Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine
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    2024(3):97-109, DOI: 10.4103/apjtm.apjtm_680_23
    Abstract:
    Zika virus (ZIKV) is the causative agent of a viral infection that causes neurological complications in newborns and adults worldwide. Its wide transmission route and alarming spread rates are of great concern to the scientific community. Numerous trials have been conducted to develop treatment options for ZIKV infection. This review highlights the latest developments in the fields of vaccinology and pharmaceuticals developments for ZIKV infection. A systematic and comprehensive approach was used to gather relevant and up-to-date data so that inferences could be made about the gaps in therapeutic development. The results indicate that several therapeutic interventions are being tested against ZIKV infection, such as DNA vaccines, subunit vaccines, live-attenuated vaccines, virus-vector-based vaccines, inactivated vaccines, virus-like particles, and mRNA-based vaccines. In addition, approved anti-ZIKV drugs that can reduce the global burden are discussed. Although many vaccine candidates for ZIKV are at different stages of development, none of them have received Food and Drug Authority approval for use up to now. The issue of side effects associated with these drugs in vulnerable newborns and pregnant women is a major obstacle in the therapeutic pathway.
    2024(3):110-118, DOI: 10.4103/apjtm.apjtm_687_23
    Abstract:
    Objective: To investigate the importance of immunization in preventing measles infection and to determine the most useful laboratory tests for confirmation of measles. Methods: This study included pediatric cases evaluated with a presumed diagnosis of measles between December 2022 and June 2023, at Marmara University Pendik Training and Research Hospital. The effects of vaccination status and underlying disease on the clinical course, treatments, and complications were evaluated. Results: In total, 117 patients were enrolled in the study with a median age of 80 months (IQR: 32.5-125.0). Twelve patients with contact history were asymptomatic and had an underlying disorder, and intravenous immunoglobulin was given to them for post-exposure prophylaxis. Fifty-one patients had confirmed measles diagnosis. Ribavirin treatment was given to three patients (a newborn, a girl with rhabdomyosarcoma, and a healthy boy) with respiratory distress. Seventy-eight percent of confirmed measles cases were unvaccinated, and all hospitalized cases were unvaccinated or under-vaccinated. Four full-vaccinated children had confirmed measles infection. Measles PCR from nasopharyngeal swabs was negative in all of them, and their diagnosis was established with anti-measles IgM positivity. Conclusions: The measles vaccine is the most effective way to protect from measles and measles-related complications. Although measles can also occur in fully vaccinated patients, the disease is milder than in unvaccinated patients. Using ELISA and RT-PCR tests together may be beneficial in patients with high clinical suspicion for early diagnosis.
    2024(3):119-128, DOI: 10.4103/apjtm.apjtm_781_23
    Abstract:
    Objective: To investigate the prevalence and risk factors associated with long COVID symptoms among children and adolescents who have recovered from COVID-19. Methods: This study applied a cross-sectional approach within community settings in a southern province of Vietnam. A structured questionnaire featuring socio-demographic information and common long COVID symptoms was employed. Phi correlation coefficients assessed associations among pairs of long COVID symptoms. Additionally, multivariable logistic regression models were performed to investigate the risk factors of long COVID in recovered COVID-19 children and adolescents. Results: Among 422 participants, 39.3% reported long COVID symptoms, with a prevalence of 45.2% (SD=0.5) in children and 22.2% (SD=0.4) in adolescents. Common symptoms reported were cough 34.6% (SD=0.5), fatigue 20.6% (SD=0.4), shortness of breath 10.9% (SD=0.3), and lack of appetite 6.6% (SD=0.3). Concerning risk factors of long COVID, a higher risk was observed among demographic groups, including girls (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.15-1.37; P<0.001, reference: boys), children compared to adolescents (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.12-1.37; P<0.001), overweight individuals (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.27; P=0.018, reference: healthy weight), and participants without any COVID-19 vaccination (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.20-1.54; P<0.001), or have received only one single dose (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10-1.64; P=0.004) compared to those who have received two doses. Besides, patients with a COVID-19 treatment duration exceeding two weeks also had a higher risk of long COVID (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.09-1.60; P=0.003) than those who recovered less than seven days. Conclusions: The insights from this study provide crucial guidance for predicting the factors associated with the occurrence of long COVID in pediatric patients, contributing to strategic interventions aimed at mitigating the long COVID risks among children and adolescents in Vietnam.
