Special Issue "Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases"

A special issue of Infectious Disease Reports (ISSN 2036-7449).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Nicola Petrosillo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Infection Prevention & Control and Infectious Disease Unit, University Hospital "Campus Bio-Medico", 00128 Rome, Italy
Interests: severe infections; infective endocarditis; emerging infections; infections in transplanted patients
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

While COVID-19 threatens nations worldwide due to its fast spread and high level of morbidity and mortality, infectious diseases go beyond, and when “the dust” created by COVID-19 settles a little, we will face the same problems as before. This is why I decided to plan a Special Issue on “Feature Papers”, and as Editor-in-Chief of Infectious Disease Reports (IDR), I am delighted to invite you to contribute articles for this Special Issue of the journal. This Special Issue of IDR is designed to enable the rapid publication and dissemination of innovative research aimed at advancing the scientific knowledge and highlighting future perspectives on infectious diseases.

“Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases” will collect stimulating articles from top researchers dealing with modern approaches and beyond in the field of pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnostics, clinical management, research and more in infectious diseases, including the biomedical, socio-behavioral, economic, environmental, and clinical aspects. Detailed areas of emphasis are listed below

We welcome the submission of manuscripts from Editorial Board Members and from outstanding scholars invited by the Editorial Board and the Editorial Office.

You are welcome to send short proposals for submissions of feature papers to our Editorial Office for evaluation.

Dr. Nicola Petrosillo
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. Infectious Disease Reports is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1000 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

  • Viral infections
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Tuberculosis and mycobacteriosis
  • Fungal infections
  • HIV-AIDS
  • Viral hepatites
  • Parasitological diseases
  • Healthcare associated infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Infections in the immuncompromised host
  • Migrants and infections
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Immunology and vaccines

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Communication
Bacterial Species and Antimicrobial Resistance of Clinical Isolates from Pediatric Patients in Yangon, Myanmar, 2020
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(1), 26-32; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14010004 - 06 Jan 2022
Viewed by 110
Abstract
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a concern in medical care for children who have high burden of infectious diseases. We investigated the prevalence of bacterial species and their susceptibility to antimicrobials of 1019 clinical isolates from pediatric patients in a tertiary-care hospital in Yangon, [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a concern in medical care for children who have high burden of infectious diseases. We investigated the prevalence of bacterial species and their susceptibility to antimicrobials of 1019 clinical isolates from pediatric patients in a tertiary-care hospital in Yangon, Myanmar for one-year period (2020). The most frequently recovered species was Escherichia coli, followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, all of which accounted for 43% of clinical isolates, while 25% of isolates comprised non-fermenter, including Pseudomonas sp. and Acinetobacter sp. Phenotypically determined ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamase)-positive rates in E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and Enterobacter sp. were 82%, 88%, and 65%, respectively. High rates of multiple drug resistance were noted for E. coli (84%), K. pneumoniae (81%), and Acinetobacter sp. (65%), associated with carbapenem resistance in 48%, 42%, and 59% of isolates, respectively. In contrast, S. aureus isolates exhibited low resistance rates (<30%) to most of antimicrobials, with 22% being resistant to oxacillin/cefoxitin. Fluoroquinolone resistance was found in most of bacterial species with different prevalence rates. The present study revealed the current status on prevalence of bacterial species causing infections in pediatric patients in Myanmar, highlighting the significance to monitor AMR among children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Pre-Existing Lymphopenia Increases the Risk of Hospitalization and Death after SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(1), 20-25; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14010003 - 04 Jan 2022
Viewed by 72
Abstract
There is limited information regarding the severity of COVID-19 in immunocompromized patients. We conducted a retrospective cohort study considering the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 December 2020 to determine whether previously existing lymphopenia increases the risk of hospitalization and death after [...] Read more.
