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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., Volume 7, Issue 12 (December 2022) – 56 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Cancer and parasitic diseases share similarities that allow for the co-development of new drugs with antiproliferative profiles. We describe herein the design of a series of 1,2,4-oxadiazoles active against both cancer cells and trypanosomatid parasites. One hit compound was identified during in vitro evaluation against drug-sensitive and drug-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia cell lines, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania amazonensis. In silico studies indicate a correlation between in vitro activity and interaction with tubulin at the colchicine binding site. Additionally, ADMET in silico predictions and experimental studies with human serum albumin indicate that the compounds possess a favorable druggability potential due to their physicochemical, pharmacokinetic, and toxicity profiles. View this paper
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Article
Distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lineages and Drug Resistance in Upper Myanmar
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120448 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1186
Abstract
Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) is divided into 9 whole genome sequencing (WGS) lineages. Among them, lineages 1–4 are widely distributed. Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a major public health threat. For effective TB control, there is a need to obtain genetic information on [...] Read more.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) is divided into 9 whole genome sequencing (WGS) lineages. Among them, lineages 1–4 are widely distributed. Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a major public health threat. For effective TB control, there is a need to obtain genetic information on lineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and to understand distribution of lineages and drug resistance. This study aimed to describe the distribution of major lineages and drug resistance patterns of Mtb in Upper Myanmar. This was a cross-sectional study conducted with 506 sequenced isolates. We found that the most common lineage was lineage 2 (n = 223, 44.1%). The most common drug resistance mutation found was streptomycin (n = 44, 8.7%). Lineage 2 showed a higher number of MDR-TB compared to other lineages. There were significant associations between lineages of Mtb and drug resistance patterns, and between lineages and geographical locations of Upper Myanmar (p value < 0.001). This information on the distribution of Mtb lineages across the geographical areas will support a lot for the better understanding of TB transmission and control in Myanmar and other neighboring countries. Therefore, closer collaboration in cross border tuberculosis control is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Resistant Tuberculosis)
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Article
COVID-19 Risk Perception and Prevention Practices among High- and Low-Density Populations in Bangladesh: A Mixed-Methods Study
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120447 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 567
Abstract
We aimed to explore coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risk perception and prevention practices among people living in high- and low-population density areas in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A total of 623 patients with confirmed COVID-19 agreed to participate in the survey. Additionally, we purposively selected [...] Read more.
We aimed to explore coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risk perception and prevention practices among people living in high- and low-population density areas in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A total of 623 patients with confirmed COVID-19 agreed to participate in the survey. Additionally, we purposively selected 14 participants from diverse economic and occupational groups and conducted qualitative interviews for them accordingly. Approximately 70% of the respondents had low socioeconomic status. Among the 623 respondents, 146 were from low-density areas, and 477 were from high-density areas. The findings showed that study participants perceived COVID-19 as a punishment from the Almighty, especially for non-Muslims, and were not concerned about its severity. They also believed that coronavirus would not survive in hot temperatures or negatively impact Bangladeshis. This study revealed that people were reluctant to undergo COVID-19 testing. Family members hid if anyone tested positive for COVID-19 or did not adhere to institutional isolation. The findings showed that participants were not concerned about COVID-19 and believed that coronavirus would not have a devastating impact on Bangladeshis; thus, they were reluctant to follow prevention measures and undergo testing. Tailored interventions for specific targeted groups would be relevant in mitigating the prevailing misconceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Current Status and Future Prospects)
Article
Evaluation of Methods for Collecting Mosquitoes (Culicidae: Diptera) in Canopy and Ground Strata in the Brazilian Savanna
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120446 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 581
Abstract
The hand-net is the standard method for capturing mosquitoes with sylvatic diurnal activity in disease outbreaks in Brazil. However, occupational risks and biases related to the collectors’ abilities and attractiveness are important limitations. In this study, we compared hand-nets with automatic traps (CDC) [...] Read more.
The hand-net is the standard method for capturing mosquitoes with sylvatic diurnal activity in disease outbreaks in Brazil. However, occupational risks and biases related to the collectors’ abilities and attractiveness are important limitations. In this study, we compared hand-nets with automatic traps (CDC) associated to CO2 and BG-Lure® in the Vassununga State Park, a Brazilian Savanna protection area. The collections carried out over 27 days on the ground and the forest canopy. A total of 1555 mosquitoes were obtained in 20 taxa. The diversity index ranged between 1.12 and 1.79 and the dominance index from 0.22 to 0.40. The dominant species on the ground was Aedes scapularis (46.0%), and in the canopy, Hg. janthinomys/capricornii (31.9%). Haemagogus leucocelaenus was rare (n = 2). The hand-net resulted in the greatest diversity and abundance of species in both strata, followed by the traps associated with CO2. A low degree of similarity was observed between the hand-net on the ground compared to the other capture methods. The use of BG-Lure® alone resulted in a low number of specimens. In conclusion, the hand-net is still the method of choice for collecting arbovirus vectors in the diurnal period, especially yellow fever vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector-Borne Diseases and Public Health Challenges)
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Article
Trypanosoma cruzi Parasite Burdens of Several Triatomine Species in Colombia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120445 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 595
Abstract
Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas disease, is mainly transmitted by insects of the Triatominae subfamily. In Colombia, there are 26 triatomine species, and 16 of them are naturally infected with the parasite. The parasite loads of naturally infected vectors can [...] Read more.
Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas disease, is mainly transmitted by insects of the Triatominae subfamily. In Colombia, there are 26 triatomine species, and 16 of them are naturally infected with the parasite. The parasite loads of naturally infected vectors can be significant in targeting specific species that can affect the epidemiology of the disease. Studying their ecology and behavior is vital to understand their role in T. cruzi transmission dynamics. We evaluated the parasite loads of 182 field-collected triatomines corresponding to 10 species in 13 departments across Colombia. We standardized a methodology to quantify T. cruzi DNA in these insects. We obtained a LOD (limit of detection) of 3.05 p-eq/mL. The 82% of triatomines we evaluated were positive for T. cruzi infection, with loads ranging from hundreds to millions of equivalent parasites per milliliter. Panstrongylus geniculatus, Rhodnius prolixus, and Triatoma dimidiata were the species with the highest loads of T. cruzi; however, other species whose role as vectors is still unknown were also found with high loads of parasites. Our results suggest the relevance of secondary species for T. cruzi transmission in Colombia. We hope our data can help improve entomological surveillance and vector control programs in the country and the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Chagas Disease Control)
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Review
Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Emergence in Southeastern Mexico: The Case of the State of Yucatan
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120444 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Environmental changes triggered by deforestation, urban expansion and climate change are present-day drivers of the emergence and reemergence of leishmaniasis. This review describes the current epidemiological scenario and the feasible influence of environmental changes on disease occurrence in the state of Yucatan, Mexico. [...] Read more.
