Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Infectious Disease".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 83535

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Victor Babes", 300041 Timisoara, Romania
Interests: bacterial infections; viral infections; fungal infections; HIV/AIDS; meningitis; zoonoses; public health; viral hepatitis; endocarditis; infection control
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Dear Colleagues,

Infections diseases continue to represent a serious public health problem globally, being responsible for a significant number of illnesses and deaths annually.

In this Special Issue of the journal Medicina, we would like to focus on the most recent improvements in the field of the pathogenesis mechanisms of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, along with early diagnoses based on bacterial and viral markers and modern therapeutic strategies for the prevention and control of these diseases.

It is my pleasure to cordially invite researchers and specialists in infectious diseases, epidemiologists, microbiologists, virologists, parasitologists, laboratory doctors, internists, biologists, and passionate researchers focussing on infectious pathology and its challenges to share their experience and expertise and submit valuables works to be published in this unique Special Issue dedicated to “Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases”.

We want to increase the interest of researchers in different medical specialties in the prestigious Medicina journal, which is published by MDPI. This journal is open access and offers a high international visibility, which we will improve through the high level of scientific works published in this Special Issue.

Dr. Iosif Marincu
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • infectious diseases
  • bacterial infections
  • viral infections
  • fungal infections
  • control of infections
  • diagnosis
  • therapeutic strategies

Published Papers (31 papers)

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10 pages, 691 KiB  
Article
Satisfactory In Vitro Activity of CeftolozaneTazobactam against Carbapenem-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa But Not against Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolates
by Alicja Sękowska, Marta Grabowska and Tomasz Bogiel
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030518 - 7 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1976
Abstract
Background: Gram-negative rods are one of the most commonly isolated bacteria within human infections. These microorganisms are typically opportunistic pathogens that pose a serious threat to public health due to the possibility of transmission in the human population. Resistance to carbapenems is [...] Read more.
Background: Gram-negative rods are one of the most commonly isolated bacteria within human infections. These microorganisms are typically opportunistic pathogens that pose a serious threat to public health due to the possibility of transmission in the human population. Resistance to carbapenems is one of the most important antimicrobial resistance mechanisms amongst them. The aim of this study was to evaluate ceftolozane–tazobactam in vitro activity against carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical strains. Information on the antimicrobial activity of this antimicrobial against Gram-negative rods was also supplemented with a brief review of the relevant literature. Methods: The research involved 316 strains of Gram-negative rods: P. aeruginosa—206 and K. pneumoniae—110. Results: Of the tested strains, 86.0% P. aeruginosa and 30.0% K. pneumoniae remained susceptible to ceftolozane–tazobactam. Conclusions: Therefore, ceftolozane–tazobactam might be a good option in the treatment of infections caused by carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa strains, including those in ICU patients. Meanwhile, due to dissemination of ESBLs among K. pneumoniae strains, infections with this etiology should not be treated with the ceftolozane–tazobactam combination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 723 KiB  
Article
Accuracy Validation of the Elecsys HBsAg II Quant Assay and Its Utility in Resolving Equivocal Qualitative HBsAg Results
by Jaehyeon Lee, Seung Yeob Lee, Yong Gon Cho, Dal Sik Kim and Joonhong Park
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030443 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2430
Abstract
Background and Objectives: There are reports of false qualitative HBsAg results, because of various causes, such as samples with low HBsAg concentrations that may produce false positives. The main aims of this study were to validate the analytical accuracy and to assess [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: There are reports of false qualitative HBsAg results, because of various causes, such as samples with low HBsAg concentrations that may produce false positives. The main aims of this study were to validate the analytical accuracy and to assess the utility of the Elecsys assay compared to that of the qualitative HbsAg assay as a screening test in resolving equivocal qualitative HbsAg results. Materials and Methods: The limit of blank (LoB), the limit of detection (LoD), the limit of quantification (LoQ), and linearity were estimated to validate the analytical accuracy of the Elecsys HBsAg II Quant assay. A total of 449 serum samples showing initial equivocal results (1–50 index) were evaluated by Elecsys HBsAg II Quant and ADVIA Centaur HBsAg II assays. Results: The LoQ of the assay was determined to be 0.050 IU/mL, as provided by the manufacturer. The Kappa agreement between the two assays was almost perfect, at 0.9669, despite seven discordant results. With a specificity of 100% at new cut-off index value ≥5.42, about 78 samples (17%, 78/449) with index value ≥5.42 were interpreted as positives without further duplicate tests, however the remaining 371 samples with index value <5.42 need to be confirmed with additional HBV marker assays. Conclusions: We confirm that the Elecsys HBsAg II Quant assay is accurate and sensitive for HBV infection and recommend it as an alternative confirmatory HBsAg assay for resolving equivocal qualitative HBsAg results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors and Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients with Hematological Malignancies Complicated by Hospital-Acquired Infections
by Adina Yerzhan, Madina Razbekova, Yevgeniy Merenkov, Makhira Khudaibergenova, Yerkin Abdildin, Antonio Sarria-Santamera and Dmitriy Viderman
Medicina 2023, 59(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59020214 - 22 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1760
Abstract
Background and objectives: Patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) have an increased risk of hospital-acquired infection (HAI). A diagnosis of cancer alone increases the risk of sepsis three–five-fold, which further increases the risk of nosocomial infection, subsequently deteriorates results, and [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) have an increased risk of hospital-acquired infection (HAI). A diagnosis of cancer alone increases the risk of sepsis three–five-fold, which further increases the risk of nosocomial infection, subsequently deteriorates results, and leads to high mortality. In this study, we aimed to assess the mortality rate among hematologic oncologic patients with suspected infection who were subsequently admitted to the ICU and the predictive factors that are associated with high ICU mortality. Materials and Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted in the hematological oncology critical care unit of a tertiary care hospital between November 2017 and February 2021. We analyzed anonymized medical records of hospitalized hematologic oncologic patients who were suspected or proven to have infection in the hematology-oncology department and were subsequently transferred to the ICU. Results: Both shorter hospitalization and shorter ICU stay length were observed in survivors [9.2 (7.7–10.4)] vs. non-survivors [10 (9.1–12.9), p = 0.004]. Sepsis had the highest hazard ratio (7.38) among all other factors, as patients with sepsis had higher mortality rates (98% among ICU non-survivors and 57% among ICU survivors) than those who had febrile neutropenia. Conclusions: The overall ICU mortality in patients with hematologic malignancies was 66%. Sepsis had the highest hazard ratio among all other predictive factors, as patients with sepsis had higher mortality rates than those who had febrile neutropenia. Chronic hepatitis (HBV and HCV) was significantly associated with higher ICU mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
10 pages, 1050 KiB  
Article
Fetal Growth Restriction and Clinical Parameters of Newborns from HIV-Infected Romanian Women
by Simona Claudia Cambrea, Elena Dumea, Lucian Cristian Petcu, Cristina Maria Mihai, Constantin Ghita, Loredana Pazara, Diana Badiu, Costin Ionescu, Mara Andreea Cambrea, Eosefina Gina Botnariu and Florentina Dumitrescu
Medicina 2023, 59(1), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59010111 - 5 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1994