There is limited information regarding the severity of COVID-19 in immunocompromized patients. We conducted a retrospective cohort study considering the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 December 2020 to determine whether previously existing lymphopenia increases the risk of hospitalization and death after SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population. The laboratory and hospital discharge databases of the Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Friuli Centrale were used, and 5415 subjects infected with SARS-CoV-2 and with at least one recent absolute lymphocyte count determination before SARS-CoV-2 positivity were included. In total, 817 (15.1%) patients had severe COVID-19. Patients developing severe COVID-19 were more frequently males (44.9% of the severe COVID-19 group vs. 41.5% in the non-severe COVID-19 group; p < 0.0001) and were older (73.2 ± 13.8 vs. 58.4 ± 20.3 years; p < 0.0001). Furthermore, 29.9% of the lymphopenic patients developed severe COVID-19 vs. 14.5% of the non-lymphopenic patients (p < 0.0001). In a logistic regression model, female sex remained a protective factor (OR = 0.514, 95%CI 0.438–0.602, p < 0.0001), while age and lymphopenia remained risk factors for severe COVID-19 (OR = 1.047, 95%CI 1.042–1.053, p < 0.0001 for each additional year of age; OR = 1.715, 95%CI 1.239–2.347, p = 0.0011 for lymphopenia). This provides further information to stratify the risk of COVID-19 severity, which may be an important element in the management of immunosuppressive therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
A Sensitive, Portable Microfluidic Device for SARS-CoV-2 Detection from Self-Collected Saliva
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 1061-1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040097 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Since the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic in December 2019, the spread of SARS-CoV2 infection has been escalating rapidly around the world. In order to provide more timely access to medical intervention, including diagnostic tests and medical [...] Read more.
Since the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic in December 2019, the spread of SARS-CoV2 infection has been escalating rapidly around the world. In order to provide more timely access to medical intervention, including diagnostic tests and medical treatment, the FDA authorized multiple test protocols for diagnostic tests from nasopharyngeal swab, saliva, urine, bronchoalveolar lavage and fecal samples. The traditional diagnostic tests for this novel coronavirus 2019 require standard processes of viral RNA isolation, reverse transcription of RNA to cDNA, then real-time quantitative PCR with the RNA templates extracted from the patient samples. Recently, many reports have demonstrated a direct detection of SARS-Co-V2 genomic material from saliva samples without any RNA isolation step. To make the rapid detection of SARS-Co-V2 infection more accessible, a point-of-care type device was developed for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Herein, we report a portable microfluidic-based integrated detection-analysis system for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids detection directly from saliva samples. The saliva cartridge is self-contained and capable of microfluidic evaluation of saliva, from heating, mixing with the primers to multiplex real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, detecting SARS-CoV-2 with different primer sets and internal control. The approach has a detection sensitivity of 1000 copies/mL of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or virus, with consistency and automation, from saliva sample-in to result-out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Hepatitis B Vaccination in Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease: A Quality Improvement Project at a Veteran Affairs Chronic Kidney Disease Clinic
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 1036-1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040094 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 602
Abstract
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended in all patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). However, only 50–60% of these patients achieve protective antibody levels if immunized after starting dialysis. Strategies to overcome this low seroconversion rate include a 6-month vaccination schedule starting earlier [chronic [...] Read more.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended in all patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). However, only 50–60% of these patients achieve protective antibody levels if immunized after starting dialysis. Strategies to overcome this low seroconversion rate include a 6-month vaccination schedule starting earlier [chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 and 5] to ensure immunity when patients progress to ESKD. We conducted a quality improvement program to immunize pre-dialysis patients. Patients who were found to have a negative baseline serology with a negative hepatitis B surface antibody level (HBsAb) were offered vaccination on a 6-month schedule (0, 1 and 6 months) with one of two available vaccines within the VA system (Recombivax™ or Engerix™). HBsAb titers were checked 3–4 months later, and titers ≥ 12 mIU/mL were indicative of immunity at VA. Patients who did not seroconvert were offered a repeat schedule of three more doses. We screened 198 patients (187 males and 11 females) with CKD 4 and 5 [glomerular filtration rate (GFR) < 29 mL/min/1.73 m2]. The median age of this cohort was 72 years (range 38–92 years). During the study period of 5 years (2015–2020), 10 patients were excluded since their GFR had improved to more than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2, 24 others had baseline immunity and 2 refused vaccination. The hepatitis B vaccination series was not started on 106 patients. Of the remaining 56, 12 patients progressed to ESKD and started dialysis before completion of the vaccination schedule, 6 expired and 1 did not come to clinic in 2020 due to the pandemic. Of the 37 patients who completed the vaccination schedule, 16 achieved seroconversion with adequate HBsAb titers, 10 did not develop immunity despite a second hepatitis B vaccination series, while 11 did not get a second series. Given the low seroconversion rate, albeit in a small cohort, vaccination should be considered in patients with earlier stages of CKD. Other options include studies on FDA approved vaccines of shorter duration. We plan to increase awareness among nephrologists, patients and nursing staff about the importance of achieving immunity against hepatitis B. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Assessing the Impact of (Self)-Quarantine through a Basic Model of Infectious Disease Dynamics
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 978-992; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040090 - 24 Nov 2021
Viewed by 499
Abstract
We introduce a system of differential equations to assess the impact of (self-)quarantine of symptomatic infectious individuals on disease dynamics. To this end we depart from using the classic bilinear infection process, but remain within the framework of the mass-action assumption. From the [...] Read more.
