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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 64 articles

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Article
Screening for Parasitic Infection and Tuberculosis in Immunosuppressed and Pre-Immunosuppressed Patients: An Observational Study
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030170 (registering DOI) - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 221
Abstract
Reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) or latent parasitic infection (LPI) during drug-induced immunosuppression can have serious consequences. The Division of tropical and humanitarian medicine of the Geneva University Hospitals runs a specific consultation for parasitic screening of immunosuppressed or pre-immunosuppressed patients. We [...] Read more.
Reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) or latent parasitic infection (LPI) during drug-induced immunosuppression can have serious consequences. The Division of tropical and humanitarian medicine of the Geneva University Hospitals runs a specific consultation for parasitic screening of immunosuppressed or pre-immunosuppressed patients. We sought to determine the seroprevalence of LTBI and LPI in such patients and explore its relationship with country of origin or previous travel in a retrospective, single-centre observational study from 2016 to 2019. Demographic data, travel history, ongoing treatments and results of the parasitological (Strongyloides stercoralis, Trypanosoma cruzi, Echinococcus multilocularis, Entamoeba histolytica and Leishmania spp.) and TB screening were collected to calculate LPI or LTBI prevalence. Risk factors for LTBI and strongyloidiasis were analysed using Poisson regression with robust variance. Among 406 eligible patients, 24/353 (6.8%) had LTBI, 8/368 (2.2%) were positive for Strongyloides stercoralis infection, 1/32 (3.1%) was positive for Entamoeba histolytica and 1/299 (0.3%) was positive for Leishmaniasis. No cases of Trypanosoma cruzi (0/274) or Echinococcus multilocularis (0/56) infection were detected. Previous travel to or originating from high-prevalence countries was a risk factor for LTBI (PR = 3.4, CI 95%: 1.4–8.2 and 4.0, CI 95%: 1.8–8.9, respectively). The prevalence of serological Strongyloidiasis in immunosuppressed patients is lower in comparison to those without immunosuppression (PR = 0.1, CI 95%: 0.01–0.8). In conclusion, screening before immunosuppression needs to be individualized, and LTBI and LPI need to be ruled out in patients who originate from or have travelled to high-prevalence countries. The sensitivity of strongyloidiasis serology is reduced following immunosuppression, so an algorithm combining different tests or presumptive treatment should be considered. Full article
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Article
Hantaviruses in Agricultural and Forestry Workers: Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices in Italian Physicians
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030169 - 20 Sep 2021
Viewed by 183
Abstract
Hantaviruses are viral pathogens usually endemic in rodent populations. Human exposure follows inhalation of dusts contaminated with rodent excreta, and most individuals have been infected in occupational settings heavily contaminated with rodent droppings, such as agricultural and forestry. To date, knowledge, attitudes and [...] Read more.
Hantaviruses are viral pathogens usually endemic in rodent populations. Human exposure follows inhalation of dusts contaminated with rodent excreta, and most individuals have been infected in occupational settings heavily contaminated with rodent droppings, such as agricultural and forestry. To date, knowledge, attitudes and practices of medical professionals, especially occupational physicians (OP), regarding hantavirus disease in at-risk workers have been scarcely investigated. We investigated these topics through a structured questionnaire administered through an online survey of 223 medical professionals (42.2% of them working as OP). Adequate general knowledge of hantavirus disease was found in 48.9% of respondents, with OP exhibiting a better understanding of clinical features of human hantavirus infections. OP aware of the endemic status of hantavirus in North-Eastern Italy exhibited higher risk perception for agricultural workers (odds ratio 21,193, 95% confidence interval 3.666–122.505). On the contrary, a better knowledge of hantaviruses was association with acknowledging an increased risk of hantavirus infection in forestry workers (odds ratio 5.880, 95% confidence interval 1.620–21.343). Hantavirus in Italy represent an often-overlooked biological risk in occupational settings. The lack of preventive immunization, the inappropriate risk perception and the unsatisfying awareness of hantavirus issues collectively stress the importance of appropriate information campaigns among health care providers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infection Prevention and Control: Practical and Educational Advances)
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Article
Evolution of Public Health Prevention of Leptospirosis in a One Health Perspective: The Example of Mahasarakham Province (Thailand)
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030168 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Leptospirosis is an endemic disease with moderate to high incidence in Mahasarakham province, Thailand. The present study was designed to assess the policy implementation mission regarding leptospirosis prevention and control from the national level to the local administrative levels, through a One Health [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is an endemic disease with moderate to high incidence in Mahasarakham province, Thailand. The present study was designed to assess the policy implementation mission regarding leptospirosis prevention and control from the national level to the local administrative levels, through a One Health perspective. A qualitative study was conducted, using documentation review, individual in-depth interviews with public health officers, local government officers, livestock officers who developed policy implementation tools or have responsibilities in leptospirosis prevention and control. The results show that Thailand has progressively developed a leptospirosis prevention and control policy framework at the national level, transferring the responsibility of its implementation to the local level. The province of Mahasarakham has decided to foster cooperation in leptospirosis prevention and control at the local level. However, there are insufficient linkages between provincial, district and sub-district departments to ensure comprehensive disease prevention activities at the local level concerning leptospirosis patients and the whole population. Full article
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Article
Challenges Perceived by Health Care Providers for Implementation of Contact Screening and Isoniazid Chemoprophylaxis in Karnataka, India
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030167 - 14 Sep 2021
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Background: In India, challenges in pediatric TB contact screening and chemoprophylaxis initiation are still underexplored. Elucidating these challenges will help in better implementation of the programme at the grass-roots level thereby helping in early detection of pediatric cases and timely initiation of preventive [...] Read more.
