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Diseases, Volume 10, Issue 4 (December 2022) – 61 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Although insomnia is associated with anxiety, aspects of insomnia may differentially relate to different anxiety symptoms. Insomnia, however, is not a unitary construct, nor does it only manifest as a sleep disruption at night. This raises the question of whether specific features of insomnia have distinct implications for the severity or presentation of comorbid anxiety, as sleep disturbances and different insomnia symptoms correspond with different strengths of anxiety symptoms. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to think that some insomnia sub-constructs are more indicative of severity of illness and may be a useful marker for possible comorbidities. This is of importance as treatment for insomnia comorbidity with anxiety might be individually tailored to optimize treatment response. View this paper
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6 pages, 783 KiB  
Communication
Anastomotic Leakage after Oesophagectomy: Upper Endoscopy or Computed Tomography First? Time Is of the Essence
by Nader El-Sourani, Fadl Alfarawan and Sorin Miftode
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040126 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1576
Abstract
Introduction: Anastomotic leakage (AL) following oesophageal surgery is the most feared complication. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to diagnose it in a timely and safe manner. The diagnostic algorithm, however, differs across institutions world-wide, with no clear consensus or guidelines. The aim [...] Read more.
Introduction: Anastomotic leakage (AL) following oesophageal surgery is the most feared complication. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to diagnose it in a timely and safe manner. The diagnostic algorithm, however, differs across institutions world-wide, with no clear consensus or guidelines. The aim of this study was to analyse whether computed tomography (CT) or upper endoscopy (UE) should be performed first. Material and Methods: Records of 185 patients undergoing oesophageal surgery for underlying malignancy were analysed. All patients that developed an AL were further analysed. Results of CT and UE were compared to calculate sensitivity. Results: Overall, 33 out of 185 patients were diagnosed with an AL after oesophagectomy. All patients received a CT and a UE. The CT identified 23 out of 33 patients correctly. Sensitivity was 69.7% for CT, compared to 100% for UE. Conclusion: If patients are clinically suspicious regarding development of an AL after oesophagectomy, UE should be performed prior to CT as it has a sensitivity of 100%. In addition, treatment by means of endoluminal vacuum therapy (EVT) or self-expanding-metal stents (SEMS) can be initiated promptly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastroenterology)
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18 pages, 516 KiB  
Article
Improving the Response of Health Systems to Female Genital Schistosomiasis in Endemic Countries through a Gender-Sensitive Human Rights-Based Framework
by Carol Vlassoff, Kazeem Arogundade, Kruti Patel, Julie Jacobson, Margaret Gyapong and Alison Krentel
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040125 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2460
Abstract
The right to health was enshrined in the constitution of the World Health Organization in 1946 and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, which also guaranteed women’s fundamental freedoms and dignity. The Declaration of Human Rights was signed by almost [...] Read more.
The right to health was enshrined in the constitution of the World Health Organization in 1946 and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, which also guaranteed women’s fundamental freedoms and dignity. The Declaration of Human Rights was signed by almost every country in the world. Nonetheless, gender inequalities in health and health systems continue to persist, especially in lower and middle income countries that are disproportionately affected by a litany of neglected diseases. In this paper, we focus on one of the most neglected human rights, development, and reproductive health issues globally, female genital schistosomiasis (FGS), which imposes enormous unacknowledged suffering on an estimated 56 million women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite increasing calls for attention to FGS, no country has fully incorporated it into its health system. An appropriate response will require a comprehensive approach, guided by human rights mandates and the redress of FGS-related gender inequalities. In this paper, we propose the application of existing human rights and its clients, women, and girls affected by FGS as rights holders. Within the different components or building blocks of the health system, we propose elements of an appropriate health system response using the four components identified within the FGS Accelerated Scale Together (FAST) Package—awareness raising, prevention of infection, training of health personnel, and diagnosis and treatment. The framework is aspirational, its recommended elements and actions are not exhaustive, and countries will need to adapt it to their own situations and resource availability. However, it can be a useful guide to help health systems define how to begin to incorporate FGS into their programming in a way that responds to their human rights obligations in a gender- and culturally sensitive manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Honour of Marcel Tanner, Parasitologist Extraordinaire)
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14 pages, 517 KiB  
Article
Similarities in Bacterial Uropathogens and Their Antimicrobial Susceptibility Profile in Diabetics and Their Non-Diabetic Caregivers at a National Diabetes Management and Research Centre, Accra-Ghana
by Enid Owusu, Henrietta Adjei and Emmanuel Afutu
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040124 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1991
Abstract
Background: Diabetes mellitus has some damaging effects on the genitourinary system and has been found to have adverse effects on the host immune system, resulting in higher risk of infections including urinary tract infections (UTI). Incidences of UTI caused by bacteria have been [...] Read more.
Background: Diabetes mellitus has some damaging effects on the genitourinary system and has been found to have adverse effects on the host immune system, resulting in higher risk of infections including urinary tract infections (UTI). Incidences of UTI caused by bacteria have been increasingly reported globally and the abuse of antibiotics leading to evolving resistant strains of antibiotics is a public health challenge for the management of this condition. Information on the difference in types of bacterial agents causing UTI in diabetic patients and non-diabetic individuals, and their susceptibility profiles, will facilitate effective management among these groups of patients. Therefore, this study aimed at determining the difference in prevalence of UTI, the causative bacteria, and their antimicrobial susceptibility profiles in diabetic patients and non-diabetic individuals at a diabetes management center. Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional study conducted amongst 100 diagnosed diabetic patients and 100 non-diabetic individuals. Urine sample was collected aseptically and analyzed microbiologically for the presence of urinary tract bacterial pathogens. Drug susceptibility testing was conducted on the isolates by the Kirby Bauer method to ascertain the antibiotic susceptibility patterns. Results: Among the diabetic and non-diabetic individuals, urinary tract bacterial pathogens were observed in 28.0% and 26.0% of samples, respectively. The organisms were in the following proportions for diabetic and non-diabetic individuals, respectively: E. coli (14/28, 50% and 8/26, 30.7%), S. aureus (2/28, 7.1% and 4/26, 15.4%), K. pneumoniae (4/28, 14.3% and 8/26, 30.7%), K. ozoenae (2/28, 7.14% and 0/26, 0%), K. oxytoca (0/28, 0% and 4/26, 15.4%) and C. urealyticum (6/28, 21.4% and 2/26, 7.69%). The difference between the proportions of bacteria isolated was, however, not statistically significant (p-value = 0.894). Bacteria isolated from both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals were highly susceptible to most of the antibiotics tested, especially nitrofurantoin, cefuroxime, ceftriaxone, and cefotaxime. Conclusion: This study has shown that similarities exist in prevalence of UTI, the causative bacteria, and their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns amongst diabetic patients and non-diabetic individuals at a diabetes management center. These data will help in the management of UTI among these individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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13 pages, 843 KiB  
Article
Association between Environmental Exposures and Asthma among Children in King Williams Town, South Africa
by Rasaq A. Yusuf, Phoka C. Rathebe and Thokazani P. Mbonane
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040123 - 5 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1738
Abstract
The study aimed to assess the association between environmental exposure and asthma among children between 3 and 12 years old in King Williams Town, South Africa. A quantitative case-control study was conducted at Grey Hospital to assess the association between environmental exposure and [...] Read more.
