Publications by authors named "Florian Vogt"

135 Publications

Association of public health interventions and COVID-19 incidence in Vietnam, January to December 2020.

Int J Infect Dis 2021 Jul 29. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Research School of Population Health, College of Health and Medicine, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia; The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Background: Vietnam implemented various public health interventions such as contact tracing and testing, mandatory quarantine, and lockdowns in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the effects of these measures on the epidemic remain unclear.

Methods: This article describes the public health interventions in relation to COVID-19 incidence. Maximum likelihood estimations were used to assess containment delays (time between symptom onset and start of isolation) and multivariable regression was employed to identify associated factors between interventions and COVID-19 incidence. The effective reproductive numbers (Rt) were calculated based on transmission pairs.

Results: Interventions were introduced periodically in response to the epidemic. Overall, 817 (55.4%) among 1474 COVID-19 cases were imported. Based on a serial interval of 8.72 ± 5.65 days, it was estimated that Rt decreased to below 1 (lowest at 0.02, 95% CI 0-0.12) during periods of strict border control and contact tracing, and increased ahead of new clusters. The main method to detect cases shifted over time from passive notification to active case-finding at immigration or in lockdown areas, with containment delays showing significant differences between modes of case detection.

Conclusions: A combination of early, strict, and consistently implemented interventions is crucial to control COVID-19. Low-middle income countries with limited capacity can contain COVID-19 successfully using non-pharmaceutical interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2021.07.044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8318669PMC
July 2021

Sachet water consumption as a risk factor for cholera in urban settings: Findings from a case control study in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo during the 2017-2018 outbreak.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2021 Jul 8;15(7):e0009477. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Institut National de la Recherche Biomédicale, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Background: Behavioural risk factors for cholera are well established in rural and semi-urban contexts, but not in densely populated mega-cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. In November 2017, a cholera epidemic occurred in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where no outbreak had been recorded for nearly a decade. During this outbreak, we investigated context-specific risk factors for cholera in an urban setting among a population that is not frequently exposed to cholera.

Methodology/principal Findings: We recruited 390 participants from three affected health zones of Kinshasa into a 1:1 matched case control study. Cases were identified from cholera treatment centre admission records, while controls were recruited from the vicinity of the cases' place of residence. We used standardized case report forms for the collection of socio-demographic and behavioural risk factors. We used augmented backward elimination in a conditional logistic regression model to identify risk factors. The consumption of sachet water was strongly associated with the risk of being a cholera case (p-value 0.019), which increased with increasing frequency of consumption from rarely (OR 2.2, 95% CI 0.9-5.2) to often (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.6-9.9) to very often (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.0-16.7). Overall, more than 80% of all participants reported consumption of this type of drinking water. The risk factors funeral attendance and contact with someone suffering from diarrhoea showed a p-value of 0.09 and 0.08, respectively. No socio-demographic characteristics were associated with the risk of cholera.

Conclusions/significance: Drinking water consumption from sachets, which are sold informally on the streets in most Sub-Saharan African cities, are an overlooked route of infection in urban cholera outbreaks. Outbreak response measures need to acknowledge context-specific risk factors to remain a valuable tool in the efforts to achieve national and regional targets to reduce the burden of cholera in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0009477DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8266059PMC
July 2021

Successful containment of a flight-imported COVID-19 outbreak through extensive contact tracing, systematic testing and mandatory quarantine: Lessons from Vietnam.

Travel Med Infect Dis 2021 Jul-Aug;42:102084. Epub 2021 May 26.

National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Hanoi, Viet Nam.

Background: The importation of SARS-CoV-2 through air travel poses substantial risks to generate new COVID-19 outbreaks. Timely contact tracing is particularly crucial to limit onwards transmission in settings without established community transmission.

Methods: We conducted an in-depth analysis of the response to a big flight-associated COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam in March 2020 that involved contact tracing, systematic testing and strict quarantine up to third generation contacts.

Results: 183 primary contacts from the flight as well as 1000 secondary and 311 third generation contacts were traced, tested, and quarantined across 15 provinces across Vietnam. The protracted confirmation of the index case at 3 days and 19 h after arrival resulted in isolation/quarantine delays of 6.8 days (IQR 6.3-6.8) and 5.8 days (IQR 5.8-7.0) for primary and secondary cases, respectively, which generated 84.0 and 26.4 person-days of community exposure from primary and secondary cases, respectively. Nevertheless, only 5 secondary cases occurred.

Conclusions: A large flight-related COVID-19 cluster was successfully contained through timely, systematic and comprehensive public health responses despite delayed index case identification. Multiagency collaboration and pre-established mechanisms are crucial for low and middle income countries like Vietnam to limit community transmission after COVID-19 importation through air travel.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2021.102084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8149171PMC
August 2021

Miltefosine for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis-A pilot study from Ethiopia.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2021 05 28;15(5):e0009460. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Background: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Ethiopia, caused by Leishmania aethiopica, is often severe and hard to treat compared to CL caused by other species elsewhere. Miltefosine is the only oral anti-leishmanial drug, with a favorable side-effect profile compared to routinely available sodium stibogluconate (SSG), but evidence about its use for L. aethiopica is lacking.

Methodology And Principal Findings: In an observational cohort study, treatment outcomes, safety and adherence among CL patients who required systemic treatment and received miltefosine for 28 days in Boru Meda Hospital and University of Gondar Hospital were studied. Patient cure was defined as 100% flattening for non-ulcerated lesions and 100% flattening and 100% re-epithelization for ulcerated lesions. Outcomes were documented for day 28, 90 and 180, both per site, and pooled, adjusting for site as a fixed effect with effect coding. Among 94 included patients (32 in Gondar, 62 in Boru Meda), median lesion duration was 12 months, median size six cm, and mucosal involvement (46.8%) and diffuse (30.9%) lesions were common. Adherence to miltefosine was good, and side-effects were tolerable. Initial outcomes at day 28 were promising, with 68.8% and 94.0% of patients having good improvement or cure in Gondar and Boru Meda respectively. In Boru Meda, outcomes were good with 72.7% and 72.9% cure at day 90 and day 180 respectively. In Gondar, results were less promising, with only 12.5% and 26.7% cure at day 90 and day 180, although confidence intervals were wide. In pooled estimates, 48.7% of patients reached cure at day 180, and 32.3% relapsed. Outcomes were better in Boru Meda Hospital, for smaller lesions and for mucosal lesions.

