Abstract in English:Abstract Objective To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) classification system for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia compared to pre-pandemic chest computed tomography (CT) scan images to mitigate the risk of bias regarding the reference standard. Materials and methods This was a retrospective, cross-sectional, diagnostic test accuracy study. Chest CT scans, carried out from May 1 to June 30, 2020, and from May 1 to July 17, 2017, were consecutively selected for the COVID-19 (positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR] for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 result) and control (pre-pandemic) groups, respectively. Four expert thoracic radiologists blindly interpreted each CT scan image. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated. Results A total of 160 chest CT scan images were included: 79 in the COVID-19 group (56 [43.5–67] years old, 41 men) and 81 in the control group (62 [52–72] years old, 44 men). Typically, an estimated specificity of 98.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 98.1%–98.4%) was obtained. For the indeterminate classification as a diagnostic threshold, an estimated sensitivity of 88.3% (95% CI 84.7%–91.7%) and a specificity of 79.0% (95% CI 74.5%–83.4%), with an area under the curve of 0.865 (95% CI 0.838–0.895), were obtained. Conclusion The RSNA classification system shows strong diagnostic accuracy for COVID-19 pneumonia, even against pre-pandemic controls. It can be an important aid in clinical decision-making, especially when a typical or indeterminate pattern is found, possibly advising retesting following an initial negative RT-PCR result and streamlining early management and isolation.
Abstract in English:Abstract Background There is an increasing use of daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing to decrease healthcare associated infections (HAI). Daily bathing of patients with CHG has been successfully used to prevent multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) HAI in intensive care units (ICU). Methods This was a 12-month, single-center, open, cluster randomized trial, conducted at four ICUs of the University Hospital of Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Unifesp, Brazil. ICUs were randomized to either perform daily bathing of the patients with pH neutral soap and water – control units, or daily bathing with 2% CHG detergent solution – intervention units. We evaluated the incidence density rate of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), catheter associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing enterobacteria HAI, and death in the intervention and control units. Results A total of 1,640 admissions of 1,487 patients occurred during the study period (41.2% control group, and 58.8% intervention group). Incidence density rates of KPC-producing enterobacteria HAI were 5.01 and 2.25 infections/1000 patient-days in the control units and in the intervention units (p = 0.013) and mortality rates were 28.7% and 18.7% in the control units and in the intervention units (p<0.001), respectively. No difference between groups was observed in CLABSI incidence (p = 0.125), VAP incidence (p = 0.247) and CAUTI incidence (p = 0.435). No serious skin reactions were noted in either study group. Daily 2% CHG detergent solution bathing is a feasible, low cost option for HAI prevention in ICU.
Abstract in English:Abstract Thirteen Haemophylus influenzae invasive strains isolated from patients at Clinical Hospital of State University of Campinas, from May 2013 through August 2019, was submitted to Illumina genome sequencing HiSeq platform. Further in silico analysis of serogroup and Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) from whole DNA sequencing had demonstrated the actual clonal distribution in the Campinas Metropolitan region. Thus, results showed the existence of a new ST Haemophilus influenzae found in the Brazilian territory and an increase of strains belonging to serogroup a (three strains also belonging to ST23). In conclusion, we observed an increase of non-typable H. influenzae (NTHi) and a strain involved in invasive diseases in the Campinas – São Paulo region after frequent detection of those serotypes and genotypes in other Brazilian regions.
Abstract in English:Abstract Objective To estimate the effect of tocilizumab or glucocorticoids in preventing death and intubation in patients hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study enrolling all consecutive patients hospitalized at Reggio Emilia AUSL between February the 11th and April 14th 2020 for severe COVID-19 and treated with tocilizumab or glucocorticoids (at least 80 mg/day of methylprednisolone or equivalent for at least 3 days). The primary outcome was death within 30 days from the start of the considered therapies. The secondary outcome was a composite outcome of death and/or intubation. All patients have been followed-up until May 19th 2020, with a follow-up of at least 30 days for every patient. To reduce confounding due to potential non-comparability of the two groups, those receiving tocilizumab and those receiving glucocorticoids, a propensity score was calculated as the inverse probability weighting of receiving treatment conditional on the baseline covariates. Results and conclusion Therapy with tocilizumab alone was associated with a reduction of deaths (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.21-1.17) and of the composite outcome death/intubation (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.13-0.90) compared to glucocorticoids alone. Nevertheless, this result should be cautiously interpreted due to a potential prescription bias.
