Topic Editors

1. Associate Laboratory i4HB—Institute for Health and Bioeconomy, University Institute of Health Sciences—CESPU, 4585-116 Gandra, Portugal
2. ALiCE—Associate Laboratory in Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, LEPABE—Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
1. Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
2. Institute for Research and Inovation in Health (i3S), University of Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal

Infectious Diseases

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 December 2021)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 May 2022)
Viewed by
447383

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Infectious diseases are a critical and increasing global threat, with a high rate of morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. By 2050, 10 million people will die per year as a result of infections, since resistance to drugs is continuously increasing.

Understanding the development and evolution of infections is crucial for the treatment and to explore novel therapeutic responses. In addition, searching for new molecules with antimicrobial activity in surfaces (e.g., hospitals) is also a key factor.

This topic is intended to cover all subjects related to infectious diseases (bacteria, fungi, virus, parasites), pathophysiology, host–pathogen and immune response, new compounds with antimicrobial activity, and innovative approaches to cut multi- and pan-drug resistance events. Finally, methods and models to study infectious diseases will also be an important matter.

Original basic and translational findings are welcome. In addition, case reports and review manuscripts are also opportune.

We welcome submissions that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Pathogenesis and virulence of bacteria, fungi, parasites and virus;
  • Advances in the pathophysiology of infectious diseases;
  • Chronic and acute infections;
  • Nosocomial infections;
  • Novel experimental models to study infectious diseases;
  • Microbiota/microbiome and its relationship with the development and evolution of infectious diseases;
  • Host–pathogen relation;
  • Immune response related to infections;
  • Therapeutic response to common and novel drugs;
  • Methods to evaluate the progress of infections;
  • Methods to evaluate the response to drugs;
  • Bioengineering novel drugs;
  • Antimicrobial coatings for surfaces.

Prof. Dr. Célia Fortuna Rodrigues
Prof. Dr. Natália Cruz-Martins
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • chronic infections
  • acute infections
  • nosocomial infections
  • host–pathogen relation
  • immune response

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Biomedicines
biomedicines
4.7 3.7 2013 15.4 Days CHF 2600
Viruses
viruses
4.7 7.1 2009 13.8 Days CHF 2600
Journal of Fungi
jof
4.7 4.9 2015 18.4 Days CHF 2600
Microorganisms
microorganisms
4.5 6.4 2013 15.1 Days CHF 2700
Journal of Clinical Medicine
jcm
3.9 5.4 2012 17.9 Days CHF 2600

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Published Papers (163 papers)

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2 pages, 189 KiB  
Reply
Reply to Daitch et al. Comment on “Huang et al. Colistin Monotherapy versus Colistin plus Meropenem Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Infection: A Meta-Analysis. J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11, 3239”
by Chienhsiu Huang, Ihung Chen and Tiju Tang
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(24), 7508; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11247508 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 808
Abstract
This is an Author Reply to the Letter to the Editor entitled “Colistin Monotherapy versus Colistin plus Meropenem Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Infection: A Meta-Analysis” by Daitch V. et al. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
2 pages, 187 KiB  
Comment
Comment on Huang et al. Colistin Monotherapy versus Colistin plus Meropenem Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Infection: A Meta-Analysis. J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11, 3239
by Vered Daitch, Mical Paul and Leonard Leibovici
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(23), 7029; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11237029 - 28 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
In the recently published meta-analysis titled “Colistin Monotherapy versus Colistin plus Meropenem Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Infection: A Meta-Analysis”, Huang et al. compared the efficacy and safety of treatment with colistin monotherapy versus colistin plus meropenem combination therapy [...] Read more.
In the recently published meta-analysis titled “Colistin Monotherapy versus Colistin plus Meropenem Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Infection: A Meta-Analysis”, Huang et al. compared the efficacy and safety of treatment with colistin monotherapy versus colistin plus meropenem combination therapy in patients with drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infection [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
8 pages, 544 KiB  
Article
Remdesivir Treatment in Moderately Ill COVID-19 Patients: A Retrospective Single Center Study
by Vedrana Terkes, Karla Lisica, Martina Marusic, Nikola Verunica, Anela Tolic and Miro Morovic
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(17), 5066; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11175066 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1369
Abstract
Almost two years after remdesivir was approved and extensively used in numerous clinical studies for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, there is still no clear recommendation for the time and phase of the disease of remdesivir administration. This retrospective observational study included adults [...] Read more.
Almost two years after remdesivir was approved and extensively used in numerous clinical studies for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, there is still no clear recommendation for the time and phase of the disease of remdesivir administration. This retrospective observational study included adults (≥18 years) with severe COVID-19, radiologically confirmed pneumonia, a need for supplemental oxygen and an interval from symptom onset to enrolment of 10 days or less. All patients were treated with remdesivir for 5 to 10 days, or with clinical improvement within that period. The primary goal was the outcome in patients treated with remdesivir during the early stage of the disease considering the different disease severity. The median time from symptom onset to treatment was 8.4 days (3–10). Clinical improvements and good outcomes were observed in 104 of 137 patients (75.9%); 33 (24.1%) of 137 patients died. Subgroup analyses showed that the mortality rate was significantly lower in moderately ill patients (3 out of 51 patients; 5.9%) than in the group of severely/critically ill patients (30 out of 86 patients; 34.8%; p < 0.005). Older age, rise of CRP and CT score were shown to be significant predictors of disease outcome. Overall, remdesivir was well tolerated, and the treatment was discontinued in only four patients. The results of this observational study in 137 patients with different disease severity contribute to the attitude concerning remdesivir administration in the early stage of COVID-19, at least in moderately ill patients with a high risk of progression, before the transition to a more severe stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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17 pages, 668 KiB  
Review
Pitfalls in the Serological Evaluation of Maternal Cytomegalovirus Infection as a Potential Cause of Fetal and Neonatal Involvements: A Narrative Literature Review
by Shigeo Iijima
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(17), 5006; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11175006 - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 8967
Abstract
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common cause of intrauterine infection and serological assays are the primary tools for assessing CMV infections during pregnancy. CMV-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies have been used as a diagnostic marker for primary CMV infection in pregnant women, although [...] Read more.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common cause of intrauterine infection and serological assays are the primary tools for assessing CMV infections during pregnancy. CMV-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies have been used as a diagnostic marker for primary CMV infection in pregnant women, although CMV-IgM has been detected in non-primary CMV infections. IgG avidity testing may aid the distinguishing of primary from non-primary CMV infection; however, there is no standardized assay for detecting this difference. Moreover, when maternal serology shows positive CMV-IgG with negative CMV-IgM findings, vertical transmission probability following primary CMV infection is often excluded. However, symptomatic congenital CMV infections in the context of negative findings for maternal CMV-IgM have been reported recently. The absence of CMV-IgM is recognized in both primary and non-primary CMV infections. Furthermore, maternal non-primary CMV infections during pregnancy may yield a greater proportion of symptomatic congenital CMV infections than previously thought. If universal prenatal screening is performed, ultrasonography for abnormal fetal findings should be conducted regardless of CMV-IgM antibody status. If not universally screened, CMV antibody screening should be performed whenever routine fetal ultrasound reveals abnormal findings. For suspected fetal CMV infection, amniotic fluid or postnatal infant urine CMV-DNA testing is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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1 pages, 180 KiB  
Reply
Reply to Fabbris et al. A Viable Alternative. Comment on “Kohmer et al. Self-Collected Samples to Detect SARS-CoV-2: Direct Comparison of Saliva, Tongue Swab, Nasal Swab, Chewed Cotton Pads and Gargle Lavage. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 5751”
by Sebastian Hoehl, Niko Kohmer, Lisa Eckermann, Rene Gottschalk and Sandra Ciesek
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(16), 4920; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11164920 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 895
Abstract
We thank Fabbris et al. for their remarks [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
15 pages, 4048 KiB  
Article
Persisting Smell and Taste Disorders in Patients Who Recovered from SARS-CoV-2 Virus Infection—Data from the Polish PoLoCOV-CVD Study
by Michał Chudzik, Mateusz Babicki, Agnieszka Mastalerz-Migas and Joanna Kapusta
Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1763; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14081763 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
In the majority of cases, patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus experience a complete resolution of symptoms within six weeks of acquiring the infection, but an increasing number of patients report persistent symptoms. This study aimed to analyse the prevalence of self-reported smell [...] Read more.
In the majority of cases, patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus experience a complete resolution of symptoms within six weeks of acquiring the infection, but an increasing number of patients report persistent symptoms. This study aimed to analyse the prevalence of self-reported smell and/or taste disorders (STDs) in a group of convalescent patients after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to identify risk factors for the disease. The study included 2218 COVID-19 convalescents after both inpatient and outpatient treatment. The sample group was analysed with regard to chronic diseases, place of isolation and clinical symptoms occurring during COVID-19 along with their duration. The assessment also included the most common symptoms of COVID-19 and the severity of the disease course. A total of 98 patients reported persistent smell and taste disorders up to three months after the end of isolation (67.4% of men and 32.6% of women). The mean age of the participants was 53.8 ± 13.5 years (49.19 ± 14.68 in patients with an STD vs. 54.01 ± 13.44 in patients without an STD). The patients treated for COVID-19 at home (p < 0.001) constituted almost the entire group of patients with persistent smell and taste disorders (97%). Among the patients with persistent smell and taste disorders, 57.1% suffered from at least one chronic condition (vs. 71.4% of patients without an STD). In patients with an STD, the number of symptoms per patient was higher than in the other group at 8.87 ± 3.65 (p = 0.018), while the most common clinical symptoms during the acute phase of COVID-19 were smell and taste disorders (84%) (p < 0.001), significant weakness (70%), headache (60%), cough (55%), arthralgia (51%) (p = 0.034) and back muscle pain (51%). Based on the results obtained, the following conclusions were drawn: the risk of developing persistent smell and taste disorders after COVID-19 is greater in younger people with less comorbidities and a higher number of symptoms during the acute phase of COVID-19. The risk is associated with clinical symptoms occurring during the acute phase of COVID-19, i.e., smell and taste disorders and arthralgia. In addition, this risk is higher in patients receiving outpatient treatment for COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 1568 KiB  
Review
What Is Currently Known about Intramedullary Spinal Cord Abscess among Children? A Concise Review
by Bartosz Szmyd, Redwan Jabbar, Weronika Lusa, Filip Franciszek Karuga, Agnieszka Pawełczyk, Maciej Błaszczyk, Jakub Jankowski, Julia Sołek, Grzegorz Wysiadecki, R. Shane Tubbs, Joe Iwanaga and Maciej Radek
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(15), 4549; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11154549 - 4 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2490
Abstract
Intramedullary spinal cord abscesses (ISCA) are rare. Typical symptoms include signs of infection and neurological deficits. Symptoms among (younger) children can be highly uncharacteristic. Therefore, prompt and proper diagnoses may be difficult. Typical therapeutic options include antibiotics and neurosurgical exploration and drainage. In [...] Read more.
Intramedullary spinal cord abscesses (ISCA) are rare. Typical symptoms include signs of infection and neurological deficits. Symptoms among (younger) children can be highly uncharacteristic. Therefore, prompt and proper diagnoses may be difficult. Typical therapeutic options include antibiotics and neurosurgical exploration and drainage. In this review, we analyze published cases of ISCA among children. Most pediatric cases were found to be under the age of 6 years. The typical symptoms included motor deficits in 89.06%, infection signs in 85.94%, and sensory deficits in 39.06%. Urinary dysfunction was observed in 43.75%, and bowel dysfunction in 17.19%. The predisposing factors included dermal sinuses, (epi)dermoid cysts, prior infection, iatrogenic disorder, and trauma. The most common pathogens were: Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Escherichia coli, and Proteus mirabilis. The pediatric population has good outcomes as 45.93% of patients had complete neurological recovery and only 26.56% had residual neurological deficits. Fifteen (23.44%) had persistent neurological deficits. Only one (1.56%) patient died with an ISCA. In two (3.13%) cases, there were no details about follow-up examinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 1227 KiB  
Article
Correlating IgG Levels with Neutralising Antibody Levels to Indicate Clinical Protection in Healthcare Workers at Risk during a Measles Outbreak
by Siyuan Hu, Nicola Logan, Sarah Coleman, Cariad Evans, Brian J. Willett and Margaret J. Hosie
Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1716; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14081716 - 4 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
The rapid transmission of measles poses a great challenge for measles elimination. Thus, rapid testing is required to screen the health status in the population during measles outbreaks. A pseudotype-based virus neutralisation assay was used to measure neutralising antibody titres in serum samples [...] Read more.
The rapid transmission of measles poses a great challenge for measles elimination. Thus, rapid testing is required to screen the health status in the population during measles outbreaks. A pseudotype-based virus neutralisation assay was used to measure neutralising antibody titres in serum samples collected from healthcare workers in Sheffield during the measles outbreak in 2016. Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) pseudotypes bearing the haemagglutinin and fusion glycoproteins of measles virus (MeV) and carrying a luciferase marker gene were prepared; the neutralising antibody titre was defined as the dilution resulting in 90% reduction in luciferase activity. Spearman’s correlation coefficients between IgG titres and neutralising antibody levels ranged from 0.40 to 0.55 (p < 0.05) or from 0.71 to 0.79 (p < 0.0001) when the IgG titres were obtained using different testing kits. In addition, the currently used vaccine was observed to cross-neutralise most circulating MeV genotypes. However, the percentage of individuals being “well-protected” was lower than 95%, the target rate of vaccination coverage to eliminate measles. These results demonstrate that the level of clinical protection against measles in individuals could be inferred by IgG titre, as long as a precise correlation has been established between IgG testing and neutralisation assay; moreover, maintaining a high vaccination coverage rate is still necessary for measles elimination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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2 pages, 190 KiB  
Comment
A Viable Alternative. Comment on Kohmer et al. Self-Collected Samples to Detect SARS-CoV-2: Direct Comparison of Saliva, Tongue Swab, Nasal Swab, Chewed Cotton Pads and Gargle Lavage. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 5751
by Cristoforo Fabbris, Riccardo Camerotto, Veronica Battistuzzi and Giacomo Spinato
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(15), 4501; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11154501 - 2 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 977
Abstract
We read with great interest and would like to comment on the article “Self-Collected Samples to Detect SARS-CoV-2: Direct Comparison of Saliva, Tongue Swab, Nasal Swab, Chewed Cotton Pads and Gargle Lavage” [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
8 pages, 1195 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Computed Tomography for Identifying Patients at High Risk of Endogenous Endophthalmitis Due to Klebsiella pneumoniae-Related Pyogenic Liver Abscess
by Jae Jung Lee, Seung Baek Hong, Nam Kyung Lee, Young Joo Park, So Hee Kim, Sung Who Park, Iksoo Byon and Suk Kim
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(15), 4376; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11154376 - 28 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1568
Abstract
Endogenous endophthalmitis (EE) associated with Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae)-related pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) is one of the fatal complications of PLA and leads to loss of vision. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to save the patient’s vision. We investigated the [...] Read more.
Endogenous endophthalmitis (EE) associated with Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae)-related pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) is one of the fatal complications of PLA and leads to loss of vision. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to save the patient’s vision. We investigated the characteristics of computed tomography (CT) in EE associated with K. pneumoniae-related PLA for the identification of the predictors of EE, in order to facilitate early diagnosis. A total of 274 patients diagnosed with K. pneumoniae-related PLA, including 15 patients with EE, were identified between January 2005 and December 2019. The clinical (age, gender, and underlying disease) and radiologic (the location, size, and number of abscesses) features were reviewed. In addition, the involvement of the adjacent vessels, such as the hepatic vein and portal vein, was carefully reviewed. A comparative analysis was performed between the EE and non-EE groups. Uni- and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify the predictors of EE. Diabetes mellitus (DM), the involvement of the left or both hepatic lobes, and the adjacent vessels on the CT were significantly more frequent than those in the non-EE group (p < 0.05 in all), and they were the significant predictors of EE in the logistic regression analyses. In patients with K. pneumoniae-related PLA, the CT findings, such as the locations of the abscess (i.e., left or both lobes) and the involvement of the adjacent vessels, should be considered in addition to the ocular symptoms for an early diagnosis of EE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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14 pages, 4145 KiB  
Review
Doripenem in the Treatment of Patients with Nosocomial Pneumonia: A Meta-Analysis
by Chienhsiu Huang, Ihung Chen and Yalun Yang
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(14), 4014; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11144014 - 11 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1992
Abstract
Introduction: Clinically, doripenem therapy for nosocomial pneumonia remains a serious concern. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to explore the efficacy and the safety of doripenem therapy for nosocomial pneumonia in comparison with other antimicrobial agents. Methods: Studies were eligible for inclusion only [...] Read more.
Introduction: Clinically, doripenem therapy for nosocomial pneumonia remains a serious concern. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to explore the efficacy and the safety of doripenem therapy for nosocomial pneumonia in comparison with other antimicrobial agents. Methods: Studies were eligible for inclusion only if they directly compared the clinical effectiveness of doripenem and other antimicrobial agent therapies for nosocomial pneumonia in adult patients between 1 January 2000 and 30 April 2022. All studies were included if they reported one or more of the following outcomes: clinical cure rate, microbiological cure rate, all-cause mortality, and adverse events. Results: Six randomized controlled trials and three retrospective studies were included in the meta-analysis. There were 952 patients in the doripenem group and 1183 patients in the comparator group. The comparator antimicrobial agents included imipenem/cilastatin, meropenem, and piperacillin/tazobactam. Seven studies had a high risk of bias. Doripenem therapy for nosocomial pneumonia had a microbiological cure rate, a clinical cure rate, an all-cause mortality, and adverse events similar to those of comparators. Conclusions: The efficacy and the safety of doripenem therapy for nosocomial pneumonia were comparable with those of comparators. Randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the role of doripenem in nosocomial pneumonia therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 610 KiB  
Article
Impact of Chronic Bronchial Infection by Staphylococcus aureus on Bronchiectasis
by Marta García Clemente, Casilda Olveira, Rosa Girón, Luis Máiz, Oriol Sibila, Rafael Golpe, Rosario Menéndez, Juan Rodríguez, Esther Barreiro, Juan Luis Rodríguez Hermosa, Concepción Prados, David De la Rosa, Claudia Madrid Carbajal, Marta Solís and Miguel Ángel Martínez-García
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(14), 3960; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11143960 - 7 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
The objective of the study was to analyze the factors associated with chronic bronchial infection (CBI) due to methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and assess the clinical impact on severity, exacerbations, hospitalizations, and loss of lung function compared to patients with no isolation of [...] Read more.
The objective of the study was to analyze the factors associated with chronic bronchial infection (CBI) due to methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and assess the clinical impact on severity, exacerbations, hospitalizations, and loss of lung function compared to patients with no isolation of PPMs in a large longitudinal series of patients from the Spanish bronchiectasis registry (RIBRON). Material and methods: A prospective, longitudinal, multicenter study was conducted with patients included in the RIBRON registry between January 2015 and October 2020. The inclusion criteria were an age of 18 years or older and an initial diagnosis of bronchiectasis. Patients recorded in the registry had a situation of clinical stability in the absence of an exacerbation in the four weeks before their inclusion. All patients were encouraged to provide a sputum sample at each visit for microbiological culture. Annual pulmonary function tests were performed according to the national spirometry guidelines. Results: A total of 426 patients were ultimately included in the study: 77 patients (18%) with CBI due to SA and 349 (82%) who did not present any isolation of PPMs in sputum. The mean age was 66.9 years (16.2), and patients 297 (69.7%) were female, with an average BMI of 25.1 (4.7) kg/m2 and an average Charlson index of 1.74 (1.33). The mean baseline value of FEV1 2 L was 0.76, with a mean FEV1% of 78.8% (23.1). One hundred and seventy-two patients (40.4%) had airflow obstruction with FEV1/FVC < 0.7. The mean predictive FACED score was 1.62 (1.41), with a mean value of 2.62 (2.07) for the EFACED score and 7.3 (4.5) for the BSI score. Patients with CBI caused by SA were younger (p < 0.0001), and they had a lower BMI (p = 0.024) and more exacerbations in the previous year (p = 0.019), as well as in the first, second, and third years of follow-up (p = 0.020, p = 0.001, and p = 0.018, respectively). As regards lung function, patients with CBI due to SA had lower levels of FEV1% at the time of inclusion in the registry (p = 0.021), and they presented more frequently with bronchial obstruction (p = 0.042). A lower age (OR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.94–0.99; p < 0.001), lower FEV1 value% (OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.97–0.99; p = 0.035), higher number of affected lobes (OR: 1.53; 95% CI: 1.2–1.95; p < 0.001), and the presence of two or more exacerbations in the previous year (OR: 2.33; 95% CI: 1.15–4.69; p = 0.018) were observed as independent factors associated with CBI due to SA. The reduction in FEv1% in all patients included in the study was −0.31%/year (95% CI: −0.7; −0.07) (p = 0.110). When the reduction in FEv1% is analyzed in the group of patients with CBI due to SA and the group without pathogens, we observed that the reduction in FEV1% was −1.19% (95% CI: −2.09, −0.69) (p < 0.001) in the first group and −0.02% (95% CI: −0.07, −0.01) (p = 0.918) in the second group. According to a linear regression model (mixed effects) applied to determine which factors were associated with a more pronounced reduction in FEv1% in the overall group (including those with CBI due to SA and those with no PPM isolation), age (p = 0.0019), use of inhaled corticosteroids (p = 0.004), presence of CBI due to SA (p = 0.007), female gender (p < 0.001), and the initial value of FEV1 (p < 0.001) were significantly related. Conclusions: Patients with non-CF bronchiectasis with CBI due to SA were younger, with lower FEV1% values, more significant extension of bronchiectasis, and a higher number of exacerbations of mild to moderate symptoms than those with no PPM isolation in respiratory secretions. The reduction in FEV1% was −1.19% (95% CI: −2.09, −0.69) (p < 0.001) in patients with CBI caused by SA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 572 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Four Fully Integrated Molecular Assays for the Detection of Respiratory Viruses during the Co-Circulation of SARS-CoV-2, Influenza and RSV
by Eric Farfour, Thomas Yung, Robin Baudoin and Marc Vasse
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(14), 3942; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11143942 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1771
Abstract
Background: The clinical presentation of viral respiratory infections is unspecific. We assessed the performances of two new RT-PCR, the Idylla™ SARS-CoV-2 and the Idylla™ SARS-CoV2/Flu/RSV, and two isothermal amplification assays, the ID NOW COVID and the ID NOW influenza A & B [...] Read more.
