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Infect. Dis. Rep., Volume 14, Issue 6 (December 2022) – 21 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This work makes three scientific contributions to the fields of Big Data, Data Mining, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning, with a specific focus on the ongoing outbreak of the monkeypox virus. First, it presents an open-access dataset of 556,427 tweets about monkeypox that have been posted on Twitter since the first detected case of this outbreak. Second, the paper reports the results of a comprehensive content analysis of the tweets of this dataset. Sentiment analysis of the tweets was also performed, and the results show that despite a lot of opinions, information, and misinformation, on Twitter on various topics in this regard, such as monkeypox and the LGBTQI+ community, vaccines for monkeypox, etc., “neutral” sentiment was present in most of the tweets. Finally, a list of 50 open research questions is presented to support research and development in these fields. View this paper
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Communication
Rabies Outbreak in the Urban Area of Delhi: An Investigation Report and One Health Perspective for Outbreak Management
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 1033-1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060102 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 839
Abstract
Rabies is a global problem and is endemic in India. Rabies cases occur throughout the year, and the majority of cases are associated with dog bites. We report a rabies outbreak investigation in an urban area of Delhi conducted by our multidisciplinary team, [...] Read more.
Rabies is a global problem and is endemic in India. Rabies cases occur throughout the year, and the majority of cases are associated with dog bites. We report a rabies outbreak investigation in an urban area of Delhi conducted by our multidisciplinary team, and its role in proactively controlling a rabies outbreak by concerted efforts and timely advice to various stakeholders using a “One Health Approach.” A veterinary care NGO from Delhi picked up a suspected rabid stray dog and submitted a brain sample for diagnosis of rabies, as they had received information from a resident of the locality about an unprovoked animal bite incident involving a girl (category III bite) and close contact of two more stray dogs living in the vicinity of the suspected rabid dog. The laboratory diagnosis of rabies in the suspected dog brain sample was confirmed by using Fluorescence Antibody Test (FAT). A multi-expert investigation team with expertise in medicine, microbiology, veterinary sciences, laboratory diagnosis, and public health was constituted to investigate the outbreak. The timely, adequate, and appropriate anti-rabies management initiated for the animal bite victims in this incident could prevent rabies. Proactive involvement of multiple stakeholders and knowledge attributes and practice of local residents could prevent human rabies. As there were no further reports of dog bites from the area, the chain of rabies transmission in that area could be controlled. The presented work is a classical case scenario where concerted efforts of all stakeholders achieved effective control and prevention of rabies by adopting the “One Health approach”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Viruses Responsible for Encephalitis: New Advanced Research)
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Article
Willingness to Pay (WTP) for COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose and Its Determinants in Indonesia
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 1017-1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060101 - 11 Dec 2022
Viewed by 842
Abstract
Willingness to pay (WTP) for booster doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines is an under studied research topic. Therefore, the current study aimed to investigate the WTP for the booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines and its predictors in Indonesia using an online [...] Read more.
Willingness to pay (WTP) for booster doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines is an under studied research topic. Therefore, the current study aimed to investigate the WTP for the booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines and its predictors in Indonesia using an online survey distributed all over the provinces of this low-middle-income country. The WTP was evaluated using a basic dichotomous contingent valuation approach, and its associated determinants were evaluated using a linear regression model. Out of 2935 responders, 66.2% (1942/2935) were willing to pay for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The majority of respondents (63.5%) were willing to pay within a price range of 100,000–500,000 Indonesian rupiah (IDR), i.e., USD 6.71–33.57. Being older than 40 years, having a higher educational level, having a higher income, knowing and understanding that booster doses were important, and having a vaccine status that is certified halal (permissible in Islamic law), were all associated with a higher WTP for the booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines. The study findings imply that the WTP for a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccination in Indonesia is lower compared to acceptance of vaccines provided free of charge. This WTP data can be utilized to develop a pricing scheme for the booster doses of COVID-19 vaccination in the country with potential benefits in other low-income countries. The government may be required to provide subsidies for the herd immunity vaccination process to proceed as anticipated. Furthermore, the public community must be educated on the importance of vaccination as well as the fact that the COVID-19 epidemic is far from being over. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Diseases)
Article
Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Status at the Time of Hospital Admission and the Prognosis of Patients with COVID-19: A Prospective Observational Study
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 1004-1016; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060100 - 11 Dec 2022
Viewed by 626
Abstract
The association between COVID-19 severity and antibody response has not been clearly determined. We aimed to assess the effects of antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 S protein at the time of hospital admission on in-hospital and longitudinal survival. Methods: A prospective observational study in [...] Read more.
