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Volume 16, February
 
 

Infect. Dis. Rep., Volume 16, Issue 2 (April 2024) – 16 articles

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39 pages, 10864 KiB  
Review
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections in Recipients of Bone Marrow Transplants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Matteo Riccò, Salvatore Parisi, Silvia Corrado, Federico Marchesi, Marco Bottazzoli and Davide Gori
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 317-355; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020026 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory tract infections. Usually associated with infants and children, an increasing amount of evidence suggests that RSV can cause substantial morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals, including recipients of bone marrow transplantation (BMT). [...] Read more.
Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common cause of respiratory tract infections. Usually associated with infants and children, an increasing amount of evidence suggests that RSV can cause substantial morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals, including recipients of bone marrow transplantation (BMT). The present systematic review was therefore designed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines to collect available evidence about RSV infections in BMT recipients. Three medical databases (PubMed, Embase, and MedRxiv) were therefore searched for eligible observational studies published up to 30 September 2023 and collected cases were pooled in a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using I2 statistics. Reporting bias was assessed by means of funnel plots and regression analysis. Overall, 30 studies were retrieved, including 20,067 BMT cases and 821 RSV infection episodes. Of them, 351 were lower respiratory tract infections, and a total of 78 RSV-related deaths were collected. A pooled attack rate of 5.40% (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 3.81 to 7.60) was identified, with a corresponding incidence rate of 14.77 cases per 1000 person-years (95%CI 9.43 to 20.11), and a case fatality ratio (CFR) of 7.28% (95%CI 4.94 to 10.60). Attack rates were higher in adults (8.49%, 95%CI 5.16 to 13.67) than in children (4.79%, 95%CI 3.05 to 7.45), with similar CFR (5.99%, 95%CI 2.31 to 14.63 vs. 5.85%, 95%CI 3.35 to 10.02). By assuming RSV attack rates as a reference group, influenza (RR 0.518; 95%CI 0.446 to 0.601), adenovirus (RR 0.679, 95%CI 0.553 to 0.830), and human metapneumovirus (RR 0.536, 95%CI 0.438 to 0.655) were associated with a substantially reduced risk for developing corresponding respiratory infection. Despite the heterogeneous settings and the uneven proportion of adult and pediatric cases, our study has identified high attack rates and a substantial CFR of RSV in recipients of BMT, stressing the importance of specifically tailored preventive strategies and the need for effective treatment options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infections in the Immuncompromised Host)
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19 pages, 1648 KiB  
Review
Current Progress and Future Perspectives in Contact and Releasing-Type Antimicrobial Coatings of Orthopaedic Implants: A Systematic Review Analysis Emanated from In Vitro and In Vivo Models
by Angelos Kaspiris, Elias Vasiliadis, Evangelia Pantazaka, Ioanna Lianou, Dimitra Melissaridou, Matthaios Savvidis, Fotios Panagopoulos, Georgios Tsalimas, Michail Vavourakis, Ioannis Kolovos, Olga D. Savvidou and Spiros G. Pneumaticos
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 298-316; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020025 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 751
Abstract
Background: Despite the expanding use of orthopedic devices and the application of strict pre- and postoperative protocols, the elimination of postoperative implant-related infections remains a challenge. Objectives: To identify and assess the in vitro and in vivo properties of antimicrobial-, silver- and iodine-based [...] Read more.