Conclusions/significance: Based on miltefosine's good initial response, tolerable side-effects, tablet-form, we propose to include miltefosine for future clinical trials using extended treatment schedules, combination therapy, or targeting specific subgroups.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04004754.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0009460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8191986PMC
May 2021

Timeliness of contact tracing among flight passengers during the COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam.

BMC Infect Dis 2021 Apr 28;21(1):393. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Communicable Diseases Control and Prevention, National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Background: International air travel plays an important role in the global spread of SARS-CoV-2, and tracing of close contacts is an integral part of the public health response to COVID-19. We aimed to assess the timeliness of contact tracing among airline passengers arriving in Vietnam on flights containing COVID-19 cases and investigated factors associated with timeliness of contact tracing.

Methods: We included data from 2228 passengers on 22 incoming flights between 2 and 19 March 2020. Contact tracing duration was assessed separately for the time between the date of index case confirmation and date of contact tracing initiation (interval I), and the date of contact tracing initiation and completion (interval II). We used log-rank tests and multivariable Poisson regression models to identify factors associated with timeliness.

Results: The median duration of interval I and interval II was one (IQR: 1-2) and 3 days (IQR: 2-5), respectively. The contact tracing duration was shorter for passengers from flights where the index case was identified through mandatory testing directly upon arrival (median = 4; IQR: 3-5) compared to flights with index case detection through self-presentation at health facilities after arrival (median = 7; IQR: 5-8) (p-value = 0.018). Cumulative hazards for successful tracing were higher for Vietnamese nationals compared to non-Vietnamese nationals (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Contact tracing among flight passengers in the early stage of the COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam was timely though delays occurred on high workload days. Mandatory SARS-CoV-2 testing at arrival may reduce contact tracing duration and should be considered as an integrated screening tool for flight passengers from high-risk areas when entering low-transmission settings with limited contact tracing capacity. We recommend a standardized risk-based contact tracing approach for flight passengers during the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06067-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080478PMC
April 2021

Chronic rhinosinusitis with and without nasal polyps and asthma: Omalizumab improves residual anxiety but not depression.

Clin Transl Allergy 2021 Mar;11(1):e12002

Department of Respiratory Medicine, University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has a high prevalence of anxiety and depression. It is currently uncertain if treatment in patients with CRS with or without nasal polyps (CRSwNP and CRSsNP) has any impact on improving mental health outcomes. The aims here were to document anxiety and depression in patients with severe CRS and asthma already treated with appropriate medical therapy. We then evaluated whether further maximal treatment with omalizumab improved anxiety and/or depression alongside improvements in CRS and coassociated asthma.

Methods: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) scores along with measures of CRS and asthma severity were recorded according to CRSwNP and CRSsNP status in n = 95 patients with severe CRS and asthma. Of this group, a further n = 23 had omalizumab for associated allergic asthma. Follow-up measures were collected 16 weeks after omalizumab treatment.

Results: HADS anxiety and depression prevalence in CRS were 49.47 % and 38.95%, respectively. Within the CRSwNP and CRSsNP group 53.06% and 45.66% had raised HADS-anxiety scores. Abnormal HADS-depression scores were present in 40.82% and 36.95% of the CRSwNP and CRSsNP groups, respectively. Correlations for sinonasal outcome test-22 (SNOT-22) versus HADS total was r = 0.59 p < 0.0001, HADS-anxiety r = 0.56 p < 0.0001 and HADS-depression r = 0.49 p < 0.0001. Omalizumab improved anxiety in CRS (p < 0.0001) regardless of nasal polyp status (CRSwNP p = 0.0042 and CRSsNP p = 0.0078). Depression scores did not improve in either group. SNOT-22 (p = 0.0006), asthma control questionnaire-7 (p = 0.0019) and mini-asthma quality of life questionnaire including emotional function (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.0009, respectively) all improved in both subgroups.

Conclusion: In CRS and asthma, anxiety scores but not depression improved after omalizumab treatment. Anxiety may be closely related to airway disease severity, but depression may be independent of airway disease itself. If so, a separate mental health care pathway is needed for CRS patients with depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/clt2.12002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8099201PMC
March 2021

Abdominal ultrasound in the diagnostic work-up of visceral leishmaniasis and for detection of complications of spleen aspiration.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2021 02 16;15(2):e0009107. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Introduction: Abdominal ultrasound (US) is increasingly used in the diagnostic work-up of infectious diseases, but studies on its diagnostic value in visceral leishmaniasis (VL) are lacking. US could help to identify complications of spleen aspiration (SA). We aimed to assess the diagnostic value of US and the evolution of findings after VL treatment; the incidence and degree of splenic injury; and the pain perceived during SA.

Methodology/result: We conducted a cross-sectional prospective study at the Leishmaniasis Research and Treatment Center, Gondar, Ethiopia between Oct 2017 and Dec 2018. We enrolled VL suspects undergoing tissue aspiration; US were conducted before and after SA, and at the end of VL treatment. Splenic injury was graded using the American association of surgery trauma injury scale (grade 1-4). The pain perceived during SA was graded using a visual analogue scale. Out of 392 VL suspects, 192 (49%) were confirmed VL cases. The median age was 25 years (IQR 21-30). Massive splenomegaly and hepatomegaly were the most common US findings. Splenic nodules were seen in 3.7% of the 190 VL cases and 1.5% of the 197 non-VL cases. Ascites was more common in VL (16.4%) than in non-VL cases (9.1%). The frequency of US abnormalities decreased with treatment. None of the US findings had sufficient sensitivity and specificity to justify its use as a diagnostic test. US detected splenic injury in four of the 318 patients who had post-SA US. All four patients remained clinically stable. Pain was perceived as moderate or severe in 51% of patients.

Conclusion: The diagnostic value of abdominal US for VL was low but found useful to detect subclinical splenic injury. SA caries a risk of splenic injury and was perceived painful by most. Further research on less invasive diagnostic tools is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0009107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935305PMC
February 2021

Health care provided to recent asylum-seeking and non-asylum-seeking pediatric patients in 2016 and 2017 at a Swiss tertiary hospital - a retrospective study.

