ResearchPad - medical-microbiology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism in patients with HIV infection: A nationwide cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14541 The HIV pandemic affects approximately 40 million people and causes significant morbidity, including a markedly increased risk of a venous thromboembolism (VTE).The recurrence risk of VTE in people living with HIV (PWH) is unknown, although this risk drives the anticoagulant therapy duration after a first VTE.Our study determined the recurrent VTE risk in PWH compared to uninfected controls.What did the researchers do and find?We performed an observational cohort study using data from the national ATHENA PWH cohort (2003–2015) in the Netherlands and the Dutch Multiple Environmental and Genetic Assessment of risk factors for venous thrombosis (MEGA) cohort (1999–2009) of HIV-uninfected controls with a first VTE.The recurrent VTE incidence rate per 100 person-years of follow-up (PYFU) was higher in PWH (5.2) compared to controls (3.1) yielding a 1.70 hazard ratio (HR; 95% CI 1.23–2.36). Incidence rates were consistently higher for PWH in subgroups stratified by sex or the cause of the first VTE.PWH with lower cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4)+ T-cell counts at their first VTE had fewer recurrent events, which was driven by PWH experiencing a better CD4+ T-cell recovery on HIV treatment prior to anticoagulant discontinuation.What do these findings mean?The risk of recurrent VTE is apparently increased in PWH but is ameliorated with better immune reconstitution.HIV-associated immunodeficiency reflects a reversible risk factor for VTE specific to PWH and is of relevance for decisions on anticoagulant therapy duration. ]]> <![CDATA[Serological evidence for human exposure to <i>Bacillus cereus</i> biovar <i>anthracis</i> in the villages around Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14539 Anthrax is a zoonotic disease transmitted from animals to humans and normally caused by B. anthracis mainly in savanna regions. However, untypical bacteria named Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis (Bcbva) were detected in a variety of wild animals in the rain forest region of the Taï National Park (TNP) in Côte d’Ivoire. No anthrax infections in humans living in the region around TNP were reported until now. Therefore, we assessed exposure to the pathogen by analysis of sera from human volunteers for the presence of antibodies against the protective antigen (PA), which is produced by B. anthracis and Bcbva, and against the Bcbva-specific protein pXO2-60. We found antibodies against PA in more than 20% of sera from humans living in the TNP region, and around 10% possessed also antibodies against pXO2-60, confirming exposure to Bcbva. As only Bcbva, but not classic B. anthracis was found in TNP, we assume that the majority of humans had contact with Bcbva and that pXO2-60 is less immunogenic than PA. Although most people reported animal contacts, there was no statistically significant correlation with the presence of antibodies against Bcbva. Nevertheless, our study confirmed that Bcbva represents a danger for humans living in the affected area.

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<![CDATA[Short-term evolution strategies for host adaptation and drug escape in human fungal pathogens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14537 <![CDATA[<i>Escherichia coli</i> ST131 clones harbouring AggR and AAF/V fimbriae causing bacteremia in Mozambican children: Emergence of new variant of <i>fimH27</i> subclone]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14507 Escherichia coli ST131 has emerged as a globally disseminated multi-drug resistant clone associated with extra-intestinal infections acquired in the community or hospital. In Manhiça district, E. coli is among the top five leading bloodstream pathogens in children. We characterized E. coli strains causing bacteremia in young children in a rural hospital of Mozambique, providing novel information on the occurrence of a new subclone of ST131 harboring both ExPEC and EAEC related genes and belonging to commonly reported O25:H4 and other serotypes. These data suggest the need for further understanding of pathogenesis and clinical impact of this new entity to inform prompt recognition and appropriate treatment.

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<![CDATA[A conformation-based intra-molecular initiation factor identified in the flavivirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14506 The function of a protein is often dictated by a single defined fold, which in turn is determined by its amino acid sequences. However, multiple global conformations can be utilized by a protein to fulfill distinct functions under different circumstances. The flavivirus NS5 protein, a natural fusion of an N-terminal methyltransferase (MTase) and a C-terminal RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP), may be such an example. Previously reported NS5 crystal structures exhibit two apparently different global conformations. In this work, we demonstrate that both conformations are conserved in the flaviviruses and important for virus proliferation, but only one of them is clearly relevant to RdRP catalysis, in particular at the early stages of the RNA synthesis.