The association between COVID-19 severity and antibody response has not been clearly determined. We aimed to assess the effects of antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 S protein at the time of hospital admission on in-hospital and longitudinal survival. Methods: A prospective observational study in naive hospitalised COVID-19 patients. The presence of anti-S SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG was evaluated using a lateral flow assay at the time of admission. The patients were followed up for 8–30 months to assess survival. We recruited 554 patients (330 men and 224 women). Overall, 63.0% of the patients had positive IgG or IgM anti-S SARS-CoV-2 antibodies at the time of hospital admission. In the univariate analysis, the patients with negative anti-S SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG antibodies were referred to the hospital sooner, had lower CRP and D-dimer concentrations, and were hospitalised longer. They were also more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit and more often received baricitinib treatment. During their hospital stay, 8.5% of the antibody-positive and 22.3% of the antibody-negative patients died (p = 0.0001). The median duration of the follow-up was 21 months. During the follow-up after hospital discharge, 3.6% of antibody-positive and 9.1% of antibody-negative patients died (p = 0.027). In the multivariate analysis, the negative anti-S SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were associated with a higher risk of in-hospital death (OR 3.800; 95% CI 1.844–7.829; p = 0.0001) and with a higher risk of death during follow-up (OR 2.863; 95% CI 1.110–7.386; p = 0.030). These associations were independent of age, the time from symptom onset to hospital admission, CRP, D-Dimer, the number of comorbidities, disease severity at the time of hospital admission, and baricitinib therapy. Our study concludes that negative anti-S SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG at the time of admission are associated with higher in-hospital mortality and cause a higher risk of all-cause death during follow-up after discharge. Full article
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Article
Treatment with Sotrovimab and Casirivimab/Imdevimab Enhances Serum SARS-CoV-2 S Antibody Levels in Patients Infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta, Omicron BA.1, and BA.5 Variants
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 996-1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060099 - 09 Dec 2022
Viewed by 616
Abstract
Background: The neutralizing ability of sotrovimab and casirivimab/imdevimab against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is attenuated in the subvariant BA.5. However, the efficacy of sotrovimab in the clinical setting remains to be investigated. Methods: Patients admitted to Kishiwada City Hospital [...] Read more.
Background: The neutralizing ability of sotrovimab and casirivimab/imdevimab against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is attenuated in the subvariant BA.5. However, the efficacy of sotrovimab in the clinical setting remains to be investigated. Methods: Patients admitted to Kishiwada City Hospital with COVID-19 delta, omicron BA.1, or BA.5 subvariants were evaluated retrospectively for serum SARS-CoV-2 S and N antibody levels using the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay. Results: In patients with COVID-19 during the BA.5 wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibody titers (median [interquartile range]) increased from 2154.0 (864.0–6669.3) U/mL on day 0 to 21,371.0 (19,656.3–32,225.0) U/mL on day 3 in the group treated with sotrovimab (N = 40) and were significantly higher than in the group treated with remdesivir plus dexamethasone plus baricitinib (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Treatment with sotrovimab could prevent severe disease in high-risk patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 subvariant BA.5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
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Article
The Importance of COVID-19/Influenza Vaccines Co-Administration: An Essential Public Health Tool
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 987-995; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060098 - 05 Dec 2022
Viewed by 806
Abstract
Vaccine co-administration is an important tool with several advantages for public health, among which is the increase of vaccination coverage, as well as economic and logistical benefits. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the immune response to the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Vaccine co-administration is an important tool with several advantages for public health, among which is the increase of vaccination coverage, as well as economic and logistical benefits. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the immune response to the COVID-19 first booster dose in healthcare workers (HCWs) who chose co-administration and in HCWs who received only COVID-19 vaccination and to investigate personal opinions about the experience of co-administration. We carried out a retrospective analysis involving two groups of HCWs, both vaccinated with the complete primary cycle and the first booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but one of them was also vaccinated, at the same time as the first booster dose, with the influenza vaccine. Active phone calls were also performed, and specific questions about the onset of side effects and general opinions were asked. A good immune response was found in both two groups without any statistically significant difference in the immune response. No severe reactions occurred in either group. A greater part of the sample was completely satisfied, and they would do it again. Our findings are totally in favor of the co-administration, considering the many positive aspects provided by administering, at the same time, more vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Diseases)
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Opinion
Ecological and Socioeconomic Factors in the Occurrence of Rabies: A Forgotten Scenario
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 979-986; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060097 - 01 Dec 2022
Viewed by 683
Abstract
In many third world countries, where rabies is endemic in dog populations, humans continue to be at risk of contracting the disease. Vaccination is the most effective form of prophylaxis for people, yet it often fails to adequately protect dogs. The most major [...] Read more.
