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Volume 15, October
 
 

Infect. Dis. Rep., Volume 15, Issue 6 (December 2023) – 12 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Drug-induced liver injury secondary to ATT treatment (TB-DILI) is reported in 2–28% of patients, varying with the definition, study sample, and treatment regimen. Here, we describe a retrospective descriptive case-series study, including a total of 10 patients who underwent liver biopsy in the course of TB-DILI. The histopathological diagnosis revealed liver injury due to DILI in 5/10 (50%) cases. In one case, a liver biopsy showed necrotizing granulomatous hepatitis. Severe and persistent elevations of liver transaminases and or hepatic cholestasis despite discontinuation of therapy and other suspected liver-related conditions were the indications of liver biopsy, which remains a valuable tool in the evaluation of selected patients with TB-DILI. The decision to perform a liver biopsy should be based on clinical judgment, considering the benefits and risks of the procedure. View this paper
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26 pages, 445 KiB  
Review
Persisting Shadows: Unraveling the Impact of Long COVID-19 on Respiratory, Cardiovascular, and Nervous Systems
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 806-830; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060072 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1146
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), instigated by the zoonotic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), rapidly transformed from an outbreak in Wuhan, China, into a widespread global pandemic. A significant post-infection condition, known as ‘long- COVID-19′ (or simply ‘long- COVID’), emerges in [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), instigated by the zoonotic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), rapidly transformed from an outbreak in Wuhan, China, into a widespread global pandemic. A significant post-infection condition, known as ‘long- COVID-19′ (or simply ‘long- COVID’), emerges in a substantial subset of patients, manifesting with a constellation of over 200 reported symptoms that span multiple organ systems. This condition, also known as ‘post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection’ (PASC), presents a perplexing clinical picture with far-reaching implications, often persisting long after the acute phase. While initial research focused on the immediate pulmonary impact of the virus, the recognition of COVID-19 as a multiorgan disruptor has unveiled a gamut of protracted and severe health issues. This review summarizes the primary effects of long COVID on the respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. It also delves into the mechanisms underlying these impacts and underscores the critical need for a comprehensive understanding of long COVID’s pathogenesis. Full article
11 pages, 2142 KiB  
Case Report
Bacterial Pneumonia and Cryptogenic Pleuritis after Probable Monkeypox Virus Infection: A Case Report
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 795-805; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060071 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 852
Abstract
A large number of monkeypox (MPOX) cases have been reported in Europe and North America in 2022, and a new outbreak of this disease was declared. We describe a case of a patient with probable monkeypox during the height of this epidemic in [...] Read more.
A large number of monkeypox (MPOX) cases have been reported in Europe and North America in 2022, and a new outbreak of this disease was declared. We describe a case of a patient with probable monkeypox during the height of this epidemic in Poland. The patient’s symptoms resolved within two weeks, but over the next two months, he developed community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization and, subsequently, non-specific pleuritis. The simultaneous occurrence of such severe infections in a previously healthy young man is not typical and suggests a potential underlying cause. We believe the potential association of these diseases with probable monkeypox virus infection is very likely. Cases of monkeypox pneumonia, both viral and secondary bacterial, have already been reported in the literature. Cases of viral pleuritis in the course of MPOX in animals have also been described; however, to our knowledge, no similar cases have been described in humans to date. Our case indicates that it is important to monitor patients after MPOX in order to respond promptly to potentially life-threatening but, as of yet, not fully understood complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Monkeypox Research)
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17 pages, 1582 KiB  
Article
Effects of COVID-19-Associated Infection Control on the Pattern of Infections Imported by German Soldiers and Police Officers Returning from Predominantly Tropical Deployment Sites
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 778-794; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060070 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 888
Abstract