    2024(3):129-135, DOI: 10.4103/apjtm.apjtm_520_23
    Abstract:
    Objective: To determine the risk factors of mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods: This retrospective study used hospitalization records collected by the Indonesia Health Social Security Administrator Agency (Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial Kesehatan-BPJS Kesehatan). A total of 38 277 eligible patients with confirmed COVID-19 were analyzed. The dependent variable of the study was the discharge status (death or recovery) of COVID-19. Independent variables were history of morbidity and disease-related occurrence, type of room health facilities, length of stay and demographic variables (sex, age). The analyses use bivariate and multivariate logistic regression to determine the dominating variable associated with all these variables. Results: Of the 38 277 inpatients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19, 31 051 (81.1%) were discharged and 7 226 (18.9%) died. Risk of death was positively associated with older age (aOR 5.74, 95% CI 4.20-7.87 for 19-64 years old; aOR 13.75, 95% CI 9.99-18.92 for 65 years above), male sex (aOR 1.13, 95% CI 1.07-1.19), treated in ICU without ventilator (aOR 5.84, 95% CI 5.41-6.30) and had comorbid respiratory diseases (aOR 5.39, 95% CI 4.93-5.90), but negatively associated with hospital stay of 15 days or longer (aOR 0.39, 95% CI 0.36-0.43). Conclusions: COVID-19 related death during hospitalization was associated with duration and type of treatment, and existing medical condition among the inpatient individuals during COVID-19 pandemic in DKI Jakarta. The findings of the study suggest importance of appropriate and timely medical intervention and care.
    2024(3):136-138, DOI: 10.4103/apjtm.apjtm_814_23
    Abstract:
    Rationale: Acute pain is a medical emergency that requires prompt abdominal evaluation and management. Dengue, a mosquito-borne arboviral infection, can lead to complications such as acute abdominal pain. Patient concerns: A 72-year-old hypertensive female presented with high-grade intermittent fever with chills and rigors for four days. She was diagnosed with dengue fever (NS1Ag-reactive) the day before admission. A contrast-enhanced computed tomography of the abdomen showed a hematoma along the rectus sheath which was managed conservatively as per surgical opinion. Diagnosis: Dengue hemorrhagic fever with rectus sheath hematoma. Interventions: Blood transfusion and fluid therapy. Outcomes: Ten days after discharge, the patient reproted no pain in the right iliac fossa and the size of the hematoma was significantly reduced. Lessons: Although it is rarely seen as a cause of acute abdomen, complaints of adnominal pain should never be ignored in critical or convalescent phase of dengue fever. Radiological investigations should be promptly conducted as hematoma is often difficult to be diagnosed clinically. Delay in diagnosis of rectus sheath hematoma can be fatal.
