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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., Volume 6, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 39 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Chikungunya virus is an Alphavirus belonging to the family Togaviridae that is transmitted to humans by an infected Aedes mosquito. Patients develop fever, inflammatory arthritis, and rash during the acute stage of infection. Although the illness is self-limiting, atypical and severe cases are not uncommon, and 60% may develop chronic symptoms that persist for months or even for longer durations. Having a distinct periodical epidemiologic outbreak pattern, chikungunya virus reappeared in Thailand in December 2018. View this paper.
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Communication
If Not COVID-19 What Is It? Analysis of COVID-19 versus Common Respiratory Viruses among Symptomatic Health Care Workers in a Tertiary Infectious Disease Referral Hospital in Manila, Philippines
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 39; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010039 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1579
Abstract
The COVID-19 global pandemic is entering its second year. In this short report we present additional results as a supplement to our previous paper on COVID-19 and common respiratory virus screening for healthcare workers (HCWs) in a tertiary infectious disease referral hospital in [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 global pandemic is entering its second year. In this short report we present additional results as a supplement to our previous paper on COVID-19 and common respiratory virus screening for healthcare workers (HCWs) in a tertiary infectious disease referral hospital in Manila, Philippines. We sought to understand what etiologic agents could explain the upper/lower respiratory tract infection-like (URTI/LRTI-like) symptoms exhibited by 88% of the 324 HCWs tested. Among the patients who had URTI/LRTI-like symptoms, only seven (2%) were positive for COVID-19, while 38 (13%) of the symptomatic participants were identified positive for another viral etiologic agent. Rhinovirus was the most common infection, with 21 (9%) of the symptomatic participants positive for rhinovirus. Based on these results, testing symptomatic HCWs for common respiratory illnesses in addition to COVID-19 should be considered during this time of global pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Current Challenges and Future Perspectives)
Article
Assessing the Need for Multiplex and Multifunctional Tick-Borne Disease Test in Routine Clinical Laboratory Samples from Lyme Disease and Febrile Patients with a History of a Tick Bite
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010038 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1243
Abstract
Human polymicrobial infections in tick-borne disease (TBD) patients is an emerging public health theme. However, the requirement for holistic TBD tests in routine clinical laboratories is ambiguous. TICKPLEX® PLUS is a holistic TBD test utilized herein to assess the need for multiplex [...] Read more.
Human polymicrobial infections in tick-borne disease (TBD) patients is an emerging public health theme. However, the requirement for holistic TBD tests in routine clinical laboratories is ambiguous. TICKPLEX® PLUS is a holistic TBD test utilized herein to assess the need for multiplex and multifunctional diagnostic tools in a routine clinical laboratory. The study involved 150 specimens categorized into Lyme disease (LD)-positive (n = 48), LD-negative (n = 30), and febrile patients from whom borrelia serology was requested (n = 72, later “febrile patients”) based on reference test results from United Medix, Finland. Reference tests from DiaSorin, Immunetics, and Mikrogen Diagnostik followed the two-tier LD testing system. A comparison between the reference tests and TICKPLEX® PLUS produced 86%, 88%, and 87% positive, negative, and overall agreement, respectively. Additionally, up to 15% of LD and 11% of febrile patients responded to TBD related coinfections and opportunistic microbes. The results demonstrated that one (TICKPLEX® PLUS) test can aid in a LD diagnosis instead of four tests. Moreover, TBD is not limited to just LD, as the specimens produced immune responses to several TBD microbes. Lastly, the study indicated that the screening of febrile patients for TBDs could be a missed opportunity at reducing unreported patient cases. Full article
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Article
Molecular Evidence of a Broad Range of Pathogenic Bacteria in Ctenocephalides spp.: Should We Re-Examine the Role of Fleas in the Transmission of Pathogens?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010037 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1174
Abstract
The internal microbiome of common cat and dog fleas was studied for DNA evidence of pathogenic bacteria. Fleas were grouped in pools by parasitized animal. DNA was extracted and investigated with 16S metagenomics for medically relevant (MR) bacteria, based on the definitions of [...] Read more.
