ResearchPad - respiratory-infections https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Disseminated Histoplasmosis: Fighting a neglected killer of patients with advanced HIV disease in Latin America]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14538 <![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[Not sick enough to worry? "Influenza-like" symptoms and work-related behavior among healthcare workers and other professionals: Results of a global survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13852 Healthcare workers (HCWs) and non-HCWs may contribute to the transmission of influenza-like illness (ILI) to colleagues and susceptible patients by working while sick (presenteeism). The present study aimed to explore the views and behavior of HCWs and non-HCWs towards the phenomenon of working while experiencing ILI.MethodsThe study was a cross-sectional online survey conducted between October 2018 and January 2019 to explore sickness presenteeism and the behaviour of HCWs and non-HCWs when experiencing ILI. The survey questionnaire was distributed to the members and international networks of the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ISAC) Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Working Group, as well as via social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter and IPC Blog.ResultsIn total, 533 respondents from 49 countries participated (Europe 69.2%, Asia-Pacific 19.1%, the Americas 10.9%, and Africa 0.8%) representing 249 HCWs (46.7%) and 284 non-HCWs (53.2%). Overall, 312 (58.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 56.2–64.6) would continue to work when sick with ILI, with no variation between the two categories. Sixty-seven (26.9%) HCWs and forty-six (16.2%) non-HCWs would work with fever alone (p<0 .01) Most HCWs (89.2–99.2%) and non-HCWs (80%-96.5%) would work with “minor” ILI symptoms, such as sore throat, sinus cold, fatigue, sneezing, runny nose, mild cough and reduced appetite.ConclusionA future strategy to successfully prevent the transmission of ILI in healthcare settings should address sick-leave policy management, in addition to encouraging the uptake of influenza vaccine. ]]> <![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[Post-stroke infections associated with spleen volume reduction: A pilot study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7682 Spleen volume reduction followed by re-expansion has been described in acute ischemic stroke in both animal and human studies. Splenic contraction might be partially due to sympathetic hyperactivity and might be accompanied by release of splenocytes in the peripheral circulation, leading to immunodepression.AimsTo investigate whether spleen volume changes in the first week after stroke are associated with post-stroke infections, changes in lymphocytes count and autonomic dysfunction.MethodsIn patients with acute ischemic stroke, spleen sizes were calculated from abdominal CT images on day one and day seven. Spleen size reduction was defined as > 10% spleen size reduction between day one and day seven. Post stroke infections were diagnosed during the first seven days after stroke onset using the modified criteria of the US Center of Disease Control and Prevention. We assessed the time course of leukocyte subsets and analysed pulse rate variability (PRV) indices.ResultsPost-stroke infections occurred in six out of 11 patients (55%) with spleen size reduction versus in five out of 27 patients (19%) without spleen size reduction (p = 0,047). Spleen size reduction was associated with a drop in lymphocytes and several lymphocyte subsets from admission to day one, and a higher NIHSS at admission and at day three (p = 0,028 and p = 0,006 respectively). No correlations could be found between spleen volume change and PRV parameters.ConclusionPost-stroke infections and a drop in lymphocytes and several lymphocyte subsets are associated with spleen volume reduction in acute ischemic stroke. ]]> <![CDATA[Comparing in vitro and in vivo virulence phenotypes of Burkholderia pseudomallei type G strains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc780

Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bpm) is a saprophytic rod-shaped gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of melioidosis. This disease has previously been described as endemic in areas such as northern Australia and Southeast Asia, but, more recently, a better understanding of the epidemiology of melioidosis indicated that the disease is distributed worldwide, including regions of the Americas and Africa. A 16S-23S rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) typing system has been developed for Bpm and has revealed that ITS types C, E, and hybrid CE are mainly associated with Australia and Southeast Asia while type G strains are more associated with cases of melioidosis in the Western Hemisphere. The purpose of the current study was to determine the in vitro and in vivo virulence profiles of the understudied Bpm type G strains Ca2009, Ca2013a, Mx2013, and 724644 and compared such phenotypes to the commonly studied Bpm type C strain K96243. We evaluated virulence by measuring invasion/uptake and survival of these Bpm strains in murine respiratory epithelial LA-4 cells and alveolar macrophage MH-S cells using different multiplicity of infections (MOIs of 1 and 10). We also calculated the lethal dose 50 values (LD50) in BALB/c mice that were inoculated intranasally with either Ca2009, Ca2013a, or Mx2013. Overall, the virulence and lethality phenotypes of Bpm type G strains were similar to the Bpm type C strain K96243. Additional comparative analyses between the Bpm ITS types may lead to a better understanding of the contribution of the ITS type to the epidemiology and ecology of Bpm strains.