BMC Public Health 2021 01 7;21(1):81. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

University of Basel Children's Hospital, Migrant Health Service, Spitalstrasse 33, 4056, Basel, Switzerland.

Background: Asylum-seeking children represent an increasing and vulnerable group of patients whose health needs are largely unmet. Data on the health care provision to asylum-seeking children in European contexts is scarce. In this study we compare the health care provided to recent asylum-seeking and non-asylum-seeking children at a Swiss tertiary hospital.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional retrospective study in a pediatric tertiary care hospital in Basel, Switzerland. All patients and visits from January 2016 to December 2017 were identified, using administrative and medical electronic health records. The asylum-seeking status was systematically assessed and the patients were allocated accordingly in the two study groups.

Results: A total of 202,316 visits by 55,789 patients were included, of which asylum-seeking patients accounted for 1674 (1%) visits by 439 (1%) individuals. The emergency department recorded the highest number of visits in both groups with a lower proportion in asylum-seeking compared to non-asylum-seeking children: 19% (317/1674) and 32% (64,315/200,642) respectively. The median number of visits per patient was 1 (IQR 1-2) in the asylum-seeking and 2 (IQR 1-4) in the non-asylum-seeking children. Hospital admissions were more common in asylum-seeking compared to non-asylum-seeking patients with 11% (184/1674) and 7% (14,692/200,642). Frequent visits (> 15 visits per patient) accounted for 48% (807/1674) of total visits in asylum-seeking and 25% (49,886/200,642) of total visits in non-asylum-seeking patients.

Conclusions: Hospital visits by asylum-seeking children represented a small proportion of all visits. The emergency department had the highest number of visits in all patients but was less frequently used by asylum-seeking children. Frequent care suggests that asylum-seeking patients also present with more complex diseases. Further studies are needed, focusing on asylum-seeking children with medical complexity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-10082-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791630PMC
January 2021

Diagnostic accuracy of direct agglutination test, rK39 ELISA and six rapid diagnostic tests among visceral leishmaniasis patients with and without HIV coinfection in Ethiopia.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 12 31;14(12):e0008963. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Diagnosis of a first-time visceral leishmaniasis (VL) infection in Ethiopia is established by use of a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) detecting antibodies against rK39, direct agglutination test (DAT) and microscopy according to the national algorithm. The performance of individual tests and algorithm is variable and depends on several factors, one being HIV status. Limited data are available on the performance of tests in VL-HIV coinfected patients. Assessment of the performance of DAT (ITM-A), rK39 ELISA (Serion) and six RDT (Onsite Leishmania Ab CTK, Antigen ICT Xinjier, IT Leish Biorad, Kalazar Detect Inbios, rK39 IgG1 Coris, rk28 IgG1 Coris) for the diagnosis of VL was done on a panel of 91 stored serum and plasma samples of 'first-episode' suspected VL patients, with HIV coinfection (n = 51) and without (n = 40). A combined reference standard was used: either positive microscopy on tissue aspirates, or in case of negative microscopy, positive PCR results on the aspirate slide. Additionally, endemic healthy controls (n = 20), non-endemic controls (n = 10) and patients with confirmed malaria infection (n = 10) were tested for specificity evaluation. Sensitivities ranged from 69.2% for DAT (applied cut-off ≥ 1/3200) to 92.2% for the Onsite RDT, whereas specificities ranged from 20.0% for Kalazar Antigen ICT to 100% for IT Leish and rK39 IgG1. Sensitivities from all assays decreased upon stratification according to HIV status but was only significantly different for rK39 Serion ELISA (p-value 0.0084) and the Onsite RDT (p-value 0.0159). In conclusion, performance of commercially available assays for VL on samples from Northern-Ethiopian patients varied widely with a substantial decrease in sensitivity in the VL-HIV coinfected group. Clear guidelines on minimal performance criteria of individual tests and algorithms are needed, as well as which reference standard should be used to determine the performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008963DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7774845PMC
December 2020

Transmission of SARS-CoV 2 During Long-Haul Flight.

Emerg Infect Dis 2020 Nov 18;26(11):2617-2624. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

To assess the role of in-flight transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), we investigated a cluster of cases among passengers on a 10-hour commercial flight. Affected persons were passengers, crew, and their close contacts. We traced 217 passengers and crew to their final destinations and interviewed, tested, and quarantined them. Among the 16 persons in whom SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected, 12 (75%) were passengers seated in business class along with the only symptomatic person (attack rate 62%). Seating proximity was strongly associated with increased infection risk (risk ratio 7.3, 95% CI 1.2-46.2). We found no strong evidence supporting alternative transmission scenarios. In-flight transmission that probably originated from 1 symptomatic passenger caused a large cluster of cases during a long flight. Guidelines for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection among air passengers should consider individual passengers' risk for infection, the number of passengers traveling, and flight duration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2611.203299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7588538PMC
November 2020

Correction to: Suspected paracetamol overdose in Monrovia, Liberia: a matched case-control Study.

BMC Pediatr 2020 Aug 14;20(1):383. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Médecins sans Frontières - Operational Center Paris, Paris, France.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12887-020-02250-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7427277PMC
August 2020

Molecular characterization of chikungunya virus during the 2019 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Emerg Microbes Infect 2020 Dec;9(1):1912-1918

Department of Virology, Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Early 2019, a chikungunya virus (CHIKV) outbreak hit the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Though seldomly deadly, this mosquito-borne disease presents as an acute febrile (poly)arthralgia often followed by long-term sequelae. Although is the primary vector, an amino acid substitution in the viral envelope gene E1 (A226V) is causing concern as it results in increased transmission by , a mosquito with a much wider geographical distribution. Between January and March 2019, we collected human and mosquito samples in Kinshasa and Kongo Central province (Kasangulu and Matadi). Of the patients that were tested within 7 days of symptom onset, 49.7% (87/175) were RT-qPCR positive, while in the mosquito samples CHIKV was found in 1/2 pools in Kinshasa, 5/6 pools in Kasangulu, and 8/26 pools in Matadi. Phylogenetic analysis on whole-genome sequences showed that the circulating strain formed a monophyletic group within the ECSA2 lineage and harboured the A226V mutation. Our sequences did not cluster with sequences from previously reported outbreaks in the DRC nor with other known A226V-containing ECSA2 strains. This indicates a scenario of convergent evolution where A226V was acquired independently in response to a similar selection pressure for transmission by . This is in line with our entomological data where we detected s more frequently than in two out of three affected areas. In conclusion, our findings suggest that CHIKV is adapting to the increased presence of in DRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2020.1810135DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8284967PMC
December 2020

Does mass drug administration affect Schistosoma mansoni infection trends in West Dembia district, Northwest Ethiopia?