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The present study assessed the fetal growth restriction and clinical parameters of both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative and HIV-positive newborns from HIV-infected mothers in two HIV-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome regional centers (RCs) in Constanta and Craiova, Romania, in order to evaluate [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The present study assessed the fetal growth restriction and clinical parameters of both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative and HIV-positive newborns from HIV-infected mothers in two HIV-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome regional centers (RCs) in Constanta and Craiova, Romania, in order to evaluate the adverse birth-related outcomes. Materials and Methods: These represent a retrospective study conducted between 2008 and 2019, in which 408 pregnant HIV-positive women, 244 from Constanta RC and 164 from Craiova RC, were eligible to participate in the study. Consecutive singleton pregnancies delivered beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy were included. Growth restriction in newborns was defined as the birth weight (BW) being less than the third percentile, or three out of the following: BW < 10th percentile; head circumference (HC) < 10th percentile; birth length (BL) < 10th percentile; prenatal diagnosis of fetal growth restriction; and maternal pregnancy information. Of the 244 newborns delivered in Constanta, RC, 17 were HIV-positive, while in Craiova, RC, of the 164 newborns, 9 were HIV-positive. All HIV-positive women were on combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) during pregnancy, similar to all HIV-positive newborns who received ARTs for the first six weeks. We search for the influence of anthropometrical parameters (i.e., HC, BL, and BW), as well as clinical parameters (i.e., newborn sex and Apgar score) for both HIV-negative and HIV-positive newborns, along with the survival rate of HIV-positive newborns. Results: There were no differences in the sex of the newborns within either group, with more than 50% being boys. Similarly, the Apgar score did not show any statistically significant values between the two groups (i.e., p = 0.544 for HIV-positive newborns vs. p = 0.108 for HIV-negative newborns). Interestingly, our results showed that in Craiova, RC, there was a chance of 2.16 to find an HIV-negative newborn with an HC < 10th percentile and a 2.54 chance to find an HIV-negative newborn with a BL < 10th percentile compared to Constanta, RC, without any significant differences. On the contrary, Constanta, RC, represented a higher risk of death (i.e., 3.049 times, p = 0.0470) for HIV-positive newborns compared to Craiova, RC. Conclusions: Our results support the idea that follow-up of fetal growth restriction should be part of postnatal care in this high-risk population to improve adverse birth-related outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 627 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Hematological, Biochemical Profiles and Molecular Detection of Envelope Gene (gp-41) in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among Newly Diagnosed Patients
by Asfa Anjum, Abaid ur Rehman, Hina Siddique, Ali A. Rabaan, Saad Alhumaid, Mohammed Garout, Souad A. Almuthree, Muhammad A. Halwani, Safaa A. Turkistani, Haitham Qutob, Hawra Albayat, Mohammed Aljeldah, Basim R. Al Shammari, Fatimah S. Alshahrani, Ali S. Alghamdi, Sami M. Alduwaihi, Adil A. Alibraheem, Shah Zeb and Basit Zeshan
Medicina 2023, 59(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59010093 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2322
Abstract
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a highly morphic, retrovirus that rapidly evolves through mutation as well as recombination. Because of the immunocompromised status in HIV patients, there is often a higher chance of acquiring different secondary infections followed by liver cirrhosis, hepatitis [...] Read more.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a highly morphic, retrovirus that rapidly evolves through mutation as well as recombination. Because of the immunocompromised status in HIV patients, there is often a higher chance of acquiring different secondary infections followed by liver cirrhosis, hepatitis B & C, and HIV-associated nephropathy. The current study was conducted to see the prevalence of secondary infections, hematological and biochemical markers for liver and renal associated diseases, and to detect the envelope gene (GP41) in newly diagnosed HIV patients. A total of 37 samples were collected from HIV-positive patients registered in different hospital settings under the National AIDS control program. The collected samples were processed for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hematological analysis, and biochemical analysis. To identify the envelope gene in newly diagnosed HIV patients, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed using four gene-specific primers. The HIV infections were seen more in male as compared to females. A significant decrease in complete blood count was observed in HIV patients when compared to healthy individuals. There was a significant increase in aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), urea, and creatinine observed in HIV patients. No significant difference was observed in alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin, and albumin levels when compared to healthy control. Anemia was observed in 59.4% of HIV patients. A total of three (8.1%) patients were found to be co-infected with hepatitis B and one (2.7 %) was co-infected with hepatitis C. Out of these 37 tested samples, a total of four showed the successful amplification of the envelope gene. This study provides platform for the health care facilitators to regularly monitor the signs, symptoms and clinical biomarkers of HIV-associated infections to prevent toxicity at an early stage to improve the quality of life (QoL) and minimize the mortality rate in HIV patients. Envelope gene mutating frequently results in drug resistance, and thus future research on polymorphism analysis will reveal points of substitutions to improve drug designing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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8 pages, 1057 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors of Descending Necrotizing Mediastinitis in Deep Neck Abscesses
by Chih-Yu Hu, Kuang-Hsu Lien, Shih-Lung Chen and Kai-Chieh Chan
Medicina 2022, 58(12), 1758; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58121758 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2045
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Cervical space infection could also extend to the mediastinum due to the anatomical vicinity. The mortality rate of descending necrotizing mediastinitis is 85% if untreated. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for the progression of [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Cervical space infection could also extend to the mediastinum due to the anatomical vicinity. The mortality rate of descending necrotizing mediastinitis is 85% if untreated. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for the progression of deep neck abscesses to descending necrotizing mediastinitis. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients undergoing surgical treatment of deep neck abscesses from August 2017 to July 2022. Computed tomography (CT) was performed in all patients. Before surgery, lab data including hemoglobulin (Hb), white blood cell count, neutrophil percentage, C-reactive protein (CRP) level, and blood glucose were recorded. Patients’ characteristics including gender, age, etiology, and presenting symptoms were collected. Hospitalization duration and bacterial cultures from the wound were also analyzed. Results: The C-reactive protein (CRP) level was higher in patients with a mediastinal abscess than in patients without a mediastinal abscess (340.9 ± 33.0 mg/L vs. 190.1 ± 72.7 mg/L) (p = 0.000). The submandibular space was more commonly affected in patients without a mediastinal abscess (p = 0.048). The retropharyngeal (p = 0.003) and anterior visceral (p = 0.006) spaces were more commonly affected in patients with a mediastinal abscess. Conclusions: Descending necrtotizing mediastinitis results in mortality and longer hospitalization times. Early detection of a mediastinal abscess on CT is crucial for treatment. Excluding abscesses of the anterior superior mediastinum for which transcervical drainage is sufficient, other mediastinal abscesses require multimodal treatment including ENT and thoracic surgery to achieve a good outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 2803 KiB  
Article
The Bovhyaluronidase Azoximer (Longidaza®) Disrupts Candida albicans and Candida albicans-Bacterial Mixed Biofilms and Increases the Efficacy of Antifungals
by Alina Gatina, Elena Trizna, Alena Kolesnikova, Diana Baidamshina, Anna Gorshkova, Valentin Drucker, Mikhail Bogachev and Airat Kayumov
Medicina 2022, 58(12), 1710; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58121710 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2120
