Next Issue
Volume 13, September
Previous Issue
Volume 13, March
 
 

Infect. Dis. Rep., Volume 13, Issue 2 (June 2021) – 26 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The COVID-19 virus has caused an ongoing pandemic and received large global attention. However, spreading of false news on social media sites, such as Twitter, is creating unnecessary anxiety towards this disease. This study analyzes tweets by Indian netizens during the COVID-19 lockdown. Data analysis was conducted by the Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) model, which is a new deep-learning model for text analysis and performance, and was compared with three other models, i.e., logistic regression (LR), support vector machines (SVM), and long short-term memory (LSTM). Our findings present the high prevalence of keywords and associated terms among Indian tweets during COVID-19. Furthermore, this work clarifies the public opinion on pandemics and intends to lead public health authorities towards a better society. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Global Temporal Patterns of Age Group and Sex Distributions of COVID-19
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 582-596; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020054 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4359
Abstract
Since the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 has been the biggest public health crisis in the world. To help develop appropriate public health measures and deploy corresponding resources, many governments have been actively tracking COVID-19 in real time within their jurisdictions. However, one of [...] Read more.
Since the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 has been the biggest public health crisis in the world. To help develop appropriate public health measures and deploy corresponding resources, many governments have been actively tracking COVID-19 in real time within their jurisdictions. However, one of the key unresolved issues is whether COVID-19 was distributed differently among different age groups and between the two sexes in the ongoing pandemic. The objectives of this study were to use publicly available data to investigate the relative distributions of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among age groups and between the sexes throughout 2020; and to analyze temporal changes in the relative frequencies of COVID-19 for each age group and each sex. Fifteen countries reported age group and/or sex data of patients with COVID-19. Our analyses revealed that different age groups and sexes were distributed differently in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. However, there were differences among countries in both their age group and sex distributions. Though there was no consistent temporal change across all countries for any age group or either sex in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, several countries showed statistically significant patterns. We discuss the potential mechanisms for these observations, the limitations of this study, and the implications of our results on the management of this ongoing pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Case Report
Chromobacterium violaceum Periareolar Infection, First Non-Lethal Case in Colombia: Case Report and Literature Review
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 571-581; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020053 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3395
Abstract
Chromobacterium violaceum is a facultative anaerobic, Gram-negative rod found in different ecosystems, especially tropical and subtropical areas. Human infections are rare, and just a few cases have been reported in literature. In this paper, we present the first non-lethal infection due to Chromobacterium [...] Read more.
Chromobacterium violaceum is a facultative anaerobic, Gram-negative rod found in different ecosystems, especially tropical and subtropical areas. Human infections are rare, and just a few cases have been reported in literature. In this paper, we present the first non-lethal infection due to Chromobacterium violaceum, in an adult male with polycystic kidney disease in Colombia. Periareolar soft tissue infection was documented with isolation of Chromobacterium violaceum. Clinical manifestations, treatment, and outcome are shown. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Point Process Models for the Spread of Coccidioidomycosis in California
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 558-570; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020052 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2630
Abstract
Coccidioidomycosis is an infectious disease of humans and other mammals that has seen a recent increase in occurrence in the southwestern United States, particularly in California. A rise in cases and risk to public health can serve as the impetus to apply newly [...] Read more.
Coccidioidomycosis is an infectious disease of humans and other mammals that has seen a recent increase in occurrence in the southwestern United States, particularly in California. A rise in cases and risk to public health can serve as the impetus to apply newly developed methods that can quickly and accurately predict future caseloads. The recursive and Hawkes point process models with various triggering functions were fit to the data and their goodness of fit evaluated and compared. Although the point process models were largely similar in their fit to the data, the recursive point process model offered a slightly superior fit. We explored forecasting the spread of coccidioidomycosis in California from December 2002 to December 2017 using this recursive model, and we separated the training and testing portions of the data and achieved a root mean squared error of just 3.62 cases/week. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Infections)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Case Series of Diarrheal Diseases Associated with Yersinia frederiksenii
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 552-557; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020051 - 13 Jun 2021
Viewed by 3100
Abstract
To date, Yersinia pestis, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are the three Yersinia species generally agreed to be pathogenic in humans. However, there are a limited number of studies that suggest some of the “non-pathogenic” Yersinia species may also cause infections. [...] Read more.
