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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2019) – 26 articles

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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Funding on Childhood TB Case Detection in Pakistan
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040146 - 15 Dec 2019
Viewed by 407
Abstract
This study is a review of routine programmatically collected data to describe the 5-year trend in childhood case notification in Jamshoro district, Pakistan from January 2013 to June 2018 and review of financial data for the two active case finding projects implemented during [...] Read more.
This study is a review of routine programmatically collected data to describe the 5-year trend in childhood case notification in Jamshoro district, Pakistan from January 2013 to June 2018 and review of financial data for the two active case finding projects implemented during this period. The average case notification in the district was 86 per quarter before the start of active case finding project in October 2014. The average case notification rose to 322 per quarter during the implementation period (October 2014 to March 2016) and plateaued at 245 per quarter during the post-implementation period (April 2016 to June 2018). In a specialized chest center located in the district, where active case finding was re-introduced during the post implementation period (October 2016), the average case notification was 218 per quarter in the implementation period and 172 per quarter in the post implementation period. In the rest of the district, the average case notification was 160 per quarter in the implementation period and 78 during the post implementation period. The cost per additional child with TB found ranged from USD 28 to USD 42 during the interventions. A continuous stream of resources is necessary to sustain high notifications of childhood TB. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Percutaneous Emergence of Gnathostoma spinigerum Following Praziquantel Treatment
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040145 - 14 Dec 2019
Viewed by 405
Abstract
A Bangladeshi patient with prior travel to Saudi Arabia was hospitalized in the United States for a presumptive liver abscess. Praziquantel was administered following a positive Schistosoma antibody test. Ten days later, a subadult worm migrated to the skin surface and was identified [...] Read more.
A Bangladeshi patient with prior travel to Saudi Arabia was hospitalized in the United States for a presumptive liver abscess. Praziquantel was administered following a positive Schistosoma antibody test. Ten days later, a subadult worm migrated to the skin surface and was identified morphologically as Gnathostoma spinigerum. This case highlights the challenges of gnathostomiasis diagnosis, raising questions on potential serologic cross-reactivity and the possible role of praziquantel in stimulating outward migration of Gnathostoma larvae/subadults. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
External Quality Assessment of Bacterial Identification and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing in African National Public Health Laboratories, 2011–2016
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040144 - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 391
Abstract
Background: In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a regional microbiology external quality assessment (EQA) programme for national public health laboratories in the African region, initially targeting priority epidemic-prone bacterial diseases, and later including other common bacterial pathogens. Objectives: The aim of [...] Read more.
Background: In 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a regional microbiology external quality assessment (EQA) programme for national public health laboratories in the African region, initially targeting priority epidemic-prone bacterial diseases, and later including other common bacterial pathogens. Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyse the efficacy of an EQA programme as a laboratory quality system evaluation tool. Methods: We analysed the proficiency of laboratories’ performance of bacterial identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) for the period 2011–2016. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases of South Africa provided technical coordination following an agreement with WHO, and supplied EQA samples of selected bacterial organisms for microscopy (Gram stain), identification, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST). National public health laboratories, as well as laboratories involved in the Invasive Bacterial Diseases Surveillance Network, were enrolled by the WHO Regional Office for Africa to participate in the EQA programme. We analysed participants’ results of 41 surveys, which included the following organisms sent as challenges: Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, Salmonella Typhi, Salmonella Enteritidis, Shigella flexneri, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus anginosus, Enterococcus faecium, Serratia marcescens, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Enterobacter cloacae. Results: Eighty-one laboratories from 45 countries participated. Overall, 76% of participants obtained acceptable scores for identification, but a substantial proportion of AST scores were not in the acceptable range. Of 663 assessed AST responses, only 42% had acceptable scores. Conclusion: In the African Region, implementation of diagnostic stewardship in clinical bacteriology is generally suboptimal. This report illustrates that AST is poorly done compared to microscopy and identification. It is critically important to make the case for implementation of quality assurance in AST, as it is the cornerstone of antimicrobial resistance surveillance reporting and implementation of the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Evolution of the Malaria Clinic: The Cornerstone of Malaria Elimination in Thailand
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040143 - 13 Dec 2019
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Background: Malaria Clinics (MCs) have served communities in Thailand since 1965 and are still playing a critical role in providing early diagnosis and effective treatment of malaria. Methods: We reviewed six decades of published manuscripts, articles, strategies, and plans regarding MC operations in [...] Read more.
