Special Issue "Diagnostic Infectious Disease and Microbiology"

A special issue of Diagnostics (ISSN 2075-4418). This special issue belongs to the section "Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Javier Fernández
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain
Interests: clinical microbiology; infectious disease; antibiotics; antimicrobial susceptibility testing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Infectious diseases and clinical microbiology are fascinating and rapidly changing fields in medicine, with ongoing complex challenges. In recent years, a real revolution in infection diagnosis has occurred thanks to the incorporation of a wide arsenal of techniques based on various technologies, such as molecular methods, immunoassays, mass spectrometry, FISH, RMN, and so on. Diagnostic stewardship is essential for the optimization of these techniques and to accomplish their maximum efficiency and profitability. This Special Issue seeks manuscript submissions to extend the scientific knowledge and to evaluate, compare, and review the state of the art in methods and algorithms for the diagnosis of different infectious diseases, such as:

  • Bone and joint infections;
  • Blood stream infections;
  • Central nervous system infections;
  • Cardiovascular system infections;
  • Gastrointestinal infections;
  • Lower respiratory system infection;
  • Sexually transmitted infections;
  • Surgical site infections;
  • Skin and soft tissue infection;
  • Upper respiratory system infections;
  • Urinary tract infections.

Dr. Javier Fernández
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diagnostics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Clinical microbiology
  • Diagnostic stewardship
  • Diagnostic workflow and algorithms
  • Infectious diseases
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Immunological diagnosis
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Other diagnostic methods

