Challenges in the diagnosis of paediatric pneumonia in intervention field trials: recommendations from a pneumonia field trial working group

By Dina Goodman, Mary E Crocker, Farhan Pervaiz, Eric D McCollum,  Kyle Steenland, Suzanne M Simkovich, et al.


The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, December 1, 2019


Pneumonia is a leading killer of children younger than 5 years despite high vaccination coverage, improved nutrition, and widespread implementation of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses algorithm. Assessing the effect of interventions on childhood pneumonia is challenging because the choice of case definition and surveillance approach can affect the identification of pneumonia substantially. In anticipation of an intervention trial aimed to reduce childhood pneumonia by lowering household air pollution, we created a working group to provide recommendations regarding study design and implementation. We suggest to, first, select a standard case definition that combines acute (≤14 days) respiratory symptoms and signs and general danger signs with ancillary tests (such as chest imaging and pulse oximetry) to improve pneumonia identification; second, to prioritise active hospital-based pneumonia surveillance over passive case finding or home-based surveillance to reduce the risk of non-differential misclassification of pneumonia and, as a result, a reduced effect size in a randomised trial; and, lastly, to consider longitudinal follow-up of children younger than 1 year, as this age group has the highest incidence of severe pneumonia.

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Assessment and Validation of Syndromic Case Definitions for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections in Young Infants A Latent Class Analysis

By Lalani, Karim MD; Yildirim, Inci, Phadke, Varun K. MD; Bednarczyk, Robert A.; Omer, Saad B.

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, December 2019


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of pediatric morbidity and mortality worldwide. Standardized case definitions that are applicable to variety of populations are critical for robust surveillance systems to guide decision-making regarding RSV control strategies including vaccine evaluation. Limited data exist on performance of RSV syndromic case definitions among young infants or in high-resource settings.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate existing and potential syndromic case definitions for RSV among young infants in an urban, high-income setting using latent class analyses (LCA).

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Chest ultrasound compared to chest X‐ray for pediatric pulmonary tuberculosis

By Heuvelings CC, Bélard S, Andronikou S, Lederman H, Moodley H, Grobusch MP, Zar HJ.

Pediatric Pulmonology, December 2019


Chest ultrasound is increasingly used to radiologically diagnose childhood pneumonia, but there are limited data on its use for pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB).

 Children (up to 13 years) with suspected PTB were enrolled. Bedside chest ultrasound findings were compared to CXR. The analysis was stratified by PTB category: confirmed PTB (microbiologically confirmed), unconfirmed PTB (clinical diagnosis with negative microbiological tests), or unlikely PTB (other respiratory diseases with improvement without tuberculosis treatment).

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Safety and Efficacy of C-reactive Protein–guided Antibiotic Use to Treat Acute Respiratory Infections in Tanzanian Children: A Planned Subgroup Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Noninferiority Trial Evaluating a Novel Electronic Clinical Decision Algorithm (ePOCT)

By Kristina Keitel, Josephine Samaka, John Masimba, Hosiana Temba, Zamzam Said, Frank Kagoro, Tarsis Mlaganile, Willy Sangu, Blaise Genton, Valerie D’Acremont

Clinical Infectious Diseases, December 2019

This was a randomized (1:1) controlled noninferiority trial in 9 primary care centers in Tanzania (substudy of the ePOCT trial evaluating a novel electronic decision algorithm). Children aged 2–59 months with fever and cough and without life-threatening conditions received an antibiotic based on a CRP-informed strategy (combination of CRP ≥80 mg/L plus age/temperature-corrected tachypnea and/or chest indrawing) or current World Health Organization standard (respiratory rate ≥50 breaths/minute). The primary outcome was clinical failure by day (D) 7; the secondary outcomes were antibiotic prescription at D0, secondary hospitalization, or death by D30.

A total of 1726 children were included (intervention: 868, control: 858; 0.7% lost to follow-up). The proportion of clinical failure by D7 was 2.9% (25/865) in the intervention arm vs 4.8% (41/854) in the control arm (risk difference, –1.9% [95% confidence interval {CI}, –3.7% to –.1%]; risk ratio [RR], 0.60 [95% CI, .37–.98]). Twenty of 865 (2.3%) children in the intervention arm vs 345 of 854 (40.4%) in the control arm received antibiotics at D0 (RR, 0.06 [95% CI, .04–.09]). There were fewer secondary hospitalizations and deaths in the CRP arm: 0.5% (4/865) vs 1.5% (13/854) (RR, 0.30 [95% CI, .10–.93])..

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Rapid detection of respiratory organisms with FilmArray respiratory panel and its impact on clinical decisions in Shanghai, China, 2016‐2018

By Yiyi Qian, Jingwen Ai, Jing Wu, Shenglei Yu, Peng Cui, Yan Gao, Jialin Jin, Xinhua Weng, Wenhong Zhang

Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses., December 1,  2019

In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic potential and clinical impact of an automated multiplex PCR platform (the FilmArray Respiratory Panel; FA-RP), specially designed for pathogen detection in respiratory tract infections in adults with unexplained pneumonia (UP).

Between October 2016 and March 2018, the positive rate obtained using FA-RP for UP was 76.8%. The primary pathogens in adults with UP were Influenza A/B (47.3%, 53/112). Compared with the patients before FA-RP was available, patients who underwent FA-RP testing had higher rates of antiviral drug use and antibiotic de-escalation during clinical treatment. FA-RP significantly decreased the total DDDs of antibiotic or antifungal drugs DDDs by 7 days after admission (10.6 ± 2.5 vs 14.1 ± 8.8, P < .01).

The FA-RP is a rapid and sensitive nucleic acid amplification test method for UP diagnosis in adults. The application of FA-RP may lead to a more accurately targeted antimicrobial treatment and reduced use of antibiotic/antifungal drugs.

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