The internal microbiome of common cat and dog fleas was studied for DNA evidence of pathogenic bacteria. Fleas were grouped in pools by parasitized animal. DNA was extracted and investigated with 16S metagenomics for medically relevant (MR) bacteria, based on the definitions of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (WHO). The MR bacterial species totaled 40, were found in 60% of flea-pools (N = 100), and included Acinetobacterbaumannii, Bacteroidesfragilis, Clostridiumperfringens, Enterococcusfaecalis, E. mundtii, Fusobacteriumnucleatum, Haemophilusaegyptius, Kingellakingae, Klebsiellapneumoniae, Leptotrichiabuccalis, L. hofstadii, Moraxellalacunata, Pasteurellamultocida, Propionibacteriumacnes, P. propionicum, Proteusmirabilis, Pseudomonasaeruginosa, Rickettsiaaustralis, R. hoogstraalii, Salmonellaenterica, and various Bartonella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus species. B. henselae (p = 0.004) and B. clarridgeiae (p = 0.006) occurred more frequently in fleas from cats, whereas Rickettsiahoogstraalii (p = 0.031) and Propionibacteriumacnes (p = 0.029) had a preference in fleas from stray animals. Most of the discovered MR species can form biofilm, and human exposure may theoretically occur through the flea-host interface. The fitness of these pathogenic bacteria to cause infection and the potential role of fleas in the transmission of a broad range of diseases should be further investigated. Full article
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Article
Chronic Political Instability and the HIV/AIDS Response in Guinea-Bissau from 2000 to 2015: A Systematic Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 36; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010036 - 16 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1239
Abstract
Guinea-Bissau suffers from political instability and an unusually high HIV/AIDS burden compared to other countries in the West Africa region. We conducted a systematic review on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Guinea-Bissau during the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) period (2000–2015), which dovetailed with a [...] Read more.
Guinea-Bissau suffers from political instability and an unusually high HIV/AIDS burden compared to other countries in the West Africa region. We conducted a systematic review on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Guinea-Bissau during the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) period (2000–2015), which dovetailed with a period of chronic political instability in the country’s history. We searched published works on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Guinea-Bissau for references to chronic political instability. Six databases and the grey literature were searched, informed by expert opinion and manual research through reference tracing. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. The search yielded 122 articles about HIV/AIDS in Guinea-Bissau during the MDG years. Biomedical, clinical, or epidemiological research predominated public health research production on HIV/AIDS in Guinea-Bissau in this period. Six articles addressing themes related to chronic political instability, including how political instability has affected the HIV/AIDS disease response, were identified. The results suggest the importance of considering a broader political epidemiology that accounts for socio-political aspects such as governance, human rights, and community responses into which any national HIV/AIDS response is integrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV and Co-Infections: Old and New Challenges)
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Article
Two Cases of Natural Infection of Dengue-2 Virus in Bats in the Colombian Caribbean
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010035 - 12 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1291
Abstract
Dengue, a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease, is the most common vector-borne disease in tropical and subtropical areas. In this study, we aim to demonstrate biological evidence of dengue virus infection in bats. A cross-sectional study was carried out in the departments of Cordoba and [...] Read more.
Dengue, a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease, is the most common vector-borne disease in tropical and subtropical areas. In this study, we aim to demonstrate biological evidence of dengue virus infection in bats. A cross-sectional study was carried out in the departments of Cordoba and Sucre, Colombia. A total of 286 bats were captured following the ethical protocols of animal experimentation. The specimens were identified and euthanized using a pharmacological treatment with atropine, acepromazine and sodium pentobarbital. Duplicate samples of brain, heart, lung, spleen, liver, and kidney were collected with one set stored in Trizol and the other stored in 10% buffered formalin for histopathological and immunohistochemical analysis using polyclonal antibodies. Brain samples from lactating mice with an intracranial inoculation of DENV-2 were used as a positive control. As a negative control, lactating mouse brains without inoculation and bats brains negative for RT-PCR were included. Tissue sections from each specimen of bat without conjugate were used as staining control. In a specimen of Carollia perspicillata captured in Ayapel (Cordoba) and Phylostomus discolor captured in San Carlos (Cordoba), dengue virus was detected, and sequences were matched to DENV serotype 2. In bats RT-PCR positive for dengue, lesions compatible with viral infections, and the presence of antigens in tissues were observed. Molecular findings, pathological lesions, and detection of antigens in tissues could demonstrate viral DENV-2 replication and may correspond to natural infection in bats. Additional studies are needed to elucidate the exact role of these species in dengue epidemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future (Volume II))
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Review
Issues and Controversies in the Evolution of Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT)
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010034 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1140
Abstract
The original studies demonstrating the efficacy of oral glucose-electrolytes solutions in reducing or eliminating the need for intravenous therapy to correct dehydration caused by acute watery diarrheas (AWD) were focused chiefly on cholera patients. Later research adapted the oral therapy (ORT) methodology for [...] Read more.
The original studies demonstrating the efficacy of oral glucose-electrolytes solutions in reducing or eliminating the need for intravenous therapy to correct dehydration caused by acute watery diarrheas (AWD) were focused chiefly on cholera patients. Later research adapted the oral therapy (ORT) methodology for treatment of non-cholera AWDs including for pediatric patients. These adaptations included the 2:1 regimen using 2 parts of the original WHO oral rehydration solution (ORS) formulation followed by 1 part additional plain water, and a “low sodium” packet formulation with similar average electrolyte and glucose concentrations when dissolved in the recommended volume of water. The programmatic desire for a single ORS packet formulation has led to controversy over use of the “low sodium” formulations to treat cholera patients. This is the subject of the current review, with the conclusion that use of the low-sodium ORS to treat cholera patients leads to negative sodium balance, leading to hyponatremia and, in severe cases, particularly in pediatric cholera, to seizures and other complications of sodium depletion. Therefore it is recommended that two separate ORS packet formulations be used, one for cholera therapy and the other for non-cholera pediatric AWD. Full article
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Review
The Emergence, Persistence, and Dissemination of Antimicrobial-Resistant Bacteria in Environmental Hajj Settings and Implications for Public Health
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010033 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
The emergence of antimicrobial resistance is causing the loss of what was once considered the miracle cure. The transmission of antimicrobial resistance during mass gathering is a potential threat in addition to other infectious diseases. Here, we review the English language literature on [...] Read more.
