Infectious Disease

Infectious Disease Publications

Leme RCP, Martins Bispo PJ, Salles MJ. Community-genotype methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus skin and soft tissue infections in Latin America: a systematic review. Braz J Infect Dis 2021;:101539.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Community-genotype methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CG-MRSA) emerged in the 1990s as a global community pathogen primarily involved in skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) and pneumonia. To date, the CG-MRSA SSTI burden in Latin America (LA) has not been assessed. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this study was to report the rate and genotypes of community-genotype methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CG-MRSA) causing community-onset skin and soft tissue infections (CO-SSTIs) in LA over the last two decades. In addition, this research determined relevant data related to SSTIs due to CG-MRSA, including risk factors, other invasive diseases, and mortality. DATA SOURCES: Relevant literature was searched and extracted from five major databases: Embase, PubMed, LILACS, SciELO, and Web of Science. METHODS: A systematic review was performed, and a narrative review was constructed. RESULTS: An analysis of 11 studies identified epidemiological data across LA, with Argentina presenting the highest percentage of SSTIs caused by CG-MRSA (88%). Other countries had rates of CG-MRSA infection ranging from 0 to 51%. Brazil had one of the lowest rates of CG-MRSA SSTI (4.5-25%). In Argentina, being younger than 50 years of age and having purulent lesions were predictive factors for CG-MRSA CO-SSTIs. In addition, the predominant genetic lineages in LA belonged to sequence types 8, 30, and 5 (ST8, ST30, and ST5). CONCLUSION: There are significant regional differences in the rates of CG-MRSA causing CO-SSTIs. It is not possible to conclude whether or not CG-MRSA CO-SSTIs resulted in more severe SSTI presentations or in a higher mortality rate.
Baker TL, Greiner JV, Vesonder M. SARS-CoV-2 safety: Guidelines for shielding frontline nurses. Nursing 2021;Abstract
ABSTRACT: Protecting nurses in healthcare facilities from SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential for maintaining an adequate nursing force. Foundational guidelines, consistently utilized, protect the nursing staff from infection. This article describes guidelines designed to reduce acute infection and associated morbidity and mortality among nursing staff and improve compliance with infection prevention protocols.
André C, Durand ML, Buckley T, Cadorette J, Gilmore MS, Ciolino JB, Bispo PJM. A Cluster of Corneal Donor Rim Cultures Positive for Achromobacter Species Associated With Contaminated Eye Solution. Cornea 2021;40(2):223-227.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate a cluster of corneoscleral rim cultures positive for Achromobacter species over a 6-month period at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. METHODS: An increased rate of positive corneal donor rim cultures was noted at Massachusetts Eye and Ear between July and December 2017. Positive cultures were subjected to identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing by phenotypic (MicroScan WalkAway) and genotypic (16S rDNA sequencing) methods. Samples of the eye wash solution (GeriCare) used in the eye bank were also evaluated. Antimicrobial activity of Optical-GS against Achromobacter spp. at 4°C and 37°C was assessed by time-kill kinetics assay. RESULTS: Of 99 donor rims cultured, 14 (14.1%) grew bacteria with 11 (78.6%) due to uncommon nonfermenting Gram-negative bacilli. These had been identified by standard automated methods as Achromobacter (n = 3), Alcaligenes (n = 3), Ralstonia (n = 2), Pseudomonas (n = 2), and Stenotrophomonas (n = 1). Eight of these 11 isolates were subsequently available for molecular identification, and all were identified as Achromobacter spp. Six bottles of eyewash solution were evaluated and were positive for abundant Achromobacter spp. (3.4 × 105 ± 1.1 CFU/mL). Optisol-GS had no bactericidal activity against Achromobacter spp. at 4°C after 24-hour incubation but was bactericidal at 37°C. None of the patients who had received the contaminated corneas developed postoperative infection. CONCLUSIONS: An eyewash solution arising from a single lot was implicated in the contamination of donor rims by Achromobacter spp. The isolates were able to survive in the Optisol-GS medium at the recommended storage temperature. This highlights the need to continue improving protocols for tissue preparation and storage.
