Infectious Disease

Ing EB, Xu QA, Salimi A, Torun N. Physician deaths from corona virus (COVID-19) disease. Occup Med (Lond) 2020;70(5):370-374.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much morbidity and mortality to patients but also health care providers. AIMS: We tabulated the cases of physician deaths from COVID-19 associated with front-line work in hopes of mitigating future events. METHODS: On 15 April 2020, a Google internet search was performed using the keywords 'doctor', 'physician', 'death', 'COVID' and 'coronavirus' in English and Farsi, and Chinese using the Baidu search engine. The age, sex and medical speciality of physicians who died from COVID-19 in the line of duty were recorded. Individuals greater than 90 years of age were excluded. RESULTS: We found 278 physicians who died with COVID-19 infection, but complete details were missing for 108 individuals. The average age of the physicians was 63.7 years with a median age of 66 years, and 90% were male (235/261). General practitioners and emergency room doctors (108/254), respirologists (5/254), internal medicine specialists (13/254) and anaesthesiologists (6/254) comprised 52% of those dying. Two per cent of the deceased were epidemiologists (5/254), 2% were infectious disease specialists (4/254), 6% were dentists (16/254), 4% were ENT (9/254) and 3% were ophthalmologists (8/254). The countries with the most reported physician deaths were Italy (121/278; 44%), Iran (43/278; 15%), Philippines (21/278; 8%), Indonesia (17/278; 6%), China (16/278; 6%), Spain (12/278; 4%), USA (12/278; 4%) and UK (11/278;4%). CONCLUSIONS: Physicians from all specialities may die from COVID. Lack of personal protective equipment was cited as a common cause of death. Consideration should be made to exclude older physicians from front-line work.
Almeida LM, Lebreton F, Gaca A, Bispo PM, Saavedra JT, Calumby RN, Grillo LM, Nascimento TG, Filsner PH, Moreno AM, Gilmore MS. Transferable Resistance Gene in Enterococcus faecalis from Swine in Brazil. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2020;64(6)Abstract
OptrA is an ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-F protein that confers resistance to oxazolidinones and phenicols and can be either plasmid-encoded or chromosomally encoded. Here, we isolated 13 strains possessing a linezolid MIC of ≥4 mg/liter from nursery pigs in swine herds located across Brazil. Genome sequence comparison showed that these strains possess in different genetic contexts occurring in 5 different sequence type backgrounds. The gene invariably occurred in association with an regulator and a gene encoding a hypothetical protein. In some contexts, this genetic island was able to excise and form a covalently closed circle within the cell; this circle appeared to occur in high abundance and to be transmissible by coresident plasmids.
Veronese C, Pellegrini M, Maiolo C, Morara M, Armstrong GW, Ciardella AP. Multimodal ophthalmic imaging of staphylococcus aureus bacteremia associated with chorioretinitis, endocarditis, and multifocal brain abscesses. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 2020;17:100577.Abstract
Purpose: bacteriemia (SAB) as critical condition for the life and occasionally involves the eyes. The aim of this report is to describe the ocular involvement with multimodal imaging. Observations: A patient admitted for evaluation of acute onset of confusion, disorientation, and generalized malaise and found to have methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)-associated endocarditis and multifocal brain abscesses was evaluated by the ophthalmology service. The patient's visual acuity was 20/20 OU without relative afferent pupillary defect and normal intraocular pressures. Bedside anterior segment examination was normal. Posterior segment examination revealed intraretinal hemorrhages and Roth spots in the posterior pole of the right eye, and two deep well-defined focal white chorioretinal infiltrates and a hemorrhagic pigment epithelium detachment in the temporal quadrant of the left eye. Multimodal imaging was utilized to document these findings and ensure adequate antibiotic therapy. Conclusion: SAB has the potential for poor visual outcomes as well as significant morbidity and mortality. Multimodal imaging of SAB-related chorioretinitis allows for accurate diagnosis as well as assessment of response to antimicrobial therapy.
Lee DH, Cohen LM, Yoon MK, Tao JP. Punctal stenosis associated with dupilumab therapy for atopic dermatitis. J Dermatolog Treat 2020;:1-4.Abstract
In this case series, the authors report three patients with severe atopic dermatitis who presented with epiphora and conjunctivitis while undergoing dupilumab therapy. On clinical examination, all patients were found to have punctal stenosis, with one case having progressed to punctal obstruction. An assortment of strategies was elected, including discontinuation of dupilumab, treatment of conjunctivitis, and surgical intervention with probing, punctoplasty, and silicone intubation. This report spotlights punctal stenosis as an important new side effect of dupilumab and suggests that additional cases of dupilumab-associated lacrimal drainage impairment will continue to emerge.
