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Infect. Dis. Rep., Volume 14, Issue 4 (August 2022) – 12 articles

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Editorial
The Monkeypox Pandemic as a Worldwide Emergence: Much Ado?
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 597-599; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040064 - 10 Aug 2022
Viewed by 105
Abstract
The dramatic emergence of SARS-CoV-2 infection worldwide opened the Pandora’s box of fears and frights for new emerging infections [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Article
COVID-19 Disease and Vaccination: Knowledge, Fears, Perceptions and Feelings of Regret for Not Having Been Vaccinated among Hospitalized Greek Patients Suffering SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 587-596; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040063 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 154
Abstract
Background: The development of vaccines against COVID-19 has greatly altered the natural course of this infection, reducing the disease’s severity and patients’ hospitalization. However, hesitancy against vaccination remains an obstacle in the attempt to achieve appropriate herd immunity that could reduce the spread [...] Read more.
Background: The development of vaccines against COVID-19 has greatly altered the natural course of this infection, reducing the disease’s severity and patients’ hospitalization. However, hesitancy against vaccination remains an obstacle in the attempt to achieve appropriate herd immunity that could reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions and attitudes of COVID-19 patients hospitalized during the fourth pandemic wave in two Greek hospitals and assess whether their experience had changed their intentions regarding vaccination against COVID-19. Methods: This is a cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey, conducted from 31 August 2021 to 18 February 2022 in the COVID-19 departments of two tertiary care hospitals. The questionnaire included questions regarding the patients’ educational level, knowledge and beliefs regarding SARS-CoV-2, personal protection measures, beliefs regarding vaccination, vaccination status, reasons for not been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, feelings of regret for not been vaccinated, and willingness to be vaccinated in the future. All adult patients with COVID-19 were eligible, regardless of their vaccination status against SARS-CoV-2. Results: In total, 162 patients agreed and participated in the study, with 97% of them suffering severe COVID-19. Their median age was 56 years, and 59.9% (97 patients) were male. Among them, 43.8% had been vaccinated against COVID-19. When unvaccinated patients were asked the reasons for not being vaccinated, the most frequent responses were that they were waiting for more scientific data, due to uncertainty about long-term consequences of the vaccine, and their fear of thrombosis. When at discharge, unvaccinated hospitalized COVID-19 patients were asked whether they would get vaccinated if they could turn time back, and 64.7% of them replied positively. Conclusions: The study reveals several patients’ fears and misconceptions and suggests that there is room for implementing measures that could reduce knowledge gaps allowing for improvement of vaccination rates against COVID-19. Full article
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Case Report
A Rare Case of Pulmonary and Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis Due to Rhizopus spp. in a Child with Chronic Granulomatous Disease
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 579-586; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040062 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 187
Abstract
Mucormycosis is a rare but serious fungal infection caused by a mold family known as the Mucorales. These fungi exist throughout the environment, especially in the soil, leaves, compost piles, or decaying woods. Humans contract mucormycosis by coming in contact with the spores [...] Read more.
Mucormycosis is a rare but serious fungal infection caused by a mold family known as the Mucorales. These fungi exist throughout the environment, especially in the soil, leaves, compost piles, or decaying woods. Humans contract mucormycosis by coming in contact with the spores from fungus either by inhalation or through cuts on the skin. The population at risk for this life-threatening infection includes diabetes mellitus patients, cancer patients, premature infants, burn patients, and immunocompromised patients. The fungi that most commonly cause mucormycosis are the Rhizopus species, and the least represented are Apophysomyces species. Common clinical manifestations of mucormycosis include pulmonary, cutaneous, rhinocerebral, and gastrointestinal mucormycosis. Cases of lung mucormycosis are often misdiagnosed because of non-specific clinical symptoms and radiological features, and in many cases, have been diagnosed as aspergillosis due to similarities in signs, symptoms, and imaging presentation of the lungs. We present a pediatric case of a 6-year-old from Togo who presented to our hospital in Nigeria with dyspnea, fever, and abdominal pain of five-day duration. The child’s symptoms began 6-months prior, with dry cough, fever, fatigue, and chest pain and abdominal pain. The hospital in Togo where he lived suspected infection with tuberculosis (TB) despite a false-positive Mantoux test and negative chest X-ray. He was initially treated for TB with Isoniazid and vitamin B6 and was discharged home. Six months later, his symptoms have not improved, but became more severe with high grade fever 40 °C (oral reading), anorexia, fatigue, tachypnea, abdominal distention, and cough. The patient was immediately referred to our hospital in Abuja, Nigeria where more specific tests were ordered. He was eventually diagnosed with chronic granulomatous disease induced pulmonary and gastrointestinal (GI) mucormycosis due to Rhizopus spp. In this report, we discuss an unusual clinical presentation of an infection caused by Rhizopus spp., its management, and outcomes in a child with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fungal Infections)
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Brief Report
Efficacy and Safety of the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C with Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir in Children Aged 5 to 10 Years with Comorbidities—A Brief Report
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 574-578; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040061 - 03 Aug 2022
Viewed by 262
Abstract
The efficacy and safety of 12 weeks of therapy with sofosbuvir/ledipasvir in three patients aged 5–10 years are presented. All three children suffered from comorbidities, including chronic kidney disease in two. All participants achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after the end [...] Read more.