The emergence of antimicrobial resistance is causing the loss of what was once considered the miracle cure. The transmission of antimicrobial resistance during mass gathering is a potential threat in addition to other infectious diseases. Here, we review the English language literature on the rate and the acquisition of antimicrobial resistance during the Hajj. There is a variable incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Enterobacteriaceae. There had been no report of multi-drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Continued surveillance of antimicrobial resistance coupled with public health measures are needed to decrease the rate of emergence of resistance. Full article
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Review
Licensed and Recommended Inactivated Oral CholeraVaccines: From Development to Innovative Deployment
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010032 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1127
Abstract
Cholera is a disease of poverty and occurs where there is a lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation. Since improved water supply and sanitation infrastructure cannot be implemented immediately in many high-risk areas, vaccination against cholera is an important additional [...] Read more.
Cholera is a disease of poverty and occurs where there is a lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation. Since improved water supply and sanitation infrastructure cannot be implemented immediately in many high-risk areas, vaccination against cholera is an important additional tool for prevention and control. We describe the development of licensed and recommended inactivated oral cholera vaccines (OCVs), including the results of safety, efficacy and effectiveness studies and the creation of the global OCV stockpile. Over the years, the public health strategy for oral cholera vaccination has broadened—from purely pre-emptive use to reactive deployment to help control outbreaks. Limited supplies of OCV doses continues to be an important problem. We discuss various innovative dosing and delivery approaches that have been assessed and implemented and evidence of herd protection conferred by OCVs. We expect that the demand for OCVs will continue to increase in the coming years across many countries. Full article
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Article
Antimicrobial Resistance in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Armenia: 2016–2019
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 31; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010031 - 07 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the acquired ability of pathogens to withstand antimicrobial treatment. To bridge the gap in knowledge for implementing effective and targeted interventions in relation to the AMR in Armenia, we designed this study to explore the performance of AMR diagnostics [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the acquired ability of pathogens to withstand antimicrobial treatment. To bridge the gap in knowledge for implementing effective and targeted interventions in relation to the AMR in Armenia, we designed this study to explore the performance of AMR diagnostics and the profile of AMR in the Nork Infection Clinical Hospital (NICH) for the period of 2016–2019, particularly to (i) determine the proportions of antimicrobial resistance among all samples tested at the hospital laboratory, (ii) determine the proportion of resistance against specific antimicrobials, and (iii) identify factors associated with AMR. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a secondary data analysis that included all the patients tested for AMR in the laboratory of the NICH for the period of 2016–2019. For this period, only 107 (0.3%) patients out of 36,528 had their AMR test results available and of them, 87 (81%) had resistance at least to one tested antimicrobial. This study has provided some valuable information on the AMR situation in Armenia. The results call for immediate actions to control the access to and the use of antimicrobials, strengthen AMR surveillance, and improve laboratory capacity for the proper and fast identification of drug resistance through a comprehensive system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AMR in Low and Middle Income Countries)
Article
Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Dengue Incidence in Medan City, North Sumatera, Indonesia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010030 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1203
Abstract
Dengue has been a perennial public health problem in Medan city, North Sumatera, despite the widespread implementation of dengue control. Understanding the spatial and temporal pattern of dengue is critical for effective implementation of dengue control strategies. This study aimed to characterize the [...] Read more.
Dengue has been a perennial public health problem in Medan city, North Sumatera, despite the widespread implementation of dengue control. Understanding the spatial and temporal pattern of dengue is critical for effective implementation of dengue control strategies. This study aimed to characterize the epidemiology and spatio-temporal patterns of dengue in Medan City, Indonesia. Data on dengue incidence were obtained from January 2016 to December 2019. Kulldorff’s space-time scan statistic was used to identify dengue clusters. The Getis-Ord Gi* and Anselin Local Moran’s I statistics were used for further characterisation of dengue hotspots and cold spots. Results: A total of 5556 cases were reported from 151 villages across 21 districts in Medan City. Annual incidence in villages varied from zero to 439.32 per 100,000 inhabitants. According to Kulldorf’s space-time scan statistic, the most likely cluster was located in 27 villages in the south-west of Medan between January 2016 and February 2017, with a relative risk (RR) of 2.47. Getis-Ord Gi* and LISA statistics also identified these villages as hotpot areas. Significant space-time dengue clusters were identified during the study period. These clusters could be prioritized for resource allocation for more efficient prevention and control of dengue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Epidemiology of Vector-Borne Diseases)
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Communication
Factors Influencing HIV Drug Resistance among Pregnant Women in Luanda, Angola: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Study
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010029 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1311
Abstract
The increase in HIV infection and drug-resistant strains is an important public health concern, especially in resource-limited settings. However, the identification of factors related to the propagation of infectious diseases represents a crucial target offering an opportunity to reduce health care costs as [...] Read more.