Background: Malaria Clinics (MCs) have served communities in Thailand since 1965 and are still playing a critical role in providing early diagnosis and effective treatment of malaria. Methods: We reviewed six decades of published manuscripts, articles, strategies, and plans regarding MC operations in Thailand;,and analyzed national program surveillance data in both malaria control and malaria elimination phases. Results: MCs accounted for 39.8% of malaria tests and 54.8% of positive cases by the end of the 1980s. The highest number of MCs established was 544 in 1997. MCs contributed to 6.7% of all tests and 30% of all positive cases over the 2015–2017 period. Between 2017 and June 2019, during the malaria elimination phase, MCs continued to test an average of 67% of all persons tested for malaria, and confirmed 38.3% of all positive cases detected in the country. Conclusions: Testing and positive rates of MCs are on a gradual decline as the overall burden of malaria declines annually, which may reflect decreasing transmission intensity. Although the number of MCs in the last three years has been stable (n = 240), the attrition of MC staff poses a real challenge to the longevity of MCs in the absence of a human resource plan to support the elimination phase. It is necessary to identify and support capacity gaps and needs as MCs are absorbed into an integrated and decentralized program, while ensuring that the Division of Vector Borne Diseases (DVBD) maintains its necessary technical and advisory role. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
The Flipside of Eradicating a Disease; Human African Trypanosomiasis in a Woman in Rural Democratic Republic of Congo: A Case Report
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040142 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 420
Abstract
Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a neglected disease caused by the protozoan parasites Trypanosoma brucei and transmitted by tsetse flies that progresses in two phases. Symptoms in the first phase include fever, headaches, pruritus, lymphadenopathy, and in certain cases, hepato- and splenomegaly. Neurological [...] Read more.
Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a neglected disease caused by the protozoan parasites Trypanosoma brucei and transmitted by tsetse flies that progresses in two phases. Symptoms in the first phase include fever, headaches, pruritus, lymphadenopathy, and in certain cases, hepato- and splenomegaly. Neurological disorders such as sleep disorder, aggressive behavior, logorrhea, psychotic reactions, and mood changes are signs of the second stage of the disease. Diagnosis follows complex algorithms, including serological testing and microscopy. Our case report illustrates the course of events of a 41-year old woman with sleep disorder, among other neurological symptoms, whose diagnosis was made seven months after the onset of symptoms. The patient had consulted two different hospitals in Kinshasa and was on the verge of being discharged from a third due to negative laboratory test results. This case report highlights the challenges that may arise when a disease is on the verge of eradication. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the “BALatrine” Intervention on Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections in Central Java, Indonesia: A Pilot Study
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040141 - 06 Dec 2019
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Many latrine campaigns in developing countries fail to be sustained because the introduced latrine is not appropriate to local socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions, and there is an inadequate community health education component. We tested a low-cost, locally designed and constructed all-weather latrine [...] Read more.
Many latrine campaigns in developing countries fail to be sustained because the introduced latrine is not appropriate to local socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions, and there is an inadequate community health education component. We tested a low-cost, locally designed and constructed all-weather latrine (the “BALatrine”), together with community education promoting appropriate hygiene-related behaviour, to determine whether this integrated intervention effectively controlled soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections. We undertook a pilot intervention study in two villages in Central Java, Indonesia. The villages were randomly allocated to either control or intervention with the intervention village receiving the BALatrine program and the control village receiving no program. STH-infection status was measured using the faecal flotation diagnostic method, before and eight months after the intervention. Over 8 months, the cumulative incidence of STH infection was significantly lower in the intervention village than in the control village: 13.4% vs. 27.5% (67/244 vs. 38/283, p < 0.001). The intervention was particularly effective among children: cumulative incidence 3.8% (2/53) for the intervention vs. 24.1% (13/54) for the control village (p < 0.001). The integrated BALatrine intervention was associated with a reduced incidence of STH infection. Following on from this pilot study, a large cluster-randomised controlled trial was commenced (ACTRN12613000523707). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quality of Malaria Treatment Provided under ‘Better Health Together’ Project in Ethnic Communities of Myanmar: How Are We Performing?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040140 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Malaria accounted for 18% of all deaths in the ethnic communities of Myanmar. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed the extent of and factors associated with receipt of quality malaria treatment services provided by integrated community malaria volunteer (ICMV) under six ethnic health [...] Read more.
Malaria accounted for 18% of all deaths in the ethnic communities of Myanmar. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed the extent of and factors associated with receipt of quality malaria treatment services provided by integrated community malaria volunteer (ICMV) under six ethnic health organisations. Data of people with malaria diagnosed by rapid diagnostic tests during 2017–2018 were extracted from the ICMV registers. Documentation of prescribing a complete course of drugs was used to assess quality. Of 2881 people with malaria, village-based ICMV diagnosed and treated 2279 (79%) people. Overall, 2726 (95%) people received correct drugs in the correct dose and adequate duration appropriate to malaria species, age and pregnancy status while 1285 (45%) people received ‘correct and timely (within 24 h of fever)’ treatment. Children under five years, those with severe malaria, mixed infection and falciparum malaria were less likely to receive the correct treatment. When compared to health posts, village-based ICMVs and mobile teams performed better in providing correct treatment and mobile teams in providing ‘correct and timely’ treatment. This calls for ensuring the early presentation of people to health workers within 24 h of undifferentiated fever through health promotion initiatives. Future studies should assess adherence to medication and clinical improvement. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Strengthening Surveillance Systems for Malaria Elimination by Integrating Molecular and Genomic Data
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040139 - 03 Dec 2019
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Unprecedented efforts in malaria control over the last 15 years have led to a substantial decrease in both morbidity and mortality in most endemic settings. However, these progresses have stalled over recent years, and resurgence may cause dramatic impact on both morbidity and [...] Read more.