Background: In India, challenges in pediatric TB contact screening and chemoprophylaxis initiation are still underexplored. Elucidating these challenges will help in better implementation of the programme at the grass-roots level thereby helping in early detection of pediatric cases and timely initiation of preventive therapy. This study aimed at exploring the challenges faced by the health care provider in contact screening and chemoprophylaxis initiation implementation of the pediatric household contacts. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted in the districts of Bengaluru and Udupi and in-depth interviews of key participants were adopted to explore the challenges. Qualitative data analysis was done after developing transcripts by generating themes and codes. Results: The key challenges were identified as stigma towards the disease, migrant patients with changing address, difficulty in sample collection, anxiety among parents due to long duration of the prophylactic treatment and adherence to IPT is not well documented, inadequate transportation from rural areas, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions: It is important for the National TB programme to address these challenges efficiently and effectively. Innovative solutions, feasible engagements, and massive efforts are to be taken by the programme to improve contact screening and isoniazid chemoprophylaxis implementation. Full article
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Systematic Review
Strategies Used for Implementing and Promoting Adherence to Antibiotic Guidelines in Low- and Lower-Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030166 - 13 Sep 2021
Viewed by 297
Abstract
Containing antimicrobial resistance and reducing high levels of antibiotic consumption in low- and lower middle-income countries are a major challenge. Clinical guidelines targeting antibiotic prescribing can reduce consumption, however, the degrees to which clinical guidelines are adopted and adhered to are challenging for [...] Read more.
Containing antimicrobial resistance and reducing high levels of antibiotic consumption in low- and lower middle-income countries are a major challenge. Clinical guidelines targeting antibiotic prescribing can reduce consumption, however, the degrees to which clinical guidelines are adopted and adhered to are challenging for developers, policy makers and users. The aim of this study was to review the strategies used for implementing and promoting antibiotic guideline adherence in low- and lower middle-income countries. A review of published literature was conducted using PubMed, Cochrane Library, SCOPUS and the information systems of the World Health Organization and the Australian National University according to PRISMA guidelines and our PROSPERO protocol. The strategies were grouped into five broad categories based on the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care taxonomy. The 33 selected studies, representing 16 countries varied widely in design, setting, disease focus, methods, intervention components, outcomes and effects. The majority of interventions were multifaceted and resulted in a positive direction of effect. The nature of the interventions and study variability made it impossible to tease out which strategies had the greatest impact on improving CG compliance. Audit and feedback coupled with either workshops and/or focus group discussions were the most frequently used intervention components. All the reported strategies are established practices used in antimicrobial stewardship programs in high-income countries. We recommend interrupted time series studies be used as an alternative design to pre- and post-intervention studies, information about the clinical guidelines be made more transparent, and prescriber confidence be investigated. Full article
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Case Report
Rapidly Containing the First Indigenous Outbreak of Chikungunya in Taiwan—Lessons Learned
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030165 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 293
Abstract
The first indigenous outbreak of chikungunya in Taiwan occurred in New Taipei City, northern Taiwan, from August to October 2019. This study identified important containment strategies for controlling the outbreak. The outbreak investigation and ovitrap data were collected from the Department of Health, [...] Read more.
The first indigenous outbreak of chikungunya in Taiwan occurred in New Taipei City, northern Taiwan, from August to October 2019. This study identified important containment strategies for controlling the outbreak. The outbreak investigation and ovitrap data were collected from the Department of Health, New Taipei City Government. A geographic information system (GIS) was applied for spatial analysis, and descriptive statistics were used to compute the demographic features and medical visits of confirmed cases. There were 19 residents infected during the outbreak. The source of this outbreak was a mountain trail with abundant Aedes albopictus. The atypical symptoms and lack of a rapid test led to multiple clinical visits by the patients (mean: 2.79; standard deviation: 1.65). The clinical symptoms of chikungunya are very similar to those of dengue fever. We noted that only eight patients were polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive in their first blood collection, and an average of 3.13 days between illness onset and PCR-positive results. The improved laboratory panel test, targeted and rapid insecticide spraying at the households and their communities, strict closure of the mountain trail, and ovitrap surveillance for evaluating intervention were important approaches to rapidly contain the outbreak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatio-Temporal Modeling and Tropical Disease)
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Article
Is It Feasible to Conduct Post-Tuberculosis Assessments at the End of Tuberculosis Treatment under Routine Programmatic Conditions in China?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030164 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 321
Abstract
There is growing evidence that a substantial proportion of people who complete anti-tuberculosis treatment experience significant morbidity and mortality which can negatively affect their quality of life. It is suggested that national tuberculosis programs conduct end-of-treatment assessments, but whether this is feasible is [...] Read more.
There is growing evidence that a substantial proportion of people who complete anti-tuberculosis treatment experience significant morbidity and mortality which can negatively affect their quality of life. It is suggested that national tuberculosis programs conduct end-of-treatment assessments, but whether this is feasible is currently not known. We therefore assessed whether tuberculosis program staff could assess functional and general health status of patients at the end of treatment in five TB clinics in four provinces in China. There were 115 patients, aged 14–82 years, who completed anti-tuberculosis treatment and a post-TB assessment. There were 54 (47%) patients who continued to have symptoms, the commonest being cough, dyspnea and fatigue. Symptom continuation was significantly more common in the 22 patients with diabetes (p = 0.027) and the 12 patients previously treated for TB (p = 0.008). There were 12 (10%) current smokers, an abnormal chest X-ray was found in 106 (92%) patients and distance walked in the 6-min walking test (6MWT) ranged from 30–750 m (mean 452 ± 120); 24 (21%) patients walked less than 400 m. Time taken to perform the post-TB assessment, including the 6MWT, ranged from 8–45 min (mean 21 ± 8 min). In 98% of the completed questionnaires, health workers stated that conducting post-TB assessments was feasible and useful. This study shows that post-TB assessments can be conducted under routine programmatic conditions and that there is significant morbidity that needs to be addressed. Full article
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Article
Early Evaluation of an Ultra-Portable X-ray System for Tuberculosis Active Case Finding
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030163 - 04 Sep 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
X-ray screening is an important tool in tuberculosis (TB) prevention and care, but access has historically been restricted by its immobile nature. As recent advancements have improved the portability of modern X-ray systems, this study represents an early evaluation of the safety, image [...] Read more.