We introduce a system of differential equations to assess the impact of (self-)quarantine of symptomatic infectious individuals on disease dynamics. To this end we depart from using the classic bilinear infection process, but remain within the framework of the mass-action assumption. From the mathematical point of view, the model we propose is interesting due to the lack of continuous differentiability at disease-free steady states, which implies that the basic reproductive number cannot be computed following established mathematical approaches for certain parameter values. However, we parametrise our mathematical model using published values from the COVID-19 literature, and analyse the model simulations. We also contrast model simulations against publicly available COVID-19 test data, focusing on the first wave of the pandemic during March–July 2020 in the UK. Our simulations indicate that actual peak case numbers might have been as much as 200 times higher than the reported positive test cases during the first wave in the UK. We find that very strong adherence to self-quarantine rules yields (only) a reduction of 22% of peak numbers and delays the onset of the peak by approximately 30–35 days. However, during the early phase of the outbreak, the impact of (self)-quarantine is much more significant. We also take into account the effect of a national lockdown in a simplistic way by reducing the effective susceptible population size. We find that, in case of a 90% reduction of the effective susceptible population size, strong adherence to self-quarantine still only yields a 25% reduction of peak infectious numbers when compared to low adherence. This is due to the significant number of asymptomatic infectious individuals in the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Step In, Step Out from the First Lockdown: An Exploration of COVID-19 Perceptions in France and Quebec
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 965-977; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040089 - 22 Nov 2021
Viewed by 723
Abstract
Objective. The objective of this research was to describe and analyze the role of psychological and behavioral factors on perceptions of COVID-19 in France and Quebec at three different times during the pandemic. Design. We conducted three qualitative and quantitative studies (Study 1 [...] Read more.
Objective. The objective of this research was to describe and analyze the role of psychological and behavioral factors on perceptions of COVID-19 in France and Quebec at three different times during the pandemic. Design. We conducted three qualitative and quantitative studies (Study 1 N = 255, Study 2 N = 230, Study 3 N = 143). Participants were asked to evaluate psychological and behavioral measures: at the beginning of lockdown (Study 1), during lockdown (Study 2), and during lockdown exit (Study 3). Results. Results of Study 1 show that perceptions of COVID-19 are organized around fear and a sense of threat. During the lockdown, participants mentioned for the first time the health practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Study 2). Psychological and social impacts constitute a central theme in participants’ discourse (Study 2 and 3). Conclusions. The results show that perceptions of risk during a pandemic are socially constructed. Perceptions seem to be influenced by the political and health management of a territory and by the evolution of behavioral and psychological responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Longitudinal Rise in Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Children in Western Germany—A Blind Spot in Epidemiology?
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 957-964; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040088 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 633
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in children and adolescents are often underestimated due to asymptomatic or oligosymptomatic infections. Seroprevalence studies can reveal the magnitude of “silent” infections in this age group and help to assess the risk of infection for children but also their role [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in children and adolescents are often underestimated due to asymptomatic or oligosymptomatic infections. Seroprevalence studies can reveal the magnitude of “silent” infections in this age group and help to assess the risk of infection for children but also their role in spreading the disease. In total, 2045 children and their parents from the Ruhr region were finally included after the exclusion of drop-outs. Seroconversion rates among children of all age groups increased from 0.5% to 8% during the study period and were about three to fourfold higher than the officially registered PCR-based infection rates. Only 41% recalled symptoms of infection; 59% were asymptomatic. In 51% of the infected children, at least one parent also developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Depending on local incidences, the rates of seroconversion rose to different levels during the study period. Although the dynamics of infection within the study cohort mirrors local incidence, the figure of SARS-CoV-2 infections in children and adolescents appears to be high. Reported contact with SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals in the same household carries a high risk of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Prognostic Role of Anemia in COVID-19 Patients: A Meta-Analysis
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 930-937; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040085 - 31 Oct 2021
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Introduction. The prevalence and prognostic implications of anemia in patients infected by the SARS-CoV-2 remains unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the prevalence and mortality risk in COVID-19 patients with anemia. Methods. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and [...] Read more.
