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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases publishes original research articles and review articles related to all aspects of infectious diseases.
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Efficacy and Safety of Sarilumab in COVID-19: A Systematic Review
Background. It has been found that there is overactivation of immune response in patients with COVID-19. Several studies are going on to assess the role of immunomodulation. IL-6 antibodies such as tocilizumab have been found to have efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19. We aim to assess the role of sarilumab in the treatment of COVID-19 through this review. Main Body. Functional outcomes were assessed on the basis of PaO2/FiO2 ratio, mortality, and ventilation. Adverse events of studies were also noted. Five studies were included in the study. There was improvement in PaO2/FiO2 ratio, reduction in the mortality of the patients, and less number of patients were on ventilation, but there were no significant differences among the comparison and sarilumab group. Sarilumab did not have notable adverse events and can be considered a safe drug. Conclusion. Sarilumab is a safe drug with good clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 and, hence, could be used as an alternative regimen for the treatment. Further prospective studies exploring the relations with baseline biomarkers of inflammation commonly measured such as C-reactive protein and IL-6 would be necessary for a correlation with the treatment.
The COVID-19 Prevalence among Children: Hypotheses for Low Infection Rate and Few Severe Forms among This Age Group in Sub-Saharan Africa
Despite some cases of severe or critical manifestations of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) described among children, the prevalence of this infection in the pediatric population is quite low worldwide, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Current data suggest indeed that, independent of the population considered overall, severe and critical cases of COVID-19 are rare among children. This observation prompted us to discuss the possible hypotheses which could explain the low prevalence of COVID-19 among children; amongst others, we discuss (1) immunomodulation by the Bacillus Calmette–Guerin vaccine or by some parasitic infections such as malaria, schistosomiasis, and helminthiasis and (2) cross immunization with other coronaviruses commonly found in the sub-Saharan African setting.
Emergence of Highly Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria Isolated from Patients with Infections Admitted to Public Hospitals in Southwest Iran
Background. The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) microorganisms causing infections is increasing worldwide and becoming more serious in developing countries. Among those, Acinetobacter species are becoming prominent. Objectives. The aim of this study was to determine the rate of antimicrobial resistance of the bacteria causing infections, Acinetobacter species in particular, in local public hospitals in Firuzabad, Fars province, Iran. Methods. This cross-sectional study was performed on different clinical specimens collected from patients who were suspected of infections hospitalized from March 2016 to March 2019 in local hospitals of Firuzabad, Fars province, Iran. The bacterial isolates were identified following standard microbiological methods. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines were used to identify the antibiotic susceptibility of these isolates. Results. Overall, 1778 bacterial etiologies were isolated from 1533 patients diagnosed with infection. Of these, 1401 (78.8%) were Gram-negative and the remaining were Gram-positive bacteria. Escherichia coli (37.1%), Klebsiella spp. (13.9%), and Acinetobacter species (10.4%) were the most common isolated bacteria. Antibiotic sensitivity testing in this study showed a high resistance rate of Acinetobacter species to all antibiotics tested except Colistin. During the study period, the rate of infection with highly multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter species increased from 7.2% to 13.3%. Conclusions. This study highlights the emergence of MDR bacterial agents such as Acinetobacter species as a new threat in our region. However, a decrease in the rate of infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa was noticeable.
The Social Consequences of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak in Iran: Is Social Capital at Risk? A Qualitative Study
As well as causing a global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has also generated multilevel social changes by damaging psychosocial and economic resources across Iranian society. Therefore, this qualitative study was conducted to examine and explain these social consequences and their impact on the social capital of Iran during the COVID-19 outbreak. Using a content analysis approach, nine experts participated in semistructured, in-depth interviews. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim and analyzed using Lundman and Graneheim’s method. The social impacts of COVID-19 can be summarized into six categories and 32 subcategories. Three positive-negative categories emerged from the data analysis: “formation of new patterns of social communications; formation of new patterns of behavior; creation of economic changes.” Three entirely negative categories included “creating a climate of distrust; disruption of cultural, social, and religious values; psychosocial disorders.” Overall, most findings (27 out of 32 subcategories) indicated the destructive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on social capital. Therefore, this raises concerns about social capital endangerment in Iran. However, positive social impacts can guide policies that strengthen social action and improve social capital.
Role of Chest Computed Tomography versus Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction for Diagnosis of COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Background. The current global pandemic of COVID-19 is considered a public health emergency. The diagnosis of COVID-19 depends on detection of the viral nucleic acid by real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). However, false-negative RT-PCR tests are reported and could hinder the control of the pandemic. Chest computed tomography could achieve a more reliable diagnosis and represent a complementary diagnostic tool. Aim. To perform a meta-analysis and systematic review to find out the role of chest computed tomography versus RT-PCR for precise diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. Methods. We searched three electronic databases (PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Scopus) from April 1 to April 20, 2020, to find out articles including the accuracy of chest computed tomography scan versus RT-PCR for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Observational studies, case series, and case reports were included. Results. A total of 238 articles were retrieved from the search strategy. Following screening, 39 articles were chosen for full text assessment and finally 35 articles were included for qualitative and quantitative analysis. Chest computed tomography showed a wide range of sensitivity varied from 12%–100%. Conclusion. Chest computed tomography is playing a key role for diagnosis and detection of COVID-19 infection. Computed tomography image findings may precede the initially positive RT-PCR assay.
The Probable Association between Chronic Toxoplasma gondii Infection and Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Case-Control Study
Purpose. The probable association between Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection and diabetes mellitus (DM) is still controversial, and there are several studies with conflicting results. Thus, this study was performed to assess the possible association between chronic T. gondii infection and type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and T2DM. Methods. In this case-control study, a total of 105 diabetic subjects including 36 patients with T1DM and 69 patients with T2DM were recruited. In addition, 150 nondiabetic subjects were enrolled as controls. Each case group had its own control group. Each participant completed a structured questionnaire obtaining demographic information. Serum samples were examined for T. gondii-specific IgG antibody using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. Results. Analysis revealed that 69.4% and 34.0% of patients with T1DM and control subjects were serologically positive for T. gondii, respectively (odds ratio (OR): 4.41; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.75–11.06; ). Moreover, 72.5% of T2DM patients and 29.0% of healthy individuals were seropositive for T. gondii (OR: 6.44; 95% CI: 3.25–12.74; ). Among risk factors, only contact with cats was significantly associated with IgG seroprevalence in both T2DM patients () and control subjects (). Conclusion. Although the results showed that chronic T. gondii infection is significantly associated with T1DM and T2DM, there remain many questions regarding the exact mechanisms of T. gondii in the pathogenesis of DM.