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    2019,12(8):353-364, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.262564
    [Abstract] (148) [HTML] (0) [PDF 1.09 M] (1817)
    Abstract:
    Objective: To prepare and characterize poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles loaded with soluble leishmanial antigen or autoclaved leishmanial antigen and explore in vitro and in vivo immunogenicity of antigen encapsulated nanoparticles. Methods: Water/oil/water double emulsion technique was employed to synthesize PLGA nanoparticles, and scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and Zeta-potential measurements were used to identify the characteristics of nanoparticles. Cytotoxicity of synthetized nanoparticles on J774 macrophage were investigated by MTT assays. To determine the in vitro immunostimulatory efficacies of nanoparticles, griess reaction and ELISA was used to measure the amounts of NO and cytokines. During the in vivo analysis, Balb/c mice were immunized with vaccine formulations, and protective properties of nanoparticles were measured by Leishman Donovan unit in the liver following the infection. Cytokine levels in spleens of mice were determined by ELISA. Results: MTT assay showed that neither soluble leishmanial antigen nor autoclaved leishmanial antigen encapsulated nanoparticles showed cytotoxicity against J774 macrophage cells. Contrary to free antigens, both autoclaved leishmanial antigen-nanoparticle and soluble leishmanial antigen-nanoparticle formulations led to a 10 and 16-fold increase in NO amounts by macrophages, respectively. Leishman Donovan unit calculations revealed that soluble leishmanial antigen-nanoparticles and autoclaved leishmanial antigen-nanoparticles yielded 52% and 64% protection against visceral leishmaniasis in mouse models. Besides, in vitro and in vivo tests demonstrated that by increasing IFN-γand IL-12 levels and inhibiting IL-4 and IL- 10 secretions, autoclaved leishmanial antigen-nanoparticles and soluble leishmanial antigennanoparticles triggered Th1 immune response. Conclusions: Both autoclaved leishmanial antigen-nanoparticles and soluble leishmanial antigen-nanoparticles formulations provide exceptional in vitro and in vivo immunostimulatory activities. Hence, PLGA-based antigen delivery systems are recommended as potential vaccine candidates against visceral leishmaniasis.
    2019,12(8):375-379, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.262566
    Abstract:
    Objective: To survey hemoplasmas infection in free ranging non-human primates from 8 provinces in Thailand. Methods: DNA from ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid blood of 262 free ranging non-human primates were identified as hemoplasmas using PCR and phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA and rnpB genes. Results: A total of 148 non-human primates (56.49%) were determined positive for Candidatus Mycoplasma haemomacaque, including 125 Macaca fascicularis and 23 Macaca mulatta. Hemoplasmas can cause anemia in monkey but all positive samples were healthy. The positive rates in male and female non-human primates were not significantly different. Conclusions: Candidatus Mycoplasma infection is prevalent in free ranging Macaca fascicularis and Macaca mulatta in Thailand.
    2019,12(6):243-249, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.261270
    Abstract:
    Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that affects about 290 million patients worldwide. Children aged between 5 and 14 years represent 45.8% of the affected patients, in addition, schistosomiasis has been reported in Schistosoma-free areas, mostly because of tourism and immigration from endemic countries. Intestinal schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma mansoni is mainly diagnosed via direct stool examination for egg detection. Immunological methods are favoured for disease monitoring and preliminary checking for communities in areas with low infection rates, and for patients with light and chronic infections where parasitological tests are negative. PCR-based diagnostic techniques are more sensitive, but expensive. Tegument proteins and miRNAs are promising markers for diagnosis of schistosomiasis. Here we review the diagnostic methods for schistosomiasis mansoni aiming to reach a standardized technique for diagnosis of early infection to help better control of the disease.
    2017,10(1):6-10, DOI: 10.1016/j.apjtm.2016.12.008
    Abstract:
    The recent Ebola outbreak in Western Africa was the most devastating outbreak witnessed in recent times. There have been remarkable local and international efforts to control the crisis. Ebola Virus Disease is the focus of immense research activity. The progression of events in the region has been evolving swiftly and it is of paramount importance to the medical community to be acquainted with the situation. Over 28 000 people were inflicted with the condition, over 11 000 have died. Novel data has emerged regarding modes of transmission, providing rationale for recent flare-ups. Similarly, studies on survivors are elucidating the later stages of the disease recovery process. Novel techniques for diagnosis are also discussed. Finally, the current research regarding treatment and vaccine development is reviewed, particularly the implementation of rVSV-ZEBOV vaccination programs.
