The latest medical research on Tropical Medicine

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Global prevalence of polypharmacy among the COVID-19 patients: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

Tropical Medicine and International Health

Polypharmacy has traditionally been defined in various texts as the use of 5 or more chronic drugs, the use of inappropriate drugs, or drugs that are not clinically authorized. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of polypharmacy among the COVID-19 patients, and the side effects, by systematic review and meta-analysis.

This study was performed by systematic review method and in accordance with PRISMA 2020 criteria. The protocol in this work is registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021281552). Particular databases and repositories have been searched to identify and select relevant studies. The quality of articles was assessed based on the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale checklist. Heterogeneity of the studies was measured using the I2 test.

The results of meta-analysis showed that the prevalence of polypharmacy in 14 studies with a sample size of 189,870 patients with COVID-19 is 34.6% (95% CI: 29.6-40). Studies have shown that polypharmacy is associated with side effects, increased morbidity and mortality among patients with COVID-19. The results of meta-regression analysis reported that with increasing age of COVID-19 patients, the prevalence of polypharmacy increases (p < 0.05).

Polypharmacy is seen in many patients with COVID-19. Since there is no definitive cure for COVID-19, the multiplicity of drugs used to treat this disease can affect the severity of the disease and its side effects as a result of drug interactions. This highlights the importance of controlling and managing prescription drugs for patients with COVID-19.

An outbreak of Rift Valley fever among peri-urban dairy cattle in northern Tanzania.

Transactions of the

Human and animal cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF) are typically only reported during large outbreaks. The occurrence of RVF cases that go undetected by national surveillance systems in the period between these outbreaks is considered likely. The last reported cases of RVF in Tanzania occurred during a large outbreak in 2007-2008.

Samples collected between 2017 and 2019 from livestock suffering abortion across northern Tanzania were retrospectively tested for evidence of RVF virus infection using serology and reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR).

A total of 14 RVF-associated cattle abortions were identified among dairy cattle in a peri-urban area surrounding the town of Moshi. RVF cases occurred from May to August 2018 and were considered to represent an undetected, small-scale RVF outbreak. Milk samples from 3 of 14 cases (21%) were found to be RT-qPCR positive. Genotyping revealed circulation of RVF viruses from two distinct lineages.

RVF outbreaks can occur more often in endemic settings than would be expected on the basis of detection by national surveillance. The occurrence of RVF cases among peri-urban dairy cattle and evidence for viral shedding in milk, also highlights potentially emerging risks for RVF associated with increasing urban and peri-urban livestock populations.

Transcriptional response of individual Hawaiian Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes to the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum.

Malaria Journal

Plasmodium parasites that cause bird malaria occur in all continents except Antarctica and are primarily transmitted by mosquitoes in the genus Culex. Culex quinquefasciatus, the mosquito vector of avian malaria in Hawai'i, became established in the islands in the 1820s. While the deadly effects of malaria on endemic bird species have been documented for many decades, vector-parasite interactions in avian malaria systems are relatively understudied.

To evaluate the gene expression response of mosquitoes exposed to a Plasmodium infection intensity known to occur naturally in Hawai'i, offspring of wild-collected Hawaiian Cx. quinquefasciatus were fed on a domestic canary infected with a fresh isolate of Plasmodium relictum GRW4 from a wild-caught Hawaiian honeycreeper. Control mosquitoes were fed on an uninfected canary. Transcriptomes of five infected and three uninfected individual mosquitoes were sequenced at each of three stages of the parasite life cycle: 24 h post feeding (hpf) during ookinete invasion; 5 days post feeding (dpf) when oocysts are developing; 10 dpf when sporozoites are released and invade the salivary glands.

Differential gene expression analyses showed that during ookinete invasion (24 hpf), genes related to oxidoreductase activity and galactose catabolism had lower expression levels in infected mosquitoes compared to controls. Oocyst development (5 dpf) was associated with reduced expression of a gene with a predicted innate immune function. At 10 dpf, infected mosquitoes had reduced expression levels of a serine protease inhibitor, and further studies should assess its role as a Plasmodium agonist in C. quinquefasciatus. Overall, the differential gene expression response of Hawaiian Culex exposed to a Plasmodium infection intensity known to occur naturally in Hawai'i was low, but more pronounced during ookinete invasion.

This is the first analysis of the transcriptional responses of vectors to malaria parasites in non-mammalian systems. Interestingly, few similarities were found between the response of Culex infected with a bird Plasmodium and those reported in Anopheles infected with human Plasmodium. The relatively small transcriptional changes observed in mosquito genes related to immune response and nutrient metabolism support conclusions of low fitness costs often documented in experimental challenges of Culex with avian Plasmodium.

Haematological profile of malaria patients with G6PD and PKLR variants (erythrocytic enzymopathies): a cross-sectional study in Thailand.