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<![CDATA[Investigating the potential use of an ionic liquid (1-Butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide) as an anti-fungal treatment against the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5c2fa054-4262-4dfe-83a3-c606a06f5241

The disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has contributed to global amphibian declines. Bd infects the keratinized epidermal tissue in amphibians and causes hyperkeratosis and excessive skin shedding. In individuals of susceptible species, the regulatory function of the amphibian’s skin is disrupted resulting in an electrolyte depletion, osmotic imbalance, and eventually death. Safe and effective treatments for chytridiomycosis are urgently needed to control chytrid fungal infections and stabilize populations of endangered amphibian species in captivity and in the wild. Currently, the most widely used anti-Bd treatment is itraconazole. Preparations of itraconazole formulated for amphibian use has proved effective, but treatment involves short baths over seven to ten days, a process which is logistically challenging, stressful, and causes long-term health effects. Here, we explore a novel anti-fungal therapeutic using a single application of the ionic liquid, 1-Butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (BMP-NTf2), for the treatment of chytridiomycosis. BMP-NTf2 was found be effective at killing Bd in vitro at low concentrations (1:1000 dilution). We tested BMP-NTf2 in vivo on two amphibian species, one that is relatively tolerant of chytridiomycosis (Pseudacris regilla) and one that is highly susceptible (Dendrobates tinctorius). A toxicity trial revealed a surprising interaction between Bd infection status and the impact of BMP-NTf2 on D. tinctorius survival. Uninfected D. tinctorius tolerated BMP-NTf2 (mean ± SE; 96.01 ± 9.00 μl/g), such that only 1 out of 30 frogs died following treatment (at a dose of 156.95 μL/g), whereas, a lower dose (mean ± SE; 97.45 ± 3.52 μL/g) was not tolerated by Bd-infected D. tinctorius, where 15 of 23 frogs died shortly upon BMP-NTf2 application. Those that tolerated the BMP-NTf2 application did not exhibit Bd clearance. Thus, BMP-NTf2 application, under the conditions tested here, is not a suitable option for clearing Bd infection in D. tinctorius. However, different results were obtained for P. regilla. Two topical applications of BMP-NTf2 on Bd-infected P. regilla (using a lower BMP-NTf2 dose than on D. tinctorius, mean ± SE; 9.42 ± 1.43 μL/g) reduced Bd growth, although the effect was lower than that obtained by daily doses of itracanozole (50% frogs exhibited complete clearance on day 16 vs. 100% for itracanozole). Our findings suggest that BMP-NTf2 has the potential to treat Bd infection, however the effect depends on several parameters. Further optimization of dose and schedule are needed before BMP-NTf2 can be considered as a safe and effective alternative to more conventional antifungal agents, such as itraconazole.

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<![CDATA[The SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 expression of maternal-fetal interface and fetal organs by single-cell transcriptome study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6fc22072-15f3-4c64-b34f-34474f5cf931

The new type of pneumonia caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) has been declared as a global public health concern by WHO. As of April 3, 2020, more than 1,000,000 human infections have been diagnosed around the world, which exhibited apparent person-to-person transmission characteristics of this virus. The capacity of vertical transmission in SARS-CoV-2 remains controversial recently. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is now confirmed as the receptor of SARS-CoV-2 and plays essential roles in human infection and transmission. In present study, we collected the online available single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data to evaluate the cell specific expression of ACE2 in maternal-fetal interface as well as in multiple fetal organs. Our results revealed that ACE2 was highly expressed in maternal-fetal interface cells including stromal cells and perivascular cells of decidua, and cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast in placenta. Meanwhile, ACE2 was also expressed in specific cell types of human fetal heart, liver and lung, but not in kidney. And in a study containing series fetal and post-natal mouse lung, we observed ACE2 was dynamically changed over the time, and ACE2 was extremely high in neonatal mice at post-natal day 1~3. In summary, this study revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor was widely spread in specific cell types of maternal-fetal interface and fetal organs. And thus, both the vertical transmission and the placenta dysfunction/abortion caused by SARS-CoV-2 need to be further carefully investigated in clinical practice.