Background: The clinical presentation of viral respiratory infections is unspecific. We assessed the performances of two new RT-PCR, the Idylla™ SARS-CoV-2 and the Idylla™ SARS-CoV2/Flu/RSV, and two isothermal amplification assays, the ID NOW COVID and the ID NOW influenza A & B 2. Methods: The study was conducted in two parts: (i) the Idylla™ assays were assessed using a collection of nasopharyngeal swabs which were positive for various respiratory viruses. (ii) The performances of the four assays were assessed prospectively: all of the symptomatic patients admitted to the emergency department from 10 to 21 December were enrolled. Results: (i) All of the SARS-CoV-2 false negatives with the Idylla™ assays had a Ct value greater than 30 with the reference RT-PCR. No cross-reactivity was identified. (ii) Overall, 218 patients were enrolled. The respective prevalences of SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, and RSV were 19.8%, 4.8%, and 3.2%. All of the assays were 100% specific. The sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 detection was 97.7%, 82.5%, and 86.3% for the Idylla™ SARS-CoV2, the Idylla™ SARS-CoV2/Flu/RSV, and the ID NOW COVID-19, respectively. For influenza A, it was 90.0% for the Idylla™ SARS-CoV2/Flu/RSV and 80.0% for the ID NOW Influenza. Discussion. All of the assays are suitable for testing patients with respiratory symptoms. False negatives should be considered, and the test should be repeated regarding the context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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17 pages, 1343 KiB  
Article
Early, Delayed and Late Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Infections: Do the Timing of Onset and Pathogens Matter?
by Anna Polewczyk, Wojciech Jacheć, Maciej Polewczyk, Dorota Szczęśniak-Stańczyk and Andrzej Kutarski
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(14), 3929; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11143929 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
Infections involving cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) occur at different times after device-related procedures. The aim of this study was to investigate the timing of onset and factors influencing the occurrence of all types of CIED infections to identify the type of pathogen [...] Read more.
Infections involving cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) occur at different times after device-related procedures. The aim of this study was to investigate the timing of onset and factors influencing the occurrence of all types of CIED infections to identify the type of pathogen and to examine the long-term survival of patients with all types of CIED infections. We performed a post hoc analysis of the clinical data from 3344 patients who underwent transvenous lead extraction (TLE) at a single high-volume center between 2006 and 2020, including a group of 890 patients with CIED infections. The occurrence of pocket infection (PI), lead-related infective endocarditis (LRIE) and PI coexisting with LRIE (PI + LRIE) was assessed at the following time intervals: 0–12 months, 13–36 months and > 36 months since last CIED-related procedure. In the study group, there were 274 (30.79%) early infections, 266 (29.89%) delayed infections and 350 (39.32%) late infections. Pocket infection was the most common early complication (97; 39.43%), while LRIE was predominant over 36 months from the last CIED procedure (172; 54.09%). The most common early infections were PIs that were associated with the preceding CIED-related procedure. Late LRIE was most likely to occur in patients with intracardiac lead abrasion. The probability of early versus late LRIE was higher in patients with CoNS cultures. The timing of infection onset irrespective of its type does not affect long-term survival after transvenous lead extraction. The majority of infectious complications (69%) occur more than 12 months after the last CIED-related procedure. Early infections are probably associated with pocket contamination during CIED-related procedure, while delayed and late systemic infections are related to other lead-dependent factors (especially to intracardiac lead abrasion). Time to LRIE onset is associated with pathogen type. The timing of symptom onset does not affect long-term survival after TLE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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2 pages, 191 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Yang et al. A Kinesin Vdkin2 Required for Vacuole Formation, Mycelium Growth, and Penetration Structure Formation of Verticillium dahliae. J. Fungi 2022, 8, 391
by Xing Yang, Cuimei Guo, Chi Chen, Zhijuan Hu, Xinyao Zheng, Shan Xu, Xingyong Yang and Chengjian Xie
J. Fungi 2022, 8(7), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8070707 - 4 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 915
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
12 pages, 831 KiB  
Article
Tocilizumab Use among Patients Who Developed Pulmonary Embolism in the Course of Cytokine Release Storm and COVID-19 Pneumonia—A Retrospective Study
by Daniel Chober, Bogusz Aksak-Wąs, Jolanta Niścigorska-Olsen, Małgorzata Niekrasz and Miłosz Parczewski
Biomedicines 2022, 10(7), 1581; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10071581 - 2 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
Introduction: Thromboembolic events, including mainly pulmonary embolisms and ischemic strokes, occur in up to one-third of COVID-19 patients. As efficacy of tocilizumab (TCZ) among patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE) was not previously investigated, this study aimed to provide such data. Objectives: The [...] Read more.
Introduction: Thromboembolic events, including mainly pulmonary embolisms and ischemic strokes, occur in up to one-third of COVID-19 patients. As efficacy of tocilizumab (TCZ) among patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE) was not previously investigated, this study aimed to provide such data. Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of TCZ on mortality in patients with confirmed acute pulmonary embolism, cytokine release storm and COVID-19 pneumonia. Patients and methods: Longitudinal data of 4287 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were collected between 4 March 2020 and 16 January 2022. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed the samples and dataset of cases with confirmed acute pulmonary embolism associated with at least moderate lung involvement due to COVID-19 pneumonia. Results: In the analyzed dataset, 64 adult patients were diagnosed with PE, and of these, 28 (44%) cases were treated with two 8 mg/kg doses of TCZ, and 36 (56%) did not receive this agent. The groups were balanced regarding demographics, comorbidities and the biochemical markers. Overall mortality in our study was 29.6% (n = 17). Mortality in the group treated with TCZ was 43% (n = 12) compared to 19% (n = 7) in the group without TCZ. In multivariate proportional Cox hazards models, intravenous administration of TCZ was independently associated with higher mortality (HR: 3.342 (CI: 1.077–10.370), p = 0.036). Conclusions: In patients with COVID-19 pneumonia with at least moderate lung involvement, CRS and acute pulmonary embolism, administration of TCZ is associated with increased mortality. Therefore, TCZ should be used with caution in SARS-CoV-2 cases with pulmonary embolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 689 KiB  
Article
Frequency, Etiology, Mortality, Cost, and Prevention of Respiratory Tract Infections—Prospective, One Center Study
by Wieslawa Duszynska, Marta Idziak, Klaudia Smardz, Anna Burkot, Malgorzata Grotowska and Stanislaw Rojek
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(13), 3764; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11133764 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2077
Abstract
Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the most monitored form of respiratory tract infections (RTIs). A small number of epidemiological studies have monitored community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), non-ventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP) and ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis (VAT) in intensive care units (ICUs). The objective of this study [...] Read more.
Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is the most monitored form of respiratory tract infections (RTIs). A small number of epidemiological studies have monitored community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), non-ventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP) and ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis (VAT) in intensive care units (ICUs). The objective of this study was to assess the frequency, etiology, mortality, and additional costs of RTIs. Methods: One-year prospective RTI surveillance at a 30-bed ICU. The study assessed the rates and microbiological profiles of CAP, VAP, NV-HAP, VAT, and VAP prevention factors, the impact of VAP and NV-HAP on the length of ICU stays, and the additional costs of RTI treatment and mortality. Results: Among 578 patients, RTIs were found in 30%. The CAP, NV-HAP, VAP, and VAT rates/100 admissions were 5.9, 9.0, 8.65, and 6.05, respectively. The VAP incidence density/1000 MV-days was 10.8. The most common pathogen of RTI was Acinetobacter baumannii MDR. ICU stays were extended by VAP and NV-HAP for 17.8 and 3.7 days, respectively, and these RTIs increased the cost of therapy by 13,029 and 2708 EUR per patient, respectively. The mortality rate was higher by 11.55% in patients with VAP than those without device-associated and healthcare-associated infections (p = 0.0861). Conclusions: RTIs are a serious epidemiological problem in patients who are admitted and treated in ICU, as they may affect one-third of patients. Hospital-acquired RTIs extend hospitalization time, increase the cost of treatment, and worsen outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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17 pages, 2965 KiB  
Article
Novel ABC Transporter Associated with Fluconazole Resistance in Aging of Cryptococcus neoformans
by Natalia Kronbauer Oliveira, Somanon Bhattacharya, Rina Gambhir, Manav Joshi and Bettina C. Fries
J. Fungi 2022, 8(7), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8070677 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2247
Abstract
Cryptococcus neoformans causes meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals, which is treated with fluconazole (FLC) monotherapy when resources are limited. This can lead to azole resistance, which can be mediated by overexpression of ABC transporters, a class of efflux pumps. ABC pump-mediated efflux of FLC [...] Read more.
Cryptococcus neoformans causes meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals, which is treated with fluconazole (FLC) monotherapy when resources are limited. This can lead to azole resistance, which can be mediated by overexpression of ABC transporters, a class of efflux pumps. ABC pump-mediated efflux of FLC is also augmented in 10-generation old C. neoformans cells. Here, we describe a new ABC transporter Afr3 (CNAG_06909), which is overexpressed in C. neoformans cells of advanced generational age that accumulate during chronic infection. The Δafr3 mutant strain showed higher FLC susceptibility by FLC E-Test strip testing and also by a killing test that measured survival after 3 h FLC exposure. Furthermore, Δafr3 cells exhibited lower Rhodamine 6G efflux compared to the H99 wild-type cells. Afr3 was expressed in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ADΔ strain, which lacks several drug transporters, thus reducing background transport. The ADΔ + Afr3 strain demonstrated a higher efflux with both Rhodamine 6G and Nile red, and a higher FLC resistance. Afr3-GFP localized in the plasma membrane of the ADΔ + Afr3 strain, further highlighting its importance as an efflux pump. Characterization of the Δafr3 mutant revealed unattenuated growth but a prolongation (29%) of the replicative life span. In addition, Δafr3 exhibited decreased resistance to macrophage killing and attenuated virulence in the Galleria mellonella infection model. In summary, our data indicate that a novel ABC pump Afr3, which is upregulated in C. neoformans cells of advanced age, may contribute to their enhanced FLC tolerance, by promoting drug efflux. Lastly, its role in macrophage resistance may also contribute to the selection of older C. neoformans cells during chronic infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 2234 KiB  
Article
Transcriptional and Translational Dynamics of Zika and Dengue Virus Infection
by Kamini Singh, Maria Guadalupe Martinez, Jianan Lin, James Gregory, Trang Uyen Nguyen, Rawan Abdelaal, Kristy Kang, Kristen Brennand, Arnold Grünweller, Zhengqing Ouyang, Hemali Phatnani, Margaret Kielian and Hans-Guido Wendel
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071418 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3436
Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) and dengue virus (DENV) are members of the Flaviviridae family of RNA viruses and cause severe disease in humans. ZIKV and DENV share over 90% of their genome sequences, however, the clinical features of Zika and dengue infections are very [...] Read more.
Zika virus (ZIKV) and dengue virus (DENV) are members of the Flaviviridae family of RNA viruses and cause severe disease in humans. ZIKV and DENV share over 90% of their genome sequences, however, the clinical features of Zika and dengue infections are very different reflecting tropism and cellular effects. Here, we used simultaneous RNA sequencing and ribosome footprinting to define the transcriptional and translational dynamics of ZIKV and DENV infection in human neuronal progenitor cells (hNPCs). The gene expression data showed induction of aminoacyl tRNA synthetases (ARS) and the translation activating PIM1 kinase, indicating an increase in RNA translation capacity. The data also reveal activation of different cell stress responses, with ZIKV triggering a BACH1/2 redox program, and DENV activating the ATF/CHOP endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress program. The RNA translation data highlight activation of polyamine metabolism through changes in key enzymes and their regulators. This pathway is needed for eIF5A hypusination and has been implicated in viral translation and replication. Concerning the viral RNA genomes, ribosome occupancy readily identified highly translated open reading frames and a novel upstream ORF (uORF) in the DENV genome. Together, our data highlight both the cellular stress response and the activation of RNA translation and polyamine metabolism during DENV and ZIKV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 4283 KiB  
Article
Effective Infection with Dengue Virus in Experimental Neonate and Adult Mice through the Intranasal Route
by Minyue Qiu, Lixin Zhao, Junjie Zhang, Yalan Wang, Minchi Liu, Dong Hua, Xiaoyan Ding, Xiaoyang Zhou, Jie Zeng, Huacheng Yan and Jintao Li
Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071394 - 26 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1839
Abstract
Dengue virus, the causative agent of dengue fever, life-threatening hemorrhagic fever, and shock syndrome, is mainly transmitted to humans through mosquito vectors. It can also be transmitted through atypical routes, including needle stick injury, vertical transmission, blood transfusion, and organ transplantation. In addition, [...] Read more.
Dengue virus, the causative agent of dengue fever, life-threatening hemorrhagic fever, and shock syndrome, is mainly transmitted to humans through mosquito vectors. It can also be transmitted through atypical routes, including needle stick injury, vertical transmission, blood transfusion, and organ transplantation. In addition, sporadic cases which have no clear infectious causes have raised the respiratory exposure concerns, and the risks remain unclear. Here, we analyze the respiratory infectivity of the dengue virus in BALB/c suckling and adult immunodeficient mice by the intranasal inoculation of dengue virus serotype 2. The infected mice presented with clinical symptoms, including excitement, emaciation, malaise, and death. Viremia was detected for 3 days post inoculation. Histopathological changes were observed in the brain, liver, and spleen. The virus showed evident brain tropism post inoculation and viral loads peaked at 7 days post inoculation. Furthermore, the virus was isolated from the infected mice; the sequence homology between the origin and isolates was 99.99%. Similar results were observed in adult IFN-α/β receptor-deficient mice. Overall, dengue virus can infect suckling mice and adult immune-deficient mice via the nasal route. This study broadens our perception of atypical dengue transmission routes and provides evidence of nasal transmission of dengue virus in the absence of mosquito vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 608 KiB  
Article
Implementation of Antibiotic Stewardship Improves the Quality of Blood Culture Diagnostics at an Intensive Care Unit of a University Hospital
by Sarah V. Walker, Benedict Steffens, David Sander and Wolfgang A. Wetsch
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(13), 3675; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11133675 - 25 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1498
Abstract
Background: Bloodstream infections increase morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients and pose a significant burden for health care systems worldwide. Optimal blood culture diagnostics are essential for early detection and specific treatment. After assessing the quality parameters at a surgical intensive care [...] Read more.
Background: Bloodstream infections increase morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients and pose a significant burden for health care systems worldwide. Optimal blood culture diagnostics are essential for early detection and specific treatment. After assessing the quality parameters at a surgical intensive care unit for six months, we implemented a diagnostic stewardship bundle (DSB) to optimize blood culture diagnostics and then reevaluated its effects after six months. Material and Methods: All patients ≥18 years old and on the ward were included: pre-DSB 137 and post-DSB 158. The standard quality parameters were defined as the number of blood culture sets per diagnostic episode (≥2), the rate of contamination (2–3%), the rate of positivity (5–15%), the collection site (≥1 venipuncture per episode) and the filling volume of the bottles (8–10 mL, only post-DSB). The DSB included an informational video, a standard operating procedure, and ready-to-use paper crates with three culture sets. Results: From pre- to post-interventional, the number of ≥2 culture sets per episode increased from 63.9% (257/402) to 81.3% (230/283), and venipunctures increased from 42.5% (171/402) to 77.4% (219/283). The positivity rate decreased from 15.1% (108/714) to 12.8% (83/650), as did the contamination rate (3.8% to 3.6%). The majority of the aerobic bottles were filled within the target range (255/471, 54.1%), but in 96.6%, the anaerobic bottles were overfilled (451/467). Conclusions: The implementation of DSB improved the quality parameters at the unit, thus optimizing the blood culture diagnostics. Further measures seem necessary to decrease the contamination rate and optimize bottle filling significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 739 KiB  
Article
Dynamics of HIV Reservoir and HIV-1 Viral Splicing in HCV-Exposed Individuals after Elimination with DAAs or Spontaneous Clearance
by Paula Martínez-Román, Celia Crespo-Bermejo, Daniel Valle-Millares, Violeta Lara-Aguilar, Sonia Arca-Lafuente, Luz Martín-Carbonero, Pablo Ryan, Ignacio de los Santos, María Rosa López-Huertas, Claudia Palladino, María Muñoz-Muñoz, Amanda Fernández-Rodríguez, Mayte Coiras, Verónica Briz and on behalf of the COVIHEP network
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(13), 3579; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11133579 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2040
Abstract
Background: Although human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reservoir size is very stable under antiretroviral therapy (ART), individuals exposed to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) (chronically coinfected and spontaneous clarifiers) show an increase in HIV reservoir size and in spliced viral RNA, which [...] Read more.
Background: Although human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reservoir size is very stable under antiretroviral therapy (ART), individuals exposed to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) (chronically coinfected and spontaneous clarifiers) show an increase in HIV reservoir size and in spliced viral RNA, which could indicate that the viral protein regulator Tat is being more actively synthesized and, thus, could lead to a higher yield of new HIV. However, it is still unknown whether the effect of HCV elimination with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) could modify the HIV reservoir and splicing. Methods: This longitudinal study (48 weeks’ follow-up after sustained virological response) involves 22 HIV+-monoinfected individuals, 17 HIV+/HCV- spontaneous clarifiers, and 24 HIV+/HCV+ chronically infected subjects who eliminated HCV with DAAs (all of them aviremic, viral load < 50). Viral-spliced RNA transcripts and proviral DNA copies were quantified by qPCR. Paired samples were analyzed using a mixed generalized linear model. Results: A decrease in HIV proviral DNA was observed in HIV+/HCV- subjects, but no significant differences were found for the other study groups. An increased production of multiple spliced transcripts was found in HIV+ and HIV+/HCV+ individuals. Conclusions: We conclude that elimination of HCV by DAAs was unable to revert the consequences derived from chronic HCV infection for the reservoir size and viral splicing, which could indicate an increased risk of rapid HIV-reservoir reactivation. Moreover, spontaneous clarifiers showed a significant decrease in the HIV reservoir, likely due to an enhanced immune response in these individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 554 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness and Safety of High-Dose Dual Therapy: Results of the European Registry on the Management of Helicobacterpylori Infection (Hp-EuReg)
by Luis Fernández-Salazar, Ana Campillo, Luis Rodrigo, Ángeles Pérez-Aisa, Jesús M. González-Santiago, Xavier Segarra Ortega, Maja Denkovski, Natasa Brglez Jurecic, Luis Bujanda, Blas José Gómez Rodríguez, Juan Ortuño, Sotirios Georgopoulos, Laimas Jonaitis, Ignasi Puig, Olga P. Nyssen, Francis Megraud, Colm O’Morain and Javier P. Gisbert
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(12), 3544; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11123544 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2491
Abstract
Background: Randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses, primarily from Asian countries, have reported good effectiveness with high-dose dual therapy (HDDT) including a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) and amoxicillin when prescribed as H. pylori first-line or rescue treatment. However, combining amoxicillin with PPIs in the [...] Read more.
Background: Randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses, primarily from Asian countries, have reported good effectiveness with high-dose dual therapy (HDDT) including a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) and amoxicillin when prescribed as H. pylori first-line or rescue treatment. However, combining amoxicillin with PPIs in the 1990s in several European countries yielded suboptimal results. Methods: An international, multicenter, prospective non-interventional Registry (Hp-EuReg) aimed to evaluate the decisions and outcomes of H. pylori management by European gastroenterologists. All infected adult cases treated with HDDT were registered at e-CRF AEG-REDCap platform until June 2021. Sixty patients were prescribed with HDDT (98% compliance), 19 of them received a first-line therapy and 41 a rescue treatment (second- to sixth-line). Results: Overall HDDT effectiveness was 52% (per-protocol) and 51% (modified intention-to-treat). First-line and rescue treatment lines were equally effective, but the effectiveness was worse when patients had previously received metronidazole, tetracycline, or rifabutin. Adding bismuth to HDDT in rescue treatment did not yield better results. The incidence of adverse events was 30%, diarrhea being the most common (20% of patients); no serious adverse events were reported. Conclusion: Although HDDT is safe and has good compliance, it is not a good option in European first-line or rescue H. pylori treatment, even when adding bismuth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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16 pages, 2004 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Clinical Characterisation of Brain Fog in Adults Reporting Long COVID Symptoms
by Glenn Jennings, Ann Monaghan, Feng Xue, Eoin Duggan and Román Romero-Ortuño
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(12), 3440; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11123440 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 8541
Abstract
(1) Introduction: A subset of individuals experiencing long COVID symptoms are affected by ‘brain fog’, a lay term that often refers to general cognitive dysfunction but one that is still poorly characterised. In this study, a comprehensive clinical characterisation of self-reported brain fog [...] Read more.