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Candida albicans causes various diseases ranging from superficial mycoses to life-threatening systemic infections often associated with biofilm formation, including mixed fungal–bacterial consortia. The biofilm matrix protects cells, making Candida extremely resistant to treatment. Here, we show that the bovhyaluronidase azoximer (Longidaza [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Candida albicans causes various diseases ranging from superficial mycoses to life-threatening systemic infections often associated with biofilm formation, including mixed fungal–bacterial consortia. The biofilm matrix protects cells, making Candida extremely resistant to treatment. Here, we show that the bovhyaluronidase azoximer (Longidaza®) in vitro destroys the biofilm formed by either C. albicans alone or mixed with bacteria, this way decreasing the concentrations of antimicrobials required for the pathogen’s eradication. Materials and Methods: Bovhyaluronidase azoximer, Longidaza® was obtained from NPO Petrovax Pharm Ltd., Moscow, Russia as lyophilized powder. The antifungal activity was assessed by microdilution assay and CFUs counting. Antibiofilm activity was evaluated via biofilms staining and scanning electron microscopy. Results: Thus, treatment with Longidaza® reduced the biofilm biomass of nine C. albicans clinical isolates by 30–60%, while mixed biofilms of C. albicans with various bacteria were destroyed by 30–40%. Furthermore, the concentration of fluconazole required to achieve a similar reduction of the residual respiratory activity of detached cell clumps of four C. albicans isolates has been reduced four-fold when combined with Longidaza®. While in the biofilm, two of four isolates became significantly more susceptible to fluconazole in combination with Longidaza®. Conclusion: Taken together, our data indicate that Longidaza® is capable of suppression of tissues and artificial surfaces biofouling by C. albicans biofilms, as well as facilitating drug penetration into the cell clumps, this way decreasing the effective MIC of antifungals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 1361 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Therapeutic Responses Using a Deep Neural Network Based on 18F-FDG PET and Blood Inflammatory Markers in Pyogenic Vertebral Osteomyelitis
by Hyunkwang Shin, Eunjung Kong, Dongwoo Yu, Gyu Sang Choi and Ikchan Jeon
Medicina 2022, 58(11), 1693; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58111693 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1518
Abstract
Background and Objectives: This study investigated the usefulness of deep neural network (DNN) models based on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and blood inflammatory markers to assess the therapeutic response in pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis (PVO). Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: This study investigated the usefulness of deep neural network (DNN) models based on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and blood inflammatory markers to assess the therapeutic response in pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis (PVO). Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study with prospectively collected data. Seventy-four patients diagnosed with PVO underwent clinical assessment for therapeutic responses based on clinical features during antibiotic therapy. The decisions of the clinical assessment were confirmed as ‘Cured’ or ‘Non-cured’. FDG-PETs were conducted concomitantly regardless of the decision at each clinical assessment. We developed DNN models depending on the use of attributes, including C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation ratio (ESR), and maximum standardized FDG uptake values of PVO lesions (SUVmax), and we compared their performances to predict PVO remission. Results: The 126 decisions (80 ‘Cured’ and 46 ‘Non-cured’ patients) were randomly assigned with training and test sets (7:3). We trained DNN models using a training set and evaluated their performances for a test set. DNN model 1 had an accuracy of 76.3% and an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.768 [95% confidence interval, 0.625–0.910] using CRP and ESR, and these values were 79% and 0.804 [0.674–0.933] for DNN model 2 using ESR and SUVmax, 86.8% and 0.851 [0.726–0.976] for DNN model 3 using CRP and SUVmax, and 89.5% and 0.902 [0.804–0.999] for DNN model 4 using ESR, CRP, and SUVmax, respectively. Conclusions: The DNN models using SUVmax showed better performances when predicting the remission of PVO compared to CRP and ESR. The best performance was obtained in the DNN model using all attributes, including CRP, ESR, and SUVmax, which may be helpful for predicting the accurate remission of PVO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 604 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Nrf2 and HO-1 with the Severity of COVID-19 Disease
by Damir Mihić, Domagoj Loinjak, Lana Maričić, Robert Smolić, Ines Šahinović, Kristina Steiner, Sven Viland, Vatroslav Šerić and Mario Duvnjak
Medicina 2022, 58(11), 1658; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58111658 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1740
Abstract
Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) have significant roles in the development of a hyperinflammatory state in infectious diseases. We aimed to investigate the association of the serum concentrations of Nrf2 and HO-1 with the severity of COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) have significant roles in the development of a hyperinflammatory state in infectious diseases. We aimed to investigate the association of the serum concentrations of Nrf2 and HO-1 with the severity of COVID-19 disease. The study included 40 subjects with mild and moderately severe forms of the disease (MEWS scoring system ≤2). Twenty of the subjects had MEWS scores of 3 or 4, which indicate a severe form of the disease, and twenty subjects had a MEWS score of ≥5, which indicates a critical form of the disease. HO-1 and Nrf2 were measured using the commercially available Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Subjects with the most severe form of COVID-19 (critically ill) had a lower concentration of Nrf2 that negatively correlated with the markers of hyperinflammatory response (CRP, IL-6, ferritin). This observation was not made for HO-1, and the correlation between Nrf2 and HO-1 values was not established. In the mild/moderate form of COVID-19 disease, Nrf2 was associated with an increased 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D concentration. The results of this study show that Nrf2 has a role in the body’s anti-inflammatory response to COVID-19 disease, which makes it a potential therapeutic target. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 1296 KiB  
Article
The Association of Peripheral T Lymphocyte Subsets Disseminated Infection by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in HIV-Negative Patients: A Retrospective Observational Study
by Qiao Li, Shengsheng Liu, Xiaomeng Li, Ruifang Yang, Chen Liang, Jiajia Yu, Wenhong Lin, Yi Liu, Cong Yao, Yu Pang, Xiaowei Dai, Chuanyou Li and Shenjie Tang
Medicina 2022, 58(11), 1606; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58111606 - 7 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1733
Abstract
Background and Objective: This study was performed to investigate the association of peripheral T lymphocyte subsets with disseminated infection (DI) by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in HIV-negative patients. Methods and Materials: The study included 587 HIV-negative tuberculosis (TB) patients. Results: In TB patients with [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: This study was performed to investigate the association of peripheral T lymphocyte subsets with disseminated infection (DI) by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in HIV-negative patients. Methods and Materials: The study included 587 HIV-negative tuberculosis (TB) patients. Results: In TB patients with DI, the proportion of CD4+ T cells decreased, the proportion of CD8+ T cells increased, and the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ T cells decreased. According to univariate analysis, smoking, alcohol consumption, rifampicin-resistance, retreatment, and high sputum bacterial load were linked to lower likelihood of developing MTB dissemination. Multivariate analysis indicated that after adjustment for alcohol use, smoking, retreatment, smear, culture, rifampicin-resistance, and CD4+/CD8+, the proportion of CD8+ T cells (but not CD4+ T cells) was independently and positively associated with the prevalence of DI in HIV-negative pulmonary TB (PTB) patients. Conclusions: Examining T lymphocyte subsets is of great value for evaluating the immune function of HIV-negative TB patients, and an increase in the CD8+ T cell proportion may be a critical clue regarding the cause of DI in such patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 8740 KiB  
Article
Staphylococcus epidermidis Pathogenesis: Interplay of icaADBC Operon and MSCRAMMs in Biofilm Formation of Isolates from Pediatric Bacteremia in Peshawar, Pakistan
by Saghir Ahmad, Hazir Rahman, Muhammad Qasim, Javed Nawab, Khalid J. Alzahrani, Khalaf F. Alsharif and Fuad M. Alzahrani
Medicina 2022, 58(11), 1510; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58111510 - 24 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2332
Abstract