Rahimkhoei V, Jabbari N, Nourani A, Sharifi S, Akbari A. Potential small-molecule drugs as available weapons to fight novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV): A review. Cell Biochem Funct 2021;39(1):4-9.Abstract
Since the new coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2) has widely spread in Wuhan, China, with severe pneumonia, scientists and physicians have made remarkable efforts to use various options such as monoclonal antibodies, peptides, vaccines, small-molecule drugs and interferon therapies to control, prevent or treatment infections of 2019-nCoV. However, no vaccine or drug has yet been confirmed to completely treat 2019-nCoV. In this review, we focus on the use of potential available small-molecule drug candidates for treating infections caused by 2019-nCoV.
Ma KK, Kinde B, Doan T, Jacobs DS, Ong Tone S. Dual Molecular Diagnosis of Microsporidia (Encephalitozoon hellem) Keratoconjunctivitis in an Immunocompetent Adult. Cornea 2021;40(2):242-244.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report a case of microsporidia (Encephalitozoon hellem) keratoconjunctivitis acquired through avian transmission in an immunocompetent adult, diagnosed by metagenomic deep sequencing (MDS), and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. METHODS: A case report. RESULTS: An 18-year-old woman was referred with unilateral keratoconjunctivitis unresponsive to topical and systemic therapy after exposure to birdcage debris. Slit-lamp examination of the left eye revealed a follicular papillary reaction of the palpebral conjunctiva and multiple corneal punctate epithelial opacities that stained minimally with fluorescein. In vivo confocal microscopy revealed bright double-walled structures and smaller bright round structures in the superficial epithelial debris and epithelium. Molecular diagnosis with MDS of E. hellem was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. Clinical resolution and normalization of in vivo confocal microscopy was observed after a 6-week course of topical azithromycin. The patient elected a 3-week course of topical voriconazole 1% for definitive antimicrosporidial treatment, with no evidence of persistent infection 1 month later. CONCLUSIONS: Microsporidial (E. hellem) keratoconjunctivitis can occur through avian transmission in immunocompetent hosts. Topical azithromycin may be effective against this pathogen. MDS has utility in the diagnosis of atypical keratoconjunctivitis.
Bryan NC, Lebreton F, Gilmore M, Ruvkun G, Zuber MT, Carr CE. Genomic and Functional Characterization of Enterococcus faecalis Isolates Recovered From the International Space Station and Their Potential for Pathogenicity. Front Microbiol 2020;11:515319.Abstract
is a multidrug resistant, opportunistic human pathogen and a leading cause of hospital acquired infections. Recently, isolates have been recovered from the air and surfaces onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Pangenomic and functional analyses were carried out to assess their potential impact on astronaut health. Genomes of each ISS isolate, and both clinical and commensal reference strains, were evaluated for their core and unique gene content, acquired antibiotic resistance genes, phage, plasmid content, and virulence traits. In order to determine their potential survival when outside of the human host, isolates were also challenged with three weeks of desiccation at 30% relative humidity. Finally, pathogenicity of the ISS strains was evaluated in the model organism At the culmination of this study, there were no defining signatures that separated known pathogenic strains from the more commensal phenotypes using the currently available resources. As a result, the current reliance on database information alone must be shifted to experimentally evaluated genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of clinically relevant microorganisms.
Moon JY, Miller JB, Katz R, Ta T, Szypko C, Garg I, Lorch AC, Gardiner MF, Armstrong GW. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Ophthalmic Care at an Eye-Specific Emergency Department in an Outbreak Hotspot. Clin Ophthalmol 2020;14:4155-4163.Abstract
Purpose: During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing concern that patients are forgoing necessary care. Emergency departments (ED) represent an important site of eye care. We analyzed patterns of ED visits at an eye-specific ED since the declaration of the public health crisis. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective, cross-sectional single center study, medical records of 6744 patients who presented to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear ED between March 1st and April 30th in 2018, 2019, and 2020 were studied. The primary outcome measures were total volume of ED visits, proportion of urgent ED visits, and proportion of surgical visits. Results: Overall, the median number of daily visits to the ED decreased by 18 visits per day since the declaration of public health guidelines (interquartile range, 9-24, p < 0.001). This accounted for a 32% decrease in the total volume of ED visits in 2020 compared to prior years during the study period (p < 0.001). There was a 9% increase in the proportion of primary diagnoses considered urgent (p = 0.002). The proportion of visits requiring urgent surgery increased by 39% (p = 0.004). Conclusion: The total number of eye-specific ED visits dropped compared to prior years while the proportion of urgent visits increased. Patients were likely more reluctant to seek eye care, deferring less urgent evaluation.