To date, Yersinia pestis, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are the three Yersinia species generally agreed to be pathogenic in humans. However, there are a limited number of studies that suggest some of the “non-pathogenic” Yersinia species may also cause infections. For instance, Yersinia frederiksenii used to be known as an atypical Y. enterocolitica strain until rhamnose biochemical testing was found to distinguish between these two species in the 1980s. From our regional microbiology laboratory records of 18 hospitals in Eastern Ontario, Canada from 1 May 2018 to 1 May 2021, we identified two patients with Y. frederiksenii isolates in their stool cultures, along with their clinical presentation and antimicrobial management. Both patients presented with diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting for 5 days before presentation to hospital. One patient received a 10-day course of sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim; his Y. frederiksenii isolate was shown to be susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanate, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, but resistant to ampicillin. The other patient was sent home from the emergency department and did not require antimicrobials and additional medical attention. This case series illustrated that diarrheal disease could be associated with Y. frederiksenii; the need for antimicrobial treatment should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
Article
Potential Misdiagnosis between COVID-19 and Dengue Infection Using Rapid Serological Test
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 540-551; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020050 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4326
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that has a significant rapid transmission is an international public health concern. Several dengue-endemic countries reported similar clinical and laboratory features between COVID-19 and dengue in the early incubation period, and thus discerning the infection is difficult. [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that has a significant rapid transmission is an international public health concern. Several dengue-endemic countries reported similar clinical and laboratory features between COVID-19 and dengue in the early incubation period, and thus discerning the infection is difficult. As a dengue-endemic country, Indonesia also poses the same challenge during the COVID-19 outbreak. This current study analyzed the IgG and IgM profiles from COVID-19 patients by using a serological SARS-CoV-2 and dengue rapid test. In addition, 38 sera from healthy individuals (pre-COVID-19 date) were analyzed using a dengue rapid test. Among 120 samples, 4 samples indicated dengue IgG positive. However, IgM, NS1, and RT-PCR analyses showed negative results. Interestingly, regarding seropositivity of NS1 and DENV IgG from healthy individuals (pre COVID-19 infection), two samples were positive DENV IgG, while one of them was positive NS1. This suggested that in the dengue-endemic area, many people have already experienced dengue and have immunity against dengue virus. There is also the possibility of antibody cross-reactivity between COVID-19 and dengue infection. This also emphasizes the high demand for a rapid method with high sensitivity and specificity that can distinguish between SARS-CoV-2 and dengue. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Diagnosis of Herpes Simplex Virus: Laboratory and Point-of-Care Techniques
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 518-539; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020049 - 02 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 7934
Abstract
Herpes is a widespread viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that has no permanent cure to date. There are two subtypes, HSV-1 and HSV-2, that are known to cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from acute to chronic. HSV is [...] Read more.
Herpes is a widespread viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that has no permanent cure to date. There are two subtypes, HSV-1 and HSV-2, that are known to cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from acute to chronic. HSV is highly contagious and can be transmitted via any type of physical contact. Additionally, viral shedding can also happen from asymptomatic infections. Thus, early and accurate detection of HSV is needed to prevent the transmission of this infection. Herpes can be diagnosed in two ways, by either detecting the presence of the virus in lesions or the antibodies in the blood. Different detection techniques are available based on both laboratory and point of care (POC) devices. Laboratory techniques include different biochemical assays, microscopy, and nucleic acid amplification. In contrast, POC techniques include microfluidics-based tests that enable on-spot testing. Here, we aim to review the different diagnostic techniques, both laboratory-based and POC, their limits of detection, sensitivity, and specificity, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Cardiac Involvement in COVID-19 Patients: A Contemporary Review
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 494-517; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020048 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4541
Abstract
Background: The widely variable clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV2 disease (COVID-19) range from asymptomatic infections to multiple organ failure and death. Among the organs affected is the heart. This does not only affect people who already have previous cardiovascular problems, but also healthy [...] Read more.
Background: The widely variable clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV2 disease (COVID-19) range from asymptomatic infections to multiple organ failure and death. Among the organs affected is the heart. This does not only affect people who already have previous cardiovascular problems, but also healthy people. This is a reason not to overlook any symptoms or to perform targeted examinations, even if apparently unrelated to the heart, for quick recognition and timely therapy. Aim of the study: This review recapitulates the current state of knowledge on the potential mechanisms and manifestation of myocarditis in patients with COVID-19 infection. Methods: A web-based search of published data was performed for all relevant studies on patients diagnosed with a COVID-19-induced acute myocarditis, and a total of 50 reports were included. The analysis of the studies evaluated highlights a male predominance, with the average age of patients being 55 years. The most common presenting symptoms included fever, shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain. Among ECG changes, non-specific ST-segment and T-wave amplitude alterations and ventricular tachycardia episodes were reported. Finally, we wanted to use a general evaluation without distinguishing between various countries, taking into consideration only the peer or reviewer, regardless of the declared value of the journals that have been published. Results and critical findings: The most common presenting symptoms included fever, shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain. Among ECG changes, non-specific ST-segment and T-wave amplitude alterations and ventricular tachycardia episodes were reported. In most patients, elevated levels of cardiac and inflammatory biomarkers were measured. Left ventricular dysfunction and hypokinesis were commonly exhibited symptoms. Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CMRI) confirmed the diagnosis of myocarditis with features of cardiac edema and cardiac injury. Nine patients underwent histopathological examination. Treatment with corticosteroids and immunoglobulins was the most applied strategy following the administration of antivirals. Discussion: Despite the exponentially growing knowledge on the management of COVID-19 infection, current available data on SARS-CoV2-correlated myocarditis are still limited, and several difficulties may be encountered in the differential diagnosis of acute myocarditis in the context of COVID-19 disease. Conclusions: While diagnostic criteria and evaluation strategies for myocarditis are well described, no guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of myocarditis in COVID-19 patients have yet been established. Therefore, further research is needed to advance the understanding of this disease process and define the most appropriate strategic approach in these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Brief Report
Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Social Representations of a University Community in Endemic Outbreaks
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 486-493; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020047 - 30 May 2021
Viewed by 2825
Abstract
(1) Background: Studying social representations as lay theories allows for a better understanding of the common sense knowledge constructed around mosquito-borne diseases and the impact this may have on attitudes and behaviors. (2) Methods: A hierarchical evocation questionnaire was circulated through an Australian [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Studying social representations as lay theories allows for a better understanding of the common sense knowledge constructed around mosquito-borne diseases and the impact this may have on attitudes and behaviors. (2) Methods: A hierarchical evocation questionnaire was circulated through an Australian academic community and analyzed by prototypical analysis and correspondence factor analysis. (3) Results: Representational areas are regulated by participant age and whether or not they had contracted a mosquito-borne disease. (4) Conclusions: Collecting and understanding social representations has the potential to help social actors implement strategies that encourage people to access information and adopt behaviors in line with the scientific reality of the phenomenon, rather than limiting lay theories. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Predicting of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Epidemic Using Estimation of Parameters in the Logistic Growth Model
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 465-485; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020046 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2889
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic was impacting the health and economy around the world. All countries have taken measures to control the spread of the epidemic. Because it is not known when the epidemic will end in several countries, then the prediction of the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic was impacting the health and economy around the world. All countries have taken measures to control the spread of the epidemic. Because it is not known when the epidemic will end in several countries, then the prediction of the COVID-19 pandemic is a very important challenge. This study has predicted the temporal evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in several countries using the logistic growth model. This model has analyzed several countries to describe the epidemic situation of these countries. The time interval of the actual data used as a comparison with the prediction results of this model was starting in the firstly confirmed COVID-19 cases to December 2020. This study examined an approach to the complexity spread of the COVID-19 pandemic using the logistic growth model formed from an ordinary differential equation. This model described the time-dependent population growth rate characterized by the three parameters of the analytical solution. The non-linear least-squares method was used to estimate the three parameters. These parameters described the rate growth constant of infected cases and the total number of confirmed cases in the final phase of the epidemic. This model is applied to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in several countries. The prediction results show the spread dynamics of COVID-19 infected cases which are characterized by time-dependent dynamics. In this study, the proposed model provides estimates for the model parameters that are good for predicting the COVID-19 pandemic because they correspond to actual data for all analyzed countries. It is based on the coefficient of determination, R2, and the R2 value of more than 95% which is obtained from the non-linear curves for all analyzed countries. It shows that this model has the potential to contribute to better public health policy-making in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
Mycobacterium Avium Complex Genitourinary Infections: Case Report and Literature Review
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 454-464; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020045 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3184
Abstract
Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) genitourinary (GU) infections are relatively rare, and there is frequently a delay in diagnosis. Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex (MAC) cases seem to be less frequent than other NTM as a cause of these infections. In addition, there are no set treatment [...] Read more.
Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) genitourinary (GU) infections are relatively rare, and there is frequently a delay in diagnosis. Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex (MAC) cases seem to be less frequent than other NTM as a cause of these infections. In addition, there are no set treatment guidelines for these organisms in the GU tract. Given the limitations of data this review summarizes a case presentation of this infection and the literature available on the topic. Many different antimicrobial regimens and durations have been used in the published literature. While the infrequency of these infections suggests that there will not be randomized controlled trials to determine optimal therapy, our case suggests that a brief course of amikacin may play a useful role in those who cannot tolerate other antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Diseases)
Case Report
Fanconi Syndrome Leading to Hypophosphatemic Osteomalacia Related to Tenofovir Use
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 448-453; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020044 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3610
Abstract
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is used worldwide to treat and prevent Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. Fanconi syndrome is a complication of TDF use and is characterized by inadequate reabsorption of glucose, phosphate and protein in the proximal tubule of the kidney which [...] Read more.
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is used worldwide to treat and prevent Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. Fanconi syndrome is a complication of TDF use and is characterized by inadequate reabsorption of glucose, phosphate and protein in the proximal tubule of the kidney which may eventually lead to osteomalacia manifested by symptoms of pain, muscular weakness and difficulty ambulating. We present a patient with severe osteomalacia due to progressive and unrecognized Fanconi’s syndrome, who responded rapidly to TDF withdrawal, oral phosphate repletion and calcitriol. With the widespread use of TDF-containing antiviral regimens, it is critically important that physicians adhere to screening recommendations to detect early Fanconi syndrome, and recognize symptoms of osteomalacia as a serious complication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
Transgender Person and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV: A Renal Dilemma
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 444-447; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020043 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 3465
Abstract
Sexual health care for transgender people is often inadequate and not addressed. Targeted prevention approaches that respond to the specific needs of transgender individuals are essential to reducing HIV infections. HIV prophylaxis is a proven intervention in the prevention of HIV among high-risk [...] Read more.