Unprecedented efforts in malaria control over the last 15 years have led to a substantial decrease in both morbidity and mortality in most endemic settings. However, these progresses have stalled over recent years, and resurgence may cause dramatic impact on both morbidity and mortality. Nevertheless, elimination efforts are currently going on with the objective of reducing malaria morbidity and mortality by 90% and malaria elimination in at least 35 countries by 2030. Strengthening surveillance systems is of paramount importance to reach those targets, and the integration of molecular and genomic techniques into routine surveillance could substantially improve the quality and robustness of data. Techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) are increasingly available in malaria endemic countries, whereas others such as sequencing are already available in a few laboratories. However, sequencing, especially next-generation sequencing (NGS), requires sophisticated infrastructure with adequate computing power and highly trained personnel for data analysis that require substantial investment. Different techniques will be required for different applications, and cost-effective planning must ensure the appropriate use of available resources. The development of national and sub-regional reference laboratories could help in minimizing the resources required in terms of equipment and trained staff. Concerted efforts from different stakeholders at national, sub-regional, and global level are needed to develop the required framework to establish and maintain these reference laboratories. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Pattern of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Outbreaks in South Asia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040138 - 27 Nov 2019
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has caused severe illnesses in poultry and in humans. More than 15,000 outbreaks in domestic birds from 2005 to 2018 and 861 human cases from 2003 to 2019 were reported across the world to OIE (Office International [...] Read more.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has caused severe illnesses in poultry and in humans. More than 15,000 outbreaks in domestic birds from 2005 to 2018 and 861 human cases from 2003 to 2019 were reported across the world to OIE (Office International des Epizooties) and WHO (World Health Organization), respectively. We reviewed and summarized the spatial and temporal distribution of HPAI outbreaks in South Asia. During January 2006 to June 2019, a total of 1063 H5N1 outbreaks in birds and 12 human cases for H5N1 infection were reported to OIE and WHO, respectively. H5N1 outbreaks were detected more in the winter season than the summer season (RR 5.11, 95% CI: 4.28–6.1). Commercial poultry were three times more likely to be infected with H5N1 than backyard poultry (RR 3.47, 95% CI: 2.99–4.01). The highest number of H5N1 outbreaks was reported in 2008, and the smallest numbers were reported in 2014 and 2015. Multiple subtypes of avian influenza viruses and multiple clades of H5N1 virus were detected. Early detection and reporting of HPAI viruses are needed to control and eliminate HPAI in South Asia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Timeliness of Infectious Diseases Referral and Inappropriate Antibiotic Usage Post-Referral in an Asian Tertiary Hospital
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040137 - 18 Nov 2019
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Infectious diseases (ID) specialists advise on complicated infections and are advocates for the interventions of antibiotic stewardship programs (ASP). Early referral to ID specialists has been shown to improve patient outcomes; however, not all referrals to ID specialists are made in a timely [...] Read more.
Infectious diseases (ID) specialists advise on complicated infections and are advocates for the interventions of antibiotic stewardship programs (ASP). Early referral to ID specialists has been shown to improve patient outcomes; however, not all referrals to ID specialists are made in a timely fashion. A retrospective cross-sectional study of all referrals to ID specialists in a Singaporean tertiary hospital was conducted from January 2016 to January 2018. The following quality indicators were examined: early referral to ID specialists (within 48 h of admission) and ASP intervention for inappropriate antibiotic usage, even after referral to ID specialists. Chi-square was used for univariate analysis and logistic regression for multivariate analysis. A total of 6490 referrals over the 2-year period were analysed; of those, 36.7% (2384/6490) were from surgical disciplines, 47.0% (3050/6490) were from medical disciplines, 14.2% (922/6490) from haematology/oncology and 2.1% (134/6490) were made to the transplant ID service. Haematology/oncology patients and older patients (aged ≥ 60 years) had lower odds of early referral to ID specialists but higher odds of subsequent ASP intervention for inappropriate antibiotic usage, despite prior referral to an ID specialist. Elderly patients and haematology/oncology patients can be referred to ID specialists earlier and their antimicrobial regimens further optimised, perhaps by fostering closer cooperation between ID specialists and primary physicians. Full article
Open AccessReview
A Case History in Cooperative Biological Research: Compendium of Studies and Program Analyses in Kazakhstan
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040136 - 09 Nov 2019
Viewed by 410
Abstract
Kazakhstan and the United States have partnered since 2003 to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The US Department of Defense (US DoD) has funded threat reduction programs to eliminate biological weapons, secure material in repositories that could be targeted for [...] Read more.