(1) Introduction: A subset of individuals experiencing long COVID symptoms are affected by ‘brain fog’, a lay term that often refers to general cognitive dysfunction but one that is still poorly characterised. In this study, a comprehensive clinical characterisation of self-reported brain fog was conducted vis-à-vis other long COVID symptoms and parameters of mental, cognitive, and physical health. (2) Methodology: Adult participants reporting long COVID symptoms were recruited from hospital clinics and as self-referrals. Participants completed a battery of questionnaires and clinical assessments, including COVID-19 history, symptomatology, self-reported scales (Chalder Fatigue Scale [CFQ], Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, and Impact of Events Scale–Revised), computer-based cognitive assessments (simple response time and choice reaction time tasks), physical performance tests (gait velocity and muscle strength assessments), and an orthostatic active stand test. A systematic comparison between participants with and without self-reported brain fog was conducted, and a backwards binary logistic regression model was computed to identify the strongest independent associations with brain fog. This was complemented by an automatic cluster analysis to rank the importance of associations. Finally, a structural equation model was postulated with a causal model of key symptomatic indicators and functional consequences of brain fog as a latent variable. (3) Results: Of 108 participants assessed, brain fog was a self-reported symptom in 71 (65.7%) participants. Those with brain fog were at a longer point in time since COVID-19 onset and reported longer duration of low activity during the acute illness. When assessed, those with brain fog had higher frequencies of subjective memory impairment, word-finding difficulties, dizziness, myalgia, arthralgia, hyperhidrosis, cough, voice weakness, throat pain, visual and hearing problems, dysosmia, paraesthesia, chest pain, skin rashes, and hair loss; mean scores in fatigue, depression, and post-traumatic stress scales were higher; performance in both computer-based cognitive tasks was poorer; and measured gait speed and grip strength were lower. The logistic regression suggested that the best independent associations with brain fog were memory impairment, CFQ, and myalgia. The cluster analysis suggested that the most important associations with brain fog were CFQ, dizziness, myalgia, reduced gait speed, word-finding difficulties, reduced grip strength, and memory impairment. The SEM was consistent with key indicators of brain fog being CFQ, dizziness, myalgia, word-finding difficulties, and memory impairment; and reduced grip strength, gait speed, and cognitive response times its functional consequences. (4) Conclusions: The findings indicate that self-reported brain fog in long COVID is a recognisable symptom cluster primarily characterised by fatigue, dizziness, myalgia, word-finding difficulties, and memory impairment and has adverse psychological and psychomotor correlates. In long COVID, brain fog should be regarded as a wide-ranging symptom and addressed holistically with medical, psychological, and rehabilitative supports as guided by individual needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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26 pages, 1397 KiB  
Article
C-Reactive Protein and Serum Albumin Ratio: A Feasible Prognostic Marker in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19
by Vicente Giner-Galvañ, Francisco José Pomares-Gómez, José Antonio Quesada, Manuel Rubio-Rivas, Javier Tejada-Montes, Jesús Baltasar-Corral, María Luisa Taboada-Martínez, Blanca Sánchez-Mesa, Francisco Arnalich-Fernández, Esther Del Corral-Beamonte, Almudena López-Sampalo, Paula María Pesqueira-Fontán, Mar Fernández-Garcés, Ricardo Gómez-Huelgas, José Manuel Ramos-Rincón and on behalf of the SEMI-COVID-19 Network
Biomedicines 2022, 10(6), 1393; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10061393 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2205
Abstract
(1) Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) and albumin are inflammatory markers. We analyzed the prognostic capacity of serum albumin (SA) and CRP for an outcome comprising mortality, length of stay, ICU admission, and non-invasive mechanical ventilation in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. (2) Methods: We conducted [...] Read more.
(1) Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) and albumin are inflammatory markers. We analyzed the prognostic capacity of serum albumin (SA) and CRP for an outcome comprising mortality, length of stay, ICU admission, and non-invasive mechanical ventilation in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. (2) Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study based on the Spanish national SEMI-COVID-19 Registry. Two multivariate logistic models were adjusted for SA, CRP, and their combination. Training and testing samples were used to validate the models. (3) Results: The outcome was present in 41.1% of the 3471 participants, who had lower SA (mean [SD], 3.5 [0.6] g/dL vs. 3.8 [0.5] g/dL; p < 0.001) and higher CRP (108.9 [96.5] mg/L vs. 70.6 [70.3] mg/L; p < 0.001). In the adjusted multivariate model, both were associated with poorer evolution: SA, OR 0.674 (95% CI, 0.551–0.826; p < 0.001); CRP, OR 1.002 (95% CI, 1.001–1.004; p = 0.003). The CRP/SA model had a similar predictive capacity (honest AUC, 0.8135 [0.7865–0.8405]), with a continuously increasing risk and cutoff value of 25 showing the highest predictive capacity (OR, 1.470; 95% CI, 1.188–1.819; p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: SA and CRP are good independent predictors of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. For the CRP/SA ratio value, 25 is the cutoff for poor clinical course. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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14 pages, 1649 KiB  
Article
Development of a Singleplex Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase PCR Assay for Pan-Dengue Virus Detection and Quantification
by Adisak Songjaeng, Somchai Thiemmeca, Dumrong Mairiang, Nuntaya Punyadee, Kessiri Kongmanas, Prachya Hansuealueang, Nattaya Tangthawornchaikul, Thaneeya Duangchinda, Juthathip Mongkolsapaya, Kanokwan Sriruksa, Wannee Limpitikul, Prida Malasit and Panisadee Avirutnan
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061271 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2778
Abstract
Dengue virus (DENV) infection is a significant global health problem. There are no specific therapeutics or widely available vaccines. Early diagnosis is critical for patient management. Viral RNA detection by multiplex RT-PCR using multiple pairs of primers/probes allowing the simultaneous detection of all [...] Read more.
Dengue virus (DENV) infection is a significant global health problem. There are no specific therapeutics or widely available vaccines. Early diagnosis is critical for patient management. Viral RNA detection by multiplex RT-PCR using multiple pairs of primers/probes allowing the simultaneous detection of all four DENV serotypes is commonly used. However, increasing the number of primers in the RT-PCR reaction reduces the sensitivity of detection due to the increased possibility of primer dimer formation. Here, a one tube, singleplex real-time RT-PCR specific to DENV 3′-UTR was developed for the detection and quantification of pan-DENV with no cross reactivity to other flaviviruses. The sensitivity of DENV detection was as high as 96.9% in clinical specimens collected at the first day of hospitalization. Our assay provided equivalent PCR efficiency and RNA quantification among each DENV serotype. The assay’s performance was comparable with previously established real-time RT-PCR targeting coding sequences. Using both assays on the same specimens, our results indicate the presence of defective virus particles in the circulation of patients infected with all serotypes. Dual regions targeting RT-PCR enhanced the sensitivity of viral genome detection especially during the late acute phase when viremia rapidly decline and an incomplete viral genome was clinically evident. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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16 pages, 611 KiB  
Review
Mechanism of Viral Suppression among HIV Elite Controllers and Long-Term Nonprogressors in Nigeria and South Africa
by Rahaman Ademolu Ahmed, Khalid Olajide Adekoya, Chika Kingsley Onwuamah, Bolanle Olufunmilayo Oboh, Smita Swaminathan Iyer, Ayomide Samuel Oluwatosin, Rosemary Ajuma Audu and Oliver Chukwujekwu Ezechi
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061270 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2664
Abstract
A subgroup among people living with HIV (PLHIV) experience viral suppression, sometimes to an undetectable level in the blood and/or are able to maintain a healthy CD4+ T-cell count without the influence of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. One out of three hundred PLHIV fall [...] Read more.
A subgroup among people living with HIV (PLHIV) experience viral suppression, sometimes to an undetectable level in the blood and/or are able to maintain a healthy CD4+ T-cell count without the influence of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. One out of three hundred PLHIV fall into this category, and a large sample of this group can be found in areas with a high prevalence of HIV infection such as Nigeria and South Africa. Understanding the mechanism underpinning the nonprogressive phenotype in this subgroup may provide insights into the control of the global HIV epidemic. This work provides mechanisms of the elite control and nonprogressive phenotype among PLHIV in Nigeria and South Africa and identifies research gaps that will contribute to a better understanding on HIV controllers among PLHIV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 524 KiB  
Article
Antibody Response Induced by BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 Vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 in a Cohort of Healthcare Workers
by Juan F. Delgado, Antoni Berenguer-Llergo, Germà Julià, Gema Navarro, Mateu Espasa, Sara Rodríguez, Noemí Sánchez, Eva Van Den Eynde, Marta Navarro, Joan Calvet, Jordi Gratacós, Rosa M. Serrano, Pilar Peña and María J. Amengual
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1235; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061235 - 7 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2522
Abstract
The aim of this study was to characterize the antibody response induced by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in a cohort of healthcare workers. A total of 2247 serum samples were analyzed using the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S-test (Roche Diagnostics International Ltd., Rotkreuz, Switzerland). Sex, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to characterize the antibody response induced by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in a cohort of healthcare workers. A total of 2247 serum samples were analyzed using the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S-test (Roche Diagnostics International Ltd., Rotkreuz, Switzerland). Sex, age, body mass index (BMI), arterial hypertension, smoking and time between infection and/or vaccination and serology were considered the confounding factors. Regarding the medians, subjects previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 who preserved their response to the nucleocapsid (N) protein showed higher humoral immunogenicity (BNT162b2: 6456.0 U/mL median; mRNA-1273: 2505.0 U/mL) compared with non-infected (BNT162b2: 867.0 U/mL; mRNA-1273: 2300.5 U/mL) and infected subjects with a lost response to N protein (BNT162b2: 2992.0 U/mL). After controlling for the confounders, a higher response was still observed for mRNA-1273 compared with BNT162b2 in uninfected individuals (FC = 2.35, p < 0.0001) but not in previously infected subjects (1.11 FC, p = 0.1862). The lowest levels of antibodies were detected in previously infected non-vaccinated individuals (39.4 U/mL). Clinical variables previously linked to poor prognoses regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection, such as age, BMI and arterial hypertension, were positively associated with increasing levels of anti-S protein antibody exclusively in infected subjects. The mRNA-1273 vaccine generated a higher antibody response to the S protein than BNT162b2 in non-infected subjects only. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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7 pages, 1378 KiB  
Communication
Genomic Diversity of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant in South American Countries
by Nicolas Luna, Marina Muñoz, Angie L. Ramírez, Luz H. Patiño, Sergio Andres Castañeda, Nathalia Ballesteros and Juan David Ramírez
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061234 - 7 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 is one of the tools that provide genomic information on circulating variants. Given the recent emergence of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, this tool has provided data about this lineage’s genomic and epidemiological characteristics. However, in South America, this variant’s [...] Read more.
Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 is one of the tools that provide genomic information on circulating variants. Given the recent emergence of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, this tool has provided data about this lineage’s genomic and epidemiological characteristics. However, in South America, this variant’s arrival and genomic diversity are scarcely known. Therefore, this study determined the genomic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of 21,615 Omicron genomes available in public databases. We found that in South America, BA.1 (n = 15,449, 71%) and BA.1.1 (n = 6257, 29%) are the dominant sublineages, with several mutations that favor transmission and antibody evasion. In addition, these lineages showed cryptic transmission arriving on the continent in late September 2021. This event may have contributed to the dispersal of Omicron sublineages and the acquisition of new mutations. Considering the genomic and epidemiological characteristics of these lineages, especially those with a high number of mutations in their genome, it is important to conduct studies and surveillance on the dynamics of these lineages to identify the mechanisms of mutation acquisition and their impact on public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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17 pages, 1868 KiB  
Review
Colistin Monotherapy versus Colistin plus Meropenem Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Infection: A Meta-Analysis
by Chienhsiu Huang, Ihung Chen and Tiju Tang
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(11), 3239; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11113239 - 6 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4363
Abstract
(1) Introduction: Colistin combination therapy with other antibiotics is a way to enhance colistin activity. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to compare the efficacy and safety of treatment with colistin monotherapy versus colistin plus meropenem combination therapy in patients with drug-resistant Acinetobacter [...] Read more.
(1) Introduction: Colistin combination therapy with other antibiotics is a way to enhance colistin activity. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to compare the efficacy and safety of treatment with colistin monotherapy versus colistin plus meropenem combination therapy in patients with drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infection. (2) Methods: All studies were included if they reported one or more of the following outcomes: clinical improvement, complete microbiological response, 14-day mortality, hospital mortality, or nephrotoxicity. (3) Results: Three randomized controlled trials and seven retrospective studies were included in the meta-analysis. Colistin monotherapy has similar rates of clinical improvement, 14-day mortality, hospital mortality, and nephrotoxicity as colistin plus meropenem combination therapy. Regarding complete microbiological response, the colistin plus meropenem combination was better than colistin monotherapy. (4) Discussion: Previous meta-analyses demonstrated heterogeneity in study quality and a lack of evidence supporting the use of colistin-based combination therapy. Our meta-analysis clearly showed that colistin combined with meropenem was not superior to colistin monotherapy for the treatment of Acinetobacter baumannii infection. (5) Conclusions: The efficacy and safety of treatment with colistin monotherapy and that of colistin plus meropenem combination therapy in patients with drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infection were comparable. The majority of the evidence was obtained from nonrandomized studies, and high-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the role of colistin plus meropenem combination therapy in the treatment of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 3231 KiB  
Article
Deletion of Toxoplasma Rhoptry Protein 38 (PruΔrop38) as a Vaccine Candidate for Toxoplasmosis in a Murine Model
by Yayun Wu, Zihui Zhou, Zhu Ying, Ying Xu, Jing Liu and Qun Liu
Biomedicines 2022, 10(6), 1336; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10061336 - 6 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1663
Abstract
Toxoplasmosis is a serious zoonotic disease that threatens human and animal health. Here, we evaluated the vaccine potential of the deletion of Toxoplasma rhoptry protein 38 (PruΔrop38) through its pathogenicity and immunoprotective efficacy in mice. Mice inoculated intraperitoneally with 1 × [...] Read more.
Toxoplasmosis is a serious zoonotic disease that threatens human and animal health. Here, we evaluated the vaccine potential of the deletion of Toxoplasma rhoptry protein 38 (PruΔrop38) through its pathogenicity and immunoprotective efficacy in mice. Mice inoculated intraperitoneally with 1 × 103, 2 × 103, or 4 × 103 PruΔrop38 showed no visible signs, whereas mice inoculated with 1 × 103 parental Pru strain showed obvious wasting and bow-back, suggesting a significantly lower pathogenicity of PruΔrop38 in mice. Vaccination with 1 × 102 PruΔrop38 triggered a mixed Th1/Th2 response (Th1 response predominant), with higher IgG, IgG2a, and IgG1 levels in serum from week 3 to week 12, and a significant increase in IFN-γ, IL-12, and IL-10 in suspensions of splenocytes at 30 or 60 days post-immunization. All vaccinated mice survived when infected intraperitoneally with tachyzoites (RH, Pru, VEG, or TgcatBJ1) or when infected orally with cysts (Pru or ME49). The brain parasite burden during Pru tachyzoite, Pru cyst and ME49 cyst challenges were significantly reduced in vaccinated mice. The duration of immunization showed that vaccination with PruΔrop38 could protect mice from challenge with different varied genotypes of Toxoplasma strains against different routes of infection. Collectively, these findings indicate that PruΔrop38 is an attenuated strain that provides long-term protective efficacy against acute or chronic toxoplasmosis in mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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18 pages, 1666 KiB  
Review
Pediatric Infective Endocarditis: A Literature Review
by Lourdes Vicent, Raquel Luna and Manuel Martínez-Sellés
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(11), 3217; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11113217 - 5 Jun 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5245
Abstract
Infective endocarditis in children is a rare entity that poses multiple challenges. A history of congenital heart disease is the most common risk factor, although in recent years, other emerging predisposing conditions have gained relevance, such as central venous catheters carriers or children [...] Read more.
Infective endocarditis in children is a rare entity that poses multiple challenges. A history of congenital heart disease is the most common risk factor, although in recent years, other emerging predisposing conditions have gained relevance, such as central venous catheters carriers or children with chronic debilitating conditions; cases in previously healthy children with no medical history are also seen. Diagnosis is complex, although it has improved with the use of multimodal imaging techniques. Antibiotic treatment should be started early, according to causative microorganism and risk factors. Complications are frequent and continue to cause significant morbidity. Most studies have been conducted in adults and have been generalized to the pediatric population, with subsequent limitations. Our manuscript presents a comprehensive review of pediatric infective endocarditis, including recent advances in diagnosis and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 2894 KiB  
Article
Identification of a Novel HBV Encoded miRNA Using Next Generation Sequencing
by Vladimir Loukachov, Karel A. van Dort, Louis Jansen, Henk W. Reesink and Neeltje A. Kootstra
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061223 - 5 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) encoded miRNAs were previously described and suggested to play a role in HBV replication and pathogenesis. In this study we aim to identify novel HBV encoded miRNAs in plasma and liver tissue samples from chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients [...] Read more.
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) encoded miRNAs were previously described and suggested to play a role in HBV replication and pathogenesis. In this study we aim to identify novel HBV encoded miRNAs in plasma and liver tissue samples from chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients and determine their role in CHB pathogenesis and HBV replication. RNA next generation sequencing was performed on plasma and liver tissue samples from ten CHB patients and uninfected controls. The interaction of the potential miRNA-like structures with the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) was determined using RNA immunoprecipitation. Expression levels of the HBV encoded miRNAs were measured in liver tissue samples derived from a conformation cohort. The effect of HBV encoded miRNAs overexpression on HBV replication, expression of predicted target genes, and induction of interferon stimulated genes in cell lines were assessed. Three potential miRNA-like structures transcribed by HBV were identified in liver tissue, of which one miRNA, HBV-miR-6, was recognized using RISC. HBV-miR-6 expression was demonstrated in liver tissue samples from 52 of the 87 CHB patients. HBV-miR-6 levels correlated with hepatic HBV-DNA and plasma HBsAg levels. Overexpression of HBV-miR-6 in vitro did not affect HBV replication, and predicted both target genes expression and interferon stimulated genes expression after stimulation. A potential novel HBV encoded miRNA was identified and validated in liver tissue from CHB patients. It is suggested that HBV-miR-6 may play a role in the process of viral excretion or particle formation in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 2610 KiB  
Article
Age-Specific Characteristics of Adult and Pediatric Respiratory Viral Infections: A Retrospective Single-Center Study
by Jae Kyoon Hwang, Jae Yoon Na, Jihye Kim, Jae-Won Oh, Yong Joo Kim and Young-Jin Choi
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(11), 3197; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11113197 - 3 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
This study aimed to identify age-specific characteristics of respiratory viral infections. Hospitalized patients with confirmed viral respiratory infections were included in the sample. The patients were divided into the pediatric group (<19 years old) and the adult group (≥19 years old). The groups [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify age-specific characteristics of respiratory viral infections. Hospitalized patients with confirmed viral respiratory infections were included in the sample. The patients were divided into the pediatric group (<19 years old) and the adult group (≥19 years old). The groups were then subdivided based on age: 0–6, 7–12, 13–18, 19–49, 50–64, and ≥65 years old. These groups were compared to evaluate the differences in the pattern of respiratory viral infections. Among a total of 4058 pediatric patients (mean age 3.0 ± 2.9 years, n = 1793 females), 2829 (48.9%) had mono-infections, while 1229 (51.1%) had co-infections. Co-infections were the most common in the 0–6-year-old group (31.6%). Among 1550 adult patients (mean age 70.2 ± 15.3 years, n = 710 females), 1307 (85.6%) had mono-infections and 243 (14.4%) had co-infections. Co-infections were most common in the ≥65-year-old group (16.8%). Viral infection and co-infection rates decreased with age in pediatric patients but increased with increasing age in adults. In pediatric patients, the rates of viral infections and co-infections were high; the rate of co-infections was higher in younger patients. In adult patients, the rates of viral infections and co-infections were lower than those in pediatric patients; the rate of co-infections was higher in older patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 1690 KiB  
Article
Agrobacterium tumefaciens-Mediated Transformation of Candida glabrata
by Samantha D’Spain, Pilar I. Andrade, Nohelli E. Brockman, Jianmin Fu and Brian L. Wickes
J. Fungi 2022, 8(6), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8060596 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1898
Abstract
The use of broad-spectrum antimycotic therapy, immunosuppressive therapy, and indwelling medical devices has contributed to the increased frequency of mucosal and systemic infections caused by Candida glabrata. A major concern for C. glabrata and other Candida spp. infections is the increase in [...] Read more.
The use of broad-spectrum antimycotic therapy, immunosuppressive therapy, and indwelling medical devices has contributed to the increased frequency of mucosal and systemic infections caused by Candida glabrata. A major concern for C. glabrata and other Candida spp. infections is the increase in drug resistance. To address these issues, additional molecular tools for the study of C. glabrata are needed. In this investigation, we developed an Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation system for C. glabrata. A number of parameters were investigated to determine their effect on transformation frequency, and then an optimized protocol was developed. The optimal conditions for the transformation of C. glabrata were found to be an infection incubation temperature of 26 °C, 0.2 mM acetosyringone in both induction media and co-culture media, 0.7% agar concentration, and a multiplicity of infection of 50:1 A. tumefaciens to C. glabrata. Importantly, the frequency of multiple integrations was low (5%), demonstrating that A. tumefaciens generally integrates at single sites in C. glabrata, which is consistent with other fungal A. tumefaciens transformation systems. The development of this system in C. glabrata adds another tool for the molecular manipulation of this increasingly important fungal pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 266 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors Leading to Enucleation or Evisceration in Infectious Endophthalmitis
by Ambar N. Lugo Merly, Lorena A. Montalvo Toledo, Guillermo A. Requejo, Alexander Meléndez, Samuel Álvarez, Andrés López, Radames Ríos, Victor M. Villegas and Armando L. Oliver
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(11), 3145; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11113145 - 1 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1715
Abstract
Endophthalmitis treatment consists of intravitreal antibiotics injections and, in selected circumstances, pars plana vitrectomy. However, severe or refractory cases may require an enucleation or evisceration (ENEV). Our study seeks to identify risk factors leading to enucleation or evisceration in patients with infectious endophthalmitis. [...] Read more.