Introduction. The prevalence and prognostic implications of anemia in patients infected by the SARS-CoV-2 remains unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the prevalence and mortality risk in COVID-19 patients with anemia. Methods. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed in abstracting data and assessing validity. We searched MEDLINE and Scopus to locate all the articles published up to 1 September 2021, reporting data on the adjusted OR (aOR) for mortality among COVID-19 patients with anemia. The pooled prevalence of anemia among COVID-19 patients was calculated using a random effects model and presenting the related 95% confidence interval (CI), while the mortality risk was estimated using the Mantel-Haenszel random effects models with odds ratio (aOR) and related 95% CI. Statistical heterogeneity was measured using the Higgins I2 statistic. Results. Five studies, enrolling 9.623 COVID-19 patients [3.707 males (38.5%)], met the inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. The pooled prevalence of anemia was 25.6% of cases (95% CI: 8.3–56.5%), with high heterogeneity (I2 = 98.9%). Meta-regression showed that the anemia prevalence was influenced by a direct correlation with age (p = 0.007) and chronic kidney disease (p = 0.004) as moderating variables. Conversely, an inverse relationship was observed with male gender (p < 0.0001). Anemia was significantly associated with higher risk of short-term mortality (aOR: 1.69, 95% CI: 1.28–2.24, p < 0.001), with low heterogeneity (I2 = 0%). Conclusions. Anemia represents a major comorbidity in about 25% of COVID-19 patients and it is associated with about 70% higher risk of short-term mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
SARS-CoV-2 Serology Testing in an Asymptomatic, At-Risk Population: Methods, Results, Pitfalls
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 910-916; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040082 - 21 Oct 2021
Viewed by 684
Abstract
The primary aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in a population of pediatric healthcare workers (HCWs). This study was conducted 14 May–13 July 2020. Study participants included pediatric HCWs at a pediatric hospital with either direct patient [...] Read more.
The primary aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in a population of pediatric healthcare workers (HCWs). This study was conducted 14 May–13 July 2020. Study participants included pediatric HCWs at a pediatric hospital with either direct patient contact or close proximity to patient-care areas. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were assessed via the Wytcote Superbio SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG Antibody Fast Detection Kit and the Abbott Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay. Participants underwent RT-PCR testing upon entry to the study and following rapid IgM+/IgG+ results; respiratory panel PCR (RP-PCR) was performed following IgM+ results. A total of 57 of 289 (19.7%) of participants demonstrated positive serology as assessed by the Wytcote rapid kit (12 on Day 1 and 45 throughout the study). However, only one of these participants demonstrated IgG+ serology via the Abbott assay. Two participants tested SARS-CoV-2+ via RT-PCR testing. One individual was adenovirus+ and enterovirus/rhinovirus+. In our study population, we observed a seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies of 0.35%. The lack of concordance between antibody tests suggests that the Wytcote rapid test kit may not be of use as a screening tool. However, the feasibility of the overall process indicates that a similar methodology may have potential for future epidemiologic surveillance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Vaccine Hesitancy towards COVID-19 Vaccination: Investigating the Role of Information Sources through a Mediation Analysis
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(3), 712-723; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13030066 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2207
Abstract
Mass vaccination campaigns have been implemented worldwide to counteract the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic, however their effectiveness could be challenged by vaccine hesitancy. The tremendous rise in the use of social media have made them acquire a leading role as an information source, thus representing [...] Read more.