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, German public health authorities launched various infection control procedures. In line with this, anti-pandemic infection control was also implemented for German military and police deployments. The presented study assessed the impact of this increased infection control effort [...] Read more.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, German public health authorities launched various infection control procedures. In line with this, anti-pandemic infection control was also implemented for German military and police deployments. The presented study assessed the impact of this increased infection control effort on deployment-associated infections in a holistic approach. To do so, the results of post-deployment assessments offered to German soldiers and police officers at the Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases of the Bundeswehr Hospital Hamburg obtained during the pandemic period were compared to the results recorded during the pre-pandemic period in an exploratory, hypothesis-forming comparative study. In total, data from 1010 military deployments and 134 police deployments, predominantly to the African or the Eastern Mediterranean WHO regions, were included in the analyses. In the main results, a significant decrease in gastroenteritis in deployed soldiers (20.1% versus 61.3%, p < 0.0001) and at least a trend in the same direction in deployed police officers (25.7% versus 35.4%, p = 0.4026) were shown for the pandemic period, while no consistent tendency into the one or the other direction was detectable for febrile illness on deployment. In contrast to the finding of less frequently reported deployment-associated gastroenteritis, the detection rates of enteric microorganisms after deployment, including poor hygiene-related colonization with apathogenic protozoa, remained unchanged. Regarding non-enteric infections, the numbers of serologically confirmed malaria cases on deployment and as expected, due to increased airway protection, Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific immune-conversion dropped significantly with p = 0.0037 and p = 0.009, respectively. As a side finding, soldiers and police officers with post-deployment medical assessments were more likely to be older and male during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic period. In summary, only minor changes in deployment-associated infection and colonization rates were seen in response to the increased infection control procedures during the pandemic period, apart from respiratory infections. In particular, the clinical finding of less gastroenteritis on deployment was not matched by a concordant decline in poor hygiene-related enteric colonization with apathogenic protozoa in the soldiers’ guts, indicating that the fecal–oral transmission risk remained basically the same. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infections: Epidemiology, Diagnostics, Clinics and Evolution)
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12 pages, 996 KiB  
Article
Bictegravir/Tenofovir Alafenamide/Emtricitabine: A Real-Life Experience in People Living with HIV (PLWH)
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 766-777; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060069 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 808
Abstract
Background: Bictegravir (BIC), a recently introduced integrase inhibitor, is available in a single tablet regimen with tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) and emtricitabine (FTC) (BIC-STR). This study aimed to describe a real-life experience with BIC-STR. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the data of people living with [...] Read more.
Background: Bictegravir (BIC), a recently introduced integrase inhibitor, is available in a single tablet regimen with tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) and emtricitabine (FTC) (BIC-STR). This study aimed to describe a real-life experience with BIC-STR. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the data of people living with HIV (PLWH) on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with BIC-STR followed by the Clinic of Infectious Diseases of Perugia (Perugia, Italy) from September 2019 to February 2023. Results: 270 PLWH were enrolled with a median follow-up time on BIC-STR of 2.2 years (IQR 1.2–2.7). In the overall population, in treatment-experienced (N = 242), in treatment-naïve (N = 28), and in population with age > 60 years old (N = 86), we observed that CD4 cell count improved in absolute number, percentage and CD4/CD8 ratio, under BIC-STR. Patients with viremia < 50 cp/mL increased in all groups. In the overall population, previous ART with TAF and nadir CD4 cell count favored immunological recovery. In the ART-experienced group, time in therapy with BIC-STR was associated with HIV-RNA undetectability. In the older group, previous opportunistic infection and advanced age were associated with lower CD4 count. Conclusions: BIC-STR was demonstrated, in real-life, to be a valid option for a switch, such as initial ART. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section HIV-AIDS)
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8 pages, 517 KiB  
Brief Report
Latent Tuberculosis Infection and COVID-19: Analysis of a Cohort of Patients from Careggi University Hospital (Florence, Italy)