Background and Objective: Staphylococcus epidermidis is an opportunistic pathogen from pediatric bacteremia that is commonly isolated. Biofilm is the major virulence factor of S. epidermidis; however, the role of biofilm determinants in biofilm formation is highly contradictory and diverse. The current [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: Staphylococcus epidermidis is an opportunistic pathogen from pediatric bacteremia that is commonly isolated. Biofilm is the major virulence factor of S. epidermidis; however, the role of biofilm determinants in biofilm formation is highly contradictory and diverse. The current study aimed to investigate the role of polysaccharide-dependent and polysaccharide-independent pathogenic determinants in biofilm formation under physiological stress conditions. Materials and Methods: The isolates (n = 75) were identified and screened for the icaADBC operon, IS256, and an array of MSCRAMMs (Microbial Surface Component Recognizing Adhesive Matrix Molecules) through PCR analysis. The activity of the icaADBC operon was detected by Congo red assay, and the biofilm formation was analyzed through microtiter plate assay. Results: S. epidermidis isolates produced biofilm (n = 65; 86.6%) frequently. The icaA was the major representative module of the actively expressing icaADBC operon (n = 21; 80.7% sensitivity). The MSCRAMMs, including fbe (n = 59; 90.7%; p = 0.007), and embp (n = 57; 87.6%; p = 0.026), were highly prevalent and associated with biofilm positive S. epidermidis. The prevalence of icaADBC operon in biofilm positive and negative S. epidermidis was not significant (n = 41; 63%; p = 0.429). No significant association was found between IS256 and actively complete icaADBC operon (n = 10; 47.6%; p = 0.294). In the presence of 5% human plasma and glucose stress, S. epidermidis produced a strong biofilm (n = 55; 84.6%). Conclusion: The polysaccharide-dependent biofilm formation is significantly replaced (n = 21; 28%; p = 0.149) by a polysaccharide-independent mechanism (n = 59; 90.7%; p = 0.007), in which the MSCRAMMs might actively play their role. The fibrinogen-binding protein and extracellular matrix-binding protein might be potential anti-biofilm drug targets, markers of rapid diagnosis, and potential vaccine candidates of S. epidermidis involved in pediatric bacteremia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 3718 KiB  
Article
Designing mRNA- and Peptide-Based Vaccine Construct against Emerging Multidrug-Resistant Citrobacter freundii: A Computational-Based Subtractive Proteomics Approach
by Muhammad Naveed, Jawad-ul Hassan, Muneeb Ahmad, Nida Naeem, Muhammad Saad Mughal, Ali A. Rabaan, Mohammed Aljeldah, Basim R. Al Shammari, Mohammed Alissa, Amal A. Sabour, Rana A. Alaeq, Maha A. Alshiekheid, Safaa A. Turkistani, Abdirahman Hussein Elmi and Naveed Ahmed
Medicina 2022, 58(10), 1356; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58101356 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2700
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Citrobacter freundii (C. freundii) is an emerging and opportunistic Gram-negative bacteria of the human gastrointestinal tract associated with nosocomial and severe respiratory tract infections. It has also been associated with pneumonia, bloodstream, and urinary tract infections. Intrinsic and adaptive [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Citrobacter freundii (C. freundii) is an emerging and opportunistic Gram-negative bacteria of the human gastrointestinal tract associated with nosocomial and severe respiratory tract infections. It has also been associated with pneumonia, bloodstream, and urinary tract infections. Intrinsic and adaptive virulence characteristics of C. freundii have become a significant source of diarrheal infections and food poisoning among immune-compromised patients and newborns. Impulsive usage of antibiotics and these adaptive virulence characteristics has modulated the C. freundii into multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria. Conventional approaches are futile against MDR C. freundii. Materials and Methods: The current study exploits the modern computational-based vaccine design approach to treat infections related to MDR C. freundii. A whole proteome of C. freundii (strain: CWH001) was retrieved to screen pathogenic and nonhomologous proteins. Six proteins were shortlisted for the selection of putative epitopes for vaccine construct. Highly antigenic, nonallergen, and nontoxic eleven B-cell, HTL, and TCL epitopes were selected for mRNA- and peptide-based multi-epitope vaccine construct. Secondary and tertiary structures of the multi-epitope vaccine (MEVC) were designed, refined, and validated. Results: Evaluation of population coverage of MHC-I and MHC-II alleles were 72% and 90%, respectively. Docking MEVC with TLR-3 receptor with the binding affinity of 21.46 (kcal/mol) occurred through the mmGBSA process. Further validations include codon optimization with an enhanced CAI value of 0.95 and GC content of about 51%. Immune stimulation and molecular dynamic simulation ensure the antibody production upon antigen interaction with the host and stability of the MEVC construct, respectively. Conclusions: These interpretations propose a new strategy to combat MDR C. freundii. Further, in vivo and in vitro trials of this vaccine will be valuable in combating MDR pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 1068 KiB  
Article
The Clinical Experience of Mycobacterial Culture Yield of Pleural Tissue by Pleuroscopic Pleural Biopsy among Tuberculous Pleurisy Patients
by Chung-Shu Lee, Li-Chung Chiu, Chih-Hao Chang, Fu-Tsai Chung, Shih-Hong Li, Chun-Liang Chou, Chih-Wei Wang and Shu-Min Lin
Medicina 2022, 58(9), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58091280 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1616
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Tuberculous pleurisy is a common extrapulmonary TB that poses a health threat. However, diagnosis of TB pleurisy is challenging because of the low positivity rate of pleural effusion mycobacterial culture and difficulty in retrieval of optimal pleural tissue. This study [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Tuberculous pleurisy is a common extrapulmonary TB that poses a health threat. However, diagnosis of TB pleurisy is challenging because of the low positivity rate of pleural effusion mycobacterial culture and difficulty in retrieval of optimal pleural tissue. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of mycobacterial culture from pleural tissue, obtained by forceps biopsy through medical pleuroscopy, in the diagnosis of TB pleurisy. Materials and Methods: This study retrospectively enrolled 68 TB pleurisy patients. Among them, 46 patients received semi-rigid pleuroscopy from April 2016 to March 2021 in a tertiary hospital. We analyzed the mycobacterial culture from pleural tissue obtained by forceps biopsy. Results: The average age of the study participants was 62.8 years, and 64.7% of them were men. In the pleuroscopic group, the sensitivity of positive Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. TB) cultures for sputum, pleural effusion, and pleural tissue were 35.7% (15/42), 34.8% (16/46), and 78.3% (18/23), respectively. High sensitivities of M. TB culture from pleural tissue were up to 94.4% and 91.7% when pleural characteristic patterns showed adhesion lesions and both adhesion lesions and presence of micronodules, respectively. Conclusions: M. TB culture from pleural tissue should be considered a routine test when facing unknown pleural effusion during pleuroscopic examination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 4810 KiB  
Article
Comparative Genotypic Analysis of RAPD and RFLP Markers for Molecular Variation Detection of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clinical Isolates
by Fathy M. Elkady, Abdulaziz A. Al-Askar, Ahmed Abdel Tawab, Mohammad M. Alkherkhisy, Amr A. Arishi and Amr H. Hashem
Medicina 2022, 58(9), 1245; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58091245 - 8 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2119
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates are associated with various diseases ranged from mild superficial impairments to invasive infections. This study aimed to evaluate the ability of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based methods namely, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates are associated with various diseases ranged from mild superficial impairments to invasive infections. This study aimed to evaluate the ability of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based methods namely, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the coa gene and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), to determine the genetic diversity of MRSA isolates. Materials and Methods: A total of 37 MRSA isolates were conventionally identified depending on their biochemical and microbiological culture characteristics. Genotypic confirmation was based on detection of the associated mecA gene. The genetic variation amongst MRSA isolates was evaluated following the coa gene-based RFLP and RAPD fingerprints. Results: Results illustrated that, the species specific coa gene was detected in all MRSA isolates. The irregular bands intensity, number, and molecular sizes of the PCR amplicons demonstrated the coa gene polymorphism. The incompatible AluI digestion patterns of these amplicons classified the tested MRSA isolates into 20 RFLP patterns which confirm the coa gene polymorphism. Additionally, the PCR-based RAPD analysis showed variable bands number with size range of approximately 130 bp to 4 kbp, which indicated the genetic variation of the tested MRSA isolates as it created 36 variable RAPD banding profiles. Conclusions: coa gene AluI enzymatic restriction sites, amongst the tested MRSA isolates, certify their genetic variation on the basis of the accurate but complicated and relatively expensive coa gene-based RFLP. Conversely, the results verified the excellent ability of the simple and cost-effective PCR-based RAPD analysis to discriminate between MRSA isolates without any preface data about the genome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 1406 KiB  