In many third world countries, where rabies is endemic in dog populations, humans continue to be at risk of contracting the disease. Vaccination is the most effective form of prophylaxis for people, yet it often fails to adequately protect dogs. The most major implications are the costs of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) after an exposure occurs and the loss of human life and productivity due to early mortality from rabies (about 60,000 deaths annually). The largest rabies death tolls can be found in the world’s poorest regions, where rabies vaccinations for domestic dogs are uncommon and PEP is scarce. Mass vaccination of dogs, neutering programs, patient PEP, strengthening laboratory and human resources, education and awareness, and animal and human rabies surveillance are all common methods used to prevent, control, and ultimately eradicate dog-mediated human rabies. Current rabies control initiatives, however, pay little attention to the role that ecological and socioeconomic variables play in the disease’s occurrence and spread. To help better inform rabies control strategies, we address in this work the ways in which ecological and socioeconomic factors affect the occurrence and spread of rabies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neglected Tropical Diseases)
Case Report
Genomic Evidence Suggests Viral Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 for 386 Days in Health Worker: A Case Report from Santiago of Chile
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 971-978; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060096 - 30 Nov 2022
Viewed by 612
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect several countries. One of the best ways to control its spread is the timely identification of infected patients for isolation and quarantine. While an episode of infection lasts an average of 8–10 days from the onset of [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect several countries. One of the best ways to control its spread is the timely identification of infected patients for isolation and quarantine. While an episode of infection lasts an average of 8–10 days from the onset of symptoms, there is literature describing long-lasting viral persistence events. Here, we report a case of persistence of SARS-CoV-2 for 386 days in a health worker from Santiago de Chile. Our study could be one of the longest reported viral persistence events. RNA sequencing analyses indicated that the first positive diagnosis (8 June 2020) corresponded to a SARS-CoV-2 variant belonging to Clade Nextstrain 20A. Three hundred eighty-six days later (23 September 2021), the second positive result reached the same viral variant (Clade 20A) but without presence or circulation in Chile since May 2021. Both sequencing coverages showed an identity of 99.21%, with some mutations related to the severity of the disease (ORF1b:P314L) and more infectivity (S:D614G). This work reinforces the idea of implementing an RT-qPCR or rapid antigen test once the quarantine is fulfilled to ensure viral absence, identify potential persistence, and, consequently, minimize the risk of local outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
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Communication
Intravitam Diagnosis of Rabies in Patients with Acute Encephalitis: A Study of Two Cases
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 967-970; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060095 - 29 Nov 2022
Viewed by 651
Abstract
Rabies is one of the oldest known zoonotic diseases. Rhabdovirus, an RNA virus belonging to the genus Lyssavirus and family Rhabdoviridae, causes rabies. Rabies diagnosis is challenging as the rabies virus remains confined to neurons after the initial animal bite. It largely remains [...] Read more.
Rabies is one of the oldest known zoonotic diseases. Rhabdovirus, an RNA virus belonging to the genus Lyssavirus and family Rhabdoviridae, causes rabies. Rabies diagnosis is challenging as the rabies virus remains confined to neurons after the initial animal bite. It largely remains immune-evasive until the infection reaches the central nervous system. The bottleneck in rabies diagnosis remains the non-availability of technical expertise and failure to collect an appropriate sample. The laboratory confirmation of rabies in both antemortem and postmortem samples is important. The samples were tested for anti-rabies antibodies using quantitative ELISA. In this report, two case studies are presented to demonstrate the suitability of ELISA for the intra vitam diagnosis of rabies using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as a diagnostic sample. The interpretation of serology results for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals has been discussed in detail, which has helped to confirm the antemortem diagnosis of rabies. In this report, we observed that ELISA can be a viable alternative for anti-rabies antibody detection in CSF and can be used as a viable alternative to more technically challenging tests, such as Rapid Fluorescent Focus Inhibition Test (RFFFIT) and Immunofluorescence Assays (IFA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Viruses Responsible for Encephalitis: New Advanced Research)
Article
Noncompliance with Therapeutic Guidelines for Chronic Hepatitis B Patients in Minas Gerais, Brazil
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 955-966; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060094 - 28 Nov 2022
Viewed by 609
Abstract
Standardized treatment regimens for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) are crucial in suppressing viral replication, disease progression and the development of complications. However, information on routine compliance with such therapeutic recommendations in medical practice is rare. Aim: To evaluate the application of Brazilian therapeutic [...] Read more.