Ung L, Jonas JB, Lietman TM, Chodosh J. COVID-19 and the Unfinished Agenda of VISION 2020. Am J Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To critically evaluate the potential impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on global ophthalmology and VISION 2020. DESIGN: Perspective supplemented with epidemiologic insights from available online databases. METHODS: We extracted data from the Global Vision Database (2017) and Global Burden of Disease Study (2017) to highlight temporal trends in global blindness since 1990, and provide a narrative overview of how COVID-19 may derail progress toward the goals of VISION 2020. RESULTS: Over two decades of VISION 2020 advocacy and program implementation have culminated in a universal reduction of combined age-standardized prevalence of moderate to severe vision impairment (MSVI) across all world regions since 1990. Between 1990-2017, low-income countries observed large reductions in the age-standardized prevalence per 100,000 persons of vitamin A deficiency (25 155 to 19 187), under-corrected refractive disorders (2 286 to 2 040), cataract (1 846 to 1 690), onchocerciasis (5 577 to 2 871), trachoma (506 to 159), and leprosy (36 to 26). Despite these reductions, crude projections suggest that over 700 million persons will experience MSVI or blindness by 2050, principally owing to our growing and ageing global population. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the many resounding successes of VISION 2020, the burden of global blindness and vision impairment is set to reach historic levels in the coming years. The impact of COVID-19, while yet to be fully determined, now threatens the hard-fought gains of global ophthalmology. The post-pandemic years will require renewed effort and focus on vision advocacy and expanding eye care services worldwide.
Keilty M, Houston KE, Collins C, Trehan R, Chen Y-T, Merabet L, Watts A, Pundlik S, Luo G. Inpatient Virtual Vision Clinic Improves Access to Vision Rehabilitation Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl 2020;:100100.Abstract
Objective: To describe and evaluate a secure video call system combined with a suite of iPad vision testing apps to improve access to vision rehabilitation assessment for inpatients. Design: Retrospective. Setting: Two acute care inpatient rehabilitation hospitals (AR1 and AR2) and 1 long-term acute care hospital (LTAC). Participants: Records of inpatients seen by the vision service. Interventions: Records from a one-year telemedicine pilot performed at AR1 and then expanded to AR2 and LTAC during COVID-19 were reviewed. In the virtual visits, an occupational therapist (OT) measured the patients' vision with the iPad apps and forwarded results to the off-site Optometrist (OD) for review prior to a video visit. The OD provided diagnosis and education, press-on prisms, strategies and modifications, and follow-up recommendations. Providers completed the telehealth usability questionnaire (10-point scale). Main Outcome Measures: Vision exams per month at AR1 before and with telemedicine. Results: With telemedicine at AR1, mean visits per month significantly increased from 10.7 ± 5 to 14.9 ± 5 (p=0.002). Prism was trialed in 40% of cases of which 83% were successful, similar to previously reported in-person success rates. COVID-19 caused only a marginal decrease in visits per month (p = 0.08) at AR1, whereas the site without an established program (AR2) had a 3-4 week gap in care while the program was initiated. Cases at the LTAC tended to be more complex and difficult to manage virtually. The telehealth usability questionnaire median category scores were 7 for , 8 for , 6 for , and 9 for . Conclusions: The virtual vision clinic process improved inpatient access to eye and visual neuro-rehabilitation assessment before and during the COVID-19 quarantine and was well accepted by providers and patients.