The increase in HIV infection and drug-resistant strains is an important public health concern, especially in resource-limited settings. However, the identification of factors related to the propagation of infectious diseases represents a crucial target offering an opportunity to reduce health care costs as well as deepening the focus on preventing infection in high-risk groups. In this study, we investigate the factors related to drug resistance among HIV-infected pregnant women in Luanda, the capital city of Angola. This was a part of a cross-sectional study conducted with 42 HIV-positive pregnant women. A blood sample was collected, and HIV-1 genotyping was carried out using an in-house method. Multivariate analyses were performed to determine the interaction between sociodemographic characteristics and drug resistance. HIV drug resistance was detected in 44.1% of the studied population. High probabilities of drug resistance were observed for HIV-infected pregnant women living in rural areas (AOR: 2.73; 95% CI: 0.50–14.9) with high educational level (AOR: 6.27; 95% CI: 0.77–51.2) and comorbidities (AOR: 5.47; 95% CI: 0.28–106) and infected with a HIV-1 non-B subtype other than subtype C (AOR: 1.60; 95% CI: 0.25–10.3). The present study reports high HIV drug resistance. Furthermore, older-age, rural areas, high educational levels, unemployed status, having comorbidities, and HIV-1 subtypes were factors related to drug resistance. These factors impact on drug susceptibility and need to be urgently addressed in order to promote health education campaigns able to prevent the spread of drug-resistant HIV strains in Angola. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HIV and Co-Infections: Old and New Challenges)
Article
Knowledge and Perception of Rabies among School Children in Rabies Endemic Areas of South Bhutan
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010028 - 02 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1270
Abstract
Rabies is endemic in southern Bhutan and children are the frequent victims of dog bites. We surveyed the knowledge, attitude, and practices on rabies among school children in three schools located in southern Bhutan. A total of 701 students (57.9% female, 42.1% male) [...] Read more.
Rabies is endemic in southern Bhutan and children are the frequent victims of dog bites. We surveyed the knowledge, attitude, and practices on rabies among school children in three schools located in southern Bhutan. A total of 701 students (57.9% female, 42.1% male) with an age range of 12–21 years (mean: 15 years) participated in the survey, of which 98.2% had heard about rabies. Most of the students demonstrated a good level of knowledge (59.7%) and a favorable perception towards rabies (57.7%). Multivariable logistic analysis revealed the relation between knowledge and the awareness campaign (OR:1.5, 95% CI: 1.1–2.1). Similarly, higher grades of students (OR:1.9, 95%CI: 1.3–2.9) and employed mothers of the students (OR: 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0–2.7) were associated with more favorable perceptions. However, some knowledge gaps were identified in this study, such as students not being able to clearly mention the susceptible hosts of rabies, transmission routes, clinical signs, and prevention and control options. Therefore, regular awareness programs on rabies are necessary among school children in Bhutan. Full article
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Article
Identification, Distribution, and Habitat Suitability Models of Ixodid Tick Species in Cattle in Eastern Bhutan
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010027 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1438
Abstract
Tick infestation is the most reported parasitological problem in cattle in Bhutan. In May and June 2019, we collected ticks from 240 cattle in two districts of Eastern Bhutan. Tick presence, diversity, and infestation prevalence were examined by morphological identification of 3600 live [...] Read more.
