Serological Evidence of Rickettsia Exposure among Patients with Unknown Fever Origin in Angola, 2016-2017Read the full article
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The Utility of Platelet Indices in Predicting Multiorgan Dysfunction in Scrub Typhus
Platelet indices have been used to diagnose and prognosticate infections such as tuberculosis, malaria, dengue, and septic shock. Platelet indices have previously not been used in the prediction of multiorgan dysfunction (MODS) in patients with scrub typhus. A three-year retrospective review of patient charts was performed. Patients with and without MODS were compared. Platelet indices and other clinical and laboratory variables were used in logistic regression analysis to determine significant predictors. A ROC curve was generated with the platelet indices to predict MODS. Of 189 patients, 106 were male. Respiratory rate, serum creatinine, liver function tests, platelet count, thrombocytopenia <150 × 109/L, mean platelet volume (MPV) > 7.3 fL, and plateletcrit ≤0.19% varied significantly between patients with MODS and those without. Platelet indices are inexpensive and easily available. Only thrombocytopenia along with creatinine, alanine transaminase, and abnormal chest radiograph could significantly predict MODS in patients with scrub typhus.
Falciparum Malaria in Febrile Patients at Sentinel Sites for Influenza Surveillance in the Central African Republic from 2015 to 2018
Malaria is a major public health issue in the Central African Republic (CAR) despite massive scale-up of malaria interventions. However, no information is available on the incidence of malaria in febrile illness cases or on the distribution of malaria infection according to demographic characteristics, which are important indicators and valuable epidemiological surveillance tools. This study therefore aimed to characterize malaria in the network of sentinel sites set up for influenza surveillance. A retrospective analysis was conducted to explore the data from these sentinel sites from 2015 to 2018. The Paracheck-Pf® rapid diagnosis test kit was used to screen for malaria in febrile illness cases. A total of 3609 malaria cases were identified in 5397 febrile patients, giving an incidence rate of 66.8%. The age group of 1–4 years was the most affected by malaria (76.0%). Moreover, prevalence varied across different sentinel sites, with the Bossembele Health Center, located in a rural area, showing an incidence of 96%, the Saint Joseph Health Center in a semiurban area of Bangui showing an incidence of 75%, and the Bangui Pediatric Complex in an urban site with an incidence of only 44.6%. Malaria transmission was holoendemic over the four-year study period, and malaria incidence decreased from 2016 to 2018. The incidence of malaria coinfection with influenza was 6.8%. This study demonstrated clear microspatial heterogeneity of malaria. Malaria was consistently the most frequent cause of febrile illness. Including sites in different climate zones in the CAR will allow for a more representative study.
Thematic Maps of the Impact of Urbanization and Socioeconomic Factors on the Distribution of the Incidence of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Cases in Sefrou Province, Central North of Morocco (2007–2011)
Background. Leishmaniases are vector-borne diseases with health risks. They cause a big health problem. These parasitic diseases are transmitted by the parasite of the genus Leishmania through sandflies. Objective. The aim of this work is to study the distribution of the incidence of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) cases and the impact of urbanization and socioeconomic factors and their effects as leishmaniasis risk factors. Methods. We conducted a retrospective study of CL cases collected at the level of Sefrou Province during the period from 2007 to 2011. The data was collected from registers of the Medical Delegation of Sefrou Province. The socioeconomic data, namely, the poverty rate, the popular density, and the type of environment (urban/rural) of Sefrou Province, were obtained from the High Commission for Planning. Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS software (version 20). The data were registered in a Microsoft Excel 2010 file. Statistical analysis was based on one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and then a correlation study was carried out (Pearson correlation). The results were considered significant when p was less than 0.05. The database was analyzed by QGIS 2.18, which is open source software. Results. A total of 349 cases of CL were collected at Sefrou Province from 2007 to 2011. A percentage of 49% of the cases come from urban areas, while 51% of the cases come from rural areas. In the statistical analysis, the division of the incidence of CL cases was found to be significantly associated only with urbanization. For the other factors, the number of people or the poverty rate is not taken into account in the incidence dynamics. Conclusion. This study may be useful for the implementation of future adequate measures and controls. Getting rid of leishmaniasis requires a comprehensive approach by acting on the sources of contamination through good continuous surveillance, appropriate management, effective vector control, and awareness-raising strategies.
