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Infect. Dis. Rep., Volume 16, Issue 3 (June 2024) – 7 articles

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10 pages, 902 KiB  
Article
High Transferability of Neutralizing Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 to Umbilical Cord Blood in Pregnant Women Vaccinated with BNT162b2 XBB.1.5: A Retrospective Cohort Study
by Takuma Hayashi, Kenji Sano and Ikuo Konishi
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(3), 481-490; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16030036 - 27 May 2024
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can lead to severe respiratory illness, rapid disease progression, and higher rates of intensive care unit admission in pregnant women. Infection during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery, cesarean section, fetal dysfunction, preeclampsia, and [...] Read more.
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can lead to severe respiratory illness, rapid disease progression, and higher rates of intensive care unit admission in pregnant women. Infection during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery, cesarean section, fetal dysfunction, preeclampsia, and perinatal death. Vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from pregnant women to their fetuses has also been observed. Although severe infections in neonates and infants are rare, newborns can experience serious consequences from COVID-19 due to their suboptimal humoral immune system protection. The amino acids in the structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 are constantly mutating. Since around January 2023, COVID-19, caused by omicron-type SARS-CoV-2 variants, has been prevalent globally. These variants can evade the immune response triggered by traditional mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, such as BNT162b2. Therefore, vaccination with BNT162b2 XBB.1.5, which provides protection against omicron-type SARS-CoV-2 variants, is recommended. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 148 pregnant women who received the BNT162b2 XBB.1.5 vaccine at 30 partner medical institutions from September 2023 to January 2024. We examined the titers of anti-spike glycoprotein SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobin G (IgG) and IgA in the blood and umbilical cord blood obtained from the participants using ELISA. Findings: Anti-spike glycoprotein SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgA titers were highest in the blood and cord blood at late gestational age (28–34 weeks). No serious side effects or adverse events were observed in either the pregnant women or their newborns. Interpretation: Pregnant women who received the BNT162b2 XBB.1.5 vaccine during gestational weeks 28 to 34 had the highest titers of anti-omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant antibodies in their blood. Moreover, these antibodies were transferred to their umbilical cord blood. To validate our findings, large cohort clinical studies involving numerous pregnant women are warranted. Funding: This study was funded by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Grants-in-Aid for Medical Research from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). Full article
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9 pages, 526 KiB  
Article
Prognostic Factors in Necrotizing Fasciitis: Insights from a Two-Decade, Two-Center Study Involving 209 Cases
by Ioannis-Fivos Megas, Sarina Delavari, Alejandro Marti Edo, Götz Habild, Moritz Billner, Bert Reichert and David Breidung
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(3), 472-480; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16030035 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 377
Abstract
Introduction: Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a critical disease with high morbidity and mortality rates that poses significant challenges in diagnosis and treatment. Prognostic factors for the clinical course of NF remain unclear and are currently under research. This study aims to identify such [...] Read more.
Introduction: Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a critical disease with high morbidity and mortality rates that poses significant challenges in diagnosis and treatment. Prognostic factors for the clinical course of NF remain unclear and are currently under research. This study aims to identify such factors in a large cohort of patients which represents a major comprehensive investigation of prognostic factors for NF. Methods: Retrospective analysis was conducted on necrotizing fasciitis cases from 2003 to 2023 at two German hospitals. Data included demographics, comorbidities, laboratory findings, infection site, causative microorganisms and outcomes. Statistical analysis involved t-tests, chi-square tests, and ROC analysis. Results: A total of 209 patients were included, with a mortality rate of 18%. Patients were categorized into survivors (n = 171) and non-survivors (n = 38). Non-survivors were significantly older (68.9 ± 13.9 years vs. 55.9 ± 14.3 years; p < 0.01) and exhibited a higher prevalence of peripheral vascular diseases, cancer, and heart, liver, or renal insufficiency. Laboratory findings and scoring results also varied significantly between the two groups. The ROC curve analysis identified age as a predictor of mortality, with an optimal cut-off value of 68.5 years (sensitivity: 60.5%, specificity: 81.9%). Higher age was associated with increased mortality risk. Conclusions: The patient’s age stands out as the primary predictive element for mortality in necrotizing fasciitis. Additionally, we advocate for employing the Laboratory and Anamnestic Risk Indicator for Necrotizing Fasciitis (LARINF—score), which holds substantial prognostic significance and is straightforward to calculate. Considering our findings, crafting a clinical algorithm or scoring mechanism to forecast mortality in NF would be a promising target for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Prevention and Control)