J Infect Dev Ctries 2020 06 29;14(6.1):72S-77S. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Introduction: Schistosomiasis is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases in Ethiopia. Since 2015, yearly school-based mass drug administration (MDA) using praziquantel has become the major control strategy. This study aimed to assess trends of Schistosoma mansoni infection in a high-endemic area in Northwest Ethiopia.

Methodology: Data were extracted from routine laboratory logbooks at two health centers in West Dembia district, Amhara region, for the period 2013-2018. Wet-mount direct microscopy was used to diagnose intestinal parasites. Chi-square test was used to compare proportions of S. mansoni-positive results before and after the start of MDA with praziquantel, across sex, age groups, and seasons.

Results: Data of 8002 stool tests was extracted. The proportion of S. mansoni progressively decreased from 9.6% in 2013 to 4.1% in 2018 in the overall patient population and from 20.3% in 2013 to 8.8% in 2018 in school-aged children. However, a declining trend of S. mansoni was observed before the launch of MDA and remained constant after the start of the MDA. The positivity rate was significantly higher in males and in the 5-14 years age group. S .mansoni infection in school aged children showed significant seasonal variation.

Conclusions: The declined trend of S. mansoni positivity rate is encouraging and may be related to the existence of intervention packages. Although the timing of MDA was related with low positivity rate of S. mansoni infection, it has not resulted in the expected beneficial effect. Therefore, the district health office should work on both MDA and other interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3855/jidc.11727DOI Listing
June 2020

Diagnostic sensitivity of direct wet mount microscopy for soil-transmitted helminth infections in Jimma Town, Ethiopia.

J Infect Dev Ctries 2020 06 29;14(6.1):66S-71S. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium.

Introduction: Soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) remains a major public health problem in school children in Ethiopia. Although direct wet mount microscopy (DWMM) is the means to diagnose parasitic diseases in health care facilities in Ethiopia, it remains unclear what its diagnostic performance is for STH.

Methodology: A cross-sectional study was performed in Jimma Town (Ethiopia) and included 600 children from 10 primary schools. The diagnostic sensitivity of DWMM was compared to a composite reference standard (CRS) consisting of Kato-Katz, McMaster and Mini-FLOTAC. We also explored the impact of intensity of infection (the highest faecal egg counts (FECs; expressed as eggs per gram of stool (EPG)) across the CRS) on the diagnostic sensitivity of DWMM.

Results: Based on the CRS, there were 210 Ascaris (35.0%), 312 Trichuris (52.0%) and 102 hookworm cases (17.0%). The median intensity of infections equalled 2,057 EPG for Ascaris, 200 EPG for Trichuris and 110 EPG for hookworms. The sensitivity of DWMM was 73.8% for Ascaris, but was around 17% for both Trichuris and hookworms. The sensitivity significantly increased with intensity of STH. For Ascaris, the odds for detecting an infection intensity of 1,000 EPG was 6.2 times higher than detecting an infection of 100 EPG. For Trichuris and hookworms, these odds ratios were 7.1 and 14.

Conclusions: The diagnostic sensitivity of DWMM is low for STH, but it is able to detect those subjects that are in the highest need of treatment, and hence contributes to the global goal to eliminate STH as a public health problem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3855/jidc.11733DOI Listing
June 2020

Trends and seasonal patterns in intestinal parasites diagnosed in primary health facilities in Northwest Ethiopia.

J Infect Dev Ctries 2020 06 29;14(6.1):58S-65S. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Introduction: Intestinal parasites have an insidious impact on human health. In response to high parasite frequencies in Northwest Ethiopia, mass drug administration (MDA) is provided for school children using albendazole/mebendazole (since 2007) and praziquantel (since 2015). The study objective was to assess trends and seasonal patterns of intestinal parasite infections in a context of MDA.

Methodology: This was a descriptive study collecting routine data from laboratory registers in two health centres in Denbia district, Amhara region. Stool test results (wet-mount direct microscopy) from patients attending these centres between 2013 and 2018 were included. Frequencies of different parasite species were evaluated within and across the years and stratified by age and gender.

Results: From a total of 8002 stool test results, the overall parasite frequency was 53.3%; this proportion remained constant. The most frequently diagnosed soil-transmitted helminths (STH) were Ascaris lumbricoides (16.9%) and hookworm (3.9%). STH frequency varied over the years, but was similar at the beginning (20.0%) and the end (22.0%) of the six-year period. STH infections were more frequent in winter (December-February; 20.4%) than in other seasons (16.0%). The most frequently diagnosed protozoa were Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (18.5%) and Giardia lamblia (12.2%). The frequency of Giardia steadily increased from 9.6% in 2013 to 15.3% in 2018. E. histolytica/dispar peaked in summer and G. lamblia in autumn.

Conclusions: Trends in routine laboratories may be a proxy for a status quo in the community. These findings suggest that higher MDA coverages and/or interventions beyond MDA are needed to reduce intestinal parasite-related morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3855/jidc.11729DOI Listing
June 2020

C-arm CT imaging with the extended line-ellipse-line trajectory: first implementation on a state-of-the-art robotic angiography system.

Phys Med Biol 2020 09 18;65(18):185016. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

UCAIR, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States of America. Pattern Recognition Lab, Department of Computer Science, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.