Endophthalmitis treatment consists of intravitreal antibiotics injections and, in selected circumstances, pars plana vitrectomy. However, severe or refractory cases may require an enucleation or evisceration (ENEV). Our study seeks to identify risk factors leading to enucleation or evisceration in patients with infectious endophthalmitis. A retrospective chart review of subjects with a clinical diagnosis of infectious endophthalmitis was undertaken. The affected eyes were stratified into groups: those that underwent ENEV and those in which the eyeball was preserved (EP). The groups were compared using statistical analyses. In total, 69 eyes diagnosed with infectious endophthalmitis were included in the study. There was a higher frequency of exogenous infectious endophthalmitis in the ENEV group versus the EP group. Postsurgical infectious endophthalmitis was lower in the ENEV than in the EP group. A visual acuity of no light perception was more common in the ENEV compared to the EP group. Panophthalmitis was more frequent in the ENEV versus the EP group. Our findings suggest that eyes with endophthalmitis presenting with a visual acuity of no light perception, panophthalmitis, or exogenous etiology have a higher risk of requiring ENEV. In addition, eyes with a postsurgical etiology may be at a lower risk of requiring ENEV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
10 pages, 516 KiB  
Article
Clinical Characteristics, Outcomes, and Risk Factors for Mortality in Patients with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Bacteremia
by Siripen Kanchanasuwan, Jakkapan Rongmuang, Pisud Siripaitoon, Narongdet Kositpantawong, Boonsri Charoenmak, Thanaporn Hortiwakul, Ozioma Forstinus Nwabor and Sarunyou Chusri
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(11), 3085; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11113085 - 30 May 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1830
Abstract
This study aimed to establish the clinical features, outcomes, and factors associated with mortality in patients with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) septicemia. The characteristics and outcome data used in this retrospective study were collected from medical records at Songklanagarind Hospital. [...] Read more.
This study aimed to establish the clinical features, outcomes, and factors associated with mortality in patients with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) septicemia. The characteristics and outcome data used in this retrospective study were collected from medical records at Songklanagarind Hospital. Risk factors for survival were analyzed using χ2-tests, Kaplan–Meier curves, and Cox regression. A total of 117 patients with S. maltophilia bacteremia were analyzed. The patients’ median age was 45 years, 77 (70%) were male, 105 (90%) had comorbidities, 112 (96%) had previously undergone carbapenem therapy, and over half of the patients were on invasive medical devices. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) and fluoroquinolone showed high susceptibility rates to S. maltophilia, with 93% and 88% susceptibility, respectively. Patients who received appropriate empirical antibiotic treatment had significantly reduced 14-day, 30-day, and in-hospital mortality rates than those who did not (p < 0.001). The days of hospital stay and costs for those who received appropriate and inappropriate empirical antimicrobial treatment were 21 and 34 days (p < 0.001) and 142,463 and 185,663 baht, respectively (p < 0.002). Our results suggest that an appropriate empirical antibiotic(s) is significantly associated with lower 30-day mortality in hospitalized patients with S. maltophilia septicemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 1482 KiB  
Article
Reinforcement of the Standard Therapy with Two Infusions of Convalescent Plasma for Patients with COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial
by Joan Bargay-Lleonart, Fiorella Sarubbo, Maria Arrizabalaga, José Maria Guerra, Josep Borràs, Khaoulah El Haji, Magdalena Flexas, Jorge Perales, Victoria Fernández-Baca, Carmen Gallegos, Manuel Raya Cruz, Sonia Velasco, Víctor López, Ana Cruz, Antonia Bautista-Gili, Teresa Jimenez-Marco, Enric Girona-Llobera, Laia Vilaplana, Laura Calonge, Juan Tena, Maria Pilar Galán and Antoni Payerasadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(11), 3039; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11113039 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2457
Abstract
Background: The aim was to evaluate the reinforcement of the standard therapy with hyperimmune plasma (HP) in Coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) patients. Methods: Open-label, multicenter, randomized clinical trial performed in three hospitals in the Balearic Islands. Non-severe COVID-19 hospitalized patients with clinical time evolution [...] Read more.
Background: The aim was to evaluate the reinforcement of the standard therapy with hyperimmune plasma (HP) in Coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) patients. Methods: Open-label, multicenter, randomized clinical trial performed in three hospitals in the Balearic Islands. Non-severe COVID-19 hospitalized patients with clinical time evolution equal to/less than 7 days were included, and randomized in: plasma group (PG) (n = 37), receiving 600 mL divided into two doses from convalescent plasma donor, administered on days 1 and 2 after the enrollment; and control group (CG) (n = 17). Primary outcome was the time for clinical improvement within 21 days, defined as patient achievement of categories 8, 7, and 6 in the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial scale (ACTT). The trial was terminated early due to the impossibility of recruitment due to the pandemic. Results: PG presented better scores on the ACTT scale at 7 days after HP infusion, whereas CG was needed 14 days to achieve similar results. The plasma infusion was safe. Conclusions: Despite the tendency observed in the plasma group to achieve slightly earlier better physical condition compared with the standard treatment alone. The administration of HP has been shown to be a safe therapy. No robust evidence was found to affirm a therapeutic effect of the early administration of two infusions of HP for non-severe COVID-19 infected patients. The interpretation is limited by the early termination of the trial, which resulted in a small sample size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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7 pages, 2312 KiB  
Case Report
Isavuconazole Treatment of Spinal Cord Invasive Aspergillosis Guided by Cerebrospinal Fluid (1,3)-β-d-Glucan Levels in a Patient with Low Interferon-Gamma and Ulcerative Colitis
by Siobhan O’Regan, Brendan O’Kelly, Paul Reidy, Aoibhlinn O’Toole, John Caird, Cora McNally, Samuel McConkey and Eoghan De Barra
J. Fungi 2022, 8(6), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8060557 - 25 May 2022
Viewed by 2065
Abstract
This case highlights the use of (1,3)-beta-d glucan to direct treatment of a cervical spinal cord Aspergillus fumigatus infection in a 22-year-old woman immunocompromised due to steroid and anti-TNF therapy in the context of ulcerative colitis and interferon gamma deficiency. A 4-year treatment [...] Read more.
This case highlights the use of (1,3)-beta-d glucan to direct treatment of a cervical spinal cord Aspergillus fumigatus infection in a 22-year-old woman immunocompromised due to steroid and anti-TNF therapy in the context of ulcerative colitis and interferon gamma deficiency. A 4-year treatment course requiring neurosurgical intervention on four occasions and prolonged antifungal therapy, including isavuconazole, resulted in clinical cure with a corresponding decrease in CSF beta-d-glucan to <30 pg/mL. Serum and CSF galactomannan levels were not elevated at any point during the clinical course. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 3042 KiB  
Article
Mongolia Gerbils Are Broadly Susceptible to Hepatitis E Virus
by Wenjing Zhang, Yasushi Ami, Yuriko Suzaki, Yen Hai Doan, Masamichi Muramatsu and Tian-Cheng Li
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061125 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1797
Abstract
Although cell culture systems for hepatitis E virus (HEV) have been established by using cell lines such as PLC/PRF/5 and A549, small-animal models for this virus are limited. Since Mongolia gerbils are susceptible to genotype 1, 3 and 4 HEV (HEV-1, HEV-3 and [...] Read more.
Although cell culture systems for hepatitis E virus (HEV) have been established by using cell lines such as PLC/PRF/5 and A549, small-animal models for this virus are limited. Since Mongolia gerbils are susceptible to genotype 1, 3 and 4 HEV (HEV-1, HEV-3 and HEV4), we intraperitoneally inoculated Mongolia gerbils with HEV-5, HEV-7, HEV-8, rabbit HEV or rat HEV in addition to the above three genotypes to investigate the infectivity and to assess whether Mongolia gerbil is an appropriate animal model for HEV infection. The results indicated that (i) HEV-5 and rat HEV were effectively replicated in the Mongolia gerbils in the same manner as HEV-4: large amounts of the viral RNA were detected in the feces and livers, and high titers of the serum anti-HEV IgG antibodies were induced in all animals. The feces were shown to contain HEV that is infectious to naïve gerbils. Furthermore, HEV-4, HEV-5 and rat HEV were successfully transmitted to the gerbils by oral inoculation. (ii) Although the viral RNA and serum anti-HEV IgG antibodies were detected in all animals inoculated with HEV-1 and HEV-8, both titers were low. The viral RNA was detected in the feces collected from two of three HEV-3-inoculated, and one of three HEV-7-inoculated gerbils, but the titers were low. The serum antibody titers were also low. The viruses excreted into the feces of HEV-1-, HEV-3-, HEV-7- and HEV-8-inoculated gerbils failed to infect naïve Mongolia gerbils. (iii) No infection sign was observed in the rabbit HEV-inoculated gerbils. These results demonstrated that Mongolia gerbils are broadly susceptible to HEV, and their degree of sensitivity was dependent on the genotype. Mongolia gerbils were observed to be susceptible to not only HEVs belonging to HEV-A but also to rat HEV belonging to HEV-C1, and thus Mongolia gerbil could be useful as a small-animal model for cross-protection experiments between HEV-A and HEV-C1. Mongolia gerbils may also be useful for the evaluation of the efficacy of vaccines against HEV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 764 KiB  
Article
Association between Following the ESCMID Guidelines for the Management of Candidemia and Mortality: A Retrospective Cohort Study
by Charles Maurille, Julie Bonhomme, Anaïs R. Briant, Jean-Jacques Parienti, Renaud Verdon and Anna Lucie Fournier
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050541 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2123
Abstract
Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between ESCMID adherence and 30-day mortality in candidemia. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study in two French tertiary-care hospitals. All patients with at least one positive blood culture (BC) for Candida [...] Read more.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between ESCMID adherence and 30-day mortality in candidemia. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study in two French tertiary-care hospitals. All patients with at least one positive blood culture (BC) for Candida spp. between January 2013 and December 2019 were included. An adherent case was defined as a candidemia case for which the treatment fulfilled a bundle of defined criteria based on the latest ESCMID recommendations. We explored factors associated with adherence to ESCMID recommendations in an unadjusted model, and we used a propensity score method to address potential channeling biases with regard to 30-day mortality. Results: During the study period, 165 cases of candidemia were included. Among the ESCMID criteria, funduscopic examination was not performed in 45% and neither was echocardiography in 31%, while the ESCMID criteria were fully implemented in 44 cases (27%). In the propensity score analysis, the all-cause 30-day mortality rate was significantly lower among adherent cases (3.4/36.6, 9%) than among nonadherent cases (42.4/119.5, 36%) (OR = 5.3 95% CI [1.6–17.1]). Conclusions: In our study, adherence to the bundle of criteria for candidemia management was associated with increased survival, supporting additional efforts to implement these recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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18 pages, 2124 KiB  
Article
Elevated Ozone Concentration and Nitrogen Addition Increase Poplar Rust Severity by Shifting the Phyllosphere Microbial Community
by Siqi Tao, Yunxia Zhang, Chengming Tian, Sébastien Duplessis and Naili Zhang
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050523 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2347
Abstract
Tropospheric ozone and nitrogen deposition are two major environmental pollutants. A great deal of research has focused on the negative impacts of elevated O3 and the complementary effect of soil N addition on the physiological properties of trees. However, it has been [...] Read more.
Tropospheric ozone and nitrogen deposition are two major environmental pollutants. A great deal of research has focused on the negative impacts of elevated O3 and the complementary effect of soil N addition on the physiological properties of trees. However, it has been overlooked how elevated O3 and N addition affect tree immunity in face of pathogen infection, as well as of the important roles of phyllosphere microbiome community in host–pathogen–environment interplay. Here, we examined the effects of elevated O3 and soil N addition on poplar leaf rust [Melampsora larici-populina] severity of two susceptible hybrid poplars [clone ‘107’: Populus euramericana cv. ‘74/76’; clone ‘546’: P. deltoides Í P. cathayana] in Free-Air-Controlled-Environment plots, in addition, the link between Mlp-susceptibility and changes in microbial community was determined using Miseq amplicon sequencing. Rust severity of clone ‘107’ significantly increased under elevated O3 or N addition only; however, the negative impact of elevated O3 could be significantly mitigated when accompanied by N addition, likewise, this trade-off was reflected in its phyllosphere microbial α-diversity responding to elevated O3 and N addition. However, rust severity of clone ‘546’ did not differ significantly in the cases of elevated O3 and N addition. Mlp infection altered microbial community composition and increased its sensitivity to elevated O3, as determined by the markedly different abundance of taxa. Elevated O3 and N addition reduced the complexity of microbial community, which may explain the increased severity of poplar rust. These findings suggest that poplars require a changing phyllosphere microbial associations to optimize plant immunity in response to environmental changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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21 pages, 2999 KiB  
Article
Heme Oxygenase-1 (HMX1) Loss of Function Increases the In-Host Fitness of the Saccharomyces ‘boulardii’ Probiotic Yeast in a Mouse Fungemia Model
by Alexandra Imre, Renátó Kovács, Zoltán Tóth, László Majoros, Zsigmond Benkő, Walter P. Pfliegler and István Pócsi
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050522 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 3058
Abstract
The use of yeast-containing probiotics is on the rise; however, these products occasionally cause fungal infections and possibly even fungemia among susceptible probiotic-treated patients. The incidence of such cases is probably underestimated, which is why it is important to delve deeper into the [...] Read more.
The use of yeast-containing probiotics is on the rise; however, these products occasionally cause fungal infections and possibly even fungemia among susceptible probiotic-treated patients. The incidence of such cases is probably underestimated, which is why it is important to delve deeper into the pathomechanism and the adaptive features of S. ‘boulardii’. Here in this study, the potential role of the gene heme oxygenase-1 (HMX1) in probiotic yeast bloodstream-derived infections was studied by generating marker-free HMX1 deletion mutants with CRISPR/Cas9 technology from both commercial and clinical S. ‘boulardii’ isolates. The six commercial and clinical yeasts used here represented closely related but different genetic backgrounds as revealed by comparative genomic analysis. We compared the wild-type isolates against deletion mutants for their tolerance of iron starvation, hemolytic activity, as well as kidney burden in immunosuppressed BALB/c mice after lateral tail vein injection. Our results reveal that the lack of HMX1 in S. ‘boulardii’ significantly (p < 0.0001) increases the kidney burden of the mice in most genetic backgrounds, while at the same time causes decreased growth in iron-deprived media in vitro. These findings indicate that even a single-gene loss-of-function mutation can, surprisingly, cause elevated fitness in the host during an opportunistic systemic infection. Our findings indicate that the safety assessment of S. ‘boulardii’ strains should not only take strain-to-strain variation into account, but also avoid extrapolating in vitro results to in vivo virulence factor determination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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18 pages, 1703 KiB  
Article
Hepatitis B Virus Infection among Japanese Immigrants and Descendants: The Need to Strengthen Preventive and Control Measures
by Luiz Henrique Ferraz Demarchi, Larissa Melo Bandeira, Deborah Ledesma Taira, Marina Castilhos Souza Umaki Zardin, Mary Luizia Ibanhes, Ana Olivia Pascoto Esposito, Larissa Domingues Castilho De Arruda, Crhistinne Cavalheiro Maymone Gonçalves, Sabrina Moreira dos Santos Weis-Torres, Gabriela Alves Cesar, Rivaldo Venâncio Da Cunha, Tayana Serpa Ortiz Tanaka, Marco Antonio Moreira Puga, Grazielli Rocha De Rezende, Roberta Barbosa Lopes, Silvia Naomi de Oliveira Uehara, João Renato Rebello Pinho, Flair Jose Carrilho, Michele Soares Gomes-Gouvêa and Ana Rita Coimbra Motta-Castro
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 1085; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14051085 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2364
Abstract
This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of Hepatitis B virus infection among Japanese immigrants and their descendants from São Paulo (SP), and to verify the occurrence of occult hepatitis B and coinfection with HCV, Delta, and HTLV. All [...] Read more.
This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of Hepatitis B virus infection among Japanese immigrants and their descendants from São Paulo (SP), and to verify the occurrence of occult hepatitis B and coinfection with HCV, Delta, and HTLV. All samples (n = 2.127) were tested for HBV serological markers by electrochemiluminescence. HBsAg and/or total anti-HBc positive samples were tested for HBV DNA by real-time PCR, and genotyped by sequencing using the Sanger methodology. The prevalence rate of HBV exposure was 13.4% (CI 95%: 11.9–14.9%), and 22 (1.1%) were HBsAg positive. A high rate of susceptibility to HBV infection was found (67.4%; CI 95%: 65.4–69.4%). In contrast, only 19.2% (CI 95%: 17.6–20.9%) presented a serological profile analogous to that elicited by Hepatitis B vaccination. HBV isolates (n = 8) were classified as genotypes HBV/B1 (62.5%), HBV/C2 (12.5%), HBV/F1b (12.5%), and HBV/A1 (12.5%). Hepatitis B vaccination strategies and educational measures to control this infection should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Predictors of Poor Outcome among Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients: A Nationally Representative Sample of the Saudi Arabian Population
by Masaad Saeed Almutairi, Ahmed M. Assiri and Omar A. Almohammed
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(10), 2818; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11102818 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1628
Abstract
The outbreak and continuing impact of COVID-19 have significantly increased the rates of hospitalization and admissions to intensive care units (ICU). This study evaluates clinical outcomes in critically ill patients and investigates variables tied to poor prognosis. A secondary database analysis was conducted [...] Read more.
The outbreak and continuing impact of COVID-19 have significantly increased the rates of hospitalization and admissions to intensive care units (ICU). This study evaluates clinical outcomes in critically ill patients and investigates variables tied to poor prognosis. A secondary database analysis was conducted to investigate the predictors of poor outcome among critically ill COVID-19 patients in Saudi Arabia. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between various demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and COVID-19 symptoms and patients’ poor prognosis, as a composite outcome. A total of 2257 critically ill patients were identified (male (71.8%), and elderly (37.3%)). The mortality rate was 50.0%, and the composite poor outcome was 68.4%. The predictors of poor outcome were being elderly (OR = 4.79, 95%CI 3.19–7.18), obesity (OR = 1.43, 95%CI 1.1–1.87), having a severe or critical case at admission (OR = 6.46, 95%CI 2.34–17.8; OR = 22.3, 95%CI 11.0–45, respectively), and some signs and symptoms of COVID-19 such as shortness of breath, feeling fatigued or headache, respiratory rate ≥ 30/min, PaO2/FiO2 ratio < 300, and altered consciousness. In conclusion, identifying high-risk populations that are expected to have a poor prognosis based on their criteria upon admission helps policymakers and practitioners better triage patients when faced with limited healthcare resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
12 pages, 1589 KiB  
Article
Epidemiology and Molecular Analyses of Influenza B Viruses in Senegal from 2010 to 2019
by Cheikh Talibouya Touré, Amary Fall, Soa Fy Andriamandimby, Mamadou Malado Jallow, Deborah Goudiaby, Davy Kiori, Sara Sy, Yague Diaw, Koba Ndiende Ndiaye, Fatimata Mbaye, Mbayang Ndiaye Niang, Jean Michel Heraud and Ndongo Dia
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14051063 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2455
Abstract
Influenza virus types A and B are responsible for acute viral infections that affect annually 1 billion people, with 290,000 to 650,000 deaths worldwide. In this study, we investigated the circulation of influenza B viruses over a 10-year period (2010–2019). Specimens from patients [...] Read more.
Influenza virus types A and B are responsible for acute viral infections that affect annually 1 billion people, with 290,000 to 650,000 deaths worldwide. In this study, we investigated the circulation of influenza B viruses over a 10-year period (2010–2019). Specimens from patients suspected of influenza infection were collected. Influenza detection was performed following RNA extraction and real-time RT-PCR. Genes coding for hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) of influenza B viruses were partially sequenced, and phylogenetic analyses were carried out subsequently. During the study period, we received and tested a total of 15,156 specimens. Influenza B virus was detected in 1322 (8.7%) specimens. The mean age of influenza B positive patients was 10.9 years. When compared to reference viruses, HA genes from Senegalese circulating viruses showed deletions in the HA1 region. Phylogenetic analysis highlighted the co-circulation of B/Victoria and B/Yamagata lineage viruses with reassortant viruses. We also noted a clear seasonal pattern of circulation of influenza B viruses in Senegal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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16 pages, 4819 KiB  
Article
In Vivo Efficacy of Amphotericin B against Four Candida auris Clades
by Lajos Forgács, Andrew M. Borman, Renátó Kovács, Dávid Balázsi, Zoltán Tóth, Bence Balázs, Chiu Chun-Ju, Gábor Kardos, Ilona Kovacs and László Majoros
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050499 - 11 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2476
Abstract
Candida auris is a multidrug-resistant fungus against which in some clinical situations amphotericin B (AMB) remains the alternative or first line drug. We compared daily 1 mg/kg of AMB efficacy in a neutropenic murine bloodstream infection model against 10 isolates representing four C. [...] Read more.