Risk Factors Associated with Leishmaniasis in the Most Affected Provinces by Leishmania infantum in Morocco
Background. Human leishmaniasis, both visceral and cutaneous, has been reported in Morocco for centuries and constitutes a serious public health problem. However, the evolution of this pathology depends on several factors such as ecological, socioeconomic, and climatic conditions. The risk study of the affected foci is of great value for the control and surveillance of this endemic disease, especially in the provinces where Leishmania infantum predominates. Methods. This study concerned nine provinces located in the extreme and central north of Morocco (Taounate, Taza, Chefchaouen, Al Hoceima, Larache, Tétouane, Tanger-Assilah, M’diq-Fnideq, and Fahs-Anjra Provinces). In this work, leishmaniasis cases (VL and CL) were subjected to an epidemiological study which was performed using a linear regression model to identify the impact as well as the interaction between all predictor variables on the distribution of leishmaniasis in this region. Results. During the period 1997–2018, a total of 6 128 cases of VL and CL were recorded in the study area. Our results showed that among demographic factors studied, urbanization showed significance for both cutaneous and visceral forms (). Regarding the environmental factors, the humidity and the altitude were significant for both CL and VL (), while the temperature and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) showed a significance only for VL. Moreover, trends in season of occurrence revealed that wet season (October to April) had a higher incidence of leishmaniasis compared to the dry season (May to September) specifically for CL. As for socioeconomic factors, poverty was the only factor that influences the spread of VL. Finally, the distance from endemic foci showed significance for both VL and LC (). Conclusion. Our study revealed that the risk factor associated with cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis in northern Morocco could help in the establishment of a prediction program.
Coinfection of Strongyloides stercoralis and Aspergillus sp.
Background. Strongyloides stercoralis has the ability to proliferate in its hosts for a long time. In most patients with a competent immune system, the infection remains asymptomatic. Objectives. Herein, we report a case of concomitant infection of Strongyloides and Aspergillus. Similar cases reported previously were reviewed in the literature and discussed in terms of diagnosis, clinical presentation, and treatment. Methods. The patient was a 55-year-old man who had a medical history of two masses in his lung and was treated with corticosteroids six months before the presentation. Results. Using the parasitological methods, massive actively motile larvae of S. stercoralis were seen in the patient’s faecal sample. Aspergillus infection was isolated from his fresh bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) sample and confirmed by observing the septate, dichotomously branched hyphae in direct microscopic examination and also the isolation of the fungus from the culture medium. Molecular analysis revealed that the fungal species isolated from the patient are A. flavus and A. niger. Conclusion. The case highlights the features of concomitant infection of S. stercoralis and Aspergillus in immunocompromised patients and the importance of screening patients for strongyloidiasis before initiation of immunosuppressive therapy.
Seroprevalence of Leptospirosis among High-Risk Individuals in Morocco
Background. Leptospirosis is an anthropozoonotic reemerging neglected infectious disease underreported in most developing countries. A cross-sectional study was performed between 17 and 23 February 2014 to estimate the seroprevalence of leptospirosis among high-risk populations in Casablanca (Morocco). Methods. A total of 490 human serum samples (97.6% males) were collected in 3 high-risk occupational sites including the biggest meat slaughterhouse (n = 208), a poultry market (n = 121), and the fish market (n = 161). A total of 125 human blood samples were also collected from the general population and used in this study as a control group. To detect the presence of anti-Leptospira, sera were screened with in-house IgG and IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Positive samples were tested by Microscopic Agglutination Technique (MAT) using a panel of 24 serovar cultures and cut point of 1 : 25. Results. Seroprevalence of leptospirosis among the control group was 10.4% (13/125). A high seropositivity among the overall seroprevalence of 24.1% (118/490) was observed in the high-risk groups of which 7.3% (36/490), 13.7% (67/490), and 3.1% (15/490) were for anti-Leptospira IgM, IgG, and both IgG and IgM antibodies, respectively. Most of the positive individuals were occupationally involved in poultry (37.2%), followed by the market fish (26.1%) and the meat slaughterhouse (14.9%) workers. Among all ELISA-positive serum samples, 20.3% (n = 24) had positive MAT responses, of which the Icterohaemorrhagiae (n = 7) is the most common infecting serogroup followed by Javanica (4), Australis (2), and Sejroe, Mini, and Panama (one in each). In the remaining 8 MAT-positive sera, MAT showed equal titers against more than one serogroup. Conclusion. Individuals engaged in risk activities are often exposed to leptospiral infection. Therefore, control and prevention policies toward these populations are necessary.