Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume: 25, Issue: 5, Published: 2021
  • Impact of COVID-19 on income, prevention attitudes, and access to healthcare among male clients in a Sexually Transmitted Infections clinic Original Article

    Rick, Fernanda; Ishigami, Bruno Issao; Figueiroa, Francçois José; Cahete, Lucas Rafael de Castro; Humar, Renato Chuster H; Jesus, Roberto de; Costa Junior, Marcos A; Benzaken, Adele S; Avelino-Silva, Vivian I

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Background Mobility restrictions and overloaded health services during the COVID-19 pandemic compromised services dedicated to the prevention and care of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). In this study, we present client’s responses to standardized questionnaires applied during the COVID-19 pandemic period as part of the strategy to measure impacts on social and sexual vulnerability, access to STI prevention services, and access to STI care. Methods: The questionnaires included variables on sociodemographics, behavior, risk perception, prevention attitudes, barriers to service-based HIV rapid test, reasons for taking an HIV self-test, and access to health services for STI diagnosis and treatment. We explored demographic variables associated with income reduction, reduced access to HIV/STI testing/treatment and increased vulnerability to HIV/STI. Results: 847 participants responded to the study questionnaire between May 2020 and January 2021. Most were young, cisgender male, and 63% self-reported as men who have sex with men. Income reductions were reported by 50%, with 30% reporting a decline over 50% of total income. An increase in heavy episodic drinking (>5 doses) was reported by 18%; 7% reported more sexual partners and 6% reported using condoms less often. Difficulties in obtaining HIV tests, tests for other STI and treatment for STI were reported by 5%, 6% and 6%, respectively. Lower schooling was significantly associated with income reduction (p = 0.004) and with reduced access to HIV/STI testing or STI treatment (p = 0.024); employment status was associated with income reduction (p < 0.001) and increased vulnerability to HIV/STI (p = 0.027). Having access to an expedite test result, avoiding physical attendance in health units during the pandemic, and undertaking the test with privacy with a trusted person were reported as motivators for HIV self-test. Conclusions: Our findings are relevant to promote service improvements tailored to subgroups more likely to struggle with detrimental effects during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Anxiety, health-related quality of life, and symptoms of burnout in frontline physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic Original Article

    Chalhub, Ricardo Ávila; Menezes, Marta Silva; Aguiar, Carolina Villa Nova; Santos-Lins, Larissa Souza; Martins Netto, Eduardo; Brites, Carlos; Lins-Kusterer, Liliane

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Background: COVID-19 pandemic caused increased workload and stress for health professionals involved in the care of such patients. We aimed to describe the health-related quality of life, and burnout in frontline physicians diagnosed with anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted during the first-wave phase of COVID19, from September to October 2020. Questionnaires were sent electronically to 450 physicians from State of Bahia, assessing symptoms of anxiety, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and burnout syndrome. For the categorical variables, the Pearson’s chi-square test was used and difference between means was compare using the Mann-Whitney test. was Groups with and without anxiety symptoms were compared using prevalence ratios (PR). Pearson’s correlation measured the correlation between WHOQOL-BREF and MBI (Maslach Burnout Inventory) domains. The Fisher r-to-z transformation was used to assess the significance of the difference between two correlation coefficients. The significance level was <0.05. Results: Out of the 450 physicians, 223 (49,6%) completely answered the questionnaire and 38 (17%) showed symptoms of anxiety. Physicians with anxiety had higher scores in emotional exhaustion (EE) (38.31 ± 8.59 vs 25.31±0.87; p = 0.0001) and depersonalization (DP) (9.0 ± 5.6 vs 5.9 ± 5.3; p = 0.001) domains, and lower scores in personal accomplishment (PA) (32.1 ± 8.2 vs 36.3 ± 7.6; p = 0.004), than those without anxiety. All correlations between WHOQOL-BREF domains and MBI in physicians without anxiety were significant (p = 0.01). Conclusion: Physicians with anxiety showed more emotional exhaustion, less personal accomplishment, and lower quality of life. All domains of WHOQOL BREF were correlated with all MBI domains among physicians without anxiety. Differences in correlation according to anxiety were remarkable in psychological HOQOL BREF domain and emotional exhaustion and depersonalization MBI domains. The effect of anxiety leading to poorer levels of perceived health needs to be further investigated.
  • Characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection and other severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) in Brazil from January to November 2020 Original Article