X-ray screening is an important tool in tuberculosis (TB) prevention and care, but access has historically been restricted by its immobile nature. As recent advancements have improved the portability of modern X-ray systems, this study represents an early evaluation of the safety, image quality and yield of using an ultra-portable X-ray system for active case finding (ACF). We reported operational and radiological performance characteristics and compared image quality between the ultra-portable and two reference systems. Image quality was rated by three human readers and by an artificial intelligence (AI) software. We deployed the ultra-portable X-ray alongside the reference system for community-based ACF and described TB care cascades for each system. The ultra-portable system operated within advertised specifications and radiologic tolerances, except on X-ray capture capacity, which was 58% lower than the reported maximum of 100 exposures per charge. The mean image quality rating from radiologists for the ultra-portable system was significantly lower than the reference (3.71 vs. 3.99, p < 0.001). However, we detected no significant differences in TB abnormality scores using the AI software (p = 0.571), nor in any of the steps along the TB care cascade during our ACF campaign. Despite some shortcomings, ultra-portable X-ray systems have significant potential to improve case detection and equitable access to high-quality TB care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Tools and Approaches to End TB)
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Article
Genetic Diversity of Dengue Virus in Clinical Specimens from Bangkok, Thailand, during 2018–2020: Co-Circulation of All Four Serotypes with Multiple Genotypes and/or Clades
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030162 - 04 Sep 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Dengue is an arboviral disease highly endemic in Bangkok, Thailand. To characterize the current genetic diversity of dengue virus (DENV), we recruited patients with suspected DENV infection at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Bangkok, during 2018–2020. We determined complete nucleotide sequences of the [...] Read more.
Dengue is an arboviral disease highly endemic in Bangkok, Thailand. To characterize the current genetic diversity of dengue virus (DENV), we recruited patients with suspected DENV infection at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Bangkok, during 2018–2020. We determined complete nucleotide sequences of the DENV envelope region for 111 of 276 participant serum samples. All four DENV serotypes were detected, with the highest proportion being DENV-1. Although all DENV-1 sequences were genotype I, our DENV-1 sequences were divided into four distinct clades with different distributions in Asian countries. Two genotypes of DENV-2 were identified, Asian I and Cosmopolitan, which were further divided into two and three distinct clades, respectively. In DENV-3, in addition to the previously dominant genotype III, a cluster of 6 genotype I viruses only rarely reported in Thailand was also observed. All of the DENV-4 viruses belonged to genotype I, but they were separated into three distinct clades. These results indicated that all four serotypes of DENV with multiple genotypes and/or clades co-circulate in Bangkok. Continuous investigation of DENV is warranted to further determine the relationship between DENV within Thailand and neighboring countries in Southeast Asia and Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future (Volume II))
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Article
Are Malaria Risk Factors Based on Gender? A Mixed-Methods Survey in an Urban Setting in Ghana
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030161 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 589
Abstract
Malaria still represents one of the most debilitating and deadly diseases in the world. It has been suggested that malaria has different impacts on women and men due to both social and biological factors. A gender perspective is therefore important to understand how [...] Read more.
Malaria still represents one of the most debilitating and deadly diseases in the world. It has been suggested that malaria has different impacts on women and men due to both social and biological factors. A gender perspective is therefore important to understand how to eliminate malaria. This study aimed to investigate malaria from a gender perspective in a non-for-profit private health facility, HopeXchange Medical Centre, based in Kumasi (Ghana). A sequential mixed-methods design, comprising quantitative and qualitative methods, was used. This study found low ownership (40%) and use (19%) of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). Most malaria cases were women (62%), who were less educated and had more external risk factors associated with infection. Our study reported a trend of preferring malaria self-medication at home, which was practiced mostly by men (43%). Our data suggest that women are more likely to be exposed to malaria infections than men, especially due to their prolonged exposure to mosquito bites during the most dangerous hours. Our study highlighted the need for future malaria control policies to be more focused on social and behavioral aspects and from a gender perspective. Full article
Review
Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections among Children in Europe over the Last Five Years
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030160 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 451
Abstract
While the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections (IPI) has been most commonly studied in African and Asian populations, less is known about the prevalence rates of IPI in European children, as well as the potential risk factors that favor the spread of parasites. [...] Read more.
While the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections (IPI) has been most commonly studied in African and Asian populations, less is known about the prevalence rates of IPI in European children, as well as the potential risk factors that favor the spread of parasites. We aimed to review published evidence on the prevalence rates of IPI in children residing in Europe, and to quantitatively synthesize the results of published studies. We searched Medline from 1 January 2015 to 1 April 2021 to address the most recently published prevalence patterns of IPI in European children. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed by type of IPI infection, age group and sex, depending on data availability. Of the 967 potentially relevant articles, eight eligible cross-sectional studies were included in this analysis, yielding a sample of 3376 children (0–19 years). The overall prevalence rate was 5.9% for any IPI in children residing in European countries. Blastocystis hominis was the most commonly detected parasite yielding a prevalence rate of 10.7%. Other parasites included Entamoeba coli, Endolimax nana, and Blastocystis hominis. Studies focusing on specific types of parasites showed prevalence rates ranging from 1.3% for Cryptosporidium to 68.3% for Dientamoeba fragilis. Despite the scarce literature, the present review showed relatively low prevalence rates of IPI in Europe. Future studies accounting for proper diagnostic methods used for the detection of parasites and including information on potential sociodemographic factors, such as travelling history and history of immigration, are needed to guide clinicians about which children to test, as well as when and how to test children for IPI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diarrheagenic Pathogens and Gastrointestinal Infections)
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Brief Report
10-Year Clinical, Functional, and X-ray Follow-Up Evaluation of a Novel Posterior Percutaneous Screw-Rod Instrumentation Technique for Single-Level Pyogenic Spondylodiscitis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030159 - 01 Sep 2021
Viewed by 470
Abstract
Medical treatment with antibiotic therapy remains the mainstay of treatment for pyogenic spondylodiscitis (PS). Nevertheless, orthopaedic treatment is also very important in relieving pain, preventing neurological damage, and avoiding development of spinal deformities (e.g., scoliosis, kyphosis) due to spinal instability. Rigid thoracolumbosacral orthosis [...] Read more.