The efficacy and safety of 12 weeks of therapy with sofosbuvir/ledipasvir in three patients aged 5–10 years are presented. All three children suffered from comorbidities, including chronic kidney disease in two. All participants achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after the end of treatment. No adverse effects were reported during or after the treatment, and the compliance was good. Decisions on starting treatment in children below 6 years of age should be made individually, taking compliance into consideration. The adjustment of formulation and dosing of medication during treatment is necessary in young children. Further research with larger groups of patients is needed to confirm our findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Hepatitis: Epidemiological Features and Prevention)
Brief Report
Molecular Epidemiology of Sporadic and Outbreak-Related Salmonella Typhi Isolates in the Brazilian North Region: A Retrospective Analysis from 1995 to 2013
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 569-573; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040060 - 03 Aug 2022
Viewed by 241
Abstract
Typhoidal salmonellosis is a global public health problem occurring in developing endemic regions. In Brazil, cases are mostly registered in the North and Northeast regions. Molecular characterization of the strains is important to understand the epidemiology of disease infections and to design control [...] Read more.
Typhoidal salmonellosis is a global public health problem occurring in developing endemic regions. In Brazil, cases are mostly registered in the North and Northeast regions. Molecular characterization of the strains is important to understand the epidemiology of disease infections and to design control strategies. The present study retrospectively evaluates the genotyping features of sporadic and outbreak-related Salmonella Typhi isolates from the Brazilian North region. Bacterial isolates were recovered from blood and a rectal swab of patients in the states of Acre and Pará, Brazilian North region, in the period of 1995 to 2013, and were submitted to genotyping by applying Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) reference methods. MLST genotyping revealed the presence of epidemic clones ST1 and ST2, and 20 pulsotypes were identified by PFGE, including four distinct clusters (A–D), and six subclusters (A1–D1) with indistinguishable strains in different periods and locations. To conclude, the obtained data demonstrates the temporal stability, adaptation, and transmission of outbreak-related and sporadic S. Typhi strains over time, contributing to the transmission chain in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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Review
Impact of COVID-19 on the Changing Patterns of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 558-568; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040059 - 24 Jul 2022
Viewed by 549
Abstract
Seasonal epidemics of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the leading causes of hospitalization and mortality among children. Preventive measures implemented to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, including facemasks, stay-at-home orders, closure of schools and local-national borders, and hand hygiene, may have [...] Read more.
Seasonal epidemics of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the leading causes of hospitalization and mortality among children. Preventive measures implemented to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, including facemasks, stay-at-home orders, closure of schools and local-national borders, and hand hygiene, may have also prevented the transmission of RSV and influenza. However, with the easing of COVID-19 imposed restrictions, many regions are noticing a delayed RSV outbreak. Some of these regions have also noted an increase in severity of these delayed RSV outbreaks partly due to a lack of protective immunity in the community following a lack of exposure from the previous season. Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic can be implemented for controlling RSV outbreaks, including: (1) measures to reduce the spread, (2) effective vaccine development, and (3) genomic surveillance tools and computational modeling to predict the timing and severity of RSV outbreaks. These measures can help reduce the severity and prepare the health care system to deal with future RSV outbreaks by appropriate and timely allocation of health care resources. Full article
Article
Factors Associated with Unprotected Anal Sex among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Mexico
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 547-557; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040058 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 445
Abstract
The global prevalence of HIV is notably higher in men who have sex with men (MSM) compared with other male populations. Unprotected anal intercourse is the riskiest sexual behavior for HIV acquisition and/or transmission among this minority population. The purpose of the study [...] Read more.