Candida auris is a multidrug-resistant fungus against which in some clinical situations amphotericin B (AMB) remains the alternative or first line drug. We compared daily 1 mg/kg of AMB efficacy in a neutropenic murine bloodstream infection model against 10 isolates representing four C. auris clades (South Asian n = 2; East Asian n = 2; South African n = 2; South American n = 4; two of which were of environmental origin). Five days of AMB treatment significantly increased the survival rates in mice infected with isolates of the East Asian clade, and 1 isolate each from the South African and South American clades (originated from bloodstream), but not in mice infected with the South Asian and 2 environmental isolates from the South American clades. AMB treatment decreased the fungal burden in mice infected with the 2 isolates each from East Asian and South African, and 1 out of 2 bloodstream isolates from South American clades in the hearts (p < 0.01), kidneys (p < 0.01) and brain (p < 0.05). AMB treatment, regardless of clades, significantly decreased colony forming units in the urine at day 3. However, histopathological examination in AMB-treated mice revealed large aggregates of yeast cells in the kidneys and hearts, and focal lesions in the cerebra and cerebelli, regardless of precise C. auris clade. Our clade-specific data confirm that the efficacy of AMB against C. auris is weak, explaining the therapeutic failures in clinical situations. Our results draw attention to the necessity to maximize the killing at the start of treatment to avoid later complications in the heart and central nervous system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 4619 KiB  
Communication
Evaluation of a Novel Chromogenic Medium for the Detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Respiratory Samples from Patients with Cystic Fibrosis
by Thang V. Truong, Alexander Twist, Andrey Zaytsev, Emma C. L. Marrs, Audrey Perry, Graeme Turnbull, Sylvain Orenga, Stephen P. Stanforth and John D. Perry
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10051004 - 10 May 2022
Viewed by 5227
Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a dominant cause of respiratory infection in individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF), leading to significant morbidity and mortality. Detection of P. aeruginosa is conducted by culture of respiratory samples but this process may occasionally be compromised due to overgrowth by [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a dominant cause of respiratory infection in individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF), leading to significant morbidity and mortality. Detection of P. aeruginosa is conducted by culture of respiratory samples but this process may occasionally be compromised due to overgrowth by other bacteria and fungi. We aimed to evaluate a novel chromogenic medium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa chromogenic agar (PACA), for culture of P. aeruginosa from respiratory samples, from patients with CF. A total of 198 respiratory samples were cultured onto PACA and three other media: CHROMID® P. aeruginosa, CHROMagar™ Pseudomonas and MacConkey agar. P. aeruginosa was recovered from 66 samples (33%), using a combination of all media. After 72 h incubation, the sensitivity of the four chromogenic media was as follows: 91% for PACA and CHROMagar™ Pseudomonas, 85% for CHROMID® P. aeruginosa and 83% for MacConkey agar. For the three chromogenic media, the positive predictive value after 72 h was as follows: 95% for PACA, 56% for CHROMagar™ Pseudomonas and 86% for CHROMID® P. aeruginosa. PACA proved to be a highly effective culture medium for the isolation and specific detection of P. aeruginosa from respiratory samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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14 pages, 485 KiB  
Article
Differences in Expression of Selected Interleukins in HIV-Infected Subjects Undergoing Antiretroviral Therapy
by Beata Szymańska, Karolina Jurkowska, Brygida Knysz and Agnieszka Piwowar
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14050997 - 7 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1698
Abstract
The use of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) inhibits the replication of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and thus may affect the functioning of the immune system, e.g., induce changes in the expression of certain cytokines. The aim was to examine the effect of [...] Read more.
The use of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) inhibits the replication of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and thus may affect the functioning of the immune system, e.g., induce changes in the expression of certain cytokines. The aim was to examine the effect of cART on the expression of selected cytokines: interleukin -4, -7 and -15 in HIV-infected subjects. The test material was the plasma of HIV-infected men and healthy men (C, control group). The levels of interleukin were measured by immunoenzymatic method before cART and one year after treatment in relation to the C group. HIV-infected men were analyzed in subgroups depending on the HIV-RNA viral load, CD4+ and CD8+T-cell counts, and the type of therapeutic regimen. A significantly higher level of IL-4 was demonstrated in HIV-infected men before cART compared to those after treatment and in the control group. The use of cART resulted in a significant decrease in the level of IL-7 in HIV-infected men; however, high levels of IL-7 were associated with a low number of CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells. An increase in the level of IL-15 in HIV-infected men was noted after the use of cART. There was no difference in the expression of interleukins depending on the treatment regimen used. The study showed the effect of cART on the expression of interleukins, especially IL-4 and IL-7. Further research in this direction seems promising, confirming the role of these interleukins in the course of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 3538 KiB  
Article
A Unique Robust Dual-Promoter-Driven and Dual-Reporter-Expressing SARS-CoV-2 Replicon: Construction and Characterization
by Ying Liu, Lu Li, Khalid A. Timani and Johnny J. He
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 974; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14050974 - 5 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2192
Abstract
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2, SARS2) remains a great global health threat and demands identification of more effective and SARS2-targeted antiviral drugs, even with successful development of anti-SARS2 vaccines. Viral replicons have proven to be a rapid, safe, and readily scalable [...] Read more.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2, SARS2) remains a great global health threat and demands identification of more effective and SARS2-targeted antiviral drugs, even with successful development of anti-SARS2 vaccines. Viral replicons have proven to be a rapid, safe, and readily scalable platform for high-throughput screening, identification, and evaluation of antiviral drugs against positive-stranded RNA viruses. In the study, we report a unique robust HIV long terminal repeat (LTR)/T7 dual-promoter-driven and dual-reporter firefly luciferase (fLuc) and green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing SARS2 replicon. The genomic organization of the replicon was designed with quite a few features that were to ensure the replication fidelity of the replicon, to maximize the expression of the full-length replicon, and to offer the monitoring flexibility of the replicon replication. We showed the success of the construction of the replicon and expression of reporter genes fLuc and GFP and SARS structural N from the replicon DNA or the RNA that was in vitro transcribed from the replicon DNA. We also showed detection of the negative-stranded genomic RNA (gRNA) and subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) intermediates, a hallmark of replication of positive-stranded RNA viruses from the replicon. Lastly, we showed that expression of the reporter genes, N gene, gRNA, and sgRNA from the replicon was sensitive to inhibition by Remdesivir. Taken together, our results support use of the replicon for identification of anti-SARS2 drugs and development of new anti-SARS strategies targeted at the step of virus replication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 1740 KiB  
Article
Pathogen- and Type-Specific Changes in Invasive Bacterial Disease Epidemiology during the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic in The Netherlands
by Anneke Steens, Mirjam J. Knol, Wieke Freudenburg-de Graaf, Hester E. de Melker, Arie van der Ende and Nina M. van Sorge
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10050972 - 5 May 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2184
Abstract
COVID-19 control measures have resulted in a decline in invasive bacterial disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis (IMD), Streptococcus pneumoniae (IPD), and Haemophilus influenzae (Hi-D). These species comprise different serogroups and serotypes that impact transmissibility and virulence. We evaluated type- and pathogen-specific changes in [...] Read more.
COVID-19 control measures have resulted in a decline in invasive bacterial disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis (IMD), Streptococcus pneumoniae (IPD), and Haemophilus influenzae (Hi-D). These species comprise different serogroups and serotypes that impact transmissibility and virulence. We evaluated type- and pathogen-specific changes in invasive bacterial disease epidemiology in the Netherlands during the first year of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Cases were based on nationwide surveillance for five bacterial species with either respiratory (IMD, IPD, Hi-D) or non-respiratory (controls) transmission routes and were compared from the pre-COVID period (April 2015–March 2020) to the first COVID-19 year (April 2020–March 2021). IMD, IPD, and Hi-D cases decreased by 78%, 67%, and 35%, respectively, in the first COVID-19 year compared to the pre-COVID period, although effects differed per age group. Serogroup B-IMD declined by 61%, while serogroup W and Y-IMD decreased >90%. IPD caused by serotypes 7F, 15A, 12F, 33F, and 8 showed the most pronounced decline (≥76%). In contrast to an overall decrease in Hi-D cases, vaccine-preventable serotype b (Hib) increased by 51%. COVID-19 control measures had pathogen- and type-specific effects related to invasive infections. Continued surveillance is critical to monitor potential rebound effects once restriction measures are lifted and transmission is resumed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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7 pages, 238 KiB  
Article
Sartans and ACE Inhibitors: Mortality in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19. Retrospective Study in Patients on Long-Term Treatment Who Died in the Italian Hospitals of Area Vasta n.5—Marche Region
by Tony Mazzoni, Zaira Maraia, Benedetta Ruggeri, Carlo Polidori, Maria Vittoria Micioni Di Bonaventura, Laura Armillei, Irene Pomilio and Isidoro Mazzoni
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(9), 2580; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11092580 - 5 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2057
Abstract
Introduction: During the 2019 Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), a concern emerged regarding a possible correlation between the severe form of SARS-CoV-2 infection and administration of ACE-Inhibitors (ACE-I) and Sartans (ARB), since long-term use of these drugs may potentially result in an adaptive response with [...] Read more.
Introduction: During the 2019 Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), a concern emerged regarding a possible correlation between the severe form of SARS-CoV-2 infection and administration of ACE-Inhibitors (ACE-I) and Sartans (ARB), since long-term use of these drugs may potentially result in an adaptive response with up-regulation of the ACE 2 receptor. Given the crucial role of ACE2, being the main target for virus entry into the cell, the potential consequences of ACE2 up-regulation have been a source of debate. The aim of this retrospective cohort study on COVID-19-positive patients who died is to investigate whether previous long-term exposure to ACE-I and/or ARB was associated with higher mortality due to COVID-19 infection, compared to all other types of drug treatment. Methods: We analysed the clinical and demographic data of 615 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at the two hospitals of the Vasta Area n.5, between March 2020 and April 2021. Among them, 86 patients, treated with ACE-Is and/0 ARBs for about 12 months, died during hospitalization following a diagnosis of acute respiratory failure. Several quantitative and qualitative variables were recorded for all patients by reading their medical records. Results: The logistic model showed that the variables that increase mortality are age and comorbid diseases. There were no demonstrable mortality effects with ACE-I and ARB intake. Conclusions: The apparent increase in morbidity in patients with COVID-19 who received long-term treatment with ACE-I or ARB is not due to the drugs themselves, but to the conditions associated with their use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
17 pages, 3934 KiB  
Article
The Velvet Protein UvVEA Regulates Conidiation and Chlamydospore Formation in Ustilaginoidea virens
by Mina Yu, Junjie Yu, Huijuan Cao, Xiayan Pan, Tianqiao Song, Zhongqiang Qi, Yan Du, Shiwen Huang and Yongfeng Liu
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050479 - 4 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1637
Abstract
Rice false smut, caused by Ustilaginoidea virens, is a serious disease of rice worldwide, severely reducing the quantity and quality of rice production. The conserved fungal velvet proteins are global regulators of diverse cellular processes. We identified and functionally characterized two velvet [...] Read more.
Rice false smut, caused by Ustilaginoidea virens, is a serious disease of rice worldwide, severely reducing the quantity and quality of rice production. The conserved fungal velvet proteins are global regulators of diverse cellular processes. We identified and functionally characterized two velvet genes, UvVEA and UvVELB, in U. virens. The deletion of these genes affected the conidiation of U. virens but had no effect on the virulence of this pathogen. Interestingly, the ΔUvVEA mutants appeared in the form of smaller false smut balls with a reduced number of chlamydospores compared with the wide-type strains. In addition, the deletion of UvVEA affected the expression of some transmembrane transport genes during chlamydospore formation and rice false smut balls development. Furthermore, the ΔUvVEA mutants were shown to be defective in the utilization of glucose. These findings proved the regulatory mechanism underlying the formation of rice false smut balls and chlamydospores and provided a basis for the further exploration of the mechanism of these processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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21 pages, 1384 KiB  
Article
Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibodies and Factors Associated with SARS-CoV-2 IgG Neutralizing Activity among Primary Health Care Workers 6 Months after Vaccination Rollout in France
by Dorine Decarreaux, Marie Pouquet, Cecile Souty, Ana-Maria Vilcu, Pol Prévot-Monsacre, Toscane Fourié, Paola Mariela Saba Villarroel, Stephane Priet, Hélène Blanché, Jean-Marc Sebaoun, Jean-François Deleuze, Clément Turbelin, Andréas Werner, Fabienne Kochert, Brigitte Grosgogeat, Pascaline Rabiega, Julien Laupie, Nathalie Abraham, Caroline Guerrisi, Harold Noël, Sylvie Van der Werf, Fabrice Carrat, Thomas Hanslik, Remi Charrel, Xavier De Lamballerie, Thierry Blanchon and Alessandra Falchiadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14050957 - 3 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2861
Abstract
We aimed to investigate the immunoglobulin G response and neutralizing activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) among primary health care workers (PHCW) in France and assess the association between the neutralizing activity and several factors, including the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) [...] Read more.
We aimed to investigate the immunoglobulin G response and neutralizing activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) among primary health care workers (PHCW) in France and assess the association between the neutralizing activity and several factors, including the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination scheme. A cross-sectional survey was conducted between 10 May 2021 and 31 August 2021. Participants underwent capillary blood sampling and completed a questionnaire. Sera were tested for the presence of antibodies against the nucleocapsid (N) protein and the S-1 portion of the spike (S) protein and neutralizing antibodies. In total, 1612 PHCW were included. The overall seroprevalences were: 23.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) 21.6–25.7%) for antibodies against the N protein, 94.7% (93.6–95.7%) for antibodies against the S protein, and 81.3% (79.4–83.2%) for neutralizing antibodies. Multivariate regression analyses showed that detection of neutralizing antibodies was significantly more likely in PHCW with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection than in those with no such history among the unvaccinated (odds ratio (OR) 16.57, 95% CI 5.96–59.36) and those vaccinated with one vaccine dose (OR 41.66, 95% CI 16.05–120.78). Among PHCW vaccinated with two vaccine doses, the detection of neutralizing antibodies was not significantly associated with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR 1.31, 95% CI 0.86–2.07), but was more likely in those that received their second vaccine dose within the three months before study entry than in those vaccinated more than three months earlier (OR 5.28, 95% CI 3.51–8.23). This study highlights that previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and the time since vaccination should be considered when planning booster doses and the design of COVID-19 vaccine strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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21 pages, 953 KiB  
Review
Role of Microbiota in Viral Infections and Pathological Progression
by Taketoshi Mizutani, Aya Ishizaka, Michiko Koga, Takeya Tsutsumi and Hiroshi Yotsuyanagi
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14050950 - 1 May 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4240
Abstract
Viral infections are influenced by various microorganisms in the environment surrounding the target tissue, and the correlation between the type and balance of commensal microbiota is the key to establishment of the infection and pathogenicity. Some commensal microorganisms are known to resist or [...] Read more.
Viral infections are influenced by various microorganisms in the environment surrounding the target tissue, and the correlation between the type and balance of commensal microbiota is the key to establishment of the infection and pathogenicity. Some commensal microorganisms are known to resist or promote viral infection, while others are involved in pathogenicity. It is also becoming evident that the profile of the commensal microbiota under normal conditions influences the progression of viral diseases. Thus, to understand the pathogenesis underlying viral infections, it is important to elucidate the interactions among viruses, target tissues, and the surrounding environment, including the commensal microbiota, which should have different relationships with each virus. In this review, we outline the role of microorganisms in viral infections. Particularly, we focus on gaining an in-depth understanding of the correlations among viral infections, target tissues, and the surrounding environment, including the commensal microbiota and the gut virome, and discussing the impact of changes in the microbiota (dysbiosis) on the pathological progression of viral infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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17 pages, 17278 KiB  
Article
A Denture Use Model Associated with Candida spp. in Immunocompetent Male and Female Rats
by Vinicius Tatsuyuji Sakima, Yuliana Vega-Chacón, Paulo Sergio Cerri, Bhumika Shokeen, Renate Lux and Ewerton Garcia de Oliveira Mima
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050466 - 30 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1797
Abstract
Denture stomatitis (DS) is a common infection in denture wearers, especially women. This study evaluated the induction of DS using acrylic devices attached to the palate of rats combined with inoculation of Candida spp. Immunocompetent male and female rats received a carbohydrate-rich diet. [...] Read more.
Denture stomatitis (DS) is a common infection in denture wearers, especially women. This study evaluated the induction of DS using acrylic devices attached to the palate of rats combined with inoculation of Candida spp. Immunocompetent male and female rats received a carbohydrate-rich diet. Impressions were taken from the rats’ palate to individually fabricate acrylic devices. Mono- and multispecies biofilms of C. albicans, C. glabrata, and C. tropicalis were grown on the devices, which were then cemented on posterior teeth and kept in the rats’ palate for four weeks. Microbial samples from the palate and the device were quantified. Oral microbiome of rats inoculated with C. albicans was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Log10(CFU/mL) were analyzed by mixed or two-way MANOVA (α = 0.05). Candida spp. and acrylic device did not induce palatal inflammation macroscopically nor microscopically. Although there was an increase (p < 0.001) of the total microbiota and female rats demonstrated higher (p = 0.007) recovery of Candida spp. from the palate, the gender differences were not biologically relevant. The microbiome results indicate an increase in inflammatory microbiota and reduction in health-associated micro-organisms. Although Candida spp. and acrylic device did not induce DS in immunocompetent rats, the shift in microbiota may precede manifestation of inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 531 KiB  
Article
Surgical Procedure Time and Mortality in Patients with Infective Endocarditis Caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus Species
by Gregor Paul, Laurin Ochs, Christopher Hohmann, Stephan Baldus, Guido Michels, Charlotte Meyer-Schwickerath, Gerd Fätkenheuer, Navid Mader, Thorsten Wahlers, Carolyn Weber and Norma Jung
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(9), 2538; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11092538 - 30 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1817
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and Streptococcus species (SS) show different clinical manifestations in infective endocarditis (IE), but the impact on the complexity of surgical treatment remains unclear. All patients with surgically treated IE due to SA or SS between July 2013 and December 2016 [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and Streptococcus species (SS) show different clinical manifestations in infective endocarditis (IE), but the impact on the complexity of surgical treatment remains unclear. All patients with surgically treated IE due to SA or SS between July 2013 and December 2016 were extracted from a prospectively collected, single-center registry. Data on patient characteristics, surgical procedures, and postprocedural outcomes were collected. SA-IE was more common with prosthetic valves (26.3% vs. 7.3%, p = 0.04), cardiac devices (14.3% vs. 0%, p = 0.03), previous cardiac surgery (28.6% vs. 9.8%, p = 0.03), intravenous drug abuse (14.3% vs. 0%, p = 0.03), and embolic events (57.1% vs. 26.8%, p = 0.007). Preoperative CRP was significantly higher in SA-IE (median 96.1 mg/L vs. 42.4 mg/L, p = 0.002). Otherwise, SS-IE affected more cusps/leaflets (mean 2.4 vs. 1.8, p = 0.03) and led to more valve dysfunction (83.8% vs. 54.3%, p = 0.007). Surgery times did not differ between the groups, though patients with SA spent more time in the intensive care unit (median 7 vs. 4.5 days, p = 0.04). Hospital mortality did not differ, but patients with SA-IE had unfavorable long-term survival (p = 0.001). Future studies need to be larger and focus on the mechanism behind the reduced long-term survival to mitigate the deleterious effect of SA in surgically treated patients with IE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 244 KiB  
Article
Prostatic Abscess Caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae: A 6-Year Single-Center Study
by Joo-Hee Hwang, Jeong-Hwan Hwang, Seung Yeob Lee and Jaehyeon Lee
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(9), 2521; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11092521 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1786
Abstract
Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp) is an important strain that can cause multiple organ infections. Although hvKp infection cases are increasing, there is limited information on the prostatic abscesses caused by K. pneumoniae. Furthermore, the clinical significance of hvKp associated with K1 or [...] Read more.
Hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp) is an important strain that can cause multiple organ infections. Although hvKp infection cases are increasing, there is limited information on the prostatic abscesses caused by K. pneumoniae. Furthermore, the clinical significance of hvKp associated with K1 or K2 capsular types or virulence genes in prostatic abscesses remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to elucidate the clinical and microbiological characteristics of prostatic abscesses caused by K. pneumoniae in relation to various virulence genes. A retrospective study was performed at a 1200-bed tertiary hospital between January 2014 and December 2019. Patients diagnosed with prostatic abscesses with K. pneumoniae isolated from blood, urine, pus, or tissue cultures were enrolled in this study. Our results demonstrate that 30.3% (10/33) of the prostatic abscesses were caused by K. pneumoniae. All strains isolated from patients with prostatic abscesses due to K. pneumoniae were the K1 capsular type, and eight patients (80.0%) carried rmpA and iutA genes that identified hvKp. These findings suggest that hvKp is an important pathogen in prostatic abscesses. Therefore, when treating patients with K. pneumoniae prostatic abscesses, attention should be paid to the characteristics of hvKp, such as bacteremia, multiorgan abscess formation, and metastatic spread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
20 pages, 1456 KiB  
Review
Do Triclosan Sutures Modify the Microbial Diversity of Surgical Site Infections? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Frederic C. Daoud, Maïder Coppry, Nicholas Moore and Anne-Marie Rogues
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10050927 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1945
Abstract
Randomised controlled clinical trials (RCTs) report a lower incidence rate of surgical site infections (SSIs) with triclosan sutures (TSs) compared with non-triclosan sutures (NTSs). Do triclosan sutures modify the microbial diversity of culture-confirmed SSIs (ccSSIs)? If so, this would support the association between [...] Read more.
Randomised controlled clinical trials (RCTs) report a lower incidence rate of surgical site infections (SSIs) with triclosan sutures (TSs) compared with non-triclosan sutures (NTSs). Do triclosan sutures modify the microbial diversity of culture-confirmed SSIs (ccSSIs)? If so, this would support the association between TS antimicrobial activity and the SSI incidence rate. This prospective systematic literature review (PROSPERO CRD42019125099) was conducted according to PRISMA. RCTs that compared the incidence of SSIs with TSs and NTSs and reported microbial counts from SSI cultures per suture group were eligible. The microbial species were grouped by genus, and the association between genera and sutures was tested. The pooled relative risk (RR) of ccSSIs was also calculated. Twelve RCTs were eligible. No publication bias was identified. The microorganism count was 180 in 124 SSIs with TSs versus 246 in 199 SSIs with NTSs. No significant difference in microbial diversity was found, but statistical power was low for test results to support or challenge the association between the antimicrobial activity of TSs and the reduced rate of SSIs. The RR of the ccSSIs was significant and consistent with comprehensive meta-analyses. The certainty of the pooled RR was moderate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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16 pages, 1390 KiB  
Article
Longitudinal Randomized Cohort Study of SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Seroprevalence in the St. Petersburg Population
by Vyacheslav S. Smirnov, Liudmila V. Lyalina, Anzhelika M. Milichkina, Irina V. Khamitova, Elena V. Zueva, Valery A. Ivanov, Vitaly S. Zaguzov and Areg A. Totolian
Viruses 2022, 14(5), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14050913 - 27 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
Introduction. Since the detection of the first COVID-19 patient, 2 years have passed, during which more than 287,862,000 people have fallen ill globally, of which about 1.9% died. The implementation of SARS-CoV-2 control programs required efforts from almost all countries. An important direction [...] Read more.