Article
Developing a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay for the Rapid Detection of Seven Respiratory Viruses including SARS-CoV-2
by Min-Young Lee, Vu-Minh Phan, Woo-In Lee, Yee-Hyung Kim, Sung-Wook Kang and Tae-Seok Seo
Medicina 2022, 58(9), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58091224 - 5 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2424
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), continues to be a pandemic even in 2022. As the initial symptoms of COVID-19 overlap with those of infections from other respiratory viruses, an accurate [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), continues to be a pandemic even in 2022. As the initial symptoms of COVID-19 overlap with those of infections from other respiratory viruses, an accurate and rapid diagnosis of COVID-19 is essential for administering appropriate treatment to patients. Currently, the most widely used method for detecting respiratory viruses is based on real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and includes reverse-transcription real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). However, RT-qPCR assays require sophisticated facilities and are time-consuming. This study aimed to develop a real-time quantitative loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-qLAMP) assay and compare its analytical performance with RT-qPCR. Materials and Methods: A total of 315 nasopharyngeal swabs from patients with symptoms of respiratory infections were included in this study. A primary screening of the specimens was performed using RT-qPCR. RNA/DNA from standard strains for respiratory viruses and heat-inactivated preparations of standard strains for SARS-CoV-2 were used to evaluate the accuracy and target specificity of the RT-qLAMP assay. Results: We successfully developed an RT-qLAMP assay for seven respiratory viruses: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) A, RSV B, adenovirus, influenza (Flu) A (H1N1 and H3N2), Flu B, and SARS-CoV-2. RT-qLAMP was performed in a final reaction volume of 9.6 µL. No cross-reactivity was observed. Compared with the RT-PCR results, the sensitivity and specificity of the RT-qLAMP assay were 95.1% and 100%, respectively. The agreement between the two methods was 97.1%. The median amplification time to RT-qLAMP positivity was 22:34 min (range: 6:80–47:98 min). Conclusions: The RT-qLAMP assay requires a small number of reagents and samples and is performed with an isothermal reaction. This study established a fast, simple, and sensitive test that can be applied to point-of-care testing devices to facilitate the detection of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 1228 KiB  
Article
Cystitis Induces Altered CREB Expression Related with Micturition Reflex
by Taesoo Choi and Dong-Gi Lee
Medicina 2022, 58(9), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58091210 - 2 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1412
Abstract
Background and objectives: Bladder stimulation upregulates neurotrophins associated with voiding reflex. Bacterial cystitis can be a stimulant that activates this system, resulting in a pathological state. Phosphorylated responsive element of binding protein (p-CREB) is a pivotal transcriptional factor in the neurotrophin signaling cascade. [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Bladder stimulation upregulates neurotrophins associated with voiding reflex. Bacterial cystitis can be a stimulant that activates this system, resulting in a pathological state. Phosphorylated responsive element of binding protein (p-CREB) is a pivotal transcriptional factor in the neurotrophin signaling cascade. The goal of our study was to examine the change in expression of p-CREB in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of rats after uropathogenic Escherichia coli infection of the bladder. Materials and methods: A total of 19 adult female Sprague–Dawley rats were induced with acute E. coli infection (n = 7), chronic E. coli infection (n = 6), or served as controls (n = 6). In each group, the profiles of p-CREB cell were counted in 6–10 sections of each of the DRG collected. DRG cells exhibiting intense nuclear staining were considered to be positive for p-CREB immunoreactivity (p-CREB-IR). Results: Overall, the immunoreactivity of p-CREB was examined in smaller cell profiles with nuclear staining or nuclear and cytoplasmic staining in the DRGs (L1–L6, S1). In the chronic cystitis group, p-CREB-IR in the L1–L6 and S1 DRG was significantly higher than the control group (p < 0.05). Further, p-CREB-IR in the L3–L6 and S1 DRG of the chronic cystitis group was significantly greater than that in the acute cystitis group (p < 0.05). In the control and acute cystitis groups, p-CREB-IR in the L4–L5 DRG was significantly lower than that found in the other DRG sections (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Altogether, acute or chronic E.coli cystitis changed the immunoreactivity of p-CREB in lumbosacral DRG cells. In particular, chronic E. coli infection triggered p-CREB overexpression in L1–L6 and S1 DRG, indicating subsequent pathologic changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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8 pages, 593 KiB  
Article
Changing Susceptibility of Staphylococci in Patients with Implant-Based Breast Reconstructions: A Single-Center Experience
by Hyo Young Kim, Hyung-Suk Yi, Jeong-Jin Park, Seok-Kyung In, Hong-Il Kim, Jin-Hyung Park, Woon-Hyoung Lee and Yoon-Soo Kim
Medicina 2022, 58(8), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58081130 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1731
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Infections and capsular contractures remain unresolved issues in implant-based breast reconstruction. Capsular contractures are thought to be caused by the endogenous flora of the nipple duct. However, little is known about the antibiotic susceptibility of the microorganisms involved. This [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Infections and capsular contractures remain unresolved issues in implant-based breast reconstruction. Capsular contractures are thought to be caused by the endogenous flora of the nipple duct. However, little is known about the antibiotic susceptibility of the microorganisms involved. This study aimed to evaluate the composition of endogenous breast flora and its antimicrobial susceptibility in patients with breast cancer. This study will aid in selecting a prophylactic antibiotic regimen for breast reconstruction surgery. Materials and Methods: We obtained bacteriologic swabs from the nipple intraoperatively in patients who underwent implant-based breast reconstruction following nipple-sparing mastectomy between January 2019 and August 2021. Antibiotic susceptibility tests were performed according to the isolated bacteriology. Statistical analysis was performed based on several patient variables to identify which factors influence the antibiotic resistance rate of endogenous flora. Results: A total of 125 of 220 patients had positive results, of which 106 had positive culture results for coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species (CoNS). Among these 106 patients, 50 (47%) were found to have methicillin-resistant staphylococci, and 56 (53%) were found to have methicillin-susceptible staphylococci. The methicillin resistance rate in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group (56.3%) was significantly higher (OR, 2.3; p = 0.039) than that in the non-neoadjuvant chemotherapy group (35.5%). Conclusions: Based on the results, demonstrating high and rising incidence of methicillin-resistant staphylococci of nipple endogenous flora in patients with breast cancer compared to the past, it is necessary to consider the selection of prophylactic antibiotics to reduce infections and capsular contracture after implant-based breast reconstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 842 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Bi-Lateral Co-Infections and Antibiotic Resistance Rates among COVID-19 Patients in Lahore, Pakistan
by Azka Rizvi, Muhammad Umer Saeed, Ayesha Nadeem, Asma Yaqoob, Ali A. Rabaan, Muhammed A. Bakhrebah, Abbas Al Mutair, Saad Alhumaid, Mohammed Aljeldah, Basim R. Al Shammari, Hawra Albayat, Ameen S. S. Alwashmi, Firzan Nainu, Yousef N. Alhashem, Muhammad Naveed and Naveed Ahmed
Medicina 2022, 58(7), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58070904 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2435
Abstract