Medical treatment with antibiotic therapy remains the mainstay of treatment for pyogenic spondylodiscitis (PS). Nevertheless, orthopaedic treatment is also very important in relieving pain, preventing neurological damage, and avoiding development of spinal deformities (e.g., scoliosis, kyphosis) due to spinal instability. Rigid thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO) bracing is often needed in patients with PS, and average duration of treatment of 3 to 4 months. However, TLSO bracing can be poorly tolerated and limit ability of the patient to go back to a normal life. In 2004 our group developed an alternative surgical treatment to TLSO bracing by percutaneous posterior screw-rod bridge instrumentation of the infected level. This treatment allows early and free mobilization of the patients and is associated with faster recovery, lower pain scores and improved quality of life as previously reported. Herein, we report the clinical outcome of the first 3 patients who have completed the 10 years follow-up mark after the procedure. A case report is also described and details of the procedure are provided. Full article
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Article
A Randomised Controlled Trial of Ice to Reduce the Pain of Immunisation—The ICE Trial
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030158 - 28 Aug 2021
Viewed by 454
Abstract
Background and objectives: vaccine injections are a common cause of iatrogenic pain and anxiety, contributing to non-compliance with scheduled vaccinations. With injection-related pain being recognised as a barrier to vaccination uptake in both adults and children, it is important to investigate strategies to [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: vaccine injections are a common cause of iatrogenic pain and anxiety, contributing to non-compliance with scheduled vaccinations. With injection-related pain being recognised as a barrier to vaccination uptake in both adults and children, it is important to investigate strategies to effectively reduce immunisation pain. This prospective randomised controlled trial investigated the effects of applying an ice pack on vaccine-related pain in adults. Methods: medical students receiving the flu vaccination were randomised to receive an ice pack (intervention) or placebo cold pack (control) at the injection site for 30 s prior to needle insertion. Immediate post-vaccination pain (VAS) and adverse reactions in the proceeding 24 h were recorded. Results: pain scores between the intervention (n = 19) and control groups (n = 16) were not statistically significant (intervention: median pain VAS = 7.00, IQR = 18; control: median pain VAS = 11, IQR = 14 (p = 0.26). There were no significant differences in the number of adverse events between the two groups (site pain p = 0.18; localised swelling (p = 0.67); bruising p = 0.09; erythema p = 0.46). Discussion: ice did not reduce vaccination-related pain compared to cold packs. COVID-19 related restrictions impacted participant recruitment, rendering the study insufficiently powered to draw conclusions about the results. Full article
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Article
Knowledge of Antimalarials and Health Seeking Behaviour of Households in Case of Suspected Malaria in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030157 - 26 Aug 2021
Viewed by 548
Abstract
(1) Background: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is heavily affected by malaria despite availability of effective treatments. Ignorance and unrecommended behaviour toward a suspected malaria case in households may contribute to this problem. (2) Method: In communities of one rural and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is heavily affected by malaria despite availability of effective treatments. Ignorance and unrecommended behaviour toward a suspected malaria case in households may contribute to this problem. (2) Method: In communities of one rural and one urban Health Centres in each of the 11 previous provinces of DRC, all households with a case of malaria in the 15 days prior to the survey were selected. The patient or caregiver (responder) were interviewed. Logistic regression was used to assess predictors of knowledge of recommended antimalarials and adequate behaviour in case of suspected malaria. (3) Results: 1732 households participated; about 62% (1060/1721) of the responders were informed about antimalarials, 70.1% (742/1059) knew the recommended antimalarials and 58.6% (995/1699) resorted to self-medication. Predictors of knowledge of antimalarials were education to secondary school or university, information from media and smaller households. Predictors of good behaviour were Catholic religion and smaller households. Receiving information from Community Health Workers (CHWs) failed to be determinants of knowledge or adequate behaviour. (4) Conclusion: malaria control in DRC is hampered by ignorance and non-adherence to national recommendations. These aspects are influenced by unsuccessful communication, size of households and level of education. Full article
Case Report
Double Trouble: Dengue Followed by COVID-19 Infection Acquired in Two Different Regions: A Doctor’s Case Report and Spatial Distribution of Cases in Presidente Prudente, São Paulo, Brazil
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030156 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Co-epidemics of COVID-19 and dengue in dengue-endemic countries represent a serious public health concern. In Brazil, São Paulo state ranks first for cases and deaths from COVID-19, and dengue is endemic in most regions of the country. In 2020, an outbreak of dengue [...] Read more.
Co-epidemics of COVID-19 and dengue in dengue-endemic countries represent a serious public health concern. In Brazil, São Paulo state ranks first for cases and deaths from COVID-19, and dengue is endemic in most regions of the country. In 2020, an outbreak of dengue occurred in western São Paulo. We determined the spatiotemporal distribution of dengue in the context of COVID-19 cases in Presidente Prudente, a mid-sized city in western São Paulo. To illustrate the burden of both infections, a case report of a doctor and his family, infected with dengue and COVID-19, is presented. There were three clusters of dengue and COVID-19 in the periphery. A dengue cluster was found in a region where there were no corresponding COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, there were COVID-19 clusters where dengue activity was lower. In 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic emerged when dengue reached its seasonal peak, resulting in a simultaneous outbreak of both diseases. Lower rates of dengue were found in the city compared with 2019, and the fear of patients with mild dengue symptoms about remaining in hospital and acquiring COVID-19 infection may be the main cause. Simultaneous spatial clusters of dengue and COVID-19 in environmentally and socioeconomically vulnerable areas can guide public health authorities in intensive interventions to improve clinical diagnosis, epidemiological surveillance, and management of both diseases. The patient and his family were first infected with dengue and he then carried COVID-19 to his family, reinforcing the risk of health care workers spreading the virus to the community. We highlight the epidemiological significance of presenting a case report and spatial analysis of COVID-19 in the same study in the context of a dengue outbreak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Epidemiology of Vector-Borne Diseases)
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Article
Cross-Neutralisation of Novel Bombali Virus by Ebola Virus Antibodies and Convalescent Plasma Using an Optimised Pseudotype-Based Neutralisation Assay
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030155 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 878
Abstract
Ebolaviruses continue to pose a significant outbreak threat, and while Ebola virus (EBOV)-specific vaccines and antivirals have been licensed, efforts to develop candidates offering broad species cross-protection are continuing. The use of pseudotyped virus in place of live virus is recognised as an [...] Read more.
