate data warehouse (CDW). Objectives: To demonstrate the utility of laboratory data for monitoring trends in EID coverage and early vertical transmission rates and to describe the scale-up of the EID component of the PMTCT programme. Methods. HIV PCR test data from 2003 to 2012 inclusive were extracted from the NHLS CDW by year, province, age of infant tested and test result and used to calculate EID coverage and early vertical transmission rates to provincial level. Results: Rapid scale-up of EID over the first decade of the PMTCT programme was evident from the 100-fold increase in PCR tests to 350 000 by 2012. In 2012, 73% of the estimated 270 000 HIV-exposed infants requiring an early PCR were tested and the early vertical transmission rate had fallen to 2.4% as a result of successful implementation of the PMTCT programme. Conclusions: Laboratory data can provide real time, affordable monitoring of aspects of the PMTCT programme and assist in achieving virtual elimination of paediatric HIV infection in South Africa.
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    Critical value reporting : a survey of 36 clinical laboratories in South Africa
    (2014-01) Schapkaitz, E.; Mafika, Z.
    Objective: Critical value policies are used by clinical laboratories to decide when to notify caregivers of life-threatening results. Despite their widespread use, critical value policies have not been published locally. A survey was designed to determine critical value policies for haematology tests in South Africa. Methods: A survey was carried out on 136 identified laboratories across South Africa in January 2013. Of these, 36 responded. Data collected included critical value policies, critical values for haematology parameters, and critical value reporting. Results: Of the 36 laboratories surveyed, 11.1% (n=4) were private, 33.3% (n=12) were affiliated to academic institutions and 55.6% (n=20) were peripheral or regional National Health Laboratory Service laboratories. All the laboratories confirmed that they had a critical value policy, and 83.3% of such policies were derived from local clinical opinion. Mean low and high critical limits for the most frequently listed tests were as follows: haemoglobin <6 and >20 g/dl, platelet count <41 and >1 000 ×109 /l, white cell count <2 and >46×109 /l, activated partial thromboplastin time >101 seconds, and international normalised ratio >6. In almost all cases critical value reporting was performed by the technologist on duty (97.2%). The majority of laboratories required that the person notified of the critical value be the doctor who ordered the test or the caregiver directly involved in the patient’s care (83.3%); 73.3% of laboratories indicated that they followed an algorithm if the doctor/caregiver could not be reached. Conclusion: Each laboratory is responsible for establishing clinically relevant critical limits. Clinicians should be involved in developing the laboratory’s critical value policy. The findings of this survey may be of value to local laboratories that are in the process of establishing or reviewing critical value policies