The global prevalence of HIV is notably higher in men who have sex with men (MSM) compared with other male populations. Unprotected anal intercourse is the riskiest sexual behavior for HIV acquisition and/or transmission among this minority population. The purpose of the study was to identify if the syndemic of psychosocial stressors and experienced stigma are predictors of unprotected anal sex in Mexican MSM. A cross-sectional analytic study was carried out. It included adults residing in Manzanillo, Mexico, with oral/anal sex practices within the last year. Informed consent was given by 142 participants selected using snowball sampling. Collected data included sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial stressors, experienced stigma, HIV knowledge, knowing a friend/acquaintance living with HIV/AIDS, and sexual risk behaviors. Adjusted logistic regression was used to identify predictors of unprotected anal sex within the last six months. Presence of syndemic of psychosocial stressors, drug use during sex, having friends/acquaintances with HIV/AIDS, and experiencing high stigma were positively associated; high level of HIV knowledge was negatively linked. Reducing psychosocial stressors and integrating stigma-mitigation strategies are key elements to reduce HIV transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV/AIDS: Transmission, Prevention and Treatment)
Review
Mix-and-Match COVID-19 Vaccinations (Heterologous Boost): A Review
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 537-546; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040057 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Various safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines utilizing different platforms (mRNA, adenovirus vector, inactivated virus-based) are available against SARS-CoV-2 infection. A prime-boost regimen (administration of two doses) is recommended to induce an adequate and sustained immune response. Most of these vaccines follow a homologous [...] Read more.
Various safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines utilizing different platforms (mRNA, adenovirus vector, inactivated virus-based) are available against SARS-CoV-2 infection. A prime-boost regimen (administration of two doses) is recommended to induce an adequate and sustained immune response. Most of these vaccines follow a homologous regimen (the same type of vaccine as priming and booster doses). However, there is a growing interest in a heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimen to potentially help address concerns posed by fluctuating vaccine supplies, serious adverse effects (anaphylaxis and thromboembolic episodes following adenovirus-based vaccines), new emerging virulent strains, inadequate immune response in immunocompromised individuals, and waning immunity. Various studies have demonstrated that heterologous prime-boost vaccination may induce comparable or higher antibody (spike protein) titers and a similar reactogenicity profile to the homologous prime-boost regimen. Based on these considerations, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance supporting the “mix-and-match” heterologous boost COVID-19 vaccine strategy. Full article
Article
Risk Factors Associated with Avian Influenza Subtype H9 Outbreaks in Poultry Farms of Central Lowland Nepal
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 525-536; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040056 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) of subtype H9 outbreaks have been frequently occurring in major commercial hubs of Nepal including Chitwan, a central lowland area, causing substantial economic losses to the farmers. However, the risk factors associated with these outbreaks have been poorly [...] Read more.
Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) of subtype H9 outbreaks have been frequently occurring in major commercial hubs of Nepal including Chitwan, a central lowland area, causing substantial economic losses to the farmers. However, the risk factors associated with these outbreaks have been poorly understood, and hence, this case-control study was conducted in Chitwan, Nawalpur, and Makawanpur districts of Nepal from October 2019 to March 2020. A total of 102 farms were selected in which 51 were case farms, and 51 were controls. Case farms were avian influenza (AI)-subtype-H9-confirmed farms through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays on poultry samples. Control farms included farms that were AI-negative in the antigen test brought to the National Avian Disease Investigation Laboratory, Chitwan, for diagnosis during the study period. Each farm was visited to collect information using a semi-structured questionnaire. A total of 25 variables representing farm characteristics and biosecurity measures were considered as potential risk factors. The final multivariable model showed that distance of less than 0.5 km from the main road (OR = 4.04, 95% CI = 1.20–13.56, p = 0.023), distance of less than 1 km from a nearest infected farm (OR = 76.42, 95% CI = 7.17–814.06, p = 0.0003), and wild birds coming around the farm (OR = 6.12, 95% CI = 1.99–18.79, p = 0.0015) were risk factors for avian influenza type H9, whereas using apron or separate cloth inside the shed (OR = 0.109, 95% CI = 0.020–0.577, p = 0.0092) was shown to reduce the risk of farms being positive for AI subtype H9. These findings suggest that due consideration should be given to site selection while establishing the farms and the importance of implementing appropriate biosecurity measures, such as using separate cloth inside the shed and preventing the entry of wild birds inside the farm to reduce the potential risk of introduction of avian influenza type H9 to their poultry farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
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Review
Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) of Patients with Tuberculosis: A Review
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 509-524; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040055 - 18 Jul 2022
Viewed by 375
Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major killer and cause of human suffering worldwide and imposes a substantial reduction in patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL). HRQoL indicates the consciousness of patients regarding their physical and mental health. It is, therefore, very relevant in comprehending [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major killer and cause of human suffering worldwide and imposes a substantial reduction in patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL). HRQoL indicates the consciousness of patients regarding their physical and mental health. It is, therefore, very relevant in comprehending and measuring the exact impact of the disease state. Therefore, we undertook this review to summarize the available evidence on the impact of TB and its treatment on HRQoL. An in-depth understanding of HRQoL in TB patients can identify the existing management gaps. We undertook a systematic search through PubMed and CENTRAL. Data were extracted and tabulated for study design, targeted population, QoL instrument used, QoL domain assessed, and key findings. We included studies that assessed the effect of TB on the QoL both during and after treatment. There are no specific HRQoL assessment tools for utilization among TB patients. HRQoL is markedly impaired in patients with TB. The factors affecting HRQoL differ with active and latent TB, socio-demographics, socio-economic status, presence of co-infections, etc. This review’s findings can help to frame appropriate policies for tackling HRQoL issues in TB patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Tuberculosis and Mycobacteriosis)
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Case Report
Neurocysticercosis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, a Diagnostic Challenge from Oyam District, Uganda
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 505-508; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040054 - 01 Jul 2022
Viewed by 385
Abstract
Background: In countries where Taenia solium is endemic, neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the leading identified cause of seizures, accounting for nearly 30% of all epilepsy cases and up to 2.8 million of Disability Adjusted Life Years. Diagnosis of this condition, however, is strictly reliant [...] Read more.
Background: In countries where Taenia solium is endemic, neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the leading identified cause of seizures, accounting for nearly 30% of all epilepsy cases and up to 2.8 million of Disability Adjusted Life Years. Diagnosis of this condition, however, is strictly reliant on either MRI or CT scan, which are poorly available in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), creating challenges for proper case management and the acquisition of precise neuroepidemiologic data that may guide program and policy development. Methods: Here, we report the case of a 73-year-old woman admitted in a rural hospital in Northern Uganda, who presented with seizures and a progressive inability to walk. She was then diagnosed with NCC after a brain CT scan. Conclusions: This case study represents a rare example of the detection of NCC in a rural district hospital, thus suggesting the potential feasibility of a CT-scan guided diagnostic approach in low resource settings. Full article
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Communication
Emergence of the G118R Pan-Integrase Resistance Mutation as a Result of Low Compliance to a Dolutegravir-Based cART
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(4), 501-504; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14040053 - 22 Jun 2022
Viewed by 443
Abstract
HIV-1 resistance towards integrase inhibitors is a potential threat of the success of HIV-1 combination treatment. G118R is a rare drug resistance mutation conferring pan-integrase resistance. Here, we describe the occurrence of G118R in a HIV-1 subtype-B-positive individual with major compliance problems, detected [...] Read more.
HIV-1 resistance towards integrase inhibitors is a potential threat of the success of HIV-1 combination treatment. G118R is a rare drug resistance mutation conferring pan-integrase resistance. Here, we describe the occurrence of G118R in a HIV-1 subtype-B-positive individual with major compliance problems, detected while the patient was on dolutegravir-based cART. We speculate the pre-selection of M184I/V aided the occurrence of G118R in this case, and discuss the robustness of dolutegravir-based therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV/AIDS: Transmission, Prevention and Treatment)
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