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<![CDATA[Inference on dengue epidemics with Bayesian regime switching models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14505 Dengue, a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by the dengue viruses, is present in many parts of the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. All four serotypes of dengue viruses are endemic in Singapore, an equatorial city-state. Frequent outbreaks occur, sometimes leading to national epidemics. However, few studies have attempted to characterize breakpoints which precede large rises in dengue case counts. In this paper, Bayesian regime switching (BRS) models were employed to infer epidemic and endemic regimes of dengue transmissions, each containing regime specific processes which drive the growth and decline of dengue cases, estimated using a custom built multi-move Gibbs sampling algorithm. Assessments against various baseline showed that BRS performs better in characterizing dengue transmissions. The dengue regimes estimated by BRS are characterized by their persistent nature. Next, climate analysis showed no short nor long term associations between classified regimes with climate. Lastly, fitting BRS to simulated disease data generated from a mechanistic model, we showed links between disease infectivity and regimes classified using BRS. The model proposed could be applied to other localities and diseases under minimal data requirements where transmission counts over time are collected.

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<![CDATA[Low response in eliciting neuraminidase inhibition activity of sera among recipients of a split, monovalent pandemic influenza vaccine during the 2009 pandemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14470 Antibodies against influenza virus neuraminidase (NA) protein prevent releasing of the virus from host cells and spreading of infection foci and are considered the ‘second line of defence’ against influenza. Haemagglutinin inhibition antibody-low responders (HI-LRs) are present among influenza split vaccine recipients. The NA inhibition (NAI) antibody response in vaccinees is worth exploring, especially those in the HI-LRs population. We collected pre- and post-vaccination sera from 61 recipients of an inactivated, monovalent, split vaccine against A/H1N1pdm09 and acute and convalescent sera from 49 unvaccinated patients naturally infected with the A/H1N1pdm09 virus during the 2009 influenza pandemic. All samples were subjected to haemagglutinin inhibition (HI), NAI and neutralisation assays. Most paired sera from naturally infected patients exhibited marked elevation in the NAI activity, and seroconversion rates (SCR) among HI-LRs and HI-responders (HI-Rs) were 60% and 87%, respectively; however, those from vaccinees displayed low increase in the NAI activity, and the SCR among HI-LRs and HI-Rs were 0% and 12%, respectively. In both HI-LRs and HI-Rs, vaccination with the inactivated, monovalent, split vaccine failed to elicit the NAI activity efficiently in the sera of the naive population, compared with the natural infection. Hence, the improvement of influenza vaccines is warranted to elicit not only HI but also NAI antibodies.

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<![CDATA[Assessing entomological risk factors for arboviral disease transmission in the French Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13872 The French overseas Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, located in the South Pacific, has been affected by several dengue epidemics, but did not face Zika or chikungunya outbreaks, unlike other neighboring islands. The near-exclusive presence of the Aedes polynesiensis mosquito in the islands of Wallis and Futuna confirmed the role played by this mosquito as a vector of dengue fever. A local Ae. polynesiensis population was recently shown to be able to transmit the Zika virus under experimental conditions, but its susceptibility to the chikungunya virus was still unknown, and recent data on the presence of other potential arbovirus vectors were missing. Therefore, we investigated the entomological risk factors for the transmission of arboviral diseases in the Wallis and Futuna Islands. We reported the occurrence and distribution of different Aedes species, especially the abundant presence of Ae. polynesiensis across the territory and the spread of Ae. aegypti in the island of Wallis. Our results demonstrated the ability of local Ae. polynesiensis populations to transmit the chikungunya virus. These findings highlight the risk of arbovirus transmission in the Wallis and Futuna Islands and provide relevant data to guide prevention and vector control strategies in the territory.

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<![CDATA[Virus detections among patients with severe acute respiratory illness, Northern Vietnam]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13805 Severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) is a major cause of death and morbidity in low- and middle-income countries, however, the etiologic agents are often undetermined due to the lack of molecular diagnostics in hospitals and clinics. To examine evidence for select viral infections among patients with SARI in northern Vietnam, we studied 348 nasopharyngeal samples from military and civilian patients admitted to 4 hospitals in the greater Hanoi area from 2017–2019. Initial screening for human respiratory viral pathogens was performed in Hanoi, Vietnam at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) or the Military Institute of Preventative Medicine (MIPM), and an aliquot was shipped to Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore for validation. Patient demographics were recorded and used to epidemiologically describe the infections. Among military and civilian cases of SARI, 184 (52.9%) tested positive for one or more respiratory viruses. Influenza A virus was the most prevalent virus detected (64.7%), followed by influenza B virus (29.3%), enterovirus (3.8%), adenovirus (1.1%), and coronavirus (1.1%). Risk factor analyses demonstrated an increased risk of influenza A virus detection among military hospital patients (adjusted OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2–3.2), and an increased risk of influenza B virus detection among patients enrolled in year 2017 (adjusted OR, 7.9; 95% CI, 2.7–22.9). As influenza A and B viruses were commonly associated with SARI and are treatable, SARI patients entering these hospitals would benefit if the hospitals were able to adapt onsite molecular diagnostics.