Sexual health care for transgender people is often inadequate and not addressed. Targeted prevention approaches that respond to the specific needs of transgender individuals are essential to reducing HIV infections. HIV prophylaxis is a proven intervention in the prevention of HIV among high-risk populations. However, creatinine clearance is one major determining factor in prescribing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. One of the variables used in the equation to calculate creatinine clearance is gender. Additionally, regarding transgender people, gender-affirming hormonal therapy also alters the clearance by modifying other variables, such as muscle mass. Here, we present the case of a 58-year-old designated female at birth, who transitioned to male 15 months ago, currently using testosterone, and had presented to the clinic requesting HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, due to his anticipation of new sexual partners soon. He was initially denied HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, due to lower estimated creatinine clearance when calculated per his natal assigned gender. The transgender population requires effective HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, dependent on creatinine clearance, that is dictated by many factors, considering the high prevalence rate. Therefore, validation of eGFR equations in the transgender population is of utmost importance to ensure optimal decision-making and provision of health care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Case Report
Remdesivir Treatment for COVID 19 in Pregnant Patients with Moderate to Severe Symptoms: Serial Case Report
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 437-443; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020042 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4844
Abstract
Introduction: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection that causes novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a major health problem worldwide and been declared a pandemic since March 2020 by WHO. One special population that poses a challenge is pregnant [...] Read more.
Introduction: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection that causes novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a major health problem worldwide and been declared a pandemic since March 2020 by WHO. One special population that poses a challenge is pregnant women with COVID-19. There have not been many studies related to COVID-19 in pregnancy. In this study, we present five serial cases of Remdesivir treatment for COVID-19 in pregnant women with moderate to severe symptoms. Case Illustration: We briefly describe five serial cases being treated with Remdesivir therapy during hospitalization. Four cases were delivered by cesarean section, and one was delivered vaginally in gestation week 37. All cases showed a shortened duration of hospitalization, rapid improvement in clinical symptoms, and no adverse events were observed in mothers, fetuses, and neonates. Discussion: Remdesivir, an inhibitor RNA Polymerase, has been used in COVID-19 treatment and is known to shorten recovery time in nonpregnant women. Some studies have shown no adverse effects on Remdesivir for pregnant women. Based on randomized control trial (RCT) during the Ebola epidemic, Remdesivir was safe to use for pregnant women. All cases showed reduced hospitalization time and better clinical outcomes without maternal, fetal, or neonatal adverse events. Conclusion: Remdesivir protocol for pregnant women with moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19 has resulted in better clinical improvement with a shorter recovery period and no adverse effects during the hospitalization period. Further studies and RCT are warranted to evaluate the biosafety and effects of Remdesivir in pregnant women. Full article
Review
COVID-19 Vaccination in Developing Nations: Challenges and Opportunities for Innovation
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 429-436; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020041 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6745
Abstract
Vaccines offer a hope toward ending the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV2. Mass vaccination of the global population offers hope to curb the spread. Developing nations, however, face monumental challenges in procurement, allocation, distribution and uptake of vaccines. Inequities in vaccine supply are [...] Read more.
Vaccines offer a hope toward ending the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV2. Mass vaccination of the global population offers hope to curb the spread. Developing nations, however, face monumental challenges in procurement, allocation, distribution and uptake of vaccines. Inequities in vaccine supply are already evident with resource-rich nations having secured a large chunk of the available vaccine doses for 2021. Once supplies are made available, vaccines will have to be distributed and administered to entire populations—with considerations for individual risk level, remote geography, cultural and socio-economic factors. This would require logistical and trained personnel support that can be hard to come by for resource-poor nations. Several vaccines also require ultra-cold temperatures for storage and transport and therefore the need for specialized equipment and reliable power supply which may also not be readily available. Lastly, attention will need to be paid to ensuring adequate uptake of vaccines since vaccine hesitancy has already been reported for COVID vaccines. However, existing strengths of local and regional communities can be leveraged to provide innovative solutions and mitigate some of the challenges. Regional and international cooperation can also play a big role in ensuring equity in vaccine access and vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Immunology and Vaccines)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Google Trend Analysis and Paradigm Shift of Online Education Platforms during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 418-428; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020040 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 6890
Abstract
Objective: The largest pandemic in history, the COVID-19 pandemic, has been declared a doomsday globally. The second wave spreading worldwide has devastating consequences in every sector of life. Several measures to contain and curb its infection have forged significant challenges for the education [...] Read more.