    2019,12(7):291-299, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.262072
    Abstract:
    The WHO reports that billions of people and animals in tropical and subtropical regions are affected by helminthiasis as neglected tropical disease. It is predominant in underdeveloped areas; nevertheless, the increase in the number of travelers and migrants has made this infection more common. The current mass drug treatment produces severe side effects and many strains of helminths are resistant to them. None of the chemotherapeutic drugs meets the ideal requirements of anthelmintics, such as broad spectrum of activity, single dose cure, free from side effect and cost-effectiveness. Today, many researchers are screening the traditional herbal system in search of the anthelmintic herbal constituents which overcome all the problems of synthetic drugs. Several researchers proclaim anthelmintic activity of herbal medicines by using different experimental models. The present review demonstrates natural product drug discovery, outlining potential of herbal constituents from natural sources as natural leads against helminthiasis.
    2019,12(8):380-384, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.262567
    Abstract:
    Objective: To report atypical morphological features of Trichophyton (T.) tonsurans strains associated with tinea capitis. Methods: Eighty-two T. tonsurans strains isolated in Ceará, Brazil, were analyzed regarding macro and micromorphological features and nutritional patterns. Results: Fifty-two samples presented abundant chlamydoconidia, which were produced in chains. Macroscopically, these strains developed small glabrous colonies that were firmly attached to the surface of the culture medium, with few or no aerial mycelia and intense rusty yellow pigmentation. Seven strains did not grow with stimulus from thiamine. Samples were heterogeneous regarding urease production and none presented in vitro hair perforation. Conclusions: The observation of T. tonsurans strains with distinct phenotypic features indicates the need to revise the taxonomic criteria for routine identification of this dermatophyte.
    2019,12(6):283-287, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.261287
    Abstract:
    Objective: To evaluate the combination of several statins (atorvastatin, fluvastatin and simvastatin) and azoles (voriconazole, posaconazole and itraconazole) against Acanthamoeba spp. Methods: The efficiency of the different drug combinations against the trophozoite stage of different Acanthamoeba strains were evaluated by Alamar Blue assay. Effect on the cyst stage was observed by inverted microscope. Cytotoxicity of combinations of azoles and statins was evaluated by measuring the release of lactate dehydrogenase from a murine macrophage cell line. Results: Combinations of any of the tested statins and voriconazole or posaconazole were more efficient in inhibiting Acanthamoeba compared to statins or azoles individually. The drug combinations at the combined inhibitory concentrations 50% showed lower toxicity compared to that of the compounds alone. Conclusions: The combinations of statins together with voriconazole and posaconazole are more efficient than these drugs alone, and these combinations have lower cytotoxicity in mammalian cell lines.
    2019,12(6):272-282, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.261273
    [Abstract] (358) [HTML] (0) [PDF 1.33 M] (1032)
    Abstract:
    Objective: To evaluate the anticancer potentials of Annona muricata fruit by in vitro and in vivo methods. Methods: The ethanolic extract of Annona muricata fruit was prepared by Soxhlet extraction method and further fractionated with petroleum ether, ethyl acetate and chloroform. The fractions were tested for cytotoxicity, apoptosis, scratch wound assay, and cell cycle analysis. IC50, apoptotic index and percentage cell migration were determined using HepG2 cells. For the in vivo studies, hepatocellular carcinoma was induced by administering 0.01% diethylnitrosamine (DEN) in drinking water in Wistar rats. In pre-treatment, rats were co-administered 200 mg/kg of fruit extract with DEN for 14 weeks. In post-treatment, the extract was co-administered after 8-weeks of DEN-induction for 14 weeks. Liver function test, haematological test, oxidative stress markers, relative liver weight, number of cancer nodules and histopathological parameters were determined. Results: Annona muricata fruit extract =significantly lowered cell proliferation counts. The chloroform-fraction possessed higher activity [IC50=(53.7±4.3) μg/mL]. The chloroform fraction inhibited cell migration, which was significant compared to curcumin. Further investigations regarding the mode of anticancer activity revealed that the chloroform fraction induced apoptosis. The cell cycle analysis indicated that cells were being arrested at G0/G1. In the in vivo studies, the DEN-control group showed a significant decrease in body weights with increased mortality rate, hepatic nodules, and impairment of liver function compared to normal rats. The rats pre-treated and post-treated with the extract showed positive results with significant improvement in the parameters that were adversely affected by DEN. In addition, other adverse effects of DEN, such as blood dyscrasias and hepatic endogenous antioxidant, were significantly attenuated by Annona muricata fruit extract. Conclusions: The Annona muricata fruit extract has anticancer activity when tested by in vitro and in vivo hepatocellular cancer models.