Malaria Journal

Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and pyruvate kinase (PKLR) deficiencies are common causes of erythrocyte haemolysis in the presence of antimalarial drugs such as primaquine and tafenoquine. The present study aimed to elucidate such an association by thoroughly investigating the haematological indices in malaria patients with G6PD and PKLRR41Q variants.

Blood samples from 255 malaria patients from Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia were collected to determine haematological profile, G6PD enzyme activity and G6PD deficiency variants. The multivariate analysis was performed to investigate the association between anaemia and G6PD MahidolG487A, the most common mutation in this study.

The prevalence of G6PD deficiency was 11.1% (27/244) in males and 9.1% (1/11) in female. The MAFs of the G6PD MahidolG487A and PKLRR41Q variants were 7.1% and 2.6%, respectively. Compared with patients with wildtype G6PD after controlling for haemoglobinopathies, G6PD-deficient patients with hemizygous and homozygous G6PD MahidolG487A exhibited anaemia with low levels of haemoglobin (11.16 ± 2.65 g/dl, p = 0.041). These patients also exhibited high levels of reticulocytes (3.60%). The median value of G6PD activity before treatment (Day 0) was significantly lower than that of after treatment (Day 28) (5.51 ± 2.54 U/g Hb vs. 6.68 ± 2.45 U/g Hb; p < 0.001). Reticulocyte levels on Day 28 were significantly increased compared to that of on Day 0 (2.14 ± 0.92% vs 1.57 ± 1.06%; p < 0.001). PKLRR41Q had no correlation with anaemia in malaria patients. The risk of anaemia inpatients with G6PD MahidolG487A was higher than wildtype patients (OR = 3.48, CI% 1.24-9.75, p = 0.018). Univariate and multivariate analyses confirmed that G6PD MahidolG487A independently associated with anaemia (< 11 g/dl) after adjusted by age, gender, Plasmodium species, parasite density, PKLRR41Q, and haemoglobinopathies (p < 0.001).

This study revealed that malaria patients with G6PD MahidolG487A, but not with PKLRR41Q, had anaemia during infection. As a compensatory response to haemolytic anaemia after malaria infection, these patients generated more reticulocytes. The findings emphasize the effect of host genetic background on haemolytic anaemia and the importance of screening patients for erythrocyte enzymopathies and related mutations prior to anti-malarial therapy.

Prevalence and factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among the general population in Asadabad, Iran: a cross-sectional study.

Tropical Medicine and International Health

Vaccination can be an essential protective measure against Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) if well received by the public. Various factors affect the acceptance or refusal of vaccines. Several waves of COVID-19 caused much death in Iran. This study aimed to evaluate the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine in the general population of Asadabad in 2021.

In this cross-sectional study, 650 people from the general population of Asadabad with a mean age of 34.6 (SD = 15.1) years were selected and included. In addition to socio-economic and demographic data, data were collected using the COVID-19 fear scale. Univariate and multiple logistic regression models were used to investigate the relationship between the tendency to get the COVID-19 vaccine (the dependent variable) and other variables.

About 42.3% of participants were reluctant to receive the available COVID-19 vaccines. After adjusting for several covariates, there was a significant relationship between willingness to get vaccinated and family history of COVID-19 infection (AOR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.06-3.27, p = 0.032), trust in healthcare workers (AOR = 2.07, 95% CI 1.13-3.79, p = 0.019), trust in existing vaccines (AOR = 3.94, 95% CI 2.15-7.23, p < 0.001), encouraging family members to get vaccinated (AOR = 7.6, 95% CI 4.12-14.01, p < 0.0001). Also, people infected with COVID-19 are less likely to accept vaccination (AOR = 0.55, 95% CI 0.33-0.93, p = 0.025). Also, a unit increase in the score of fear of getting the COVID-19 virus increased the odds of getting the COVID-19 vaccine by 6% (AOR = 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.10, p = 0.002).

The culture and context of different societies can affect the acceptance or refusal of the COVID-19 vaccine. Based on these characteristics and providing extensive education to the people, the health authorities in each community should build trust and better communicate all health information to clear any fear and remove all obstacles to increase willingness to get COVID-19 vaccination.

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on invasive fungal infections in Africa: What have we learned?

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) have been described as diseases of the poor. The mortality rate of the infections is comparable to that of malari...

Metagenomic detection of eumycetoma causative agents   from households of patients residing in two Sudanese endemic villages in White Nile State.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Eumycetoma is a chronic debilitating fungal disease endemic to tropical and subtropical regions, with Sudan featuring the highest eumycetoma incide...