Objective: The largest pandemic in history, the COVID-19 pandemic, has been declared a doomsday globally. The second wave spreading worldwide has devastating consequences in every sector of life. Several measures to contain and curb its infection have forged significant challenges for the education community. With an estimated 1.6 billion learners, the closure of schools and other educational institutions has impacted more than 90% of students worldwide from the elementary to tertiary level. Methods: In a view to studying impacts on student’s fraternity, this article aims at addressing alternative ways of educating—more specifically, online education—through the analysis of Google trends for the past year. The study analyzed the platforms of online teaching and learning systems that have been enabling remote learning, thereby limiting the impact on the education system. Thorough text analysis is performed on an existing dataset from Kaggle to retrieve insight on the clustering of words that are more often looked at during this pandemic to find the general patterns of their occurrence. Findings: The results show that the coronavirus patients are the most trending patterns in word search clustering, with the education system being at the control and preventive measures to bring equilibrium in the system of education. There has been significant growth in online platforms in the last year. Existing assets of educational establishments have effectively converted conventional education into new-age online education with the help of virtual classes and other key online tools in this continually fluctuating scholastic setting. The effective usage of teaching tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, and WebEx are the most used online platforms for the conduction of classes, and whiteboard software tools and learning apps such as Vedantu, Udemy, Byju’s, and Whitehat Junior have been big market players in the education system over the pandemic year, especially in India. Conclusions: The article helps to draw a holistic approach of ongoing online teaching-learning methods during the lockdown and also highlights changes that took place in the conventional education system amid the COVID pandemic to overcome the persisting disruption in academic activities and to ensure correct perception towards the online procedure as a normal course of action in the new educational system. To fill in the void of classroom learning and to minimize the virus spread over the last year, digital learning in various schools and colleges has been emphasized, leading to a significant increase in the usage of whiteboard software platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Prevention and Control)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) Newborn Colonization in a Portuguese Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Epidemiology and Infection Prevention and Control Measures
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 411-417; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020039 - 01 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3249
Abstract
Infections due to carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) are increasing worldwide and are especially concerning in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Risk factors for CPE gut colonization in neonates need to be clarified. In this work, we describe the epidemiological and clinical features of [...] Read more.
Infections due to carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) are increasing worldwide and are especially concerning in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Risk factors for CPE gut colonization in neonates need to be clarified. In this work, we describe the epidemiological and clinical features of CPE-colonized newborns and the infection control measures in a Portuguese NICU. We performed a prospective, observational, longitudinal, cohort study for surveillance of CPE colonization. Maternal and neonatal features of colonized newborns and surveillance strategy were described. A statistical analysis was performed with SPSS23.0, and significance was indicated by p-value ≤ 0.05. Between March and November 2019, CPE was isolated in 5.8% of 173 admitted neonates. Carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae were the most frequently isolated. There was no associated infection. Birth weight, gestational age, length of stay, and days of central line were the identified risk factors for CPE colonization (bivariate analysis with Student’s t-test or Mann–Whitney U test, according to normality). No independent risk factors for CPE colonization were identified in the logistic regression analysis. CPE colonization risk factors are still to be determined accurately in the neonatal population. Active surveillance and continuous infection control measures restrained the current cluster of colonized newborns and helped to prevent infection and future outbreaks. Full article
Article
Antimicrobial Susceptibility among Pathogens Isolated in Early- versus Late-Onset Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 401-410; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020038 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3021
Abstract
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is associated with increased hospital stay and high morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. The aims of this study were to (i) determine the incidence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens in the first episodes of VAP and to assess potential [...] Read more.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is associated with increased hospital stay and high morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients. The aims of this study were to (i) determine the incidence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens in the first episodes of VAP and to assess potential differences in bacterial profiles of subjects with early- versus late-onset VAP. This was a retrospective cohort study over a period of 18 months including all patients who had a first episode of VAP confirmed by positive bacterial culture. Subjects were distributed into two groups according to the number of intubation days: early-onset VAP (<5 days) or late-onset VAP (≥5 days). The primary endpoint was the nature of causative pathogens and their resistance profiles. Sixty patients were included, 29 men and 31 women, with an average age of 38 ± 16 years. The IGS 2 at admission was 40.5 [32–44] and APACHE was 19 [15–22]. Monomicrobial infections were diagnosed in 77% of patients (n = 46). The most frequently isolated bacteria were A. baumannii, 53% (n = 32); P. aeruginosa in 37% (n = 22); Enterobacterales in 28% (n = 17) and S. aureus in 5% (n = 3). Ninety-seven percent of the bacteria were MDR. The VAP group comprised 36 (60%) episodes of early-onset VAP and 24 (40%) episodes of late-onset VAP. There was no significant difference in the distribution of the bacterial isolates, nor in terms of antibacterial resistances between early- and late-onset VAPs. Our data support recent observations that there is no microbiological difference in the prevalence of potential MDR pathogens or in their resistance profiles associated with early- versus late-onset VAPs, especially in countries with high rates of MDR bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antimicrobial Stewardship)
Article
Antimicrobial Susceptibility Pattern of Salmonella spp. Isolated from Enteric Fever Patients in Nepal
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 388-400; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020037 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4077
Abstract
Introduction: Enteric fever, a systemic infection caused by Salmonella enterica Typhi and S. enterica Paratyphi is one of the most common infections in developing countries such as Nepal. Aside from irrational practices of antibiotic use, mutations in chromosomal genes encoding DNA gyrase and [...] Read more.