Environmental changes triggered by deforestation, urban expansion and climate change are present-day drivers of the emergence and reemergence of leishmaniasis. This review describes the current epidemiological scenario and the feasible influence of environmental changes on disease occurrence in the state of Yucatan, Mexico. Relevant literature was accessed through different databases, including PubMed, Scopus, Google, and Mexican official morbidity databases. Recent LCL autochthonous cases, potential vector sandflies and mammal hosts/reservoirs also have been reported in several localities of Yucatan without previous historical records of the disease. The impact of deforestation, urban expansion and projections on climate change have been documented. The current evidence of the relationships between the components of the transmission cycle, the disease occurrence, and the environmental changes on the leishmaniasis emergence in the state shows the need for strength and an update to the intervention and control strategies through a One Health perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in One Health)
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Case Report
First Human Usutu Virus Reported in Asti (Piedmont, Italy, August 2022) and Early Follow-Up
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120443 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 513
Abstract
The Usutu virus (USUV) has recently attracted the attention of scientists because of its rapid spread across Europe and its growth over the previous seasons in Italy. Here, we describe the first case of USUV infection in Asti, Piedmont region, Italy. The patient [...] Read more.
The Usutu virus (USUV) has recently attracted the attention of scientists because of its rapid spread across Europe and its growth over the previous seasons in Italy. Here, we describe the first case of USUV infection in Asti, Piedmont region, Italy. The patient remained asymptomatic in the acute phase and during the early follow-up, despite a mild increase in liver enzymes. The prompt diagnosis in this patient was due to positive qualitative PCR for WNV blood-donor screening with negative RT-PCR of WNV and positive USUV-RNA following the confirmation test. Blood-donor screening and transmission risk monitoring are pivotal in following the spread of this Flavivirus in non-endemic countries, due to the high percentage of asymptomatic carriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector-Borne Diseases and Public Health Challenges)
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Article
Different In Vitro Drug Susceptibility Profile of Plasmodium falciparum Isolates from Two Adjacent Areas of Northeast Myanmar and Molecular Markers for Drug Resistance
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120442 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1037
Abstract
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is the epicenter of antimalarial drug resistance. We determined in vitro susceptibilities to 11 drugs of culture-adapted Plasmodium falciparum isolates from adjacent areas (Laiza and Muse) along the China–Myanmar border. Parasites from this region were highly resistant to [...] Read more.
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is the epicenter of antimalarial drug resistance. We determined in vitro susceptibilities to 11 drugs of culture-adapted Plasmodium falciparum isolates from adjacent areas (Laiza and Muse) along the China–Myanmar border. Parasites from this region were highly resistant to chloroquine and pyrimethamine but relatively sensitive to other antimalarial drugs. Consistently, the Dd2-like pfcrt mutations were fixed or almost fixed in both parasite populations, and new mutations mediating piperaquine resistance were not identified. Similarly, several mutations related to pfdhfr and pfdhps were also highly prevalent. Despite their geographical proximity, malaria parasites from Laiza showed significantly higher in vitro resistance to artemisinin derivatives, naphthoquine, pyronaridine, lumefantrine, and pyrimethamine than parasites from Muse. Likewise, the pfdhfr N51I, pfdhps A581G, pfmrp1 H785N, and pfk13 F446I mutations were significantly more frequent in Laiza than in Muse (p < 0.05). For the pfmdr1 mutations, Y184F was found only in Laiza (70%), whereas F1226Y was identified only in Muse (31.8%). Parasite isolates from Laiza showed a median RSA value of 5.0%, significantly higher than the 2.4% in Muse. Altogether, P. falciparum parasite populations from neighboring regions in the GMS may diverge substantially in their resistance to several antimalarial drugs. This information about different parasite populations will guide antimalarial treatment policies to effectively manage drug resistance during malaria elimination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Malaria Treatment and Prevention)
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Article
Individuals’ Vulnerability Based Active Surveillance for TB: Experiences from India
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120441 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Community-based active TB case finding (ACF) has become an essential part of TB elimination efforts in high-burden settings. In settings such as the state of Kerala in India, which has reported an annual decline of 7.5% in the estimated TB incidence since 2015, [...] Read more.
Community-based active TB case finding (ACF) has become an essential part of TB elimination efforts in high-burden settings. In settings such as the state of Kerala in India, which has reported an annual decline of 7.5% in the estimated TB incidence since 2015, if ACF is not well targeted, it may end up with a less-than-desired yield, the wastage of scarce resources, and the burdening of health systems. Program managers have recognized the need to optimize resources and workloads, while maximizing the yield, when implementing ACF. We developed and implemented the concept of ‘individuals’-vulnerability-based active surveillance’ as a substitute for the blanket approach for population/geography-based ACF for TB. Weighted scores, based on an estimate of relative risk, were assigned to reflect the TB vulnerabilities of individuals. Vulnerability data for 22,042,168 individuals were available to the primary healthcare team. Individuals with higher cumulative vulnerability scores were targeted for serial ACF from 2019 onwards. In 2018, when a population-based ACF was conducted, the number needed to screen to diagnose one microbiologically confirmed pulmonary TB case was 3772 and the number needed to test to obtain one microbiologically confirmed pulmonary TB case was 112. The corresponding figures in 2019 for individuals’-vulnerability-based ACF were 881 and 39, respectively. Individuals’-vulnerability-based active surveillance is proposed here as a practical solution to improve health system efficiency in settings where the population is relatively stationary, the TB disease burden is low, and the health system is strong. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ending Tuberculosis Epidemic: Current Status and Future Prospects)
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Article
Diagnostic Performance of Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein-2 Antigen-Specific Rapid Diagnostic Test in Children at the Peripheral Health Care Level in Nanoro (Burkina Faso)
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120440 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 557
Abstract
(1) Background: Malaria control has strongly benefited from the implementation of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). The malaria RDTs used in Burkina Faso, as per the recommendation of the National Malaria Control Program, are based on the detection of histidine-rich protein-2 (PfHRP2) [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Malaria control has strongly benefited from the implementation of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). The malaria RDTs used in Burkina Faso, as per the recommendation of the National Malaria Control Program, are based on the detection of histidine-rich protein-2 (PfHRP2) specific to Plasmodium falciparum, which is the principal plasmodial species causing malaria in Burkina Faso. However, there is increasing concern about the diagnostic performance of these RDTs in field situations, and so constant monitoring of their accuracy is warranted. (2) Methods: A prospective study was performed in the health district of Nanoro, where 391 febrile children under 5 years with an axillary temperature ≥37.5 °C presenting at participating health facilities were subjected to testing for malaria. The HRP2-based RDT and expert microscopy were used to determine the diagnostic performance of the former. Retrospectively, the correctness of the antimalaria prescriptions was reviewed. (3) Results: Taking expert malaria microscopy as the gold standard, the sensitivity of the employed RDT was 98.5% and the specificity 40.5%, with a moderate agreement between the RDT testing and microscopy. In total, 21.7% of cases received an inappropriate antimalarial treatment based on a retrospective assessment with expert microscopy results. (4) Conclusion: Malaria remains one of the principal causes of febrile illness in Burkina Faso. Testing with HRP2-based RDTs is inaccurate, in particular, due to the low specificity, which results in an over-prescription of antimalarials, with emerging antimalarial drug resistance as an important risk and many children not being treated for potential other causes of fever. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section One Health)
Review
Challenges, Recent Advances and Perspectives in the Treatment of Human Cytomegalovirus Infections
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120439 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is ubiquitous worldwide and elicits global health problems. The diseases associated with HCMV are a serious threat to humans, especially for the sick, infant, elderly and immunocompromised/immunodeficient individuals. Although traditional antiviral drugs (e.g., ganciclovir, valganciclovir, cidofovir, foscarnet) can be used [...] Read more.
