45 research outputs found

    Building on health security capacities in Indonesia: Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic responses and challenges

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    As an active member country of the WHO's International Health Regulation and Global Health Security Agenda, Indonesia, the world's fourth-most populous and largest archipelagic country has recorded the second-highest COVID-19 cases in Asia with over 1.8 million cases in early June 2021. This geographically and socially diverse country has a dynamic national and sub-national government coordination with decentralized authorities that can complicate a pandemic response which often requires nationally harmonized policies, adaptability to sub-national contexts and global interconnectedness. This paper analyses and reviews COVID-19 public data, regulations, guidance documents, statements and other related official documents to present a narrative that summarizes the government's COVID-19 response strategies. It further analyses the challenges and achievements of the country's zoonotic diseases preparedness and responses and lastly provides relevant recommendations. Findings are presented in four sections according to the Global Health Security Agenda capacities, namely epidemiological surveillance (detect capacity); laboratory diagnostic testing (respond capacity); data management and analysis (enable capacity); and the role of sub-national governments. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for the rapid transformation of existing surveillance systems, inter-related stakeholder coordination and agile development from the pre-pandemic health security capacities. This paper offers several recommendations on surveillance, laboratory capacity and data management, which might be useful for Indonesia and other countries with similar characteristics beyond the COVID-19 response, such as achieving long-term health security, zoonoses and pandemic prevention, as well as a digital transformation of their governmental capacities

    An interactive data visualisation application to investigate nosocomial transmission of infections

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    Background: Healthcare-associated infections represent a major threat to patient, staff and visitor safety. Identification of episodes that are likely to have resulted from nosocomial transmission has important implications for infection control. Routinely collected data on ward admissions and sample dates, combined with pathogen genomic information could provide useful insights. We describe a novel, open-source, application for visualising these data, and demonstrate its utility for investigating nosocomial transmission using a case study of a large outbreak of norovirus infection. Methods: We developed the application using Shiny, a web application framework for R. For the norovirus case study, cases were defined as patients who had a faecal sample collected at the hospital in a winter season that tested positive for norovirus. Patient demographics and ward admission dates were extracted from hospital systems. Detected norovirus strains were genotyped and further characterised through sequencing of the hypervariable P2 domain. The most commonly detected sub-strain was visualised using the interactive application. Results: There were 156 norovirus-positive specimens collected from 107 patients. The most commonly detected sub-strain affected 30 patients in five wards. We used the interactive application to produce three visualisations: a bar chart, a timeline, and a schematic ward plan highlighting plausible transmission links. Visualisations showed credible links between cases on the elderly care ward. Conclusions: Use of the interactive application provided insights into transmission in this large nosocomial outbreak of norovirus, highlighting where infection control practices worked well or could be improved. This is a flexible tool that could be used for investigation of any infection in any hospital by interactively changing parameters. Challenges include integration with hospital systems for extracting data. Prospective use of this application could inform better infection control in real time.</ns4:p

    Long COVID and the Neuroendocrinology of Microbial Translocation Outside the GI Tract: Some Treatment Strategies

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    Similar to previous pandemics, COVID-19 has been succeeded by well-documented postinfectious sequelae, including chronic fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, myalgia, and concentration difficulties, which may last 5 to 12 weeks or longer after the acute phase of illness. Both the psychological stress of SARS-CoV-2 infection and being diagnosed with COVID-19 can upregulate cortisol, a stress hormone that disrupts the efferocytosis effectors, macrophages, and natural killer cells, leading to the excessive accumulation of senescent cells and disruption of biological barriers. This has been well-established in cancer patients who often experience unrelenting fatigue as well as gut and blood– brain barrier dysfunction upon treatment with senescence-inducing radiation or chemotherapy. In our previous research from 2020 and 2021, we linked COVID-19 to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) via angiotensin II upregulation, premature endothelial senescence, intestinal barrier dysfunction, and microbial translocation from the gastrointestinal tract into the systemic circulation. In 2021 and 2022, these hypotheses were validated and SARS-CoV-2-induced cellular senescence as well as microbial translocation were documented in both acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, long COVID, and ME/CFS, connecting intestinal barrier dysfunction to disabling fatigue and specific infectious events. The purpose of this narrative review is to summarize what is currently known about host immune responses to translocated gut microbes and how these responses relate to fatiguing illnesses, including long COVID. To accomplish this goal, we examine the role of intestinal and blood–brain barriers in long COVID and other illnesses typified by chronic fatigue, with a special emphasis on commensal microbes functioning as viral reservoirs. Furthermore, we discuss the role of SARS-CoV-2/Mycoplasma coinfection in dysfunctional efferocytosis, emphasizing some potential novel treatment strategies, including the use of senotherapeutic drugs, HMGB1 inhibitors, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) blockers, and membrane lipid replacement