Background: Despite the expanding use of orthopedic devices and the application of strict pre- and postoperative protocols, the elimination of postoperative implant-related infections remains a challenge. Objectives: To identify and assess the in vitro and in vivo properties of antimicrobial-, silver- and iodine-based implants, as well as to present novel approaches to surface modifications of orthopedic implants. Methods: A systematic computer-based review on the development of these implants, on PubMed and Web of Science databases, was carried out according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Results: Overall, 31 in vitro and 40 in vivo entries were evaluated. Regarding the in vitro studies, antimicrobial-based coatings were assessed in 12 entries, silver-based coatings in 10, iodine-based in 1, and novel-applied coating technologies in 8 entries. Regarding the in vivo studies, antimicrobial coatings were evaluated in 23 entries, silver-coated implants in 12, and iodine-coated in 1 entry, respectively. The application of novel coatings was studied in the rest of the cases (4). Antimicrobial efficacy was examined using different bacterial strains, and osseointegration ability and biocompatibility were examined in eukaryotic cells and different animal models, including rats, rabbits, and sheep. Conclusions: Assessment of both in vivo and in vitro studies revealed a wide antimicrobial spectrum of the coated implants, related to reduced bacterial growth, inhibition of biofilm formation, and unaffected or enhanced osseointegration, emphasizing the importance of the application of surface modification techniques as an alternative for the treatment of orthopedic implant infections in the clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Prevention and Control)
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9 pages, 250 KiB  
Commentary
On the SARS-CoV-2 Variants
by Fabio Scarpa, Francesco Branda, Nicola Petrosillo and Massimo Ciccozzi
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 289-297; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020024 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 371
Abstract
The evolutionary dynamics of viruses, particularly exemplified by SARS-CoV-2 during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, underscore the intricate interplay between genetics, host adaptation, and viral spread. This paper delves into the genetic evolution of SARS-CoV-2, emphasizing the implications of viral variants on global health. [...] Read more.
The evolutionary dynamics of viruses, particularly exemplified by SARS-CoV-2 during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, underscore the intricate interplay between genetics, host adaptation, and viral spread. This paper delves into the genetic evolution of SARS-CoV-2, emphasizing the implications of viral variants on global health. Initially emerging from the Wuhan-Hu-1 lineage, SARS-CoV-2 rapidly diversified into numerous variants, each characterized by distinct mutations in the spike protein and other genomic regions. Notable variants such as B.1.1.7 (α), B.1.351 (β), P.1 (γ), B.1.617.2 (δ), and the Omicron variant have garnered significant attention due to their heightened transmissibility and immune evasion capabilities. In particular, the Omicron variant has presented a myriad of subvariants, raising concerns about its potential impact on public health. Despite the emergence of numerous variants, the vast majority have exhibited limited expansion capabilities and have not posed significant threats akin to early pandemic strains. Continued genomic surveillance is imperative to identify emerging variants of concern promptly. While genetic adaptation is intrinsic to viral evolution, effective public health responses must be grounded in empirical evidence to navigate the evolving landscape of the pandemic with resilience and precision. Full article
8 pages, 2651 KiB  
Commentary
A One Health Platform for Future Epidemic Preparedness
by Francesco Branda, Fabio Scarpa, Nicola Petrosillo and Massimo Ciccozzi
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 281-288; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020023 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 490
Abstract
Here, we introduce the EpiConnect Intelligence Platform (ECIP), a platform facilitating rapid, transparent data sharing and analysis to support researchers and public health officials in Europe, with a focus on Italy. ECIP provides reliable, concise, machine-readable data to aid in epidemiological understanding, standardize [...] Read more.
Here, we introduce the EpiConnect Intelligence Platform (ECIP), a platform facilitating rapid, transparent data sharing and analysis to support researchers and public health officials in Europe, with a focus on Italy. ECIP provides reliable, concise, machine-readable data to aid in epidemiological understanding, standardize case characteristics, and estimate key parameters. The platform adheres to FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) principles, offering easily accessible and downloadable datasets for researchers’ endeavors. Future enhancements include involving national public health authorities, expanding data streams, and fostering collaboration between experts and users for improved epidemic risk monitoring. Shared standards among diverse surveillance systems are advocated to achieve common strategic goals, emphasizing the need for forward-looking policies to empower professionals to analyze disease dynamics in the context of evolving health crises. The recent emergencies underscore the importance of collective efforts towards shared strategic goals, highlighting the necessity for coordinated action to address mutual concerns affecting everyone’s lives. Full article
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12 pages, 6494 KiB  
Case Report
Whipple Disease Presenting as Isolated Transverse Myelitis with Permanent Neurological Damage in a Patient with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Case Report of a Difficult Diagnosis with a Literature Review
by Carolina Saffioti, Marta Nebiolo, Roberta Caorsi, Alessio Mesini, Mariasavina Severino, Giacomo Brisca, Elio Castagnola and Marco Gattorno
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 269-280; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020022 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 461
Abstract
We describe an atypical case of Whipple disease exclusively involving the spinal cord in an adolescent receiving immunosuppressive therapy for systemic lupus erythematosus. The diagnosis was particularly difficult since lupus and Whipple disease can present similar clinical features and the patient’s prolonged contact [...] Read more.