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Cytokine and Chemokine mRNA Expressions after Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Specific Antigen Stimulation in Whole Blood from Hemodialysis Patients with Latent Tuberculosis Infection
Diagnostics 2021, 11(4), 595; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11040595 - 26 Mar 2021
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Abstract
There have been few reports on the kinetics of hemodialyzed (HD) patients’ immune responses in latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Therefore, in the present study, messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression levels of nine immune markers were analyzed to discriminate between HD patients with LTBI [...] Read more.
There have been few reports on the kinetics of hemodialyzed (HD) patients’ immune responses in latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Therefore, in the present study, messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression levels of nine immune markers were analyzed to discriminate between HD patients with LTBI and healthy individuals. Nine cytokines and chemokines were screened through relative mRNA expression levels in whole blood samples after stimulation with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB)-specific antigens from HD patients with LTBI (HD/LTBI), HD patients without LTBI, and healthy individuals, and results were compared with the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) test. We confirmed that the C-C motif chemokine 11 (CCL11) mRNA expression level of the HD/LTBI group was significantly higher than the other two groups. Especially, the CCL11 mRNA expression level of the >0.7 IU/mL group in the QFT-GIT test was significantly higher than the <0.2 IU/mL group in the QFT-GIT test and the 0.2–0.7 IU/mL group in the QFT-GIT test (p = 0.0043). The present study reveals that the relative mRNA expression of CCL11 was statistically different in LTBI based on the current cut-off value (i.e., ≥0.35 IU/mL) and in the >0.7 IU/mL group. These results suggest that CCL11 mRNA expression might be an alternative biomarker for LTBI diagnosis in HD patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Infectious Disease and Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Pitfalls in the Serological Diagnosis of Primary Human Cytomegalovirus Infection in Pregnancy Due to Different Kinetics of IgM Clearance and IgG Avidity Index Maturation
Diagnostics 2021, 11(3), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11030396 - 26 Feb 2021
Viewed by 331
Abstract
Primary infection occurs when seronegative women are infected by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Diagnosis of primary infection is based on the following: antibody seroconversion, presence of IgM and low IgG avidity index (AI), and presence of DNAemia. The kinetics of HCMV-specific IgM antibody and [...] Read more.
Primary infection occurs when seronegative women are infected by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Diagnosis of primary infection is based on the following: antibody seroconversion, presence of IgM and low IgG avidity index (AI), and presence of DNAemia. The kinetics of HCMV-specific IgM antibody and maturation of AI might be very rapid or long-lasting during primary infection, which makes serological diagnosis insidious. The aims of this study were as follows: (i) to report atypical kinetics of HCMV-specific IgM antibody and AI early after onset of primary HCMV infection in a population of pregnant women, and (ii) to assess the frequency of such results. Altogether, 1309 sequential serum samples collected from 465 pregnant women with primary HCMV infection were included in the study. As a general rule, using the LIAISON®CMVIgMII and LIAISON®CMVIgGAvidityII assays, virus-specific IgM antibody levels decreased, while IgG AI increased over time during the first three months after infection onset. However, early clearance of IgM antibody and/or early IgG AI maturation occurred in 46/426 (10.7%) women. In more details, 20/426 (4.7%) and 26/418 (6.2%) women had undetectable IgM antibody or high IgG AI, respectively, when tested within 1–3 months after well-defined infection onset. Twenty sera from as many women with high IgG AI by the LIAISON assay were further tested for IgG AI by VIDAS®CMVIgGAvidityII and Mikrogen recomLineCMVIgG Avidity assays. Comparable results were obtained with VIDAS, whereas 14/20 sera gave low AI with the Mikrogen assay. In conclusion, about 11% of pregnant women undergoing a primary HCMV infection showed misleading serological results. Additional and appropriate testing might help in reducing the risk of missing HCMV primary infection in pregnancy. Furthermore, preconceptional testing should be strongly recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Infectious Disease and Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Early Confirmation of Mycoplasma pneumoniae Infection by Two Short-Term Serologic IgM Examination
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020353 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 352
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to re-evaluate the clinical application of two-times serologic immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests using microparticle agglutination assay (MAA), an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay in diagnosing Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) infection. A retrospective [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study is to re-evaluate the clinical application of two-times serologic immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests using microparticle agglutination assay (MAA), an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay in diagnosing Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) infection. A retrospective analysis of 62 children with MP pneumonia during a recent epidemic (2019–2020) was conducted. The MAA and ELISA immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG measurements were conducted twice at admission and around discharge, and MP PCR once at presentation. Diagnostic rates in each test were calculated at presentation and at discharge. The seroconverters were 39% (24/62) of patients tested by MAA and 29% (18/62) by ELISA. At presentation, the diagnostic positive rates of MAA, ELISA, and PCR tests were 61%, 71%, and 52%, respectively. After the second examination, the rates were 100% in both serologic tests. There were positive correlations between the titers of MAA and the IgM values of ELISA. The single serologic IgM or PCR tests had limitations to select patients infected with MP in the early stage. The short-term, paired IgM serologic tests during hospitalization can reduce patient-selection bias in MP infection studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Infectious Disease and Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Vaginal Dysbiosis and Partial Bacterial Vaginosis: The Interpretation of the “Grey Zones” of Clinical Practice
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020191 - 28 Jan 2021
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Abstract
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects one-third of reproductive age women, increasing the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and posing a risk for reproductive health. The current diagnosis with Gram stain (Nugent Score) identifies a transitional stage named partial BV or intermediate microbiota, [...] Read more.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects one-third of reproductive age women, increasing the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and posing a risk for reproductive health. The current diagnosis with Gram stain (Nugent Score) identifies a transitional stage named partial BV or intermediate microbiota, raising the problem of how to clinically handle it. We retrospectively analyzed cervicovaginal swabs from 985 immunocompetent non-pregnant symptomaticspp. women (vaginal discharge, burning, itching) by Nugent score and qPCR for BV, aerobic or fungal vaginitis, and STIs (Mycoplasmas spp., Chlamydia t., Trichomonas v., and Neisseria g.). Nugent scores 0–3 and 7–10 were confirmed in 99.3% and 89.7% cases, respectively, by qPCR. Among Nugent scores 4–6 (partial BV), qPCR identified 46.1% of BV cases, with 37.3% of cases negative for BV, and only 16.7% of partial BV. Gram staining and qPCR were discordant (p value = 0.0001) mainly in the partial BV. Among the qPCR BV cases, the presence of aerobic vaginitis and STIs was identified, with a significant association (p < 0.0001) between the STIs and partial BV/overt BV. qPCR is more informative and accurate, and its use as an alternative or in combination with Gram staining could help clinicians in having an overview of the complex vaginal microbiota and in the interpretation of partial BV that can correspond to vaginitis and/or STIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Infectious Disease and Microbiology)
Open AccessArticle
Simultaneous Determination of Antibodies to Pertussis Toxin and Adenylate Cyclase Toxin Improves Serological Diagnosis of Pertussis
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020180 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Serological diagnosis of pertussis is mainly based on anti-pertussis toxin (PT) IgG antibodies. Since PT is included in all acellular vaccines (ACV), serological assays do not differentiate antibodies induced by ACVs and infection. Adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT) is not included in the ACVs, [...] Read more.
Serological diagnosis of pertussis is mainly based on anti-pertussis toxin (PT) IgG antibodies. Since PT is included in all acellular vaccines (ACV), serological assays do not differentiate antibodies induced by ACVs and infection. Adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT) is not included in the ACVs, which makes it a promising candidate for pertussis serology with the specific aim of separating infection- and ACV-induced antibodies. A multiplex lateral flow test with PT and ACT antigens was developed to measure serum antibodies from pertussis-seropositive patients (n = 46), healthy controls (n = 102), and subjects who received a booster dose of ACV containing PT, filamentous hemagglutinin, and pertactin (n = 67) with paired sera collected before and one month after the vaccination. If the diagnosis was solely based on anti-PT antibodies, 98.5–44.8% specificity (before and after vaccination, respectively) and 78.2% sensitivity were achieved, whereas if ACT was used in combination with PT, the sensitivity of the assay increased to 91.3% without compromising specificity. No increase in the level of anti-ACT antibodies was found after vaccination. This exploratory study indicates that the use of ACT for serology would be beneficial in combination with a lower quantitative cutoff for anti-PT antibodies, and particularly in children and adolescents who frequently receive booster vaccinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Infectious Disease and Microbiology)
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Open AccessCase Report
Pulmonary Histoplasmosis Mimicking Metastatic Lung Cancer: A Case Report
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020328 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 669
Abstract
Histoplasmosis is a well-known endemic fungal infection but experience in non-endemic regions is often limited, which may lead to delayed diagnosis and extensive testing. The diagnosis can be especially challenging, typically when the disease first presents with pulmonary nodules accompanied by hilar and [...] Read more.
Histoplasmosis is a well-known endemic fungal infection but experience in non-endemic regions is often limited, which may lead to delayed diagnosis and extensive testing. The diagnosis can be especially challenging, typically when the disease first presents with pulmonary nodules accompanied by hilar and mediastinal lymphadenopathy, suggesting a much more common malignant disease. In this situation, a greater FDG uptake in draining lymph nodes in comparison with the associated lung nodule seen in [18F]FDG-PET/CT, the so-called “flip-flop fungus” sign, can help to orientate further diagnostic measures. We report a case of a 56-year-old woman living in Switzerland, a non-endemic region, whose diagnosis of imported histoplasmosis was delayed since the findings had been initially misinterpreted as pulmonary malignancy. Further, histological workup was inconclusive due to lack of specific fungal staining, leading to ineffective treatment and non-resolving disease. This paper intends to highlight the pitfalls in diagnosing Histoplasma capsulatum and presents images of particularities of fungal infections in [18F]FDG-PET/CT, which in our case showed a “flip-flop fungus” sign. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Infectious Disease and Microbiology)
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