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 758-765; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060068 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Data regarding the relationship between coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and active or latent tuberculosis (TB) are discordant. We conducted a retrospective study examining the impact of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) on the clinical progression of COVID-19 patients. We selected 213 patients admitted with COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Data regarding the relationship between coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and active or latent tuberculosis (TB) are discordant. We conducted a retrospective study examining the impact of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) on the clinical progression of COVID-19 patients. We selected 213 patients admitted with COVID-19 in a tertiary-level Italian hospital (February–December 2020), who underwent a QuantiFERON-TB test (QFT) and/or chest radiological exam. The population was divided into three groups: (i) QFT negative and without radiological TB sequelae (Neg); (ii) QFT positive and without radiological TB sequelae (Pos); (iii) radiological TB sequelae regardless of QFT result (Seq). In-hospital mortality and oro-tracheal intubation (OTI) showed significantly higher results in the Seq group (Seq 50% vs. Pos 13.3% vs. Neg 9.3%, p < 0.001; Seq 16.7% vs. Pos 6.7% vs. Neg 4.9%, p = 0.045). Considering the Pos and Seq groups’ patients as the population with defined LTBI, in-hospital mortality (20/51, 39.2%) and OTI risk (7/51, 13.7%) were statistically higher with respect to patients without LTBI (in-hospital mortality: 15/162, 9.3%, p < 0.001; OTI risk: 8/162, 4.9%, p = 0.023), respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that radiological sequelae and the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) were significantly associated with higher mortality rate; despite the higher CCI of Seq population, we cannot exclude the correlation between COVID-19 in-hospital mortality and the presence of radiological TB sequelae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Tuberculosis and Mycobacteriosis)
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11 pages, 576 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Diabetes and Being Overweight on Patients with Post-COVID-19 Syndrome
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 747-757; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060067 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 800
Abstract
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS) remains a challenge and may continue to pose a major health problem in the future. Moreover, the influences of type 2 diabetes and being overweight on PCS remain unclear. This study aimed to [...] Read more.
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS) remains a challenge and may continue to pose a major health problem in the future. Moreover, the influences of type 2 diabetes and being overweight on PCS remain unclear. This study aimed to assess these influences. We performed an observational study from October 2020 to July 2022, which included 466 patients (269 males and 197 females) with a median age of 65. They were hospitalized due to COVID-19 pneumonia and had persistent symptoms after 1 month of COVID-19 infection. The patients were divided into four groups according to the study objectives: patients with type 2 diabetes, overweight patients, overweight patients with type 2 diabetes, and average-weight patients without type 2 diabetes. The clinical and demographic data collected during hospitalization and regular visits to the Community Healthcare Center dr. Adolf Drolc Maribor were analyzed. Our results showed that type 2 diabetes patients had more difficult courses of treatment and longer hospitalizations. Moreover, more type 2 diabetes patients underwent rehabilitation than the other study groups. The prevailing symptoms of our patients with PCS were dyspnea and fatigue, mostly among female patients with type 2 diabetes. Our study also showed that more women with type 2 diabetes and overweight women with type 2 diabetes suffered from secondary infections. Furthermore, more overweight patients were treated in the intensive care unit than patients from the other groups. However, our study showed an interesting result: patients with type 2 diabetes had the shortest PCS durations. Type 2 diabetes and being overweight are risk factors for PCS onset and prolonged duration. Therefore, our data that revealed a shorter duration of PCS in type 2 diabetes patients than the other investigated groups was unexpected. We believe that answering the questions arising from our unexpected results will improve PCS treatment in general. Full article
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12 pages, 817 KiB  
Article
Utility of Liver Biopsy in the Diagnosis and Management of Possible Drug-Induced Liver Injury in Patients Receiving Antituberculosis Therapy: A Retrospective Study
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 735-746; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060066 - 28 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
Background: Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) secondary to ATT treatment (TB-DILI) is reported in 2–28% of patients. We present here a series of clinical cases of suspected DILI arising during antituberculosis treatment, studied with the aid of liver biopsy. Methods: this was a retrospective [...] Read more.