Ebolaviruses continue to pose a significant outbreak threat, and while Ebola virus (EBOV)-specific vaccines and antivirals have been licensed, efforts to develop candidates offering broad species cross-protection are continuing. The use of pseudotyped virus in place of live virus is recognised as an alternative, safer, high-throughput platform to evaluate anti-ebolavirus antibodies towards their development, yet it requires optimisation. Here, we have shown that the target cell line impacts neutralisation assay results and cannot be selected purely based on permissiveness. In expanding the platform to incorporate each of the ebolavirus species envelope glycoprotein, allowing a comprehensive assessment of cross-neutralisation, we found that the recently discovered Bombali virus has a point mutation in the receptor-binding domain which prevents entry into a hamster cell line and, importantly, shows that this virus can be cross-neutralised by EBOV antibodies and convalescent plasma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ebola: Preparedness and Response)
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Article
Impact of COVID-19 on Tuberculosis Case Detection and Treatment Outcomes in Sierra Leone
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030154 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 902
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected tuberculosis (TB) care delivery in high burden countries. We therefore conducted a retrospective study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on TB case detection and treatment outcomes at the Chest Clinic at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, Sierra [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected tuberculosis (TB) care delivery in high burden countries. We therefore conducted a retrospective study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on TB case detection and treatment outcomes at the Chest Clinic at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Overall, 2300 presumptive cases were tested during the first three quarters of 2020 (intra-COVID-19) versus 2636 in 2019 (baseline), representing a 12.7% decline. Testing declined by 25% in women, 20% in children and 81% in community-initiated referrals. Notwithstanding, laboratory-confirmed TB cases increased by 37.0% and treatment success rate was higher in 2020 (55.6% vs. 46.7%, p = 0.002). Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that age < 55 years (aOR 1.74, 95% CI (1.80, 2.56); p = 0.005), new diagnosis (aOR 1.69, 95% CI (1.16, 2.47); p = 0.007), pulmonary TB (aOR 3.17, 95% CI (1.67, 6.04); p < 0.001), HIV negative status (aOR 1.60, 95%CI (1.24, 2.06); p < 0.001) and self-administration of anti-TB drugs through monthly dispensing versus directly observed therapy (DOT) (aOR 1.56, 95% CI (1.21, 2.03); p = 0.001) independently predicted treatment success. These findings may have policy implications for DOTS in this setting and suggest that more resources are needed to reverse the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on TB program activities in Sierra Leone. Full article
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Review
Onchocerciasis Fingerprints in the Geriatric Population: Does Host Immunity Play a Role?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030153 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 738
Abstract
One of the most debilitating consequences of aging is the progressive decline in immune function, known as immunosenescence. This phenomenon is characterized by a shift in T-cell phenotypes, with a manifest decrease of naive T-cells—dealing with newly encountered antigens—and a concomitant accumulation of [...] Read more.
One of the most debilitating consequences of aging is the progressive decline in immune function, known as immunosenescence. This phenomenon is characterized by a shift in T-cell phenotypes, with a manifest decrease of naive T-cells—dealing with newly encountered antigens—and a concomitant accumulation of senescent and regulatory T-cells, leading to a greater risk of morbidity and mortality in older subjects. Additionally, with aging, several studies have unequivocally revealed an increase in the prevalence of onchocerciasis infection. Most lymphatic complications, skin and eye lesions due to onchocerciasis are more frequent among the elderly population. While the reasons for increased susceptibility to onchocerciasis with age are likely to be multi-factorial, age-associated immune dysfunction could play a key role in the onset and progression of the disease. On the other hand, there is a growing consensus that infection with onchocerciasis may evoke deleterious effects on the host’s immunity and exacerbate immune dysfunction. Indeed, Onchocerca volvulus has been reported to counteract the immune responses of the host through molecular mimicry by impairing T-cell activation and interfering with the processing of antigens. Moreover, reports indicate impaired cellular and humoral immune responses even to non-parasite antigens in onchocerciasis patients. This diminished protective response may intensify the immunosenescence outcomes, with a consequent vulnerability of those affected to additional diseases. Taken together, this review is aimed at contributing to a better understanding of the immunological and potential pathological mechanisms of onchocerciasis in the older population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral-Host Metabolic Interactions)
Case Report
A Cluster of Dengue Cases in Travelers: A Clinical Series from Thailand
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030152 - 14 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1008
Abstract
Dengue is an overlooked tropical disease for which billions of people are at risk. The disease, caused by a Flavivirus with four distinct serotypes, is transmitted primarily by urban Aedes mosquito species. The infection leads to a spectrum of clinical manifestations, with the [...] Read more.
Dengue is an overlooked tropical disease for which billions of people are at risk. The disease, caused by a Flavivirus with four distinct serotypes, is transmitted primarily by urban Aedes mosquito species. The infection leads to a spectrum of clinical manifestations, with the majority being asymptomatic. Primary dengue fever and, to a greater extent, a subsequent infection with a different serotype is associated with increased severity. Increased global travel and recreational tourism expose individuals naïve to the dengue viruses, the most common arboviral infections among travelers. We describe a cluster of possible primary acute dengue infections in a group of 12 individuals who presented to Bangkok Hospital for Tropical Diseases in 2017. Infection was confirmed by dengue NS1 antigen and multiplex real-time RT-PCR. Nine individuals required hospitalization, and four developed dengue warning signs. Leukocytes, neutrophils, and platelets declined towards defervescence and were negatively correlated with day of illness. Six clinical isolates were identified as dengue serotype-1, with 100% nucleotide identity suggesting that these patients were infected with the same virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future (Volume II))
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Article
An Autochthonous Outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 P.1 Variant of Concern in Southern Italy, April 2021
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030151 - 12 Aug 2021
Viewed by 923
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 P.1 variant of concern (VOC) was first identified in Brazil and is now spreading in European countries. It is characterized by the E484K mutation in the receptor-binding domain, which could contribute to the evasion from neutralizing antibodies. In Italy, this variant [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 P.1 variant of concern (VOC) was first identified in Brazil and is now spreading in European countries. It is characterized by the E484K mutation in the receptor-binding domain, which could contribute to the evasion from neutralizing antibodies. In Italy, this variant was first identified in January 2021. Here, we report an autochthonous outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 P.1 variant infections in southern Italy in subjects who had not travelled to endemic areas or outside the Apulia region. The outbreak involved seven subjects, three of whom had received a COVID-19 vaccine (one had received two doses and two had received one dose). Four patients had a mild clinical presentation. Laboratory investigations of nasopharyngeal swabs revealed that all strains were S-gene target failure-negative and molecular tests revealed they were the P.1 variant. Whole-genome sequencing confirmed that five subjects were infected with closely related strains classified as the P.1 lineage. The circulation of VOCs highlights the importance of strictly monitoring the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants through genomic surveillance and of investigating local outbreaks. Furthermore, public health measures including social distancing, screening, and quarantine for travelers are key tools to slow down the viral transmission and to contain and mitigate the impact of VOC diffusion, and rapid scaling-up of vaccination is crucial to avoid a possible new epidemic wave. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Current Status and Future Prospects)
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Article
The Effect of HBV/HCV in Response to HAART in HIV Patients after 12 Months in Kumba Health District in the South West Region of Cameroon
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030150 - 10 Aug 2021
Viewed by 964
Abstract
Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) are two among the numerous forms of infections whose clinical degeneration, morbidity–mortality and low immune responsiveness in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are highly evident. Co-infection of HIV with HBV and HCV has been associated [...] Read more.
Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) are two among the numerous forms of infections whose clinical degeneration, morbidity–mortality and low immune responsiveness in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are highly evident. Co-infection of HIV with HBV and HCV has been associated with reduced survival, increased risk of progression to liver diseases and increased risk of hepatotoxicity associated with antiretroviral therapy (ARV). We carried out biochemical, immunological, virological and clinical analysis of hepatitis B and C positive HIV patients as well as some HIV positive individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy in Kumba Health District to evaluate the immune response to the ARV therapy and identified risk factors associated with the treatment outcomes. A total of 52 HIV patients, 36 HIV/HBV and 12 HIV/HCV patients were involved in this study. We performed CD4 counts, viral load test, analyzed ALAT/ASAT, albumin, bilirubin, and creatinine and measured the weights of HIV patients, HIV/HBV and HIV/HCV enrolled for not more than one year in Kumba Health District. The results were analyzed to evaluate the immune response and possible risk factors associated with the treatment outcomes. The mean increase in weight in participants of all groups over 12 months (17.12 kg) was greater than the mean increase in CD4 (8.92 cell/mm3). However, the mean decrease in viral loads over a 12 months was also very high (1035.17 copies/mL). There was a significant change in the mean values from baseline for all the three variables (p < 0.0001). HIV disease outcomes following HAART (high active antiretroviral therapy) do not appear to be adversely affected by HBV or HCV co-infection, except for slightly poorer CD4 count responses in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. Concerning the renal and liver functions, all the biomarkers witnessed a decrease in patients of all groups in response to HAART over time, with a more rapid decrease in mono-infected patients as compared with those co-infected with HBV but the case was contrary for those co-infected with HCV. Co-infection with HBV or HCV was relatively common among HIV infected participants in Kumba Health District. There were differences in response to HAART between the mono-infected compared with the co-infected, taking into consideration the weight, CD4 count, and viral load. In addition, there was also a variation in the different biomarkers of liver and renal function between mono-infected and co-infected patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control of Viral Hepatitis)
Article
Blood Lead Levels and Subsequence Risk of Malaria in the African Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030149 - 08 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Previous epidemiological studies showed that blood lead level (BLL) was associated with malaria infection and severity. Therefore, the present study aimed to qualitatively and quantitatively synthesize the evidence on the association between BLL and risk of malaria infection and severity using the systematic [...] Read more.
Previous epidemiological studies showed that blood lead level (BLL) was associated with malaria infection and severity. Therefore, the present study aimed to qualitatively and quantitatively synthesize the evidence on the association between BLL and risk of malaria infection and severity using the systematic review and meta-analysis approach. Potentially relevant studies were identified from three databases using a combination of search terms. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the checklist for the cross-sectional studies developed by the Joanna Briggs Institute. The qualitative synthesis of the risk or odds of malaria infection in patients with BLL was performed as the outcome of each included study could not be pooled. The pooled mean BLL and prevalence of malaria infection of the included studies was estimated using a random-effect model. The heterogeneity of the outcomes among the included studies was assessed using the Cochran Q test and I2 statistics. The subgroup analysis of the study sites and participants was performed to explore the source(s) of heterogeneity of the outcomes. Publication bias was assessed in the case of more than 10 studies used for pooling of the same outcome. Among 114 potentially relevant studies identified from the databases, 6 eligible studies were included for qualitative and quantitative syntheses. The results showed that the pooled mean BLLs were 7.33 μg/dL in children (95% confidence interval (95%CI), 4.08–10.58; I2, 98.2%), 7.94 μg/dL in children with BLL > 45 mg/dL before chelation (95%CI, 7.87–8.01), 7.41 μg/dL in infants (95%CI, 7.34–7.48 μg/dL), 9.20 μg/dL in children with malaria (95%CI, 9.16–9.24 μg/ dL), and 36.37 μg/dL in pregnant women (95%CI, 34.43–38.31 μg/dL). The prevalence rates of malaria among participants (2381 participants, 803 malaria-positive patients) were 53% in children (95%CI, 50–57%; I2, 99.8%), 24% in children with BLL > 45 mg/dL before chelation (95%CI, 21–27%), 12% in infants (95%CI, 8–18%), and 21% in pregnant women (95%CI, 18–26%). The subgroup analysis of countries demonstrated that the prevalence rates of malaria among participants was 17% in Benin (95%CI, 13–21%; I2, 98.8%) and 36% in Nigeria (95%CI, 10–63%; I2, 99.4%). BLL associated with decreased risk of malaria was demonstrated by two studies conducted in Benin and Nigeria, while BLL associated with increased risk of malaria was demonstrated by a study conducted in Nigeria. BLL was associated with the risk of severe malaria, involving severe neurological features and severe anemia. In conclusion, the present systematic review and meta-analysis determined the current status of the studies on BLL and risk of malaria in African countries. Further studies are needed to investigate the impact of BLL on patients with malaria to help the clinician determine the risk of severity, such as the development of neurological features or severe anemia, among patients exposed to lead. Full article
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Review
Tuberculosis in Adolescents and Young Adults: Emerging Data on TB Transmission and Prevention among Vulnerable Young People
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030148 - 05 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1165
Abstract
Adolescents and young adults (AYA, ages 10–24 years) comprise a uniquely important but understudied population in global efforts to end tuberculosis (TB), the leading infectious cause of death by a single agent worldwide prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. While TB prevention and care [...] Read more.