Tick infestation is the most reported parasitological problem in cattle in Bhutan. In May and June 2019, we collected ticks from 240 cattle in two districts of Eastern Bhutan. Tick presence, diversity, and infestation prevalence were examined by morphological identification of 3600 live adult ticks. The relationships between cattle, geographic factors, and infestation prevalence were assessed using logistic regression analyses. Habitat suitability for the tick species identified was determined using MaxEnt. Four genera and six species of ticks were found. These were Rhipicephalus microplus (Canestrini) (70.2% (95% confidence interval (CI): 68.7–71.7)), Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides Supino (18.8% (95% CI: 17.5–20.1)), Haemaphysalis bispinosa Neumann (8.2% (95% CI: 7.3–9.1)), Haemaphysalis spinigera Neumann (2.5% (95% CI: 2–3)), Amblyomma testudinarium Koch (0.19% (95% CI: 0.07–0.4)), and a single unidentified Ixodes sp. Logistic regression indicated that the variables associated with infestation were: longitude and cattle age for R. microplus; latitude for R. haemaphysaloides; and altitude and cattle breed for H. bispinosa and H. spinigera. MaxEnt models showed land cover to be an important predictor for the occurrence of all tick species examined. These findings provide information that can be used to initiate and plan enhanced tick surveillance and subsequent prevention and control programs for ticks and tick-borne diseases in cattle in Bhutan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Epidemiology of Vector-Borne Diseases)
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Review
The COVID-19 Pandemic: Disproportionate Thrombotic Tendency and Management Recommendations
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010026 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1826
Abstract
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS COV-2 virus. Patients with COVID-19 are susceptible to thrombosis due to excessive inflammation, platelet activation, endothelial dysfunction, and circulatory stasis, resulting in an increased risk of death due to associated coagulopathies. In addition, many [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS COV-2 virus. Patients with COVID-19 are susceptible to thrombosis due to excessive inflammation, platelet activation, endothelial dysfunction, and circulatory stasis, resulting in an increased risk of death due to associated coagulopathies. In addition, many patients receiving antithrombotic therapy for pre-existing thrombotic diseases can develop COVID-19, which can further complicate dose adjustment, choice and laboratory monitoring of antithrombotic treatment. This review summarizes the laboratory findings, the prohemostatic state, incidence of thromboembolic events and some potential therapeutic interventions of COVID-19 associated coagulopathy. We explore the roles of biomarkers of thrombosis and inflammation according to the severity of COVID-19. While therapeutic anticoagulation has been used empirically in some patients with severe COVID-19 but without thrombosis, it may be preferable to provide supportive care based on evidence-based randomized clinical trials. The likely lifting of travel restrictions will accelerate the spread of COVID-19, increasing morbidity and mortality across nations. Many individuals will continue to receive anticoagulation therapy regardless of their location, requiring on-going treatment with low-molecular weight heparin, vitamin K antagonist or direct-acting anticoagulants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Travel and Tropical Medicine)
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Article
Assessing the Risk of Exotic Mosquito Incursion through an International Seaport, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010025 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Exotic mosquitoes, especially container-inhabiting species such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, pose a risk to Australia as they bring with them potentially significant pest and public health concerns. Notwithstanding the threat to public health and wellbeing, significant economic costs associated with [...] Read more.
Exotic mosquitoes, especially container-inhabiting species such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, pose a risk to Australia as they bring with them potentially significant pest and public health concerns. Notwithstanding the threat to public health and wellbeing, significant economic costs associated with the burden of mosquito control would fall to local authorities. Detection of these mosquitoes at airports and seaports has highlighted pathways of introduction but surveillance programs outside these first ports of entry are not routinely conducted in the majority of Australian cities. To assist local authorities to better prepare response plans for exotic mosquito incursions, an investigation was undertaken to determine the extent of habitats suitable for container-inhabiting mosquitoes in over 300 residential properties adjacent to the Port of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW. More than 1500 water-holding containers were recorded, most commonly pot plant saucers, roof gutters, and water-holding plants (e.g., bromeliads). There were significantly more containers identified for properties classified as untidy but there was no evidence visible that property characteristics could be used to prioritise property surveys in a strategic eradication response. The results demonstrate that there is potential for local establishment of exotic mosquitoes and that considerable effort would be required to adequately survey these environments for the purpose of surveillance and eradication programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future (Volume II))
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Review
Evolution of Nipah Virus Infection: Past, Present, and Future Considerations
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010024 - 14 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1537
Abstract
Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic paramyxovirus of the Henipavirus genus first identified in Malaysia in 1998. Henipaviruses have bat reservoir hosts and have been isolated from fruit bats found across Oceania, Asia, and Africa. Bat-to-human transmission is thought to be the primary [...] Read more.
Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic paramyxovirus of the Henipavirus genus first identified in Malaysia in 1998. Henipaviruses have bat reservoir hosts and have been isolated from fruit bats found across Oceania, Asia, and Africa. Bat-to-human transmission is thought to be the primary mode of human NiV infection, although multiple intermediate hosts are described. Human infections with NiV were originally described as a syndrome of fever and rapid neurological decline following contact with swine. More recent outbreaks describe a syndrome with prominent respiratory symptoms and human-to-human transmission. Nearly annual outbreaks have been described since 1998 with case fatality rates reaching greater than 90%. The ubiquitous nature of the reservoir host, increasing deforestation, multiple mode of transmission, high case fatality rate, and lack of effective therapy or vaccines make NiV’s pandemic potential increasingly significant. Here we review the epidemiology and microbiology of NiV as well as the therapeutic agents and vaccines in development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines against Neglected Tropical Diseases)
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Editorial
New Contributions to the Elimination of Chagas Disease as a Public Health Problem: Towards the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 23; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010023 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1049
Abstract
Despite being described for the first time more than 110 years ago, Chagas disease persists as one of the most neglected tropical diseases [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chagas Disease)
Case Report
SARS-CoV-2 Infection and CMV Dissemination in Transplant Recipients as a Treatment for Chagas Cardiomyopathy: A Case Report
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 22; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010022 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1657
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 has infected over 90 million people worldwide, therefore it is considered a pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), septic shock, and/or [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 has infected over 90 million people worldwide, therefore it is considered a pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), septic shock, and/or organ failure. Individuals receiving a heart transplantation (HT) may be at higher risk of adverse outcomes attributable to COVID-19 due to immunosuppressives, as well as concomitant infections that may also influence the prognoses. Herein, we describe the first report of two cases of HT recipients with concomitant infections by SARS-CoV-2, Trypanosoma cruzi, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) dissemination, from the first day of hospitalization due to COVID-19 in the intensive care unit (ICU) until the death of the patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Current Challenges and Future Perspectives)
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Article
SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence Post-First Wave among Primary Care Physicians in Catania (Italy)
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010021 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1296
Abstract
Family physicians or pediatricians and general practitioners (GPs) work in non-hospital settings. GPs usually visit many patients, frequently at their homes, with low potential, if any, to control the work setting. Particularly during the initial phases of the COVID-19 outbreak, they were not [...] Read more.