We describe an atypical case of Whipple disease exclusively involving the spinal cord in an adolescent receiving immunosuppressive therapy for systemic lupus erythematosus. The diagnosis was particularly difficult since lupus and Whipple disease can present similar clinical features and the patient’s prolonged contact with sewage was initially not mentioned. A literature review of the clinical, imaging, diagnostic, and therapeutic challenges of Whipple disease is also performed. Full article
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9 pages, 450 KiB  
Brief Report
A Vulnerability Index to Assess the Risk of SARS-CoV-2-Related Hospitalization/Death: Urgent Need for an Update after Diffusion of Anti-COVID Vaccines
by Francesco Lapi, Ettore Marconi, Alexander Domnich, Iacopo Cricelli, Alessandro Rossi, Ignazio Grattagliano, Giancarlo Icardi and Claudio Cricelli
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 260-268; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020021 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Background: There are algorithms to predict the risk of SARS-CoV-2-related complications. Given the spread of anti-COVID vaccination, which sensibly modified the burden of risk of the infection, these tools need to be re-calibrated. Therefore, we updated our vulnerability index, namely, the Health [...] Read more.
Background: There are algorithms to predict the risk of SARS-CoV-2-related complications. Given the spread of anti-COVID vaccination, which sensibly modified the burden of risk of the infection, these tools need to be re-calibrated. Therefore, we updated our vulnerability index, namely, the Health Search (HS)-CoVulnerabiltyIndex (VI)d (HS-CoVId), to predict the risk of SARS-CoV-2-related hospitalization/death in the primary care setting. Methods: We formed a cohort of individuals aged ≥15 years and diagnosed with COVID-19 between 1 January and 31 December 2021 in the HSD. The date of COVID-19 diagnosis was the study index date. These patients were eligible if they had received an anti-COVID vaccine at least 15 days before the index date. Patients were followed up from the index date until one of the following events, whichever came first: COVID-19-related hospitalization/death (event date), end of registration with their GPs, and end of the study period (31 December 2022). To calculate the incidence rate of COVID-19-related hospitalization/death, a patient-specific score was derived through linear combination of the coefficients stemming from a multivariate Cox regression model. Its prediction performance was evaluated by obtaining explained variation, discrimination, and calibration measures. Results: We identified 2192 patients who had received an anti-COVID vaccine from 1 January to 31 December 2021. With this cohort, we re-calibrated the HS-CoVId by calculating optimism-corrected pseudo-R2, AUC, and calibration slope. The final model reported a good predictive performance by explaining 58% (95% CI: 48–71%) of variation in the occurrence of hospitalizations/deaths, the AUC was 83 (95% CI: 77–93%), and the calibration slope did not reject the equivalence hypothesis (p-value = 0.904). Conclusions: Two versions of HS-CoVId need to be differentially adopted to assess the risk of COVID-19-related complications among vaccinated and unvaccinated subjects. Therefore, this functionality should be operationalized in related patient- and population-based informatic tools intended for general practitioners. Full article
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11 pages, 664 KiB  
Case Report
An Aminoglycoside-Sparing Regimen with Double Beta-Lactam to Successfully Treat Granulicatella adiacens Prosthetic Aortic Valve Endocarditis—Time to Change Paradigm?