Three-dimensional cone-beam imaging has become valuable in interventional radiology. Currently, this tool, referred to as C-arm CT, employs a circular short-scan for data acquisition, which limits the axial volume coverage and yields unavoidable cone-beam artifacts. To improve flexibility in axial coverage and image quality, there is a critical need for novel data acquisition geometries and related image reconstruction algorithms. For this purpose, we previously introduced the extended line-ellipse-line trajectory, which allows complete scanning of arbitrary volume lengths in the axial direction together with adjustable axial beam collimation, from narrow to wide depending on the targeted application. A first implementation of this trajectory on a state-of-the-art robotic angiography system is reported here. More specifically, an assessment of the quality of this first implementation is presented. The assessment is in terms of geometric fidelity and repeatability, complemented with a first visual inspection of how well the implementation enables imaging an anthropomorphic head phantom. The geometric fidelity analysis shows that the ideal trajectory is closely emulated, with only minor deviations that have no impact on data completeness and clinical practicality. Also, mean backprojection errors over short-term repetitions are shown to be below the detector pixel size at field-of-view center for most views, which indicates repeatability is satisfactory for clinical utilization. These repeatability observations are further supported by values of the Structural Similarity Index Metric above 94% for reconstructions of the FORBILD head phantom from computer-simulated data based on repeated data acquisition geometries. Last, the real data experiment with the anthropomorphic head phantom shows that the high contrast features of the phantom are well reconstructed without distortions as well as without breaks or other disturbing transition zones, which was not obvious given the complexity of the data acquisition geometry and the major variations in axial coverage that occur over the scan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6560/ab9a82DOI Listing
September 2020

Prognostic factors for mortality among patients with visceral leishmaniasis in East Africa: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 05 15;14(5):e0008319. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a vector-borne disease that is deadly if left untreated. Understanding which factors have prognostic value may help to focus clinical management and reduce case fatality. However, information about prognostic factors is scattered and conflicting. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify prognostic factors for mortality among VL patients in East Africa.

Methodology/principal Findings: The review protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42016043112). We included studies published in English after 1970 describing VL patients treated in East African health facilities. To be included, studies had to report on associations between clinical or laboratory factors and mortality during admission or during VL treatment, with a minimal study size of ten patients. Conference abstracts and evaluations of genetic or immunological prognostic factors were excluded. We searched for studies in MEDLINE and four other databases in December 2018. To assess the risk of bias in observational studies and clinical trials, we used the Quality in Prognostic Studies (QUIPS) tool. We included 48 studies in the systematic review, describing 150,072 VL patients of whom 7,847 (5.2%) died. Twelve prognostic factors were evaluated in five or more studies and these results were submitted to meta-analysis producing one pooled crude odds ratio (OR) per prognostic factor. The following factors were strongly (OR>3) and significantly (P-value<0.05) associated with mortality: jaundice (OR = 8.27), HIV (OR = 4.60), tuberculosis (OR = 4.06), age >45 years (OR = 3.69), oedema (OR = 3.52), bleeding (OR = 3.37), and haemoglobin ≤6.5 g/dl (OR = 3.26). Factors significantly and moderately (OR between one and three) associated with death were severe malnutrition, long duration of illness, young age (<5 years), and large spleen size.

Conclusions/significance: These prognostic factors can be identified by health professionals in resource-constrained settings. They should be considered as "core" prognostic factors in future studies that aim at improving the prognosis of VL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008319DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7255612PMC
May 2020

Preventable admissions and emergency-department-visits in pediatric asylum-seeking and non-asylum-seeking patients.

Int J Equity Health 2020 05 1;19(1):58. Epub 2020 May 1.

University of Basel Children's Hospital, Migrant Health Service, Basel, Switzerland.

Background: Migrant health has become an essential part of public health. According to the World Health Organization, many health systems in Europe have not yet adapted adequately to the needs of asylum-seekers, which might result in untimely and inefficient health care for asylum-seeking patients. The aim of this study was to assess the number of preventable hospital admissions and emergency department visits in asylum-seeking and non-asylum-seeking pediatric patients.

Methods: This is a retrospective, hospital-based study. The study was done at the University Children's Hospital Basel in Switzerland. Patients admitted or presenting to the emergency department were included and split into the groups of asylum-seeking and non-asylum-seeking patients. All admissions and emergency-department visits were extracted from the administrative electronic health records from 1st Jan 2016-31st Dec 2017. The main outcome was the proportion of admissions due to ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions (which refer to conditions for which admission can be prevented by early interventions in primary care) in asylum-seeking and non-asylum-seeking patients. Ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions were defined by a validated list of ICD-10 codes. The secondary objective was to assess the number of preventable emergency-department visits by asylum-seeking patients defined as proportion of visits with a non-urgent triage score.

Results: A total of 75'199 hospital visits were included, of which 63'405 were emergency department visits and 11'794 were admissions. Ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions accounted for 12.1% (18/149) of asylum-seeking and 10.9% (1270/11645) of non-asylum seeking patients' admissions. Among the emergency department visits by asylum-seeking patients, non-urgent conditions accounted for 82.2% (244/297).

Conclusions: Admissions due to ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions are comparable in asylum-seeking and non-asylum-seeking children, suggesting few delayed presentations to ambulatory care facilities. Strategies to prevent non-urgent visits at pediatric emergency department facilities are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12939-020-01172-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7193367PMC
May 2020

Current Validated Medical Treatments for Tinnitus: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Otolaryngol Clin North Am 2020 Aug 23;53(4):605-615. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Department Clinical Psychology, Royal National Ear Nose Throat and Eastman Dental Hospital, University College Hospital London, 6th Floor West, Ground Floor North, 250 Euston Road, London WN1 2PG, UK.

Tinnitus distress results from a weave of physical and psychological processes. Reducing the power of the psychological processes will therefore reduce the degree of suffering. The main psychological therapy in this context is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This seeks to understand and change the influence of thinking processes, including information processing biases, and the behaviors that these motivate, on the experience of tinnitus. The results of systematic reviews and meta-analyses indicate that CBT is the tinnitus management approach for which there is the most robust evidence. In spite of this, it remains difficult to access for people with tinnitus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.otc.2020.03.007DOI Listing
August 2020

Suspected paracetamol overdose in Monrovia, Liberia: a matched case-control study.

BMC Pediatr 2020 03 30;20(1):139. Epub 2020 Mar 30.

Médecins sans Frontières - Operational Center Paris, Paris, France.

Background: A cluster of cases of unexplained multi-organ failure was reported in children at Bardnesville Junction Hospital (BJH), Monrovia, Liberia. Prior to admission, children's caregivers reported antibiotic, antimalarial, paracetamol, and traditional treatment consumption. Since we could not exclude a toxic aetiology, and paracetamol overdose in particular, we implemented prospective syndromic surveillance to better define the clinical characteristics of these children. To investigate risk factors, we performed a case-control study.