Abstract in English:Abstract Objectives Comparative data on hydroxychloroquine and favipiravir, commonly used agents in the treatment of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), are still limited. In this study, it was aimed to compare treatment outcomes in healthcare workers with COVID-19 who were prospectively followed by the occupational health and safety unit. Methods A total of 237 healthcare-workers, diagnosed as mild or moderate COVID-19 between March 11, 2020 and January 1, 2021, were given hydroxychloroquine (n = 114) or favipiravir (n = 123). Clinical and laboratory findings were evaluated. Results The mean age of the patients was 33.4±11.5 years. The mean time to negative PCR was found to be significantly shorter in patients receiving favipiravir compared to the hydroxychloroquine group (10.9 vs. 13.9 days; p < 0.001). The rate of hospitalization in the hydroxychloroquine group was significantly higher than favipiravir group (15.8% vs. 3.3%). In terms of side effects; the frequency of diarrhea in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine was significantly higher than that in the favipiravir group (31.6% vs. 6.5%; p < 0.001). Conclusions Favipiravir and hydroxychloroquine were similar in terms of improvement of clinical symptoms of healthcare workers with mild or moderate COVID-19 infection, but favipiravir was significantly more effective in reducing viral load and hospitalization rates. Furthermore, favipiravir caused significantly less side-effects than hydroxychloroquine.
Abstract in English:Abstract It is debatable whether HIV-infected patients are at greater risk for hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection compared with healthy subjects. The reported anti-HEV seroprevalence among different groups in Bulgaria varied from 9.04% to 25.9%, but the information regarding the HIV population is still missing. The aim of the present study was to evaluate hepatitis E seroprevalence among HIV-infected patients in Bulgaria and to analyze demographic and immunological factors associated with HEV infection. Serum samples of 312 HIV-infected patients were analyzed retrospectively. Age, sex, residence and laboratory markers for HEV, HBV, HCV and HIV infection, and lymphocytes subpopulations were collected for all patients. None of the tested samples were positive for HEV RNA. HEV seroprevalence among HIV-infected patients was 10.9%. Males were more affected with the highest prevalence of positivity in the age group > 30 to ≤ 40 years. The documented HIV transmission routes in HIV/HEV co-infected group were heterosexual, homosexual, intravenous drug use (IDU), and vertical with predominace of the heterosexual route (z = 0.2; p = 0.804). There was a statistically significant trend of HIV mixed infection with routes of HIV transmission other than homosexual - heterosexual in HIV/HEV group and injection drug use in HIV/HBV/HCV co-infected group. The route of HIV transmission, in contexts of patients’ behavior, was associated with HEV prevalence among HIV-infected patients.
Abstract in English:Abstract The bacterium Neisseria meningitidis, a strictly human pathogen, can cause meningitis, meningococcemia, sepsis, and death; repeatedly it scause outbreaks around the world. The frequency of asymptomatic carriage is often high in adolescents and young adults, increasing the invasive meningococcal disease risk and likelihood of transmission. However, detailed analyses of meningococcal carriage in this population in Colombia, particularly in coastal areas, are lacking. In this study, the prevalence and characteristics of Neisseria meningitidis carriage were evaluated in asymptomatic adolescents and young adults (11-25 years old) in Cartagena, Colombia. Oropharynx samples were collected from participants between August and December 2019. The phenotypic identification of bacteria was performed by conventional methods and biochemical testing. Molecular identification to the species level was performed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. In total, 12 of 648 samples were positive for Neisseria meningitidis by 16S rRNA sequencing, indicating a prevalence of 1.9%. Isolates were classified into four invasive serogroups (A, B, C, and W) by a comparative sequence analysis of the ribosomal gene. Despite the occurrence of meningococcal disease in Cartagena city in the last several years, the frequency of oropharyngeal carriage in adolescents and young adults was low. Serogroup A had not been previously reported in nasopharyngeal samples in Colombia. This is the first report of Neisseria meningitidis on the Colombian Caribbean coast based on 16S rRNA sequencing and is expected to guide the development of vaccination and follow-up strategies.
Abstract in English:Abstract Background Helicobacter pylori infection can cause gastritis, gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers, and gastric cancer. Its treatment involves different medications, but resistance to these treatments is increasing. It is currently considered a public health problem. Aims to identify regimens used for H. pylori eradication by age group, year of treatment and geographical region of Colombia. Methods A cross-sectional study that identified regimens used H. pylori eradication in outpatient consultations over a 6-year period based on a medication dispensing database of 8.5 million people affiliated to the Colombian Health System. The appropriate regimens were those that included a proton pump inhibitor, associated with two antibiotics recommended by clinical practice guidelines (amoxicillin, clarithromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, tetracycline, doxycycline, metronidazole, tinidazole, and furazolidone). Results A total of 12,011 patients with a diagnosis of acid-peptic disease and H. pylori infection were identified, who had undergone 12,426 eradication treatment courses. Of these, 98.0% used a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), and 91.1% used amoxicillin. A total of 56.1% of the regimens were considered adequate; of these, 42.0% were a combination of PPI, amoxicillin/clarithromycin. This regimen predominated between 2015 and 2017 for all age groups. Conclusions The management of H. pylori infection in the majority of patients is heterogeneous and inconsistent with current recommendations based on evidence of antimicrobial resistance.