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<![CDATA[MERS, SARS and other coronaviruses as causes of pneumonia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ncef4cd94-f8ee-48fc-baff-72f1f8f36c70

ABSTRACT

Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) have been considered to be relatively harmless respiratory pathogens in the past. However, after the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and emergence of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), HCoVs have received worldwide attention as important pathogens in respiratory tract infection. This review focuses on the epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical characteristics among SARS‐coronaviruses (CoV), MERS‐CoV and other HCoV infections.

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<![CDATA[Extensive multiplex PCR diagnostics reveal new insights into the epidemiology of viral respiratory infections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N00934776-c980-44ad-be69-fd7ff9c62bad

SUMMARY

Viral respiratory infections continue to pose a major global healthcare burden. At the community level, the co-circulation of respiratory viruses is common and yet studies generally focus on single aetiologies. We conducted the first comprehensive epidemiological analysis to encompass all major respiratory viruses in a single population. Using extensive multiplex PCR diagnostic data generated by the largest NHS board in Scotland, we analysed 44230 patient episodes of respiratory illness that were simultaneously tested for 11 virus groups between 2005 and 2013, spanning the 2009 influenza A pandemic. We measured viral infection prevalence, described co-infections, and identified factors independently associated with viral infection using multivariable logistic regression. Our study provides baseline measures and reveals new insights that will direct future research into the epidemiological consequences of virus co-circulation. In particular, our study shows that (i) human coronavirus infections are more common during influenza seasons and in co-infections than previously recognized, (ii) factors associated with co-infection differ from those associated with viral infection overall, (iii) virus prevalence has increased over time especially in infants aged <1 year, and (iv) viral infection risk is greater in the post-2009 pandemic era, likely reflecting a widespread change in the viral population that warrants further investigation.

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<![CDATA[Risk assessment and laboratory investigation of respiratory illness in travellers returning to Singapore 2012–2015: experience from the MERS-CoV Surveillance Programme]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf7dd0873-e435-4126-bd92-5a5773d2d846

SUMMARY

Since the emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Singapore has enhanced its national surveillance system to detect the potential importation of this novel pathogen. Using the guidelines from the Singapore Ministry of Health, a suspect case was defined as a person with clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of pneumonia or severe respiratory infection with breathlessness, and with an epidemiological link to countries where MERS-CoV cases had been reported within the preceding 14 days. This report describes a retrospective review of 851 suspected MERS-CoV cases assessed at the adult tertiary-care hospital in Singapore between September 2012 and December 2015. In total, 262 patients (31%) were hospitalized. All had MERS-CoV infection ruled out by RT–PCR or clinical assessment. Two hundred and thirty (88%) of the hospitalized patients were also investigated for influenza virus by RT–PCR. Of these, 62 (27%) tested positive for seasonal influenza. None of the patients with positive influenza results had been vaccinated in the year prior to hospital admission. Ninety-three (36%) out of the 262 hospitalized patients had clinical and/or radiological evidence of pneumonia. This study demonstrates the potential benefits of pre-travel vaccination against influenza and pneumococcal disease.

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<![CDATA[Incidence and viral aetiologies of acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) in the United States: a population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N67c1f086-a0f1-4f7a-8067-fb59e6cccfee

SUMMARY

We conducted prospective, community-wide surveillance for acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) in Rochester, NY and Marshfield, WI during a 3-month period in winter 2011. We estimated the incidence of ARIs in each community, tested for viruses, and determined the proportion of ARIs associated with healthcare visits. We used a rolling cross-sectional design to sample participants, conducted telephone interviews to assess ARI symptoms (defined as a current illness with feverishness or cough within the past 7 days), collected nasal/throat swabs to identify viruses, and extracted healthcare utilization from outpatient/inpatient records. Of 6492 individuals, 321 reported an ARI within 7 days (4·9% total, 5·7% in Rochester, 4·4% in Marshfield); swabs were collected from 208 subjects. The cumulative ARI incidence for the entire 3-month period was 52% in Rochester [95% confidence interval (CI) 42–63] and 35% in Marshfield (95% CI 28–42). A specific virus was identified in 39% of specimens: human coronavirus (13% of samples), rhinovirus (12%), RSV (7%), influenza virus (4%), human metapneumovirus (4%), and adenovirus (1%). Only 39/200 (20%) had a healthcare visit (2/9 individuals with influenza). ARI incidence was ~5% per week during winter.