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14 pages, 1195 KiB  
Article
Acute Kidney Injury in the Context of COVID-19: An Analysis in Hospitalized Mexican Patients
by Juan Carlos Borrego-Moreno, María Julieta Cárdenas-de Luna, José Carlos Márquez-Castillo, José Manuel Reyes-Ruiz, Juan Fidel Osuna-Ramos, Moisés León-Juárez, Rosa María del Ángel, Adrián Rodríguez-Carlos, Bruno Rivas-Santiago, Carlos Noe Farfan-Morales, Ana Cristina García-Herrera and Luis Adrián De Jesús-González
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(3), 458-471; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16030034 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 476
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a considerable proportion of patients developed a severe condition that included respiratory failure, shock, or multiple organ dysfunction. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) has been recognized as a possible cause of severe COVID-19 development. Given this, this study investigates the [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a considerable proportion of patients developed a severe condition that included respiratory failure, shock, or multiple organ dysfunction. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) has been recognized as a possible cause of severe COVID-19 development. Given this, this study investigates the occurrence and consequences of AKI in Mexican patients to contribute to better knowledge and management of this problem. Methods: Using a retrospective observational cohort methodology, we investigated 313 cases from a cohort of 1019 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 at the IMSS Zacatecas General Hospital of Zone No. 1 in 2020. The prevalence of AKI was determined using the AKIN criteria based on serum creatinine levels and a detailed review of demographic characteristics, medical history, comorbidities, and clinical development. Results: The data showed a 25.30% prevalence of AKI among patients infected with severe COVID-19. Remarkably, these patients with AKI exhibited an advanced age (>65 years), arterial hypertension, a higher number of white blood cells during admission and the hospital stay, and elevated levels of C-reactive protein, serum creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Clinically, patients with AKI had signs of prostration, pneumonia, and the requirement for ventilatory assistance when compared to those without AKI. Finally, those diagnosed with AKI and COVID-19 had a 74% death rate. Relative risk analyses indicated that age (>65 years), arterial hypertension, high creatinine levels, endotracheal intubation, and pneumonia are associated with the development of AKI. On the other hand, among the protective factors against AKI, high hemoglobin levels and the consumption of statins during COVID-19 were found. Conclusions: The findings of this study underscore the significance of promptly identifying and effectively managing AKI to potentially alleviate the negative consequences of this complication within the Mexican population during COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Prevention and Control)
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10 pages, 1249 KiB  
Article
Mortality in Community-Acquired Sepsis and Infections in the Faroe Islands—A Prospective Observational Study
by Marija Todorovic Markovic, Mirjana Todorovic Mitic, Aleksandra Ignjatovic, Magnús Gottfredsson and Shahin Gaini
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(3), 448-457; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16030033 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 764
Abstract
The aim of this study was to collect data and analyze mortality among patients hospitalized with community-acquired infections in the Faroe Islands. A prospective observational study was conducted in the Medical Department of the National Hospital of the Faroe Islands from October 2013 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to collect data and analyze mortality among patients hospitalized with community-acquired infections in the Faroe Islands. A prospective observational study was conducted in the Medical Department of the National Hospital of the Faroe Islands from October 2013 to April 2015. Cumulative all-cause, in-hospital, short-term, intermediate-term and long-term mortality rates were calculated. Kaplan–Meier survival curves comparing infection-free patients with infected patients of all severities and different age groups are presented. A log-rank test was used to compare groups. Mortality hazard ratios were calculated for subgroups using Cox regression multivariable models. There were 1309 patients without infection and 755 patients with infection. There were 51% female and 49% male patients. Mean age was 62.73 ± 19.71. Cumulative all-cause mortality and in-hospital mortality were highest in more severe forms of infection. This pattern remained the same for short-term mortality in the model adjusted for sex and age, while there were no significant differences among the various infection groups in regard to intermediate- or long-term survival after adjustment. Overall and short-term mortality rates were highest among those with severe manifestations of infection and those with infection compared to infection-free patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Diseases)
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13 pages, 2895 KiB  
Article
Estimating Partnership Duration among MSM in Belgium—A Modeling Study
by Achilleas Tsoumanis, Wim Vanden Berghe, Niel Hens and Christophe Van Dijck
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(3), 435-447; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16030032 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Mathematical modeling is widely used for describing infection transmission and evaluating interventions. The lack of reliable social parameters in the literature has been mentioned by many modeling studies, leading to limitations in the validity and interpretation of the results. Using data from the [...] Read more.