    2019,12(8):365-374, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.262565
    Abstract:
    Objective: To explore the antileishmanial effect of tioxolone and its niosomal form against Leishmania tropica. Methods: Tioxolone niosomes were prepared by the hydration method and were evaluated for morphology, size, release study, and encapsulation efficiency. The cytotoxicity of tioxolone and its niosomal form was measured by MTT assay, leishmanicidal activity against promastigote and amastigote by MTT assay, apoptosis by flow cytometry, IL-12, IL-10 and metacaspase gene expression levels by q-PCR. Results: Span/Tween 40 and Span/Tween 60 niosomes had good physical stability as depicted in their size distribution curves and high encapsulation efficiency (>99%). The release profile of the entrapped compounds showed Fickian’s model of tioxolone delivery based on diffusion through lipid bilayers. With the IC50 value for amastigote as (24.5±2.1) μg/mL and selectivity index as 10.5, the Span/Tween 60 niosome (NT2) had a superior effect to other drugs. The CC50 value and IC50 of promastigote value for NT2 were (257.5±24.5) μg/mL and (164.8±20.6) μg/ mL, respectively. The flow cytometric analysis showed that tioxolone and niosomal forms induced apoptosis of Leishmania tropica promastigotes in a dose-dependent manner. NT2 increased the expression level of IL-12 and metacaspase genes and decreased the expression level of the IL-10 gene. Conclusions: Niosomes of tioxolone play an immunomodulatory role in increasing Th1 cytokine profile and inhibiting the Th2 cytokine profile. It could be used for treatment of anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis.
    2020,13(1):1-7, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.273567
    Abstract:
    Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. (Moraceae) has been traditionally used in treating various diseases such as diabetes, diarrhea, malarial fever, inflammation, wound healing and other diseases. Since various bioactive compounds have been found in this plant, this review focuses on the phytochemical and pharmacological properties of a potent bioactive compound artocarpin. Despite its various functions, a mechanistic review on this compound has not been reviewed specifically. Here, pharmacological studies in vitro and in vivo on artocarpin are discussed thoroughly stressing on anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-tyrosinase, antioxidant and antiinflammatory aspects of artocarpin. This review would be beneficial for future study to show the competency of natural products for their therapeutic characteristics.
    2019,12(7):315-320, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.262075
    Abstract:
    Objective: To determine the prevalence and risk factors of Giardia (G.) lamblia infections among the aboriginal community during the wet and dry seasons. Methods: A total of 473 stool samples from the aborigines in Temerloh, Pahang, Malaysia were collected during wet (n=256) and dry seasons (n=217). Smear of all the PVA-preserved stool samples were subjected to Trichrome staining and microscopic examination under 1 000 × magnification (Nikon eclipse E100) for the detection of G. lamblia. Positivity was recorded based on the presence of G. lamblia in trophozoite and/or cyst forms. Results: The prevalence of giardiasis was 12.10% and 8.29% during the wet and dry season, respectively. Age of less or equal to 15 years old and presence of other family members with G. lamblia infection were found to be the significant risk factors to acquire G. lamblia infections during both seasons. Untreated water supply was the significant risk factor of giardiasis during the dry season. This study highlighted the possibility of anthroponotic transmission of G. lamblia during both seasons and waterborne transmission during the dry season in the aboriginal community. Conclusions: This study suggests that seasonal variation plays an important role in the prevalence and risk factor of G. lamblia infection in the aboriginal community. Therefore, close contact with Giardia-infected family members and water-related activities or usage of untreated water must be avoided to reduce the burden of G. lamblia infection in this community.