    Leal, Lisiane F; Merckx, Joanna; Fell, Deshayne B; Kuchenbecker, Ricardo; Miranda, Angelica E; Oliveira, Wanderson K. de; Platt, Robert William; Antunes, Lívia; Silveira, Mariângela F; Barbieri, Natália Bordin

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Background: Knowledge about COVID-19 in pregnancy is limited, and evidence on the impact of the infection during pregnancy and postpartum is still emerging. Aim: To analyze maternal morbidity and mortality due to severe acute respiratory infections (SARI), including COVID-19, in Brazil. Methods: National surveillance data from the SIVEP-Gripe (Sistema de Informação de Vigilância Epidemiológica da Gripe) was used to describe currently and recently pregnant women aged 10-49 years hospitalized for SARI from January through November, 2020. SARI cases were grouped into: COVID-19; influenza or other detected agent SARI; and SARI of unknown etiology. Characteristics, symptoms and outcomes were presented by SARI type and region. Binomial proportion and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for outcomes were obtained using the Clopper-Pearson method. Results: Of 945,460 SARI cases in the SIVEP-Gripe, we selected 11,074 women aged 10-49 who were pregnant (7964) or recently pregnant (3110). COVID-19 was confirmed in 49.4% cases; 1.7% had influenza or another etiological agent; and 48.9% had SARI of unknown etiology. The pardo race/ethnic group accounted for 50% of SARI cases. Hypertension/Other cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and obesity were the most common comorbidities. A total of 362 women with COVID-19 (6.6%; 95%CI 6.0-7.3) died. Mortality was 4.7% (2.2-8.8) among influenza patients, and 3.3% (2.9-3.8) among those with SARI of unknown etiology. The South-East, Northeast and North regions recorded the highest frequencies of mortality among COVID-19 patients. Conclusion: Mortality among pregnant and recently pregnant women with SARIs was elevated among those with COVID-19, particularly in regions where maternal mortality is already high.
  • Knowledge about clinical presentation, prevention strategies and sexual transmission of Zika virus infection among women of reproductive age in an endemic area Original Article

    Manuli, Erika R; Pereira, Geovana M; Bernat, Maria Cristina; Novaes, Celia R; Sabino, Ester C; Avelino-Silva, Vivian I

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Background The recognition of the causal association between Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy and congenital abnormalities including microcephaly underlines the importance of preventing this disease in pregnant women (PW) and women of childbearing age (WCA). Although Brazil and other Latin American countries reported a significant reduction in the number of ZIKV infections in recent years, epidemic waves can recur in settings with previous outbreaks as conditions for transmission remain optimal and susceptible populations are continuously replenished. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we enrolled 64 PW and 260 non-pregnant WCA attending routine medical appointments in two primary care units in São Paulo, Brazil, and assessed knowledge and attitudes about ZIKV infection and prevention. Results: Most women reported knowing that ZIKV is transmitted through the bite of Aedes mosquitos, and most knew that acute symptoms are similar to those seen in Dengue infection. Furthermore, most participants correctly described that ZIKV infection during pregnancy may cause detrimental outcomes for the newborn. However, most ignored that ZIKV infection can be asymptomatic, and only 15% knew about the risk of ZIKV sexual transmission. We found no statistically significant differences between PW and WCA regarding knowledge about ZIKV sexual transmission. Knowledge about ZIKV sexual transmission was significantly associated with education; among participants with ≤12 schooling years, only 9.0% (95%CI 3.4-18.5%) correctly answered that ZIKV can be sexually transmitted, compared to 12.9% (95%CI 8.2-18.8%) among participants with 12-14 schooling years, and to 24.4% (95%CI 15.9-34.9%) of participants with ≥15 schooling years (p = 0.015). Education remained independently associated with knowledge about sexual transmission of ZIKV in a multivariate logistic regression model adjusted for age, race and pregnancy status (p = 0.022). Conclusion: Our findings underscore the urgent need of educational and family planning programs that may help prevent detrimental outcomes of ZIKV infection in an endemic area of Brazil.
  • Performance of an alternative RT-PCR procedure using residual sample from the Panbio™ Ag COVID-19 test Original Article

    Castineiras, Terezinha Marta Pereira Pinto; Nascimento, Érica Ramos dos Santos; Faffe, Débora Souza; Galliez, Rafael Mello; Mariani, Diana; Leitão, Isabela de Carvalho; Melo, Mayla Gabryele Miranda de; Ferreira, Orlando Costa; Tanuri, Amilcar; ,

