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   2021| October  | Volume 14 | Issue 10  
    Online since October 29, 2021

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Efficacy and safety of ivermectin for COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Alok Singh, Pranav G Sheth, Suryaprakash Dhaneria, Dhyuti Gupta
October 2021, 14(10):440-450
Objective: To critically evaluate the trials that have assessed the efficacy and safety of ivermectin COVID-19 and to validate the rationality of using this drug in the management of COVID-19 either as a prophylactic or therapeutic agent. Methods: The authors conducted a systematic search through various databases, i.e., Cochrane library, PubMed,, and preprint servers, for publications from 2020 to May 2021. The keywords used for the search were: “COVID-19 and ivermectin” (with filter set for “trials”). All the trials assessing efficacy in prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 were included for analysis. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients showing disease progression. Secondary outcomes were mean duration of hospitalization and resolution of symptoms, the proportion of patients testing positive on day 5-7, the mortality rate in severe cases, incidence of serious adverse events, and contacts of COVID-19 positive patients who turned RT-PCR positive after prophylaxis treatment. Results: A total of 17 clinical trials were included for the evaluation. Ivermectin proved to be a beneficial add-on therapy, as it reduced the risk of disease progression (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.30-0.74, P=0.001), led to early resolution of symptoms (MD -1.16, 95% CI -1.52--0.81, P<0.001), and had less duration of hospitalization (MD -2.21, 95% CI -3.23--1.19, P<0.001). In addition, ivermectin was better in providing effective prophylaxis (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.05-0.30, P<0.001). The incidence of serious adverse events was low. Conclusions: As an adjunct to standard care, ivermectin has shown its efficacy and safety in treating and prophylaxis in COVID-19 disease. These results should be interpreted cautiously as these trials had significant shortcomings.
  5,534 434 2
Nix-TB and ZeNix trials: Paving the way for shorter regimens for drug-resistant tuberculosis
Gyanshankar Mishra
October 2021, 14(10):431-432
  2,664 576 1
Favipiravir and its potentials in COVID-19 pandemic: An update
Dao Ngoc Hien Tam, Ahmad T Qarawi, Mai Ngoc Luu, Morgan Turnage, Linh Tran, Gehad Mohamed Tawfik, Le Huu Nhat Minh, Nguyen Tien Huy, Tatsuo Iiyama, Kyoshi Kita, Kenji Hirayama
October 2021, 14(10):433-439
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of deaths and hundreds of millions of confirmed infections worldwide. This pandemic has prompted researchers to produce medications or vaccines to reduce or stop the progression and spread of this disease. A variety of previously licensed and marketed medications are being tested for the treatment and recurrence of SARS-CoV2, including favipiravir (Avigan). Favipiravir was recognized as an influenza antiviral drug in Japan in 2014, and has been known to have a potential in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2, in addition to its broad therapeutic safety scope. Favipiravir was recently approved and officially used in many countries worldwide. Our review provides insights and up-to-date knowledge of the current role of favipiravir in the treatment of COVID-19 infection, focusing on pre-clinical and ongoing clinical trials, evidence of its efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19, side effects, anti-viral mechanism, and the pharmacokinetic properties of the drug in the treatment of COVID-19. Due to its teratogenic effects, favipiravir cannot be offered to expectant or pregnant mothers. The practical efficacy of such an intervention regimen will depend on its dose, treatment duration, and cost as well as difficulties in application.
  2,784 292 3
Recovery of child immunization programs post COVID-19
Giao Huynh, Han Thi Ngoc Nguyen, An Le Pham
October 2021, 14(10):429-430
  2,020 275 1
Detection of dengue virus serotype 3 in Cajamarca, Peru: Molecular diagnosis and clinical characteristics
Miguel Angel Aguilar-Luis, Hugo Carrillo-Ng, Sungmin Kym, Wilmer Silva-Caso, Eduardo Verne, Luis J del Valle, Jorge Bazán-Mayra, Victor Zavaleta-Gavidia, Daniel Cornejo-Pacherres, Yordi Tarazona-Castro, Ronald Aquino-Ortega, Angela Cornejo-Tapia, Juana del Valle-Mendoza
October 2021, 14(10):456-462
Objective: To describe and molecularly characterize an outbreak of dengue virus (DENV) infection in Cajamarca, an Andean region in Peru. Methods: A total of 359 serum samples from patients with acute febrile illness were assessed for the presence of DENV via RT-PCR, ELISA NS1, IgM and IgG in Cajamarca, Peru from January 2017 to June 2017. The evaluation of the different diagnostic tests and their applicability was performed. Results: Dengue virus was detected in 24.7% of samples by RT-PCR. Meanwhile, serological analysis detected 30.3% positive cases via ELISA NS1 antigen, 16.7% via ELISA IgG and 9.7% via ELISA IgM. Most of the cases corresponded to DENV-3 (77.5%). The use of RT-PCR performed better in primary infections (P<0.01), while detection of ELISA IgM performed better in secondary infections (P<0.01). The combination of NS1 and IgM performed better than the other assays in detecting primary (92.5%) and secondary infections (96.6%). The most frequent symptoms associated with fever were headaches, myalgias, and arthralgias across all groups. Conclusions: We report an important outbreak of dengue infection caused by DENV-3 in Cajamarca, Peru. Our findings encourage the use of NS1 antigen and IgM co-detection. These findings demonstrate an increasing expansion of DENV-3 in Peru and highlight the importance of molecular diagnosis and serotype characterization among the clinically defined dengue cases to strengthen the Peruvian epidemiological surveillance.