The study aimed to assess the association between environmental exposure and asthma among children between 3 and 12 years old in King Williams Town, South Africa. A quantitative case-control study was conducted at Grey Hospital to assess the association between environmental exposure and asthma among children who reside in King Williams Town. Of the total 566 study participants, 50.5% (286) had asthma while 49.5% did not. Socio-demographic factors associated with asthma in children were being within the age group 9–12 years (OR 1.74, CI 95% 1.09–2.78) and India ethnicity (OR 0.20, CI 95% 0.08–0.48). Factors associated with asthma were weight within 25–35 kg (OR 1.64, CI 95% 1.11–2.42) and BMI within 15–20 (OR 4.80, CI 95% 2.80–8.22). Environmental risk factors associated with asthma were indoor exposure to tobacco smoke from mothers of the participants (OR 5.45, CI 95% 3.08–9.65) and from fathers (OR 4.37; CI 95% 2.77–6.90). Abstaining from eating seafood appeared to be protective from developing asthma (OR 0.01; CI 95% 0.00–0.05). The study found no significant association between outdoor environmental exposures and childhood asthma. The age of participant, weight, BMI, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and eating seafood had significant correlations with childhood asthma. Strengthening the evaluation of children healthcare and encouraging smoking cessation among parents could reduce exposure to environmental asthma triggers among children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Respiratory Diseases)
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13 pages, 4504 KiB  
Article
Gadofosveset-Trinatrium-Enhanced MR Angiography and MR Venography in the Diagnosis of Venous Thromboembolic Disease: A Single-Center Cohort Study
by Manuela A. Aschauer, Ingeborg M. Keeling, Carmen V. Salvan-Schaschl, Igor Knez, Barbara Binder, Reinhard B. Raggam and Ameli E. Trantina-Yates
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040122 - 5 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
Background: The aim of this single-center combined prospective/retrospective cohort study was to analyze Gadolinium (Gd)-enhanced MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) and MRV (MR venography) for the diagnosis of pulmonary artery embolism and deep venous thrombosis. The gold standard methods result in major exposure to [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this single-center combined prospective/retrospective cohort study was to analyze Gadolinium (Gd)-enhanced MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) and MRV (MR venography) for the diagnosis of pulmonary artery embolism and deep venous thrombosis. The gold standard methods result in major exposure to radiation and a high amount of nephrotoxic iodinated contrast media. This is the first larger contrast-enhanced MR imaging study of acute and chronic venous thromboembolic disease of various stages. Methods: We prospectively examined 88 patients presenting clinical signs of deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary artery embolism. A single-session, one-stop shop Gd-enhanced MRA/MRV at 1.5 Tesla, using gradient echo sequences with very short repetition and echo times as well as low flip angles with subtraction and three-dimensional reconstruction, was performed. A diagnosis was made with the consensus of two experienced radiologists. Results: We observed excellent MRA image quality in 87% and even higher diagnostic image quality of MRV in 90% of our examinations. Pulmonary artery embolism occurred with deep vein thrombosis in 22%. Conclusions: Gd-enhanced MRA/MRV provided excellent image quality for the diagnosis of venous thromboembolic disease in the majority of cases. It may be particularly useful to plan and follow-up filter implantation and retrieval in the inferior caval vein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
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9 pages, 259 KiB  
Article
Exposure of Egyptian Rousette Bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) and a Little Free-Tailed Bat (Chaerephon pumilus) to Alphaviruses in Uganda
by Rebekah C. Kading, Erin M. Borland, Eric C. Mossel, Teddy Nakayiki, Betty Nalikka, Jeremy P. Ledermann, Mary B. Crabtree, Nicholas A. Panella, Luke Nyakarahuka, Amy T. Gilbert, Julian C. Kerbis-Peterhans, Jonathan S. Towner, Brian R. Amman, Tara K. Sealy, Barry R. Miller, Julius J. Lutwama, Robert M. Kityo and Ann M. Powers
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040121 - 5 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1941
Abstract
The reservoir for zoonotic o’nyong-nyong virus (ONNV) has remained unknown since this virus was first recognized in Uganda in 1959. Building on existing evidence for mosquito blood-feeding on various frugivorous bat species in Uganda, and seroprevalence for arboviruses among bats in Uganda, we [...] Read more.
The reservoir for zoonotic o’nyong-nyong virus (ONNV) has remained unknown since this virus was first recognized in Uganda in 1959. Building on existing evidence for mosquito blood-feeding on various frugivorous bat species in Uganda, and seroprevalence for arboviruses among bats in Uganda, we sought to assess if serum samples collected from bats in Uganda demonstrated evidence of exposure to ONNV or the closely related zoonotic chikungunya virus (CHIKV). In total, 652 serum samples collected from six bat species were tested by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) for neutralizing antibodies against ONNV and CHIKV. Forty out of 303 (13.2%) Egyptian rousettes from Maramagambo Forest and 1/13 (8%) little free-tailed bats from Banga Nakiwogo, Entebbe contained neutralizing antibodies against ONNV. In addition, 2/303 (0.7%) of these Egyptian rousettes contained neutralizing antibodies to CHIKV, and 8/303 (2.6%) contained neutralizing antibodies that were nonspecifically reactive to alphaviruses. These data support the interepidemic circulation of ONNV and CHIKV in Uganda, although Egyptian rousette bats are unlikely to serve as reservoirs for these viruses given the inconsistent occurrence of antibody-positive bats. Full article
9 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Greek Orthodox Christian Fasting during Holy Week on Body Composition and Cardiometabolic Parameters in Overweight Adults
by Kalliopi Georgakouli, Fotini Siamata, Dimitrios Draganidis, Panagiotis Tsimeas, Konstantinos Papanikolaou, Alexios Batrakoulis, Athanasios Gatsas, Athanasios Poulios, Niki Syrou, Chariklia K. Deli, Ioannis G. Fatouros and Athanasios Z. Jamurtas
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040120 - 5 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
This study investigated whether Greek Orthodox Christian fasting during Holy Week can change body composition and cardiometabolic parameters in overweight individuals, and whether these changes are maintained one week after fasting cessation (FC). Body composition and physiological and biochemical parameters were measured before, [...] Read more.