Methods: The investigation was conducted in BJH between July 2015 and January 2016. In-hospital syndromic surveillance identified children with at least two of the following symptoms: respiratory distress with normal pulse oximetry while breathing ambient air; altered consciousness; hypoglycaemia; jaundice; and hepatomegaly. After refining the case definition to better reflect potential risk factors for hepatic dysfunction, we selected cases identified from syndromic surveillance for a matched case-control study. Cases were matched with in-hospital and community-based controls by age, sex, month of illness/admission, severity (in-hospital), and proximity of residence (community).

Results: Between July and December 2015, 77 case-patients were captured by syndromic surveillance; 68 (88%) were under three years old and 35 (46%) died during hospitalisation. Of these 77, 30 children met our case definition and were matched with 53 hospital and 48 community controls. Paracetamol was the most frequently reported medication taken by the cases and both control groups. The odds of caregivers reporting supra-therapeutic paracetamol consumption prior to admission was higher in cases compared to controls (OR 6.6, 95% CI 2.1-21.3). Plasma paracetamol concentration on day of admission was available for 19 cases and exceeded 10 μg/mL in 10/13 samples collected on day one of admission, and 4/9 (44%) collected on day two.

Conclusions: In a context with limited diagnostic capacity, this study highlights the possibility of supratherapeutic doses of paracetamol as a factor in multi-organ failure in a cohort of children admitted to BJH. In this setting, a careful history of pre-admission paracetamol consumption may alert clinicians to the possibility of overdose, even when confirmatory laboratory analysis is unavailable. Further studies may help define additional toxicological characteristics in such contexts to improve diagnoses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12887-020-2008-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7104478PMC
March 2020

Longitudinal evaluation of asymptomatic Leishmania infection in HIV-infected individuals in North-West Ethiopia: A pilot study.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2019 10 8;13(10):e0007765. Epub 2019 Oct 8.

Medical College, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia.

Background: In endemic regions, asymptomatic Leishmania infection is common. In HIV patients, detection of asymptomatic Leishmania infection could potentially identify those at risk of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). However, data on the prevalence, incidence, and determinants of asymptomatic infection, and the risk of VL are lacking.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey at a single ART centre, followed by a prospective cohort study amongst HIV-infected adults in HIV care in a district hospital in a VL-endemic area in North-West Ethiopia (9/2015-8/2016). Asymptomatic Leishmania infection was detected using the direct agglutination test (DAT), rK39-rapid diagnostic test (RDT)), PCR on peripheral blood and the KAtex urine antigen test, and defined as positivity on any Leishmania marker. All individuals were followed longitudinally (irrespective of the Leishmania test results). Risk factors for asymptomatic Leishmania infection were determined using logistic regression.

Results: A total of 534 HIV-infected individuals enrolled in HIV care were included in the study. After excluding 13 patients with a history of VL and an 10 patients with incomplete baseline Leishmania tests, 511 were included in analysis. The median age was 38 years (interquartile range (IQR) 30-45), 62.6% were male. The median follow-up time was 12 months (IQR 9-12). No deaths were reported during the study period. Most (95.5%) were on antiretroviral treatment at enrolment, for a median of 52 months (IQR 27-79). The median CD4 count at enrolment was 377 cells/mm3 (IQR 250-518). The baseline prevalence of Leishmania infection was 12.8% in males and 4.2% in females. Overall, 7.4% tested positive for rK39, 4.3% for DAT, 0.2% for PCR and 0.2% for KAtex. Independent risk factors for a prevalent infection were male sex (odds ratio (OR) 3.2; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 14-7.0) and concurrent malaria infection (OR 6.1; 95% CI 1.9-18.9). Amongst the 49 prevalent (baseline) infections with further follow-up, the cumulative incidence of losing the Leishmania markers by one year was 40.1%. There were 36 incident infections during the course of the study, with a cumulative one-year risk of 9.5%. Only one case of VL was detected during follow-up.

Conclusions: We found a high prevalence of asymptomatic Leishmania infection, persisting in most cases. The incidence was more modest and overt VL was rare. Larger and longer studies with more complete follow-up may help to decide whether a test and treat strategy would be justified in this context.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02839603.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007765DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6799935PMC
October 2019

The antiobese effect of AT1 receptor blockade is augmented in mice lacking Mas.

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 2019 07 13;392(7):865-877. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538, Lübeck, Germany.

We recently showed that the antiobese efficacy of the AT1 receptor blocker telmisartan (TEL) is at least partially related to an Ang(1-7)-dependent mechanism. Ang(1-7) acts via Mas, thus raising the question of whether Mas-deficient (Mas-ko) mice are likewise predisposed to develop diet-induced obesity and, further, whether this can be prevented by TEL treatment. Mas-ko mice and FVB/N wild-type (wt) animals were treated with TEL (8 mg/kg/day) or vehicle while they were fed with high-fat diet (HFD) or chow. Mice were phenotyped regarding body weight, fat mass, insulin sensitivity, and leptin sensitivity. In response to HFD feeding, gain in body weight and impairment of leptin sensitivity were similar between wt and Mas-ko mice. TEL reduced body weight in both strains but effects were stronger in Mas-ko mice. TEL diminished fat mass and restored leptin sensitivity only in Mas-ko mice. Blood glucose was higher in wt than Mas-ko mice fed with HFD while not differing when they were fed with chow. Insulin challenge confirmed that wt mice became insulin resistant when fed with HFD while HFD feeding did not impair insulin sensitivity in Mas-ko mice. TEL had no further effect. Our findings on the influence of TEL on growth and metabolism in Mas-ko mice conflict with our previous findings in rats. We assume that the FVB/N background of the mice may partly explain these inconsistent data. Moreover, it also seems feasible that the MrgD receptor compensates for Mas deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00210-019-01643-0DOI Listing
July 2019

Serum Levels of Soluble CD40 Ligand and Neopterin in HIV Coinfected Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Visceral Leishmaniasis Patients.

