Extramural: Journal Articles

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All papers that are published (or in the process of being published) in a scientific journal by SAMRC staff.

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 407
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    Distribution of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes in HIV-negative and HIV-positive women with cervical intraepithelial lesions in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
    (MDPI, 2021-02-11) Taku, O.; Mbulawa, Z.Z.A.; Phohlo, K.; Garcia-Jardon, M.; Businge, C.B.; Williamson, A.; Zizipho Z. A. Mbulawa: SAMRC Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7925, South Africa.
    South African women have a high rate of cervical cancer cases, but there are limited data on human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa. A total of 193 cervical specimens with confirmed CIN from women aged 18 years or older, recruited from a referral hospital, were tested for HPV infection. The cervical specimens, smeared onto FTA cards, were screened for 36 HPV types using an HPV direct flow kit. HPV prevalence was 93.5% (43/46) in CIN2 and 96.6% (142/147) in CIN3. HIV-positive women had a significantly higher HPV prevalence than HIV-negative women (98.0% vs. 89.1%, p = 0.012). The prevalence of multiple types was significantly higher in HIV-positive than HIV-negative women (p = 0.034). The frequently detected genotypes were HPV35 (23.9%), HPV58 (23.9%), HPV45 (19.6%), and HPV16 (17.3%) in CIN2 cases, while in CIN3, HPV35 (22.5%), HPV16 (21.8%), HPV33 (15.6%), and HPV58 (14.3%) were the most common identified HPV types, independent of HIV status. The prevalence of HPV types targeted by the nonavalent HPV vaccine was 60.9% and 68.7% among women with CIN2 and CIN3, respectively, indicating that vaccination would have an impact both in HIV-negative and HIV-positive South African women, although it will not provide full protection in preventing HPV infection and cervical cancer lesions.
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    Approaches, achievements, challenges, and lessons learned in setting up an urban-based health and demographic surveillance system in South Africa
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-01-01) Adedini, S.A.; Thaele, D.; Sello, M.; Mutevedzi, P.; Hywinya, C.; Ngwenya, N.; Myburgh, N.; Madhi, S.A.; Sunday A Adedini, Dineo Thaele, Matshidiso Sello, Portia Mutevedzi, Cleopas Hywinya, Nonhlanhla Ngwenya, Nellie Myburgh, Shabir A Madhi: Medical Research Council: Vaccine and Infectious Disease Analytics Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand , Johannesburg, South Africa
    Reliable civil registration and vital statistics (CRVSs) are essential for estimating mortality rates and population changes, and are critical for public health and socio-economic planning. CRVSs are largely incomplete in Africa, thus Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSSs) fill gaps in CRVSs, albeit existing HDSSs in South Africa are in rural areas. This limits the generalisability of such data in a country such as South Africa where over 60% live in urban areas, and where there are limitations to access health and social services. We describe the approaches, achievements, challenges and lessons learned in setting up a HDSS site in Soweto and Thembelihle (SaT-HDSS), Johannesburg; which is the first urban-based HDSS in Southern Africa. We also highlight a number of studies being implemented in the HDSS. In 2017-2020, the HDSS has enrolled 124,169 individuals and followed up 95% of this population through 3 rounds of data collection. Several challenges were encountered during the initiation of the HDSS, including difficulties in community mobilisation and entry, stakeholders' engagement and participation, inaccessibility problems and concerns about safety of fieldworkers, and difficulty in getting/recruiting technical staff with requisite experience. Nevertheless, the SaT-HDSS was successfully established through application of several strategies, including continuous community engagement and stakeholders' mobilisation; in-depth training and retraining of all study staff; technical support from well-established HDSS sites across Africa, and international academic collaborations. Despite the challenges of undertaking routine surveillance of a hard-to-reach and highly mobile population, the SaT-HDSS was successfully established with a high-retention rate. The HDSS offers an important lens on morbidity and mortality and serves as a platform for pilots of interventions and programmes aimed at improving health and well-being of an urban population.