Mass vaccination campaigns have been implemented worldwide to counteract the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic, however their effectiveness could be challenged by vaccine hesitancy. The tremendous rise in the use of social media have made them acquire a leading role as an information source, thus representing a crucial factor at play that could contribute to increase or mitigate vaccine hesitancy, as information sources play a pivotal role in shaping public opinion and perceptions. The aims of the study were to investigate if information sources could affect the attitude towards COVID-19 vaccination and if they could act as a mediator in the relationship between individual characteristics and vaccine hesitancy. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted by a professional panellist on a representative sample of 1011 citizens from the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy in January 2021. A mediation analysis using structural equation modelling was performed. Our results show how social media directly or indirectly increases vaccine hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccination, while the opposite effect was observed for institutional websites. Given the global widespread use of social media, their use should be enhanced to disseminate scientifically sound information to a greater audience to counteract vaccine hesitancy, while at the same time continuing to promote and update institutional websites that have proven to be effective in reducing vaccine hesitancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Article
A Case Series of Diarrheal Diseases Associated with Yersinia frederiksenii
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(2), 552-557; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13020051 - 13 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1429
Abstract
To date, Yersinia pestis, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are the three Yersinia species generally agreed to be pathogenic in humans. However, there are a limited number of studies that suggest some of the “non-pathogenic” Yersinia species may also cause infections. [...] Read more.
To date, Yersinia pestis, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are the three Yersinia species generally agreed to be pathogenic in humans. However, there are a limited number of studies that suggest some of the “non-pathogenic” Yersinia species may also cause infections. For instance, Yersinia frederiksenii used to be known as an atypical Y. enterocolitica strain until rhamnose biochemical testing was found to distinguish between these two species in the 1980s. From our regional microbiology laboratory records of 18 hospitals in Eastern Ontario, Canada from 1 May 2018 to 1 May 2021, we identified two patients with Y. frederiksenii isolates in their stool cultures, along with their clinical presentation and antimicrobial management. Both patients presented with diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting for 5 days before presentation to hospital. One patient received a 10-day course of sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim; his Y. frederiksenii isolate was shown to be susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanate, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, but resistant to ampicillin. The other patient was sent home from the emergency department and did not require antimicrobials and additional medical attention. This case series illustrated that diarrheal disease could be associated with Y. frederiksenii; the need for antimicrobial treatment should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)

Review

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Review
Selected Livestock-Associated Zoonoses as a Growing Challenge for Public Health
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(1), 63-81; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14010008 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 112
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to review the most significant livestock-associated zoonoses. Human and animal health are intimately connected. This idea has been known for more than a century but now it has gained special importance because of the increasing threat from [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to review the most significant livestock-associated zoonoses. Human and animal health are intimately connected. This idea has been known for more than a century but now it has gained special importance because of the increasing threat from zoonoses. Zoonosis is defined as any infection naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. As the frequency and prevalence of zoonotic diseases increase worldwide, they become a real threat to public health. In addition, many of the newly discovered diseases have a zoonotic origin. Due to globalization and urbanization, some of these diseases have already spread all over the world, caused by the international flow of goods, people, and animals. However, special attention should be paid to farm animals since, apart from the direct contact, humans consume their products, such as meat, eggs, and milk. Therefore, zoonoses such as salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, tuberculosis, swine and avian influenza, Q fever, brucellosis, STEC infections, and listeriosis are crucial for both veterinary and human medicine. Consequently, in the suspicion of any zoonoses outbreak, the medical and veterinary services should closely cooperate to protect the public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Review
Root Causes of Fungal Coinfections in COVID-19 Infected Patients
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 1018-1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040093 - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 745
Abstract
COVID-19 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has infected over 200 million people, causing over 4 million deaths. COVID-19 infection has been shown to lead to hypoxia, immunosuppression, host iron depletion, hyperglycemia secondary to diabetes mellitus, as well [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has infected over 200 million people, causing over 4 million deaths. COVID-19 infection has been shown to lead to hypoxia, immunosuppression, host iron depletion, hyperglycemia secondary to diabetes mellitus, as well as prolonged hospitalizations. These clinical manifestations provide favorable conditions for opportunistic fungal pathogens to infect hosts with COVID-19. Interventions such as treatment with corticosteroids and mechanical ventilation may further predispose COVID-19 patients to acquiring fungal coinfections. Our literature review found that fungal coinfections in COVID-19 infected patients were most commonly caused by Aspergillus, Candida species, Cryptococcus neoformans, and fungi of the Mucorales order. The distribution of these infections, particularly Mucormycosis, was found to be markedly skewed towards low- and middle-income countries. The purpose of this review is to identify possible explanations for the increase in fungal coinfections seen in COVID-19 infected patients so that physicians and healthcare providers can be conscious of factors that may predispose these patients to fungal coinfections in order to provide more favorable patient outcomes. After identifying risk factors for coinfections, measures should be taken to minimize the dosage and duration of drugs such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Review
SARS-CoV-2 and the Immune Response in Pregnancy with Delta Variant Considerations
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 993-1008; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040091 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 637
Abstract
As of September 2021, there has been a total of 123,633 confirmed cases of pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the US according to the CDC, with maternal death being 2.85 times more likely, pre-eclampsia 1.33 times more likely, preterm birth 1.47 times [...] Read more.