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is ubiquitous worldwide and elicits global health problems. The diseases associated with HCMV are a serious threat to humans, especially for the sick, infant, elderly and immunocompromised/immunodeficient individuals. Although traditional antiviral drugs (e.g., ganciclovir, valganciclovir, cidofovir, foscarnet) can be used to treat or prevent acute HCMV infections, their efficacy is limited because of toxicity, resistance issues, side effects and other problems. Fortunately, novel drugs (e.g., letermovir and maribavir) with less toxicity and drug/cross-resistance have been approved and put on the market in recent years. The nucleic acid-based gene-targeting approaches including the external guide sequences (EGSs)-RNase, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs)/CRISPRs-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) have been investigated to remove both lytic and latent CMV in vitro and/or in vivo. Cell therapy including the adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) and immunotherapy have been tried against drug-resistant and recurrent HCMV in patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or solid organ transplant (SOT), and they have also been used to treat glioblastoma (GBM) associated with HCMV infections. These newly developed antiviral strategies are expected to yield fruitful results and make a significant contribution to the treatment of HCMV infections. Despite this progress, the nucleic acid-based gene-targeting approaches are still under study for basic research, and cell therapy is adopted in a small study population size or only successful in case reports. Additionally, no current drugs have been approved to be indicated for latent infections. Therefore, the next strategy is to develop antiviral strategies to elevate efficacy against acute and/or latent infections and overcome challenges such as toxicity, resistance issues, and side effects. In this review, we would explore the challenges, recent advances and perspectives in the treatment of HCMV infections. Furthermore, the suitable therapeutic strategies as well as the possibility for compassionate use would be evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Treatment of Human Cytomegalovirus Infection)
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Review
Diversity and Dissemination of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Genotypes in Southeast Asia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120438 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a successful pathogen that has achieved global dissemination, with high prevalence rates in Southeast Asia. A huge diversity of clones has been reported in this region, with MRSA ST239 being the most successful lineage. Nonetheless, description of MRSA [...] Read more.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a successful pathogen that has achieved global dissemination, with high prevalence rates in Southeast Asia. A huge diversity of clones has been reported in this region, with MRSA ST239 being the most successful lineage. Nonetheless, description of MRSA genotypes circulating in the Southeast Asia region has, until now, remained poorly compiled. In this review, we aim to provide a better understanding of the molecular epidemiology and distribution of MRSA clones in 11 Southeast Asian countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, and Timor-Leste. Notably, while archaic multidrug-resistant hospital-associated (HA) MRSAs, such as the ST239-III and ST241-III, were prominent in the region during earlier observations, these were then largely replaced by the more antibiotic-susceptible community-acquired (CA) MRSAs, such as ST22-IV and PVL-positive ST30-IV, in recent years after the turn of the century. Nonetheless, reports of livestock-associated (LA) MRSAs remain few in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Diseases)
Article
Evaluation of Amino Acids Profile as Non-Invasive Biomarkers of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Egyptians
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120437 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 590
Abstract
Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most dangerous complication of chronic liver disease. It is a multifactorial complicated disease. Hepatitis C and hepatitis B viruses (HCV and HBV, respectively) represent the main causes of HCC in Egypt. Early diagnosis is very important to [...] Read more.
Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most dangerous complication of chronic liver disease. It is a multifactorial complicated disease. Hepatitis C and hepatitis B viruses (HCV and HBV, respectively) represent the main causes of HCC in Egypt. Early diagnosis is very important to aid in early intervention. Objectives: The goal of this research is to evaluate the metabolic role of different amino acids as non-invasive biomarkers over the course of HCC. Methods: This study included 302 participants with 97 diagnosed, untreated HCC patients, 81 chronic HCV patients, 56 chronic HBV patients, 18 co-infected patients, and a control group of 50 normal age and gender-matched individuals. All participants provided complete medical histories and underwent complete clinical examinations, abdominal ultrasonography and/or computed tomography, routine laboratory investigations, estimation of serum α-fetoprotein, and determination of amino acid levels using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC MS/MS). Results: This work revealed a decline in branched chain amino acids (BCAA) and increase in aromatic amino acids (AAA) among infected groups (HCC, HBV, HCV, and co-infected patients) compared to control subjects and a marked change in Fisher’s and the BCAAs/tyrosine molar concentration ratios (BTR) between controls and infected groups. Conclusion: Different amino acids could be used as non-invasive markers to discriminate and follow chronic hepatitis patients to predict the course of HCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Burden of Viral Hepatitis)
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Article
Promoting Awareness of the Role of the District Clinical Specialist Team in the Amathole District, South Africa: A Valuable Specialty in Improving Healthcare Access and Quality
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120436 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Introduction: This study explored the understanding of healthcare professionals on the role of the District Clinical Specialist Team (DCST) and how the team works together with the district personnel at different management levels to improve and strengthen the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of [...] Read more.
