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To investigate the current epidemiology of melioidosis in Yangon, Myanmar, between June 2017 and May 2019 we conducted enhanced surveillance for melioidosis in four tertiary hospitals in Yangon, where the disease was first discovered in 1911. Oxidase-positive Gram-negative rods were obtained from the microbiology laboratories and further analysed at the Department of Medical Research. Analysis included culture on Ashdown agar, the three disc sensitivity test (gentamicin, colistin and co-amoxiclav), latex agglutination, API 20 NE, antibiotic susceptibility testing, and a subset underwent molecular confirmation with a Burkholderia pseudomallei specific assay. Twenty one of 364 isolates (5.7%) were confirmed as B. pseudomallei and were mostly susceptible to the antibiotics used in standard therapy for melioidosis. Ten patients were from Yangon Region, nine were from Ayeyarwaddy region, and one each was from Kayin and Rakhine States. A history of soil contact was given by seven patients, five had diabetes mellitus and one had renal insufficiency. The patients presented with septicaemia (12 cases), pneumonia (three cases), urinary tract infection (two cases) and wound infection (four cases). Eighteen patients survived to hospital discharge. This study highlights the likelihood that melioidosis may be far more common, but underdiagnosed, in more rural parts of Myanmar as in other countries in SE Asia.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
Conflicting results have been obtained through meta-analyses for the role of obesity as a risk factor for adverse outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), possibly due to the inclusion of predominantly multimorbid patients with severe COVID-19. Here, we aimed to study obesity alone or in combination with other comorbidities as a risk factor for short-term all-cause mortality and other adverse outcomes in Mexican patients evaluated for suspected COVID-19 in ambulatory units and hospitals in Mexico. We performed a retrospective observational analysis in a national cohort of 71 103 patients from all 32 states of Mexico from the National COVID-19 Epidemiological Surveillance Study. Two statistical models were applied through Cox regression to create survival models and logistic regression models to determine risk of death, hospitalisation, invasive mechanical ventilation, pneumonia and admission to an intensive care unit, conferred by obesity and other comorbidities (diabetes mellitus (DM), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, immunosuppression, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease). Models were adjusted for other risk factors. From 24 February to 26 April 2020, 71 103 patients were evaluated for suspected COVID-19; 15 529 (21.8%) had a positive test for SARS-CoV-2; 46 960 (66.1%), negative and 8614 (12.1%), pending results. Obesity alone increased adjusted mortality risk in positive patients (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.04–2.98), but not in negative and pending-result patients. Obesity combined with other comorbidities further increased risk of death (DM: HR = 2.79, 95% CI 2.04–3.80; immunosuppression: HR = 5.06, 95% CI 2.26–11.41; hypertension: HR = 2.30, 95% CI 1.77–3.01) and other adverse outcomes. In conclusion, obesity is a strong risk factor for short-term mortality and critical illness in Mexican patients with COVID-19; risk increases when obesity is present with other comorbidities.
Most of the existing prediction models for COVID-19 lack validation, are inadequately reported or are at high risk of bias, a reason which has led to discourage their use. Few existing models have the potential to be extensively used by healthcare providers in low-resource settings since many require laboratory and imaging predictors. Therefore, we sought to develop and validate a multivariable prediction model of death in Mexican patients with COVID-19, by using demographic and patient history predictors. We conducted a national retrospective cohort study in two different sets of patients from the Mexican COVID-19 Epidemiologic Surveillance Study. Patients with a positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for SARS-CoV-2 and complete unduplicated data were eligible. In total, 83 779 patients were included to develop the scoring system through a multivariable Cox regression model; 100 000, to validate the model. Eight predictors (age, sex, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, immunosuppression, hypertension, obesity and chronic kidney disease) were included in the scoring system called PH-Covid19 (range of values: −2 to 25 points). The predictive model has a discrimination of death of 0.8 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.796–0.804). The PH-Covid19 scoring system was developed and validated in Mexican patients to aid clinicians to stratify patients with COVID-19 at risk of fatal outcomes, allowing for better and efficient use of resources.