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<![CDATA[A prospective study of bloodstream infections among febrile adolescents and adults attending Yangon General Hospital, Yangon, Myanmar]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13833 Bloodstream infection (BSI) is common among persons seeking healthcare for severe febrile illness in low-and middle-income countries. Data on community-onset BSI are few for some countries in Asia, including Myanmar. Such data are needed to inform empiric antimicrobial treatment of patients and to monitor and control antimicrobial resistance. We performed a one year, prospective study collecting information and blood cultures from patients presenting with fever at a tertiary referral hospital in Yangon, Myanmar. We found that almost 10% of participants had a bloodstream infection, and that Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A were the most common pathogens. Typhoidal Salmonella were universally resistant to ciprofloxacin. More than half of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae were resistant to extended-spectrum cephalosporins and resistance to carbapenems was also identified in some isolates. We show that typhoid and paratyphoid fever are common, and fluoroquinolone resistance is widespread. Extended-spectrum cephalosporin resistance is common in E. coli and K. pneumoniae and carbapenem resistance is present. Our findings inform empiric antimicrobial management of severe febrile illness, underscore the value of routine use of blood cultures, indicate that measures to prevent and control enteric fever are warranted, and suggest a need to monitor and mitigate antimicrobial resistance among community-acquired pathogens.

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<![CDATA[Health profile of adult special immigrant visa holders arriving from Iraq and Afghanistan to the United States, 2009–2017: A cross-sectional analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13850 Between 2,000 and 19,000 Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVH) from Iraq and Afghanistan have resettled in the United States annually since 2008.Per the Immigration and Nationality Act, SIVH, like other immigrants and refugees, must be examined by a physician before arriving in the US. Results of these overseas examinations are transmitted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to US state and local health departments via CDC’s Electronic Disease Notification system (EDN).Increasing provider knowledge about the health conditions most commonly encountered in SIVH as well as any differences in health conditions between SIVH from Iraq and Afghanistan may facilitate diagnostic screening, examination, and referrals to additional healthcare providers in the US.Information about the health of SIV populations is limited and would be beneficial for US clinicians who see SIVH in their clinics.What did the researchers do and find?In this cross-sectional analysis, we analyzed overseas medical exam data in CDC’s EDN for 19,167 SIV Iraqi and Afghan adults who resettled to the United States from April 2009 through December 2017.Among all SIVH, 56.5% were overweight or had obesity, 2.4% reported hypertension, 1.1% reported diabetes, and 19.4% reported current or previous tobacco use.In general, Iraqi SIVH were more likely to have obesity, diabetes, and be current or former smokers than Afghan SIVH.What do these findings mean?State public health agencies and clinicians screening SIVH should consider screening for diabetes among those with risk factors and prompt referral and management of obesity, hypertension, and smoking.Behavioral risk factor counseling and referral to culturally appropriate chronic disease prevention programs can be initiated at screening visits and subsequently reemphasized with primary care providers and other healthcare professionals.Limitations include the inability to obtain all SIVH records, self-reported medical history of NCDs, and underdiagnosis of NCDs such as hypertension and diabetes because formal laboratory testing for NCDs is not used during overseas medical exams. ]]> <![CDATA[Patients infected with <i>Mycobacterium africanum</i> versus <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> possess distinct intestinal microbiota]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13847 Mycobacterium africanum (MAF) is a hypovirulent mycobacterium species that is co-endemic with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in West Africa and is selectively responsible for up to half the tuberculosis cases in this region. Why some individuals become infected with MAF versus MTB is unclear but has been suggested to be determined by differential host immune competency. Since the microbiome has now been implicated in numerous studies to generally influence host resistance to disease, we investigated whether differences in the intestinal microbiota might associate with MAF as compared with MTB infection. This report presents the first analysis of the intestinal microbiome of MAF-infected subjects as well as a comparison with the microbiota of co-endemic MTB patients and reveals that the microbiota of individuals with MAF infection display both decreased diversity and distinct differences in microbial taxa when compared to both MTB-infected and healthy controls. Furthermore, our data reveal for the first time in TB patients a correlation between the abundance of certain taxa and host blood transcriptional changes related to immune function. Our study also establishes that antibiotic treatment induces parallel changes in the gut microbiota of MAF- and MTB-infected patients. Although not directly addressed in the present study, the findings presented here raise the possibility that the microbiota or other host physiologic or immune factors closely associated with it may be a factor underlying the differential susceptibility of West Africans to MAF infection. In addition, the data identify certain commensal taxa that could be tested in future studies as specific determinants of this association.