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<![CDATA[Risk of infection in the first year of life in preterm children: An Austrian observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne8c917d2-c06e-4527-bc81-08b9487488ae

Newborns, especially preterm infants, have an immature immune system, which, in combination with the required medical interventions necessary for keeping the neonate alive may lead to an increased risk of infection. Even after reaching stability and adapting to the environment, preterm infants have adverse prognoses regarding infections and long-term outcomes compared to their full-term counterparts. The objective of this study was to research differences in the number and severity of infections between preterm and full-term infants during their first year of life. To answer this question, a monocentric prospective study was conducted in a pediatric practice in Vienna, including 71 full-term infants and 72 preterm infants who were observed during their first year of life regarding occurring infections. In respective samples, there was a significantly higher total number of infections in preterm (mean 6.01 ± 3.90) compared to full-term infants (3.85 ± 1.72) during the observation period of one year. Particularly the count of respiratory and severe infections was considerably higher in preterm infants. Otorhinolaryngeal infections were the most frequent of all types of infections in both groups. The pregnancy period, number of siblings, and length of the postnatal hospital stay, were observed as significantly influencing factors which affected the total number of infections. The group of early term infants (37+0 weeks to 38+6) was not significantly different to late term babies (>39+0). The acquired knowledge about the increased risk of infections should lead to a more extensive care for preterm infants, with the objective of reducing the rates of complications, morbidity and mortality in this vulnerable age group in the future.

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<![CDATA[Growth enhancement of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in Vero E6 cells expressing PEDV nucleocapsid protein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897777d5eed0c4847d2d6d

More recently emerging strains of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) cause severe diarrhea and especially high mortality rates in infected piglets, leading to substantial economic loss to worldwide swine industry. These outbreaks urgently call for updated and effective PEDV vaccines. Better understanding in PEDV biology and improvement in technological platforms for virus production can immensely assist and accelerate PEDV vaccine development. In this study, we explored the ability of PEDV nucleocapsid (N) protein in improving viral yields in cell culture systems. We demonstrated that PEDV N expression positively affected both recovery of PEDV from infectious clones and PEDV propagation in cell culture. Compared to Vero E6 cells, Vero E6 cells expressing PEDV N could accelerate growth of a slow-growing PEDV strain to higher peak titers by 12 hours or enhance the yield of a vaccine candidate strain by two orders of magnitude. Interestingly, PEDV N also slightly enhances replication of porcine reproductive and respiratory virus, a PEDV relative in the Nidovirales order. These results solidify the importance of N in PEDV recovery and propagation and suggest a potentially useful consideration in designing vaccine production platforms for PEDV or closely related pathogens.

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<![CDATA[Distinct transcriptional modules in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells response to human respiratory syncytial virus or to human rhinovirus in hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c9902b2d5eed0c484b983fb

Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is the main cause of bronchiolitis during the first year of life, when infections by other viruses, such as rhinovirus, also occur and are clinically indistinguishable from those caused by HRSV. In hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis, the analysis of gene expression profiles from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) may be useful for the rapid identification of etiological factors, as well as for developing diagnostic tests, and elucidating pathogenic mechanisms triggered by different viral agents. In this study we conducted a comparative global gene expression analysis of PBMC obtained from two groups of infants with acute viral bronchiolitis who were infected by HRSV (HRSV group) or by HRV (HRV group). We employed a weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) which allows the identification of transcriptional modules and their correlations with HRSV or HRV groups. This approach permitted the identification of distinct transcription modules for the HRSV and HRV groups. According to these data, the immune response to HRSV infection—comparatively to HRV infection—was more associated to the activation of the interferon gamma signaling pathways and less related to neutrophil activation mechanisms. Moreover, we also identified host-response molecular markers that could be used for etiopathogenic diagnosis. These results may contribute to the development of new tests for respiratory virus identification. The finding that distinct transcriptional profiles are associated to specific host responses to HRSV or to HRV may also contribute to the elucidation of the pathogenic mechanisms triggered by different respiratory viruses, paving the way for new therapeutic strategies.