Background: Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) secondary to ATT treatment (TB-DILI) is reported in 2–28% of patients. We present here a series of clinical cases of suspected DILI arising during antituberculosis treatment, studied with the aid of liver biopsy. Methods: this was a retrospective descriptive study including 10 tuberculosis patients who underwent liver biopsy for suspected TB-DILI at the “Lazzaro Spallanzani” Institute from 2017 to 2022. Results: Ten patients who underwent LB were extracted from the database and included in the retrospective study cohort. According to the clinical classification, eight patients had hepatocellular liver injury, one patient had cholestatic injury, and another had mixed-type injury. Histopathological diagnosis revealed liver damage due to DILI in 5/10 (50%) cases. In one case, liver biopsy showed necrotizing granulomatous hepatitis. Conclusions: Severe and persistent elevation of hepatic transaminases, hepatic cholestasis despite discontinuation of therapy, and other suspected hepatic conditions are indications for liver biopsy, which remains a valuable tool in the evaluation of selected tuberculosis patients with suspected DILI for many reasons. However, the decision to perform a liver biopsy should be based on clinical judgment, considering the benefits and risks of the procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Tuberculosis and Mycobacteriosis)
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9 pages, 644 KiB  
Case Report
A Case Series of Potential Pediatric Cyanotoxin Exposures Associated with Harmful Algal Blooms in Northwest Ohio
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 726-734; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060065 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 973
Abstract
Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) are increasing in prevalence and severity in the Great Lakes region, as well as both globally and locally. CyanoHABs have the potential to cause adverse effects on human health due to the production of cyanotoxins from cyanobacteria. Common [...] Read more.
Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs) are increasing in prevalence and severity in the Great Lakes region, as well as both globally and locally. CyanoHABs have the potential to cause adverse effects on human health due to the production of cyanotoxins from cyanobacteria. Common routes of exposure include recreational exposure (swimming, skiing, and boating), ingestion, and aerosolization of contaminated water sources. Cyanotoxins have been shown to adversely affect several major organ systems contributing to hepatotoxicity, gastrointestinal distress, and pulmonary inflammation. We present three pediatric case reports that coincided with CyanoHABs exposure with a focus on presentation of illness, diagnostic work-up, and treatment of CyanoHAB-related illnesses. Potential cyanotoxin exposure occurred while swimming in the Maumee River and Maumee Bay of Lake Erie in Ohio during the summer months with confirmed CyanoHAB activity. Primary symptoms included generalized macular rash, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe respiratory distress. Significant labs included leukocytosis and elevated C-reactive protein. All patients ultimately recovered with supportive care. Symptoms following potential cyanotoxin exposure coincide with multiple disease states representing an urgent need to develop specific diagnostic tests of exposure. Full article
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9 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Perioperative Urinary Catheter Use and Association to (Gram-Negative) Surgical Site Infection after Spine Surgery
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 717-725; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060064 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 881
Abstract
This study evaluates potential associations between the perioperative urinary catheter (UC) carriage and (Gram-negative) surgical site infections (SSIs) after spine surgery. It is a retrospective, single-center, case-control study stratifying group comparisons, case-mix adjustments using multivariate logistic regression analyses. Around half of the patients [...] Read more.
This study evaluates potential associations between the perioperative urinary catheter (UC) carriage and (Gram-negative) surgical site infections (SSIs) after spine surgery. It is a retrospective, single-center, case-control study stratifying group comparisons, case-mix adjustments using multivariate logistic regression analyses. Around half of the patients (2734/5485 surgeries) carried a UC for 1 day (median duration) (interquartile range, 1–1 days). Patients with perioperative UC carriage were compared to those without regarding SSI, in general, and Gram-negative, exclusively. The SSI rate was 1.2% (67/5485), yielding 67 revision surgeries. Gram-negative pathogens caused 16 SSIs. Seven Gram-negative episodes revealed the same pathogen concomitantly in the urine and the spine. In the multivariate analysis, the UC carriage duration was associated with SSI (OR 1.1, 95% confidence interval 1.1–1.1), albeit less than classical risk factors like diabetes (OR 2.2, 95%CI 1.1–4.2), smoking (OR 2.4, 95%CI 1.4–4.3), or higher ASA-Scores (OR 2.3, 95%CI 1.4–3.6). In the second multivariate analysis targeting Gram-negative SSIs, the female sex (OR 3.8, 95%CI 1.4–10.6) and a UC carriage > 1 day (OR 5.5, 95%CI 1.5–20.3) were associated with Gram-negative SSIs. Gram-negative SSIs after spine surgery seem associated with perioperative UC carriage, especially in women. Other SSI risk factors are diabetes, smoking, and higher ASA scores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Prevention and Control)
17 pages, 846 KiB  
Review
Murine Typhus: A Review of a Reemerging Flea-Borne Rickettsiosis with Potential for Neurologic Manifestations and Sequalae
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 700-716; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060063 - 26 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1271
Abstract
Murine typhus is an acute febrile illness caused by Rickettsia typhi, an obligately intracellular Gram-negative coccobacillus. Rats (Rattus species) and their fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis) serve as the reservoir and vector of R. typhi, respectively. Humans become infected [...] Read more.