Introduction: This study explored the understanding of healthcare professionals on the role of the District Clinical Specialist Team (DCST) and how the team works together with the district personnel at different management levels to improve and strengthen the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme performance across four sub-districts in the Amathole district of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Methods: An interpretive qualitative case study was used to understand the role played by the DCST in improving PMTCT programme performance in the district. We used a purposive sampling method to select eight participants involved in providing technical assistance to support the implementation of the quality improvement programme. We conducted in-depth interviews with all the participants; all were females in their mid-forties. Data were analysed thematically by identifying themes and reporting patterns within the data. Findings: Most interviewees were females in their mid-forties and had been at their respective facilities for at least five years. The findings were discussed based on three themes: capacity building, programme performance oversight and monitoring, and technical support. The DCST significantly enhances the staff’s clinical skills, knowledge, and work performance to care for and manage the mother and baby pair. In addition, the DCST plays a vital role in providing programme oversight and complements the technical support provided by the Department of Health (DoH) managers and the quality improvement programme support by the South to South (S2S) team aimed at improving and achieving the PMTCT programme’s desired outcomes. The DCST also provided additional support for data verification to identify gaps in the PMTCT programme. Conclusion: The role of DCST is essential in improving the quality and service provision of the PMTCT programme and is critical to assist the team at different levels in addressing challenges encountered and training and mentoring the needs of the staff. In addition, DCST’s responsibilities cannot be fully achieved without a good working relationship with the quality improvement and district health teams because they work better together to ensure that the programme is performing optimally. Take-home message: This study showed that the District Clinical Specialist Team is vital for improving the quality and service provision of the PMTCT programme and it is essential for addressing challenges encountered by healthcare facilities and the staff providing PMTCT services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section One Health)
Article
COVID-19-Related Awareness and Behaviors of Non-Saudi Travelers and Their Satisfaction with Preventive Measures at Saudi Airports
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120435 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Airports could serve as hotspots for the spread of the COVID-19 infection. We aimed to assess the awareness, attitude, and behaviors of non-Saudi travelers about COVID-19 and their satisfaction with preventive measures at Saudi airports. A cross-sectional study was conducted among non-Saudi travelers [...] Read more.
Airports could serve as hotspots for the spread of the COVID-19 infection. We aimed to assess the awareness, attitude, and behaviors of non-Saudi travelers about COVID-19 and their satisfaction with preventive measures at Saudi airports. A cross-sectional study was conducted among non-Saudi travelers arriving in Saudi Arabia at two international airports. Data were collected using a questionnaire in Arabic, Hindi, and Urdu languages. Awareness, attitude, behavior scores, and satisfaction levels were calculated. Linear regression analyses were done to assess the predictors of awareness, attitude, and behaviors. A total of 633 participants were included in the study. The mean awareness, attitude, and behavior scores were 16.3/22, 18.3/24, and 3.2/5, respectively. Nationality, education, and income were significant predictors of awareness. Nationality was the only significant predictor of attitude, while gender and nationality were predictors of behaviors. Overall satisfaction with preventive measures was: transportation (94%), lounges and corridors (96%), counters (98%), and airport staff (97%). There was overall good awareness and attitude among travelers. Behavior scores were relatively low, which needs to change as air travel poses a threat to the spread of infectious diseases. Airport authorities need to manage passengers properly to ensure adequate distancing to prevent the potential transmission of infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Travel Health)
Case Report
Fatal Case of Imported Tick-Borne Encephalitis in South Serbia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120434 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 732
Abstract
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is vaccine-preventable neglected zoonotic neuroinvasive disease, caused by tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Many of the Central and Eastern European countries are affected by TBE, which is often poorly perceived by tourists visiting endemic territories. Here we are reporting a fatal [...] Read more.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is vaccine-preventable neglected zoonotic neuroinvasive disease, caused by tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Many of the Central and Eastern European countries are affected by TBE, which is often poorly perceived by tourists visiting endemic territories. Here we are reporting a fatal case of imported TBE in Serbian resident who was exposed to a tick bite during a visit to Switzerland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Travel Health)
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Review
Climatic and Environmental Factors Influencing COVID-19 Transmission—An African Perspective
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120433 - 12 Dec 2022
Viewed by 734
Abstract
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 was decreed by the World Health Organization as a public health emergency of worldwide concern, the epidemic has drawn attention from all around the world. The disease has since spread globally in developed and developing countries. The African [...] Read more.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 was decreed by the World Health Organization as a public health emergency of worldwide concern, the epidemic has drawn attention from all around the world. The disease has since spread globally in developed and developing countries. The African continent has not been spared from the pandemic; however, the low number of cases in Africa compared to developed countries has brought about more questions than answers. Africa is known to have a poor healthcare system that cannot sustain the emerging infectious disease pandemic. This study explored climatic and environmental elements influencing COVID-19 transmission in Africa. This study involved manuscripts and data that evaluated and investigated the climatic and environmental elements of COVID-19 in African countries. Only articles written in English were considered in the systematic review. Seventeen articles and one database were selected for manuscript write-ups after the review process. The findings indicated that there is evidence that suggests the influence of climatic and environmental elements on the spread of COVID-19 in the continent of Africa; however, the evidence needs more investigation in all six regions of Africa and at the country level to understand the role of weather patterns and environmental aspects in the transmission of COVID-19. Full article
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Article
Clinical-Epidemiological Characteristics and Outcomes of Latent Tuberculosis Treatment at a Tertiary Center in Central-West Brazil from 2017 to 2019
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120432 - 12 Dec 2022
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Detailed information concerning latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and treatment outcomes is scarce in Brazil. This retrospective cross-sectional study aimed to describe LTB treatment (LTBT) at a tertiary center in Central-West Brazil from 2017 to 2019. We recommended the use of LTBTs before the [...] Read more.