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<![CDATA[Coincident airway exposure to low-potency allergen and cytomegalovirus sensitizes for allergic airway disease by viral activation of migratory dendritic cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc7ed5eed0c48498f892

Despite a broad cell-type tropism, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an evidentially pulmonary pathogen. Predilection for the lungs is of medical relevance in immunocompromised recipients of hematopoietic cell transplantation, in whom interstitial CMV pneumonia is a frequent and, if left untreated, fatal clinical manifestation of human CMV infection. A conceivable contribution of CMV to airway diseases of other etiology is an issue that so far attracted little medical attention. As the route of primary CMV infection upon host-to-host transmission in early childhood involves airway mucosa, coincidence of CMV airway infection and exposure to airborne environmental antigens is almost unavoidable. For investigating possible consequences of such a coincidence, we established a mouse model of airway co-exposure to CMV and ovalbumin (OVA) representing a protein antigen of an inherently low allergenic potential. Accordingly, intratracheal OVA exposure alone failed to sensitize for allergic airway disease (AAD) upon OVA aerosol challenge. In contrast, airway infection at the time of OVA sensitization predisposed for AAD that was characterized by airway inflammation, IgE secretion, thickening of airway epithelia, and goblet cell hyperplasia. This AAD histopathology was associated with a T helper type 2 (Th2) transcription profile in the lungs, including IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, and IL-25, known inducers of Th2-driven AAD. These symptoms were all prevented by a pre-challenge depletion of CD4+ T cells, but not of CD8+ T cells. As to the underlying mechanism, murine CMV activated migratory CD11b+ as well as CD103+ conventional dendritic cells (cDCs), which have been associated with Th2 cytokine-driven AAD and with antigen cross-presentation, respectively. This resulted in an enhanced OVA uptake and recruitment of the OVA-laden cDCs selectively to the draining tracheal lymph nodes for antigen presentation. We thus propose that CMV, through activation of migratory cDCs in the airway mucosa, can enhance the allergenic potential of otherwise poorly allergenic environmental protein antigens.

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<![CDATA[Pneumonia severity index in viral community acquired pneumonia in adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897759d5eed0c4847d2a8b

Pneumonia severity index (PSI) is an important scoring system that can assess the severity of community acquired pneumonia and determine admission status. However, there is a lack of research on whether this scoring system can be applied to viral community acquired pneumonia. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of PSI in viral community acquired pneumonia. This retrospective cohort study included 1,434 adult patients (aged ≥18 years) who were admitted to the emergency department of a university hospital during 2013–2015 because of community-acquired pneumonia. Viral infections were diagnosed by multiplex PCR. Patients diagnosed with non-viral community-acquired pneumonia were included in the control group (N = 1,173). The main outcome was 30-day all-cause mortality. multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to calculate the risk of death. Respiratory viruses were detected in 261 (18.2%) patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Two types of respiratory viruses were detected in 7 cases. Of the 254 cases detected with only one virus, 62 were influenza A, 18 were influenza B, 65 were rhinovirus, 35 were respiratory syncytial virus, 25 were metapneumovirus, 20 were parainfluenza, 17 were coronavirus, 7 were bocavirus, and 5 were adenovirus. Mortality was not significantly different between patients with respiratory virus and those without respiratory virus; the 30-day all-cause mortality rates were 20.3% and 22.4%, respectively (P = 0.45). Mortality rate increased with an increasing PSI score with or without respiratory viral infection. Pulmonary severity index was significantly associated with mortality adjusted for respiratory virus detection (hazard ratio = 1.024, 95% confidence interval = 1.020–1.028). Pneumonia severity index score is an important factor for assessing the prognosis of patients with community-acquired pneumonia, regardless of respiratory virus detection.

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<![CDATA[Hospitalisations and outpatient visits for undifferentiated fever attributable to scrub typhus in rural South India: Retrospective cohort and nested case-control study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95f2d5eed0c48473500b

Background

The burden of scrub typhus in endemic areas is poorly understood. This study aimed at estimating the proportion of hospitalisations and outpatient visits for undifferentiated fever in the community that may be attributable to scrub typhus.