Family physicians or pediatricians and general practitioners (GPs) work in non-hospital settings. GPs usually visit many patients, frequently at their homes, with low potential, if any, to control the work setting. Particularly during the initial phases of the COVID-19 outbreak, they were not informed about the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, with inadequate information regarding the risk, a lack of suitable protective measures and, in some cases, deficient or poor accessibility to personal protective equipment (PPE). During the first wave of COVID-19, primary care physicians were on the front line and isolated the first cases of the disease. The present study aims to estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in a cohort of 133 GPs working in Catania (Italy) after the first wave of COVID-19. Serological analysis revealed a low seroprevalence (3%) among GPs. The low seroprevalence highlighted in the results can be attributed to correct management of patients by GPs in the first wave. It is now hoped that mass vaccination, combined with appropriate behavior and use of PPE, can help further reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Current Challenges and Future Perspectives)
Article
Doctors’ Perceptions, Attitudes and Practices towards the Management of Multidrug-Resistant Organism Infections after the Implementation of an Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010020 - 05 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1406
Abstract
Background: Greece is among the European countries with the highest consumption of antibiotics, both in community and hospital settings, including last-line antibiotics, such as carbapenems. We sought to explore doctors’ perceptions, attitudes and practices towards the management of patients with multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) [...] Read more.
Background: Greece is among the European countries with the highest consumption of antibiotics, both in community and hospital settings, including last-line antibiotics, such as carbapenems. We sought to explore doctors’ perceptions, attitudes and practices towards the management of patients with multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) infections after the implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship programme (ASP) in a tertiary academic hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A self-administered, internet-based questionnaire survey was completed by doctors of the University Hospital of Heraklion in Crete, Greece. Results: In total, 202 (59.1%) hospital doctors fully completed the questionnaire. Most of them agreed that the prospective audit and feedback ASP strategy is more effective and educational than the preauthorization ASP strategy. ASP implementation prompted most respondents to monitor the continuously evolving microbiological data of their patients more closely and affected them towards a multidisciplinary and personalised care of patients with infections caused by MDROs and towards a more rigorous implementation of infection prevention and control measures. The vast majority of participants (98.5%) stated that ASP must be continued and further developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusion: The ASP implementation in our hospital had a beneficial impact on doctors’ perceptions, attitudes and practices with regard to the management of infections due to MDROs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infection Prevention and Control: Practical and Educational Advances)
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Review
Infective Endocarditis by Yersinia Species: A Systematic Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010019 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1208
Abstract
Yersinia spp. are non-spore-forming Gram-negative bacilli. They comprise only three species known to cause disease in humans, namely Y. pestis, Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. Since infective endocarditis (IE) is rarely caused by Yersinia, the management of these infections can [...] Read more.
Yersinia spp. are non-spore-forming Gram-negative bacilli. They comprise only three species known to cause disease in humans, namely Y. pestis, Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. Since infective endocarditis (IE) is rarely caused by Yersinia, the management of these infections can be problematic due to the lack of experience. The purpose of this study was to systematically review all published cases of IE by Yersinia species in the literature. A systematic review of PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane Library (through 1 November 2020) for studies providing epidemiological, clinical and microbiological information as well as data on treatment and outcomes of IE caused by Yersinia species was performed. A total of 12 studies, containing data of 12 patients, were included. A prosthetic valve was present in 17% of patients. The mitral valve was the most commonly infected site, followed by the aortic valve. Fever, sepsis and embolic phenomena were common clinical signs, followed by heart failure. Aminoglycosides, cephalosporins and quinolones were the most commonly used antimicrobials. Clinical cure was noted in 83%, while overall mortality was 17%. This systematic review describes IE by Yersinia and provides information on patients’ epidemiology, clinical signs and the related therapeutic strategies and outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infection Prevention and Control: Practical and Educational Advances)
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Article
Arthritis and Diagnostics in Lyme Disease
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010018 - 29 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
The diagnosis of Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is clinical but frequently supported by laboratory tests. Lyme arthritis is now less frequently seen than at the time of its discovery. However, it still occurs, and it is important to recognize this, the [...] Read more.