As of September 2021, there has been a total of 123,633 confirmed cases of pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the US according to the CDC, with maternal death being 2.85 times more likely, pre-eclampsia 1.33 times more likely, preterm birth 1.47 times more likely, still birth 2.84 times more likely, and NICU admission 4.89 times more likely when compared to pregnant women without COVID-19 infection. In our literature review, we have identified eight key changes in the immunological functioning of the pregnant body that may predispose the pregnant patient to both a greater susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2, as well as a more severe disease course. Factors that may impede immune clearance of SARS-CoV-2 include decreased levels of natural killer (NK) cells, Th1 CD4+ T cells, plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), a decreased phagocytic index of neutrophil granulocytes and monocytes, as well as the immunomodulatory properties of progesterone, which is elevated in pregnancy. Factors that may exacerbate SARS-CoV-2 morbidity through hyperinflammatory states include increases in the complement system, which are linked to greater lung injury, as well as increases in TLR-1 and TLR-7, which are known to bind to the virus, leading to increased proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-α, which are already elevated in normal pregnant physiology. Other considerations include an increase in angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in the maternal circulation, leading to increased viral binding on the host cell, as well as increased IL-6 and decreased regulatory T cells in pre-eclampsia. We also focus on how the Delta variant has had a concerning impact on SARS-CoV-2 cases in pregnancy, with an increased case volume and proportion of ICU admissions among the infected expecting mothers. We propose that the effects of the Delta variant are due to a combination of (1) the Delta variant itself being more transmissible, contagious, and efficient at infecting host cells, (2) initial evidence pointing to the Delta variant causing a significantly greater viral load that accumulates more rapidly in the respiratory system, (3) the pregnancy state being more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, as discussed in-depth, and (4) the lower rates of vaccination in pregnant women compared to the general population. In the face of continually evolving strains and the relatively low awareness of COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women, it is imperative that we continue to push for global vaccine equity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Review
Update on the Epidemiology of Macrolide-Resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae in Europe: A Systematic Review
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(3), 811-820; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13030073 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Macrolide-resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MR-MP) infections cause upper and lower respiratory tract infections in both children and adults, and are characterized by a longer duration of symptoms. Here, we undertook a systematic review of studies on MR-MP in Europe. The review meets PRISMA guidelines. [...] Read more.
Macrolide-resistant Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MR-MP) infections cause upper and lower respiratory tract infections in both children and adults, and are characterized by a longer duration of symptoms. Here, we undertook a systematic review of studies on MR-MP in Europe. The review meets PRISMA guidelines. The PubMed, Scopus, and Science Direct databases were searched using suitable keywords to identify relevant studies published from 2010 to 2021; 21 studies were included. Overall, a low level of MR-MP spread was reported in Europe. MR-MP spread increased during epidemic waves registered in Europe, particularly in Italy and Scotland, where the highest MR-MP infection rates were registered during the 2010–2011 epidemic. By contrast, no MR-MP infections were reported in Finland and the Netherlands. Continued monitoring of MR-MP in Europe is needed to maintain the low rates of infection. Moreover, a coordinated and structured pan-European surveillance program adequate for public health surveillance is advisable, with the purpose of containing the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Other

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Brief Report
Successful Treatment of Bacteremia and Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia Caused by KPC/OXA-48-like Klebsiella pneumoniae Co-Producer with a Continuous Infusion of High-Dose Meropenem Plus Fosfomycin Guided by Real-Time Therapeutic Drug Monitoring
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2022, 14(1), 88-92; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr14010010 - 21 Jan 2022
Abstract
Bacteremia and ventilator-associated pneumonia due to a pan-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strain co-producing KPC and OXA-48 carbapenemases was successfully treated in a COVID-19 critically ill patient with a combination therapy of a high-dose continuous infusion of meropenem (up to 3 g every 6 h, [...] Read more.