This study investigated whether Greek Orthodox Christian fasting during Holy Week can change body composition and cardiometabolic parameters in overweight individuals, and whether these changes are maintained one week after fasting cessation (FC). Body composition and physiological and biochemical parameters were measured before, immediately after (n = 23) and one week after FC (subgroup of n = 10). Fasting resulted in decreased body weight, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, body mass index and total body fat, as well as blood glucose, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Nutrition analysis showed a decreased protein and saturated fat intake during fasting. FC (n = 10) resulted in a decreased carbohydrate intake and increased protein and cholesterol intake compared to fasting. Fasting resulted in decreased blood glucose, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels but returned to pre-fasting levels after FC. Greek Orthodox Christian fasting during Holy Week is beneficial for body composition and some aspects of cardiometabolic health. However, these favourable changes are not maintained one week following fasting. Full article
9 pages, 11282 KiB  
Case Report
Renal Cell Carcinoma Presenting as Syncope due to Saddle Pulmonary Tumor Embolism
by Mohamad K. Elajami, Ephraim Mansour, Hisham F. Bahmad, Gerard Chaaya, Steven DeBeer, Robert Poppiti and Yumna Omarzai
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040119 - 2 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1959
Abstract
Pulmonary embolism (PE) is defined as the obstruction of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches by a blood clot, tumor, air, or fat emboli originating elsewhere in the body. A saddle PE occurs when the obstruction affects the bifurcation of the [...] Read more.
Pulmonary embolism (PE) is defined as the obstruction of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches by a blood clot, tumor, air, or fat emboli originating elsewhere in the body. A saddle PE occurs when the obstruction affects the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery trunk. We present a case of a 46-year-old man who presented to our hospital due to an episode of syncope. Computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the chest showed extensive PE and abdominal CT scan showed a large 8 cm left renal mass with inferior vena cava (IVC) thrombus. Emergent embolectomy, left total nephrectomy, and IVC tumor removal were performed yielding the diagnosis of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Interestingly, our patient did not experience any symptoms related to his RCC until the diagnosis of PE due to syncope, and the asymptomatic tumor was found out to be the possible cause of this PE due to the presence of tumor cells constituting the tumor embolus. It is thus recommended to improve the early screening process for RCC. Besides, clinicians should pay attention to patients presenting with uncharacteristic symptoms of RCC who might present with symptoms of saddle PE. Full article
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24 pages, 2855 KiB  
Review
Efficacy and Safety of Tixagevimab/Cilgavimab to Prevent COVID-19 (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Saad Alhumaid, Abbas Al Mutair, Jalal Alali, Nourah Al Dossary, Sami Hussain Albattat, Sarah Mahmoud Al HajjiMohammed, Fatimah Saad Almuaiweed, Maryam Radhi AlZaid, Mohammed Jaber Alomran, Zainab Sabri Alqurini, Ahmed Abduljalil Alsultan, Thamer Saeed Alhajji, Sukainah Mohammad Alshaikhnasir, Ali Al motared, Koblan M. Al mutared, Khalid Hajissa and Ali A. Rabaan
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040118 - 1 Dec 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3997
Abstract
Background: Tixagevimab/cilgavimab (TGM/CGM) are neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against different epitopes of the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that have been considered as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Objectives: This study seeks to assess the efficacy and safety of TGM/CGM to prevent [...] Read more.
Background: Tixagevimab/cilgavimab (TGM/CGM) are neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against different epitopes of the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that have been considered as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Objectives: This study seeks to assess the efficacy and safety of TGM/CGM to prevent COVID-19 in patients at high risk for breakthrough and severe SARS-CoV-2 infection who never benefited maximally from SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and for those who have a contraindication to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Design: This study is a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement was followed. Methods: Electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, medRxiv, ProQuest, Wiley online library, Medline, and Nature) were searched from 1 December 2021 to 30 November 2022 in the English language using the following keywords alone or in combination: 2019-nCoV, 2019 novel coronavirus, COVID-19, coronavirus disease 2019, SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, tixagevimab, cilgavimab, combination, monoclonal, passive, immunization, antibody, efficacy, clinical trial, cohort, pre-exposure, prophylaxis, and prevention. We included studies in moderate to severe immunocompromised adults (aged ≥18 years) and children (aged ≥12 years) who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 or may have an inadequate response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. The effect sizes of the outcome of measures were pooled with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and risk ratios (RRs). Results: Of the 76 papers that were identified, 30 articles were included in the qualitative analysis and 13 articles were included in the quantitative analysis (23 cohorts, 5 case series, 1 care report, and 1 randomized clinical trial). Studies involving 27,932 patients with high risk for breakthrough and severe COVID-19 that reported use of TGM/CGM combination were analyzed (all were adults (100%), 62.8% were men, and patients were mainly immunocompromised (66.6%)). The patients’ ages ranged from 19.7 years to 79.8 years across studies. TGM/CGM use was associated with lower COVID-19-related hospitalization rate (0.54% vs. 1.2%, p = 0.27), lower ICU admission rate (0.6% vs. 5.2%, p = 0.68), lower mortality rate (0.2% vs. 1.2%, p = 0.67), higher neutralization of COVID-19 Omicron variant rate (12.9% vs. 6%, p = 0.60), lower proportion of patients who needed oxygen therapy (8% vs. 41.2%, p = 0.27), lower RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate (2.1% vs. 5.8%, p < 0.01), lower proportion of patients who had severe COVID-19 (0% vs. 0.5%, p = 0.79), lower proportion of patients who had symptomatic COVID-19 (1.8% vs. 6%, p = 0.22), and higher adverse effects rate (11.1% vs. 10.7%, p = 0.0066) than no treatment or other alternative treatment in the prevention of COVID-19. Conclusion: For PrEP, TGM/CGM-based treatment can be associated with a better clinical outcome than no treatment or other alternative treatment. However, more randomized control trials are warranted to confirm our findings and investigate the efficacy and safety of TGM/CGM to prevent COVID-19 in patients at risk for breakthrough or severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
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12 pages, 761 KiB  
Review
Potential Diets to Improve Mitochondrial Activity in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
by Sayuri Yoshikawa, Kurumi Taniguchi, Haruka Sawamura, Yuka Ikeda, Ai Tsuji and Satoru Matsuda
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040117 - 1 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3246
Abstract
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable neurodegenerative disease, the pathogenesis of which is based on alternations in the mitochondria of motor neurons, causing their progressive death. A growing body of evidence shows that more efficient mitophagy could prevent and/or treat this disorder [...] Read more.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable neurodegenerative disease, the pathogenesis of which is based on alternations in the mitochondria of motor neurons, causing their progressive death. A growing body of evidence shows that more efficient mitophagy could prevent and/or treat this disorder by suppressing mitochondrial dysfunction-induced oxidative stress and inflammation. Mitophagy has been considered one of the main mechanisms responsible for mitochondrial quality control. Since ALS is characterized by enormous oxidative stress, several edible phytochemicals that can activate mitophagy to remove damaged mitochondria could be considered a promising option to treat ALS by providing neuroprotection. Therefore, it is of great significance to explore the mechanisms of mitophagy in ALS and to understand the effects and/or molecular mechanisms of phytochemical action, which could translate into a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selective Autophagy in Aging and Disease)
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14 pages, 2501 KiB  
Article
No Roots, No Fruits: Marcel Tanner’s Scholarly Contribution, Achievements in Capacity Building, and Impact in Global Health
by Andrea Graf, Lukas Meier and Jürg Utzinger
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040116 - 1 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1555
Abstract
On 1 October 2022, Marcel Tanner celebrated his 70th birthday with his family and friends on the River Rhein in Basel. Trained in epidemiology (Ph.D.) and public health (MPH), Tanner devoted his entire working life to research, teaching, and capacity building. Indeed, he [...] Read more.