Detailed information concerning latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and treatment outcomes is scarce in Brazil. This retrospective cross-sectional study aimed to describe LTB treatment (LTBT) at a tertiary center in Central-West Brazil from 2017 to 2019. We recommended the use of LTBTs before the implementation of a rifapentine-isoniazid (3HP) regimen in Brazil. We conducted a descriptive analysis using chi-square or t-tests to assess differences in the proportions and means. Of 79 notified adult patients (males, 68%; median age, 40 (interquartile range, 30–51) years), most people were living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) (82%) or receiving immunosuppressant medication (15%), and 92% were receiving their first treatment. Isoniazid (INH) for 6–9 months had previously been proposed for 95% of the patients, with only 35% completeness. Four patients treated with rifampicin (4RMP) completed the regimen (p = 0.009). Adverse events occurred in 19% of the patients. In this Brazilian tertiary center, the target population for LTBT were young PLHIV patients under immunosuppression with low education levels. However, the INH monotherapy dropout rate was 65%. Therefore, shorter courses, such as 3HP and 4RMP, are promising alternatives. Behavioral aspects, education level, and regimen length can influence the course completion, and further studies are required to evaluate the 3HP regime in Brazil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ending Tuberculosis Epidemic: Current Status and Future Prospects)
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Article
Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on the Distribution of a Neglected Arboviruses Vector (Armigeres subalbatus) in China
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120431 - 12 Dec 2022
Viewed by 452
Abstract
The geographic boundaries of arboviruses continue to expand, posing a major health threat to millions of people around the world. This expansion is related to the availability of effective vectors and suitable habitats. Armigeres subalbatus (Coquillett, 1898), a common and neglected species, is of [...] Read more.
The geographic boundaries of arboviruses continue to expand, posing a major health threat to millions of people around the world. This expansion is related to the availability of effective vectors and suitable habitats. Armigeres subalbatus (Coquillett, 1898), a common and neglected species, is of increasing interest given its potential vector capacity for Zika virus. However, potential distribution patterns and the underlying driving factors of Ar. subalbatus remain unknown. In the current study, detailed maps of their potential distributions were developed under both the current as well as future climate change scenarios (SSP126 and SSP585) based on CMIP6 data, employing the MaxEnt model. The results showed that the distribution of the Ar. subalbatus was mainly affected by temperature. Mean diurnal range was the strongest predictor in shaping the distribution of Ar. subalbatus, with an 85.2% contribution rate. By the 2050s and 2070s, Ar. subalbatus will have a broader potential distribution across China. There are two suitable expansion types under climate change in the 2050s and 2070s. The first type is continuous distribution expansion, and the second type is sporadic distribution expansion. Our comprehensive analysis of Ar. subalbatus’s suitable distribution areas shifts under climate change and provides useful and insightful information for developing management strategies for future arboviruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Assessment of Geographical Distribution of Emerging Zoonotic Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Women Patients Using Geographical Information System (GIS) in Various Regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province, Pakistan
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120430 - 11 Dec 2022
Viewed by 512
Abstract
Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic parasitic disease caused by T. gondii, an obligate intracellular apcomplexan zoonotic parasite that is geographically worldwide in distribution. The parasite infects humans and all warm-blooded animals and is highly prevalent in various geographical regions of the world, including [...] Read more.
Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic parasitic disease caused by T. gondii, an obligate intracellular apcomplexan zoonotic parasite that is geographically worldwide in distribution. The parasite infects humans and all warm-blooded animals and is highly prevalent in various geographical regions of the world, including Pakistan. The current study addressee prevalence of Toxoplasma infection in women in various geographical regions, mapping of endemic division and t district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province through geographical information system (GIS) in order to locate endemic regions, monitor seasonal and annual increase in prevalence of infection in women patients. Setting: Tertiary hospitals and basic health care centers located in 7 divisions and 24 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province of Pakistan. During the current study, 3586 women patients from 7 divisions and 24 districts were clinically examined and screened for prevalence of T. gondii infection. Participants were screened for Toxoplasma infection using ICT and latex agglutination test (LAT) as initial screening assay, while iELISA (IgM, IgG) was used as confirmatory assay. Mapping of the studied region was developed by using ArcGIS 10.5. Spatial analyst tools were applied by using Kriging/Co-kriging techniques, followed by IDW (Inverse Distance Weight) techniques. Overall prevalence of T. gondii infection was found in 881 (24.56%) patients. A significant (<0.05) variation was found in prevalence of infection in different divisions and districts of the province. Prevalence of infection was significantly (<0.05) high 129 (30.07%) in Kohat Division, followed by 177 (29.06%), 80 (27.87%), 287 (26.72%), 81 (21.21%), 47 (21.07%), and 80 (13.71%) cases in Hazara Division, D.I Khan Division, Malakand Division, Mardan Division, Bannu Division, and Peshawar Division. Among various districts, a significant variation (<0.05) was found in prevalence of infection. Prevalence of infection was significantly (<0.05) high 49 (44.95%) in district Karak, while low (16 (10.81%) in district Nowshera. No significant (>0.05) seasonal and annual variation was found in prevalence of Toxoplasma infection. LAT, ICT and ELISA assays were evaluated for prevalence of infection, which significantly (<0.05) detected T. gondii antibodies. LAT, ICT and ELISA assays significantly (<0.05) detected infection, while no significant (>0.05) difference was found between positivity of LAT and ICT assays. A significant difference (<0.05) was found in positivity of Toxoplasma-specific (IgM), (IgG) and (IgM, IgG) immunoglobulin by ICT and ELISA assay. The current study provides comprehensive information about geographical distribution, seasonal and annual variation of Toxoplasmosis infection in various regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Infection of T. gondii in women shows an alarming situation of disease transmission from infected animals in the studied region, which is not only a serious and potential threat for adverse pregnancy outcomes, but also cause socioeconomic burden and challenges for various public and animal health organizations in Pakistan and across the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Toxoplasma gondii Infection and Toxoplasmosis)
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Case Report
COVID-19 and Pasteurella multocida Pulmonary Coinfection: A Case Series
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120429 - 11 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1219
Abstract
Objectives: In COVID-19 patients, bacterial and fungal pulmonary coinfections, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, or Aspergillus, have been reported, but to our knowledge, no case has been reported due to Pasteurella multocida. Patients and methods: We [...] Read more.
Objectives: In COVID-19 patients, bacterial and fungal pulmonary coinfections, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, or Aspergillus, have been reported, but to our knowledge, no case has been reported due to Pasteurella multocida. Patients and methods: We describe three cases of Pasteurella multocida coinfections occurring during the 4th wave of COVID-19 in Martinique (French West Indies). Results: All three cases were fatal; thus, Pasteurella multocida has to be considered as a potentially severe coinfection agent. Conclusions: Alteration of the epithelial–endothelial barrier due to a SARS-CoV-2 infection probably promotes the expression of a Pasteurella infection. In addition, the SARS-CoV-2 infection induced immunosuppression, and an inflammatory cascade could explain the infection’s severity. The use of corticosteroids, which are part of the first-line therapeutic arsenal against COVID-19, may also promote the pathogenicity of this agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neglected and Emerging Tropical Diseases)
Article
Is Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto in South America? First Molecular Evidence of Its Presence in Colombia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120428 - 11 Dec 2022
Viewed by 721
Abstract
The genus Borrelia encompasses spirochetal species that are part of three well-defined groups. Two of these groups contain pathogens that affect humans: the group causing Lyme disease (LDG) and the relapsing fever group (RFG). Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., which [...] Read more.