Abstract in English:Abstract Introduction Stewardship programs have been developed to optimize the use of antibiotics, but programs focusing on antifungal agents are less frequent. Objective To evaluate the quality of antifungal prescriptions in a tertiary care hospital, and to test if a simple educational activity could improve the quality of prescriptions. Methods The study comprised three phases: 1) Retrospective audit of all antifungal prescriptions in a 6-month period, applying a score based on six parameters: indication, drug, dosage, route of administration, microbiologic adequacy after results of cultures, switching to an oral agent, and duration of treatment; 2) Creation of text boxes in the electronic medical records with information about antifungal agents, shown during prescription; 3) Retrospective audit of all antifungal prescriptions in a 6-month period, applying the same 6-parameters score, and comparison between the two periods. Results Among 333 prescriptions, fluconazole was the most frequently (80.5%) prescribed agent. Hematology (26.7%), Infectious Diseases Department (22.8%), Internal Medicine (15.9%) and Intensive Care Unit (14.4%) were the units with most antifungal prescriptions. The median score for the 333 prescriptions was 8.0 (range 0 – 10), and 72.7% of prescriptions were considered inappropriate. The median and mean scores in the first and second audit were 8.0 and 6.9, and 8.0 and 7.9, respectively (p<0.001). All items that comprised the score improved from the first to the second audit. Likewise, there was a reduction of inappropriate prescriptions (80.2% in the first audit vs. 64.6% in the second audit, p=0.001). Conclusions A large proportion of inappropriate prescriptions was observed, which improved with the implementation of simple educational activities.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT Introduction Hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be vertically transmitted from mother to fetus. We evaluated knowledge about HCV vertical transmission in female blood donors who became pregnant following detection of HCV in their donated blood. Methods This was a retrospective descriptive study of females seen at a single blood bank in Sao Paulo, Brazil who were diagnosed with HCV infection in their donated blood. HCV-infected donors who subsequently became pregnant were invited to participate through letters or phone calls. Individuals who agreed to participate were interviewed by questionnaire to evaluate their knowledge on HCV vertical transmission. Results Among 282 HCV-positive female blood donors, 69 reported becoming pregnant after their HCV diagnosis in donated blood. While 24 of these women were successful treated for their infection prior to becoming pregnant, 45 (65.2%) were at risk for vertical HCV transmission either because they had never been treated for HCV, were pregnant before treatment or became pregnant after unsuccessful treatment. Of the 59 women who responded to the question of whether they were informed about the risk of HCV vertical transmission, 58 (98.3%) reported never receiving this information either after obtaining their blood donation results or during their pregnancy. Conclusion The lack of knowledge of HCV-infected women on the possibility for mother-to-child transmission of this virus highlights the critical need to improve communication about pregnancy-related risks between health professionals and HCV-infected women of childbearing age.
Abstract in English:Abstract Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) poses a major threat to the World Health Organization's “End TB” strategy which has defined its target as the year 2035. In 2019, there were close to 0.5 million cases of DRTB, of which 78% were resistant to multiple TB drugs. The traditional culture-based drug susceptibility test (DST - the current gold standard) often takes multiple weeks and the necessary laboratory facilities are not readily available in low-income countries. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) technology is rapidly becoming an important tool in clinical and research applications including transmission detection or prediction of DR-TB. For the latter, many tools have recently been developed using curated database(s) of known resistance conferring mutations. However, documenting all the mutations and their effect is a time-taking and a continuous process and therefore Machine Learning (ML) techniques can be useful for predicting the presence of DR-TB based on WGS data. This can pave the way to an earlier detection of drug resistance and consequently more efficient treatment when compared to the traditional DST.
Abstract in English:Abstract Severe lactic acidosis, a mitochondrial toxicity caused by the recommended standard dosage of linezolid (LZD), may occur in patients with impaired renal function. We describe an adult male who underwent kidney transplantation with stably impaired renal function, severe dyspnea, and abdominal discomfort. He received a standard oral dose of LZD (600 mg twice daily) and azithromycin for three weeks with a reduced immunosuppressant dose due to pulmonary non-tuberculosis mycobacterial infection. He was alert and afebrile, with a blood pressure of 140/60 mmHg. Pertinent laboratory data showed: pH 7.12, PaCO2 13.6 mmHg; HCO3- 4.3 mmol/L and serum lactate 18.4 mmol/L. His trough serum LZD concentration reached toxic levels (21.4 μg/mL). With hemodialysis, his clinical symptoms improved, with a decline in serum LZD (9.8μg/mL) and lactate (3.2 mmol/L). Chronic standard dose LZD in patients with impaired renal function can lead to life-threatening lactic acidosis, especially in coexisting conditions that reduce LZD metabolism.