On 1 October 2022, Marcel Tanner celebrated his 70th birthday with his family and friends on the River Rhein in Basel. Trained in epidemiology (Ph.D.) and public health (MPH), Tanner devoted his entire working life to research, teaching, and capacity building. Indeed, he built up productive partnerships, fostered multinational consortia, served on numerous scientific and strategic advisory boards, and contributed measurably to improving people’s health and well-being. We systematically searched the Web of Science Core Collection to identify Tanner’s scholarly contribution and pursued an in-depth analysis of his scientific oeuvre including the main areas of research, pathogens, diseases, and health systems, and the geographical foci of his scholarly activities. Additionally, we examined Tanner’s impact on personal and institutional capacity building in the arena of global health. We also invited a handful of colleagues to describe their experiences while working with Marcel Tanner. What transpires is a considerable breadth and depth of peer-reviewed publications in tropical medicine; epidemiology, environmental, and occupational health; parasitology; and infectious diseases. More than a third of the 622 peer-reviewed articles, the first piece published in 1978, focused on various aspects of the protozoan parasite Plasmodium and the disease it causes: malaria. Tanner trained, taught, and inspired generations of students, scientists, and practitioners all over the world. His unique ability to bring people and institutions together to work in partnership is at the heart of an impactful career in global health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Honour of Marcel Tanner, Parasitologist Extraordinaire)
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8 pages, 9130 KiB  
Case Report
Novel ATM Gene c.5644 C > T (p.Arg1882*) Variant Detected in a Patient with Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma and Two Primary Non-Small Cell Lung Adenocarcinomas: A Case Report
by Abed A. Aljamal, Mohamad K. Elajami, Ephraim H. Mansour, Hisham F. Bahmad, Ana Maria Medina and Mike Cusnir
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040115 - 1 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1604
Abstract
Ataxia-telangiectasia is an autosomal recessive disorder that usually manifests in childhood due to mutations in the Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) gene. It is believed that there is an association between this gene mutation/polymorphism and cancer risk, including breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers. [...] Read more.
Ataxia-telangiectasia is an autosomal recessive disorder that usually manifests in childhood due to mutations in the Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) gene. It is believed that there is an association between this gene mutation/polymorphism and cancer risk, including breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers. We report a rare case of a 69-year-old woman who developed three different primary cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in both lungs and pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and was later found to have a rarely reported variant mutation in the ATM gene, namely Exon 39, c.5644 C > T. We hypothesize that the ATM gene, c.5644 C > T mutation could be a plausible contributor in the pathogenesis of these three cancers. This hypothesis has yet to be validated by larger studies that focus on a mechanistic approach involving DNA repair genes such as the ATM. More importantly, this paves the way to developing new patient-specific targeted therapies and inaugurating precision medicine as a cornerstone in cancer therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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23 pages, 1832 KiB  
Review
Sialyltransferases and Neuraminidases: Potential Targets for Cancer Treatment
by Sagorika Nag, Abhimanyu Mandal, Aryaman Joshi, Neeraj Jain, Ravi Shanker Srivastava, Sanjay Singh and Arun Khattri
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040114 - 28 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3515
Abstract
Cancers are the leading cause of death, causing around 10 million deaths annually by 2020. The most common cancers are those affecting the breast, lungs, colon, and rectum. However, it has been noted that cancer metastasis is more lethal than just cancer incidence [...] Read more.
Cancers are the leading cause of death, causing around 10 million deaths annually by 2020. The most common cancers are those affecting the breast, lungs, colon, and rectum. However, it has been noted that cancer metastasis is more lethal than just cancer incidence and accounts for more than 90% of cancer deaths. Thus, early detection and prevention of cancer metastasis have the capability to save millions of lives. Finding novel biomarkers and targets for screening, determination of prognosis, targeted therapies, etc., are ways of doing so. In this review, we propose various sialyltransferases and neuraminidases as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of the most common cancers, along with a few rare ones, on the basis of existing experimental and in silico data. This compilation of available cancer studies aiming at sialyltransferases and neuraminidases will serve as a guide for scientists and researchers working on possible targets for various cancers and will also provide data about the existing drugs which inhibit the action of these enzymes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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6 pages, 415 KiB  
Brief Report
COVID-19: Relative Risk of Non-Vaccinated to Vaccinated Individuals
by Davide Barbieri, Geza Halasz, Elisabetta Bertellini, Arianna Gaspari and Gabriele Melegari
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040113 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2034
Abstract
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy has implemented an extensive vaccination campaign involving individuals above the age of 12, both sexes. The public opinion and the medical community alike questioned the usefulness and efficacy of the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. The widespread [...] Read more.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy has implemented an extensive vaccination campaign involving individuals above the age of 12, both sexes. The public opinion and the medical community alike questioned the usefulness and efficacy of the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. The widespread opinion was that the vaccines protected individuals especially against serious conditions which could require intensive care and may lead to the death of the patient rather than against the possibility of infection. In order to quantify the effect of the vaccination campaign, we calculated the relative risks of non-vaccinated and vaccinated individuals for all possible outcomes of the disease: infection, hospitalization, admission to intensive care and death. Relative risk was assessed by means of likelihood ratios, the ratios of the probability of an outcome in non-vaccinated individuals to the probability of the same outcome in vaccinated individuals. Results support the hypothesis that vaccination has an extensive protective effect against both critical conditions and death. Nonetheless, the relative magnitude of the protection in vaccinated individuals compared to those non-vaccinated appears to be higher against the former outcome than the latter, for reasons which need to be investigated further. Full article
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17 pages, 1407 KiB  
Review
Efficacy and Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines—An Update
by Eshani Sharma, Sraddha Revinipati, Saisha Bhandari, Sejal Thakur, Shubham Goyal, Aruni Ghose, Sukrit Bajpai, Waleed Muhammad and Stergios Boussios
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040112 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3432
Abstract
A few centuries ago, the first vaccine vial was formulated, and since then, they have resulted in an eminent reduction in infectious diseases associated morbidity and mortality. The discovery of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease and its steady progression to [...] Read more.