Methodology and principal findings

The study was a retrospective cohort with a nested case-control study conducted in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. We conducted house-to-house screening in 48 villages (42965 people, 11964 households) to identify hospitalised or outpatient cases due to undifferentiated fever during the preceding scrub typhus season. We used scrub typhus IgG to determine past infection. We calculated adjusted odds ratios for the association between IgG positivity and case status. Odds ratios were used to estimate population attributable fractions (PAF) indicating the proportion of hospitalised and outpatient fever cases attributable to scrub typhus. We identified 58 cases of hospitalisation and 236 outpatient treatments. 562 people were enrolled as control group to estimate the background IgG sero-prevalence. IgG prevalence was 20.3% in controls, 26.3% in outpatient cases and 43.1% in hospitalised cases. The PAFs suggested that 29.5% of hospitalisations and 6.1% of outpatient cases may have been due to scrub typhus. In villages with a high IgG prevalence (defined as ≥15% among controls), the corresponding PAFs were 43.4% for hospitalisations and 5.6% for outpatients. The estimated annual incidence of scrub typhus was 0.8/1000 people (0.3/1000 in low, and 1.3/1000 in high prevalence villages). Evidence for recall error suggested that the true incidences may be about twice as high as these figures.

Conclusions

The study suggests scrub typhus as an important cause for febrile hospitalisations in the community. The results confirm the adequacy of empirical treatment for scrub typhus in hospitalised cases with undifferentiated fever. Since scrub typhus may be rare among stable outpatients, the use of empirical treatment remains doubtful in these.

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<![CDATA[Multiple micronutrient supplementation using spirulina platensis and infant growth, morbidity, and motor development: Evidence from a randomized trial in Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc995d5eed0c484529e73

In developing countries, micronutrient deficiency in infants is associated with growth faltering, morbidity, and delayed motor development. One of the potentially low-cost and sustainable solutions is to use locally producible food for the home fortification of complementary foods. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that locally producible spirulina platensis supplementation would achieve the following: 1) increase infant physical growth, 2) reduce morbidity, and 3) improve motor development. We randomly assigned 501 Zambian infants into the control group or the spirulina group. Children in the control group (n = 250) received a soya-maize-based porridge for 12 months; those in the spirulina group (n = 251) received the same food with the addition of spirulina. We assessed the change in infants’ anthropometric status, morbidity (probable pneumonia, cough, probable malaria, and fever), and motor development over 12 months. The baseline characteristics were not different between the two groups. The attrition rate (47/501) was low. The physical growth of infants in the two groups was similar at 12 months of intervention, as measured by height-for-age z-scores and weight-for-age z-scores. Infants in the spirulina group were 11 percentage points less likely to develop a cough (CI: -0.23, -0.00; P < 0.05) and were more likely to be able to walk alone at 15 months (0.96 ± 0.19) than infants in the control group (0.92 ± 0.28). Home-fortification of complementary foods using spirulina had positive effects on upper respiratory infection morbidity prevention and motor milestone acquisition among Zambian infants.

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<![CDATA[Patterns of multimorbidity and polypharmacy in young and adult population: Systematic associations among chronic diseases and drugs using factor analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d0cd5eed0c484c81e2d

Objectives

The objective was to identify the systematic associations among chronic diseases and drugs in the form of patterns and to describe and clinically interpret the constituted patterns with a focus on exploring the existence of potential drug-drug and drug-disease interactions and prescribing cascades.

Methods

This observational, cross-sectional study used the demographic and clinical information from electronic medical databases and the pharmacy billing records of all users of the public health system of the Spanish region of Aragon in 2015. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted based on the tetra-choric correlations among the diagnoses of chronic diseases and the dispensed drugs in 887,572 patients aged ≤65 years. The analysis was stratified by age and sex. To name the constituted patterns, assess their clinical nature, and identify potential interactions among diseases and drugs, the associations found in each pattern were independently reviewed by two pharmacists and two doctors and tested against the literature and the information reported in the technical medicinal forms.

Results

Six multimorbidity-polypharmacy patterns were found in this large-scale population study, named as respiratory, mental health, cardiometabolic, endocrinological, osteometabolic, and mechanical-pain. The nature of the patterns in terms of diseases and drugs differed by sex and age and became more complex as age advanced.

Conclusions

The six clinically sound multimorbidity-polypharmacy patterns described in this non-elderly population confirmed the existence of systematic associations among chronic diseases and medications, and revealed some unexpected associations suggesting the prescribing cascade phenomenon as a potential underlying factor. These findings may help to broaden the focus and orient the early identification of potential interactions when caring for multimorbid patients at high risk of adverse health outcomes due to polypharmacy.

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