Standardized treatment regimens for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) are crucial in suppressing viral replication, disease progression and the development of complications. However, information on routine compliance with such therapeutic recommendations in medical practice is rare. Aim: To evaluate the application of Brazilian therapeutic guidelines for CHB within the scope of the Unified Health System in Minas Gerais state. Four key recommendations from the national guidelines were compared with data from treated patients: (i) eligibility to start treatment; (ii) type of treatment applied; (iii) rescue antiviral therapy; and (iv) monitoring of virological response. Most physicians (69.8%) declared to adopt these guidelines, while 10 of them were unaware. However, according to the criteria established by the guidelines, only 39.5% of treated patients should have been considered “truly” eligible to start treatment and only 67.6% of these underwent the recommended pharmacological treatment. The virological response was laboratory monitored in just over a third of patients. Rescue therapy was adequately supplanted in 41.2% of patients previously treated with lamivudine. There was low compliance with national guidelines by public service physicians in Brazil, highlighting the need to raise awareness of the importance of its adherence to expand the control of CHB. Thus, increasing the adherence of health professionals to this tool is a current challenge for health institutions and managers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Hepatitis: Epidemiological Features and Prevention)
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Article
Immunogenicity of the Two mRNA SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines in a Large Cohort of Dialysis Patients
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 946-954; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060093 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 777
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease patients, especially those on hemodialysis, are at the highest risk of a severe course and death from COVID-19. Moreover, they appear to have suboptimal response in both cellular and humoral immunity after vaccination. The present study investigated humoral and cellular [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease patients, especially those on hemodialysis, are at the highest risk of a severe course and death from COVID-19. Moreover, they appear to have suboptimal response in both cellular and humoral immunity after vaccination. The present study investigated humoral and cellular response and safety after two doses of either of the two authorized mRNA vaccines in a cohort of 310 patients on maintenance dialysis. The antibody response rate was 94.5%, with a median (25th, 75th) antibody titer of 3478 (1236, 8141) AU/mL. Only mild adverse effects were observed. Only vaccine type was independently associated with immunogenicity. Α statistically significant difference in favor of mRNA1273 versus BNT162b2 vaccine was observed. Antibody positivity (100% vs. 94.3%, p < 0.001), median (25th, 75th) antibody levels: 9499 (6118, 20,780) AU/mL vs. 3269 (1220, 7807) AU/mL (p < 0.001). Among the 65 patients tested for T-cell response, 27 (41.5%) had a positive one with a median (25th, 75th) antibody titer of 6007 (3405, 12,068) AU/mL, while 38 with no T-cell response presented a lower median (25th, 75th) antibody titer of 1744 (850, 4176) AU/mL (p < 0.001). Both mRNA vaccines are safe for dialysis patients and can trigger humoral and cellular responses, although with lower titers than those that have been reported to healthy individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Immunology and Vaccines)
Case Report
A Protracted Course of Periorbital Oedema in Infectious Mononucleosis Caused by Epstein–Barr Virus
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 942-945; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060092 - 23 Nov 2022
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Infectious mononucleosis (IM) is a viral disease most commonly caused by the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). The triad of fever, pharyngitis, and cervical chain lymphadenopathy classically describe this benign condition. Ocular association is also possible, although less commonly reported, and manifests as bilateral periorbital [...] Read more.
Infectious mononucleosis (IM) is a viral disease most commonly caused by the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). The triad of fever, pharyngitis, and cervical chain lymphadenopathy classically describe this benign condition. Ocular association is also possible, although less commonly reported, and manifests as bilateral periorbital oedema presenting early in the disease process. A case of a fit and well 18-year-old female patient who developed periorbital oedema before the classic triad is presented. Furthermore, her case describes a significantly longer duration of periorbital tissue involvement, contrary to what is described in the current literature. Clinicians should not only recognise periorbital oedema as an initial manifestation of IM but also be alerted of its possible protracted course. Full article
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Review
The COVID-19 Impact on the Trends in Yellow Fever and Lassa Fever Infections in Nigeria
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 932-941; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060091 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 750
Abstract
Lassa fever (LF) and yellow fever (YF) belong to a group of viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs). These viruses have common features and damages the organs and blood vessels; they also impair the body’s homeostasis. Some VHFs cause mild disease, while some cause severe [...] Read more.