A few centuries ago, the first vaccine vial was formulated, and since then, they have resulted in an eminent reduction in infectious diseases associated morbidity and mortality. The discovery of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease and its steady progression to a global pandemic with 603,711,760 confirmed cases and 6,484,136 reported deaths according to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 7 September 2022 was exceedingly catastrophic. This brought about an unexpected need for preventative and cost-effective measures to curb the devastating impact of the virus, followed by accelerated competition within the pharma giants to manufacture and dispense vaccines at an exponential rate. Non-pharmaceutical medications such as mandated face mask policies, the imposition of travel limitations and generalized disinfectant use were somewhat successful in mitigating the catastrophic effect, but the onus fell upon vaccination strategies and other medical interventions to counteract and subdue this international health threat. The need to ensure current and future pandemic preparedness, however, presents multiple hurdles, among which are equitable vaccine access and the rising trend of vaccine hesitancy at an individual and international level, which are beyond the scope of this discussion. With this review article, we seek to draw perspective on current COVID-19 virus variants, in-hand vaccine types with their mechanism of action along with their effectiveness and safety profile. We also aim to discuss substantial side effects while adding a segment on the booster dose controversy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Global Chronic Disease II)
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14 pages, 1047 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review of the Neurological Manifestations of Celiac Disease and Its Treatment
by Dhir Gala, Shelbie Scharf, Megan Kudlak, Christian Green, Faisal Khowaja, Mili Shah, Vikash Kumar and Gautam Ullal
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040111 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5001
Abstract
Celiac disease (CD) is a common chronic inflammatory disorder occurring in genetically predisposed individuals secondary to gluten ingestion. CD usually presents with gastrointestinal symptoms such as pain, bloating, flatulence, and constipation or diarrhea. However, individuals can present in a nonclassical manner with only [...] Read more.
Celiac disease (CD) is a common chronic inflammatory disorder occurring in genetically predisposed individuals secondary to gluten ingestion. CD usually presents with gastrointestinal symptoms such as pain, bloating, flatulence, and constipation or diarrhea. However, individuals can present in a nonclassical manner with only extraintestinal symptoms. The neurological manifestations of CD include ataxia, cognitive impairment, epilepsy, headache, and neuropathy. A lifelong gluten-free diet is the current recommended treatment for CD. This review discusses the relevant neurological manifestations associated with CD and the novel therapeutics. Further research is required to get a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of the neurological manifestations associated with CD. Clinicians should keep CD in the differential diagnosis in individuals presenting with neurological dysfunction of unknown cause. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammation in Neuro-Psychiatric Disorders 2.0)
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8 pages, 514 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Clinical Impact of the BioFire FilmArray Meningitis Encephalitis Panel on Antimicrobial Use and Duration of Therapy at an Academic Medical Center
by Kylie Markovich, Mary Joyce B. Wingler, Kayla R. Stover, Katie E. Barber, Jamie L. Wagner and David A. Cretella
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040110 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical impact of the BioFire FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) panel on antimicrobial use and clinical outcomes. This retrospective, quasi-experiment evaluated adult and pediatric patients with suspected ME, evidenced by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture. Hospital-acquired meningitis [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical impact of the BioFire FilmArray Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) panel on antimicrobial use and clinical outcomes. This retrospective, quasi-experiment evaluated adult and pediatric patients with suspected ME, evidenced by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture. Hospital-acquired meningitis patients and patients who received antimicrobials >48 h prior to lumbar puncture were excluded. The primary endpoint was days of antimicrobial therapy pre- and post-implementation of the ME panel. Secondary endpoints included total length of stay, 30-day readmission, and individual days of antimicrobial therapy. Two hundred and sixty-four total adult and pediatric patients were included. Antimicrobial days of therapy had a median of 3 days (IQR 0–5) in the pre vs. post group with a median of 2 days (2–5) (p = 0.099). Days of therapy for acyclovir were significantly decreased in the post group (median 2 days [IQR 1–3] vs. 3 days [IQR 2.5–4.5], p = 0.0002). There were no significant differences in the secondary endpoints. Overall, implementation of the ME panel impacted the duration of antimicrobials, particularly acyclovir; however, opportunities for further education regarding antimicrobial de-escalation and utilization of the panel were identified. Antimicrobial stewardship program intervention is critical to maximize benefit of this rapid diagnostic test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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9 pages, 495 KiB  
Article
Exploring Potential Determinants of Mosquito Net Ownership and Use in Somalia: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Mitsuaki Hirai, Usman Umar, Patricia Darikwa, Ali Abdirahman Osman, Abdirahman Mohamed, Ahmed Mohamed Jama, Carolyn Masheti and Millhia Kader
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040109 - 20 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1879
Abstract
In Somalia, malaria remains a major public health threat. Understanding what influences the ownership and use of mosquito nets is of vital importance to accelerate malaria prevention efforts in the country. To explore the potential determinants of mosquito net ownership and use, this [...] Read more.
In Somalia, malaria remains a major public health threat. Understanding what influences the ownership and use of mosquito nets is of vital importance to accelerate malaria prevention efforts in the country. To explore the potential determinants of mosquito net ownership and use, this study conducted a secondary data analysis of the Somalia Micronutrient Survey 2019. Survey participants were identified through the multi-stage stratified cluster sampling, and logistic regression was performed for bivariate and multivariate analysis. The results suggested that household head’s age, educational attainment, household size, employment status of household members, socioeconomic status, geographic regions and type of residence are significantly associated with mosquito net ownership (p < 0.05). The analysis also highlighted household head’s age as an influential factor to mosquito net use. By further exploring and understanding the psychosocial determinants of mosquito net ownership and use, malaria prevention interventions can be made more effective in Somalia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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11 pages, 293 KiB  
Review
Nutritional Support in Acute Liver Failure
by Ludovico Abenavoli, Valentina Maurizi, Luigi Boccuto, Arianna Di Berardino, Nena Giostra, Pierangelo Santori, Maria Laura Scarcella, Anna Caterina Procopio, Carlo Rasetti and Emidio Scarpellini
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040108 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2733
Abstract
Acute liver failure (ALF) presents with an acute abnormality of liver blood tests in an individual without underlying chronic liver disease. The clinical course leads to the development of coagulopathy and hepatic encephalopathy. The role of nutrition in its prevention and treatment remains [...] Read more.