Orchestes fagi (Linnaeus) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a pest of beech trees (Fagus sylvatica Linnaeus; Fagaceae) in Europe that has recently become established and invasive on American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrhart) in Nova Scotia, Canada. We tested the effects of trap type, trap colour, trap height, and lure on the numbers of O. fagi captured per trap with the objective of developing a survey tool to monitor the weevil’s spread. We captured O. fagi in significantly greater numbers on yellow, green, or white traps than on light blue, dark blue, or red traps. There were no significant interactions between trap colour and trap design. Sticky triangular prism traps caught significantly more O. fagi than did nonsticky intercept traps regardless of colour. No effect of trap height was observed. Mean catch of O. fagi was significantly greater on yellow sticky triangular prism traps than on commercially sourced yellow sticky cards. Baiting yellow, green, or white sticky prism traps with the host volatile 9-geranyl-p-cymene did not increase catch of O. fagi. Our results suggest that yellow, green, or white sticky prism traps are a useful tool for detecting O. fagi adults and monitoring the spread of this species in Canada.
It is increasingly essential for medical researchers to be literate in statistics, but the requisite degree of literacy is not the same for every statistical competency in translational research. Statistical competency can range from ‘fundamental’ (necessary for all) to ‘specialized’ (necessary for only some). In this study, we determine the degree to which each competency is fundamental or specialized.
We surveyed members of 4 professional organizations, targeting doctorally trained biostatisticians and epidemiologists who taught statistics to medical research learners in the past 5 years. Respondents rated 24 educational competencies on a 5-point Likert scale anchored by ‘fundamental’ and ‘specialized.’
There were 112 responses. Nineteen of 24 competencies were fundamental. The competencies considered most fundamental were assessing sources of bias and variation (95%), recognizing one’s own limits with regard to statistics (93%), identifying the strengths, and limitations of study designs (93%). The least endorsed items were meta-analysis (34%) and stopping rules (18%).
We have identified the statistical competencies needed by all medical researchers. These competencies should be considered when designing statistical curricula for medical researchers and should inform which topics are taught in graduate programs and evidence-based medicine courses where learners need to read and understand the medical research literature.
The Darwin region in northern Australia has experienced rapid population growth in recent years, and with it, an increased incidence of melioidosis. Previous studies in Darwin have associated the environmental presence of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, with anthropogenic land usage and proximity to animals. In our study, we estimated the occurrence of B. pseudomallei and Burkholderia spp. relatives in faecal matter of wildlife, livestock and domestic animals in the Darwin region. A total of 357 faecal samples were collected and bacteria isolated through culture and direct DNA extraction after enrichment in selective media. Identification of B. pseudomallei, B. ubonensis, and other Burkholderia spp. was carried out using TTS1, Bu550, and recA BUR3–BUR4 quantitative PCR assays, respectively. B. pseudomallei was detected in seven faecal samples from wallabies and a chicken. B. cepacia complex spp. and Pandoraea spp. were cultured from wallaby faecal samples, and B. cenocepacia and B. cepacia were also isolated from livestock animals. Various bacteria isolated in this study represent opportunistic human pathogens, raising the possibility that faecal shedding contributes to the expanding geographical distribution of not just B. pseudomallei but other Burkholderiaceae that can cause human disease.
Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, a bacterium endemic in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. In New Caledonia, sporadic cases were first described in 2005; since then, more cases have been identified. To improve our understanding of melioidosis epidemiology in New Caledonia, we compared the local cases and B. pseudomallei isolates with those from endemic areas. Nineteen melioidosis cases have been diagnosed in New Caledonia since 1999, mostly severe and with frequent bacteraemia, leading to three (16%) fatalities. All but one occurred in the North Province. Besides sporadic cases caused by non-clonal strains, we also identified a hotspot of transmission related to a clonal group of B. pseudomallei that is phylogenetically related to Australian strains.
The composition and diversity of parasite communities and intestinal components, as well as infra-community structure, were assessed in eels Anguilla anguilla, from Mar Menor, a permanent Mediterranean hypersaline coastal lagoon. Data were used to determine whether this helminth community differs in composition and structure from that of eels in lagoons with lower salinity regimes and higher freshwater inputs. A total prevalence of 93% was detected. Specifically, parasites were identified as Deropristis inflata, Bucephalus anguillae, Contracaecum sp., Anguillicoloides crassus and two plerocercoid larvae belonging to the order Proteocephalidae, the marine species representing 91% of the isolated helminths. In the total community, digenetic trematodes were the dominant group of helminths, and D. inflata, an eel specialist, dominated both the component community and the infra-community. Richness and diversity were low but similar to those reported in other saline lagoons, and maximum species per eel did not exceed four. At the infra-community level, higher abundance than in other brackish or marine Mediterranean environments was detected. The findings provide further evidence of the similarity in composition and structure of helminth communities in eels from various Mediterranean coastal lagoons. Moreover, salinity-dependent specificities are well supported and reflect the life history of individual eels.