Lassa fever (LF) and yellow fever (YF) belong to a group of viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs). These viruses have common features and damages the organs and blood vessels; they also impair the body’s homeostasis. Some VHFs cause mild disease, while some cause severe disease and death such as in the case of Ebola or Marburg. LF virus and YF virus are two of the most recent emerging viruses in Africa, resulting in severe hemorrhagic fever in humans. Lassa fever virus is continuously on the rise both in Nigeria and neighboring countries in West Africa, with an estimate of over 500,000 cases of LF, and 5000 deaths, annually. YF virus is endemic in temperate climate regions of Africa, Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador), and South America (such as Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Chile) with an annual estimated cases of 200,000 and 30,000 deaths globally. This review examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the trend in epidemiology of these two VHFs to delineate responses that are associated with protective or pathogenic outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ecosystem Change, Infectious Diseases Transmission and Early Warning)
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
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Article
Risk Stratification of COVID-19 Using Routine Laboratory Tests: A Machine Learning Approach
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 900-931; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060090 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 800
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic placed significant stress on an already overburdened health system. The diagnosis was based on detection of a positive RT-PCR test, which may be delayed when there is peak demand for testing. Rapid risk stratification of high-risk patients allows for the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic placed significant stress on an already overburdened health system. The diagnosis was based on detection of a positive RT-PCR test, which may be delayed when there is peak demand for testing. Rapid risk stratification of high-risk patients allows for the prioritization of resources for patient care. The study aims were to classify patients as severe or not severe based on outcomes using machine learning on routine laboratory tests. Data were extracted for all individuals who had at least one SARS-CoV-2 PCR test conducted via the NHLS between the periods of 1 March 2020 to 7 July 2020. Exclusion criteria: those 18 years, and those with indeterminate PCR tests. Results for 15437 patients (3301 positive and 12,136 negative) were used to fit six machine learning models, namely the logistic regression (LR) (the base model), decision trees (DT), random forest (RF), extreme gradient boosting (XGB), convolutional neural network (CNN) and self-normalising neural network (SNN). Model development was carried out by splitting the data into training and testing set of a ratio 70:30, together with a 10-fold cross-validation re-sampling technique. For risk stratification, admission to high care or ICU was the outcome for severe disease. Performance of the models varied: sensitivity was best for RF at 75% and accuracy of 75% for CNN. The area under the curve ranged from 57% for CNN to 75% for RF. RF and SNN were the best-performing models. Machine Learning (ML) can be incorporated into the laboratory information system and offers promise for early identification and risk stratification of COVID-19 patients, particularly in areas of resource-poor settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in COVID-19)
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Article
Evaluation of Antibiotic Prescribing Pattern and Appropriateness among Hospitalized Pediatric Patients: Findings from a Malaysian Teaching Hospital
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 889-899; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060089 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 871
Abstract
Background: Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for hospitalized children. However, only a limited number of studies have evaluated antibiotic use in this population. The current work assessed the indication, prescribing pattern and appropriateness of antibiotics among pediatric inpatients. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Background: Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for hospitalized children. However, only a limited number of studies have evaluated antibiotic use in this population. The current work assessed the indication, prescribing pattern and appropriateness of antibiotics among pediatric inpatients. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted at the pediatric wards of a teaching hospital in Malaysia. Electronic charts of inpatients (≤12 years old) admitted in 2019 were reviewed. Antibiotic indication, selection, dosing regimen, route of administration and duration of treatment were evaluated using the national antibiotic guidelines (NAG). A binomial logistic regression was applied to test potential predictors of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing (IAP) incidence. Results: Out of 702 pediatric inpatients, 292 (41.6%) patients were given antibiotics and met the inclusion criteria. More than half of the patients (57.9%) were males, with a median age of 2.5 years. A total of 385 and 285 antibiotics were prescribed during hospitalization and at discharge, respectively. Azithromycin, co-amoxiclav and cefuroxime were the top three prescribed agents. Out of 670 prescriptions, IAP was identified in 187 (28%) prescriptions that were issued for 169 (57.9%) out of the 292 patients included in the study. Improper antibiotic selection, wrong dose and unnecessary antibiotic prescribing accounted for 41%, 34% and 10% of the identified IAP, respectively. Giving lower-than-recommended doses (28%) was more prevalent than prescribing higher doses (5%). The use of two antibiotics and treating upper respiratory tract infections were independent risk factors for IAP incidence. Conclusions: Prescribers did not adhere to the NAG in more than one quarter of the prescriptions. This may increase the risk of treatment failure, adverse drug reactions and the development of antibiotic resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Diseases)
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Case Report
Rapid Progression of COVID-19-Associated Fatal Capillary Leak Syndrome
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 884-888; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060088 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Several cases of capillary leak syndrome (CLS) related to COVID-19 or vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 have been described in the literature. We present a case of a 42-year-old, previously healthy male, presenting with a mild form of COVID-19, who suddenly developed severe shock with [...] Read more.