Acute liver failure (ALF) presents with an acute abnormality of liver blood tests in an individual without underlying chronic liver disease. The clinical course leads to the development of coagulopathy and hepatic encephalopathy. The role of nutrition in its prevention and treatment remains uncertain. We aimed to review literature data on the concept of ALF and the role of nutrition in its treatment and prevention, considering the impact of gut microbiota dysbiosis and eubiosis. We conducted a review of the literature on the main medical databases using the following keywords and acronyms and their associations: liver failure, nutrition, branched-chain amino acids, gut microbiota, dysbiosis, and probiotics. Upon their arrival at the emergency department, an early, accurate nutritional assessment is crucial for individuals with ALF. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), stable euglycemia maintenance, and moderate caloric support are crucial for this subset of patients. An excessive protein load must be avoided because it worsens hepatic encephalopathy. Preclinical evidence supports future probiotics use for ALF treatment/prevention. Nutritional support and treatment for ALF are crucial steps against patient morbidity and mortality. BCAAs and euglycemia remain the mainstay of nutritional treatment of ALF. Gut dysbiosis re-modulation has an emerging and natural-history changing impact on ALF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastroenterology)
21 pages, 1241 KiB  
Review
Psychophysiological Adaptations to Yoga Practice in Overweight and Obese Individuals: A Topical Review
by Alexios Batrakoulis
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040107 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4623
Abstract
Physical activity has been documented as a foundational approach for weight management and obesity, improving several cardiometabolic and mental health indices. However, it is not clear whether yoga practice can induce beneficial improvements in anthropometric and body composition parameters, performance, metabolic health, and [...] Read more.
Physical activity has been documented as a foundational approach for weight management and obesity, improving several cardiometabolic and mental health indices. However, it is not clear whether yoga practice can induce beneficial improvements in anthropometric and body composition parameters, performance, metabolic health, and well-being among overweight/obese people. The aim of this topical review was to catalog training studies examining the psychophysiological responses to yoga interventions in order to detect which outcomes have been investigated, the research methods applied, and the conclusions. The inclusion/exclusion criteria were met by 22 published articles involving 1178 (56% female) overweight/obese participants. This brief review on yoga-induced adaptations demonstrates that this widely used meditative movement activity can meaningfully improve the vast majority of the selected markers. These beneficial alterations are focused mostly on various anthropometric and body composition variables, cardiovascular disease risk factors, physical fitness parameters, quality of life, and stress in previously inactive overweight/obese individuals. Instead, yoga-based physical exercise interventions investigating anxiety, depression, mood state, exercise enjoyment, affect valence, and adherence were limited. Further research should focus on the yoga intervention configuration and potential mechanisms behind favorable changes in various psychophysiological indices through large-scale, rigorously designed randomized controlled trials implementing long-term interventions in overweight/obese individuals. Full article
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14 pages, 1198 KiB  
Article
Spatial Co-Clustering of Tuberculosis and HIV in Ethiopia
by Leta Lencha Gemechu and Legesse Kassa Debusho
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040106 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2075
Abstract
Background: Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV are epidemiologically associated, and their co-dynamics suggest that the two diseases are directly related at the population level and within the host. However, there is no or little information on the joint spatial patterns of the two diseases [...] Read more.
Background: Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV are epidemiologically associated, and their co-dynamics suggest that the two diseases are directly related at the population level and within the host. However, there is no or little information on the joint spatial patterns of the two diseases in Ethiopia. The main objective of the current study was to assess the spatial co-clustering of TB and HIV cases simultaneously in Ethiopia at the district level. Methods: District-level aggregated data collected from the national Health Management Information System (HMIS) for the years 2015 to 2018 on the number of TB cases enrolled in directly observed therapy, short course (DOTS) who were tested for HIV and the number of HIV patients enrolled in HIV care who were screened for TB during their last visit to health care facilities were used in this study. The univariate and bivariate global and local Moran’s I indices were applied to assess the spatial clustering of TB and HIV separately and jointly. Results: The results of this study show that the two diseases were significantly (p-value <0.001) spatially autocorrelated at the district level with minimum and maximum global Moran’s I values of 0.407 and 0.432 for TB, 0.102 and 0.247 for HIV, and 0.152 and 0.251 for joint TB/HIV. The district-level TB/HIV spatial co-clustering patterns in Ethiopia in most cases overlapped with the hot spots of TB and HIV. The TB/HIV hot-spot clusters may appear due to the observed high TB and HIV prevalence rates in the hot-spot districts. Our results also show that there were low-low TB/HIV co-clusters or cold spots in most of the Afar and Somali regions, which consistently appeared for the period 2015–2018. This may be due to very low notifications of both diseases in the regions. Conclusions: This study expanded knowledge about TB and HIV co-clustering in Ethiopia at the district level. The findings provide information to health policymakers in the country to plan geographically targeted and integrated interventions to jointly control TB and HIV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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7 pages, 1225 KiB  
Case Report
A Primary Mediastinal Monophasic Spindle-Cell Synovial Sarcoma with Superior Venacaval Obstruction
by Deepak Madi, Nikhil Victor Dsouza, Matthew Antony Manoj, Basavaprabhu Achappa and Stergios Boussios
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040105 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1523
Abstract
Primary mediastinal sarcoma is a rare tumour that usually presents with nonspecific symptoms such as hoarseness, dyspnoea, and chest pain. Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome is an extremely uncommon complication that is caused by the compression, invasion, and thrombosis of the SVC or [...] Read more.
Primary mediastinal sarcoma is a rare tumour that usually presents with nonspecific symptoms such as hoarseness, dyspnoea, and chest pain. Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome is an extremely uncommon complication that is caused by the compression, invasion, and thrombosis of the SVC or brachiocephalic veins. SVC syndrome can present as asymptomatic cases or as rare life-threatening emergencies with upper airway obstruction and increased intracranial pressure. This report describes the case of a 58-year-old female who presented with swelling of the face, neck, and upper limbs associated with dyspnoea on exertion. The radiological investigations revealed a large well-defined central necrotic peripherally enhancing lesion in the superior mediastinum extending anteriorly with the compression of brachiocephalic veins. A histopathological examination detected spindle cells arranged in fascicles with nuclear atypia with immunohistochemistry positive for creatine kinase (CK), smooth muscle actin (SMA), desmin and CD99. These findings established the diagnosis of a mediastinal monophasic synovial sarcoma with SVC obstruction. The patient was initiated on palliative radiotherapy for the management of the SVC, followed by systemic biological treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor pazopanib, and was clinically improved. It is essential to promptly diagnose and treat this condition, especially when SVC syndrome manifests. Full article
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10 pages, 276 KiB  
Review
Measles Induced Encephalitis: Recent Interventions to Overcome the Obstacles Encountered in the Management Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Mufaddal Najmuddin Diwan, Saba Samad, Rabeea Mushtaq, Alifiya Aamir, Zoha Allahuddin, Irfan Ullah, Rifayat Ullah Afridi, Aneela Ambreen, Adel Khan, Nimra Ehsan, Zoia Ehsan Khattak, Antonio Ventriglio and Domenico De Berardis
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040104 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2526
Abstract
Encephalitis, a well-known complication of measles, is inflammation of the brain parenchyma which is mostly due to the viral invasion of neurons. It presents with a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe depending on the extent of the damaged neurons. The [...] Read more.