Kazakhstan and the United States have partnered since 2003 to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The US Department of Defense (US DoD) has funded threat reduction programs to eliminate biological weapons, secure material in repositories that could be targeted for theft, and enhance surveillance systems to monitor infectious disease outbreaks that would affect national security. The cooperative biological research (CBR) program of the US DoD’s Biological Threat Reduction Program has provided financing, mentorship, infrastructure, and biologic research support to Kazakhstani scientists and research institutes since 2005. The objective of this paper is to provide a historical perspective for the CBR involvement in Kazakhstan, including project chronology, successes and challenges to allow lessons learned to be applied to future CBR endeavors. A project compendium from open source data and interviews with partner country Kazakhstani participants, project collaborators, and stakeholders was developed utilizing studies from 2004 to the present. An earlier project map was used as a basis to determine project linkages and continuations during the evolution of the CBR program. It was determined that consistent and effective networking increases the chances to collaborate especially for competitive funding opportunities. Overall, the CBR program has increased scientific capabilities in Kazakhstan while reducing their risk of biological threats. However, there is still need for increased scientific transparency and an overall strategy to develop a capability-based model to better enhance and sustain future research. Finally, we offer a living perspective that can be applied to further link related studies especially those related to One Health and zoonoses and the assessment of similar capability-building programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonoses and One Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Semi-Quantitative, Duplexed qPCR Assay for the Detection of Leishmania spp. Using Bisulphite Conversion Technology
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040135 - 01 Nov 2019
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Leishmaniasis is caused by the flagellated protozoan Leishmania, and is a neglected tropical disease (NTD), as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Bisulphite conversion technology converts all genomic material to a simplified form during the lysis step of the nucleic acid extraction [...] Read more.
Leishmaniasis is caused by the flagellated protozoan Leishmania, and is a neglected tropical disease (NTD), as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Bisulphite conversion technology converts all genomic material to a simplified form during the lysis step of the nucleic acid extraction process, and increases the efficiency of multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) reactions. Through utilization of qPCR real-time probes, in conjunction with bisulphite conversion, a new duplex assay targeting the 18S rDNA gene region was designed to detect all Leishmania species. The assay was validated against previously extracted DNA, from seven quantitated DNA and cell standards for pan-Leishmania analytical sensitivity data, and 67 cutaneous clinical samples for cutaneous clinical sensitivity data. Specificity was evaluated by testing 76 negative clinical samples and 43 bacterial, viral, protozoan and fungal species. The assay was also trialed in a side-by-side experiment against a conventional PCR (cPCR), based on the Internal transcribed spacer region 1 (ITS1 region). Ninety-seven percent of specimens from patients that previously tested positive for Leishmania were positive for Leishmania spp. with the bisulphite conversion assay, and a limit of detection (LOD) of 10 copies per PCR was achieved, while the LOD of the ITS1 methodology was 10 cells/1000 genomic copies per PCR. This method of rapid, accurate and simple detection of Leishmania can lead to improved diagnosis, treatment and public health outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Active Case Finding for Tuberculosis through TOUCH Agents in Selected High TB Burden Wards of Kolkata, India: A Mixed Methods Study on Outcomes and Implementation Challenges
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040134 - 01 Nov 2019
Viewed by 422
Abstract
Active case finding (ACF) for tuberculosis (TB) was implemented in 60 selected high TB burden wards of Kolkata, India. Community volunteers called TOUCH (Targeted Outreach for Upliftment of Community Health) agents (TAs) identified and referred presumptive TB patients (PTBPs) to health facilities for [...] Read more.
Active case finding (ACF) for tuberculosis (TB) was implemented in 60 selected high TB burden wards of Kolkata, India. Community volunteers called TOUCH (Targeted Outreach for Upliftment of Community Health) agents (TAs) identified and referred presumptive TB patients (PTBPs) to health facilities for TB diagnosis and treatment. We aimed to describe the “care cascade” of PTBPs that were identified during July to December 2018 and to explore the reasons for attrition as perceived by TAs and PTBPs. An explanatory mixed-methods study with a quantitative phase of cohort study using routinely collected data followed by descriptive qualitative study with in-depth interviews was conducted. Of the 3,86242 individuals that were enumerated, 1132 (0.3%) PTBPs were identified. Only 713 (63.0%) PTBPs visited a referred facility for TB diagnosis. TB was diagnosed in 177 (24.8%). The number needed to screen for one TB patient was 2183 individuals. The potential reasons for low yield were stigma and apprehension about TB, distrust about TA, wage losses for attending health facilities, and substance abuse among PTBPs. The yield of ACF was suboptimal with low PTBP identification rate and a high attrition rate. Interviewing each individual for symptoms of TB and supporting PTBPs for diagnosis through sputum collection and transport can be adopted to improve the yield. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
What Proportion of New Tuberculosis Patients Has a History of Household Tuberculosis Exposure? A Cross-Sectional Study from Udupi District, South India
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040133 - 01 Nov 2019
Viewed by 391
Abstract
While tuberculosis (TB) preventive therapy among household contacts is effective at an individual level, its population-level impact on reducing TB incidence has been unclear. In this study, we aimed to assess, among the new tuberculosis patients started on treatment between 1 October, 2018 [...] Read more.