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2018 11;8:428. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Unit of NTDs, Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) co-infection drastically increases the risk of developing overt visceral leishmaniasis (VL). The asymptomatic infection window constitutes an opportunity to identify those HIV patients at highest risk by defining early markers associated with disease susceptibility or resistance. As intracellular parasite killing is essential, we investigated whether serum markers of macrophage activation were notably affected in HIV patients with an asymptomatic infection or overt visceral leishmaniasis disease. Serum levels of soluble CD40 ligand and neopterin were assessed in 24 active VL-HIV patients, 35 HIV patients with asymptomatic infection and 35 HIV endemic controls. All patients were recruited in endemic regions of North-West Ethiopia. The serum levels of sCD40L and neopterin significantly decreased and increased in HIV patients with active VL compared to HIV patients with asymptomatic infection, respectively. No statistically significant differences could be detected in neopterin and sCD40L levels between asymptomatically infected HIV patients and endemic HIV control patients. However, an inverse trend, between antibody positivity or VL development and neopterin levels could be seen. The CD4+ T-cell count was inversely correlated with serum neopterin levels, but not with sCD40L levels. Our results in HIV coinfected patients, correspond with the postulated protective role of sCD40L in VL and underline the importance of the CD40-CD40L pathway in resistance against the parasite. Neopterin levels suggest an increased macrophage activation upon infection and could have a value in clinical algorithms to, although non-specifically, improve prediction of VL development in HIV patients with asymptomatic infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2018.00428DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6297181PMC
September 2019

Cognitive behavioural therapy for tinnitus-related insomnia: evaluating a new treatment approach.

Int J Audiol 2019 05 5;58(5):311-316. Epub 2019 Jan 5.

b Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital , University College London Hospitals , London , UK.

Objective: Insomnia frequently occurs alongside distressing tinnitus, and greater tinnitus severity is associated with more sleep disturbance. Insomnia and tinnitus probably share common underlying processes and sleep studies show striking similarities between primary and tinnitus-related insomnia. This is the first study to evaluate outcomes following insomnia-specific Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBTi) for tinnitus-related insomnia in a "real world" clinic.

Design: Treatment was six-sessions of group-based CBTi. Measures of insomnia, sleep diaries, tinnitus distress, psychological distress, anxiety and depression were completed pre-intervention, post-intervention and at six-weeks follow up.

Study Sample: Participants were 24 adults with chronic, distressing tinnitus and associated sleep disturbance. Twenty-two completed treatment.

Results: CBTi was associated with significant improvements from pre-intervention to post-intervention maintained at follow up in insomnia, sleep-diary measures, tinnitus distress, psychological distress, anxiety and depression, largely maintained at follow-up. Reliable improvements were reported in insomnia (by 67% of patients), tinnitus distress (by 50% of patients) and psychological distress (by 38% of patients) post-intervention.

Conclusions: The results suggest that CBTi is associated with reduced insomnia and distress for patients reporting chronic and distressing tinnitus with related insomnia. Further research into CBTi for this population, using utilising robust, randomised controlled designs, is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2018.1547927DOI Listing
May 2019

Significance of an additional unenhanced scan in computed tomography angiography of patients with suspected acute aortic syndrome.

World J Radiol 2018 Nov;10(11):150-161

Clinic for Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Lübeck 23538, Germany.

Aim: To assess potential benefits of an additional unenhanced acquisition in computed tomography angiography (CTA) in patients with suspected acute aortic syndrome (AAS).

Methods: A total of 103 aortic CTA (non-electrocardiography-gated, 128 slices) performed due to suspected AAS were retrospectively evaluated for acute aortic dissection (AAD), intramural hematoma (IMH), or penetrating aortic ulcer (PAU). Spiral CTA protocol consisted of an unenhanced acquisition and an arterial phase. If AAS was detected, a venous phase (delay, 90 s) was added. Images were evaluated for the presence and extent of AAD, IMH, PAU, and related complications. The diagnostic benefit of the unenhanced acquisition was evaluated concerning detection of IMH.

Results: Fifty-six (30% women; mean age, 67 years; median, 68 years) of the screened individuals had AAD or IMH. A triphasic CT scan was conducted in 76.8% ( = 43). 56% of the detected AAD were classified as Stanford type A, 44% as Stanford type B. 53.8% of the detected IMH were classified as Stanford type A, 46.2% as Stanford type B. There was no significant difference in the involvement of the ascending aorta between AAD and IMH ( = 1.0) or in the average age between AAD and IMH ( = 0.548), between Stanford type A and Stanford type B in general ( = 0.650) and between Stanford type A and Stanford type B within the entities of AAD and IMH (AAD: = 0.785; IMH: = 0.146). Only the unenhanced acquisitions showed a significant density difference between the adjacent lumen and the IMH ( = 0.035). Subadventitial hematoma involving the pulmonary trunk was present in 5 patients (16%) with Stanford A AAD. The difference between the median radiation exposure of a triphasic (2737 mGy*cm) compared to a biphasic CT scan (2135 mGy*cm) was not significant ( = 0.135).

Conclusion: IMH is a common and difficult to detect entity of AAS. An additional unenhanced acquisition within an aortic CTA protocol facilitates the detection of IMH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4329/wjr.v10.i11.150DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6288674PMC
November 2018

Antigen Detection in Urine for Noninvasive Diagnosis and Treatment Monitoring of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Coinfected Patients: An Exploratory Analysis from Ethiopia.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2018 10;99(4):957-966

Leishmaniasis Research and Treatment Center, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia.

Diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and assessment of treatment response in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-coinfected patients still relies on invasive tissue aspiration. This hampers scale-up and decentralization of care in resource-limited settings. Noninvasive diagnostics are urgently needed. KATEX is a frequently used latex agglutination test for antigen in urine that has never been evaluated in HIV-coinfected individuals from -endemic areas. This was an exploratory sub-study embedded within the screening phase of a trial in highly endemic northwestern Ethiopia. All patients were HIV-positive and aspirate-confirmed VL cases. We assessed diagnostic accuracy of KATEX for VL diagnosis and as test of cure at end of treatment, using tissue aspirate parasite load as reference methods. We also described the evolution of weekly antigen levels during treatment. Most of the 87 included patients were male (84, 97%), young (median age 31 years), and had poor immune status (median cluster of differentiation type 4 count 56 cells/μL). KATEX had moderate sensitivity (84%) for VL diagnosis. KATEX had moderate sensitivity (82%) and a moderate negative predictive value (87%) but only low specificity (49%) and a low positive predictive value (40%) for the assessment of treatment outcomes. Weekly antigen levels showed characteristic patterns during treatment of patients with different initial parasite loads and treatment outcomes. Antigen detection in urine using KATEX can contribute to improved VL diagnosis in HIV-coinfected patients but has limited use for monitoring of treatment response. Better noninvasive diagnostics are needed to reduce reliance on invasive methods and thus to expand and improve clinical care for VL in resource-limited settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.18-0042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6159592PMC
October 2018

Antigenuria to Predict Initial Treatment Failure and Relapse in Visceral Leishmaniasis/HIV Coinfected Patients: An Exploratory Study Nested Within a Clinical Trial in Ethiopia.