The genus Borrelia encompasses spirochetal species that are part of three well-defined groups. Two of these groups contain pathogens that affect humans: the group causing Lyme disease (LDG) and the relapsing fever group (RFG). Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., which is distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, and relapsing fevers are caused by Borrelia spp., which are found in temperate and tropical countries and are an emerging but neglected pathogens. In some departments of Colombia, there are records of the presence of Borrelia sp. in humans and bats. However, little is known about the impact and circulation of Borrelia spp. in the country, especially in wildlife, which can act as a reservoir and/or amplifying host. In this context, the objective of our research was to detect and identify the Borrelia species present in wild mammals in the departments of Caldas and Risaralda in Colombia. For morphological detection, blood smears and organ imprints were performed, and molecular identification was carried out through a nested PCR directed on the flagellin B (flaB) gene. A total of 105 mammals belonging to three orders (Chiroptera, Didelphimorphia and Rodentia) were analyzed, of which 15.24% (n = 16) were positive for Borrelia. Molecularly, the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. in lung tissues of Thomasomys aureus and blood of Mus musculus (Rodentia) was detected, with 99.64 and 100% identity, respectively. Borrelia sp. genospecies from a clade branch of a bat-associated LDG sister group were identified in seven individuals of bat species, such as Artibeus lituratus, Carollia brevicauda, Sturnira erythromos, and Glossophaga soricina. Furthermore, two Borrelia genospecies from the RFG in seven individuals of bats (A. lituratus, Artibeus jamaicensis, Platyrrhinus helleri, Mesophylla macconnelli, Rhynchonycteris naso) and rodents (Coendou rufescens, Microryzomys altissimus) were documented. Additionally, the presence of a spirochete was detected by microscopy in the liver of a Sturnira erythromos bat specimen. These results contain the first molecular evidence of the presence of B. burgdorferi s.s. in South America, which merits the need for comprehensive studies involving arthropods and vertebrates (including humans) in other departments of Colombia, as well as neighboring countries, to understand the current status of the circulation of Borrelia spp. in South America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vector-Borne Diseases)
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Article
Leptospiral Leucine-Rich Repeat Protein-Based Lateral Flow for Assessment of Canine Leptospiral Immunoglobulin G
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120427 - 10 Dec 2022
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The recombinant, modified leucine-rich repeat protein rhKU_Sej_LRR_2271 has been suggested as a candidate for leptospiral vaccine development since it was predicted to be a transmembrane protein containing leucine-rich repeat motifs and immunogenic epitopes. The immunogenic epitopes showed binding affinities with lower IC50 [...] Read more.
The recombinant, modified leucine-rich repeat protein rhKU_Sej_LRR_2271 has been suggested as a candidate for leptospiral vaccine development since it was predicted to be a transmembrane protein containing leucine-rich repeat motifs and immunogenic epitopes. The immunogenic epitopes showed binding affinities with lower IC50 values than peptides of known antigenic proteins, e.g., LipL32. Moreover, this protein was immunoreactive with hyperimmune sera against several serovars. In this study, we aimed to develop a lateral flow strip test using the rhKU_Sej_LRR_2271 protein for the detection of anti-leptospiral IgG in dogs. The lateral flow assay was performed with 184 dog plasma samples and evaluated with a culture method, 16S ribosomal RNA gene (rss) analysis real-time PCR, and LipL32 ELISA. The culture method failed to detect leptospires in the dog blood samples. Six of nine symptomatic dogs gave positive results with the real-time PCR assay. The lateral flow assay and LipL32 ELISA gave positive results with 59 and 50 dogs, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the rhKU_Sej_LRR_2271 lateral flow strip test were 70.00, 82.09, and 78.80%, respectively, when compared with LipL32 ELISA. There was a significant association between the LipL32 ELISA and the rhKU_Sej_LRR_2271 lateral flow assay. The rhKU_Sej_LRR_2271 lateral flow strip test has therefore demonstrated a good potential to detect anti-leptospiral IgG in dogs. Full article
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Article
Environmental Factors Affecting Freshwater Snail Intermediate Hosts in Shenzhen and Adjacent Region, South China
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120426 - 09 Dec 2022
Viewed by 672
Abstract
Sound knowledge of the local distribution and diversity of freshwater snail intermediate hosts and the factors driving the occurrence and abundance of them is crucial to understanding snail-borne parasitic disease transmission and to setting up effective interventions in endemic areas. In this study, [...] Read more.
Sound knowledge of the local distribution and diversity of freshwater snail intermediate hosts and the factors driving the occurrence and abundance of them is crucial to understanding snail-borne parasitic disease transmission and to setting up effective interventions in endemic areas. In this study, we investigated the freshwater snails, water quality parameters, physical characteristics of habitats, predators and competitors, and human activity variables at 102 sites during December 2018 and August 2019 in Shenzhen and adjacent areas in China. We used decision tree models and canonical correspondence analysis to identify the main environmental and biotic factors affecting the occurrence and abundance of snail species. A total of nine species of snail were collected throughout the study area, with Biomphalaria straminea, Sinotaia quadrata, and Physella acuta being the most predominant species. Our study showed that the most important variables affecting the abundance and occurrence of snail species were the presence of predators and competitors, macrophyte cover, chlorophyll-a, substrate type, river depth, and water velocity. In terms of human activities, snail species occurred more frequently and in larger numbers in water bodies affected by human disturbances, especially for sewage discharge, which may reduce the occurrence and abundance of snail predators and competitors. These findings suggest that proper management of water bodies to reduce water pollution may increase the abundance of snail predators and competitors, and should be considered in integrated snail control strategies in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control of Schistosome Intermediate Hosts)
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Article
The COVID-19 Infodemic on Twitter: A Space and Time Topic Analysis of the Brazilian Immunization Program and Public Trust
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120425 - 09 Dec 2022
Viewed by 519
Abstract
The context of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the infodemic phenomenon and the problem of misinformation. Agencies involved in managing COVID-19 immunization programs are also looking for ways to combat this problem, demanding analytical tools specialized in identifying patterns of misinformation [...] Read more.