Background and Objective: Bacterial infections are among the major complications of many viral respiratory tract illnesses, such as influenza and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). These bacterial co-infections are associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality rates. The current observational study was conducted at [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: Bacterial infections are among the major complications of many viral respiratory tract illnesses, such as influenza and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). These bacterial co-infections are associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality rates. The current observational study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital in Lahore, Pakistan among COVID-19 patients with the status of oxygen dependency to see the prevalence of bacterial co-infections and their antibiotic susceptibility patterns. Materials and Methods: A total of 1251 clinical samples were collected from already diagnosed COVID-19 patients and tested for bacterial identification (cultures) and susceptibility testing (disk diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration) using gold standard diagnostic methods. Results: From the total collected samples, 234 were found positive for different bacterial isolates. The most common isolated bacteria were Escherichia coli (E. coli) (n = 62) and Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) (n = 47). The E. coli isolates have shown the highest resistance to amoxicillin and ampicillin, while in the case of A. baumannii, the highest resistance was noted against tetracycline. The prevalence of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was 14.9%, carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) was 4.5%, and vancomycin resistant Enterococcus (VRE) was 3.96%. Conclusions: The results of the current study conclude that empiric antimicrobial treatment in critically ill COVID-19 patients may be considered if properly managed within institutional or national level antibiotic stewardship programs, because it may play a protective role in the case of bacterial co-infections, especially when a patient has other AMR risk factors, such as hospital admission within the previous six months. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 1135 KiB  
Article
HPV and HIV Coinfection in Women from a Southeast Region of Romania—PICOPIV Study
by Simona Claudia Cambrea, Mariana Aschie, Ghiulendan Resul, Anca Florentina Mitroi, Anca Chisoi, Antonela Anca Nicolau, Gabriela Izabela Baltatescu, Ana Maria Cretu, Gabriela Lupasteanu, Lucian Serbanescu, Mihaela Manea, Sebastian Theodor Topliceanu, Lucian Cristian Petcu, Loredana Pazara and Georgeta Camelia Cozaru
Medicina 2022, 58(6), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58060760 - 3 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2747
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Romania faces one of the highest cervical cancer burdens in Europe though it is a preventable cancer through population screening by cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) detection. Also, it has one of the highest incidences of human immunodeficiency virus [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Romania faces one of the highest cervical cancer burdens in Europe though it is a preventable cancer through population screening by cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) detection. Also, it has one of the highest incidences of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HPV and HIV coinfection are frequently encountered. The aim of study was to establish the prevalence of HPV infection among HIV-positive women in Southeast Region of Romania, to genotype high risk HPV types -and to correlate the results with clinical data and cytological cervical lesions. Materials and Methods: 40 HIV-positive women were screened for HPV types and for cytological cervical lesions. The findings were evaluated in correlation with CD4 cell counts, HIV viral load, age at first sexual intercourse, number of sexual partners, vaginal candidiasis, and Gardnerella using statistical methods. Results: 19/40 (47.5%) women were positive for HPV types, 63.15% infected with single HPV type and 36.85% with multiple HPV types. The most frequent types were type: 31 (42.1%), 56 (31.57%), 53 (15.78%). On cytology, 34 (85%) women were found with NILM of which 38.23% were HPV-positive. Fifteen percent of women had abnormal cytology (three ASC-US, three LSIL), and all of them were HPV-positive. Through analyzing the value of CD4 count, women with CD4 count ≤ 200 cells/μL were found to be significantly more likely to be infected with HPV; meanwhile there was no correlation between the detection of HPV types and HIV viral load. Candida or Gardnerella were more often associated with HIV-positive women with HPV, than in women without HPV. Conclusions: Infection with HPV types is common among HIV-positive women in the Southeast Region of Romania and it is associated with age at the beginning of sexual life, number of sexual partners, CD4 value, vaginal candidiasis, and Gardnerella infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 541 KiB  
Communication
Prevalence and Antifungal Susceptibility Profile of Oral Candida spp. Isolates from a Hospital in Slovakia
by Lucia Černáková, Anna Líšková, Libuša Lengyelová and Célia F. Rodrigues
Medicina 2022, 58(5), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58050576 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2820
Abstract
Oral fungal infections are a worldwide healthcare problem. Although Candida albicans is still the most common yeast involved in the infections of oral cavity, non-Candida albicans Candida species (NCACs) have been highly related to these infections, particularly in older, immunosuppressed [...] Read more.
Oral fungal infections are a worldwide healthcare problem. Although Candida albicans is still the most common yeast involved in the infections of oral cavity, non-Candida albicans Candida species (NCACs) have been highly related to these infections, particularly in older, immunosuppressed or patients with long exposure to antimicrobial drugs. The goal of this work was to perform a quick epidemiological and mycological study on the oral samples collected from a laboratory of a hospital in Slovakia, for 60 days. The samples’ identification was performed by Germ-tube formation test, CHROMID® Candida, Auxacolor 2, ID 32C automated method, and the antifungal susceptibility testing determined by E-test®. Results confirm that comparing with bacteria, yeasts still occur in the lower number, but there is a high rate of antifungal resistance (81.6%)—to, at least one drug—among the collected samples, particularly to azoles and 5′-FC, which is clinically noteworthy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 963 KiB  
Article
Comparative Efficacy of Tocilizumab and Baricitinib Administration in COVID-19 Treatment: A Retrospective Cohort Study
by Yuichi Kojima, Sho Nakakubo, Nozomu Takei, Keisuke Kamada, Yu Yamashita, Junichi Nakamura, Munehiro Matsumoto, Hiroshi Horii, Kazuki Sato, Hideki Shima, Masaru Suzuki and Satoshi Konno
Medicina 2022, 58(4), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58040513 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3215
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Tocilizumab and baricitinib have been observed to improve the outcomes of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, a comparative evaluation of these drugs has not been performed. Materials and Methods: A retrospective, single-center study was conducted using the data [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Tocilizumab and baricitinib have been observed to improve the outcomes of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, a comparative evaluation of these drugs has not been performed. Materials and Methods: A retrospective, single-center study was conducted using the data of COVID-19 patients admitted to Hokkaido University hospital between April 2020 and September 2021, who were treated with tocilizumab or baricitinib. The clinical characteristics of the patients who received tocilizumab were compared to those of patients who received baricitinib. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses of the outcomes of all-cause mortality and improvement in respiratory status were performed. The development of secondary infection events was analyzed using the Kaplan–Meier method and the log-rank test. Results: Of the 459 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 during the study, 64 received tocilizumab treatment and 34 baricitinib treatment, and those 98 patients were included in the study. Most patients were treated with concomitant steroids and exhibited the same severity level at the initiation of drug treatment. When compared to each other, neither tocilizumab nor baricitinib use were associated with all-cause mortality or improvement in respiratory status within 28 days from drug administration. Conclusions: Age, chronic renal disease and early administration of TCZ or BRT from the onset of COVID-19 were independent prognostic factors for all-cause mortality, whereas anti-viral drug use and the severity of COVID-19 at baseline were associated with an improvement in respiratory status. Secondary infection-free survival rates of patients treated with tocilizumab and those treated with baricitinib did not significantly differ. The results suggest that both tocilizumab and baricitinib could be clinically equivalent agents of choice in treatment of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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Review

Jump to: Research, Other

16 pages, 25269 KiB  
Review
Basic Operative Tactics for Pulmonary Echinococcosis in the Era of Endostaplers and Energy Devices
by Estera Bakinowska, Konstantinos Kostopanagiotou, Małgorzata Edyta Wojtyś, Kajetan Kiełbowski, Konrad Ptaszyński, Darko Gajić, Nikola Ruszel, Janusz Wójcik, Tomasz Grodzki and Periklis Tomos
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030543 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2072
Abstract
Human echinococcosis is a zoonotic infection caused by the larvae of the tapeworm species Echinococcus. The liver is the most common location for a primary echinococcosis. However, the parasite may bypass or spread from the liver to the lungs, causing primary or secondary [...] Read more.
