COVID-19 and Ophthalmologic Education: A Call to Innovate. Am J Ophthalmol 2020;220:A12-A13..
SARS-CoV-2 detection using isothermal amplification and a rapid, inexpensive protocol for sample inactivation and purification. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020;Abstract.
The current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has had an enormous impact on society worldwide, threatening the lives and livelihoods of many. The effects will continue to grow and worsen if economies begin to open without the proper precautions, including expanded diagnostic capabilities. To address this need for increased testing, we have developed a sensitive reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay compatible with current reagents, which utilizes a colorimetric readout in as little as 30 min. A rapid inactivation protocol capable of inactivating virions, as well as endogenous nucleases, was optimized to increase sensitivity and sample stability. This protocol, combined with the RT-LAMP assay, has a sensitivity of at least 50 viral RNA copies per microliter in a sample. To further increase the sensitivity, a purification protocol compatible with this inactivation method was developed. The inactivation and purification protocol, combined with the RT-LAMP assay, brings the sensitivity to at least 1 viral RNA copy per microliter in a sample. This simple inactivation and purification pipeline is inexpensive and compatible with other downstream RNA detection platforms and uses readily available reagents. It should increase the availability of SARS-CoV-2 testing as well as expand the settings in which this testing can be performed.
Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy as a Potential Treatment Against COVID-19: A Case for Blue Light. Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg 2020;38(10):577-578..
Clinical and Prodromal Ocular Symptoms in Coronavirus Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2020;61(10):29.Abstract.
Purpose: This systematic review aimed to determine currently reported clinical and prodromal ocular symptoms in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: An online article search was performed in PubMed and EMBASE. Altogether 15 studies (retrospective, prospective, or case studies) involving 1533 patients with COVID-19, reporting on ocular symptoms, and with outcome data available were identified. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses reporting guidelines were followed. Study-specific estimates (incidence rates of ocular symptoms in patients with COVID-19) of cases were combined using one-group meta-analysis in a random-effects model. Results: Of all included studies, 11.2% (95% confidence interval, 5.5-16.9; 78/1526 cases) reported ocular symptoms. The most common ocular finding was conjunctivitis. Prodromal ocular symptoms occurred in 12.5% (13/104 cases) of patients with COVID-19. Positive real-time polymerase chain reaction results were obtained for 16.7% (10/60 cases) of conjunctival samples and 0% (0/17 cases) of tear samples. Twelve ocular conjunctival swab samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Ten cases were from subjects showing ocular symptoms (16.7%, 10/60 cases), and the remaining two cases were from subjects without ocular manifestation (1.8%, 2/113 cases). Limitations included the short study period, small sample size, findings were limited to the Asian population, only seven articles included ophthalmologic examination details, and there is currently no consensus on COVID-19 management. Conclusions: Ocular symptoms may occur in the presymptomatic phase as a prodromal symptom (12.5%, 13/104 cases), suggesting the possibility of viral transmission from the conjunctiva.
Concerns about the interpretation of OCT and fundus findings in COVID-19 patients in recent Lancet publication. Eye (Lond) 2020;34(12):2153-2154..
Hospital-Associated Multidrug-Resistant MRSA Lineages Are Trophic to the Ocular Surface and Cause Severe Microbial Keratitis. Front Public Health 2020;8:204.Abstract.
Methicillin-resistant (MRSA) is a common cause of severe and difficult to treat ocular infection. In this study, the population structure of 68 ocular MRSA isolates collected at Massachusetts Eye and Ear between January 2014 and June 2016 was assessed. By using a combination of multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, SCC typing and detection of the panton-valentine leukocidin (PVL) gene, we found that the population structure of ocular MRSA is composed of lineages with community and hospital origins. As determined by eBURST analysis of MLST data, the ocular MRSA population consisted of 14 different sequence types (STs) that grouped within two predominant clonal complexes: CC8 (47.0%) and CC5 (41.2%). Most CC8 strains were ST8, harbored type IV SCC and were positive for the PVL-toxin (93.7%). The CC5 group was divided between strains carrying SCC type II (71.4%) and SCC type IV (28.6%). Remaining isolates grouped in 6 different clonal complexes with 3 isolates in CC6 and the other clonal complexes being represented by a single isolate. Interestingly, major MRSA CC5 and CC8 lineages were isolated from discrete ocular niches. Orbital and preseptal abscess/cellulitis were predominantly caused by CC8-SCC IV PVL-positive strains. In contrast, infections of the cornea, conjunctiva and lacrimal system were associated with the MDR CC5 lineage, particularly as causes of severe infectious keratitis. This niche specialization of MRSA is consistent with a model where CC8-SCC IV PVL-positive strains are better adapted to cause infections of the keratinized and soft adnexal eye tissues, whereas MDR CC5 appear to have greater ability in overcoming innate defense mechanisms of the wet epithelium of the ocular surface.
