Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine

Issue 7,2023 Table of Contents

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  • 1  Hearing loss and tinnitus associated with COVID-19 vaccines: An analysis from the national pharmacovigilance database in Malaysia
    Sing Chet Lee Wee Kee Wo Hee Sheong Yeoh Sim Mei Choo Azuana Ramli
    2023(7):289-295. DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.380718
    [Abstract](0) [HTML](0) [PDF 166.97 K](25)
    Objective: To compare the reporting pattern of hearing loss and tinnitus across different vaccines brands used in Malaysia (BNT162b2, CoronaVac, ChAdOx1, Ad5.CoV2-S and BBIBP-CorV). Methods: This retrospective study included all reports of hearing loss and tinnitus occurring after COVID-19 vaccination that were received in the national pharmacovigilance database, QUEST, from February 24, 2021 through July 31, 2022. Reports given causality consistent or indeterminate were included. Results: There were 21 cases of hearing loss, with overall reporting rate of 0.29 cases per million doses. The rate was similar across BNT162b2, CoronaVac and ChAdOx1. For tinnitus, 35 cases were reported, with the overall reporting rate of 0.49 cases per million doses, and the highest rate was reported for ChAdOx1. For both events, most cases aged 30 to 49 years. No gender disparity was observed. Both events were mainly reported to have occurred after the primary doses, with a median time-to-onset of two days. There were no statistically significant differences in the reporting patterns for both events across BNT162b2, CoronaVac and ChAdOx1 by age group, gender, race, and dose number. Conclusions: Despite the low reporting rates and insufficient evidence to confirm its relationship, hearing loss and tinnitus following vaccinations should not be ignored due to its disabling potential and impact on one’s quality of life. Continual reporting is encouraged for better signal characterization in the future.
    2  Postvaccination breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections among adults in Malaysia and attitudes towards future vaccination
    Praneetha Kumar Nair Kai Ern Koh Christine Yvonne Bede Lee Ai Ren Natasha Mevuni Dinethma Mahanama Thin Mon Kyaw Htoo Htoo Kyaw Soe Soe Moe Kazi Majidur Rahaman Mila Nu Nu Htay
    2023(7):296-304. DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.380723
    [Abstract](0) [HTML](0) [PDF 180.21 K](23)
    Objective: To determine the frequency and severity of the breakthrough infections and the associated factors in Malaysia. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among the adult general population in Malaysia who completed at least one dose of vaccination. The validated online questionnaires were used for data collection between December 2022 to February 2023. The participants were recruited by a convenient sampling method. The data were analysed by descriptive statistics, and logistic regression by using SPSS (Version 27). Qualitative data from open-ended questions were analysed as thematic analysis by using RQDA software. Results: A total of 524 participants' data were analyzed and 77.5% of them completed three doses of COVID-19 vaccination. Breakthrough infections after vaccination were reported in 57.3% of the participants. Age group of 18 and 30 years (aOR 2.32, 95% CI 1.01-5.32) and other ethnicities (aOR 2.00, 95% CI 1.02- 3.93) significantly associated with the occurrence of breakthrough infections. A total of 35.5% of the participants were not willing to take another booster dose in the future because of their attitudes towards fear of long-term side effects, lack of trust to the vaccine, less susceptibility to severe infection, belief in natural immunity, and myths. Conclusions: Future public health policies and interventions should be focused on disseminating the information about safety of booster doses of vaccine, management and re-assurance of side effects, and targeted vaccination to the working (younger age group) and ethnic minorities.
    3  Therapeutic response and safety of different treatments for cutaneous leishmaniasis in patients: A retrospective cross-sectional study
    Nicolas Rozo Montoya Juliana Quintero Pulgarin Liliana López Carvajal
    2023(7):305-312. DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.380719
    [Abstract](0) [HTML](0) [PDF 352.77 K](28)
    Objective: To analyze the therapeutic response and safety of different treatments for cutaneous leishmaniasis, received by patients in the Program for the Study and Control of Tropical Diseases- PECET-Medellin-Colombia. Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study of patients attended at PECET Research Center during 2016-2021. Relevant information regarding sociodemographic characteristics, history of leishmaniasis, characterization of current infection, treatment received, follow-up of therapeutic response and safety was collected from the medical records. Data were analyzed with Pearson's Chi-square association tests and Mann-Whitney U test using statistical software. Results: A total of 486 clinical records of patients were analyzed, and 356 received treatment. Eight different therapeutic alternatives (systemic, local and in combination) were analyzed. The therapeutic response of the different alternatives used (except thermotherapy) was higher than 50%. Most frequent adverse events were myalgias, arthralgias and headache, and vesicles for systemic and local treatment, respectively. Conclusions: Safety profile and performance of local therapeutic alternatives and combined schemes for the treatment of uncomplicated cutaneous leishmaniasis are an interesting option for the management of the disease.
    4  Surveillance of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants by nanopore technology-based genome sequencing
    J. I. Abeynayake G. P. Chathuranga M.A.Y. Fernando M. K. Sahoo
    2023(7):313-320. DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.380720
    [Abstract](0) [HTML](0) [PDF 388.54 K](28)