by Alberto Pagotto, Floriana Campanile, Paola Conti, Francesca Prataviera, Paola Della Siega, Sarah Flammini, Simone Giuliano, Luca Martini, Davide Pecori, Assunta Sartor, Maria Screm, Tosca Semenzin and Carlo Tascini
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 249-259; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020020 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 746
Abstract
(1) Background: Granulicatella adiacens is a former nutritionally variant streptococci (NVS). NVS infective endocarditis (IE) is generally characterized by a higher rate of morbidity and mortality, partially due to difficulties in choosing the most adequate microbiological culture method and the most effective treatment [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Granulicatella adiacens is a former nutritionally variant streptococci (NVS). NVS infective endocarditis (IE) is generally characterized by a higher rate of morbidity and mortality, partially due to difficulties in choosing the most adequate microbiological culture method and the most effective treatment strategy, and partially due to higher rates of complications, such as heart failure, peripheral septic embolism, and peri-valvular abscess, as well as a higher rate of valve replacement. Depending on the affected valve (native valve endocarditisNVE, or prosthetic valve endocarditisPVE), the American Heart Association (AHA) 2015 treatment guidelines (GLs) suggest penicillin G, ampicillin, or ceftriaxone plus gentamicin (2 weeks for NVE and up to 6 weeks for PVE), while vancomycin alone may be a reasonable alternative in patients who are intolerant of β-lactam therapy. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2023 GLs recommend treating NVE with penicillin G, ceftriaxone, or vancomycin for 6 weeks, suggesting combined with an aminoglycoside (AG) for at least the first 2 weeks only for PVE; likewise, the same recommendations for IE due to Enterococcus faecalis. (2) Methods: Starting from the case of a 51-year-old man with G. adiacens aortic bio-prosthesis IE who was successfully treated with aortic valve replacement combined with double beta-lactams, an AG-sparing regimen, we performed microbiology tests in order to validate this potential treatment change. (3) Results: As for E. faecalis IE, we found that the combination of ampicillin plus cephalosporines (like ceftriaxone or ceftobiprole) showed a synergistic effect in vitro, probably due to wider binding to penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), thus contributing to enhanced bacterial killing and good clinical outcome, as well as avoiding the risk of nephrotoxicity due to AG association therapy. (4) Conclusions: Further studies are required to confirm this hypothesis, but double beta-lactams and an adequate sourcecontrol could be a choice in treating G. adiacens IE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Diseases)
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10 pages, 516 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors for Late HIV Presentation in Patients Treated at a Single Belgian Reference Centre from 2018 to 2022
by Damien Scaia, Karine Fombellida, Nathalie Maes, Majdouline El Moussaoui and Gilles Darcis
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 239-248; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020019 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 389
Abstract
A late HIV diagnosis is associated with increased mortality and morbidity, increased healthcare costs and increased onward viral transmission. In this regard, we retrospectively analysed the characteristics of patients who presented for care at our centre from January 2018 to December 2022 to [...] Read more.
A late HIV diagnosis is associated with increased mortality and morbidity, increased healthcare costs and increased onward viral transmission. In this regard, we retrospectively analysed the characteristics of patients who presented for care at our centre from January 2018 to December 2022 to assess the proportion of patients and factors associated with late HIV presentation. We collected data from the Liège University Hospital database, and we used binary logistic regression models to analyse the impact of individuals’ characteristics on late presentation. Among 167 participants, 38.3% were late presenters (LPs) (presenting for care with a CD4+ T-cell count < 350 cells/mm3 or after an AIDS-defining event), and 21.6% were late presenters with advanced disease (LPs-AD) (presenting for care with a CD4+ T-cell count < 200 cells/mm3 or after an AIDS-defining event). The risk of being an LPs-AD was increased in older individuals (OR on log-transformed age: 7.5) and individuals of sub-Saharan African origin compared to individuals of Belgian or other origin (ORs of 0.30 and 0.25, respectively). The results of this study suggest that broadening the focus beyond the previously common risk groups is essential to prevent late diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section HIV-AIDS)
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11 pages, 504 KiB  
Article
Adverse Outcomes of Patients with Non-Ventilator-Associated Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (nvHAP)—A Single Centre Cohort Study
by Enrica Amodio, Peter W. Schreiber, Mirjam Faes Hesse and Aline Wolfensberger
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 228-238; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020018 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Non-ventilator associated hospital-acquired pneumonia (nvHAP) is a common nosocomial infection, but little is known about the outcomes of patients with nvHAP and the risk factors for adverse outcomes. In this retrospective study conducted in a Swiss tertiary care centre, adverse outcomes like in-hospital [...] Read more.