While tuberculosis (TB) preventive therapy among household contacts is effective at an individual level, its population-level impact on reducing TB incidence has been unclear. In this study, we aimed to assess, among the new tuberculosis patients started on treatment between 1 October, 2018 and 30 June, 2019 in the public health facilities of Udupi district (South India): i) the proportion with a ‘history of household TB exposure’ and ii) sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with it. We conducted a cross-sectional study involving record review and patient interviews. Of 565 TB patients, 273(48%) were interviewed. Of them, 71(26%, 95% CI: 21%–32%) patients had a ‘history of household TB exposure (ever)’ with about half exposed in the past five years of diagnosis. Considering a new TB case as a proxy for incident TB, and ‘history of household TB exposure’ a proxy for household transmission, and assuming 100% effectiveness of preventive therapy, we may infer that a maximum of 26% of the incident cases can be prevented by giving preventive therapy to all household contacts of TB patients. In multivariable analysis, females and tobacco users had a significantly higher prevalence of household TB exposure. If there are resource constraints, these subgroups may be prioritized. Full article
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Open AccessReview
New York State Emergency Preparedness and Response to Influenza Pandemics 1918–2018
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040132 - 30 Oct 2019
Viewed by 449
Abstract
Emergency health preparedness and response efforts are a necessity in order to safeguard the public against major events, such as influenza pandemics. Since posting warnings of the epidemic influenza in 1918, to the mass media communications available a century later, state, national and [...] Read more.
Emergency health preparedness and response efforts are a necessity in order to safeguard the public against major events, such as influenza pandemics. Since posting warnings of the epidemic influenza in 1918, to the mass media communications available a century later, state, national and global public health agencies have developed sophisticated networks, tools, detection methods, and preparedness plans. These progressive measures guide health departments and clinical providers, track patient specimens and test reports, monitor the spread of disease, and evaluate the most threatening influenza strains by means of risk assessment, to be able to respond readily to a pandemic. Surge drills and staff training were key aspects for New York State preparedness and response to the 2009 influenza pandemic, and the re-evaluation of preparedness plans is recommended to ensure readiness to address the emergence and spread of a future novel virulent influenza strain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cryptosporidiosis among Hemodialysis Patients in Jordan: First Preliminary Screening Surveillance
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040131 - 18 Oct 2019
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Few studies have reported the incidence of cryptosporidiosis among hemodialysis patients worldwide. Currently many molecular and immunological assays have been developed for the sensitive diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis, but still, the microscopic detection of the parasitic infective stage (oocysts) in stool specimens using modified [...] Read more.
Few studies have reported the incidence of cryptosporidiosis among hemodialysis patients worldwide. Currently many molecular and immunological assays have been developed for the sensitive diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis, but still, the microscopic detection of the parasitic infective stage (oocysts) in stool specimens using modified acid stain is regarded as a reliable sensitive technique which is widely used in many clinical labs. In the present study, a total of 133 stool samples were collected from hemodialysis patients and were screened for Cryptosporidium oocyst using formalin-ether concentration and modified acid-fast staining technique. Clinical and demographic data were also collected and analyzed. Cryptosporidium oocysts were recovered in 15/133 (11%) of the investigated hemodialysis patients. The age of patients ranged from 25 to 80 years (mean: 57.84 ± 12.22). Most of the Cryptosporidium-positive cases were recovered from males (73.7%) residing in rural villages in Irbid city (86.6%). The most repeatedly reported symptoms in the Cryptosporidium-positive patients were gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea (15%), nausea (24%), abdominal pain (23%) and bloating (17%), in addition to general fatigue (32%) and weight loss (19%). No statistically significant associations for certain clinical symptoms or risk factors were found. The present study is the first preliminary study in Jordan that provided a brief screening for the incidence of cryptosporidiosis among hemodialysis patients. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Cutaneous Pyogranulomas Associated with Nocardia jiangxiensis in a Cat from the Eastern Caribbean
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040130 - 17 Oct 2019
Viewed by 479
Abstract
Nocardia spp. are worldwide, ubiquitous zoonotic bacteria that have the ability to infect humans as well as domestic animals. Herein, we present a case of a five-year-old female spayed domestic shorthair cat (from the island of Nevis) with a history of a traumatic [...] Read more.