Introduction. Since the detection of the first COVID-19 patient, 2 years have passed, during which more than 287,862,000 people have fallen ill globally, of which about 1.9% died. The implementation of SARS-CoV-2 control programs required efforts from almost all countries. An important direction in the fight against COVID-19 has been the formation of herd immunity, the main tool for managing the pandemic. Study goal. The aim of the study was to assess the seroprevalence of antibodies (Abs) to SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (Nc) and receptor binding domain (RBD) in the St. Petersburg population during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and methods. A longitudinal cohort randomized monitoring study of Ab seroprevalence (SARS-CoV-2 Nc, RBD) was organized and conducted according to a unified methodology developed by Rospotrebnadzor with the participation of the St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute. For this purpose, a cohort was formed of 1000 volunteers who participated in all five stages of seromonitoring. The cohort was divided into seven age groups: 1–17; 18–29; 30–39; 40–49; 50–59; 60–69; 70; and older (70+) years. Seropositivity levels (Nc, RBD) were assessed by quantitative and qualitative enzyme immunoassays. During the second year of monitoring, some volunteers were vaccinated with the GamCOVIDVac (84%) or EpiVacCorona (11.6%) vaccines approved in Russia. Statistical processing was carried out using Excel 2010. Confidence intervals for shares and percentages (95% CI) were calculated using the method of A. Wald and J. Wolfowitz with adjustment (A. Agresti, B.A. Coull). The statistical significance of differences was calculated by z-test, using the appropriate online calculator (p < 0.05) unless indicated. Results. There was a trend toward an increase in Nc seropositivity in stages 1–3 of seromonitoring, with a decrease in stages 4–5 among children and adults. The share of RBD seropositive steadily increased during all five stages of seromonitoring. The most frequent finding was low anti-RBD Abs levels (22.6–220 BAU/mL). High Ab levels were recorded statistically significantly less frequently. Asymptomatic forms were observed in 84–88% of SARS-CoV-2 seropositive volunteers. By the fifth stage of monitoring, this indicator significantly decreased to 69.8% (95% CI: 66.1–73.4). The monitoring revealed a statistically significant increase in anti-RBD Abs alongside a statistically significant decrease in the proportion of Nc seropositives. This dynamic was especially characteristic of persons vaccinated with GamCOVIDVac. Conclusion. Prior to the use of specific vaccines, a seroprevalence of anti-Nc Abs was noted. After the introduction of the GamCOVIDVac vaccine in adults, a decrease in the level of anti-Nc Abs was noted due to an increase in the proportion of RBD seropositive persons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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39 pages, 2617 KiB  
Systematic Review
Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Dynamics of Human Influenza Type-A Viruses in Africa: A Systematic Review
by Grace Nabakooza, Ronald Galiwango, Simon D. W. Frost, David P. Kateete and John M. Kitayimbwa
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 900; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10050900 - 25 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4272
Abstract
Genomic characterization of circulating influenza type-A viruses (IAVs) directs the selection of appropriate vaccine formulations and early detection of potentially pandemic virus strains. However, longitudinal data on the genomic evolution and transmission of IAVs in Africa are scarce, limiting Africa’s benefits from potential [...] Read more.
Genomic characterization of circulating influenza type-A viruses (IAVs) directs the selection of appropriate vaccine formulations and early detection of potentially pandemic virus strains. However, longitudinal data on the genomic evolution and transmission of IAVs in Africa are scarce, limiting Africa’s benefits from potential influenza control strategies. We searched seven databases: African Journals Online, Embase, Global Health, Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science according to the PRISMA guidelines for studies that sequenced and/or genomically characterized Africa IAVs. Our review highlights the emergence and diversification of IAVs in Africa since 1993. Circulating strains continuously acquired new amino acid substitutions at the major antigenic and potential N-linked glycosylation sites in their hemagglutinin proteins, which dramatically affected vaccine protectiveness. Africa IAVs phylogenetically mixed with global strains forming strong temporal and geographical evolution structures. Phylogeographic analyses confirmed that viral migration into Africa from abroad, especially South Asia, Europe, and North America, and extensive local viral mixing sustained the genomic diversity, antigenic drift, and persistence of IAVs in Africa. However, the role of reassortment and zoonosis remains unknown. Interestingly, we observed substitutions and clades and persistent viral lineages unique to Africa. Therefore, Africa’s contribution to the global influenza ecology may be understated. Our results were geographically biased, with data from 63% (34/54) of African countries. Thus, there is a need to expand influenza surveillance across Africa and prioritize routine whole-genome sequencing and genomic analysis to detect new strains early for effective viral control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 239 KiB  
Article
GenoType CM Direct® and VisionArray Myco® for the Rapid Identification of Mycobacteria from Clinical Specimens
by Hans-Ulrich Schildhaus, Mathis Steindor, Bernd Kölsch, Thomas Herold, Jan Buer and Jan Kehrmann
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(9), 2404; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11092404 - 25 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1588
Abstract
M. tuberculosis is the single infectious agent responsible for most deaths worldwide outside of pandemics. Diseases due to non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are increasing in many regions of the world. The two molecular assays GenoType CM direct® (GTCMd) (Bruker, Billerica, MA, USA) and [...] Read more.
M. tuberculosis is the single infectious agent responsible for most deaths worldwide outside of pandemics. Diseases due to non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are increasing in many regions of the world. The two molecular assays GenoType CM direct® (GTCMd) (Bruker, Billerica, MA, USA) and VisionArray Myco® (VAM) (ZytoVision, Bremerhaven, Germany) are based on the DNA/DNA hybridization technique, and allow for the identification of tuberculous and the most clinically relevant non-tuberculous mycobacterial species from clinical specimens. We evaluated the performance of both assays for the identification of mycobacteria from 65 clinical specimens of 65 patients and compared it with the results of conventional culture. Based on conventional culture that recovered 37 mycobacterial isolates including 11 tuberculous and 26 NTM isolates, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 89.2%, 81.5%, 86.8% and 84.6% for GTCMd and 73.0%, 96.3%, 96.4% and 72.2% for VAM. Additionally, GTCMd identified mycobacteria from five and VAM from one culture-negative sample. Both assays identified a mycobacterium in one sample overgrown by other microorganisms. Two M. abscessus subsp. abscessus isolates grown from culture were identified as M. chelonae by GTCMd assay. In conclusion, both assays improve the rapid identification of mycobacteria directly from clinical specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
17 pages, 3884 KiB  
Article
Therapeutic Potential of Green Synthesized Gold Nanoparticles Using Extract of Leptadenia hastata against Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis
by Basem M. Abdallah and Enas M. Ali
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050442 - 24 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2517
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles are widely used in the biomedical field for the treatment of several diseases, including cancer, inflammatory diseases, and immune system disorders, due to their distinctive physicochemical characteristics. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of green synthesized gold nanoparticles using [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles are widely used in the biomedical field for the treatment of several diseases, including cancer, inflammatory diseases, and immune system disorders, due to their distinctive physicochemical characteristics. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of green synthesized gold nanoparticles using ethanolic leaf extract of Leptadenia hastata (LH-AuNPs) against invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in mice. UV/visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and zeta potential were used to characterize the biofabricated LH-AuNPs. Antifungal activity of LH-AuNPs was determined by MTT assay, (3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide), time-kill assay, and radial growth inhibition. TEM and SEM were used to examine the mode of the antifungal action of LH-AuNPs. The in vivo activity of LH-AuNPs against IPA was studied using a well-established IPA mouse model. LH-AuNPs excreted antifungal activity against Aspergillus fumigatus with MIC 64 µg/mL and inhibited the radial growth of A. fumigatus by 30% compared to the control. LH-AuNPs caused distortion and collapse of fungal hyphae and deterioration of cell walls. Interestingly, LH-AuNPs did not display any cytotoxicity on cultured primary bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) or A549 human lung cell line in vitro at MIC concentration. IPA mice treated with LH-AuNPs displayed significant lung tissue repair without any in vivo cytotoxicity. LH-AuNPs administration showed significant suppression of fungal burden and gliotoxin production in the lung. In addition, LH-AuNPs inhibited IPA-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines production, including interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-17 (IL-17), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and reduced oxidative stress in lung. In conclusion, our data provide LH-AuNPs as a novel nanoparticle therapy for IPA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 3228 KiB  
Review
Mechanisms of Inhibition of Quorum Sensing as an Alternative for the Control of E. coli and Salmonella
by Esmeralda Escobar-Muciño, Margarita M. P. Arenas-Hernández and M. Lorena Luna-Guevara
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10050884 - 23 Apr 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6193
Abstract
Quorum sensing (QS) is a process of cell–cell communication for bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella that cause foodborne diseases, with the production, release, and detection of autoinducer (AI) molecules that participate in the regulation of virulence genes. All of these proteins [...] Read more.
Quorum sensing (QS) is a process of cell–cell communication for bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella that cause foodborne diseases, with the production, release, and detection of autoinducer (AI) molecules that participate in the regulation of virulence genes. All of these proteins are useful in coordinating collective behavior, the expression of virulence factors, and the pathogenicity of Gram-negative bacteria. In this work, we review the natural or synthetic inhibitor molecules of QS that inactivate the autoinducer and block QS regulatory proteins in E. coli and Salmonella. Furthermore, we describe mechanisms of QS inhibitors (QSIs) that act as competitive inhibitors, being a useful tool for preventing virulence gene expression through the downregulation of AI-2 production pathways and the disruption of signal uptake. In addition, we showed that QSIs have negative regulatory activity of genes related to bacterial biofilm formation on clinical artifacts, which confirms the therapeutic potential of QSIs in the control of infectious pathogens. Finally, we discuss resistance to QSIs, the design of next-generation QSIs, and how these molecules can be leveraged to provide a new antivirulence therapy to combat diseases caused by E. coli or Salmonella. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 849 KiB  
Article
Frequency and Duration of, and Risk Factors for, Diagnostic Delays Associated with Histoplasmosis
by Aaron C. Miller, Alan T. Arakkal, Scott H. Koeneman, Joseph E. Cavanaugh, George R. Thompson, John W. Baddley and Philip M. Polgreen
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050438 - 23 Apr 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3314
Abstract
Histoplasmosis is often confused with other diseases leading to diagnostic delays. We estimated the incidence, length of, and risk factors for, diagnostic delays associated with histoplasmosis. Using data from IBM Marketscan, 2001–2017, we found all patients with a histoplasmosis diagnosis. We calculated the [...] Read more.
Histoplasmosis is often confused with other diseases leading to diagnostic delays. We estimated the incidence, length of, and risk factors for, diagnostic delays associated with histoplasmosis. Using data from IBM Marketscan, 2001–2017, we found all patients with a histoplasmosis diagnosis. We calculated the number of visits that occurred prior to the histoplasmosis diagnosis and the number of visits with symptomatically similar diagnoses (SSDs). Next, we estimated the number of visits that represented a delay using a simulation-based approach. We also computed the number of potential opportunities for diagnosis that were missed for each patient and the length of time between the first opportunity and the diagnosis. Finally, we identified risk factors for diagnostic delays using a logistic regression model. The number of SSD-related visits increased significantly in the 97 days prior to the histoplasmosis diagnosis. During this period, 97.4% of patients had a visit, and 90.1% had at least one SSD visit. We estimate that 82.9% of patients with histoplasmosis experienced at least one missed diagnostic opportunity. The average delay was 39.5 days with an average of 4.0 missed opportunities. Risk factors for diagnostic delays included prior antibiotic use, history of other pulmonary diseases, and emergency department and outpatient visits, especially during weekends. New diagnostic approaches for histoplasmosis are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 869 KiB  
Article
Serum Cytokines Usefulness for Understanding the Pathology in Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis and Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis
by Yuya Ito, Takahiro Takazono, Yasushi Obase, Susumu Fukahori, Nobuyuki Ashizawa, Tatsuro Hirayama, Masato Tashiro, Kazuko Yamamoto, Yoshifumi Imamura, Naoki Hosogaya, Chizu Fukushima, Yoshitomo Morinaga, Katsunori Yanagihara, Koichi Izumikawa and Hiroshi Mukae
J. Fungi 2022, 8(5), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8050436 - 23 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2216
Abstract
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) are important fungal infections caused by Aspergillus species. An overlap of ABPA and CPA has been reported; therefore, it is critical to determine whether the main pathology is ABPA or CPA and whether antifungals [...] Read more.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) and chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) are important fungal infections caused by Aspergillus species. An overlap of ABPA and CPA has been reported; therefore, it is critical to determine whether the main pathology is ABPA or CPA and whether antifungals are required. In this study, we investigated whether the serum cytokine profile is useful for understanding the pathology and for differentiating between these diseases. We compared the various serum cytokine levels among healthy subjects and patients diagnosed with asthma, ABPA, or CPA at Nagasaki University Hospital between January 2003 and December 2018. In total, 14 healthy subjects, 19 patients with asthma, 11 with ABPA, and 10 with CPA were enrolled. Interleukin (IL) -5 levels were significantly higher in patients with ABPA than in those with CPA, and IL-33 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) levels were significantly higher in patients with CPA than in those with asthma (p < 0.05, Dunn’s multiple comparison test). The sensitivity and specificity of the IL-10/IL-5 ratio (cutoff index 2.47) for diagnosing CPA were 70% and 100%, respectively. The serum cytokine profile is useful in understanding the pathology of ABPA and CPA, and the IL-10/IL-5 ratio may be a novel supplemental biomarker for indicating the pathology of CPA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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17 pages, 715 KiB  
Review
Epidemiology and Characteristics of Elizabethkingia spp. Infections in Southeast Asia
by Asdren Zajmi, Jeanette Teo and Chew Chieng Yeo
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10050882 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3902
Abstract
Elizabethkingia spp. is a ubiquitous pathogenic bacterium that has been identified as the causal agent for a variety of conditions such as meningitis, pneumonia, necrotizing fasciitis, endophthalmitis, and sepsis and is emerging as a global threat including in Southeast Asia. Elizabethkingia infections tend [...] Read more.
Elizabethkingia spp. is a ubiquitous pathogenic bacterium that has been identified as the causal agent for a variety of conditions such as meningitis, pneumonia, necrotizing fasciitis, endophthalmitis, and sepsis and is emerging as a global threat including in Southeast Asia. Elizabethkingia infections tend to be associated with high mortality rates (18.2–41%) and are mostly observed in neonates and immunocompromised patients. Difficulties in precisely identifying Elizabethkingia at the species level by traditional methods have hampered our understanding of this genus in human infections. In Southeast Asian countries, hospital outbreaks have usually been ascribed to E. meningoseptica, whereas in Singapore, E. anophelis was reported as the main Elizabethkingia spp. associated with hospital settings. Misidentification of Elizabethkingia spp. could, however, underestimate the number of cases attributed to the bacterium, as precise identification requires tools such as MALDI-TOF MS, and particularly whole-genome sequencing, which are not available in most hospital laboratories. Elizabethkingia spp. has an unusual antibiotic resistance pattern for a Gram-negative bacterium with a limited number of horizontal gene transfers, which suggests an intrinsic origin for its multidrug resistance. Efforts to prevent and further understand Elizabethkingia spp. infections and limit its spread must rise to this new challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 4413 KiB  
Case Report
Placental Alterations in a Chikungunya-Virus-Infected Pregnant Woman: A Case Report
by Natália Salomão, Luciana Araújo, Kíssila Rabelo, Elyzabeth Avvad-Portari, Luiz de Souza, Regina Fernandes, Nathália Valle, Luiz Ferreira, Carlos Basílio-de-Oliveira, Rodrigo Basílio-de-Oliveira, Thiara de Souza, Priscila Nunes, Jorge Carvalho, Flavia dos Santos and Marciano Paes
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10050872 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2311
Abstract
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus first isolated in Tanzania, Africa. The virus has spread to Asia as well as South and Central America through infected Aedes mosquitoes. Vertical transmission may also occur, and was first documented during a chikungunya outbreak in [...] Read more.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus first isolated in Tanzania, Africa. The virus has spread to Asia as well as South and Central America through infected Aedes mosquitoes. Vertical transmission may also occur, and was first documented during a chikungunya outbreak in La Réunion Island in 2005. Since then, some authors have been discussing the role of the placenta in maternal–fetal CHIKV transmission. CHIKV infection is characterized by fever, headache, rash, and arthralgia. However, atypical manifestations and clinical complications, including neurological, cardiac, renal, ocular, and dermal, may occur in some cases. In this report, we describe the case of a pregnant woman infected by CHIKV during the third trimester of gestation, who presented with severe dermatological manifestations during the epidemic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2019. CHIKV RNA and antigens were detected in the placental tissue, which presented with histopathological (deciduitis, fibrin deposition, edema, fetal vessel thickening, and chorioamnionitis) and ultrastructural alterations (cytotrophoblast with mitochondrial swelling and dilated cisterns in endoplasmic reticulum, vesicles in syncytiotrophoblasts, and thickening of the basement membrane of the endothelium). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 1248 KiB  
Article
Non-Achievement of Alanine Aminotransferase Normalization Associated with the Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma during Nucleos(t)ide Analogue Therapies: A Multicenter Retrospective Study
by Jun Inoue, Tomoo Kobayashi, Takehiro Akahane, Osamu Kimura, Kosuke Sato, Masashi Ninomiya, Tomoaki Iwata, Satoshi Takai, Norihiro Kisara, Toshihiro Sato, Futoshi Nagasaki, Masahito Miura, Takuya Nakamura, Teruyuki Umetsu, Akitoshi Sano, Mio Tsuruoka, Masazumi Onuki, Hirofumi Niitsuma, Atsushi Masamune and THERME Study Group
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(9), 2354; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11092354 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
Patients with a chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who are treated with nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) are still at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and it has been clinically questioned whether patients with a high risk of HCC can be identified efficiently. We [...] Read more.
Patients with a chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who are treated with nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) are still at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and it has been clinically questioned whether patients with a high risk of HCC can be identified efficiently. We aimed to clarify the risk factors associated with the development of HCC during NA therapies. A total of 611 chronically HBV-infected patients without a history of HCC, who were treated with NAs for more than 6 months (median 72 months), from 2000 to 2021, were included from 16 hospitals in the Tohoku district in Japan. Incidences of HCC occurrence were analyzed with clinical factors, including on-treatment responses. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalization, based on the criteria of three guidelines, was analyzed with other parameters, including the age–male–ALBI–platelets (aMAP) risk score. During the observation period, 48 patients developed HCC, and the cumulative HCC incidence was 10.6% at 10 years. Non-achievement of ALT normalization at 1 year of therapy was mostly associated with HCC development when ALT ≤ 30 U/L was used as the cut-off (cumulative incidence, 19.9% vs. 5.3% at 10 years, p < 0.001). The effectiveness of the aMAP risk score at the start of treatment was validated in this cohort. A combination of an aMAP risk score ≥ 50 and non-achievement of ALT normalization could stratify the risk of HCC significantly, and notably, there was no HCC development in 103 patients without these 2 factors. In conclusion, non-achievement of ALT normalization (≤30 U/L) at 1 year might be useful in predicting HCC during NA therapies and, in combination with the aMAP risk score, could stratify the risk more precisely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 875 KiB  
Article
Glycated Albumin and Glycated Albumin/HbA1c Predict the Progression of Coronavirus Disease 2019 from Mild to Severe Disease in Korean Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
by Jeongseon Yoo, Youngah Choi, Shin Ae Park, Ji Yeon Seo, Chul Woo Ahn and Jaehyun Han
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(9), 2327; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11092327 - 21 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1808
Abstract
Hyperglycemia is among the main risk factors for severe COVID-19. We evaluated the association of glycated albumin (GA) and GA/HbA1c ratio with progression of COVID-19 from mild to severe disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Our retrospective study included 129 [...] Read more.
Hyperglycemia is among the main risk factors for severe COVID-19. We evaluated the association of glycated albumin (GA) and GA/HbA1c ratio with progression of COVID-19 from mild to severe disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Our retrospective study included 129 patients aged over 18 years with COVID-19 and T2DM who did not have any need of oxygen supplement. Of these, 59 patients whose COVID-19 was aggravated and required oxygen supplementation eventually were classified as having severe disease. Clinical and laboratory data were compared between mild and severe cases. The median of GA (18.4% vs. 20.95%, p = 0.0013) and GA/HbA1c (2.55 vs. 2.68, p = 0.0145) were higher in severe disease than in mild disease and positively correlated with C-reactive protein (Kendal Tau coefficient 0.200 and 0.126, respectively; all p < 0.05). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that GA (odds ratio (OR), 1.151; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.024–1.294) and GA/HbA1c (OR, 8.330; 95% CI, 1.786–38.842) increased the risk of severe disease. Patients with GA 20% or higher were 4.03 times more likely to progress from mild to severe disease. GA and GA/HbA1c ratio predicted progression of COVID-19 from mild to severe disease in patients with T2DM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in Jordan
by Mohammad Al-Tamimi, Hadeel Albalawi, Mohamd Alkhawaldeh, Abdullah Alazzam, Hassan Ramadan, Majd Altalalwah, Ahmad Alma’aitah, Dua’a Al Balawi, Sharif Shalabi, Jumana Abu-Raideh, Ashraf I. Khasawneh, Farah Alhaj and Kamal Hijawi
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10050849 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3613
Abstract
Background: Acinetobacter baumannii is a common cause of multi-drug (MDR)-resistant infections worldwide. The epidemiological and molecular characteristics of MDR-A. baumannii in Jordan is not known. Methods: A. baumannii isolates were collected from 2010 to 2020 from three tertiary hospitals in Jordan. Demographic [...] Read more.