    2019,12(8):339-346, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.262562
    Abstract:
    Malaria remains a major tropical health burden owing to the development of resistance and decreased sensitivity to the frequently used conventional antimalarial drugs. The drug like artemisinin possesses potent antimalarial activities, but has some limitations. Therefore, new strategies are to be implemented for optimal utilization of artemisinin to improve its therapeutic effectiveness and to overcome its limitations. The present review focuses on present scenario of malaria and pharmacological as well as analytical aspects of artemisinin. Data from 2000 to 2018 were collected from NCBI for understanding the various analytical techniques used for estimation of artemisinin. This review will reveal the facts about artemisinin which can be utilized to develop novel drug delivery system either in a combination or as alone for the well being of the patients suffering from malaria.
    2019,12(6):264-271, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.261273
    Abstract:
    Objective:To evaluate the effects of methanol root extract of Mahonia leschenaultii and berberine of Mahonia leschenaultii on Dalton’s ascitic lymphoma in Swiss Albino mice. Methods: The methanol root extracts of Mahonia leschenaultia (200 and 400 mg/kg) were given orally, and berberines (10 and 20 mg/kg) were injected intra-peritoneally for 14 successive days in tumor bearing mice. Hematological parameters (white and red blood cells, haemoglobin level, granulocytes, and agranulocytes), lipid parameters (total cholesterol and triglycerides), serum enzymes (serum glutamate pyruvate transaminases, serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminases, and alkaline phosphatise) and mean survival and solid tumor growth were determined and compared with untreated mice. 5-fluorouracil (20 mg/kg) was used as a reference standard drug. Results: Mahonia leschenaultii and berberine reduced the hematocrit significantly. Furthermore, Mahonia leschenaultii and berberine improved the survival of mice significantly and restored the affected hematological and lipid parameters similar to the normal levels. Conclusions: These observations show a strong anticancer effect of methanol root extract of Mahonia leschenaultii and berberine in suppressing Dalton’s ascitic lymphoma cancer cell growth in a mouse model by controlling haematological, lipid, serum enzymes, and other derived parameters effectively.
    2019,12(9):385-395, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.267581
    Abstract:
    Ebola virus disease (EVD) is associated with haemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates, with a high rate of fatality (up to 90%). Some outbreaks in human history have proven the lethality of EVD. The recent epidemic of 2014 and 2015 in West Africa was the deadliest of all time (11 284 deaths). To understand the transmission dynamics, we have reviewed the epidemiology of EVD to date. The absence of any licensed vaccines or approved drugs against Ebola virus (EBOV) further highlights the severity and crisis level of EVD. Some organizations (public and private) are making considerable efforts to develop novel therapeutic approaches or vaccines to contain the outbreak of EBOV shortly. Here, we summarized the various potential drugs and vaccines (undergoing multiple phases of clinical trials) that have arisen as an alternative against EBOV, and we highlighted the numerous issues and limitations hindering this process. Alternatively, an increasing focus on strengthening the medical and civic health structure could provide speedy benefits in containing the spread of EVD, as well as offer a resilient foundation for the deployment of novel drugs and vaccines to the affected countries, once such drugs and vaccines become available.
    2019,12(6):258-263, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.261272
    Abstract:
    Objective: To describe the symptoms of dengue at acute and post-infection stage and to identify preventive strategies adopted by the patients in the Western Province, Sri Lanka. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in the Western Province of Sri Lanka in November 2017. The study population consisted of 473 confirmed dengue patients aged from 18 to 64 years who were hospitalized between June and August 2017. A stratified random sampling technique was applied to select the participants. Data collection was done by trained interviewers, using a structured, pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire. Results: The most common symptoms of dengue fever at the acute stage was body ache (81.81%, n=387), followed by headache (71.67%, n=339), loss of appetite (66.80%, n=316), tiredness (53.06 %, n=251) and vomiting (41.86%, n=198). The most common symptom during the post-infection stage was body ache (48.62%, n=230), followed by fatigue (39.74%, n=188), and loss of appetite (28.75%, n=136). Adding sand to the water in places where water accumulates (41.64%, n=197) was the most common method used to prevent transmission of dengue followed by removing/draining stagnant water regularly (36.15%, n=177). Use of mosquito nets (83.08%, n=393) was the most common method in preventing mosquito bites followed by the use of fans among dengue patients (56.02%, n=265). Conclusions: The study shows a prolonged persistence of clinical symptoms during the postinfection period.