Diagnostics to support the control of scabies-Development of two target product profiles.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Scabies was added to the WHO NTD portfolio in 2017 and targets for the control of scabies were included in the 2021-2030 WHO NTD roadmap. A major component of scabies control efforts a strategy based on mass drug administration (MDA) with ivermectin. Currently diagnosis of scabies relies on clinical examination with a limited role for diagnostic testing. Under the recommendation of the WHO Diagnostic Technical Advisory Group (DTAG) for Neglected Tropical Diseases, a working group was assembled and tasked with agreeing on priority use cases for and developing target product profiles (TPPs) for new diagnostics tools for scabies.

The working group convened three times and established two use cases: establishing if the 10% threshold for mass drug administration had been reached and if the 2% threshold for stopping mass drug administration has been achieved. One subgroup assessed the current diagnostic landscape for scabies and a second subgroup determined the test requirements for both use cases. Draft TPPs were sent out for input from stakeholders and experts. Both TPPs considered the following parameters: product use, design, performance, configuration, cost, access and equity. The group considered the use of the tests as a single step process or as part of a two step process following initial clinical examination. When used a single step test (the ideal scenario) for starting MDA a new diagnostic required a sensitivity of ≥92% and a specificity of ≥98%. When used a single step test (the ideal scenario) for stopping MDA a new diagnostic required a sensitivity of ≥80% and a specificity of ≥99%.

The TPPs developed will provide test developers with guidance to ensure that novel diagnostic tests meet identified public health needs.

Hematological and Biochemical changes in Schistosoma mansoni infected patients at Haik Primary Hospital, North-East Ethiopia: A comparative cross-sectional study.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Schistosomes are blood dwelling parasites that affect more than 260 million people globally, and over 800 million people are at risk of infection in 74 countries. It causes acute and chronic debilitating diseases. The parasite is reported to alter the hematological and biochemical parameters in humans. Therefore, this study was aimed to evaluate the hematological and biochemical changes in S. mansoni infected adult patients compared to apparently healthy controls.

A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted at Haik Primary Hospital from February to April 2021. One hundred and eighty study participants consisting of 90 S. mansoni infected patients and 90 apparently healthy controls were recruited using systematic random sampling method. Socio-demographic characteristics and other variables were collected using questionnaires. Stool sample was examined microscopically to detect S. mansoni infection using direct wet mount and Kato Katz technique. In apparently healthy controls, S. mansoni infection was rule out using direct wet mount and Kato Katz technique. Moreover, the intensity of S. mansoni infection was assessed using Kato Katz technique. Blood sample was collected from each study participant to determine the hematological and biochemical profiles. Data were entered in to Epi Data version 3.1 and analyzed using SPSS version 26.0 software. Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Shapiro Wilk normality tests were done to assess the distribution of continuous variables. The Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal Wallis H test was done to compare the differences among nonnormally distributed variables between S. mansoni infected patients and healthy controls. P-values <0.05 at 95%CI were considered as statistically significant.

The mean age (SD) of S. mansoni infected patients and apparently healthy controls was 30.33 (±12.26) and 31.2 (±12.85) years old, respectively. The prevalence of anemia, and thrombocytopenia among S. mansoni infected patients were23.3% and 26.7%, respectively. Erythrocytic sedimentation rate (ESR) was significantly elevated among S. mansoni infected patients than apparently healthy controls. The median white blood cell count, red blood cell count, red blood cell indices, and platelet indices were significantly lower among S. mansoni infected patients compared to apparently healthy controls (P<0.05). On the other hand, the median eosinophil count was significantly elevated among S. mansoni infected patients compared to apparently healthy controls (P<0.05). This study also showed significantly elevated values of serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and direct bilirubin and lower albumin, total cholesterol and triglycerides among S. mansoni infected patients compared to apparently healthy controls. Kruskal Wallis H test showed a significant difference in the median of most hematological and biochemical parameters between moderate and heavy intensity of infection with light intensity of infection and apparently healthy controls.

The findings of this study showed significantly altered hematological values and liver function tests among S. mansoni infected patients compared to apparently healthy controls. Therefore, screening of S. mansoni infected patients for various hematological and biochemical parameters and providing treatment to the underlying abnormalities is very crucial to avoid schistosomiasis associated morbidity and mortality.

Prevalence and determinants of asymptomatic Leishmania infection in HIV-infected individuals living within visceral leishmaniasis endemic areas of Bihar, India.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

People living with HIV (PLHIV) have an increased risk of developing visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and poor outcomes compared to HIV negative individu...

SFTSV infection in rodents and their ectoparasitic chiggers.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

SFTSV, a tick-borne bunyavirus causing a severe hemorrhagic fever termed as severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS). To evaluate the pot...

Highly specific and sensitive detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei genomic DNA by CRISPR-Cas12a.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei, a causative bacterium for melioidosis, remains a challenging undertaking due to long assay time, laboratory...