Jonas RA, Ung L, Rajaiya J, Chodosh J. Mystery Eye: Human Adenovirus and the Enigma of Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis. Prog Retin Eye Res 2019;:100826.Abstract
Known to occur in widespread outbreaks, epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) is a severe ocular surface infection with a strong historical association with human adenovirus (HAdV). While the conjunctival manifestations can vary from mild follicular conjunctivitis to hyper-acute, exudative conjunctivitis with formation of conjunctival membranes, EKC is distinct as the only form of adenovirus conjunctivitis in which the cornea is also involved, likely due to specific corneal epithelial tropism of its causative viral agents. The initial development of a punctate or geographic epithelial keratitis may herald the later formation of stromal keratitis, and manifest as subepithelial infiltrates which often persist or recur for months to years after the acute infection has resolved. The chronic keratitis in EKC is associated with foreign body sensation, photophobia, glare, and reduced vision. However, over a century since the first clinical descriptions of EKC, and over 60 years since the first causative agent, human adenovirus type 8, was identified, our understanding of this disorder remains limited. This is underscored by a current lack of effective diagnostic tools and treatments. In part, stasis in our knowledge base has been encouraged by the continued acceptance, and indeed propagation of, inaccurate paradigms pertaining to disease etiology and pathogenesis, particularly with regard to mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity within the cornea. Owing to its often persistent and medically refractory visual sequelae, reconsideration of key aspects of EKC disease biology is warranted to identify new treatment targets to curb its worldwide socioeconomic burden.
Ung L, Acharya NR, Agarwal T, Alfonso EC, Bagga B, Bispo PJM, Burton MJ, Dart JK, Doan T, Fleiszig SM, Garg P, Gilmore MS, Gritz DC, Hazlett LD, Iovieno A, Jhanji V, Kempen JH, Lee CS, Lietman TM, Margolis TP, McLeod SD, Mehta JS, Miller D, Pearlman E, Prajna L, Prajna VN, Seitzman GD, Shanbhag SS, Sharma N, Sharma S, Srinivasan M, Stapleton F, Tan DT, Tandon R, Taylor HR, Tu EY, Tuli SS, Vajpayee RB, Van Gelder RN, Watson SL, Zegans ME, Chodosh J. Infectious corneal ulceration: a proposal for neglected tropical disease status. Bull World Health Organ 2019;97(12):854-856.
Ung L, Bispo PJM, Bryan NC, Andre C, Chodosh J, Gilmore MS. The Best of All Worlds: Conjunctivitis through the Lens of Community Ecology and Microbial Biogeography. Microorganisms 2019;8(1)Abstract
The study of the forces which govern the geographical distributions of life is known as biogeography, a subject which has fascinated zoologists, botanists and ecologists for centuries. Advances in our understanding of community ecology and biogeography-supported by rapid improvements in next generation sequencing technology-have now made it possible to identify and explain where and why life exists as it does, including within the microbial world. In this review, we highlight how a unified model of microbial biogeography, one which incorporates the classic ecological principles of selection, diversification, dispersion and ecological drift, can be used to explain community dynamics in the settings of both health and disease. These concepts operate on a multiplicity of temporal and spatial scales, and together form a powerful lens through which to study microbial population structures even at the finest anatomical resolutions. When applied specifically to curious strains of conjunctivitis-causing, nonencapsulated , we show how this conceptual framework can be used to explain the possible evolutionary and disease-causing mechanisms which allowed these lineages to colonize and invade a separate biogeography. An intimate knowledge of this radical bifurcation in phylogeny, still the only known niche subspecialization for to date, is critical to understanding the pathogenesis of ocular surface infections, nature of host-pathogen interactions, and developing strategies to curb disease transmission.
Manson AL, Van Tyne D, Straub TJ, Clock S, Crupain M, Rangan U, Gilmore MS, Earl AM. Chicken Meat-Associated Enterococci: Influence of Agricultural Antibiotic Use and Connection to the Clinic. Appl Environ Microbiol 2019;85(22)Abstract
Industrial farms are unique, human-created ecosystems that provide the perfect setting for the development and dissemination of antibiotic resistance. Agricultural antibiotic use amplifies naturally occurring resistance mechanisms from soil ecologies, promoting their spread and sharing with other bacteria, including those poised to become endemic within hospital environments. To better understand the role of enterococci in the movement of antibiotic resistance from farm to table to clinic, we characterized over 300 isolates of cultured from raw chicken meat purchased at U.S. supermarkets by the Consumers Union in 2013. and were the predominant species found, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing uncovered striking levels of resistance to medically important antibiotic classes, particularly from classes approved by the FDA for use in animal production. While nearly all isolates were resistant to at least one drug, bacteria from meat labeled as raised without antibiotics had fewer resistances, particularly for Whole-genome sequencing of 92 isolates revealed that both commensal- and clinical-isolate-like enterococcal strains were associated with chicken meat, including isolates bearing important resistance-conferring elements and virulence factors. The ability of enterococci to persist in the food system positions them as vehicles to move resistance genes from the industrial farm ecosystem into more human-proximal ecologies. Bacteria that contaminate food can serve as a conduit for moving drug resistance genes from farm to table to clinic. Our results show that chicken meat-associated isolates of are often multidrug resistant, closely related to pathogenic lineages, and harbor worrisome virulence factors. These drug-resistant agricultural isolates could thus represent important stepping stones in the evolution of enterococci into drug-resistant human pathogens. Although significant efforts have been made over the past few years to reduce the agricultural use of antibiotics, continued assessment of agricultural practices, including the roles of processing plants, shared breeding flocks, and probiotics as sources for resistance spread, is needed in order to slow the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Because antibiotic resistance is a global problem, global policies are needed to address this threat. Additional measures must be taken to mitigate the development and spread of antibiotic resistance elements from farms to clinics throughout the world.