Non-ventilator associated hospital-acquired pneumonia (nvHAP) is a common nosocomial infection, but little is known about the outcomes of patients with nvHAP and the risk factors for adverse outcomes. In this retrospective study conducted in a Swiss tertiary care centre, adverse outcomes like in-hospital mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and mechanical ventilation, both all-cause and nvHAP-associated, were investigated. Of 244 patients with nvHAP, 72 (30%) died, 35 (14%) deaths were attributed to nvHAP. While 36 (15%) patients acquired nvHAP on the ICU, another 173 patients were eligible for ICU-transferral, and 76 (43.9%) needed ICU-admission. Of all patients hospitalized on the ICU 58 (51.8%) needed intubation due to nvHAP. Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified lower body mass index (OR per unit increase: 0.90, 95%CI: 0.82–0.98) and lower haemoglobin on admission (OR per unit in g/l increase: 0.98, 95%CI: 0.97–1.00) as patient specific factors independently associated with nvHAP-associated mortality. Given the frequency of nvHAP adverse outcomes, hospitals should evaluate increasing nvHAP prevention efforts, especially for patients at high risk for nvHAP mortality. To what extent pneumonia prevention interventions do lower nvHAP mortality in these patients is still to be evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Prevention and Control)
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12 pages, 778 KiB  
Review
Tackling Infectious Diseases with Rapid Molecular Diagnosis and Innovative Prevention
by Rabeea F. Omar, Maurice Boissinot, Ann Huletsky and Michel G. Bergeron
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 216-227; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020017 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 616
Abstract
Infectious diseases (IDs) are a leading cause of death. The diversity and adaptability of microbes represent a continuing risk to health. Combining vision with passion, our transdisciplinary medical research team has been focussing its work on the better management of infectious diseases for [...] Read more.
Infectious diseases (IDs) are a leading cause of death. The diversity and adaptability of microbes represent a continuing risk to health. Combining vision with passion, our transdisciplinary medical research team has been focussing its work on the better management of infectious diseases for saving human lives over the past five decades through medical discoveries and innovations that helped change the practice of medicine. The team used a multiple-faceted and integrated approach to control infectious diseases through fundamental discoveries and by developing innovative prevention tools and rapid molecular diagnostic tests to fulfill the various unmet needs of patients and health professionals in the field of ID. In this article, as objectives, we put in context two main research areas of ID management: innovative infection prevention that is woman-controlled, and the rapid molecular diagnosis of infection and resistance. We also explain how our transdisciplinary approach encompassing specialists from diverse fields ranging from biology to engineering was instrumental in achieving success. Furthermore, we discuss our vision of the future for translational research to better tackle IDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases)
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16 pages, 2835 KiB  
Review
Pulmonary Involvement in Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis: A Systematic Review
by Illari Sechi, Narcisa Muresu, Biagio Di Lorenzo, Laura Saderi, Mariangela Puci, Stefano Aliberti, Ivana Maida, Michele Mondoni, Andrea Piana and Giovanni Sotgiu
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 200-215; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020016 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a non-malignant disease, characterized by the production of wart-like growths in the respiratory tract, affecting both young people and adults (juvenile-onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, JORRP, and adult-onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, AORRP, respectively). Infection caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) [...] Read more.
Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a non-malignant disease, characterized by the production of wart-like growths in the respiratory tract, affecting both young people and adults (juvenile-onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, JORRP, and adult-onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, AORRP, respectively). Infection caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) is known as the main factor involved in RRP development. Complications of RRP may rarely occur, including lung involvement and malignant transformation. The present systematic review aimed to evaluate the prevalence of severe complications, such as lung involvement and lung tumor in JORRP and AORRP patients, and assess the role of HPV genotypes in the progression of disease severity following the guideline for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA Statement). A total of 378 studies were found on PubMed and Scopus using the following MESH terms: “recurrent respiratory papillomatosis and lung tumor” and “pulmonary tumor and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis”. Basing on inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 11 studies were included in the systematic review. We found a pooled prevalence of 8% (95% CI: 4–14%; I2: 87.5%) for lung involvement in RRP patients. In addition, we found a pooled risk difference of 5% in lung involvement between JORRP and AORRP (95% CI: −7–18%; I2: 85.6%, p-value: 0.41). Among patients with lung involvement, we observed a pooled prevalence of lung tumor of 4% (95% CI:1–7%; I2: 67.1%) and a pooled prevalence mortality for this group of 4% (95% CI:2–6%; I2: 0%). Overall, the positivity rate for HPV-6 and -11 in patients with RRP was 91%. Considering only cases with pulmonary involvement, the pooled prevalence for HPV-11 was 21% (95% CI: 5–45%; I2: 77.2%). Our results evidenced a low/middle risk of pulmonary involvement and lung tumor in JORRP and AORRP patients, with an increased risk for HPV-11-positive patients. Further studies should be performed to improve knowledge and adopt preventive measures to contrast the progression to severe diseases in RRP patients. Full article
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11 pages, 474 KiB  
Article
Radiological Explorations of Patients with Upper or Febrile Urinary Tract Infection
by Katia Vanolli, Mike Libasse Jost, Olivier Clerc, Daniel Genné and Gregor John
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 189-199; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020015 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Recent European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines and a clinical prediction rule developed by Van Nieuwkoop et al. suggest simple criteria for performing radiological imaging for patients with a febrile urinary tract infection (UTI). We analysed the records of patients with a UTI [...] Read more.
Recent European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines and a clinical prediction rule developed by Van Nieuwkoop et al. suggest simple criteria for performing radiological imaging for patients with a febrile urinary tract infection (UTI). We analysed the records of patients with a UTI from four hospitals in Switzerland. Of 107 UTI patients, 58% underwent imaging and 69% (95%CI: 59–77%) and 64% (95%CI: 54–73%) of them were adequately managed according to Van Nieuwkoop’s clinical rule and EAU guidelines, respectively. However, only 47% (95%CI: 33–61%) and 57% (95%CI: 44–69%) of the imaging performed would have been recommended according to their respective rules. Clinically significant imaging findings were associated with a history of urolithiasis (OR = 11.8; 95%CI: 3.0–46.5), gross haematuria (OR = 5.9; 95%CI: 1.6–22.1) and known urogenital anomalies (OR = 5.7; 95%CI: 1.8–18.2). Moreover, six of 16 (38%) patients with a clinically relevant abnormality displayed none of the criteria requiring imaging according to Van Nieuwkoop’s rule or EAU guidelines. Thus, adherence to imaging guidelines was suboptimal, especially when imaging was not recommended. However, additional factors associated with clinically significant findings suggest the need for a new, efficient clinical prediction rule. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Diseases)
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8 pages, 258 KiB  
Brief Report
The Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Antimicrobial Resistance Determinants of Helicobacter pylori Detected in Dyspeptic Patients in North–Central Bangladesh
by Syeda Jannatul Ferdaus, Shyamal Kumar Paul, Syeda Anjuman Nasreen, Nazia Haque, Mohammad Sadekuzzaman, Mohammad Reazul Karim, Syed Mahmudul Islam, Abdullah Al Mamun, Fardousi Akter Sathi, Proma Basak, Rifat Binte Nahid, Suraiya Aktar and Nobumichi Kobayashi
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 181-188; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020014 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Chronic infection of Helicobacter pylori represents a key factor in the etiology of gastrointestinal diseases, with high endemicity in South Asia. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of H. pylori among dyspeptic patients in north–central Bangladesh (Mymensingh) and analyze risk factors [...] Read more.