Nocardia spp. are worldwide, ubiquitous zoonotic bacteria that have the ability to infect humans as well as domestic animals. Herein, we present a case of a five-year-old female spayed domestic shorthair cat (from the island of Nevis) with a history of a traumatic skin wound on the ventral abdomen approximately two years prior to presenting to the Ross University Veterinary Clinic. The cat presented with severe dermatitis and cellulitis on the ventral caudal abdomen, with multiple draining tracts and sinuses exuding purulent material. Initial bacterial culture yielded Corynebacterum spp. The patient was treated symptomatically with antibiotics for 8 weeks. The cat re-presented 8 weeks after the initial visit with worsening of the abdominal lesions. Surgical intervention occurred at that time, and histopathology and tissue cultures confirmed the presence of Nocardia spp.-induced pyogranulomatous panniculitis, dermatitis, and cellulitis. Pre-operatively, the patient was found to be feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-positive. The patient was administered trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMS) after antimicrobial sensitivity testing. PCR amplification and 16S rRNA gene sequencing confirmed Nocardia jiangxiensis as the causative agent. To our knowledge, N. jiangxiensis has not been previously associated with disease. This case report aims to highlight the importance of a much-needed One Health approach using advancements in technology to better understand the zoonotic potential of Nocardia spp. worldwide. Full article
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Pyke, A.T. et al. On the Home Front: Specialized Reference Testing for Dengue in the Australasian Region. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3, 75
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040129 - 16 Oct 2019
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following correction to Table 1 of this paper [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Study of a Single Instillation of Low-Concentration High-Volume Silver Nitrate Solution for Chyluria: Is >10 mL Instillation an Absolute Contraindication in the Real World?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040128 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Silver nitrate instillation (SNI) is one form of treatment for chyluria. However, there is the opinion that a high volume of SNI (>10 mL) should be avoided because life-threatening complications have been reported. However, we have noticed that most severe complications occur in [...] Read more.
Silver nitrate instillation (SNI) is one form of treatment for chyluria. However, there is the opinion that a high volume of SNI (>10 mL) should be avoided because life-threatening complications have been reported. However, we have noticed that most severe complications occur in high-concentration treatments (≥1%), even with a small volume. In addition, a small volume (≤10 mL) of low-concentration (<1%) SNI occasionally causes recurrence. Based on these facts, we aimed to evaluate a preliminary study of a novel single-injection regimen of low-concentration high-volume SNI. In this preliminary study, nine patients who underwent SNI were retrospectively examined. Patient characteristics, anesthesia, procedure, efficacy, complications, and duration of hospital stay were investigated. The volume of silver nitrate solution was decided based on symptoms, findings of pyelography, and vital signs, and it was given as a single instillation. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board. The ranges of silver nitrate concentration and volume were 0.1%–0.5% and 15–30 mL, respectively. In all patients, proteinuria and cloudy urine disappeared immediately. However, two patients had recurrence after the initial SNI. These two patients were subsequently treated with increasing concentrations of silver nitrate (0.2% and 0.5%) from 0.1%, and they had complete symptomatic relief without recurrence for more than 6 years. None of the patients experienced severe complications. In conclusion, our preliminary study showed that a single instillation of low-concentration (0.1%–0.5%) and high-volume (15–30 mL) SNI is safe and useful. It is worth considering as a treatment option for chyluria. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Meningococcal Vaccine for Hajj Pilgrims: Compliance, Predictors, and Barriers
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040127 - 15 Oct 2019
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Background: Major intercontinental outbreaks of invasive meningococcal disease associated with the Hajj occurred in 1987, 2000, and 2001. Mandatory meningococcal vaccination for all pilgrims against serogroups A and C and, subsequently, A, C, W, and Y controlled the epidemics. Overseas pilgrims show excellent [...] Read more.
Background: Major intercontinental outbreaks of invasive meningococcal disease associated with the Hajj occurred in 1987, 2000, and 2001. Mandatory meningococcal vaccination for all pilgrims against serogroups A and C and, subsequently, A, C, W, and Y controlled the epidemics. Overseas pilgrims show excellent adherence to the policy; however, vaccine uptake among domestic pilgrims is suboptimal. This survey aimed to evaluate meningococcal vaccine uptake among Hajj pilgrims and to identify key factors affecting this. Methods: An anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted among pilgrims in Greater Makkah during the Hajj in 2017–2018. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, vaccination status, cost of vaccination, and reasons behind non-receipt of the vaccine were collected. Results: A total of 509 respondents aged 13 to 82 (median 33.8) years participated in the survey: 86% male, 85% domestic pilgrims. Only 389/476 (81.7%) confirmed their meningococcal vaccination status; 64 individuals (13.4%), all domestic pilgrims, did not receive the vaccine, and 23 (4.8%) were unsure. Among overseas pilgrims, 93.5% certainly received the vaccine (6.5% were unsure) compared to 80.9% of domestic pilgrims (p < 0.01). Being employed and having a tertiary qualification were significant predictors of vaccination adherence (odds ratio (OR) = 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3–3.8, p < 0.01; and OR = 1.7, CI = 1–2.5, p < 0.05, respectively). Those who obtained pre-Hajj health advice were more than three times as likely to be vaccinated than those who did not (OR = 3.3, CI = 1.9–5.9, p < 0.001). Lack of awareness (63.2%, 36/57) and lack of time (15.8%, 9/57) were the most common reasons reported for non-receipt of vaccine. Conclusion: Many domestic pilgrims missed the compulsory meningococcal vaccine; in this regard, lack of awareness is a key barrier. Being an overseas pilgrim (or living at a distance from Makkah), receipt of pre-Hajj health advice, and employment were predictors of greater compliance with the vaccination policy. Opportunities remain to reduce the policy–practice gap among domestic pilgrims. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Travel and Tropical Medicine)
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Open AccessReview
The Trypanosomal Transferrin Receptor of Trypanosoma Brucei—A Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040126 - 01 Oct 2019
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Abstract
Iron is an essential element for life. Its uptake and utility requires a careful balancing with its toxic capacity, with mammals evolving a safe and bio-viable means of its transport and storage. This transport and storage is also utilized as part of the [...] Read more.