Several cases of capillary leak syndrome (CLS) related to COVID-19 or vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 have been described in the literature. We present a case of a 42-year-old, previously healthy male, presenting with a mild form of COVID-19, who suddenly developed severe shock with hypotension and severe hemoconcentration within hours of admission to the hospital. Volume resuscitation was not effective, increasing hemoglobin (198 g/L on admission, 222 g/L 9 h later) suggested fluid leak into peripheral tissues. After cardiac arrest, the patient was resuscitated and connected to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, but died shortly afterwards due to refractory heart failure. Retrospective investigation of blood samples confirmed diagnosis of CLS by progressive hypoalbuminemia (40 g/L on admission, 14 g/L 19 h later) and monoclonal gammopathy kappa (4.7 g/L). Patient’s CLS was triggered by COVID-19, either a first attack of idiopathic CLS called Clarkson’s disease or a COVID-19-induced secondary CLS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
Communication
MonkeyPox2022Tweets: A Large-Scale Twitter Dataset on the 2022 Monkeypox Outbreak, Findings from Analysis of Tweets, and Open Research Questions
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 855-883; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060087 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1069
Abstract
The mining of Tweets to develop datasets on recent issues, global challenges, pandemics, virus outbreaks, emerging technologies, and trending matters has been of significant interest to the scientific community in the recent past, as such datasets serve as a rich data resource for [...] Read more.
The mining of Tweets to develop datasets on recent issues, global challenges, pandemics, virus outbreaks, emerging technologies, and trending matters has been of significant interest to the scientific community in the recent past, as such datasets serve as a rich data resource for the investigation of different research questions. Furthermore, the virus outbreaks of the past, such as COVID-19, Ebola, Zika virus, and flu, just to name a few, were associated with various works related to the analysis of the multimodal components of Tweets to infer the different characteristics of conversations on Twitter related to these respective outbreaks. The ongoing outbreak of the monkeypox virus, declared a Global Public Health Emergency (GPHE) by the World Health Organization (WHO), has resulted in a surge of conversations about this outbreak on Twitter, which is resulting in the generation of tremendous amounts of Big Data. There has been no prior work in this field thus far that has focused on mining such conversations to develop a Twitter dataset. Furthermore, no prior work has focused on performing a comprehensive analysis of Tweets about this ongoing outbreak. To address these challenges, this work makes three scientific contributions to this field. First, it presents an open-access dataset of 556,427 Tweets about monkeypox that have been posted on Twitter since the first detected case of this outbreak. A comparative study is also presented that compares this dataset with 36 prior works in this field that focused on the development of Twitter datasets to further uphold the novelty, relevance, and usefulness of this dataset. Second, the paper reports the results of a comprehensive analysis of the Tweets of this dataset. This analysis presents several novel findings; for instance, out of all the 34 languages supported by Twitter, English has been the most used language to post Tweets about monkeypox, about 40,000 Tweets related to monkeypox were posted on the day WHO declared monkeypox as a GPHE, a total of 5470 distinct hashtags have been used on Twitter about this outbreak out of which #monkeypox is the most used hashtag, and Twitter for iPhone has been the leading source of Tweets about the outbreak. The sentiment analysis of the Tweets was also performed, and the results show that despite a lot of discussions, debate, opinions, information, and misinformation, on Twitter on various topics in this regard, such as monkeypox and the LGBTQI+ community, monkeypox and COVID-19, vaccines for monkeypox, etc., “neutral” sentiment was present in most of the Tweets. It was followed by “negative” and “positive” sentiments, respectively. Finally, to support research and development in this field, the paper presents a list of 50 open research questions related to the outbreak in the areas of Big Data, Data Mining, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning that may be investigated based on this dataset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viral Infections)
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Article
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perception towards COVID-19 among Medical Students in Yemen: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 841-854; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060086 - 14 Nov 2022
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Abstract
Numerous measures have been taken to slow the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapid spread. Such population control techniques may have a substantial impact on people’s attitudes, knowledge, and perception of COVID-19. This web-based cross-sectional survey aimed to assess Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices (KAP) towards [...] Read more.