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<![CDATA[Interaction between host genes and <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> lineage can affect tuberculosis severity: Evidence for coevolution?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13824 Susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) is affected by genetic variation in both the human host and the causative bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, prior studies of the genetics of each species have not explained a large part of TB risk. The possibility exists that risk can be better estimated from patterns of variation in the two species as a unit, such that some combinations provide increased risk, or in the presence of TB, increased disease severity. We hypothesized that alleles in the two species that have co-existed for long periods are more likely to reduce disease severity so as to promote prolonged co-occurrence. We tested this by studying TB severity in two patient cohorts from Uganda for which paired MTB-human DNA were available. We examined severity, as measured by the Bandim TBscore, and assessed whether there was an interaction between MTB lineage and SNPs in the host with this metric. Our results indicate that the most recent TB lineage (L4.6/Uganda) when found together with an ancestral allele in SLC11A1 resulted in more severe disease. This finding is consistent with the conclusion that MTB and human have coevolved to modulate TB severity.

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<![CDATA[Determinants of HIV testing among Filipino women: Results from the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13810 The prevalence of having ever tested for HIV in the Philippines is very low and is far from the 90% target of the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) and UNAIDS, thus the need to identify the factors associated with ever testing for HIV among Filipino women.MethodsWe analysed the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). The NDHS is a nationally representative survey which utilized a two-stage stratified design to sample Filipino women aged 15–49. We considered the following exposures in our study: socio-demographic characteristics of respondent and her partner (i.e., age of respondent, age of partner, wealth index, etc.), sexual practices and contraception (i.e., age at first intercourse, condom use, etc.), media access, tobacco use, HIV knowledge, tolerance to domestic violence, and women’s empowerment. The outcome variable is HIV testing. We used logistic regression for survey data to study the said associations.ResultsOut of 16,155 respondents, only 372 (2.4%) have ever tested for HIV. After adjusting for confounders, having tertiary education (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.15; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.15–4.04), living with partner (aOR = 1.72; 95% CI: 1.19–2.48), tobacco use (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.13–3.11); belonging to the middle class (aOR = 2.72; 95% CI: 1.30–5.67), richer (aOR = 3.00; 95% CI: 1.37–5.68), and richest (aOR = 4.14; 95% CI: 1.80–5.91) populations, having weekly television access (aOR = 1.75; 95% CI: 1.04–2.94) or internet access (aOR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.35–3.00), living in a rural area (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.34–2.61); and being a Muslim (aOR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.15–4.57) were associated with ever testing for HIV.ConclusionsThe low percentage of respondents who test for HIV is a call to further strengthen efforts to promote HIV testing among Filipino women. Information on its determinants can be used to guide the crafting and implementation of interventions to promote HIV testing to meet DOH and UNAIDS targets. ]]> <![CDATA[Instigation of indigenous thermophilic bacterial consortia for enhanced oil recovery from high temperature oil reservoirs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13812 The purpose of the study involves the development of an anaerobic, thermophilic microbial consortium TERIK from the high temperature reservoir of Gujarat for enhance oil recovery. To isolate indigenous microbial consortia, anaerobic baltch media were prepared and inoculated with the formation water; incubated at 65°C for 10 days. Further, the microbial metabolites were analyzed by gas chromatography, FTIR and surface tension. The efficiency of isolated consortia towards enhancing oil recovery was analyzed through core flood assay. The novelty of studied consortia was that, it produces biomass (600 mg/l), bio-surfactant (325 mg/l), and volatile fatty acids (250 mg/l) at 65°C in the span of 10 days, that are adequate to alter the surface tension (70 to 34 mNm -1) and sweep efficiency of zones facilitating the displacement of oil. TERIK was identified as Clostridium sp. The FTIR spectra of biosurfactant indicate the presence of N-H stretch, amides and polysaccharide. A core flooding assay was designed to explore the potential of TERIK towards enhancing oil recovery. The results showed an effective reduction in permeability at residual oil saturation from 2.14 ± 0.1 to 1.39 ± 0.05 mD and 19% incremental oil recovery.