The context of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the infodemic phenomenon and the problem of misinformation. Agencies involved in managing COVID-19 immunization programs are also looking for ways to combat this problem, demanding analytical tools specialized in identifying patterns of misinformation and understanding how they have evolved in time and space to demonstrate their effects on public trust. The aim of this article is to present the results of a study applying topic analysis in space and time with respect to public opinion on the Brazilian COVID-19 immunization program. The analytical process involves applying topic discovery to tweets with geoinformation extracted from the COVID-19 vaccination theme. After extracting the topics, they were submitted to manual annotation, whereby the polarity labels pro, anti, and neutral were applied based on the support and trust in the COVID-19 vaccination. A space and time analysis was carried out using the topic and polarity distributions, making it possible to understand moments during which the most significant quantities of posts occurred and the cities that generated the most tweets. The analytical process describes a framework capable of meeting the needs of agencies for tools, providing indications of how misinformation has evolved and where its dissemination focuses, in addition to defining the granularity of this information according to what managers define as adequate. The following research outcomes can be highlighted. (1) We identified a specific date containing a peak that stands out among the other dates, indicating an event that mobilized public opinion about COVID-19 vaccination. (2) We extracted 23 topics, enabling the manual polarity annotation of each topic and an understanding of which polarities were associated with tweets. (3) Based on the association between polarities, topics, and tweets, it was possible to identify the Brazilian cities that produced the majority of tweets for each polarity and the amount distribution of tweets relative to cities populations. Full article
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Article
Artificial Neural Networks for the Prediction of Monkeypox Outbreak
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120424 - 08 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 487
Abstract
While the world is still struggling to recover from the harm caused by the widespread COVID-19 pandemic, the monkeypox virus now poses a new threat of becoming a pandemic. Although it is not as dangerous or infectious as COVID-19, new cases of the [...] Read more.
While the world is still struggling to recover from the harm caused by the widespread COVID-19 pandemic, the monkeypox virus now poses a new threat of becoming a pandemic. Although it is not as dangerous or infectious as COVID-19, new cases of the disease are nevertheless being reported daily from many countries. In this study, we have used public datasets provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control for developing a prediction model for the spread of the monkeypox outbreak to and throughout the USA, Germany, the UK, France and Canada. We have used certain effective neural network models for this purpose. The novelty of this study is that a neural network model for a time series monkeypox dataset is developed and compared with LSTM and GRU models using an adaptive moment estimation (ADAM) optimizer. The Levenberg–Marquardt (LM) learning technique is used to develop and validate a single hidden layer artificial neural network (ANN) model. Different ANN model architectures with varying numbers of hidden layer neurons were trained, and the K-fold cross-validation early stopping validation approach was employed to identify the optimum structure with the best generalization potential. In the regression analysis, our ANN model gives a good R-value of almost 99%, the LSTM model gives almost 98% and the GRU model gives almost 98%. These three model fits demonstrated that there was a good agreement between the experimental data and the forecasted values. The results of our experiments show that the ANN model performs better than the other methods on the collected monkeypox dataset in all five countries. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report that has used ANN, LSTM and GRU to predict a monkeypox outbreak in all five countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rising Stars in Mpox Research)
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Systematic Review
Systematic Review of Mixed Studies on Malaria in Pregnancy: Individual, Cultural and Socioeconomic Determinants of Its Treatment and Prevention
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120423 - 08 Dec 2022
Viewed by 417
Abstract
Malaria in pregnancy (MiP) is a global public health problem; its research is predominantly quantitative. The objective was to analyze the individual, cultural and socioeconomic determinants of the treatment and prevention of MiP with a systematic review of mixed studies (search had no [...] Read more.
Malaria in pregnancy (MiP) is a global public health problem; its research is predominantly quantitative. The objective was to analyze the individual, cultural and socioeconomic determinants of the treatment and prevention of MiP with a systematic review of mixed studies (search had no date restriction). Reproducibility and evaluation of the methodological quality were guaranteed. 21 studies were included (20 from Africa). The quantitative component included 7816 pregnant women and 483 health workers. The qualitative component included 800 subjects (pregnant women, health workers, family members and community leaders). The main topics were the use and acceptability of WHO strategies to prevent MiP, individual determinants related with knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and behaviors on MiP, and cultural and socioeconomic barriers for its treatment and prevention. The main determinants of MiP were long distance to the clinic, lack of economic resources, low-coverage antenatal care, few health workers in the communities, drug shortages, cultural rules that prevent women’s participation in health issues, and misconceptions about MiP. MiP has determinants related to economic conditions, the structure and functioning of the health system, symbolic and cultural aspects, as well as knowledge, beliefs, perceptions and behavior of pregnant women, which prevent optimal access and use of preventive strategies. This study evidences the importance of intersectional, intersectoral, and interdisciplinary work to prevent MiP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Malaria Treatment and Prevention)
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Article
Facilitations in the Clinical Diagnosis of Human Scabies through the Use of Ultraviolet Light (UV-Scab Scanning): A Case-Series Study
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120422 - 08 Dec 2022
Viewed by 734
Abstract
Background: To confirm the suspicion of scabies, dermatologists have one pathognomonic sign, “the tunnel” through which Sarcoptes scabiei digs into the epidermis. Light microscopy is considered the most reliable procedure, but it is time-consuming and operator-dependent. Recently, dermoscopy has greatly improved the chances [...] Read more.