Chronic infection of Helicobacter pylori represents a key factor in the etiology of gastrointestinal diseases, with high endemicity in South Asia. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of H. pylori among dyspeptic patients in north–central Bangladesh (Mymensingh) and analyze risk factors of infection and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) determinants in the pathogen. Endoscopic gastrointestinal biopsy samples were collected from dyspeptic patients for a one-year period from March 2022 and were checked for the presence of H. pylori via the rapid urease test and PCR and further analyzed for the status of virulence factors vacA/cagA and genetic determinants related to AMR via PCR with direct sequencing or RFLP. Among a total of 221 samples collected, 80 (36%) were positive for H. pylori, with the vacA+/cagA+ genotype being detected in almost half of them. H. pylori was most prevalent in the age group of 41–50-year-olds, with it being more common in males and rural residents with a lower economic status and using nonfiltered water, though the rates of these factors were not significantly different from those of the H. pylori-negative group. Relatively higher frequency was noted for the A2147G mutation in 23S rRNA, related to clarithromycin resistance (18%, 7/39). Amino acid substitutions in PBP-1A (T556S) and GyrA (N87K and D91N) and a 200 bp deletion in rdxA were detected in samples from some patients with recurrence after treatment with amoxicillin, levofloxacin, and metronidazole, respectively. The present study describes the epidemiological features of H. pylori infection in the area outside the capital in Bangladesh, revealing the spread of AMR-associated mutations. Full article
11 pages, 515 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Monkeypox (MPOX) Knowledge and Vaccination Intention among Health and Life Sciences Students in Algeria: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Mohamed Lounis, Ahmed Hamimes and Ali Dahmani
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 170-180; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020013 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Monkeypox (MPOX) is a viral zoonotic disease affecting endemically the Central and Western regions of Africa. The ongoing outbreak in non-endemic countries has made this disease a global concern. While no cases have been reported in Algeria, it is important to raise awareness [...] Read more.
Monkeypox (MPOX) is a viral zoonotic disease affecting endemically the Central and Western regions of Africa. The ongoing outbreak in non-endemic countries has made this disease a global concern. While no cases have been reported in Algeria, it is important to raise awareness about the disease to prepare for a potential outbreak, especially in light of the cases reported in neighboring Middle East and North African (MENA) countries. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of Algerian Health and Life Sciences students toward MPOX and its vaccine through an anonymous online survey. A total of 196 students participated in this study. Students of medicine (64.3%), females (85.7%), and those under 20 years of age (55.1%) were the most represented. The results revealed a low level of knowledge represented by a score of only 42.8% for correct answers with multiple gaps in epidemiology, etiology, and clinical manifestations of MPOX. Students of veterinary sciences showed the highest levels of knowledge (OR: 6.71; CI95%: 1.23–36.77), while those aged between 20 and 30 years old (OR: 0.11; CI95%: 0.02–0.79) and those vaccinated against seasonal flu (OR: 0.42; CI95%: 0.21–0.85) were associated with low levels of knowledge. Regarding MPOX vaccination, the study found a moderate level of acceptance (48.5%) among the surveyed students with Natural and Life Sciences students and those having a high vaccine conspiracy belief score (VCBS) showing the lowest level of acceptance. These findings highlight the need for educational programs and intensified public awareness campaigns to improve knowledge about MPOX and emphasize the importance of vaccination in preventing outbreaks and overcoming vaccine reluctance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Monkeypox Research)
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16 pages, 501 KiB  
Systematic Review
Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in Patients with Tick-Borne Illness: A Scoping Review of 98 Cases
by Dorde Jevtic, Marilia Dagnon da Silva, Alberto Busmail Haylock, Charles W. Nordstrom, Stevan Oluic, Nikola Pantic, Milan Nikolajevic, Nikola Nikolajevic, Magdalena Kotseva and Igor Dumic
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 154-169; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020012 - 21 Feb 2024
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) secondary to tick-borne infections is a rare but potentially life-threatening syndrome. We performed a scoping review according to PRISMA guidelines to systematically analyze the existing literature on the topic. A total of 98 patients were included, with a mean age [...] Read more.