Introduction: Enteric fever, a systemic infection caused by Salmonella enterica Typhi and S. enterica Paratyphi is one of the most common infections in developing countries such as Nepal. Aside from irrational practices of antibiotic use, mutations in chromosomal genes encoding DNA gyrase and Topoisomerase IV and by plasmid mediated quinolone resistant (PMQR) genes are suggested mechanisms for the development of resistance to nalidixic acid and reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin. Regardless of high endemicity of enteric fever in Nepal, there is paucity of studies on prevalence and drug-resistance of the pathogen. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the antibiotic susceptibility pattern of Salmonella isolates and determine the minimum inhibitory concentration of ciprofloxacin. Methods: A total of 1298 blood samples were obtained from patients with suspected enteric fever, attending Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital (STIDH) during March–August, 2019. Blood samples were inoculated immediately into BACTEC culture bottles and further processed for isolation and identification of Salmonella Typhi and S. Paratyphi. Axenic cultures of the isolates were further subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) by using the modified Kirby–Bauer disc diffusion method based on the guidelines by CLSI. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of ciprofloxacin was determined by agar-dilution method. Results: Out of 1298 blood cultures, 40 (3.1%) were positive for Salmonella spp. among which 29 (72.5%) isolates were S. Typhi and 11 (27.5%) isolates were S. Paratyphi A. In AST, 12.5% (5/40), 15% (6/40) and 20% (8/40) of the Salmonella isolates were susceptible to nalidixic acid, ofloxacin and levofloxacin, respectively, whereas none of the isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin. The MIC value for ciprofloxacin ranged from 0.06-16 µg/mL in which, respectively, 5% (2/40) and 52.5% (21/40) of the isolates were susceptible and resistant to ciprofloxacin. None of the isolates showed multidrug-resistance (MDR) in this study. Conclusion: This study showed high prevalence of quinolone-resistant Salmonella spp., while there was marked re-emergence of susceptibilities to traditional first option drugs. Hence, conventional first-line-drugs and third-generation cephalosporins may find potential usage as the empirical drugs for enteric fever. Although our reporting was free of MDR strains, extensive surveillance, augmentation of diagnostic facilities and treatment protocol aided by AST report are recommended for addressing the escalating drug-resistance in the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Absence of “Cytokine Storm” in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 377-387; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020036 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3399
Abstract
Background: A rapidly growing number of publications cite “cytokine storm” as a contributing factor in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathology. However, a few recent reports led to questioning of “cytokine storm” theory in COVID-19. This study’s primary goal is to determine if exaggerated [...] Read more.
Background: A rapidly growing number of publications cite “cytokine storm” as a contributing factor in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathology. However, a few recent reports led to questioning of “cytokine storm” theory in COVID-19. This study’s primary goal is to determine if exaggerated cytokine response in the range of a “cytokine storm” develops during the initial weeks of hospitalization in COVID-19 patients. Methods: Five proinflammatory cytokines reported to be involved in “cytokine storm” and elevated in COVID-19 (IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, MCP-1, and IP-10) were analyzed in COVID-19, influenza (with “cytokine storm”: CS), and burn injury patients. The effect of dexamethasone use on cytokine response in COVID-19 was also analyzed. Results: None of the five cytokines in COVID-19 patients reached the lower threshold (95% CI) of the influenza (CS) group at any point during the study period. Furthermore, mean concentrations of all five cytokines in the influenza (CS) group and IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α in the burn group were significantly greater than in COVID-19 patients (p < 0.01). Dexamethasone treatment did not significantly alter the concentrations of any of the cytokines analyzed. Conclusions: Exaggerated cytokine response similar to “cytokine storm” was not observed in COVID-19 patients during two weeks of hospitalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
Brucella Shunt Infection Complicated by Peritonitis: Case Report and Review of the Literature
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 367-376; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020035 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3017
Abstract
Brucellosis is an endemic zoonotic disease in the Mediterranean basin and Middle East. The disease remains a diagnostic challenge due to an increasing trend of ambiguous and non-specific manifestations. We report a rare case of a 9-year-old boy who had a left frontotemporal [...] Read more.