    2019,12(7):306-314, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.262074
    Abstract:
    Objective: To clarify the epidemiological aspects of visceral leishmaniasis in Kaleybar and Khoda-Afarin districts, north-west of Iran. Methods: A total of 1 420 human (children under 12 years) samples, 101 domestic dogs samples (Canis familiaris), and 577 female sand fly samples were collected. Sera of human and dogs were tested using the direct agglutination test, and sand flies were identified at species level using the microscopic method. Furthermore, a structured questionnaire was applied to evaluate the correlation between the potential risk factors and the related clinical signs/ symptoms with the human and dogs' seropositivity. Results: Totally, 2.18% of human samples were positive at titers ≥ 1: 800; among them, 13 cases (41.94%) were above 1:3 200, and clinical symptoms were observed in all of them except for an 11-year old girl. Anti-Leishmania infantum antibodies were found at titer ≥ 1: 320 in 9.90% of dogs' samples, half of them had at least one sign of canine visceral leishmaniasis. Moreover, 10 Phlebotomus species were identified in the study areas, and Phlebotomus (Larroussius) major group was the predominant species. There are significant correlations between the presence of anti-Leishmania infantum antibodies and the fever (P<0.001), anemia (P=0.001) and weight loss (P=0.016) in children. On the other hand, significant correlations were revealed between the Leishmania infection and the shelter (P=0.039), cutaneous lesion (P=0.005), lymphadenopathy (P=0.001) and weight loss (P<0.001) in the infected dogs. Conclusions: Visceral Leishmania infection is prevalent in rural areas of Kaleybar and Khoda- Afar districts located in East-Azerbaijan province, therefore active detection and treatment of visceral leishmaniasis cases should not be neglected.
    2020,13(1):46-48, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.273574
    Abstract:
    Rationale: Cryptococcal infections commonly occur in immunosuppressed patients and are uncommon in immunocompetent persons. Patient concerns: A 32 year old lady, active smoker presented with right chest pain, dry cough and loss of weight. Initial chest radiograph showed a lobulated lung mass in the right lower lobe. She developed headache and right cranial nerve palsy during admission. Various investigations were done including lumbar puncture, brain and chest imaging. Diagnosis: Cryptococcal meningitis with pulmonary cryptococcoma. Interventions: She received five months of effective antifungal treatment; however, the patient did not respond well. Subsequently, removal of pulmonary cryptococcoma was done. Outcomes: Her condition improved and she no longer had any headache. Lessons: Disseminated cryptococcosis is rare in immunocompetent patient. Our case highlights the importance of high index of suspicion and we postulate that lobectomy helped in reducing the cryptococcal burden in her body, thus facilitating better response to antifungal therapy.
    2019,12(6):288-290, DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.261308
    Abstract:
    Rationale: Acinetobacter radioresistens is a non-fermentative Gram-negative coccobacillus that is environmentally ubiquitous and is an uncommon cause of pneumonia in an immunocompetent patient with no known chronic medical illness. Patient concerns: A middle-aged Asian male with a smoking history presented with fever and cough. Physical examination was unremarkable. Chest imaging was consistent with pulmonary parenchymal infection and blood culture grew Acinetobacter radioresistens. Diagnosis: Community acquired pneumonia with Acinetobacter radioresistens bacteremia. Interventions: The patient received a combination of intravenous and oral ampicillinsulbactam over 2 weeks. Outcomes: Repeat blood cultures showed resolution of bacteremia. Completion of antimicrobial treatment saw resolution of respiratory symptoms and radiological pneumonic changes. Lessons: Acinetobacter radioresistens causing community-acquired pneumonia in an immunocompetent host has never been described before. It may be a novel emerging infectious agent in pulmonary infections. Its clinical course in this immunocompetent patient appears to be relatively benign.

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