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Prevalence of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria among samples deposited from the National Tuberculous Reference Laboratory of Iran (2011-2018)
Saman Ayoubi, Parissa Farnia, Poopak Farnia, Jafar Aghajani, Jalaledin Ghanavi, Ali Akbar Velayati
October 2021, 14(10):451-455
Objective: To investigate the prevalence of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM) among the samples deposited from the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory of Iran between 2011 and 2018. Methods: The study evaluated the prevalence of NTM among specimens from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis symptoms (n=15 771) deposited at the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory of Iran from 2011 to 2018. Detection of Mycobacterium (M.) tuberculosis was based on presence of a 190-bp amplicon from IS6110 insertion sequence using Tb1 and Tb2 primers, and amplicon-negative specimens were tested for NTM and M. tuberculosis (refractory to IS6110 amplification) using restriction fragment length polymorphism PCR of hsp65 amplicon fragment. Results: A total of 7 307 (46.33%) M. tuberculosis and 658 (4.17%) NTM specimens were found, the latter mainly comprising M. abscessus (10.18%), M. avium (2.28%), M. chelonae (8.97%), M. intracellulare (10.49%), M. kansasii (4.71%), and M. simiae (56.08%). Conclusions: As treatment for NTM differs from that for M. tuberculosis, accurate detection of Mycobacterium sp. is of public health significance.
  1,398 284 -
Clinical, biochemical and imaging characteristics of adrenal histoplasmosis in immunocompetent patients in a non-endemic area: A case series
Sharmin Jahan, Tahseen Mahmood, Md Fariduddin, Ibrahim Faisal, Md Shahed Morshed, Anil Yadav, Anil Kumar Shah, Chomon Abdullah, Emran-Ur-Rashid Chowdhury, Ferdousi Begum, MA Hasanat
October 2021, 14(10):471-476
Objective: To document the clinical, biochemical and imaging phenotypes of immunocompetent patients with adrenal histoplasmosis. Methods: The clinical, biochemical and radiologic data of 18 immunocompetent patients [age: 45.00 (39.25, 56.25) years, median (IQR), m/f (16/2)] with adrenal histoplasmosis presenting in the Department of Endocrinology, BSMMU between 2014 and 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. Results: All patients were seronegative for HIV infection, and 27.8% (5/18) had well controlled diabetes mellitus. The median duration of the symptoms was 6.00 (IQR: 4.00, 11.25) months. All had significant weight loss, anorexia and weakness. Fever was present in 61.1% (11/18) patients and night sweat was present in 27.8% (5/18) cases. Hypotension and hyperpigmentation were present in 55.6% (10/18) and 66.7% (12/18) cases, respectively. Three of 18 patients presented with adrenal crisis. Hyponatremia occurred in 55.6% (10/18) cases, but none had hyperkalemia. Thirteen of 18 patients had adrenal insufficiency whereas 83.3% (15/18) had high adrenocorticotropic hormone. CT scan revealed bilateral adrenal enlargement in all cases with oval shape and regular margin. All were hypodense having radiodensity 21-90 hounsfield unit, and 11.1% (2/18) were heterogeneous in contrast enhancement. None had noticeable calcification whereas 1.1% (2/18) cases had central necrosis with peripheral rim enhancement. Hepatomegaly was present in 6 cases, splenomegaly in 3 cases and 5 patients had abdominal lymphadenopathy. Histoplasmosis were confirmed by positive fine needle aspiration cytology of adrenal tissue. Conclusions: Adrenal histoplasmosis should be considered in the list of differentials of bilateral adrenomegaly in immunocompetent individuals even living in non-endemic areas.
  1,234 199 -
Prediction of malaria cases in the southeastern Iran using climatic variables: An 18-year SARIMA time series analysis
Hamid Reza Tohidinik, Hossein Keshavarz, Mehdi Mohebali, Mandana Sanjar, Gholamreza Hassanpour
October 2021, 14(10):463-470
Objective: To predict future trends in the incidence of malaria cases in the southeast of Iran as the most important area of malaria using Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) model, and to check the effect of meteorological variables on the disease incidence. Methods: SARIMA method was applied to fit a model on malaria incidence from April 2001 to March 2018 in Sistan and Baluchistan province in southeastern Iran. Climatic variables such as temperature, rainfall, rainy days, humidity, sunny hours and wind speed were also included in the multivariable model as covariates. Then, the best fitted model was adopted to predict the number of malaria cases for the next 12 months. Results: The best-fitted univariate model for the prediction of malaria in the southeast of Iran was SARIMA (1,0,0)(1,1,1)12 [Akaike Information Criterion (AIC)=307.4, validation root mean square error (RMSE)=0.43]. The occurrence of malaria in a given month was mostly related to the number of cases occurring in the previous 1 (p=1) and 12 (P=1) months. The inverse number of rainy days with 8-month lag (β=0.329 2) and temperature with 3-month lag (β=-0.002 6) were the best predictors that could improve the predictive performance of the univariate model. Finally, SARIMA (1,0,0)(1,1,1)12 including mean temperature with a 3-month lag (validation RMSE=0.414) was selected as the final multivariable model. Conclusions: The number of malaria cases in a given month can be predicted by the number of cases in the prior 1 and 12 months. The number of rainy days with an 8-month lag and temperature with a 3-month lag can improve the predictive power of the model.
  1,128 220 -