Background: Acinetobacter baumannii is a common cause of multi-drug (MDR)-resistant infections worldwide. The epidemiological and molecular characteristics of MDR-A. baumannii in Jordan is not known. Methods: A. baumannii isolates were collected from 2010 to 2020 from three tertiary hospitals in Jordan. Demographic and clinical data, isolates information, antibiotic susceptibility patterns, phenotypic, and molecular characterization of carbapenem resistance genes were performed. Results: A total of 622 A. baumannii isolates were collected during the study period. Most isolates were from males, aged 18–60 years, Jordanian, from infected wounds, and were patients in surgery or critical care units. Among patients from whom A. baumannii was isolated, associated risk factors for MDR were adults over 60, males, critically ill patients and infected wounds (OR 4.14, 2.45, 10, 7, respectively, p < 0.0001). Incidence rates from 2010 to 2015 showed a slight increase in MDR (3.75/1000 to 4.46/1000). Resistance patterns indicated high resistance for most cephalosporins, carbapenems, and fluoroquinolones, moderate resistance for trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and ampicillin/sulbactam, low resistance for aminoglycosides and tetracyclines, while colistin and tigecycline, have the lowest resistance rates. 76.8% of A. baumannii isolates were MDR and 99.2% were carbapenem-resistant. All isolates were positive for the OXA-51 gene (100%), 98.5% were positive for the OXA-23 gene, 26.6% for the VIM gene, while KPC and IMP genes were almost not detected (0% and 0.8% respectively). Conclusions: This is the first large, multicentric, prolonged study that provides insights into A. baumannii infections in Jordan. Attention to patients at higher risk is important for early identification. Colistin and tigecycline were the most effective antimicrobials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
20 pages, 2200 KiB  
Article
A New Topical Candidate in Acne Treatment: Characterization of the Meclozine Hydrochloride as an Anti-Inflammatory Compound from In Vitro to a Preliminary Clinical Study
by Philippe A. Grange, Guillaume Ollagnier, Laurianne Beauvais Remigereau, Carole Nicco, Constance Mayslich, Anne-Geneviève Marcelin, Vincent Calvez and Nicolas Dupin
Biomedicines 2022, 10(5), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10050931 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2862
Abstract
Acne is a chronic inflammatory multifactorial disease involving the anaerobic bacterium Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes). Current acne treatments are associated with adverse effects, limiting treatment compliance and use. We showed that meclozine, an anti-histaminic H1 compound, has anti-inflammatory properties. In Vitro, [...] Read more.
Acne is a chronic inflammatory multifactorial disease involving the anaerobic bacterium Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes). Current acne treatments are associated with adverse effects, limiting treatment compliance and use. We showed that meclozine, an anti-histaminic H1 compound, has anti-inflammatory properties. In Vitro, meclozine reduced the production of CXCL8/IL-8 and IL-1β mRNA and protein by C. acnes-stimulated human keratinocytes and monocytes. No cell toxicity was observed at the IC50. Meclozine prevented the phosphorylation of ERK and JNK. In Vivo, 1% meclozine gel significantly decreased C. acnes-mouse ear induced inflammation by 26.7% (p = 0.021). Ex vivo experiments on human skin explants showed that meclozine decreased the production of GM-CSF, IL-1β and TNF-α at transcriptional and translational levels. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled proof-of-concept clinical trial on 60 volunteers, 2% meclozine pharmaceutical gel decreased by 20.1% (p < 0.001) the ASI score in the treated group after 12 weeks of treatment. No adverse event was reported. Together, these results indicate that meclozine is a potent topical anti-inflammatory compound of potential value for acne treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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19 pages, 3921 KiB  
Article
Environmentally Acquired Bacillus and Their Role in C. difficile Colonization Resistance
by William T. Ferreira, Huynh A. Hong, James R. G. Adams, Mateusz Hess, Natalia K. Kotowicz, Sisareuth Tan, Enrico Ferrari, Alain Brisson, Jurgen Zentek, Mikhail Soloviev and Simon M. Cutting
Biomedicines 2022, 10(5), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10050930 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2639
Abstract
Clostridioides difficile is an environmentally acquired, anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium which ordinarily causes disease following antibiotic-mediated dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota. Although much is understood regarding the life cycle of C. difficile, the fate of C. difficile spores upon ingestion remains unclear, and [...] Read more.
Clostridioides difficile is an environmentally acquired, anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium which ordinarily causes disease following antibiotic-mediated dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota. Although much is understood regarding the life cycle of C. difficile, the fate of C. difficile spores upon ingestion remains unclear, and the underlying factors that predispose an individual to colonization and subsequent development of C. difficile infection (CDI) are not fully understood. Here, we show that Bacillus, a ubiquitous and environmentally acquired, spore-forming bacterium is associated with colonization resistance to C. difficile. Using animal models, we first provide evidence that animals housed under conditions that mimic reduced environmental exposure have an increased susceptibility to CDI, correlating with a loss in Bacillus. Lipopeptide micelles (~10 nm) produced by some Bacilli isolated from the gastro-intestinal (GI)-tract and shown to have potent inhibitory activity to C. difficile have recently been reported. We show here that these micelles, that we refer to as heterogenous lipopeptide lytic micelles (HELMs), act synergistically with components present in the small intestine to augment inhibitory activity against C. difficile. Finally, we show that provision of HELM-producing Bacillus to microbiota-depleted animals suppresses C. difficile colonization thereby demonstrating the significant role played by Bacillus in colonization resistance. In the wider context, our study further demonstrates the importance of environmental microbes on susceptibility to pathogen colonization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 507 KiB  
Article
Increased Risk to Develop Hypertension and Carotid Plaques in Patients with Long-Lasting Helicobacter pylori Gastritis
by Maria Pina Dore, Pier Sergio Saba, Giulia Tomassini, Caterina Niolu, Marco Monaco and Giovanni Mario Pes
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(9), 2282; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11092282 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3323
Abstract
Helicobacter pylori infection has been reported to be positively associated with hypertension, although with conflicting results. In this study, the relationship between H. pylori infection and hypertension, as well as atherosclerotic carotid lesions, was analyzed. Methods. Clinical records of patients referred to undergo [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pylori infection has been reported to be positively associated with hypertension, although with conflicting results. In this study, the relationship between H. pylori infection and hypertension, as well as atherosclerotic carotid lesions, was analyzed. Methods. Clinical records of patients referred to undergo upper endoscopy and gastric biopsy were retrieved. Information regarding the presence of H. pylori infection with atrophy/metaplasia/dysplasia (interpreted as a long-lasting infection), and current or past H. pylori infection was collected, as well as demographic variables, smoking habits, body mass index (BMI), dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, presence of carotid lesions, and current treatment, and analyzed by multivariable regression models. Results. A total of 7152 clinical records from patients older than 30 years (63.4% women) were available for the study. Hypertension was present in 2039 (28.5%) patients and the risk was significantly increased in those with long-lasting H. pylori infection after adjusting for age decades, sex, BMI, cigarette smoking, diabetes, and dyslipidemia (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.02–1.35). In addition, the long-lasting H. pylori infection was an independent risk for carotid plaques (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.14–4.09). Conclusions. Our retrospective study demonstrated that long-lasting H. pylori infection is an independent risk factor for hypertension and the presence of carotid lesions after adjusting for potential confounders, although further validation our findings is needed from prospective studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 596 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Efficacy of 2% Chlorhexidine Gluconate–Alcohol and 10% Povidone-Iodine–Alcohol against Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections and Bacterial Colonization at Central Venous Catheter Insertion Sites: A Prospective, Single-Center, Open-Label, Crossover Study
by Ming-Ru Lin, Po-Jui Chang, Ping-Chih Hsu, Chun-Sui Lin, Cheng-Hsun Chiu and Chih-Jung Chen
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(8), 2242; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11082242 - 17 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4072
Abstract
An effective antiseptic agent is an essential component of a central venous catheter (CVC) care bundle, to protect against catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs). We conducted a trial to compare the incidences of CRBSI and the growth of insertion site flora in patients with [...] Read more.
An effective antiseptic agent is an essential component of a central venous catheter (CVC) care bundle, to protect against catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs). We conducted a trial to compare the incidences of CRBSI and the growth of insertion site flora in patients with CVC using 2% chlorhexidine gluconate–alcohol (CHG) or 10% povidone-iodine–alcohol (PVI) in the CVC care bundle. Patients who were admitted to two medical intensive care units (ICUs) and had CVC placement for >48 h were enrolled. Using a two-way crossover design with two six-month interventions, the ICUs were assigned to use either CHG or PVI in their care bundles. A total of 446 catheters in 390 subjects were enrolled in the study. The detection rate of flora was greater in the PVI group on both day 7 (26.6% versus 6.3%, p < 0.001) and day 14 (43.2% versus 15.8%, p < 0.001). The incidence rate of CRBSI was higher in the PVI group compared to the CHG group (2.15 vs. 0 events per 1000-catheter-days, p = 0.001), although the significance was lost in the multivariate analysis. In conclusion, 2% CHG was superior to 10% PVI in the CVC care bundle in terms of the inhibition of skin flora growth at CVC insertion sites and was potentially associated with lower incidence rates of CRBSI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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16 pages, 3249 KiB  
Article
Molecular Epidemiology and Evolution of Coxsackievirus A9
by Hehe Zhao, Jianxing Wang, Jianhua Chen, Ruifang Huang, Yong Zhang, Jinbo Xiao, Yang Song, Tianjiao Ji, Qian Yang, Shuangli Zhu, Dongyan Wang, Huanhuan Lu, Zhenzhi Han, Guoyan Zhang, Jichen Li and Dongmei Yan
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040822 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2175
Abstract
Nineteen CVA9 isolates were obtained between 2010 and 2019 from six provinces of mainland China, using the HFMD surveillance network established in China. Nucleotide sequencing revealed that the full-length VP1 of 19 CVA9 isolates was 906 bases encoding 302 amino acids. The combination [...] Read more.
Nineteen CVA9 isolates were obtained between 2010 and 2019 from six provinces of mainland China, using the HFMD surveillance network established in China. Nucleotide sequencing revealed that the full-length VP1 of 19 CVA9 isolates was 906 bases encoding 302 amino acids. The combination of the thresholds of the phylogenetic tree and nucleotide divergence of different genotypes within the same serotype led to a value of 15–25%, and enabled CVA9 worldwide to be categorized into ten genotypes: A–J. The phylogenetic tree showed that the prototype strain was included in genotype A, and that the B, C, D, E, H, and J genotypes disappeared during virus evolution, whereas the F, I, and G genotypes showed co-circulation. Lineage G was the dominant genotype of CVA9 and included most of the strains from nine countries in Asia, North America, Oceania, and Europe. Most Chinese strains belonged to the G genotype, suggesting that the molecular epidemiology of China is consistent with that observed worldwide. The 165 partial VP1 strains (723 nt) showed a mean substitution rate of 3.27 × 10−3 substitution/site/year (95% HPD range 2.93–3.6 × 10−3), dating the tMRCA of CVA9 back to approximately 1922 (1911–1932). The spatiotemporal dynamics of CVA9 showed the spread of CVA9 obviously increased in recent years. Most CVA9 isolates originated in USA, but the epidemic areas of CVA9 are now concentrated in the Asia–Pacific region, European countries, and North America. Recombination analysis within the enterovirus B specie (59 serotypes) revealed eight recombination patterns in China at present, CVB4, CVB5, E30, CVB2, E11, HEV106, HEV85, and HEV75. E14, and E6 may act as recombinant donors in multiple regions. Comparison of temperature sensitivity revealed that temperature-insensitive strains have more amino acid substitutions in the RGD motif of the VP1 region, and the sites T283S, V284M, and R288K in the VP1 region may be related to the temperature tolerance of CVA9. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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8 pages, 270 KiB  
Article
Relationship among Streptococcus gallolyticus Subsp. gallolyticus, Enterococcus faecalis and Colorectal Neoplasms in Recurrent Endocarditis: A Historical Case Series
by Eva Romay, Juan Manuel Pericàs, María José García-País, Marta Hernández-Meneses, Blanca Ayuso, Javier García-González, Rodrigo Vicente Garcés-Durán, Ramón Rabuñal, Pilar Alonso-García, Fernando García-Garrote, Andrés Perissinotti, Bàrbara Vidal, Carles Falces, Eduard Quintana, Leticia Moreira, Manel Almela, Josep Llach, Asunción Moreno, Juan Corredoira, Jose María Miró and on behalf of Lucus Augusti and Hospital Clinic Endocarditis Teamsadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(8), 2181; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11082181 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
Objectives: The role of colorectal neoplasms (CRN) as a common potential source of recurrent Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus (SGG) and Enterococcus faecalis (EF) endocarditis remains unstudied. We aimed to investigate what proportion of episodes of recurrent endocarditis are caused by a succession of [...] Read more.
Objectives: The role of colorectal neoplasms (CRN) as a common potential source of recurrent Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus (SGG) and Enterococcus faecalis (EF) endocarditis remains unstudied. We aimed to investigate what proportion of episodes of recurrent endocarditis are caused by a succession of SGG and EF, or vice versa, and to assess the role of a colonic source in such recurrent episodes. Methods: we conducted a retrospective analysis of two prospective endocarditis cohorts (1979–2019) from two Spanish hospitals, providing descriptive analyses of the major features of the endocarditis episodes, colonoscopy findings, and histologic results. Results: among 1552 IE episodes, 204 (13.1%) were caused by EF and 197 (12.7%) by SGG, respectively. There were 155 episodes (10%) of recurrent IE, 20 of which (12.9%) were due to a succession of SGG/EF IE in 10 patients (the first episode caused by SGG in eight cases, and by EF in two cases). The median follow-up was 86 (interquartile range 34–156) months. In 8/10 initial episodes, the causative microorganism was SGG, and all patients were diagnosed with CRN either during the initial episode or during follow-up. During the second episode of IE or follow-up, colonoscopies revealed CRN in six patients. Conclusions: There seems to be an association between SGG and EF in recurrent endocarditis that warrants further investigation. Our findings reinforce the need for systematically performing colonoscopy in the event of endocarditis caused by both microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
14 pages, 6578 KiB  
Article
A Kinesin Vdkin2 Required for Vacuole Formation, Mycelium Growth, and Penetration Structure Formation of Verticillium dahliae
by Xing Yang, Cuimei Guo, Chi Chen, Zhijuan Hu, Xinyao Zheng, Shan Xu, Xingyong Yang and Chengjian Xie
J. Fungi 2022, 8(4), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8040391 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2072 | Correction
Abstract
The soil-borne vascular fungus Verticillium dahliae infects hundreds of dicotyledonous plants, causing severe wilt diseases. During the initial colonization, V. dahliae develops a penetration peg to enable infection of cotton roots. In some phytopathogenic fungi, vacuoles play a critical role in normal formation [...] Read more.
The soil-borne vascular fungus Verticillium dahliae infects hundreds of dicotyledonous plants, causing severe wilt diseases. During the initial colonization, V. dahliae develops a penetration peg to enable infection of cotton roots. In some phytopathogenic fungi, vacuoles play a critical role in normal formation of the infection structure. Kinesin 2 protein is associated with vacuole formation in Ustilago maydis. To identify the function of vacuoles in the V. dahliae infection structure, we identified VdKin2, an ortholog of kinesin 2, in V. dahliae and investigated its function through gene knockout. VdKin2 mutants showed severe defects in virulence and were suppressed during initial infection and root colonization based on observation of green fluorescent protein-labeled V. dahliae. We also found that deletion of VdKin2 compromised penetration peg formation and the derived septin neck. Disruption strains were viable and showed normal microsclerotia formation, whereas mycelium growth and conidial production were reduced, with shorter and more branched hyphae. Furthermore, the VdKin2 mutant, unlike wild-type V. dahliae, lacked a large basal vacuole, accompanied by a failure to generate concentrated lipid droplets. Taken together, VdKin2 regulates vacuole formation by V. dahliae, which is required for conidiation, mycelium growth, and penetration structure formation during initial plant root infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 3148 KiB  
Article
Characterization and Public Health Insights of the New Delhi Metallo-β-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacterales from Laying Hens in China
by Hongcheng Wei, Linghan Kong, Yulong Wang, Zheren Huang, Xue Yang, Changyu Zhou, Chao Li, Boheng Ma, Cui Li, Changwei Lei and Hongning Wang
Microorganisms 2022, 10(4), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10040800 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1972
Abstract
The New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM) is a major element for the rapid expansion of the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales, which poses a great challenge to public health security. NDM-producing Enterobacterales strains (50 Escherichia coli, 40 Klebsiella pneumoniae, and 5 Enterobacter cloacae) [...] Read more.
The New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM) is a major element for the rapid expansion of the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales, which poses a great challenge to public health security. NDM-producing Enterobacterales strains (50 Escherichia coli, 40 Klebsiella pneumoniae, and 5 Enterobacter cloacae) were isolated from laying hens in China for the surveillance of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, and all were found to be multi-drug resistant bacteria. The genomic analysis of these NDM-positive bacteria revealed the ST167, ST617, and ST410 of the fifteen ST-type E. coli clones and ST37 of the four ST-type K. pneumoniae clones to be the same types as the human-derived strains. Among them, some new clone types were also found. Most of the blaNDM genes (blaNDM-1 or blaNDM-5) were on the IncX3 plasmids (n = 80) and were distributed in E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and E. cloacae, while the remaining blaNDM-5 genes were harbored in the E. coli ST167 with IncFII plasmids (n = 15). The typeⅠ1 of the eight IncX3 plasmid subtypes was consistent with the human-derived pNDM5_020001 plasmid (accession no. CP032424). In addition, these two plasmids did not affect the growth of the host bacteria and could be reproduced stably without antibiotics. Our study revealed the high genetic propensity of the NDM-positive Enterobacterales from the laying hens and human commensal Enterobacterales, suggesting the potentially enormous risk of its transmission to humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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10 pages, 521 KiB  
Article
Identification of Filamentous Fungi by MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry: Evaluation of Three Different Sample Preparation Methods and Validation of an In-House Species Cutoff
by Claudia Honsig, Brigitte Selitsch, Marlene Hollenstein, Matthias G. Vossen, Kathrin Spettel and Birgit Willinger
J. Fungi 2022, 8(4), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8040383 - 10 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2653
Abstract
Invasive infections caused by filamentous fungi constitute a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Rapid and reliable identification of filamentous fungi is essential for the early initiation of appropriate treatment. In the present study, 230 filamentous fungi isolates identified by [...] Read more.
Invasive infections caused by filamentous fungi constitute a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Rapid and reliable identification of filamentous fungi is essential for the early initiation of appropriate treatment. In the present study, 230 filamentous fungi isolates identified by conventional methods were investigated using MALDI-TOF MS (Bruker Daltonics, Bremen, Germany) in combination with the Filamentous Fungi Library 3.0 provided by the manufacturer. Three different sample preparation methods were applied as recommended by the manufacturer and identification rates were compared using the criteria provided by the manufacturer. Application of the more time-consuming sample preparation methods clearly improved identification at the species level. Thus, the identification rate increased from 48.9% using the simplest method to 76.1% with the most laborious procedure. Misidentifications did not occur. Furthermore, the reliability of an in-house threshold for species identification was investigated. The reduced threshold increased the rate of isolates correctly identified at the species level by up to 86.4%. As no misidentification was made at the genus level and only one misidentification of minor significance occurred at the species level, this threshold could be validated for routine use in our laboratory. In conclusion, regarding the high identification rates achieved, this commercial platform proved suitable for implementation in routine diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
8 pages, 1193 KiB  
Article
The Presence of Exophiala dermatitidis in the Respiratory Tract of Cystic Fibrosis Patients Accelerates Lung Function Decline: A Retrospective Review of Lung Function
by Jonathan Ayling-Smith, Lorraine Speight, Rishi Dhillon, Matthijs Backx, Philip Lewis White, Kerenza Hood and Jamie Duckers
J. Fungi 2022, 8(4), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8040376 - 7 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Exophiala dermatitidis is increasingly isolated from cystic fibrosis (CF) respiratory samples. The decision to treat is hampered by limited evidence demonstrating the clinical significance of isolating E. dermatitidis. The objective was to assess the impact of E. dermatitidis isolation on the lung [...] Read more.
Exophiala dermatitidis is increasingly isolated from cystic fibrosis (CF) respiratory samples. The decision to treat is hampered by limited evidence demonstrating the clinical significance of isolating E. dermatitidis. The objective was to assess the impact of E. dermatitidis isolation on the lung function of CF patients. The rate of lung function decline in the local CF population was calculated using historic lung function data. A control population who had never had E. dermatitidis cultured from the respiratory tract was compared with the E. dermatitidis group, calculating their rate of lung function decline before and after the first isolation of the organism. A total of 1840 lung function measurements were reviewed between the 31 E. dermatitidis group patients and 62 control patients. Their demographics were similar. The control group declined at a rate of −0.824 FEV1%/year. The rate of decline in the E. dermatitidis group prior to infection was −0.337 FEV1%/year (p = 0.2). However, post infection with E. dermatitidis, there was a significant increase in the rate of decline in lung function (−1.824 FEV1%/year, p < 0.01). The results suggest E. dermatitidis has a temporal relationship with accelerated rate of lung function decline. It is not clear if this is a cause or effect, but this accelerated rate of decline indicates a need for further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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16 pages, 1902 KiB  
Article
Restricted Activation of the NF-κB Pathway in Individuals with Latent Tuberculosis Infection after HIF-1α Blockade
by Aline de Oliveira Rezende, Rafaella Santos Sabóia, Adeliane Castro da Costa, Diana Messala Pinheiro da Silva Monteiro, Adrielle Zagmignan, Luis Ângelo Macedo Santiago, Rafael Cardoso Carvalho, Paulo Vitor Soeiro Pereira, Ana Paula Junqueira-Kipnis and Eduardo Martins de Sousa
Biomedicines 2022, 10(4), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10040817 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2284
Abstract
Tuberculous granuloma formation is mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α), and is essential for establishing latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and its progression to active tuberculosis (TB). Here, we investigated whether HIF-1α expression and adjacent mechanisms were associated with latent or active TB [...] Read more.