Numerous measures have been taken to slow the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapid spread. Such population control techniques may have a substantial impact on people’s attitudes, knowledge, and perception of COVID-19. This web-based cross-sectional survey aimed to assess Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices (KAP) towards COVID-19 among Hadhramout University Medical Students in Yemen from 15 June to 26 June 2020. This survey was performed using social media via the Google Platform among 422 Hadhramout University Medical students. After consenting, participants completed an online survey assessing sociodemographic data, 21 knowledge items, 15 attitudes items, and 5 perception items towards COVID-19. Of the total 422 participants, 389 (92.18%) were surveyed online, and 256 (65.8%) were females, and 133 (34.2%) were males aged 19-24 years (88.7%), studying medicine (58.9%), and living in urban areas (80.7%). The survey revealed that 64.0% of participants had good knowledge about the disease and 52.7% had positive attitudes towards protective measures against the virus. The majority of participants (98.2%) thought that the virus was transmitted through nasal droplets, and 59.6% agreed that the disease is dangerous. The majority of participants agreed that fever (99.2%), dry cough (97.9%), and difficulty breathing (99.5%) are the most common symptoms of the disease. The survey also showed high knowledge levels about preventive measures against the virus spreading, such as regular proper hand hygiene (99.7%), maintaining an appropriate distance (99.2%), avoiding touching eyes and nose (98.7%), and wearing facemasks in public places (97.4%). Moreover, 69.7% of participants agreed to be isolated at home if they got an infected person, 64.3% implemented washing hands with soap and water, 41.9% agreed to be separated at the hospital until they proved free from the disease, 46.0% agreed to inform the health authorities if they had any symptoms associated with the disease. By using sample T-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA), mean knowledge score about COVID-19 was significantly higher in males than in females (p = 0.029). Additionally, medicine students had significantly higher mean knowledge score than students of medical laboratory (p < 0.001) and nursing (p = 0.008). In general, our research revealed that participants had favorable opinions regarding the disease’s preventative measures and a good awareness of it. However, more educational initiatives and campaigns that take into account KAP modifying elements are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in COVID-19)
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Case Report
Neuroimaging in Tick Paralysis: Looking Outside the Box
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 837-840; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060085 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Tick paralysis is a rare but potentially deadly form of muscle paralysis caused by a neurotoxin transmitted through the saliva of gravid, engorged female ticks of various species. Often, there is an initial misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis due to the rarity of [...] Read more.
Tick paralysis is a rare but potentially deadly form of muscle paralysis caused by a neurotoxin transmitted through the saliva of gravid, engorged female ticks of various species. Often, there is an initial misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis due to the rarity of the diagnosis, the obscure location of the tick, and the disease’s clinical similarity to Guillain–Barre syndrome. We report the case of a 4-year-old girl with tick paralysis in whom the tick was not found until 2 days after hospital admission. Upon the review of the imaging, it was discovered that the tick was visible on the MRI of the brain that had been reported as normal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Parasitological Diseases)
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Article
Supportive Oligonucleotide Therapy (SOT) as a Potential Treatment for Viral Infections and Lyme Disease: Preliminary Results
by , , and
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 824-836; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060084 - 03 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1049
Abstract
Antisense therapy is widely used as an alternative therapeutic option for various diseases. RNA interference might be effective in infections, through the degradation of messenger RNA and, therefore, translation process. Hence, proteins essential for microorganisms and viruses’ proliferation and metabolism are inhibited, leading [...] Read more.