Ocular Manifestations of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): A Critical Review of Current Literature. In Vivo 2020;34(3 Suppl):1619-1628.Abstract.
The novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged in China in the city of Wuhan in December of 2019 and since then more than 5,000,000 people have been infected, with approximately 338,000 deaths worldwide. The virus causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is characterized by fever, myalgia and cough, with severe acute respiratory syndrome being the most fearsome complication. Nevertheless, the vast majority of cases present mild symptoms or none. Central nervous system and cardiovascular manifestations have been reported. The range of ocular manifestations, either as a result of the infection or as a result of the treatment, has not yet been discussed. In this study, a systematic review of current literature relevant to COVID-19 was performed with focus on modes of transmission, ocular manifestations related to infection and medications, as well as the control of infection in ophthalmic practice.
Validation of a Comprehensive Clinical Algorithm for the Assessment and Treatment of Microbial Keratitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2020;214:97-109.Abstract.
PURPOSE: To validate a comprehensive clinical algorithm for the assessment and treatment of microbial keratitis (MK). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: The "1, 2, 3 Rule" for the initial management of MK was conceived by Vital and associates in 2007 to inform the decision as to when to perform corneal cultures. The rule is invoked when any 1 of 3 clinical parameters is met: ≥1+ anterior chamber cells, ≥2 mm infiltrate, or infiltrate ≤3 mm distance from the corneal center. When the rule is met, we added the mandatory use of fortified topical antibiotics after cultures are obtained. We compared outcomes of cases presenting to Massachusetts Eye and Ear 2 years before (Group I, n = 665) and after (Group II, n = 767) algorithm implementation. The primary composite outcome was a vision-threatening complication, such as corneal perforation. RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 67.0 and 60.0 days, respectively, 172 patients experienced a vision-threatening complication (Group I, 12.9% vs Group II, 11.2%, P = .51). While the algorithm codified conventional management practice at either end of disease severity, the effect of algorithm-augmented care was best appreciated in patients with lesions satisfying only 1 criterion. In this group, there was an increase in the proportion of patients undergoing culture at presentation (54.6% vs 67.7%, P = .006), fortified antibiotic prescription (29.7% vs 53.9%, P < .001), and reduction in vision-threatening complications (9.7% vs 1.8%, P = .001). The proportion of patients who were not cultured at presentation but later required culturing decreased (13.4% vs 5.1%, P = .001), as did patients who did not meet any criteria but were nonetheless cultured (23.9% vs 8.5%, P < .001). Multiple logistic regression showed that all algorithm parameters were independently associated with outcome: ≥1+ anterior chamber cells (odds ratio [OR] 1.66, 95% confidence interval 1.09-2.52); ≥2 mm infiltrate (OR 4.74, 2.68-8.40); and ≤3 mm from corneal center (OR 2.82, 1.85-4.31), confirmed with comparison to a bootstrapped sample (n = 10,000). CONCLUSIONS: The implementation of this algorithm reduced vision-threatening complications for patients with lesions satisfying only 1 criterion, arguably the most difficult patients in whom to judge disease severity. Implementation also led to a decrease in patients receiving unnecessary care.
Evolution of vancomycin-resistant during colonization and infection in immunocompromised pediatric patients. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020;117(21):11703-11714.Abstract.
Patients with hematological malignancies or undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation are vulnerable to colonization and infection with multidrug-resistant organisms, including vancomycin-resistant (VREfm). Over a 10-y period, we collected and sequenced the genomes of 110 VREfm isolates from gastrointestinal and blood cultures of 24 pediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematological malignancy at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We used patient-specific reference genomes to identify variants that arose over time in subsequent gastrointestinal and blood isolates from each patient and analyzed these variants for insight into how VREfm adapted during colonization and bloodstream infection within each patient. Variants were enriched in genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, and phenotypic analysis identified associated differences in carbohydrate utilization among isolates. In particular, a Y585C mutation in the sorbitol operon transcriptional regulator was associated with increased bacterial growth in the presence of sorbitol. We also found differences in biofilm-formation capability between isolates and observed that increased biofilm formation correlated with mutations in the putative capsular polysaccharide () biosynthetic locus, with different mutations arising independently in distinct genetic backgrounds. Isolates with mutations showed improved survival following exposure to lysozyme, suggesting a possible reason for the selection of capsule-lacking bacteria. Finally, we observed mutations conferring increased tolerance of linezolid and daptomycin in patients who were treated with these antibiotics. Overall, this study documents known and previously undescribed ways that VREfm evolve during intestinal colonization and subsequent bloodstream infection in immunocompromised pediatric patients.
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.
Severe vernal keratoconjunctivitis complicated by anaesthetic abuse. Can J Ophthalmol 2020;.
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.
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.
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.
Infectious corneal ulceration: a proposal for neglected tropical disease status. Bull World Health Organ 2019;97(12):854-856..