Background: To confirm the suspicion of scabies, dermatologists have one pathognomonic sign, “the tunnel” through which Sarcoptes scabiei digs into the epidermis. Light microscopy is considered the most reliable procedure, but it is time-consuming and operator-dependent. Recently, dermoscopy has greatly improved the chances of recognizing mite in situ, but it is still linked to the examiner’s experience and to the magnification capability of the device used. Methods: This article, based on a case-series study, describes a novel diagnostic path, which uses an ultraviolet LED source at 365 nm and a digital camera for the evaluation of lesions that raise the suspicion of scabies. Results: The gallery emits a naked-eye-visible wavy bluish-white linear luminescence, better than that of any standard lighting. UVA light is also able to identify Sarcoptes scabiei as a white or green point-shaped area. This sign can only be appreciated by enlarging its picture to full frame on a common PC monitor. Conclusions: Ultraviolet light (365 nm) seems to offer help in the diagnosis of scabies because it saves time compared with light microscopy and because it does not require contact with the patient’s skin, as in dermoscopy. Although examiner experience remains an important factor, it is easily compensated by procedural simplicity, the cost of the devices and, especially, by the clarity of the results, even in non-specific lesions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neglected and Emerging Tropical Diseases)
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Article
COVID-19 Alcoholic Cirrhosis and Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis Cirrhosis Outcomes among Hospitalized Patients in the United States: Insight from National Inpatient Sample Database
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120421 - 07 Dec 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Patients with co-morbidities like cirrhosis are at risk of worse outcome from COVID-19 infection. Given limited prior studies, we evaluated outcomes associated with COVID-19 infection in alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis cirrhotic (CC+) versus cirrhotic without COVID-19 (CC−). We performed retrospective analysis of 822,604 [...] Read more.
Patients with co-morbidities like cirrhosis are at risk of worse outcome from COVID-19 infection. Given limited prior studies, we evaluated outcomes associated with COVID-19 infection in alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis cirrhotic (CC+) versus cirrhotic without COVID-19 (CC−). We performed retrospective analysis of 822,604 patients including 28,610 COVID-19 patients from the National Inpatient Sample database with alcoholic and NASH cirrhosis enrolled between 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020, with univariate and multivariate regression analyses. Primary outcome was mortality and secondary outcomes was mechanical ventilation, vasopressor use, length of stay, hospitalization expense and predictors of mortality. In-hospital mortality was three time higher in the CC+ group compared to those in the CC− group(18.6% vs. 5.96%, p < 0.001, adjusted odds ratio (OR)3.39 (95% 3.08–3.74 CI). Hospitalization was more likely for underrepresented racial and ethnic groups with COVID-19 and cirrhosis. CC+ group had over twice the rates of mechanical ventilation (19.92% vs. 9.07%, adjusted OR 2.71 2.71 (95% 2.51–2.93 CI)),1.7 times likelihood of receiving vasopressors (4.12% vs. 2.45%, p < 0.001, adjusted OR 1.71 (95% CI 1.46–2.01). COVID-19 is associated with increased mortality in patients with alcoholic and NASH cirrhosis, and patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and COVID-19 have a slightly higher mortality compared to NASH cirrhosis. Full article
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Article
Analysis of a Dengue Virus Outbreak in Rosso, Senegal 2021
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120420 - 07 Dec 2022
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Senegal is hyperendemic for dengue. Since 2017, outbreaks have been noticed annually in many regions around the country, marked by the co-circulation of DENV1-3. On 8 October 2021, a Dengue virus outbreak in the Rosso health post (sentinel site of the syndromic surveillance [...] Read more.
Senegal is hyperendemic for dengue. Since 2017, outbreaks have been noticed annually in many regions around the country, marked by the co-circulation of DENV1-3. On 8 October 2021, a Dengue virus outbreak in the Rosso health post (sentinel site of the syndromic surveillance network) located in the north of the country was notified to the WHO Collaborating Center for arboviruses and hemorrhagic fever viruses at Institut Pasteur de Dakar. A multidisciplinary team was then sent for epidemiological and virologic investigations. This study describes the results from investigations during an outbreak in Senegal using a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for the combined detection of dengue virus non-structural protein 1 (NS1) and IgM/IgG. For confirmation, samples were also tested by real-time RT-PCR and IgM ELISA at the reference lab in Dakar. qRT-PCR positive samples were subjected to whole genome sequencing using nanopore technology. Virologic analysis scored 102 positives cases (RT-PCR, NS1 antigen detection and/or IgM) out of 173 enrolled patients; interestingly, virus serotyping showed that the outbreak was caused by the DENV-1, a serotype different from DENV-2 involved during the outbreak in Rosso three years earlier, indicating a serotype replacement. Nearly all field-tested NS1 positives samples were confirmed by qRT-PCR with a concordance of 92.3%. Whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of strains suggested a re-introduction in Rosso of a DENV-1 strain different to the one responsible for the outbreak in the Louga area five years before. Findings call for improved dengue virus surveillance in Senegal, with a wide deployment of DENV antigenic tests, which allow easy on-site diagnosis of suspected cases and early detection of outbreaks. This work highlights the need for continuous monitoring of circulating serotypes which is crucial for a better understanding of viral epidemiology around the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Vector-Borne Diseases)
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Article
Main Predictors of COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake among Italian Healthcare Workers in Relation to Variable Degrees of Hesitancy: Result from a Cross-Sectional Online Survey
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2022, 7(12), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7120419 - 06 Dec 2022
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Background: Hesitancy remains one of the major hurdles to vaccination, regardless of the fact that vaccines are indisputable preventive measures against many infectious diseases. Nevertheless, vaccine hesitancy or refusal is a growing phenomenon in the general population as well as among healthcare workers [...] Read more.
Background: Hesitancy remains one of the major hurdles to vaccination, regardless of the fact that vaccines are indisputable preventive measures against many infectious diseases. Nevertheless, vaccine hesitancy or refusal is a growing phenomenon in the general population as well as among healthcare workers (HCWs). Many different factors can contribute to hesitancy to COVID-19 vaccination in the HCWs population, including socio-demographic characteristics (female gender, low socio-economical status, lower age), individual beliefs regarding vaccine efficacy and safety, as well as other factors (occupation, knowledge about COVID-19, etc.). Understanding the determinants of accepting or refusing the COVID-19 vaccination is crucial to plan specific interventions in order to increase the rate of vaccine coverage among health care workers. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey on HCWs in seventeen Italian regions, between 30 June and 4 July 2021, in order to collect information about potential factors related to vaccine acceptance and hesitancy. Results: We found an overall vaccine uptake rate of 96.4% in our sample. Acceptance was significantly related to job task, with physicians showing the highest rate of uptake compared to other occupations. At univariate analysis, the HCWs population’s vaccine hesitancy was significantly positively associated with fear of vaccination side effects (p < 0.01), and negatively related to confidence in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine (p < 0.01). Through multivariate analysis, we found that only the fear of possible vaccination side effects (OR: 4.631, p < 0.01) and the confidence in vaccine safety and effectiveness (OR: 0.35 p < 0.05) remained significantly associated with hesitancy. Conclusion: Action to improve operator confidence in the efficacy and safety of the vaccine should improve the acceptance rate among operators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Awareness and Attitudes around COVID-19 Vaccination)
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