Antisense therapy is widely used as an alternative therapeutic option for various diseases. RNA interference might be effective in infections, through the degradation of messenger RNA and, therefore, translation process. Hence, proteins essential for microorganisms and viruses’ proliferation and metabolism are inhibited, leading to their elimination. The present study aimed to evaluate the use of oligonucleotide in patients infected by Epstein–Barr (EBV) or Herpes Simplex Viruses 1/2 or with Lyme Disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. Blood samples were collected from 115 patients and the different species were characterized using molecular biology techniques. Then, SOT molecules (Supportive Oligonucleotide Therapy), which are specific small interfering RNA (siRNA), were designed, produced, and evaluated, for each specific strain. Oligonucleotides were administered intravenously to patients and then a quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction was used to evaluate the effectiveness of SOT. This study revealed that for Lyme Disease, one or two SOT administrations can lead to a statistically significant decrease in DNA copies, while for viruses, two or three administrations are required to achieve a statistically significant reduction in the genetic material. These preliminary results indicate that antisense SOT therapy can be considered a potential treatment for viral as well as Lyme diseases. Full article
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Article
Clinical and Epidemiological Features of Hospitalized and Ambulatory Patients with Human Monkeypox Infection: A Retrospective Observational Study in Portugal
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 810-823; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060083 - 27 Oct 2022
Viewed by 918
Abstract
Monkeypox, a neglected and re-emergent zoonotic disease caused by monkeypox virus (MPXV) infection, has been endemic in Central and Western Africa for decades. More recently, an outbreak has spread to a global level, occurring in sites with no previous reported cases and being [...] Read more.
Monkeypox, a neglected and re-emergent zoonotic disease caused by monkeypox virus (MPXV) infection, has been endemic in Central and Western Africa for decades. More recently, an outbreak has spread to a global level, occurring in sites with no previous reported cases and being clustered among men who have sex with men, suggesting new modes of transmission. There is an urgent need for research for a better understanding of the genomic evolution and changing epidemiology of the Orthopoxvirus group. Our work aimed to characterize the clinical and epidemiological features of a cohort of patients with MPXV infection in a Portuguese hospital, admitted between 5 May and 26 July 2022. In this retrospective observational study, aggregate data of a case series on the presentation, clinical course, and outcomes of confirmed MPXV infections are reported. The study included 40 men and 1 woman, with a mean age of 37.2 years old; 92.7% identified as men who have sex with men, 90.2% had unprotected sex or sex with multiple or anonymous partners in the previous month, and 39.0% reported to have had sex with an MPXV-confirmed case; 59.5% had previously known human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, all of whom were under antiretroviral therapy, and no patients had acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) criteria. About a quarter of patients were observed only a week after symptom onset. All patients had skin or mucosal lesions and the anogenital region was the most frequent lesion site. There were no statistically significant clinical differences between HIV-positive and negative individuals. Four patients were admitted to the inpatient clinic, two of whom had proctitis with difficult-to-manage anal pain. There were no reported deaths. Our findings suggest the sexual route as a relevant mode of transmission of MPXV and confirm the mostly benign presentation of this disease. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Submicroscopic Parasitemia on Malaria Rapid Diagnosis in Northeastern Tanzania, an Area with Diverse Transmission Patterns
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(6), 798-809; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14060082 - 25 Oct 2022
Viewed by 762
Abstract
Global malaria epidemiology has changed in the last decade with a substantial increase in cases and deaths being recorded. Tanzania accounts for about 4% of all cases and deaths reported in recent years. Several factors contribute to the resurgence of malaria, parasite resistance [...] Read more.
Global malaria epidemiology has changed in the last decade with a substantial increase in cases and deaths being recorded. Tanzania accounts for about 4% of all cases and deaths reported in recent years. Several factors contribute to the resurgence of malaria, parasite resistance to antimalarials and mosquito resistance to insecticides being at the top of the list. The presence of sub-microscopic infections poses a significant challenge to malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDT). Our cross-sectional surveys in Handeni and Moshi, Tanzania assessed the effect of low parasite density on mRDT. Handeni had higher malaria prevalence by mRDT (39.6%), light microscopy (LM) (16.9%) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (18.5%), compared to Moshi with prevalence of 0.2%, 1.3% and 2.3%, respectively. A significant difference (p ˂ 0.001) in malaria prevalence by mRDT, LM and nested PCR was found among age groups. In comparison to all other groups, school-age children (5–15 years) had the highest prevalence of malaria. Our results show that mRDT may miss up to 6% of cases of malaria mainly due to low-density parasitemia when compared to LM and PCR. Routinely used mRDT will likely miss the sub-microscopic parasitemia which will ultimately contribute to the spread of malaria and hinder efforts of elimination. Full article
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