Jager MJ, Seddon JM. Eye Diseases Direct Interest to Complement Pathway and Macrophages as Regulators of Inflammation in COVID-19. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila) 2020;Abstract
Many of the risk factors for developing severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are also risk factors for eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). During the past decades, macrophages and the complement pathway (as a part of the innate immune system) have been identified as important contributors to the development of AMD, and we suggest that these mechanisms are of similar importance for the clinical course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. Based on the experience with AMD, we discuss how behavioral factors such as diet, smoking and higher body mass index, as well as genetic determinants such as the complement and immune pathway genes may lead to the overactive inflammatory phenotypes seen in some patients with COVID-19, and may in part explain the heterogeneity of disease manifestations and outcomes. Based on this experience, we discuss potential genetic research projects and elaborate on preventive and treatment approaches related to COVID-19.
Gilmore MS, Salamzade R, Selleck E, Bryan N, Mello SS, Manson AL, Earl AM. Genes Contributing to the Unique Biology and Intrinsic Antibiotic Resistance of Enterococcus faecalis. mBio 2020;11(6)Abstract
The enterococci, which are among the leading causes of multidrug-resistant (MDR) hospital infection, are notable for their environmental ruggedness, which extends to intrinsic antibiotic resistance. To identify genes that confer this unique property, we used Tn-seq to comprehensively explore the genome of MDR strain MMH594 for genes important for growth in nutrient-containing medium and with low-level antibiotic challenge. As expected, a large core of genes for DNA replication, expression, and central metabolism, shared with other bacteria, are intolerant to transposon disruption. However, genes were identified that are important to that are either absent from or unimportant for and fitness when similarly tested. Further, 217 genes were identified that when challenged by sub-MIC antibiotic levels exhibited reduced tolerance to transposon disruption, including those previously shown to contribute to intrinsic resistance, and others not previously ascribed this role. is one of the few Gram-positive bacteria experimentally shown to possess a functional Entner-Doudoroff pathway for carbon metabolism, a pathway that contributes to stress tolerance in other microbes. Through functional genomics and network analysis we defined the unusual structure of this pathway in and assessed its importance. These approaches also identified toxin-antitoxin and related systems that are unique and active in Finally, we identified genes that are absent in the closest nonenterococcal relatives, the vagococci, and that contribute importantly to fitness with and without antibiotic selection, advancing an understanding of the unique biology of enterococci. Enterococci are leading causes of antibiotic-resistant infection transmitted in hospitals. The intrinsic hardiness of these organisms allows them to survive disinfection practices and then proliferate in the gastrointestinal tracts of antibiotic-treated patients. The objective of this study was to identify the underlying genetic basis for its unusual hardiness. Using a functional genomic approach, we identified traits and pathways of general importance for enterococcal survival and growth that distinguish them from closely related pathogens as well as ancestrally related species. We further identified unique traits that enable them to survive antibiotic challenge, revealing a large set of genes that contribute to intrinsic antibiotic resistance and a smaller set of uniquely important genes that are rare outside enterococci.
Thulasi P, Saeed HN, Rapuano CJ, Hou JH, Appenheimer AB, Chodosh J, Kang JJ, Morrill AM, Vyas N, Zegans ME, Zuckerman R, Tu EY. Oral Miltefosine as Salvage Therapy for Refractory Acanthamoeba Keratitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract
PURPOSE: To report a case series of patients with treatment-resistant Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) using oral miltefosine, often as salvage therapy. DESIGN: Descriptive retrospective multi-center case series. METHODS: We reviewed 15 patients with AK unresponsive to therapy that were subsequently given adjuvant systemic miltefosine between 2011 to 2017. The main outcome measures were resolution of infection, final visual acuity, tolerance of miltefosine, and clinical course of disease. RESULTS: All patients were treated with biguanides and/or diamidines or azoles without resolution of disease prior to starting miltefosine. 11 of 15 patients retained count fingers or better vision, and all were considered disease-free at last follow up. 11 of 15 patients had worsening inflammation with miltefosine, with 10 of them improving with steroids. Six patients received multiple courses of miltefosine. Most tolerated oral miltefosine well, with mild gastrointestinal symptoms as the most common systemic side effect. CONCLUSION: Oral miltefosine is a generally well-tolerated treatment adjuvant in patients with refractory acanthamoeba keratitis. The clinician should be prepared for a steroid-responsive inflammatory response frequently encountered during the treatment course.