The diagnosis of Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, is clinical but frequently supported by laboratory tests. Lyme arthritis is now less frequently seen than at the time of its discovery. However, it still occurs, and it is important to recognize this, the differential diagnoses, and how laboratory tests can be useful and their limitations. The most frequently used diagnostic tests are antibody based. However, antibody testing still suffers from many drawbacks and is only an indirect measure of exposure. In contrast, evolving direct diagnostic methods can indicate active infection. Full article
Article
The Cost of Lost Productivity Due to Premature Chagas Disease-Related Mortality: Lessons from Colombia (2010–2017)
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010017 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
Background: Economic burden due to premature mortality has a negative impact not only in health systems but also in wider society. The aim of this study was to estimate the potential years of work lost (PYWL) and the productivity costs of premature mortality [...] Read more.
Background: Economic burden due to premature mortality has a negative impact not only in health systems but also in wider society. The aim of this study was to estimate the potential years of work lost (PYWL) and the productivity costs of premature mortality due to Chagas disease in Colombia from 2010 to 2017. Methods: National data on mortality (underlying cause of death) were obtained from the National Administrative Department of Statistics in Colombia between 2010 and 2017, in which Chagas disease was mentioned on the death certificate as an underlying or associated cause of death. Chagas disease as a cause of death corresponded to category B57 (Chagas disease) including all subcategories (B57.0 to B57.5), according to the Tenth Revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10). The electronic database contains the number of deaths from all causes by sex and 5-year age group. Economic data, including wages, unemployment rates, labor force participation rates and gross domestic product, were derived from the Bank of the Republic of Colombia. The human capital approach was applied to estimate both the PYWL and present value of lifetime income lost due to premature deaths. A discount rate of 3% was applied and results are presented in 2017 US dollars (USD). Results: There were 1261 deaths in the study, of which, 60% occurred in males. Premature deaths from Chagas resulted in 48,621 PYWL and a cost of USD 29 million in the present value of lifetime income forgone. Conclusion: The productivity costs of premature mortality due to Chagas disease are significant. These results provide an economic measure of the Chagas burden which can help policy makers allocate resources to continue with early detection programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chagas Disease)
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Review
The Case for the Development of a Chagas Disease Vaccine: Why? How? When?
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 16; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010016 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1148
Abstract
Chagas disease is a major neglected tropical disease, transmitted predominantly by triatomine insect vectors, but also through congenital and oral routes. While endemic in the Americas, it has turned into a global disease. Because of the current drug treatment limitations, a vaccine would [...] Read more.
Chagas disease is a major neglected tropical disease, transmitted predominantly by triatomine insect vectors, but also through congenital and oral routes. While endemic in the Americas, it has turned into a global disease. Because of the current drug treatment limitations, a vaccine would represent a major advancement for better control of the disease. Here, we review some of the rationale, advances, and challenges for the ongoing development of a vaccine against Chagas disease. Recent pre-clinical studies in murine models have further expanded (i) the range of vaccine platforms and formulations tested; (ii) our understanding of the immune correlates for protection; and (iii) the extent of vaccine effects on cardiac function, beyond survival and parasite burden. We further discuss outstanding issues and opportunities to move Chagas disease development forward in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines against Neglected Tropical Diseases)
Article
Compliance to Screening Protocols for Multidrug-Resistant Microorganisms at the Emergency Departments of Two Academic Hospitals in the Dutch–German Cross-Border Region
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010015 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1222
Abstract
Infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are associated with prolonged hospitalization and higher risk of mortality. Patients arriving in the hospital via the emergency department (ED) are screened for the presence of MDROs in compliance with the screening protocols in order to apply [...] Read more.
Infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) are associated with prolonged hospitalization and higher risk of mortality. Patients arriving in the hospital via the emergency department (ED) are screened for the presence of MDROs in compliance with the screening protocols in order to apply the correct isolation measures. In the Dutch–German border region, local hospitals apply their own screening protocols which are based upon national screening protocols. The contents of the national and local MDRO screening protocols were compared on vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and carbapenemase-producing and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CPE/CRE). The practicality of the screening protocols was evaluated by performing an audit. As a result, the content of the MDRO screening protocols differed regarding risk factors for MDRO carriage, swab site, personal protective equipment, and isolation measures. The observations and questionnaires showed that the practicality was sufficient; however, the responsibility was not designated clearly and education regarding the screening protocols was deemed inappropriate. The differences between the MDRO screening protocols complicate patient care in the Dutch–German border region. Arrangements have to be made about the responsibility of the MDRO screening, and improvements are necessary concerning education regarding the MDRO screening protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infection Prevention and Control: Practical and Educational Advances)
Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease in 2020
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010014 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 859
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Article
Monitoring of the Sensitivity In Vivo of Plasmodium falciparum to Artemether-Lumefantrine in Mali
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010013 - 24 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1009
Abstract
In Mali, since 2007, artemether-lumefantrine has been the first choice against uncomplicated malaria. Despite its effectiveness, a rapid selection of markers of resistance to partner drugs has been documented. This work evaluated the treatment according to the World Health Organization’s standard 28-day treatment [...] Read more.