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<![CDATA[Murine gammaherpesvirus infection is skewed toward Igλ+ B cells expressing a specific heavy chain V-segment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13826 Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 is a rodent pathogen that is closely related to the human gammaherpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated virus. All know gammaherpesviruses are associated with the development of lymphomas, as well as other cancers, in a small subset of infected individuals–particularly those with underlying defects in their immune system (i.e., transplant recipients and HIV infected patients). Because there are very limited small animal models for the human gammaherpesviruses, studies on murine gammaherepsviruses 68 can provide important insights into critical aspects of gammaherpesvirus infections and the association of these viruses with disease development. Another feature of all gammaherpesviruses is their ability to establish a chronic infection of their host–where the virus is maintained for the lifetime of the infected individual. The major target cell harboring chronic gammaherepsvirus infection are B lymphocytes–the cells in the immune system that produce antibodies in response to infections. Here we provide a detailed characterization of the populations of B lymphocytes that become infected by murine gammaherpesvirus 68. This has led to the identification of a specific population of B lymphocytes that is preferentially infected by the virus. This supports a model in which murine gammaherpesvirus infection of B lymphocytes is not random. However, it remains unclear why the virus targets this specific population of B cells for infection.

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<![CDATA[Mortality estimates by age and sex among persons living with HIV after ART initiation in Zambia using electronic medical records supplemented with tracing a sample of lost patients: A cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13858 Despite many studies demonstrating differences in HIV-related outcomes between men and women on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa, few studies use a probability sample that would enable them to offer regionally representative estimates.Many studies taken from routine service delivery settings are unable to account for outcomes among individuals lost to follow-up, which may threaten the validity of estimates comparing mortality in men and women.Furthermore, whether differences in survival between men and women vary across other important sociodemographic characteristics (such as age) remains underexplored.What did the researchers do and find?We used a multistage sampling approach to enumerate an analysis population of HIV-positive patients visiting public health facilities in 4 provinces in Zambia (Lusaka, Southern, Eastern, and Western).We estimated the association between sex and mortality overall and by age, adjusting for other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.Of 49,129 adults newly initiating ART, the mortality rate was almost twice as high in men compared to women.Analysis of age-by-sex interactions revealed particularly elevated mortality among young males (as compared to females of the same age). While mortality rates appeared to fall with age among men, mortality rates rose with age among women, and by 50 years of age, women had a 2–3 times higher rate of death compared to women under 30.What do these findings mean?Among adults living with HIV in Zambia, men on average experience greater mortality compared to women, but this difference varies markedly by age, even after adjustment for other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics (e.g., baseline level of immunosuppression).Additional means of engaging and supporting younger men in HIV care is urgently needed and may include improved access to self-testing, use of financial incentives, and male-friendly services that feature flexible hours, an integrated multi-disease care model, and reduced visit frequency.Rising mortality associated with age in women greater than would be expected in the general population suggests that health services targeting women of reproductive age may be in part responsible for good clinical outcomes in younger women, but also highlights the need for specific programs to engage older women in care. ]]> <![CDATA[A screening of the MMV Pathogen Box® reveals new potential antifungal drugs against the etiologic agents of chromoblastomycosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13863 Chromoblastomycosis (CBM) is a chronic subcutaneous mycosis caused by traumatic implantation of many species of black fungi. Due to the refractoriness of some cases and common recurrence of CBM, a more effective and less time-consuming treatment is mandatory. The aim of this study was to identify compounds with in vitro antifungal activity in the Pathogen Box® compound collection against different CBM agents. Synergism of these compounds with drugs currently used to treat CBM was also assessed. An initial screening of the drugs present in this collection at 1 μM was performed with a Fonsecaea pedrosoi clinical strain according to the EUCAST protocol. The compounds with activity against this fungus were also tested against other seven etiologic agents of CBM (Cladophialophora carrionii, Phialophora verrucosa, Exophiala jeanselmei, Exophiala dermatitidis, Fonsecaea monophora, Fonsecaea nubica, and Rhinocladiella similis) at concentrations ranging from 0.039 to 10 μM. The analysis of potential synergism of these compounds with itraconazole and terbinafine was performed by the checkerboard method. Eight compounds inhibited more than 60% of the F. pedrosoi growth: difenoconazole, bitertanol, iodoquinol, azoxystrobin, MMV688179, MMV021013, trifloxystrobin, and auranofin. Iodoquinol produced the lowest MIC values (1.25–2.5 μM) and MMV688179 showed MICs that were higher than all compounds tested (5 - >10 μM). When auranofin and itraconazole were tested in combination, a synergistic interaction (FICI = 0.37) was observed against the C. carrionii isolate. Toxicity analysis revealed that MMV021013 showed high selectivity indices (SI ≥ 10) against the fungi tested. In summary, auranofin, iodoquinol, and MMV021013 were identified as promising compounds to be tested in CBM models of infection.