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Introduction: In the current standard of care (SoC) RT-PCR method for COVID-19, the patient’s swab was extracted in viral transport media (VTM). For the PanbioTM COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test, the patient swab is flushed out in extraction buffer, of which a small fraction is used for testing, leaving more than half the sample unused. This study was designed to show that RT-PCR results from the residual sample of the PanbioTM COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test (called Novel RT-PCR) are not worse than the SoC RT-PCR result. Methods: The study was performed using (1) dilution series of five patient samples, and (2) 413 patient samples comparing SOC versus Novel RT-PCR results. Results: For the dilution series samples, all tested positive by both methods. The bias between Ct values of Novel RT-PCR and SoC RT-PCR did not exceed 3.00 Ct using primers N1 and N2. A total of 413 COVID symptomatic patients seeking COVID testing were tested, of which 89 patients tested positive and 324 tested negative with SoC RT-PCR. In 324 patients who tested negative with SoC RT-PCR, 323 tested negative with Novel RT-PCR, and one (1) tested positive. Out of 89 who tested positive with SoC RT-PCR, 80 tested positive with the Novel RT-PCR, and nine patients showed a negative test result. The Overall Percent Agreement for the 413 valid patient sample pairs was 97.5 [95% CI 97 to 98]. Conclusion: The study demonstrated that the performance of the Novel RT-PCR method is acceptable compared to the SoC RT-PCR method and can be a useful tool to perform RTPCR without the need for new swab collections.
  • Prevalence of infection by human T Cell lymphotropic viruses (HTLV-1/2) in adult population in Vitoria-ES Original Article

    Orletti, Maria P.S; Assone, Tatiane; Sarnaglia, Glenia Daros; Martins, Marina Lobato; Rosadas, Carolina; Casseb, Jorge; Taylor, Graham; Ferreira-Filho, Joaquim B; Pereira, Fausto E.L; Miranda, Angélica Espinosa

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Introduction: Brazil has a high number of HTLV-1/2 infections which are unequally distributed in the country. Most prevalence studies have focused on specific populations, such as blood donors and pregnant women. Some areas, for example the state of Bahia, have robust information about HTLV-1/2 infection, however there is no information available about this infection in the general population of Vitoria, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Objective: To determine the prevalence of HTLV-1/2 infection in adults from the municipality of Vitoria, ES. Methods: A cross sectional study was performed from September 2010 to December 2011, in individuals of both sexes, aged 18 or older living in Vitoria-ES. Venous blood samples were collected and tested for anti-HTLV-1/2 antibodies by chemiluminescent immunoassay (CMIA). Individuals with CMIA reactive results were submitted to a new blood collection for retesting by CMIA, followed by PCR to confirm infection and discriminate the viral type. Results: From 1502 tested samples, eight were reactive in CMIA and all were confirmed by PCR. Therefore, the prevalence of HTLV-1/2 was 0.53% (8/1502, 95% CI: 0.2-1.0%). The infection rate was 0.7% in men (5/711, 95% CI: 0.17-1.51%), and 0.38% in women (3/791, 95% CI: 0 -0.81%). Conclusions: The prevalence of HTLV-1/2 infection was 0.53% (8/1502; 95% CI: 0.2 -0.9%). Confirmatory test using real-time PCR (qPCR) identified seven individuals positive for HTLV-1 and one for HTLV-2. Considering the risk of infected individuals to develop high morbidity and mortality diseases, it would be important to implement public health policies aimed at stopping transmission of these viruses in this municipality. 2021 Sociedade Brasileira de Infectologia. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
  • The influence of HLA/HIV genetics on the occurrence of elite controllers and a need for therapeutics geotargeting view Review Article

    Lunardi, Luciano Werle; Bragatte, Marcelo Alves de Souza; Vieira, Gustavo Fioravanti

    Abstract in English:

    The interaction of HIV-1, human leukocyte antigen (HLA), and elite controllers (EC) compose a still intricate triad. Elite controllers maintain a very low viral load and a normal CD4 count, even without antiretrovirals. There is a lot of diversity in HIV subtypes and HLA alleles. The most common subtype in each country varies depending on its localization and epidemiological history. As we know EC appears to maintain an effective CD8 response against HIV. In this phenomenon, some alleles of HLAs are associated with a slow progression of HIV infection, others with a rapid progression. This relationship also depends on the virus subtype. Epitopes of Gag protein-restricted by HLA-B*57 generated a considerable immune response in EC. However, some mutations allow HIV to escape the CD8 response, while others do not. HLA protective alleles, like HLA-B*27, HLA-B*57 and HLA-B*58:01, that are common in Caucasians infected with HIV-1 Clade B, do not show the same protection in sub-Saharan Africans infected by HIV-1 Clade C. Endogenous pathway of antigen processing and presentation is used to present intracellular synthesized cellular peptides as well as viral protein fragments via the MHC class I molecule to the cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs). Some epitopes are immunodominant, which means that they drive the immune reaction to some virus. Mutation on an anchor residue of epitope necessary for binding on MHC class I is used by HIV to escape the immune system. Mutations inside or flanking an epitope may lead to T cell lack of recognition and CTL escape. Studying how immunodominance at epitopes drives the EC in a geographically dependent way with genetics and immunological elements orchestrating it may help future research on vaccines or immunotherapy for HIV. 2021 Sociedade Brasileira de Infectologia. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
  • Coronavirus persistence in human respiratory tract and cell culture: An overview Review Article

