Publications by authors named "Li Jun Thean"

6 Publications

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Prospective Surveillance of Primary Healthcare Presentations for Scabies and Bacterial Skin Infections in Fiji, 2018-2019.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

1Tropical Diseases Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Scabies, impetigo, and other skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are highly prevalent in many tropical, low-middle income settings, but information regarding their burden of disease is scarce. We conducted a surveillance of presentations of scabies and SSTIs, including impetigo, abscesses, cellulitis, and severe SSTI, to primary health facilities in Fiji. We established a monthly reporting system over the course of 50 weeks (July 2018-June 2019) for scabies and SSTIs at all 42 public primary health facilities in the Northern Division of Fiji (population, ≈131,914). For each case, information was collected regarding demographics, diagnosis, and treatment. There were 13,736 individual primary healthcare presentations with scabies, SSTI, or both (108.3 presentations per 1000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 106.6-110 presentations). The incidence was higher for males than for females (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.15; 95% CI, 1.11-1.19). Children younger than 5 years had the highest incidence among all age groups (339.1 per 1000 person-years). The incidence was higher among the iTaukei (indigenous) population (159.9 per 1000 person-years) compared with Fijians of Indian descent (30.1 per 1000 person-years; IRR, 5.32; 95% CI, 5.03-5.61). Abscesses had the highest incidence (63.5 per 1,000 person-years), followed by scabies (28.7 per 1,000 person-years) and impetigo (21.6 per 1,000 person-years). Scabies and SSTIs impose a substantial burden in Fiji and represent a high incidence of primary health presentations in this population. The incidence in low-middle income settings is up to 10-times higher than that in high-income settings. New public health strategies and further research are needed to address these conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.20-1459DOI Listing
May 2021

Prospective surveillance for invasive Staphylococcus aureus and group A Streptococcus infections in a setting with high community burden of scabies and impetigo.

Int J Infect Dis 2021 May 19. Epub 2021 May 19.

Tropical Diseases Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, 3052 Victoria, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3052, Victoria, Australia; Melbourne Children's Global Health, Melbourne Children's Campus, The Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, 3052, Australia.

Background: Invasive Staphylococcus aureus (iSA) and group A Streptococcus (iGAS) infections impose significant health burdens globally. Both bacteria commonly cause skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI), which can result in invasive disease. Understanding of iSA and iGAS incidence remains limited in settings with high SSTI burden.

Methods: Prospective surveillance for admissions with iSA or iGAS was conducted at the referral hospital in Fiji's Northern Division over 48 weeks between July 2018-June 2019.

Results: There were 55 admissions for iSA and 15 for iGAS, (incidence; 45.2 and 12.3 per 100,000 person-years respectively). Highest incidence was found in those aged ≥65 years s (59.6 per 100,000 person-years for both). Indigenous Fijians (iTaukei) had higher iSA incidence (71.1 per 100,000 person-years) compared to other ethnicities (incidence risk ratio 9.7, 95% CI 3.5-36.9). SSTIs were found in the majority of iSA (75%) and iGAS (53.3%) cases. Thirteen out of the 14 iGAS strains isolated belonged to emm-cluster D (n = 5) or E (n = 8). Case fatality rate was high for iSA (10.9%) and iGAS (33.3%).

Conclusions: The incidence of iSA and iGAS in Fiji is very high. SSTIs are common clinical foci for iSA and iGAS. Both diseases carry a substantial risk of death. Improved control strategies are needed to reduce the burden of these diseases in Fiji.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2021.05.041DOI Listing
May 2021

An 11-Month-Old Fijian Girl With Down Syndrome, Malnutrition, and Hyperkeratotic Skin Lesions.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 01;72(2):357-359

Tropical Diseases Research Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa650DOI Listing
January 2021

Hospital admissions for skin and soft tissue infections in a population with endemic scabies: A prospective study in Fiji, 2018-2019.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 12 9;14(12):e0008887. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Tropical Diseases Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Scabies is an important predisposing factor for impetigo but its role in more serious skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) is not well understood. Information is limited on incidence of SSTIs in the presence of endemic scabies. We conducted a prospective study of hospital admissions for SSTIs in the Northern Division of Fiji (population: 131,914). Prospective surveillance for admissions with impetigo, abscess, cellulitis, wound infection, pyomyositis, necrotizing fasciitis, infected scabies, and crusted scabies was conducted at the Division's referral hospital between 2018 to 2019. Information was collected on demographic characteristics, clinical features, microbiology, treatment and outcomes. Over the study period, 788 SSTI admissions were recorded corresponding to a population incidence 647 per 100,000 person-years (95%CI 571-660). Incidence was highest at the extremes of age with peak incidence in children aged <5 years (908 per 100,000) and those aged ≥65 years (1127 per 100,000). Incidence was 1.7 times higher among the Indigenous Fijian population (753 per 100,000) compared to other ethnicities (442 per 100,000). Overall case fatality rate was 3.3%, and 10.8% for those aged ≥65 years. Scabies was diagnosed concurrently in 7.6% of all patients and in 24.6% of admitted children <5 years. There is a very high burden of hospital admissions for SSTIs in Fiji compared to high-income settings especially among the youngest, oldest and indigenous population which is concordant with scabies and impetigo distribution in this population. Our findings highlight the need for strategies to reduce the burden of SSTIs in Fiji and similar settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008887DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7752096PMC
December 2020

Community perspectives on scabies, impetigo and mass drug administration in Fiji: A qualitative study.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 12 4;14(12):e0008825. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Scabies is endemic in Fiji and is a significant cause of morbidity. Little is known about the sociocultural beliefs and practices that affect the occurrence of scabies and impetigo, or community attitudes towards the strategy of mass drug administration that is emerging as a public health option for scabies and impetigo control in Fiji and other countries. Data were collected during semi-structured interviews with 33 community members in four locations in Fiji's Northern Division. Thematic analysis examined participants' lived experiences of scabies and impetigo; community knowledge and perceptions about scabies and impetigo aetiology and transmission; community-based treatment and prevention measures; and attitudes towards mass drug administration. Many indigenous Fijian (iTaukei) participants noted extensive and ongoing experience of scabies and impetigo among children in their families and communities, but only one participant of Indian descent (Indo-Fijian) identified personal childhood experience of scabies. Scabies and impetigo were perceived as diseases affecting children, impacting on school attendance and families' quality of sleep. Awareness of scabies and impetigo was considerable, but there were major misconceptions around disease causation and transmission. Traditional remedies were preferred for scabies treatment, followed by biomedicines provided by local health centres and hospitals. Treatment of close household contacts was not prioritised. Attitudes towards mass drug administration to control scabies were mostly positive, although some concerns were noted about adverse effects and hesitation to participate in the planned scabies elimination programme. Findings from this first study to document perspectives and experiences related to scabies and impetigo and their management in the Asia Pacific region illustrate that a community-centred approach to scabies and impetigo is needed for the success of control efforts in Fiji, and most likely in other affected countries. This includes community-based health promotion messaging on the social dynamics of scabies transmission, and a campaign of education and community engagement prior to mass drug administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7744044PMC
December 2020

Scabies: New Opportunities for Management and Population Control.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2019 02;38(2):211-213

From the Tropical Diseases Research Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000002211DOI Listing
February 2019