Encephalitis, a well-known complication of measles, is inflammation of the brain parenchyma which is mostly due to the viral invasion of neurons. It presents with a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe depending on the extent of the damaged neurons. The diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms such as fever, headache, altered level of consciousness, focal neurological deficits, etc. A detailed history and physical examination facilitate the diagnosis. Investigations include blood tests for measles-specific antibodies, CT, MRI, and analysis of the CSF. The management of measles-induced encephalitis mainly revolves around prevention against contracting the disease and providing supportive care if acquired. The administration of the measles vaccine is the major means of preventing this disease in childhood. Two doses are required to achieve sufficient immunity against measles, the first at the age of 12–15 months and the second at 4–6 years of age. Supportive care includes administering acetaminophen for fever, oral rehydrating salt (ORS) for diarrhea and vomiting, antibiotics for otitis media and pneumonia, and using anti-epileptics such as sodium valproate for seizures. Vitamin A can be given to prevent severe effects in children. The specific treatment would depend on the type of encephalitis the patient has developed. Full article
16 pages, 606 KiB  
Article
Functional Gastrointestinal Diseases and Dietary Practices among Pakistani Children—A Schools Based Cross-Sectional Study
by Zoha Imtiaz Malik, Muhammad Farooq Umer, Khizar Nabeel Ali, Ayesha Babar Kawish, Muhammad Arshed, Shumaila Zofeen and Awais Farid
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040103 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2066
Abstract
Background: Functional gastrointestinal diseases (FGIDs) are an important yet highly under explored area among public health issues. FGIDs’ complex etiology makes them of interest along with their prevalence in children steadily increasing, especially in the developing world. We aimed to determine the burden [...] Read more.
Background: Functional gastrointestinal diseases (FGIDs) are an important yet highly under explored area among public health issues. FGIDs’ complex etiology makes them of interest along with their prevalence in children steadily increasing, especially in the developing world. We aimed to determine the burden FGIDs pose on school-going children, and to determine its association with the dietary intake patterns in Pakistani children. Methodology: The study included 385 school-children from public and private schools in Pakistan through multistage random sampling, from March to August 2022. We used the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) and Rome IV Criteria for a comprehensive exploration of the issue. Associations between the FGIDs and dietary factors were analyzed using chi-square and Fischer’s exact tests in SPSS version 26.0. Results: Females constituted 77.4% (n = 298) of all respondents, while 44.9% (n = 173) of the total reported a family history of gastrointestinal diseases. FFQ analysis showed varying consumption frequencies for different food groups. Functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were the highest reported FGIDs with a prevalence of 38.7% (n = 149) and 24.9% (n = 96), respectively. Statistical associations were found between different FGIDs and gender, age, household income, family members, and dietary variables such as fruit, vegetable, beverage and pulse consumption. Conclusion: FGIDs were found to be associated with a number of socio-demographic and dietary factors which calls for small scale and large scale attention to the issue. Results from the current study and further studies may help develop guidelines to manage these disorders in Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Nutrition and Diseases 2.0)
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9 pages, 244 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Dual Biologic or Small Molecule Therapy for Achieving Endoscopic Remission in Refractory Inflammatory Bowel Disease
by Israa Abdullah, Khaled AlMojil and Mohammad Shehab
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040102 - 9 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1890
Abstract
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic autoimmune disease with relapse–remission courses. A number of patients may present with a refractory disease with partial or no response to treatment. Others may present with extra-intestinal manifestations that makes the treatment with one biologic challenging. [...] Read more.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic autoimmune disease with relapse–remission courses. A number of patients may present with a refractory disease with partial or no response to treatment. Others may present with extra-intestinal manifestations that makes the treatment with one biologic challenging. Dual target therapy (DTT), combining biologics and/or small molecule drugs, may offer a chance to achieve remission in these cases and improve patients’ quality of life despite the limited evidence regarding this approach. We present a case series of refractory inflammatory bowel disease cases managed with DTT. Seven patients with refractory IBD achieved steroid free, clinical, and endoscopic remission by using DTT. These results support that DTT could be an effective approach in selected patients with refractory IBD or with concomitant extra-intestinal manifestations (EIM). Larger studies, ideally randomized controlled trials, are needed to further support the evidence and confirm the efficacy and safety of DTT for IBD. Full article
9 pages, 438 KiB  
Commentary
Chemoprevention for the Populations of Malaria Endemic Africa
by Brian Greenwood and David Schellenberg
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040101 - 8 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1787
Abstract
Drugs have been used to prevent malaria for centuries, but only recently have they been used on a large scale to prevent malaria in the resident population of malaria endemic areas in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper discusses some of the reasons for the [...] Read more.