Human echinococcosis is a zoonotic infection caused by the larvae of the tapeworm species Echinococcus. The liver is the most common location for a primary echinococcosis. However, the parasite may bypass or spread from the liver to the lungs, causing primary or secondary pulmonary echinococcosis, respectively. Pulmonary echinococcosis is a clinically challenging condition in which anthelminthic regiments are important, but surgery has the central role in removing the cysts and preventing recurrences. Surgical treatment may involve cystotomy, enucleation, capitonnage, or atypical resections, which occasionally are in combination with hepatic procedures. The utilization of modern devices is greatly underdescribed in surgery for thoracic infections, even though these facilitate much of the work. Therefore, this article aims to describe pulmonary echinococcosis and the role of modern surgical devices in the treatment process. Furthermore, we report surgical treatment of three different cases of pulmonary echinococcosis. Surgeries of uncomplicated and ruptured hepatic or pulmonary cysts are described. Simple small pulmonary echinococcal lesions can be excised by endostaplers both for diagnostic and curative reasons. Larger cysts can be removed by energy devices unless large bronchial air leaks occur. Complicated cysts require treatment by more extensive techniques. Inexperienced surgeons should not abstain but should carefully decide preoperatively how to proceed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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19 pages, 1845 KiB  
Review
An Overview on Phenotypic and Genotypic Characterisation of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacterales
by Ali A. Rabaan, Khalid Eljaaly, Saad Alhumaid, Hawra Albayat, Wasl Al-Adsani, Amal A. Sabour, Maha A. Alshiekheid, Jumana M. Al-Jishi, Faryal Khamis, Sara Alwarthan, Mashael Alhajri, Amal H. Alfaraj, Huseyin Tombuloglu, Mohammed Garout, Duaa M. Alabdullah, Elmoeiz Ali Elnagi Mohammed, Fatimah S. Al Yami, Haifa A. Almuhtaresh, Kovy Arteaga Livias, Abbas Al Mutair, Shawqi A. Almushrif, Mai Abdel Haleem A. Abusalah and Naveed Ahmedadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Medicina 2022, 58(11), 1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58111675 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 6076
Abstract
Improper use of antimicrobials has resulted in the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including multi-drug resistance (MDR) among bacteria. Recently, a sudden increase in Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) has been observed. This presents a substantial challenge in the treatment of CRE-infected individuals. Bacterial plasmids [...] Read more.
Improper use of antimicrobials has resulted in the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including multi-drug resistance (MDR) among bacteria. Recently, a sudden increase in Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) has been observed. This presents a substantial challenge in the treatment of CRE-infected individuals. Bacterial plasmids include the genes for carbapenem resistance, which can also spread to other bacteria to make them resistant. The incidence of CRE is rising significantly despite the efforts of health authorities, clinicians, and scientists. Many genotypic and phenotypic techniques are available to identify CRE. However, effective identification requires the integration of two or more methods. Whole genome sequencing (WGS), an advanced molecular approach, helps identify new strains of CRE and screening of the patient population; however, WGS is challenging to apply in clinical settings due to the complexity and high expense involved with this technique. The current review highlights the molecular mechanism of development of Carbapenem resistance, the epidemiology of CRE infections, spread of CRE, treatment options, and the phenotypic/genotypic characterisation of CRE. The potential of microorganisms to acquire resistance against Carbapenems remains high, which can lead to even more susceptible drugs such as colistin and polymyxins. Hence, the current study recommends running the antibiotic stewardship programs at an institutional level to control the use of antibiotics and to reduce the spread of CRE worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 313 KiB  
Review
Lipid-Enriched Parenteral Nutrition and Bloodstream Infections in Hospitalized Patients: Is It a Real Concern?
by Antonio Tota, Amato Serra, Pauline Raoul, Antonio Gasbarrini, Emanuele Rinninella and Maria Cristina Mele
Medicina 2022, 58(7), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58070885 - 1 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2738
Abstract
Today, few clinicians are still convinced that lipids are sepsis risk factors in patients receiving parenteral nutrition. This dogma is principally based on old literature. This review deals with the most recent literature search that provided up-to-date data over the past ten years. [...] Read more.
Today, few clinicians are still convinced that lipids are sepsis risk factors in patients receiving parenteral nutrition. This dogma is principally based on old literature. This review deals with the most recent literature search that provided up-to-date data over the past ten years. Systematic research was performed on Pubmed, MEDLINE, and Web of Science. The recent evidence does not justify the exclusion of lipid emulsions in patients receiving parenteral nutrition for fear of bloodstream infection risk. Moreover, lipids represent a substantial proportion of the energy source providing essential fatty acids, potentially improving clinical outcomes in patients often malnourished. Understanding the actual risk factors of sepsis during parenteral nutrition is necessary to optimize patient nutritional status and care and avoid essential fatty acid deficiency. There is an urgent need to make updated nutrition training available at all levels of medical education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
20 pages, 432 KiB  
Review
Updates on Measles Incidence and Eradication: Emphasis on the Immunological Aspects of Measles Infection
by Ali A. Rabaan, Abbas Al Mutair, Saad Alhumaid, Mohammed Garout, Roua A. Alsubki, Fatimah S. Alshahrani, Wadha A. Alfouzan, Jeehan H. Alestad, Abdullah E. Alsaleh, Maha A. Al-Mozaini, Thoyaja Koritala, Sultan Alotaibi, Mohamad-Hani Temsah, Ali Akbar, Rafiq Ahmad, Zainab Khalid, Javed Muhammad and Naveed Ahmed
Medicina 2022, 58(5), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58050680 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4370
Abstract
Measles is an RNA virus infectious disease mainly seen in children. Despite the availability of an effective vaccine against measles, it remains a health issue in children. Although it is a self-limiting disease, it becomes severe in undernourished and immune-compromised individuals. Measles infection [...] Read more.
Measles is an RNA virus infectious disease mainly seen in children. Despite the availability of an effective vaccine against measles, it remains a health issue in children. Although it is a self-limiting disease, it becomes severe in undernourished and immune-compromised individuals. Measles infection is associated with secondary infections by opportunistic bacteria due to the immunosuppressive effects of the measles virus. Recent reports highlight that measles infection erases the already existing immune memory of various pathogens. This review covers the incidence, pathogenesis, measles variants, clinical presentations, secondary infections, elimination of measles virus on a global scale, and especially the immune responses related to measles infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
12 pages, 1036 KiB  
Review
Viral Infections Confined to Tattoos—A Narrative Review
by Mircea Tampa, Madalina Irina Mitran, Cristina Iulia Mitran, Clara Matei, Andreea Amuzescu, Alina Andreea Buzatu and Simona Roxana Georgescu
Medicina 2022, 58(3), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58030342 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 8578
Abstract
Since ancient times, people have tattooed their skin for various reasons. In the past, tattoos were associated with low social status; nowadays, tattoos are very popular and are considered a form of art. However, tattoos are associated with various clinical problems, including immune [...] Read more.
Since ancient times, people have tattooed their skin for various reasons. In the past, tattoos were associated with low social status; nowadays, tattoos are very popular and are considered a form of art. However, tattoos are associated with various clinical problems, including immune reactions, inflammatory disorders, infections, and even skin cancer. Epidemiological and clinical data of infections on tattoos are scarce. Tattoo-related infections are mostly bacterial; only a few localized viral infections have been reported so far and are caused by molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV), human papillomavirus (HPV), and herpes simplex virus (HSV). In most cases, the lesions were strictly confined to the area of the tattoo. In this review, we have analysed reported cases of viral infections localized on tattoos and discussed the possible mechanisms involved in the occurrence of these infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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7 pages, 3559 KiB  
Case Report
A Case of Mediastinal Tuberculous Lymphadenitis in a Chronic Dialysis Patient Diagnosed by Endobronchial Ultrasound-Guided Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (EBUS-TBNA)
by Hiromi Nagashima, Kazuyuki Abe, Yukihiro Owada, Kazuhiro Yakuwa, Hiroshi Katagiri, Shinji Chiba, Ami Matsumoto, Masachika Akiyama, Yu Utsumi and Makoto Maemondo
Medicina 2023, 59(4), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59040677 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1488
Abstract
A 54-year-old woman on dialysis due to chronic renal failure had a fever lasting 2 weeks and was referred to a hospital. Non-enhanced CT and blood tests showed no remarkable findings. She was hospitalized and received an antibacterial drug. Although she was discharged [...] Read more.