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    The value of navigators in breast cancer management in a South African hospital
    (Springer Nature, 2021) Čačala, S.R.; Farrow, H.; Makhanya, S.; Couch, D.G.; Joffe, M.; Stopforth, L.; M Joffe: MRC Developmental Pathways To Health Research Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
    Background: Specialist breast cancer nurses (BCNs) have improved the psychological care and follow-up rates of breast cancer (BC) patients. This study sought to determine if breast cancer research workers (BCRWs) as de facto BCNs impacted patients' adherence to treatment by comparing groups with and without these patient navigators; hence assessing our need for BCNs. Methods: Two groups BC patients booked for primary chemotherapy compared. Study group 1 (SG1): no BCRWs/BCNs. Study group 2 (SG2): BCRWs involvement. Assessment of numbers completing primary chemotherapy, undergoing surgery post-neoadjuvant chemotherapy and BCRWs interventions. Results: SG1: n = 281, 25-89y, mean 52.7y, Stage 4: 35.6%, Stage 3: 64.4%. SG2: n = 154, 21-85y, mean 52.6y, Stage 4: 47.4%, Stage 3: 43.3%, Stage 2: 9%. Primary chemotherapy not completed SG1: 40.2% (113) versus SG2: 13.5% (21); p < 0.00001. SG1: 88% not completing were lost to follow-up. Excluding peri-chemotherapy deaths and discontinuation: SG1: 37.1% did not complete chemotherapy versus SG2: 2.6%, p < 0.00001. SG2: BCRWs: 107 interventions for 58 (37.7%) patients. Therapeutic breast surgery SG1: 103/181 (56.9%) versus SG2: 66/81 (81.5%); p < 0.0001. SG1: main reasons for not having surgery: lost to follow-up during (n = 58) or after (n = 9) chemotherapy. Follow-up SG2: 12-43 months, mortality: 52% (80/154), no lost to follow-ups. SG1: No mortality data. Conclusions: In our setting, BC patients often do not attend or complete treatments. In this study, BCRWs as de-facto BCNs were beneficial for BC patient care, improving chemotherapy compliance and therapeutic surgical interventions. This highlights the need for BCNs for the management of BC patients in South Africa.
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    Quality indicators for the diagnosis and surgical management of breast cancer in South Africa
    (Elsevier, 2020-12) Nietz, S.; Ruff, P.; Chen, W.C.; O'Neil, D.S.; Norris, S.A.; Wenlong Carl Chen: Noncommunicable Diseases Research Division, Wits Health Consortium (PTY) Ltd, Johannesburg, South Africa
    Introduction: Quality indicators (QIs) for breast cancer care have been developed and applied in high-income countries and contributed to improved quality of care and patient outcomes over time. Materials and methods: A modified Delphi process was used to derive expert consensus. Potential QIs were rated by a panel of 17 breast cancer experts from various subspecialties and across South African provinces. Each QI was rated according to importance to measure, scientific acceptability and feasibility. Scoring ranged from 1 (no agreement) to 5 (strong agreement). Inclusion thresholds were set a priori at mean ratings ≥4 with a coefficient variation of ≥25%. Levels of evidence were determined for each indicator. Results: The literature review identified 790 potential QIs. After categorisation and removal of duplicates, 52 remained for panel review. There was strong consensus for 47 which were merged to 30 QIs by exclusion of similar indicators and indicator grouping. The final set included eight QIs with level I or II evidence and two QIs with level III evidence which were deemed "mandatory" due to clinical priority and impact on care. The remaining QIs with lower-level evidence were grouped as eight "recommended" QIs (regarded as standard of care) and twelve "optional" QIs (not regarded as standard of care). Conclusion: A regional set of QIs was developed to facilitate standardised treatment and auditing of surgical care for breast cancer patients in South Africa. Routine monitoring of the ten mandatory QIs, which were selected to have the most substantial impact on patient outcome, is proposed.
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    Acceptability of self- collection for human papillomavirus detection in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
    (PLoS One, 2020-11-10) Taku, O.; Meiring, T.L.; Gustavsson, I.; Phohlo, K.; Garcia-Jardon, M.; Mbulawa, Z.Z.A.; Businge, C.B.; Gyllensten, U.; Williamson, A.L.; Zizipho Z A Mbulawa, Anna-Lise Williamson: SAMRC Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
    Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing on vaginal self-collected and cervical clinician-collected specimens shows comparable performance. Self-sampling on FTA cards is suitable for women residing in rural settings or not attending regular screening and increases participation rate in the cervical cancer screening programme. We aimed to investigate and compare high-risk (HR)-HPV prevalence in clinician-collected and self-collected genital specimens as well as two different HPV tests on the clinician collected samples. A total of 737 women were recruited from two sites, a community health clinic (n = 413) and a referral clinic (n = 324) in the Eastern Cape Province. Cervical clinician-collected (FTA cards and Digene transport medium) and vaginal self-collected specimens were tested for HR-HPV using the hpVIR assay (FTA cards) and Hybrid Capture-2 (Digene transport medium). There was no significant difference in HR-HPV positivity between clinician-collected and self-collected specimens among women from the community-based clinic (26.4% vs 27.9%, p = 0.601) or the referral clinic (83.6% vs 79.9%, p = 0.222). HPV16, HPV35, and HPV33/52/58 group were the most frequently detected genotypes at both study sites. Self-sampling for HPV testing received a high positive response of acceptance (77.2% in the community-based clinic and 83.0% in referral clinic). The overall agreement between hpVIR assay and HC-2 was 87.7% (k = 0.754). The study found good agreement between clinician-collected and self-collected genital specimens. Self-collection can have a positive impact on a cervical screening program in South Africa by increasing coverage of women in rural areas, in particular those unable to visit the clinics and women attending clinics where cytology-based programs are not functioning effectively.