Tuberculous granuloma formation is mediated by hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α), and is essential for establishing latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and its progression to active tuberculosis (TB). Here, we investigated whether HIF-1α expression and adjacent mechanisms were associated with latent or active TB infection. Patients with active TB, individuals with LTBI, and healthy controls were recruited, and the expression of cytokine genes IL15, IL18, TNFA, IL6, HIF1A, and A20 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and serum vitamin D (25(OH)D3) levels were evaluated. Additionally, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) levels were analyzed in PBMC lysates and culture supernatants, respectively, after HIF-1α blockade with 2-methoxyestradiol. We observed that IL-15 expression was higher in individuals with LTBI than in patients with active TB, while IL-18 and TNF-α expression was similar between LTBI and TB groups. Additionally, serum 25(OH)D3 levels and expression of IL-6, HIF1A, and A20 were higher in patients with active TB than in individuals with LTBI. Moreover, PBMCs from individuals with LTBI showed decreased NF-κB phosphorylation and increased TNF-α production after HIF-1α blockade. Together, these results suggest that under hypoxic conditions, TNF-α production and NF-κB pathway downregulation are associated with the LTBI phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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11 pages, 1511 KiB  
Article
KI and WU Polyomaviruses: Seroprevalence Study and DNA Prevalence in SARS-CoV-2 RNA Positive and Negative Respiratory Samples
by Melinda Katona, Krisztina Jeles, Renátó Kovács and Eszter Csoma
Microorganisms 2022, 10(4), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10040752 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1853
Abstract
The aim of this work was to study the possible co-infection of KI and WU polyomavirus (KIPyV and WUPyV, respectively) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in respiratory samples and to detect the seroprevalence of KIPyV and WUPyV. A total of [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to study the possible co-infection of KI and WU polyomavirus (KIPyV and WUPyV, respectively) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in respiratory samples and to detect the seroprevalence of KIPyV and WUPyV. A total of 1030 nasopharyngeal samples were analyzed from SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive (n = 680) and negative (n = 350) adults and children (age: 1 day to 94.2 years) collected from August 2020 to October 2021. KIPyV DNA was detected in two SARS-CoV-2-positive samples (2/680, 0.29%) and in three SARS-CoV-2-negative samples (3/350, 0.86%). WUPyV DNA was observed in one-one samples from both groups (1/680, 0.15% vs. 1/350, 0.29%). We did not find an association between SARS-CoV-2 and KIPyV or WUPyV infection, and we found low DNA prevalence of polyomaviruses studied after a long-term lockdown in Hungary. To exclude a geographically different distribution of these polyomaviruses, we studied the seroprevalence of KIPyV and WUPyV by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay among children and adults (n = 692 for KIPyV and n = 705 for WUPyV). Our data confirmed that primary infections by KIPyV and WUPyV occur mainly during childhood; the overall seropositivity of adults was 93.7% and 89.2% for KIPyV and WUPyV, respectively. Based on our data, we suggest that the spread of KIPyV and WUPyV might have been restricted in Hungary by the lockdown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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9 pages, 1104 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Clofazimine Resistance and Genetic Mutations in Drug-Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates
by Sanghee Park, Jihee Jung, Jiyeon Kim, Sang Bong Han and Sungweon Ryoo
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(7), 1927; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11071927 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
Recently, as clofazimine (CFZ) showed a good therapeutic effect in treating multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), the anti-tuberculosis activity and resistance were re-focused. Here, we investigated the CFZ resistance and genetic mutations of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (DR-Mtb) isolates to improve the diagnosis and treatment of [...] Read more.
Recently, as clofazimine (CFZ) showed a good therapeutic effect in treating multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), the anti-tuberculosis activity and resistance were re-focused. Here, we investigated the CFZ resistance and genetic mutations of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (DR-Mtb) isolates to improve the diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant TB patients. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of CFZ was examined by resazurin microtiter assay (REMA) with two reference strains and 122 clinical isolates from Korea. The cause of CFZ resistance was investigated in relation to the therapeutic history of patients. Mutations of Rv0678, Rv1979c and pepQ of CFZ resistant isolates were analyzed by PCR and DNA sequencing. The rate of CFZ resistance with MIC > 1 mg/L was 4.1% in drug-resistant Mtb isolates. The cause of CFZ resistance was not related to treatment with CFZ or bedaquiline. A CFZ susceptibility test should be conducted regardless of dugs use history. The four novel mutation sites were identified in the Rv0678 and pepQ genes related to CFZ resistance in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Relationship between Clinical Manifestation and Pathogenic Potential of Streptococcus pyogenes Strains-Distribution of Genes and Genotypes of Toxins
by Tomasz Bogiel, Alicja Domian, Zuzanna Dobrzyńska, Agnieszka Mikucka and Eugenia Gospodarek-Komkowska
Biomedicines 2022, 10(4), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10040799 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1746
Abstract
Streptococcus pyogenes is one of the most important species among beta-haemolytic streptococci, causing human infections of different localization. It is isolated from clinical specimens relatively frequently. In this study, the frequency and co-occurrence of toxin genes (speA, speB, speC, [...] Read more.
Streptococcus pyogenes is one of the most important species among beta-haemolytic streptococci, causing human infections of different localization. It is isolated from clinical specimens relatively frequently. In this study, the frequency and co-occurrence of toxin genes (speA, speB, speC, speH, speJ, speK) among 147 S. pyogenes strains were evaluated, using real-time PCR. In addition, the relationship between the occurrence of these genes and the origin of S. pyogenes strains from selected clinical material was assessed. The speB gene was present with the highest incidence (98.6%), while the speK gene was the least frequent (8.2%) among the tested strains. Based on the presence of the detected genes, the distribution of 17 genotypes was determined. The most common (21.8%), was speA (−) speB (+) speC (−) speH (−) speJ (−) speK (−) genotype. Furthermore, significant variation in the presence of some genes and genotypes of toxins in S. pyogenes strains isolated from different types of clinical material was found. There is a considerable variety and disproportion between the frequency of individual genes and genotypes of toxins in S. pyogenes strains. The relationship between the origin of S. pyogenes isolates and the presence of toxins genes indicates their pathogenic potential in the development of infections of selected localization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
11 pages, 1580 KiB  
Systematic Review
Consensus for the Treatment of Tinea Pedis: A Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials
by Harry Ward, Nicholas Parkes, Carolyn Smith, Stefan Kluzek and Richard Pearson
J. Fungi 2022, 8(4), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8040351 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 9476
Abstract
Objective: To systematically review literature enabling the comparison of the efficacy of pharmaceutical treatments for tinea pedis in adults. Design: Systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with mycological cure as the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes did include the clinical assessment of resolving [...] Read more.
Objective: To systematically review literature enabling the comparison of the efficacy of pharmaceutical treatments for tinea pedis in adults. Design: Systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with mycological cure as the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes did include the clinical assessment of resolving infection or symptoms, duration of treatment, adverse events, adherence, and recurrence. Eligibility Criteria: Study participants suffering from only tinea pedis that were treated with a pharmaceutical treatment. The study must have been conducted using an RCT study design and recording age of the participant > 16 years of age. Results: A total of seven studies met the inclusion criteria, involving 1042 participants. The likelihood of resolution in study participants treated with terbinafine was RR 3.9 (95% CI: 2.0–7.8) times those with a placebo. Similarly, the allylamine butenafine was effective by RR 5.3 (95% CI: 1.4–19.6) compared to a placebo. Butenafine was similarly efficacious to terbinafine RR 1.3 (95% CI: 0.4–4.4). Terbinafine was marginally more efficacious than itraconazole, RR 1.3 (95% CI: 1.1–1.5). Summary/Conclusion: Topical terbinafine and butenafine treatments of tinea pedis were more efficacious than placebo. Tableted terbinafine and itraconazole administered orally were efficacious in the drug treatment of tinea pedis fungal infection. We are concerned about how few studies were available that reported the baseline characteristics for each treatment arm and that did not suffer greater than 20% loss to follow-up. We would like to see improved reporting of clinical trials in academic literature. Registration name: Treatment’s for athlete’s foot—systematic review with meta-analysis [CRD42020162078]. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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16 pages, 23682 KiB  
Article
Factors Influencing Immune Restoration in People Living with HIV/AIDS
by Bogusz Jan Aksak-Wąs, Anna Urbańska, Kaja Scheibe, Karol Serwin, Magdalena Leszczyszyn-Pynka, Milena Rafalska-Kosior, Joanna Gołąb, Daniel Chober and Miłosz Parczewski
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(7), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11071887 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1996
Abstract
Introduction: Immune restoration is a key clinical aspect that is pursued in the care of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. Despite effective antiretroviral treatment and undetectable viremia, immune recovery is often incomplete. Materials and methods: Data from 311 Caucasian patients were collected. SNP [...] Read more.
Introduction: Immune restoration is a key clinical aspect that is pursued in the care of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. Despite effective antiretroviral treatment and undetectable viremia, immune recovery is often incomplete. Materials and methods: Data from 311 Caucasian patients were collected. SNP in CCR2(rs1799864), CX3CR1(rs3732378), HLAC-35(rs9264942), and CCR5(promoter, rs1799988); a 32bp deletion(Δ32) in CCR5; and HLA-B*5701 genotypes were correlated with clinical data and selected endpoints. Kaplan–Meier and Cox proportional hazards models were used to analyze the effects of genetic factors over time. Results: For HLA-B*5701, the effect on the CD4+/CD8+ >0.8 cell ratio was lost within 48 months (HR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.04–4.03), and the effect on the CD4+ cell count >500 cells/µL was lost within 12 months (HR = 2.12, CI: 1.11–4.04). The effect of CCR2 GG on the CD4+/CD8+ >0.8 cell ratio was lost within 36 months (HR = 1.7, CI: 1.05–2.75). For CCR5 wt/Δ32, the effect on the CD4+/CD8+ >1.0 cell ratio was lost within 24 months (HR = 2.0, CI: 1.08–3.69), and the effect on the CD4+ >800 cells/µL cell count was lost within 18 months (HR = 1.98, CI: 1.14–4.73). Conclusions: Selected genetic polymorphisms, namely CCR2 GG and CCR5 Δ32, and the presence of the HLA-B*5701 allele positively influenced immune restoration in cART-treated patients with HIV/AIDS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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8 pages, 1478 KiB  
Article
Pleural Peels Tissue Culture plus Pleural Fluid Culture Help to Improve Culture Rate for Empyema
by Ya-Fu Cheng, Ching-Yuan Cheng, Chang-Lun Huang, Wei-Heng Hung and Bing-Yen Wang
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(7), 1882; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11071882 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1873
Abstract
Background: Empyema is known as a serious infection, and outcomes of empyema cases remain poor. Pleural fluid culture and blood culture have been reported to give unsatisfactory results. We introduce a novel pleural peels tissue culture during surgery and aim to improve the [...] Read more.
Background: Empyema is known as a serious infection, and outcomes of empyema cases remain poor. Pleural fluid culture and blood culture have been reported to give unsatisfactory results. We introduce a novel pleural peels tissue culture during surgery and aim to improve the culture results of empyema. Methods: This was a retrospective study and was obtained from our institute. Patients with stage II or III empyema undergoing video-assisted thoracic surgery decortication from January 2019 to June 2021 were included in the study. Results: There were 239 patients that received a pleural peels tissue culture, a pleural fluid culture, and a blood culture concurrently during the perioperative period. Of these, 153 patients had at least one positive culture and 86 patients showed triple negative culture results. The positive culture rates were 46.9% for pleural peels tissue cultures, 46.0% for pleural fluid cultures, and 10% for blood cultures. The combination of pleural peels tissue culture and pleural fluid culture increased the positive rate to 62.7%. Streptococcus species and Staphylococcus species were the most common pathogens. Conclusion: The combination of pleural peels tissue culture and pleural fluid culture is an effective method to improve the positive culture rate in empyema. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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21 pages, 2812 KiB  
Article
Mycobacterium tuberculosis Affects Protein and Lipid Content of Circulating Exosomes in Infected Patients Depending on Tuberculosis Disease State
by Fantahun Biadglegne, Johannes R. Schmidt, Kathrin M. Engel, Jörg Lehmann, Robert T. Lehmann, Anja Reinert, Brigitte König, Jürgen Schiller, Stefan Kalkhof and Ulrich Sack
Biomedicines 2022, 10(4), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines10040783 - 27 Mar 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3630
Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB), which is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), is still one of the deadliest infectious diseases. Understanding how the host and pathogen interact in active TB will have a significant impact on global TB control efforts. Exosomes are [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis (TB), which is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), is still one of the deadliest infectious diseases. Understanding how the host and pathogen interact in active TB will have a significant impact on global TB control efforts. Exosomes are increasingly recognized as a means of cell-to-cell contact and exchange of soluble mediators. In the case of TB, exosomes are released from the bacillus and infected cells. In the present study, a comprehensive lipidomics and proteomics analysis of size exclusion chromatography-isolated plasma-derived exosomes from patients with TB lymphadenitis (TBL) and treated as well as untreated pulmonary TB (PTB) was performed to elucidate the possibility to utilize exosomes in diagnostics and knowledge building. According to our findings, exosome-derived lipids and proteins originate from both the host and Mtb in the plasma of active TB patients. Exosomes from all patients are mostly composed of sphingomyelins (SM), phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylinositols, free fatty acids, triacylglycerols (TAG), and cholesterylesters. Relative proportions of, e.g., SMs and TAGs, vary depending on the disease or treatment state and could be linked to Mtb pathogenesis and dormancy. We identified three proteins of Mtb origin: DNA-directed RNA polymerase subunit beta (RpoC), Diacyglycerol O-acyltransferase (Rv2285), and Formate hydrogenase (HycE), the latter of which was discovered to be differently expressed in TBL patients. Furthermore, we discovered that Mtb infection alters the host protein composition of circulating exosomes, significantly affecting a total of 37 proteins. All TB patients had low levels of apolipoproteins, as well as the antibacterial proteins cathelicidin, Scavenger Receptor Cysteine Rich Family Member (SSC5D), and Ficolin 3 (FCN3). When compared to healthy controls, the protein profiles of PTB and TBL were substantially linked, with 14 proteins being co-regulated. However, adhesion proteins (integrins, Intercellular adhesion molecule 2 (ICAM2), CD151, Proteoglycan 4 (PRG4)) were shown to be more prevalent in PTB patients, while immunoglobulins, Complement component 1r (C1R), and Glutamate receptor-interacting protein 1 (GRIP1) were found to be more abundant in TBL patients, respectively. This study could confirm findings from previous reports and uncover novel molecular profiles not previously in focus of TB research. However, we applied a minimally invasive sampling and analysis of circulating exosomes in TB patients. Based on the findings given here, future studies into host–pathogen interactions could pave the way for the development of new vaccines and therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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14 pages, 3144 KiB  
Article
Phage Therapy Potentiates Second-Line Antibiotic Treatment against Pneumonic Plague
by Yaron Vagima, David Gur, Moshe Aftalion, Sarit Moses, Yinon Levy, Arik Makovitzki, Tzvi Holtzman, Ziv Oren, Yaniv Segula, Ella Fatelevich, Avital Tidhar, Ayelet Zauberman, Shahar Rotem, Emanuelle Mamroud and Ida Steinberger-Levy
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040688 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2739
Abstract
Plague pandemics and outbreaks have killed millions of people during the history of humankind. The disease, caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, is currently treated effectively with antibiotics. However, in the case of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, alternative treatments are required. Bacteriophage (phage) [...] Read more.
Plague pandemics and outbreaks have killed millions of people during the history of humankind. The disease, caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, is currently treated effectively with antibiotics. However, in the case of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, alternative treatments are required. Bacteriophage (phage) therapy has shown efficient antibacterial activity in various experimental animal models and in human patients infected with different MDR pathogens. Here, we evaluated the efficiency of фA1122 and PST phage therapy, alone or in combination with second-line antibiotics, using a well-established mouse model of pneumonic plague. Phage treatment significantly delayed mortality and limited bacterial proliferation in the lungs. However, the treatment did not prevent bacteremia, suggesting that phage efficiency may decrease in the circulation. Indeed, in vitro phage proliferation assays indicated that blood exerts inhibitory effects on lytic activity, which may be the major cause of treatment inefficiency. Combining phage therapy and second-line ceftriaxone treatment, which are individually insufficient, provided protection that led to the survival of all infected animals—a synergistic protective effect that represents a proof of concept for efficient combinatorial therapy in an emergency event of a plague outbreak involving MDR Y. pestis strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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15 pages, 719 KiB  
Article
Peronosporales Species Associated with Strawberry Crown Rot in the Czech Republic
by Matěj Pánek, Marie Maňasová, Jana Wenzlová, Miloslav Zouhar and Jana Mazáková
J. Fungi 2022, 8(4), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8040346 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2069
Abstract
The symptoms of crown rot on strawberry plants are considered typical for the pathogen Phytophthora cactorum, which causes high losses of this crop. However, an unknown number of related species of pathogens of Peronosporales cause symptoms quite similar to those caused by [...] Read more.
The symptoms of crown rot on strawberry plants are considered typical for the pathogen Phytophthora cactorum, which causes high losses of this crop. However, an unknown number of related species of pathogens of Peronosporales cause symptoms quite similar to those caused by P. cactorum. To determine their spectrum and importance, strawberry plants were sampled from 41 farms in the Czech Republic. The cultures were isolated from the symptomatic plants using the baiting method, with subsequent cultivation on a semiselective medium. Isolates were identified to the species level using nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) barcoding after preliminary morphological determination. In total, 175 isolates of 24 species of Phytophthora, Phytopythium, Pythium, and Globisporangium were detected. The most represented was Phytophthora cactorum, with 113 (65%) isolates, which was recorded in 61% of farms, and the Pythium dissotocum complex with 20 (11%) isolates, which was recorded in 27% of farms. Other species were represented in units of percent. Large differences between farms in the species spectra were ascertained. The differences between species in cardinal growth temperatures and different management of the farms are discussed as a main reason for such a diversification. Regarding the dissimilar sensitivity of various species of Peronosporales against fungicides, the proper determination of the cause of disease is of crucial significance in plant protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 283 KiB  
Article
Subclinical Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction in HIV Patients: Prevalence and Associations with Carotid Atherosclerosis and Increased Adiposity
by Eleni Athanasiadi, Maria Bonou, Dimitrios Basoulis, Chris J. Kapelios, Constantina Masoura, Marina Skouloudi, Sophie Mavrogeni, Constantina Aggeli, Mina Psichogiou and John Barbetseas
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(7), 1804; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11071804 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1856
Abstract
Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is mainly detected in young, otherwise healthy, individuals. Cardiomyopathy and peripheral artery disease affecting these patients appears to be multifactorial. Prompt and potentially more effective implementation of therapeutic measures could be enabled by pre-symptomatic diagnosis of myocardial dysfunction [...] Read more.
Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is mainly detected in young, otherwise healthy, individuals. Cardiomyopathy and peripheral artery disease affecting these patients appears to be multifactorial. Prompt and potentially more effective implementation of therapeutic measures could be enabled by pre-symptomatic diagnosis of myocardial dysfunction and peripheral artery damage. However, limited data is available to date on this specific topic. Μethods: We investigated the association between global longitudinal strain (GLS), an established index of subclinical left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) assessed by two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography, and: (a) patient history; (b) demographic and clinical baseline characteristics; (c) carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and the presence of carotid atherosclerotic plaque(s), measured by ultrasonography; (d) temperature difference (ΔT) along each carotid artery, measured by microwave radiometry; and (e) basic blood panel measurements, including high-sensitivity troponin-T (hsTnT) and NT-proBNP in people living with HIV (PLWH) and no history of cardiovascular disease. Results: We prospectively enrolled 103 consecutive PLWH (95% male, age 47 ± 11 years, anti-retroviral therapy 100%) and 52 age- and sex-matched controls. PLWH had a significantly higher relative wall thickness (0.38 ± 0.08 vs. 0.36 ± 0.04, p = 0.048), and higher rate of LVSD (34% vs. 15.4%, p = 0.015), and carotid artery atherosclerosis (28% vs. 6%, p = 0.001) compared with controls. Among PLWH, LVSD was independently associated with the presence of carotid atherosclerosis (adj. OR:3.09; 95%CI:1.10–8.67, p = 0.032) and BMI (1.15; 1.03–1.29, p = 0.017), while a trend for association between LVSD and left ventricular hypertrophy was also noted (3.12; 0.73–13.33, p = 0.124). No differences were seen in microwave radiometry parameters, NT-proBNP, hs-TnT and c-reactive protein between PLWH with and without LVSD. Conclusions: Subclinical LVSD and carotid atherosclerosis were significantly more frequent in PLWH compared to a group of healthy individuals, implying a possible link between HIV infection and these two pathological processes. Carotid atherosclerosis and increased adiposity were independently associated with impaired GLS in HIV-infected individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
21 pages, 8662 KiB  
Article
Mycobacterium bovis PknG R242P Mutation Results in Structural Changes with Enhanced Virulence in the Mouse Model of Infection
by Fábio Muniz de Oliveira, Victor Oliveira Procopio, Gabriela de Lima Menezes, Roosevelt Alves da Silva, André Kipnis and Ana Paula Junqueira-Kipnis
Microorganisms 2022, 10(4), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10040673 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1932
Abstract
Mycobacterium bovis is the causative agent of tuberculosis in domestic and wild animal species and sometimes in humans, presenting variable degrees of pathogenicity. It is known that PknG is involved in the first steps of Mycobacterium tuberculosis macrophage infection and immune evasion. We [...] Read more.
Mycobacterium bovis is the causative agent of tuberculosis in domestic and wild animal species and sometimes in humans, presenting variable degrees of pathogenicity. It is known that PknG is involved in the first steps of Mycobacterium tuberculosis macrophage infection and immune evasion. We questioned whether M. bovispknG genes were conserved among mycobacteria and if natural genetic modifications would affect its virulence. We discovered a single mutation at a catalytic domain (R242P) of one M. bovis isolate and established the relation between the presence of R242P mutation and enhanced M. bovis virulence. Here, we demonstrated that R242P mutation alters the PknG protein conformation to a more open ATP binding site cleft. It was observed that M. bovis with PknG mutation resulted in increased growth under stress conditions. In addition, infected macrophages by M. bovis (R242P) presented a higher bacterial load compared with M. bovis without the pknG mutation. Furthermore, using the mouse model of infection, animals infected with M. bovis (R242P) had a massive innate immune response migration to the lung that culminated with pneumonia, necrosis, and higher mortality. The PknG protein single point mutation in its catalytic domain did not reduce the bacterial fitness but rather increased its virulence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Infectious Diseases)
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