Mathematical modeling is widely used for describing infection transmission and evaluating interventions. The lack of reliable social parameters in the literature has been mentioned by many modeling studies, leading to limitations in the validity and interpretation of the results. Using data from the European MSM Internet survey 2017, we developed a network model to describe sex acts among MSM in Belgium. The model simulates daily sex acts among steady, persistent casual and one-off partners in a population of 10,000 MSM, grouped as low- or high-activity by using three different definitions. Model calibration was used to estimate partnership duration and homophily rates to match the distribution of cumulative sex partners over 12 months. We estimated an average duration between 1065 and 1409 days for steady partnerships, 4–6 and 251–299 days for assortative high- and low-activity individuals and 8–13 days for disassortative persistent casual partnerships, respectively, varying across the three definitions. High-quality data on social network and behavioral parameters are scarce in the literature. Our study addresses this lack of information by providing a method to estimate crucial parameters for network specification. Full article
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12 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Hepatotoxicity: A Comparative Analysis of New Generation versus Historical Antiretroviral Agents
by Simona-Alina Abu-Awwad, Ahmed Abu-Awwad, Madalina-Ianca Suba, Voichita Elena Lazureanu, Andrei-Daniel Bolovan, Ovidiu Rosca, Mirela-Mădălina Turaiche, Adela-Teodora Benea and Bogdan Hogea
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(3), 423-434; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16030031 - 24 Apr 2024
Viewed by 501
Abstract
(1) Background: Since the advent of zidovudine in 1987, antiretroviral therapy has undergone significant evolution, marked by the introduction of 34 antiretroviral drugs and 24 fixed-dose combinations. Despite these advances, hepatotoxicity remains a formidable challenge, influencing morbidity, mortality, and treatment adherence in HIV-infected [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Since the advent of zidovudine in 1987, antiretroviral therapy has undergone significant evolution, marked by the introduction of 34 antiretroviral drugs and 24 fixed-dose combinations. Despite these advances, hepatotoxicity remains a formidable challenge, influencing morbidity, mortality, and treatment adherence in HIV-infected patients. This study aims to compare the hepatotoxic effects of latest-generation antiretroviral medications with those of older-generation therapies, assessing their long-term impact on liver health in HIV patients. (2) Methods: This retrospective study analyzed data from 304 HIV patients treated with either latest-generation or older-generation antiretroviral drugs over four years. Patients were monitored for hepatotoxicity through liver function tests at diagnosis, six months, and one-year post-treatment initiation. (3) Results: Initial and six-month liver function tests showed no significant differences between the two groups. However, at one-year post-treatment, patients on latest-generation antiretrovirals exhibited significant improvements in ALT, AST, and ALP levels, suggesting a better safety profile regarding hepatotoxicity. Additionally, a significantly lower incidence of splenomegaly was observed in patients treated with newer medications. (4) Conclusions: The findings suggest that the latest-generation antiretroviral medications may offer a safer profile in terms of hepatotoxicity compared to older therapies, with potential benefits for long-term liver health. This study underscores the importance of continuous monitoring and further research to optimize ART strategies, ensuring improved patient outcomes and quality of life for individuals living with HIV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section HIV-AIDS)
16 pages, 836 KiB  
Review
The Impact of Comorbidities among Ethnic Minorities on COVID-19 Severity and Mortality in Canada and the USA: A Scoping Review
by Christina Mac, Kylem Cheung, Tala Alzoubi, Can Atacan, Hibah Sehar, Shefali Liyanage, Bara’ Abdallah AlShurman and Zahid Ahmad Butt
Infect. Dis. Rep. 2024, 16(3), 407-422; https://doi.org/10.3390/idr16030030 - 23 Apr 2024
Viewed by 578
Abstract
(1) Current literature on ethnic minorities, comorbidities, and COVID-19 tends to investigate these factors separately, leaving gaps in our understanding about their interactions. Our review seeks to identify a relationship between ethnicity, comorbidities, and severe COVID-19 outcomes (ICU admission and mortality). We hope [...] Read more.
(1) Current literature on ethnic minorities, comorbidities, and COVID-19 tends to investigate these factors separately, leaving gaps in our understanding about their interactions. Our review seeks to identify a relationship between ethnicity, comorbidities, and severe COVID-19 outcomes (ICU admission and mortality). We hope to enhance our understanding of the various factors that exacerbate COVID-19 severity and mortality in ethnic minorities in Canada and the USA. (2) All articles were received from PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and Ovid EMBASE from November 2020 to June 2022. Included articles contain information regarding comorbidities among ethnic minorities in relation to COVID-19 severity and mortality. (3) A total of 59 articles were included that examined various ethnic groups, including Black/African American, Asian, Hispanic, White/Caucasian, and Indigenous people. We found that the most examined comorbidities were diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and chronic kidney disease. A total of 76.9% of the articles (40 out of 52) found a significant association between different races and COVID-19 mortality, whereas 21.2% of the articles (11 out of 52) did not. (4) COVID-19 ICU admissions and mortality affect various ethnic groups differently, with Black patients generally having the most adverse outcomes. These outcomes may also interact with sex and age, though more research is needed assessing these variables together with ethnicity. Full article
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