Murine typhus is an acute febrile illness caused by Rickettsia typhi, an obligately intracellular Gram-negative coccobacillus. Rats (Rattus species) and their fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis) serve as the reservoir and vector of R. typhi, respectively. Humans become infected when R. typhi-infected flea feces are rubbed into flea bite wounds or onto mucous membranes. The disease is endemic throughout much of the world, especially in tropical and subtropical seaboard regions where rats are common. Murine typhus is reemerging as an important cause of febrile illness in Texas and Southern California, where an alternate transmission cycle likely involves opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis). Although primarily an undifferentiated febrile illness, a range of neurologic manifestations may occur, especially when treatment is delayed. Serology is the mainstay of diagnostic testing, but confirmation usually requires demonstrating seroconversion or a fourfold increase in antibody titer from acute- and convalescent-phase sera (antibodies are seldom detectable in the first week of illness). Thus, early empiric treatment with doxycycline, the drug of choice, is imperative. The purpose of this review is to highlight murine typhus as an important emerging and reemerging infectious disease, review its neurologic manifestations, and discuss areas in need of further study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging and Reemerging Infections of the Central Nervous System)
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21 pages, 2511 KiB  
Review
Emerging and Re-Emerging Parasitic Infections of the Central Nervous System (CNS) in Europe
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 679-699; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060062 - 25 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2153
Abstract
In a rapidly evolving global landscape characterized by increased international travel, migration, and ecological shifts, this study sheds light on the emergence of protozoal and helminthic infections targeting the central nervous system (CNS) within Europe. Despite being traditionally associated with tropical regions, these [...] Read more.
In a rapidly evolving global landscape characterized by increased international travel, migration, and ecological shifts, this study sheds light on the emergence of protozoal and helminthic infections targeting the central nervous system (CNS) within Europe. Despite being traditionally associated with tropical regions, these infections are progressively becoming more prevalent in non-endemic areas. By scrutinizing the inherent risks, potential outcomes, and attendant challenges, this study underscores the intricate interplay between diagnostic limitations, susceptibility of specific population subsets, and the profound influence of climate fluctuations. The contemporary interconnectedness of societies serves as a conduit for introducing and establishing these infections, warranting comprehensive assessment. This study emphasizes the pivotal role of heightened clinician vigilance, judicious public health interventions, and synergistic research collaborations to mitigate the potential consequences of these infections. Though rare, their profound impact on morbidity and mortality underscores the collective urgency required to safeguard the neurological well-being of the European populace. Through this multifaceted approach, Europe can effectively navigate the complex terrain posed with these emergent infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging and Reemerging Infections of the Central Nervous System)
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17 pages, 1154 KiB  
Review
Oral Molnupiravir and Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir for the Treatment of COVID-19: A Literature Review with a Focus on Real-World Evidence
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2023, 15(6), 662-678; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr15060061 - 25 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2198
Abstract
Vaccines remain the cornerstone of medical prevention and are highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease and death due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In the context of expanding the therapeutic armamentarium against COVID-19, molnupiravir (Lagevrio) and ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir (Paxlovid) were [...] Read more.
Vaccines remain the cornerstone of medical prevention and are highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease and death due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In the context of expanding the therapeutic armamentarium against COVID-19, molnupiravir (Lagevrio) and ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir (Paxlovid) were developed, constituting the first effective oral treatments against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In this narrative review, we retrospectively inquired into the clinical trials and real-world studies investigating the efficacy of these agents. Overall, clinical trials and real-world studies have demonstrated the efficacy of both agents in reducing hospitalization and death rates in COVID-19 patients. As per current recommendations, their use is suggested in patients with mild to moderate symptoms who are at high risk of developing severe disease. Nevertheless, limited data exist regarding their efficacy in specific subpopulations, such as immunocompromised patients, those with severe kidney disease, pregnant women, and children. Full article
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