    Gaspar-Rodríguez, Adriana; Padilla-González, Ana; Rivera-Toledo, Evelyn

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Emerging human coronaviruses, including the recently identified SARS-CoV-2, are relevant respiratory pathogens due to their potential to cause epidemics with high case fatality rates, although endemic coronaviruses are also important for immunocompromised patients. Long-term coronavirus infections had been described mainly in experimental models, but it is currently evident that SARS-CoV-2 genomic-RNA can persist for many weeks in the respiratory tract of some individuals clinically recovered from coronavirus infectious disease-19 (COVID-19), despite a lack of isolation of infectious virus. It is still not clear whether persistence of such viral RNA may be pathogenic for the host and related to long-term sequelae. In this review, we summarize evidence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA persistence in respiratory samples besides results obtained from cell culture and histopathology describing long-term coronavirus infection. We also comment on potential mechanisms of coronavirus persistence and relevance for pathogenesis.
  • Leprosy case series in the emergency room: A warning sign for a challenging diagnosis Case Report

    Bernardes-Filho, Fred; Lima, Filipe Rocha; Voltan, Glauber; Paula, Natália Aparecida de; Frade, Marco Andrey Cipriani

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Leprosy can be considered a dissimulated disease, mainly when presented as atypical cases leading to mistaken diagnosis at the emergency setting. Herein we report six patients referred to the emergence room with hypotheses of acute myocardial infarction and arterial and venous thrombosis, although with chronic neurological symptoms; the seventh patient was referred with a wrong suspicion of infected skin ulcer. Positive findings included hypo-anesthetic skin lesions and thickened nerves; 100% were negative for IgM anti-phenolic glycolipid-I, while 71.4%, 100% and 42.8% were positive for IgA, IgM and IgG Mce1A. RLEP-PCR was positive in all patients. Ultrasound of peripheral nerves showed asymmetric and focal multiple mononeuropathy for all patients. Unfortunately, in many patients leprosy is often misdiagnosed as other medical conditions for long periods thus delaying initiation of specific treatment. This paper is intended to increase physicians’ awareness to recognize leprosy cases presented as both classical and unusual forms, including in emergency department.
  • Serological diagnosis of paracoccidioidomycosis using a Paracoccidioides spp. comercial antigen and the counterimmunoelectrophoresis method Brief Communication

    Cocio, Tiago Alexandre; Martinez, Roberto

    Abstract in English:

    ABSTRACT Purpose: In-house Paracoccidioides spp. antigens are commonly used in the serological diagnosis of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM). The sensitivity and specificity of a commercial Paracoccidioides spp. antigen was assessed for PCM serological testing. Method: Counterimmunoelectrophoresis and double immunodiffusion were used to evaluate the Paracoccidioides ID Antigen reagent in sera from PCM cases and patients with other diseases. Results: All active PCM sera (n=24) were reactive using counterimmunoelectrophoresis (sensitivity = 100%), including 11 cases of infection by P. brasiliensis sensu stricto and one by P. americana. Fifteen (88%) out of 17 sera from patients on treatment or cured were reactive, including one case of P. lutzii infection. One to three bands of antigen-antibody precipitate were observed on the agarose gel, with a predominance of two to three bands in the test with untreated PCM sera or at the beginning of antifungal therapy. All sera from patients with histoplasmosis (n=7), aspergillosis (n=5), and other diseases (n=27) tested negative (specificity = 100%). The overall sensitivity and specificity using the commercial antigen and double diffusion test were 75% and 100%, respectively. Conclusion: The commercial antigen performed satisfactorily and may contribute to the dissemination of the use of serological tests for the PCM diagnosis.
  • Black hairy tongue caused by metronidazole Clinical Image

    Niiyama, Yu; Hase, Ryota
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