Brucellosis is an endemic zoonotic disease in the Mediterranean basin and Middle East. The disease remains a diagnostic challenge due to an increasing trend of ambiguous and non-specific manifestations. We report a rare case of a 9-year-old boy who had a left frontotemporal arachnoid cyst with cystoperitoneal shunt who presented with fever for 2 weeks with gastrointestinal symptoms. He had no neurological manifestations. Diagnosis of Brucella shunt infection complicated with a peritoneal collection was established by isolation of the organism from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture. Successful treatment was accomplished by shunt replacement and intravenous antibiotics followed by step-down oral therapy for an 18-month duration based on serological and radiological responses with no sequelae. We also reviewed the reported cases of CSF shunt infection in the literature for further guidance. Brucella shunt infection may be difficult to diagnose due to the diversity of signs and symptoms and the low yield on culture. Brucellosis should be always kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of patients living in endemic area with fever and non-specific symptoms. Diagnosis depends on a high index of suspicion. In addition to drug therapy, device replacement is advised to prevent treatment failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Diseases)
Article
Investigation of Alternative Therapeutic and Biocidal Options to Combat Antifungal-Resistant Zoonotic Fungal Pathogens Isolated from Companion Animals
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 348-366; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020034 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3492
Abstract
Fungal skin infections and iatrogenic disease of companion animals continue to be an ongoing issue for veterinarians, where misdiagnosis or inapt medical treatment result in secondary conditions within animals. The widespread use of antifungals in both modern medicine and agriculture has resulted in [...] Read more.
Fungal skin infections and iatrogenic disease of companion animals continue to be an ongoing issue for veterinarians, where misdiagnosis or inapt medical treatment result in secondary conditions within animals. The widespread use of antifungals in both modern medicine and agriculture has resulted in concomitant resistance in species, where zoonotic transfer poses a risk to public health. Studies described herein assess the resistance of pathogenic species isolated from companion animals to a battery of conventional antimicrobial agents. Levels of resistance were detected using recognised in vitro methods, where additional novel therapeutic and biocide options were also extensively investigated. Results show high levels of resistance to the three main families of antifungal agents, namely caspofungin, Amp B and fluconazole. Resistance in Candida, Cryptococcal, Aspergillus and Trichophyton species is described herein, highlighting the need for defined species-specific antifungal breakpoints, and for Malassezia and Wickerhamomyces anomalus species which also have zoonotic potential. Novel compound phendione showed promising antimicrobial activity, with MICs determined for both fungal and bacterial species. The biocidal options investigated also showed potential to act as intermediate-level disinfectants, where peracetic acid proved most effective against fungal spore formers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Prevention and Control)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Asymptomatic Cases, the Hidden Challenge in Predicting COVID-19 Caseload Increases
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 340-347; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020033 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5452
Abstract
The numbers of novel coronavirus cases continue to grow at an unprecedented rate across the world. Attempts to control the growth of the virus using masks and social-distancing, and, recently, double-masking as well, continue to be difficult to maintain, in part due to [...] Read more.
The numbers of novel coronavirus cases continue to grow at an unprecedented rate across the world. Attempts to control the growth of the virus using masks and social-distancing, and, recently, double-masking as well, continue to be difficult to maintain, in part due to the extent of asymptomatic cases. Analyses of large datasets consisting of 219,075 individual cases in Ontario, indicated that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases are substantial in number. Large numbers of cases in children aged 0–9 were asymptomatic or had only one symptom (35.0% and 31.4% of total cases, respectively) and resulted in fever as the most common symptom (30.6% of total cases). COVID-19 cases in children were more likely to be milder symptomatic with cough not seen as frequently as in adults aged over 40, and past research has shown children to be index cases in familial clusters. These findings highlight the importance of targeting asymptomatic and mild infections in the continuing effort to control the spread of COVID-19. The Pearson correlation coefficient between test positivity rates and asymptomatic rates of −0.729 indicates that estimates of the asymptomatic rates should be obtained when the test positivity rates are lowest as the best approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Prevention and Control)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sentimental Analysis of COVID-19 Tweets Using Deep Learning Models
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 329-339; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020032 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 6482
Abstract
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an ongoing pandemic with large global attention. However, spreading false news on social media sites like Twitter is creating unnecessary anxiety towards this disease. The motto behind this study is to analyses tweets by Indian netizens during [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an ongoing pandemic with large global attention. However, spreading false news on social media sites like Twitter is creating unnecessary anxiety towards this disease. The motto behind this study is to analyses tweets by Indian netizens during the COVID-19 lockdown. The data included tweets collected on the dates between 23 March 2020 and 15 July 2020 and the text has been labelled as fear, sad, anger, and joy. Data analysis was conducted by Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) model, which is a new deep-learning model for text analysis and performance and was compared with three other models such as logistic regression (LR), support vector machines (SVM), and long-short term memory (LSTM). Accuracy for every sentiment was separately calculated. The BERT model produced 89% accuracy and the other three models produced 75%, 74.75%, and 65%, respectively. Each sentiment classification has accuracy ranging from 75.88–87.33% with a median accuracy of 79.34%, which is a relatively considerable value in text mining algorithms. Our findings present the high prevalence of keywords and associated terms among Indian tweets during COVID-19. Further, this work clarifies public opinion on pandemics and lead public health authorities for a better society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Exploring COVID-19 Daily Records of Diagnosed Cases and Fatalities Based on Simple Nonparametric Methods
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 302-328; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020031 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3696
Abstract
Containment strategies to combat epidemics such as SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 require the availability of epidemiological parameters, e.g., the effective reproduction number. Parametric models such as the commonly used susceptible-infected-removed (SIR) compartment models fitted to observed incidence time series have limitations due to the time-dependency of [...] Read more.