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2018 29;8:94. Epub 2018 Mar 29.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Biomarkers predicting the risk of VL treatment failure and relapse in VL/HIV coinfected patients are needed. Nested within a two-site clinical trial in Ethiopia (2011-2015), we conducted an exploratory study to assess whether (1) levels of antigenuria measured at VL diagnosis were associated with initial treatment failure and (2) levels of antigenuria at the end of treatment (parasitologically-confirmed cure) were associated with subsequent relapse. antigenuria at VL diagnosis and cure was determined using KAtex urine antigen test and graded as negative (0), weak/moderate (grade 1+/2+) or strongly-positive (3+). Logistic regression and Kaplan-Meier methods were used to assess the association between antigenuria and (1) initial treatment failure, and (2) relapse over the 12 months after cure, respectively. The analysis to predict initial treatment failure included sixty-three coinfected adults [median age: 30 years interquartile range (IQR) 27-35], median CD4 count: 56 cells/μL (IQR 38-113). KAtex results at VL diagnosis were negative in 11 (17%), weak/moderate in 17 (27%) and strongly-positive in 35 (36%). Twenty (32%) patients had parasitologically-confirmed treatment failure, with a risk of failure of 9% (1/11) with KAtex-negative results, 0% (0/17) for KAtex 1+/2+ and 54% (19/35) for KAtex 3+ results. Compared to KAtex-negative patients, KAtex 3+ patients were at increased risk of treatment failure [odds ratio 11.9 (95% CI 1.4-103.0); : 0.025]. Forty-four patients were included in the analysis to predict relapse [median age: 31 years (IQR 28-35), median CD4 count: 116 cells/μL (IQR 95-181)]. When achieving VL cure, KAtex results were negative in 19 (43%), weak/moderate (1+/2+) in 10 (23%), and strongly positive (3+) in 15 patients (34%). Over the subsequent 12 months, eight out of 44 patients (18%) relapsed. The predicted 1-year relapse risk was 6% for KAtex-negative results, 14% for KAtex 1+/2+ and 42% for KAtex 3+ results [hazard ratio of 2.2 (95% CI 0.1-34.9) for KAtex 1+/2+ and 9.8 (95% CI 1.8-82.1) for KAtex 3+, compared to KAtex negative patients; : 0.03]. A simple field-deployable urine antigen test can be used for risk stratification of initial treatment failure and VL relapse in HIV-patients. A dipstick-format would facilitate field implementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2018.00094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5884955PMC
April 2019

Comparison of the Revenue Situation in Interventional Radiology Based on the Example of Peripheral Artery Disease in the Case of a DRG Payment System and Various Internal Treatment Charges.

Rofo 2018 Apr 1;190(4):348-358. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Clinic for Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Germany.

Purpose:  Calculation of process-orientated costs for inpatient endovascular treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) from an interventional radiology (IR) perspective. Comparison of revenue situations in consideration of different ways to calculate internal treatment charges (ITCs) and diagnosis-related groups (DRG) for an independent IR department.

Materials And Methods:  Costs (personnel, operating, material, and indirect costs) for endovascular treatment of PAD patients in an inpatient setting were calculated on a full cost basis. These costs were compared to the revenue situation for IR for five different scenarios: 1) IR receives the total DRG amount. IR receives the following DRG shares using ITCs based on InEK shares for 2) "Radiology" cost center type, 3) "OP" cost center type, 4) "Radiology" and "OP" cost center type, and 5) based on DKG-NT (scale of charges of the German Hospital Society).

Results:  78 patients (mean age: 68.6 ± 11.4y) with the following DRGs were evaluated: F59A (n = 6), F59B (n = 14), F59C (n = 20) and F59 D (n = 38). The length of stay for these DRG groups was 15.8 ± 12.1, 9.4 ± 7.8, 2.8 ± 3.7 and 3.4 ± 6.5 days Material costs represented the bulk of all costs, especially if new and complex endovascular procedures were performed. Revenues for neither InEK shares nor ITCs based on DKG-NT were high enough to cover material costs. Contribution margins for the five scenarios were 1 = € 1,539.29, 2 = € -1,775.31, 3 = € -2,579.41, 4 = € -963.43, 5 = € -2,687.22 in F59A, 1 = € -792.67, 2 = € -2,685.00, 3 = € -2,600.81, 4 = € -1,618.94, 5 = € -3,060.03 in F59B, 1 = € -879.87, 2 = € -2,633.14, 3 = € -3,001.07, 4 = € -1,952.33, 5 = € -3,136.24 in F59C and 1 = € 703.65, 2 = € -106.35, 3 = € -773.86, 4 = € 205.14, 5 = € -647.22 in F59 D. InEK shares return on average € 150 - 500 more than ITCs based on the DKG-NT catalog.

Conclusion:  In this study positive contribution margins were seen only if IR receives the complete DRG amount. InEK shares do not cover incurred costs, with material costs representing the main part of treatment costs. Internal treatment charges based on the DKG-NT catalog provide the worst cost coverage.

Key Points:   · Internal treatment charges based on the DKG-NT catalog provide the worst cost coverage for interventional radiology at our university hospital.. · Shares from the InEK matrix such as the cost center "radiology" or "OP" as revenue for IR are not sufficient to cover incurred costs. A positive contribution margin is achieved only in the case of a compensation method in which IR receives the total DRG amount..

Citation Format: · Vogt FM, Hunold P, Haegele J et al. Comparison of the Revenue Situation in Interventional Radiology Based on the Example of Peripheral Artery Disease in the Case of a DRG Payment System and Various Internal Treatment Charges. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2017; 190: 348 - 357.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0043-121471DOI Listing
April 2018

First heating measurements of endovascular stents in magnetic particle imaging.

Phys Med Biol 2018 02 9;63(4):045005. Epub 2018 Feb 9.

Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23562 Lübeck, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6560/aaa79cDOI Listing
February 2018
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