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<![CDATA[Time-to-Death approach in revealing Chronicity and Severity of COVID-19 across the World]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13808 The outbreak of coronavirus disease, 2019 (COVID-19), which started from Wuhan, China, in late 2019, have spread worldwide. A total of 5,91,971 cases and 2,70,90 deaths were registered till 28th March, 2020. We aimed to predict the impact of duration of exposure to COVID-19 on the mortality rates increment.MethodsIn the present study, data on COVID-19 infected top seven countries viz., Germany, China, France, United Kingdom, Iran, Italy and Spain, and World as a whole, were used for modeling. The analytical procedure of generalized linear model followed by Gompertz link function was used to predict the impact lethal duration of exposure on the mortality rates.FindingsOf the selected countries and World as whole, the projection based on 21st March, 2020 cases, suggest that a total (95% Cl) of 76 (65–151) days of exposure in Germany, mortality rate will increase by 5 times to 1%. In countries like France and United Kingdom, our projection suggests that additional exposure of 48 days and 7 days, respectively, will raise the mortality rates to10%. Regarding Iran, Italy and Spain, mortality rate will rise to 10% with an additional 3–10 days of exposure. World’s mortality rates will continue increase by 1% in every three weeks. The predicted interval of lethal duration corresponding to each country has found to be consistent with the mortality rates observed on 28th March, 2020.ConclusionThe prediction of lethal duration was found to have apparently effective in predicting mortality, and shows concordance with prevailing rates. In absence of any vaccine against COVID-19 infection, the present study adds information about the quantum of the severity and time elapsed to death will help the Government to take necessary and appropriate steps to control this pandemic. ]]> <![CDATA[Ultrasound prediction of Zika virus-associated congenital injury using the profile of fetal growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13878 Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus, recently linked to microcephaly and central nervous system anomalies following infection in pregnancy. Striking findings of disproportionate growth with a smaller than expected head relative to body length have been observed more commonly among fetuses with exposure to ZIKV in utero compared to pregnancies without ZIKV infection regardless of other signs of congenital infection including microcephaly. This study’s objective was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of femur-sparing profile of intrauterine growth restriction for the identification of ZIKV-associated congenital injuries on postnatal testing. A retrospective cohort study of pregnant women with possible or confirmed ZIKV infection between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017 were included. Subjects were excluded if no prenatal ultrasound was available. A femur-sparing profile of growth restriction determined using INTERGROWTH-21st sonographic standard for head circumference to femur length (HC: FL). Congenital injuries were determined postnatally by imaging, comprehensive eye exam and standard newborn hearing screen. A total of 111 pregnant women diagnosed with ZIKV infection underwent fetal ultrasound and 95 neonates had complete postnatal evaluation. Prenatal microcephaly was detected in 5% of fetuses (6/111). Postnatal testing detected ZIKV-associated congenital injuries in 25% of neonates (24/95). A HC: FL Z-score ≤ -1.3 had a 52% specificity (95% CI 41–63%), 82% negative predictive value (NPV, 95% CI 73–88%) for the detection of ZIKV-associated congenital injuries in the neonatal period. A more stringent threshold with a Z-score ≤ -2 was associated with a 90% specificity (95% CI 81–95%), 81% NPV (95% CI 77–85%). Excluding cases of fetal microcephaly, HC: FL (Z-score ≤ -2) demonstrated a similar specificity (89%, 95% CI 81–95%) with superior NPV (87%, 95% CI 84–90%). The sonographic recognition of a normally proportioned fetus may be useful prenatally to exclude a wider spectrum of ZIKV-associated congenital injuries detected postnatally.

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