Adolescents and young adults (AYA, ages 10–24 years) comprise a uniquely important but understudied population in global efforts to end tuberculosis (TB), the leading infectious cause of death by a single agent worldwide prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. While TB prevention and care strategies often overlook AYA by grouping them with either children or adults, AYA have particular physiologic, developmental, and social characteristics that require dedicated approaches. This review describes current evidence on the prevention and control of TB among AYA, including approaches to TB screening, dynamics of TB transmission among AYA, and management challenges within the context of unique developmental needs. Challenges are considered for vulnerable groups of AYA such as migrants and refugees; AYA experiencing homelessness, incarceration, or substance use; and AYA living with HIV. We outline areas for needed research and implementation strategies to address TB among AYA globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infection Prevention and Control: Practical and Educational Advances)
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Review
A Review of the Environmental Trigger and Transmission Components for Prediction of Cholera
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030147 - 05 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
Climate variables influence the occurrence, growth, and distribution of Vibrio cholerae in the aquatic environment. Together with socio-economic factors, these variables affect the incidence and intensity of cholera outbreaks. The current pandemic of cholera began in the 1960s, and millions of cholera cases [...] Read more.
Climate variables influence the occurrence, growth, and distribution of Vibrio cholerae in the aquatic environment. Together with socio-economic factors, these variables affect the incidence and intensity of cholera outbreaks. The current pandemic of cholera began in the 1960s, and millions of cholera cases are reported each year globally. Hence, cholera remains a significant health challenge, notably where human vulnerability intersects with changes in hydrological and environmental processes. Cholera outbreaks may be epidemic or endemic, the mode of which is governed by trigger and transmission components that control the outbreak and spread of the disease, respectively. Traditional cholera risk assessment models, namely compartmental susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered (SEIR) type models, have been used to determine the predictive spread of cholera through the fecal–oral route in human populations. However, these models often fail to capture modes of infection via indirect routes, such as pathogen movement in the environment and heterogeneities relevant to disease transmission. Conversely, other models that rely solely on variability of selected environmental factors (i.e., examine only triggers) have accomplished real-time outbreak prediction but fail to capture the transmission of cholera within impacted populations. Since the mode of cholera outbreaks can transition from epidemic to endemic, a comprehensive transmission model is needed to achieve timely and reliable prediction with respect to quantitative environmental risk. Here, we discuss progression of the trigger module associated with both epidemic and endemic cholera, in the context of the autochthonous aquatic nature of the causative agent of cholera, V. cholerae, as well as disease prediction. Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Biosafety and Biosecurity in the Reference Veterinary Laboratory of Parakou in Benin
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030146 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 941
Abstract
Optimal biosafety and biosecurity are major requirements of global health security. This study assessed the biorisk management in the reference veterinary laboratory of Parakou (Benin). The study was cross-sectional, descriptive, and evaluative. The non-probability sampling method with the reasoned choice was used. The [...] Read more.
Optimal biosafety and biosecurity are major requirements of global health security. This study assessed the biorisk management in the reference veterinary laboratory of Parakou (Benin). The study was cross-sectional, descriptive, and evaluative. The non-probability sampling method with the reasoned choice was used. The Food and Agriculture Organization laboratory mapping tool-safety was used to collect information from the laboratory team. Group discussion, working environment observation, and document exploitation were the data collection techniques. The biorisk management was rated good if the average indicator of the laboratory reached at least 80%. Otherwise, the biorisk management was rated insufficient. The overall laboratory biosafety and biosecurity score was insufficient (42.4%). Per area, the scores were 26.7% for engineering, 33.3% for administration, 53.8% for personal protective equipment, and 62.3% for the operational. There was no area or category score that reached 80%. Containment, waste disposal, and personal protective equipment disposal were the best performing categories with a score above 60%. The laboratory has no biosafety and accident prevention program. Its premises require renovation. The standard operating procedures for biosafety are not yet finalized, and the training mechanism is not optimal. Therefore, strong advocacy and implementation of a biorisk management improvement plan appear as urgent corrective actions which are required to help the reference veterinary laboratory of Parakou in its task to protect the livestock and, ultimately, the people of Benin from dangerous diseases and emerging pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Laboratory Safety Including Biosafety)
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Article
Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Ross River Virus in Queensland, 2001–2020
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030145 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Ross River virus (RRV), the most common human arbovirus infection in Australia, causes significant morbidity and substantial medical costs. About half of Australian cases occur in Queensland. We describe the spatial and temporal patterns of RRV disease in Queensland over the past two [...] Read more.
Ross River virus (RRV), the most common human arbovirus infection in Australia, causes significant morbidity and substantial medical costs. About half of Australian cases occur in Queensland. We describe the spatial and temporal patterns of RRV disease in Queensland over the past two decades. RRV notifications, human population data, and weather data from 2001 to 2020 were analysed by the Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) area. Spatial interpolation or linear extrapolation were used for missing weather values and the estimated population in 2020, respectively. Notifications and incidence rates were analysed through space and time. During the study period, there were 43,699 notifications in Queensland. The highest annual number of notifications was recorded in 2015 (6182), followed by 2020 (3160). The average annual incidence rate was 5 per 10,000 people and the peak period for RRV notifications was March to May. Generally, SA2 areas in northern Queensland had higher numbers of notifications and higher incidence rates than SA2 areas in southern Queensland. The SA2 areas with high incidence rates were in east coastal areas and western Queensland. The timely prediction may aid disease prevention and routine vector control programs, and RRV management plans are important for these areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Epidemiology of Vector-Borne Diseases)
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Article
A Case of Trauma-Induced Falciformispora lignatilis Eumycetoma in a Renal Transplant Recipient
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030144 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1102
Abstract
Mycetoma is a chronic, granulomatous, subcutaneous infection caused by several species of fungi and soil-inhabiting bacteria, and is divided into eumycetoma and actinomycetoma, respectively. Endemicity is described with worldwide distribution within the “mycetoma belt”; however, the global burden is ill-defined. Mycetoma is rare [...] Read more.