Containment strategies to combat epidemics such as SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 require the availability of epidemiological parameters, e.g., the effective reproduction number. Parametric models such as the commonly used susceptible-infected-removed (SIR) compartment models fitted to observed incidence time series have limitations due to the time-dependency of the parameters. Furthermore, fatalities are delayed with respect to the counts of new cases, and the reproduction cycle leads to periodic patterns in incidence time series. Therefore, based on comprehensible nonparametric methods including time-delay correlation analyses, estimates of crucial parameters that characterise the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on the German epidemic are presented using publicly available time-series data on prevalence and fatalities. The estimates for Germany are compared with the results for seven other countries (France, Italy, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, and Brazil). The duration from diagnosis to death resulting from delay-time correlations turns out to be 13 days with high accuracy for Germany and Switzerland. For the other countries, the time-to-death durations have wider confidence intervals. With respect to the German data, the two time series of new cases and fatalities exhibit a strong coherence. Based on the time lag between diagnoses and deaths, properly delayed asymptotic as well as instantaneous fatality–case ratios are calculated. The temporal median of the instantaneous fatality–case ratio with time lag of 13 days between cases and deaths for Germany turns out to be 0.02. Time courses of asymptotic fatality–case ratios are presented for other countries, which substantially differ during the first half of the pandemic but converge to a narrow range with standard deviation 0.0057 and mean 0.024. Similar results are obtained from comparing time courses of instantaneous fatality–case ratios with optimal delay for the 8 exemplarily chosen countries. The basic reproduction number, R0, for Germany is estimated to be between 2.4 and 3.4 depending on the generation time, which is estimated based on a delay autocorrelation analysis. Resonances at about 4 days and 7 days are observed, partially attributable to weekly periodicity of sampling. The instantaneous (time-dependent) reproduction number is estimated from the incident (counts of new) cases, thus allowing us to infer the temporal behaviour of the reproduction number during the epidemic course. The time course of the reproduction number turns out to be consistent with the time-dependent per capita growth. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Statistical Analysis of Death Rates in Italy for the Years 2015–2020 and a Comparison with the Casualties Reported from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 285-301; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020030 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4509
Abstract
We analyze the data about casualties in Italy in the period 1 January 2015 to 30 September 2020 released by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). The aim of this article was the description of a statistically robust methodology to extract quantitative [...] Read more.
We analyze the data about casualties in Italy in the period 1 January 2015 to 30 September 2020 released by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). The aim of this article was the description of a statistically robust methodology to extract quantitative values for the seasonal excesses of deaths featured by the data, accompanying them with correct estimates of the relative uncertainties. We will describe the advantages of the method adopted with respect to others listed in literature. The data exhibit a clear sinusoidal behavior, whose fit allows for a robust subtraction of the baseline trend of casualties in Italy, with a surplus of mortality in correspondence to the flu epidemics in winter and to the hottest periods in summer. The overall quality of the fit to the data turns out to be very good, an indication of the validity of the chosen model. We discuss the trend of casualties in Italy by different classes of ages and for the different genders. We finally compare the data-subtracted casualties, as reported by ISTAT, with those reported by the Italian Department for Civil Protection (DPC) relative to the deaths directly attributed to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19), and we point out the differences in the two samples, collected under different assumptions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines: Do They Really Reflect Best Medical Practices to Manage the Pandemic?
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 259-284; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020029 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 5187
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has been changing the world since December 2019. A comprehensive search into many COVID-19 treatment guidelines was conducted and reported in this article. This is a review paper to probe differences in COVID-19 managing strategies and explore the most common treatment [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has been changing the world since December 2019. A comprehensive search into many COVID-19 treatment guidelines was conducted and reported in this article. This is a review paper to probe differences in COVID-19 managing strategies and explore the most common treatment plans among countries. Published guidelines from 23 countries and three references guidelines—until the end of 2020—were included in this article. The majority of COVID-19 treatment options were reported in this review and it includes antiviral drugs, antimalarial drugs, antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunotherapy, anticoagulants, and other pharmacological treatment. The presence of such information from different countries in a single comprehensive review article could help in understanding and speculation of variation in the recommended treatment in each country. This might be related to the cost of medications, the access to the medications, availability of medication that could potentially be useful in managing COVID-19 cases, and the availability/capacity of healthcare facilities. Finally, although there are various treatment groups listed in the published therapeutic guidelines worldwide, unfortunately, there is no evidence for effectiveness of most of these medications in reducing the COVID-19 mortality curve over more than one year of this global pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Previous Issue
Back to TopTop