In Mali, since 2007, artemether-lumefantrine has been the first choice against uncomplicated malaria. Despite its effectiveness, a rapid selection of markers of resistance to partner drugs has been documented. This work evaluated the treatment according to the World Health Organization’s standard 28-day treatment method. The primary endpoint was the clinical and parasitological response corrected by a polymerase chain reaction. It was more than 99.9 percent, the proportion of patients with anemia significantly decrease compared to baseline (p < 0.001), and no serious events were recorded. Plasmodium falciparum remains sensitive to artemether-lumefantrine in Mali. Full article
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Article
Chikungunya Manifestations and Viremia in Patients Who Presented to the Fever Clinic at Bangkok Hospital for Tropical Diseases during the 2019 Outbreak in Thailand
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010012 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Chikungunya virus is an Alphavirus belonging to the family Togaviridae that is transmitted to humans by an infected Aedes mosquito. Patients develop fever, inflammatory arthritis, and rash during the acute stage of infection. Although the illness is self-limiting, atypical and severe cases are [...] Read more.
Chikungunya virus is an Alphavirus belonging to the family Togaviridae that is transmitted to humans by an infected Aedes mosquito. Patients develop fever, inflammatory arthritis, and rash during the acute stage of infection. Although the illness is self-limiting, atypical and severe cases are not uncommon, and 60% may develop chronic symptoms that persist for months or even for longer durations. Having a distinct periodical epidemiologic outbreak pattern, chikungunya virus reappeared in Thailand in December 2018. Here, we describe a cohort of acute chikungunya patients who had presented to the Bangkok Hospital for Tropical Diseases during October 2019. Infection was detected by a novel antigen kit and subsequently confirmed by real-time RT-PCR using serum collected at presentation to the Fever Clinic. Other possible acute febrile illnesses such as influenza, dengue, and malaria were excluded. We explored the sequence of clinical manifestations at presentation during the acute phase and associated the viral load with the clinical findings. Most of the patients were healthy individuals in their forties. Fever and arthralgia were the predominant clinical manifestations found in this patient cohort, with a small proportion of patients with systemic symptoms. Higher viral loads were associated with arthralgia, and arthralgia with the involvement of the large joints was more common in female patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future (Volume II))
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Review
Travel-Related Antimicrobial Resistance: A Systematic Review
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010011 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1260
Abstract
There is increasing evidence that human movement facilitates the global spread of resistant bacteria and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes. We systematically reviewed the literature on the impact of travel on the dissemination of AMR. We searched the databases Medline, EMBASE and SCOPUS from [...] Read more.
There is increasing evidence that human movement facilitates the global spread of resistant bacteria and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes. We systematically reviewed the literature on the impact of travel on the dissemination of AMR. We searched the databases Medline, EMBASE and SCOPUS from database inception until the end of June 2019. Of the 3052 titles identified, 2253 articles passed the initial screening, of which 238 met the inclusion criteria. The studies covered 30,060 drug-resistant isolates from 26 identified bacterial species. Most were enteric, accounting for 65% of the identified species and 92% of all documented isolates. High-income countries were more likely to be recipient nations for AMR originating from middle- and low-income countries. The most common origin of travellers with resistant bacteria was Asia, covering 36% of the total isolates. Beta-lactams and quinolones were the most documented drug-resistant organisms, accounting for 35% and 31% of the overall drug resistance, respectively. Medical tourism was twice as likely to be associated with multidrug-resistant organisms than general travel. International travel is a vehicle for the transmission of antimicrobial resistance globally. Health systems should identify recent travellers to ensure that adequate precautions are taken. Full article
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Case Report
Tinea Capitis Caused by Microsporum audouninii: A Report of Two Cases from Côte D’Ivoire, West Africa
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2021, 6(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/tropicalmed6010009 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1013
Abstract
We report here two cases of tinea capitis caused by Microsporum (M.) audouinii in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. The patients were a three-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl who presented with scaly patches on the scalp. The causative fungus was isolated using an [...] Read more.
We report here two cases of tinea capitis caused by Microsporum (M.) audouinii in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. The patients were a three-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl who presented with scaly patches on the scalp. The causative fungus was isolated using an adhesive tape-sampling method and cultured on Sabouraud dextrose agar plates. It was identified as M. audouinii both by its macroscopic and microscopic features, confirmed by DNA sequencing. These are the first documented cases of M. audouinii infections confirmed with DNA sequencing to be reported from Côte d’Ivoire. The practicality of the tape-sampling method makes it possible to carry out epidemiological surveys evaluating the distribution of these dermatophytic infections in remote, resource-limited settings. Full article
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