Mycetoma is a chronic, granulomatous, subcutaneous infection caused by several species of fungi and soil-inhabiting bacteria, and is divided into eumycetoma and actinomycetoma, respectively. Endemicity is described with worldwide distribution within the “mycetoma belt”; however, the global burden is ill-defined. Mycetoma is rare in Australia, with only a few published case reports. Over time, the breadth of eumycetoma pathogens has expanded with local epidemiology accounting for variations in regional prevalence. Direct inoculation of pathogens typically heralds the triad of subcutaneous mass, sinus formation and discharging grains. We describe a case of eumycetoma in a 48-year-old male Filipino renal transplant recipient who presented with a painless slow-growing elbow lesion. Ultrasonography revealed two ovoid masses and surgical excision ensued. Histopathology revealed necrotising granulomata with numerous chestnut-brown thick-walled cells, septate hyphae, and occasional grains. On suspicion of localised chromoblastomycosis, the isolate was sent to a reference laboratory which identified the fungus as Falciformispora lignatilis, an organism not hitherto associated with human infection. Amongst the solid organ transplant cohort, similar atypical presentations have been described. Clinicians need to consider eumycetoma where an epidemiological link with the tropics exists, especially in atypical presentations in transplant recipients, including absent preceding trauma. Full article
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Review
Observational Characterization of the Ecological and Environmental Features Associated with the Presence of Oropouche Virus and the Primary Vector Culicoides paraenesis: Data Synthesis and Systematic Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030143 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1287
Abstract
Oropouche virus (OROV), a member of the Orthobunyavirus genus, is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) and is the etiologic agent of human and animal disease. The primary vector of OROV is presumed to be the biting midge, Culicoides paraenesis, though Culex quinquefasciatus, Cq. [...] Read more.
Oropouche virus (OROV), a member of the Orthobunyavirus genus, is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) and is the etiologic agent of human and animal disease. The primary vector of OROV is presumed to be the biting midge, Culicoides paraenesis, though Culex quinquefasciatus, Cq. venezuelensis, and Aedes serratus mosquitoes are considered secondary vectors. The objective of this systematic review is to characterize locations where OROV and/or its primary vector have been detected. Synthesis of known data through review of published literature regarding OROV and vectors was carried out through two independent searches: one search targeted to OROV, and another targeted towards the primary vector. A total of 911 records were returned, but only 90 (9.9%) articles satisfied all inclusion criteria. When locations were characterized, some common features were noted more frequently than others, though no one characteristic was significantly associated with presence of OROV using a logistic classification model. In a separate correlation analysis, vector presence was significantly correlated only with the presence of restingas. The lack of significant relationships is likely due to the paucity of data regarding OROV and its eco-epidemiology and highlights the importance of continued focus on characterizing this and other neglected tropical diseases. Full article
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Article
Newly Diagnosed Diabetes in Patients with COVID-19: Different Types and Short-Term Outcomes
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030142 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1114
Abstract
A great global concern is currently focused on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated morbidities. The goal of this study was to determine the frequency of newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM) and its different types among COVID-19 patients, and to [...] Read more.
A great global concern is currently focused on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated morbidities. The goal of this study was to determine the frequency of newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM) and its different types among COVID-19 patients, and to check the glycemic control in diabetic cases for three months. After excluding known cases of DM, 570 patients with confirmed COVID-19 were studied. All participants were classified as non-diabetic or newly discovered diabetic. According to hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and fasting insulin, newly discovered diabetic patients were further classified into pre-existing DM, new-onset type 1 DM, and new-onset type 2 DM. Glycemic control was monitored for three months in newly diagnosed diabetic patients. DM was diagnosed in 77 patients (13.5%); 12 (2.1%) with pre-existing DM, 7 (1.2%) with new-onset type 1 DM, and 58 (10.2%) with new-onset type 2 DM. Significantly higher rates of severe infection and mortality (p < 0.001 and p = 0.046) were evident among diabetic patients. Among survived diabetic patients (n = 63), hyperglycemia and the need for anti-diabetic treatment persisted in 73% of them for three months. COVID-19 was associated with a new-onset of DM in 11.4% of all participants and expression of pre-existing DM in 2.1% of all participants, both being associated with severe infection. COVID-19 patients with newly diagnosed diabetes had high risk of mortality. New-onset DM persisted for at least three months in more than two-thirds of cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Current Status and Future Prospects)
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Article
Analytical Estimation of Data-Motivated Time-Dependent Disease Transmission Rate: An Application to Ebola and Selected Public Health Problems
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6030141 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
Obtaining reasonable estimates for transmission rates from observed data is a challenge when using mathematical models to study the dynamics of ?infectious? diseases, like Ebola. Most models assume the transmission rate of a contagion either does not vary over time or change in [...] Read more.
Obtaining reasonable estimates for transmission rates from observed data is a challenge when using mathematical models to study the dynamics of ?infectious? diseases, like Ebola. Most models assume the transmission rate of a contagion either does not vary over time or change in a fixed pre-determined adhoc ways. However, these rates do vary during an outbreak due to multitude of factors such as environmental conditions, social behaviors, and public-health interventions deployed to control the disease, which are in-part guided by changing size of an outbreak. We derive analytical estimates of time-dependent transmission rate for an epidemic in terms of either incidence or prevalence using a standard mathematical SIR-type epidemic model. We illustrate applicability of our method by applying data on various public health problems, including infectious diseases (Ebola, SARS, and Leishmaniasis) and social issues (obesity and alcohol drinking) to compute transmission rates over time. We show that time-dependent transmission rate estimates can have a large variation, depending on the type of available data and other epidemiological parameters. Time-dependent estimation of transmission rates captures the dynamics of the problem better and can be utilized to understand disease progression more accurately. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ebola: Preparedness and Response)
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