Iron is an essential element for life. Its uptake and utility requires a careful balancing with its toxic capacity, with mammals evolving a safe and bio-viable means of its transport and storage. This transport and storage is also utilized as part of the iron-sequestration arsenal employed by the mammalian hosts’ ‘nutritional immunity’ against parasites. Interestingly, a key element of iron transport, i.e., serum transferrin (Tf), is an essential growth factor for parasitic haemo-protozoans of the genus Trypanosoma. These are major mammalian parasites causing the diseases human African trypanosomosis (HAT) and animal trypanosomosis (AT). Using components of their well-characterized immune evasion system, bloodstream Trypanosoma brucei parasites adapt and scavenge for the mammalian host serum transferrin within their broad host range. The expression site associated genes (ESAG6 and 7) are utilized to construct a heterodimeric serum Tf binding complex which, within its niche in the flagellar pocket, and coupled to the trypanosomes’ fast endocytic rate, allows receptor-mediated acquisition of essential iron from their environment. This review summarizes current knowledge of the trypanosomal transferrin receptor (TfR), with emphasis on the structure and function of the receptor, both in physiological conditions as well as in conditions where the iron supply to parasites is being limited. Potential applications using current knowledge of the parasite receptor are also briefly discussed, primarily focused on potential therapeutic interventions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Attrition from Care and Clinical Outcomes in a Cohort of Sickle Cell Disease Patients in a Tribal Area of Western India
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040125 - 01 Oct 2019
Viewed by 482
Abstract
In a tribal area of western India, a non-governmental organization implemented a comprehensive sickle cell disease (SCD) program at a secondary level hospital. In a cohort of SCD patients registered during December 2015 to June 2017, we assessed rates of lost to follow-up [...] Read more.
In a tribal area of western India, a non-governmental organization implemented a comprehensive sickle cell disease (SCD) program at a secondary level hospital. In a cohort of SCD patients registered during December 2015 to June 2017, we assessed rates of lost to follow-up (LTFU) during the follow-up period using routinely collected data. We compared the uptake of proven interventions and indicators of disease severity from one year prior to registration until the end of the study (June 2018). Of 404 patients, the total follow-up duration was 534 person-years (PY). The rate (95% CI) of LTFU was 21 (17.5–25.3) per 100 PY. The proportion of people who received the pneumococcal vaccine improved from 10% to 93%, and coverage of hydroxyurea improved from 3.5% to 88%. There was a statistically significant decrease in rates (per 100 PY) of pain crisis (277 vs 53.4), hospitalization (49.8 vs 42.2), and blood transfusion (27.4 vs 17.8) after enrollment in the SCD program. Although clinical intervention uptake was high, one quarter of the patients were LTFU. The study demonstrated significant reductions in disease severity in SCD patients. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Zero Endemic Cases of Wildlife Rabies (Classical Rabies Virus, RABV) in the European Union by 2020: An Achievable Goal
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040124 - 30 Sep 2019
Viewed by 760
Abstract
The elimination of rabies transmitted by Classical Rabies Virus (RABV) in the European Union (EU) is now in sight. Scientific advances have made it possible to develop oral vaccination for wildlife by incorporating rabies vaccines in baits for foxes. At the start of [...] Read more.
The elimination of rabies transmitted by Classical Rabies Virus (RABV) in the European Union (EU) is now in sight. Scientific advances have made it possible to develop oral vaccination for wildlife by incorporating rabies vaccines in baits for foxes. At the start of the 1980s, aerial distribution of vaccine baits was tested and found to be a promising tool. The EU identified rabies elimination as a priority, and provided considerable financial and technical resources to the infected EU Member States, allowing regular and large-scale rabies eradication programs based on aerial vaccination. The EU also provides support to non-EU countries in its eastern and south eastern borders. The key elements of the rabies eradication programs are oral rabies vaccination (ORV), quality control of vaccines and control of their distribution, rabies surveillance and monitoring of the vaccination effectiveness. EU Member States and non-EU countries with EU funded eradication programs counted on the technical support of the rabies subgroup of the Task Force for monitoring disease eradication and of the EU Reference Laboratory (EURL) for rabies. In 2018, eight rabies cases induced by classical rabies virus RABV (six in wild animals and two in domestic animals) were detected in three EU Member States, representing a sharp decrease compared to the situation in 2010, where there were more than 1500 cases in nine EU Member States. The goal is to reach zero cases in wildlife and domestic animals in the EU by 2020, a target that now seems achievable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lyssaviruses and Rabies: Prevention, Control and Elimination)
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Open AccessReview
Risk Factors for Infectious Diseases in Urban Environments of Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review and Critical Appraisal of Evidence
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040123 - 29 Sep 2019
Viewed by 746
Abstract
Our world is rapidly urbanizing. According to the United Nations, between 1990 and 2015, the percent of the world’s population living in urban areas grew from 43% to 54%. Estimates suggest that this trend will continue and that over 68% of the world’s [...] Read more.