    Objective: To surveill emerging variants by nanopore technology-based genome sequencing in different COVID-19 waves in Sri Lanka and to examine the association with the sample characteristics, and vaccination status. Methods: The study analyzed 207 RNA positive swab samples received to sequence laboratory during different waves. The N gene cut-off threshold of less than 30 was considered as the major inclusion criteria. Viral RNA was extracted, and elutes were subjected to nanopore sequencing. All the sequencing data were uploaded in the publicly accessible database, GISAID. Results: The Omicron, Delta and Alpha variants accounted for 58%, 22% and 4% of the variants throughout the period. Less than 1% were Kappa variant and 16% of the study samples remained unassigned. Omicron variant was circulated among all age groups and in all the provinces. Ct value and variants assigned percentage was 100% in Ct values of 10-15 while only 45% assigned Ct value over 25. Conclusions: The present study examined the emergence, prevalence, and distribution of SARS-CoV-2 variants locally and has shown that nanopore technology-based genome sequencing enables whole genome sequencing in a low resource setting country.
    5  Biofilm analyses and exoproduct release by clinical and environmental isolates of Burkholderia pseudomallei from Brazil
    Glaucia Morgana de Melo Guede Crister Jose Ocadaque Alyne Soares Freitas Rodrigo Machado Pinheiro Giovanna Barbosa Riello Silviane Praciano Bandeira Rossana de Aguiar Cordeiro Marcos Fabio Gadelha Rocha Jose Julio Costa Sidrim Debora de Souza Collares Maia Castelo-Branco
    2023(7):321-328. DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.378565
    [Abstract](0) [HTML](0) [PDF 696.08 K](25)
    Objective: To characterize biofilm production by clinical (n=21) and environmental (n=11) isolates of Burkholderia pseudomallei and evaluate the production of proteases, hemolysins and siderophores. Methods: Initially, the 32 strains were evaluated for biofilm production in Müller-Hinton broth-1% glucose (MH-1% glucose) and BHI broth-1% glucose, using the crystal violet staining technique. Subsequently, growing (48 h) and mature (72 h) biofilms were evaluated by confocal microscopy. Finally, the production of proteases, hemolysins and siderophores by planktonic aggregates, growing biofilms and mature biofilms was evaluated. Results: All isolates produced biofilms, but clinical isolates had significantly higher biomass in both MH-1% glucose (P<0.001) and BHI-glucose 1% (P=0.005). The structural analyses by confocal microscopy showed thick biofilms, composed of multiple layers of cells, homogeneously arranged, with mature biofilms of clinical isolates presenting higher biomass (P=0.019) and thickness of the entire area (P=0.029), and lower roughness coefficient (P=0.007) than those of environmental isolates. Protease production by growing biofilms was significantly greater than that of planktonic (P<0.001) and mature biofilms (P<0.001). Hemolysin release by planktonic aggregates was higher than that of biofilms (P<0.001). Regarding siderophores, mature biofilms presented higher production than growing biofilms (P<0.001) and planktonic aggregates (P<0.001). Conclusions: Clinical isolates have higher production of biofilms than their environmental counterparts; protease and siderophores seem important for growth and maintenance of Burkholderia pseudomallei biofilms.
    6  Rhinofacial conidiobolomycosis in an immunocompetent 30-year-old male: A case report
    Sourav Kundu Sambudhya Chakraborty
    2023(7):329-331. DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.380725
    [Abstract](0) [HTML](0) [PDF 375.16 K](26)
    Rationale:: Fungal rhinosinusitis is a rare entity in immunocompetent patients and is a diagnostic challenge. Conidiobolomycosis is a rare cause of fungal rhinosinusitis which happens to affect immunocompetent patients. Patient concerns: A 30-year-old male patient complained of painless progressive swelling of nose for 5 years and painless progressive swelling of upper lip for 4 years associated with nasal obstruction for 5 years. Diagnosis: Rhinofacial conidiobolomycosis. Interventions: Systemic anti-fungals and saturated solution of potassium iodide. Outcomes: Swelling initially reduced but again increased eventually as he discontinued treatment. Lessons: Proper adherence to drugs and need for facial reconstructive surgery may need to be considered in such cases of conidiobolomycosis.
    7  A step towards zero leprosy: Active case finding through community-based approach
    Senthilkumar Ramasamy Sanjana Agrawal Hafseera Paradan
    2023(7):332-334. DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.380726
    [Abstract](0) [HTML](0) [PDF 1.49 M](24)
    Objective: To evaluate the radiological features of IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) in the head and neck region. Methods: In this radiology-based study, radiological features, clinical, laboratory, pathological findings, and prognosis of nine patients with head and neck involvement diagnosed with IgG4-RD were investigated retrospectively. Results: The median age of the patients was 38 years (range: 2.5- 79 years), and there were six males and three females. The most common symptoms and clinical findings of the patients were eyelid and lacrimal gland swelling, painless exophthalmos, and ophthalmoplegia. The most common site of involvement on MRI was the orbit. Orbital involvement was followed by branches of the trigeminal nerve, sinonasal cavity, cervical lymph nodes, and dural involvement. The most common and remarkable imaging features were T2 hypointensity and diffuse homogeneous contrast enhancement. Results: Head and neck involvement of the IgG4-RD, has specific imaging features that can help with diagnosis. Thus, early diagnosis and better outcomes can be achieved with increasing awareness of these features of this relatively new pathology.

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