A 54-year-old woman on dialysis due to chronic renal failure had a fever lasting 2 weeks and was referred to a hospital. Non-enhanced CT and blood tests showed no remarkable findings. She was hospitalized and received an antibacterial drug. Although she was discharged after the fever subsided, she was hospitalized again due to a fever a few days later. A contrast-enhanced CT revealed mediastinal lymphadenopathy, and she was transferred to our hospital for a bronchoscopy. Endobronchial Ultrasound-Guided Transbronchial Needle Aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) for subcarinal lymph nodes was performed in our hospital. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test of the obtained specimen was positive for mycobacterium tuberculosis, and histologically, caseous granulomas were found in the specimen. She was diagnosed with mediastinal tuberculous lymphadenitis, and HREZ (isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide) treatment was started. The fever subsided immediately, and she was discharged from our hospital 2 weeks after the initiation of treatment. Thereafter, she received treatment as an outpatient. Since the use of a contrast medium was complicated by dialysis, a non-enhanced CT was performed at first, and it was difficult to make a diagnosis from this. We report this as an informative case that could be diagnosed with EBUS-TBNA, which was easily performed on a patient weakened by prolonged fever and dialysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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6 pages, 265 KiB  
Case Report
Pancytopenia in a Case of Aplastic Anaemia/Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria Unmasked by SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Case Report
by Arcangelo Iannuzzi, Antonio Parrella, Francesca De Ritis, Anna Cammarota, Lucia Berloco, Francesca Paudice, Giovanni D’Angelo, Emilio Aliberti and Gabriella Iannuzzo
Medicina 2022, 58(9), 1282; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58091282 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1741
Abstract
During an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, a diagnosis of Aplastic Anaemia associated with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (AA/PNH) was made in a 78-year-old woman who had presented to the emergency department with severe pancytopenia. It is possible that she had subclinical AA/PNH that was unmasked [...] Read more.
During an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, a diagnosis of Aplastic Anaemia associated with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (AA/PNH) was made in a 78-year-old woman who had presented to the emergency department with severe pancytopenia. It is possible that she had subclinical AA/PNH that was unmasked during the acute COVID-19 infection, but we can also suspect a direct role of the virus in the pathogenesis of the disease, or we can hypothesize that COVID-19 infection changed the phosphatidylinositol glycan class A (PIGA) gene pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
21 pages, 2347 KiB  
Systematic Review
Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Virus Infection in Middle Eastern Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Fadi S. Qashqari
Medicina 2022, 58(7), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58070905 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2372
Abstract
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a hepatotropic virus that is a major public health concern worldwide. Autochthonous HEV is spread through oral feces in unsanitary environments, as well as vertical and, occasionally, blood transfusion. HEV is more common in developing countries, but it [...] Read more.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a hepatotropic virus that is a major public health concern worldwide. Autochthonous HEV is spread through oral feces in unsanitary environments, as well as vertical and, occasionally, blood transfusion. HEV is more common in developing countries, but it has recently become more widespread in developed countries as well. The Middle East (ME) has long been an endemic location for HEV infection. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to assess the seroprevalence of anti-HEV antibodies in ME countries. The author systematically searched five databases, namely ScienceDirect, EMBASE, Scopus, PubMed, and Google Scholar, to identify English-language articles published on or before 25 April 2022. Comprehensive meta-analysis software was used for all statistical analyses (CMA, version 3, BioStat, Englewood, CO, USA). After quality control and exclusion of irrelevant studies, 80 studies were included in the qualitative synthesis and meta-analysis. A forest plot showed that the overall pooled seroprevalence of HEV infection in ME countries in the fixed-effect and random-effect models were 21.3% (95% CI: 0.209–0.216) and 11.8% (95% CI: 0.099–0.144), respectively. Furthermore, the findings showed a high level of heterogeneity (I2 = 98.733%) among the included studies. In both fixed-effect and random-effect models, the seroprevalence of HEV infection by country was high in Egypt as compared to other regions, at 35.0% (95% CI: 0.342–0.359), and 34.7% (95% CI: 0.153–0.611), respectively. The seroprevalence of HEV infection by country was high among pregnant women, at 47.9% (95% CI: 0.459–0.499) in the fixed-effect model, and in renal transplant recipients, at 30.8% (95% CI: 0.222–0.410) in the random-effect model. The seroprevalence of HEV infection varies by country and study population in the Middle East. More research is needed to determine the disease’s incidence, morbidity, and mortality in the region, where it is prevalent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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8 pages, 1884 KiB  
Case Report
Diagnostic Value of Radioisotope Cisternography Using 111In-DTPA in a Patient with Rhinorrhea and Purulent Meningitis
by Stefan Porubcin, Alena Rovnakova, Ondrej Zahornacky and Pavol Jarcuska
Medicina 2022, 58(6), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58060714 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage is a rare condition. Prompt diagnosis and early treatment of CSF leakage minimizes the risk of severe complications such as bacterial meningitis. Different diagnostic modalities are used to detect the site of CSF leakage but often with unreliable results. [...] Read more.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage is a rare condition. Prompt diagnosis and early treatment of CSF leakage minimizes the risk of severe complications such as bacterial meningitis. Different diagnostic modalities are used to detect the site of CSF leakage but often with unreliable results. The literature offers limited evidence-based guidance on the diagnostic approach for rhinorrhea. Correct localization of the defect is the mainstay for successful surgical treatment. Herein, we describe a case of recurrent meningitis due to cranio-nasal fistula and rhinorrhea successfully localized with radioisotope cisternography (RIC). We provide a detailed and practical overview of the RIC procedure and compare different imaging modalities used to detect the site of CSF leakage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 2595 KiB  
Case Report
Primary Lymphocutaneous Nocardia brasiliensis in an Immunocompetent Host: Case Report and Literature Review
by Igor Dumic, Alethea Brown, Kyle Magee, Sammer Elwasila, Marija Kaljevic, Marina Antic, Oladapo Igandan, Milena Cardozo, Libardo Rueda Prada and Margaret Paulson
Medicina 2022, 58(4), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina58040488 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4931
Abstract
Nocardia spp. is a Gram-positive, partially acid-fast aerobic bacterium usually associated with infection in immunocompromised people. The most common sites of infection are the skin, lungs, and the brain, however disease can disseminate and affect every organ. Clinical manifestations of cutaneous disease are [...] Read more.
Nocardia spp. is a Gram-positive, partially acid-fast aerobic bacterium usually associated with infection in immunocompromised people. The most common sites of infection are the skin, lungs, and the brain, however disease can disseminate and affect every organ. Clinical manifestations of cutaneous disease are varied and frequently misdiagnosed. We present a case of an immunocompetent 66-year-old man who sustained a left finger injury while gardening. He was misdiagnosed on several occasions and treated with inappropriate antibiotics against Streptococcus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. When infection spread cutaneously, sporotrichoid (lymphocutaneous) nocardiosis was suspected and the patient was started on appropriate therapy with Bactrim which resulted in a cure. We also summarize the literature on lymphocutaneous infection by Nocardia brasiliensis. By reporting this case, we want to raise awareness among clinicians about unusual causes of cellulitis, the differential diagnosis of lymphocutaneous infection and the importance of obtaining a detailed exposure history to assist in the prompt diagnosis of nocardiosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics of Infectious Diseases)
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