Our world is rapidly urbanizing. According to the United Nations, between 1990 and 2015, the percent of the world’s population living in urban areas grew from 43% to 54%. Estimates suggest that this trend will continue and that over 68% of the world’s population will call cities home by 2050, with the majority of urbanization occurring in African countries. This urbanization is already having a profound effect on global health and could significantly impact the epidemiology of infectious diseases. A better understanding of infectious disease risk factors specific to urban settings is needed to plan for and mitigate against future urban outbreaks. We conducted a systematic literature review of the Web of Science and PubMed databases to assess the risk factors for infectious diseases in the urban environments of sub-Saharan Africa. A search combining keywords associated with cities, migration, African countries, infectious disease, and risk were used to identify relevant studies. Original research and meta-analyses published between 2004 and 2019 investigating geographical and behavioral risk factors, changing disease distributions, or control programs were included in the study. The search yielded 3610 papers, and 106 met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis. Papers were categorized according to risk factors, geographic area, and study type. The papers covered 31 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with East Africa being the most represented sub-region. Malaria and HIV were the most frequent disease focuses of the studies. The results of this work can inform public health policy as it relates to capacity building and health systems strengthening in rapidly urbanizing areas, as well as highlight knowledge gaps that warrant additional research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Diagnosis of Fungal Neglected Tropical Diseases (Fungal NTDs) and the Role of Investigation and Laboratory Tests: An Expert Consensus Report
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040122 - 24 Sep 2019
Viewed by 999
Abstract
The diagnosis of fungal Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) is primarily based on initial visual recognition of a suspected case followed by confirmatory laboratory testing, which is often limited to specialized facilities. Although molecular and serodiagnostic tools have advanced, a substantial gap remains between [...] Read more.
The diagnosis of fungal Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) is primarily based on initial visual recognition of a suspected case followed by confirmatory laboratory testing, which is often limited to specialized facilities. Although molecular and serodiagnostic tools have advanced, a substantial gap remains between the desirable and the practical in endemic settings. To explore this issue further, we conducted a survey of subject matter experts on the optimal diagnostic methods sufficient to initiate treatment in well-equipped versus basic healthcare settings, as well as optimal sampling methods, for three fungal NTDs: mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis, and sporotrichosis. A survey of 23 centres found consensus on the key role of semi-invasive sampling methods such as biopsy diagnosis as compared with swabs or impression smears, and on the importance of histopathology, direct microscopy, and culture for mycetoma and chromoblastomycosis confirmation in well-equipped laboratories. In basic healthcare settings, direct microscopy combined with clinical signs were reported to be the most useful diagnostic indicators to prompt referral for treatment. The survey identified that the diagnosis of sporotrichosis is the most problematic with poor sensitivity across the most widely available laboratory tests except fungal culture, highlighting the need to improve mycological diagnostic capacity and to develop innovative diagnostic solutions. Fungal microscopy and culture are now recognized as WHO essential diagnostic tests and better training in their application will help improve the situation. For mycetoma and sporotrichosis, in particular, advances in identifying specific marker antigens or genomic sequences may pave the way for new laboratory-based or point-of-care tests, although this is a formidable task given the large number of different organisms that can cause fungal NTDs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Future Pandemic Influenza Virus Detection Relies on the Existing Influenza Surveillance Systems: A Perspective from Australia and New Zealand
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4040121 - 23 Sep 2019
Viewed by 859
Abstract
The anniversary of the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic has allowed a refocusing on the global burden of influenza and the importance of co-ordinated international surveillance for both seasonal influenza and the identification of control strategies for future pandemics. Since the introduction of the International [...] Read more.
The anniversary of the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic has allowed a refocusing on the global burden of influenza and the importance of co-ordinated international surveillance for both seasonal influenza and the identification of control strategies for future pandemics. Since the introduction of the International Health Regulations (IHR), progress had been slow, until the emergence of the novel influenza A(H1N1)2009 virus and its global spread, which has led to the World Health Organization (WHO) developing a series of guidance documents on global influenza surveillance procedures, severity and risk assessments, and essential measurements for the determination of national pandemic responses. However, the greatest burden of disease from influenza occurs between pandemics during seasonal influenza outbreaks and epidemics. Both Australia and New Zealand utilise seasonal influenza surveillance to support national influenza awareness programs focused on seasonal influenza vaccination education and promotion. These programs also serve to promote the importance of pandemic preparedness. Full article
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