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) secondary to tick-borne infections is a rare but potentially life-threatening syndrome. We performed a scoping review according to PRISMA guidelines to systematically analyze the existing literature on the topic. A total of 98 patients were included, with a mean age of 43.7 years, of which 64% were men. Most cases, 31%, were reported from the USA. Immunosuppression was present in 21.4%, with the most common cause being previous solid organ transplantation. Constitutional symptoms were the most common, observed in 83.7% of the patients, while fever was reported in 70.4% of cases. Sepsis was present in 27.6%. The most common laboratory abnormalities in this cohort were thrombocytopenia in 81.6% of patients, while anemia, leukopenia, and leukocytosis were observed in 75.5%, 55.1%, and 10.2%, respectively. Liver enzyme elevation was noted in 63.3% of cases. The H-score was analyzed in 64 patients, with the mean value being 209, and bone marrow analysis was performed in 61.2% of patients. Ehrlichia spp. was the main isolated agent associated with HLH in 45.9%, followed by Rickettsia spp. in 14.3% and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in 12.2%. Notably, no patient with Powassan virus infection or Lyme borreliosis developed HLH. The most common complications were acute kidney injury (AKI) in 35.7% of patients, shock with multiple organ dysfunction in 22.5%, encephalopathy/seizure in 20.4%, respiratory failure in 16.3%, and cardiac complications in 7.1% of patients. Treatment included antibiotic therapy alone in 43.9%, while 5.1% of patients were treated with immunosuppressants alone. Treatment with both antibiotics and immunosuppressants was used in 51% of patients. Appropriate empiric antibiotics were used in 62.2%. In 43.9% of cases of HLH due to tick-borne disease, patients received only antimicrobial therapy, and 88.4% of those recovered completely without the need for immunosuppressive therapy. The mortality rate in our review was 16.3%, and patients who received inappropriate or delayed empiric therapy had a worse outcome. Hence, we suggest empiric antibiotic treatment in patients who are suspected of having HLH due to tick-borne disease or in whom diagnostic uncertainty persists due to diagnostic delay in order to minimize mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Diseases)
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Article
Excess Mortality Stratified by Age and Sex for Croatia and Croatian Counties during the 2020–2021 COVID-19 Pandemic
by Mara Šošić, Zvonimir Boban, Marijan Erceg and Nataša Boban
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(2), 142-153; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16020011 - 20 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Excess mortality is often used to estimate the effect of a certain crisis on the population. It is defined as the number of deaths during a crisis exceeding the expected number based on historical trends. Here, we calculated excess mortality due to the [...] Read more.
Excess mortality is often used to estimate the effect of a certain crisis on the population. It is defined as the number of deaths during a crisis exceeding the expected number based on historical trends. Here, we calculated excess mortality due to the COVID-19 pandemic for Croatia in the 2020–2021 period. The excess was calculated on the national and county level for different age and sex categories. In addition to the absolute number, the excess mortality was also expressed as a ratio of excess deaths to the predicted baseline and excess mortality rate. We showed that using both measures is necessary to avoid incorrect conclusions. The estimated excess mortality on the national level was 14,963, corresponding to an excess percentage of 14.3%. With respect to sex, there was a higher excess mortality rate for men compared to women. An exponential relationship was observed between age and the excess mortality rate.These trends wee representative of most counties as well, with large variations in the magnitude of the effect. However, there were also exceptions to the general rule. The reasons for these deviations were discussed in terms of between-county differences in demographic structure, population density and special events that took place during the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infections: Epidemiology, Diagnostics, Clinics and Evolution)
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