Gaca AO, Lemos JA. Adaptation to Adversity: the Intermingling of Stress Tolerance and Pathogenesis in Enterococci. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 2019;83(3)Abstract
SUMMARY is a diverse and rugged genus colonizing the gastrointestinal tract of humans and numerous hosts across the animal kingdom. Enterococci are also a leading cause of multidrug-resistant hospital-acquired infections. In each of these settings, enterococci must contend with changing biophysical landscapes and innate immune responses in order to successfully colonize and transit between hosts. Therefore, it appears that the intrinsic durability that evolved to make enterococci optimally competitive in the host gastrointestinal tract also ideally positioned them to persist in hospitals, despite disinfection protocols, and acquire new antibiotic resistances from other microbes. Here, we discuss the molecular mechanisms and regulation employed by enterococci to tolerate diverse stressors and highlight the role of stress tolerance in the biology of this medically relevant genus.
Fine RL, Manfredo Vieira S, Gilmore MS, Kriegel MA. Mechanisms and consequences of gut commensal translocation in chronic diseases. Gut Microbes 2019;:1-14.Abstract
Humans and other mammalian hosts have evolved mechanisms to control the bacteria colonizing their mucosal barriers to prevent invasion. While the breach of barriers by bacteria typically leads to overt infection, increasing evidence supports a role for translocation of commensal bacteria across an impaired gut barrier to extraintestinal sites in the pathogenesis of autoimmune and other chronic, non-infectious diseases. Whether gut commensal translocation is a cause or consequence of the disease is incompletely defined. Here we discuss factors that lead to translocation of live bacteria across the gut barrier. We expand upon our recently published demonstration that translocation of the gut pathobiont can induce autoimmunity in susceptible hosts and postulate on the role of species as instigators of chronic, non-infectious diseases.
Fiore E, Van Tyne D, Gilmore MS. Pathogenicity of Enterococci. Microbiol Spectr 2019;7(4)Abstract
Enterococci are unusually well adapted for survival and persistence in a variety of adverse environments, including on inanimate surfaces in the hospital environment and at sites of infection. This intrinsic ruggedness undoubtedly played a role in providing opportunities for enterococci to interact with other overtly drug-resistant microbes and acquire additional resistances on mobile elements. The rapid rise of antimicrobial resistance among hospital-adapted enterococci has rendered hospital-acquired infections a leading therapeutic challenge. With about a quarter of a genome of additional DNA conveyed by mobile elements, there are undoubtedly many more properties that have been acquired that help enterococci persist and spread in the hospital setting and cause diseases that have yet to be defined. Much remains to be learned about these ancient and rugged microbes, particularly in the area of pathogenic mechanisms involved with human diseases.
Dehghan S, Seto J, Liu EB, Ismail AM, Madupu R, Heim A, Jones MS, Dyer DW, Chodosh J, Seto D. A Zoonotic Adenoviral Human Pathogen Emerged through Genomic Recombination among Human and Nonhuman Simian Hosts. J Virol 2019;93(18)Abstract
Genomics analysis of a historically intriguing and predicted emergent human adenovirus (HAdV) pathogen, which caused pneumonia and death, provides insight into a novel molecular evolution pathway involving "ping-pong" zoonosis and anthroponosis. The genome of this promiscuous pathogen is embedded with evidence of unprecedented multiple, multidirectional, stable, and reciprocal cross-species infections of hosts from three species (human, chimpanzee, and bonobo). This recombinant genome, typed as HAdV-B76, is identical to two recently reported simian AdV (SAdV) genomes isolated from chimpanzees and bonobos. Additionally, the presence of a critical adenoviral replication element found in HAdV genomes, in addition to genes that are highly similar to counterparts in other HAdVs, reinforces its potential as a human pathogen. Reservoirs in nonhuman hosts may explain periods of apparent absence and then reemergence of human adenoviral pathogens, as well as present pathways for the genesis of those thought to be newly emergent. The nature of the HAdV-D76 genome has implications for the use of SAdVs as gene delivery vectors in human gene therapy and vaccines, selected to avoid preexisting and potentially fatal host immune responses to HAdV. An emergent adenoviral human pathogen, HAdV-B76, associated with a fatality in 1965, shows a remarkable degree of genome identity with two recently isolated simian adenoviruses that contain cross-species genome recombination events from three hosts: human, chimpanzee, and bonobo. Zoonosis (nonhuman-to-human transmission) and anthroponosis (human to nonhuman transmission) may play significant roles in the emergence of human adenoviral pathogens.