Bacteremia and ventilator-associated pneumonia due to a pan-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strain co-producing KPC and OXA-48 carbapenemases was successfully treated in a COVID-19 critically ill patient with a combination therapy of a high-dose continuous infusion of meropenem (up to 3 g every 6 h, daily) plus fosfomycin (up to 24 g/daily) that was guided by real-time therapeutic drug monitoring. Clinical pharmacological advice was helpful in maximizing, over time, the pharmacodynamic target attainment of both antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Brief Report
A SWOT Analysis of the Guidelines on Prevention of HIV/AIDS in Japan in the Context of COVID-19
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 949-956; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040087 - 05 Nov 2021
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Abstract
In January 2018, the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, released an amended Guideline on the Prevention of Specified Infectious Diseases on Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to propose measures to control the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS. Content analysis was performed to examine [...] Read more.
In January 2018, the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, released an amended Guideline on the Prevention of Specified Infectious Diseases on Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to propose measures to control the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS. Content analysis was performed to examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the guidelines in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thus aiming to promote discussions on the guideline itself and the national HIV/AIDS strategy in Japan in the years ahead. The strengths included the incorporation of the latest scientific advancements, clarification of high-risk populations, an alignment with measures against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and willingness towards international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. The weaknesses that were exposed included a lack of explicit targets for controlling and containing HIV/AIDS, insufficient descriptions about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and aggregated discussions on HIV/AIDS among foreign residents. Although several opportunities for re-energizing the discussions around HIV/AIDS were recognized, insufficient political will and funding, along with the emergence of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, could operate as threats. Addressing barriers that were recognized before 2019 and exposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and tackling underlying health inequalities through the concept of social determinants of health will be critical. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Case Report
Autochthonous North American Leprosy: A Second Case in Canada
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(4), 917-923; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13040083 - 22 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Autochthonous leprosy was reported in the Southern USA in 2011 and has comprised an average of 34% of new cases from 2015 to 2020 in that country. We report a similar case in a patient from Western Canada. A 50-year old male patient [...] Read more.
Autochthonous leprosy was reported in the Southern USA in 2011 and has comprised an average of 34% of new cases from 2015 to 2020 in that country. We report a similar case in a patient from Western Canada. A 50-year old male patient presented with a four-year history of a chronic rash. Pathology stains revealed acid-fast bacilli prompting specialist referral. Examination was suspicious for leprosy, which was confirmed on slit skin smears and molecular testing. The patient responded well to treatment. Genotypic testing mapped the organism to the 3I-2 SNP type, which is of European origin and is the type found in implicated armadillo species in North America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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Systematic Review
Viral Load Difference between Symptomatic and Asymptomatic COVID-19 Patients: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2021, 13(3), 645-653; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr13030061 - 16 Jul 2021
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Abstract
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the possible difference in the SARS-CoV-2 viral load between asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed in abstracting data and assessing validity. We searched MEDLINE, [...] Read more.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the possible difference in the SARS-CoV-2 viral load between asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed in abstracting data and assessing validity. We searched MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar for all investigations in the English language, reporting data on the threshold cycle (Ct) from real-time RT-PCR assays for the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), envelope (E) and nucleocapsid (N) SARS-CoV-2 genes in asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients. Results: Overall, 703 COVID-19 patients (553 symptomatic and 150 asymptomatic) were analyzed. Five investigations reported the mean age of patients, evidencing that asymptomatic patients were younger than symptomatic patients (34.0 vs. 40.3 years, respectively). Pooled data regarding the levels of expression of the RdRp gene revealed no significant difference between symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. Similarly, no differences were observed comparing the mean Ct values for the E and N genes. Based on real-time RT-PCR data, no differences exist in the viral load between symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 subjects considering Ct values for RdRp, E and N genes’ expression. Asymptomatic subjects may represent a reservoir of the infection and significantly contribute to the maintenance of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Infectious Diseases)
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