Drugs have been used to prevent malaria for centuries, but only recently have they been used on a large scale to prevent malaria in the resident population of malaria endemic areas in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper discusses some of the reasons for the hesitancy in adoption of chemopreventive strategies in sub-Saharan Africa, reasons why this hesitancy has been overcome in recent years and the range of target groups now identified by the World Health Organization as those who can benefit most from chemoprevention. Adoption of carefully targeted chemopreventive strategies could help reverse the recent stagnation in the decline in malaria in sub-Saharan Africa that had been taking place during the previous two decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Honour of Marcel Tanner, Parasitologist Extraordinaire)
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12 pages, 752 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Demographic, Clinical Characteristics and the Various COVID-19 Variant Types on All-Cause Mortality: A Case-Series Retrospective Study
by Faryal Khamis, Salah Al Awaidy, Muna Ba’Omar, Wessam Osman, Shabnam Chhetri, Zaiyana Ambusaid, Zakariya Al Fahdi, Jaber Al Lawati, Khalsa Al Sulaimi, Salma Ali Al Bulushi, Maher Al Bahrani and Ibrahim Al-Zakwani
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040100 - 7 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
(1) Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly evolved into a pandemic affecting virtually every country in the world. We evaluated the demographic, clinical, laboratory, and all-cause mortality of moderate and severe COVID-19 patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly evolved into a pandemic affecting virtually every country in the world. We evaluated the demographic, clinical, laboratory, and all-cause mortality of moderate and severe COVID-19 patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital in Oman during the different COVID-19 waves and variant types. (2) Methods: A case-series retrospective study was carried out between 12 March 2020 and 30 June 2022. All adults over the age of 18 with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were enrolled. Analyses were performed using univariate and multivariate statistics. (3) Results: A total of 1462 confirmed cases enrolled with the mean age of the cohort was 55 ± 17 years with significant differences among the groups (p = 0.006). A total of 63% and 80% of the patients were males and citizens of Oman, respectively. Patients infected with the Alpha COVID-19 variant type were more likely to have acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) (p < 0.001), stay longer in the hospital (p < 0.001), and get admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) (p < 0.001). At the same time, those who had the Omicron COVID-19 type were more likely to have renal impairment (p < 0.001) and less likely to be associated with non-invasive ventilation (NIV) (p = 0.001) compared with other COVID-19 variant types. The Delta (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 1.8; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.22–2.66; p = 0.003) and Omicron (aOR, 1.88; 95% CI: 1.09–3.22; p = 0.022) COVID-19 variant types were associated with higher all-cause mortality when compared to the initial COVID-19 variant. Old age (aOR, 1.05; 95% CI: 1.04–1.06; p < 0.001), the presence of respiratory disease (aOR, 1.58; 95% CI: 1.02–2.44; p = 0.04), ICU admission (aOR, 3.41; 95% CI: 2.16–5.39; p < 0.001), lower eGFR (aOR, 1.61; 95% CI: 1.17–2.23; p = 0.004), and ARDS (aOR, 5.75; 95% CI: 3.69–8.98; p < 0.001) were also associated with higher mortality while NIV requirements were associated with lower odds of dying (aOR, 0.65; 95% CI: 0.46–0.91; p = 0.012). (4) Conclusions: Alpha and Delta variants were associated with a longer hospital stay, need for intensive care, mechanical ventilation, and increased mortality. Old age, cardiac renal dysfunction were commonly associated with Omicron variants. Large-scale national studies to further assess the risk factors for mortality related to COVID-19 waves are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infectious Disease Epidemiology II)
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13 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Association of Alleles of Human Leukocyte Antigen Class II Genes and Severity of COVID-19 in Patients of the ‘Red Zone’ of the Endocrinology Research Center, Moscow, Russia
by Ekaterina Troshina, Marina Yukina, Nurana Nuralieva, Evgeny Vasilyev, Olga Rebrova, Ravida Akhmatova, Anna Ikonnikova, Elena Savvateeva, Dmitry Gryadunov, Galina Melnichenko and Natalia Mokrysheva
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040099 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1986
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the correlations of clinical features of patients with moderate and severe courses of COVID-19, comorbidity (endocrine, autoimmune, cardiovascular, oncological, and pulmonary diseases), and alleles of the HLA class II system genes. One hundred COVID-19 patients [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the correlations of clinical features of patients with moderate and severe courses of COVID-19, comorbidity (endocrine, autoimmune, cardiovascular, oncological, and pulmonary diseases), and alleles of the HLA class II system genes. One hundred COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the Endocrinology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia, were analyzed for age, gender, smoking, comorbidity, and invasive mechanical ventilation. Computer tomography was used to assess the severity of the disease. HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQA1, and HLA-DQB1 alleles were identified in samples from 100 patients and samples from 327 randomly selected individuals collected in the prepandemic period (control group). There was no association of gender, age, weight, body mass index, smoking, and comorbidity with the severity of COVID-19. Allele DQB1*06:02-8 was more common in patients (p < 0.00005), and DQB1*06:01 and DQB1*05:03 were more common in the control group (p < 0.00005, and p = 0.0011, respectively). DQB1*06:02-8 can probably be considered as predisposing to moderate and severe COVID-19, and DQB1*06:01 can be considered as protective. No association of these alleles with comorbidity was found. Our results suggest that carriers of predisposing alleles, with cardiovascular and non-autoimmune endocrine diseases, should take more stringent preventive measures, and if infected, a more aggressive COVID-19 treatment strategy should be used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Global Chronic Disease II)
17 pages, 39063 KiB  
Article
A Systems Biology Approach on the Regulatory Footprint of Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs)
by Georgios S. Markopoulos
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040098 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1991
Abstract
Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are a family of endogenous retroviruses that comprise the ~8.93% of the human genome sequence, with a high proportion being human specific. The recent expansion of repeated HERV sequences has offered a framework for genetic and epigenetic innovation. In [...] Read more.
Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are a family of endogenous retroviruses that comprise the ~8.93% of the human genome sequence, with a high proportion being human specific. The recent expansion of repeated HERV sequences has offered a framework for genetic and epigenetic innovation. In the current report, a systematic approach is implemented to catalogue regulatory elements within HERVs, as a roadmap to potential functions of HERV sequences in gene networks. ENCODE Project has offered a wealth of epigenetic data based on omics technologies. I analyzed the presence of HERV sequences on consensus cis-regulatory elements (cCREs) from ENCODE data. On the one side, HERVs are in 1 out of 9 cCREs (>100.000 cCREs in total), dispersed within the genome and present in cis-regulatory regions of ~81% of human genes, as calculated following gene enrichment analysis. On the other side, promoter-associated HERV cCREs are present adjacent to (in a 200 bp window) the transcription start sites of 256 human genes. Regulatory network production, followed by centrality analysis led to the discovery of 90 core genes containing HERV-associated promoters. Pathway analysis on the core network genes and their immediate neighbors revealed a regulatory footprint that, among others, is associated with inflammation, chemokine signaling and response to viral infection. Collectively, these results support the concept that the expansion of regulatory sequences derived from HERVs is critical for epigenetic innovation that may have wired together genes into novel transcriptional networks with critical roles in cellular physiology and pathology. Full article
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8 pages, 1155 KiB  
Case Report
A Multimodal Approach in the Treatment of Persistent Post-COVID
by Tobias Romeyke
Diseases 2022, 10(4), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases10040097 - 1 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1779
Abstract
Background: Many patients suffer from the consequences of a COVID infection. The so-called long or post-COVID syndrome affects the quality of life of patients and can lead to severe physical impairments. There are currently no suitable therapies for the treatment of long/post-COVID. Case [...] Read more.
Background: Many patients suffer from the consequences of a COVID infection. The so-called long or post-COVID syndrome affects the quality of life of patients and can lead to severe physical impairments. There are currently no suitable therapies for the treatment of long/post-COVID. Case presentation: A 49-year-old patient with post-COVID was admitted to a specialized clinic to carry out a multimodal therapy approach in the event of a therapy-resistant course. In addition to pronounced fatigue, sleep disorders, inner restlessness, and depression were seen in the patients’ high levels of suffering. A naturopathic complex therapy including systemic whole-body hyperthermia was carried out. Well-being and physical well-being were recorded using the visual analog scale, and depression was recorded using the Patient Health Questionnaire Depression (PHQ-D). There was close monitoring of the vital parameters, and an evaluation of the therapy result was performed. Discussion and Conclusion: The implementation of a naturopathic complex therapy including systemic whole-body hyperthermia was able to significantly improve the mental state, physical well-being, and mood of the patient. Since there are still no evidence-based therapy recommendations for the treatment of long/post-COVID, clinical research is called upon to intensively deal with this topic and to examine treatment concepts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Global Chronic Disease II)
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