Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)
Funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Grant: 01MD19013D, Smart-MD Project, Digital Technologies
Currently, no specific treatment for chikungunya is available. Supportive care is recommended, and symptomatic treatment of fever and joint swelling includes the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, non-aspirin analgesics such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) and fluids. Aspirin is not recommended due to the increased risk of bleeding. Despite anti-inflammatory effects, corticosteroids are not recommended during the acute phase of disease, as they may cause immunosuppression and worsen infection.
Passive immunotherapy has potential benefit in treatment of chikungunya. Studies in animals using passive immunotherapy have been effective, and clinical studies using passive immunotherapy in those particularly vulnerable to severe infection are currently in progress. Passive immunotherapy involves administration of anti-CHIKV hyperimmune human intravenous antibodies (immunoglobulins) to those exposed to a high risk of chikungunya infection. No antiviral treatment for chikungunya virus is currently available, though testing has shown several medications to be effective "in vitro".
In those who have more than two weeks of arthritis, ribavirin may be useful. The effect of chloroquine is not clear. It does not appear to help acute disease, but tentative evidence indicates it might help those with chronic arthritis. Steroids do not appear to be an effective treatment. NSAIDs and simple analgesics can be used to provide partial symptom relief in most cases. Methotrexate, a drug used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, has been shown to have benefit in treating inflammatory polyarthritis resulting from chikungunya, though the drug mechanism for improving viral arthritis is unclear.
Antibiotics are commonly used to prevent secondary bacterial infection. There are no specific antiviral drugs in common use at this time for FVR, although one study has shown that ganciclovir, PMEDAP, and cidofovir hold promise for treatment. More recent research has indicated that systemic famciclovir is effective at treating this infection in cats without the side effects reported with other anti-viral agents. More severe cases may require supportive care such as intravenous fluid therapy, oxygen therapy, or even a feeding tube. Conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers are treated with topical antibiotics for secondary bacterial infection.
Lysine is commonly used as a treatment, however in a 2015 systematic review, where the authors investigated all clinical trials with cats as well as "in vitro" studies, concluded that lysine supplementation is not effective for the treatment or prevention of feline herpesvirus 1 infection.
There is currently no specific treatment for Zika virus infection. Care is supportive with treatment of pain, fever, and itching. Some authorities have recommended against using aspirin and other NSAIDs as these have been associated with hemorrhagic syndrome when used for other flaviviruses. Additionally, aspirin use is generally avoided in children when possible due to the risk of Reye syndrome.
Zika virus had been relatively little studied until the major outbreak in 2015, and no specific antiviral treatments are available as yet. Advice to pregnant women is to avoid any risk of infection so far as possible, as once infected there is little that can be done beyond supportive treatment.
There is no cure for EEE. Treatment consists of corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and supportive measures (treating symptoms) such as intravenous fluids, tracheal intubation, and antipyretics. About four percent of humans known to be infected develop symptoms, with a total of about six cases per year in the US. A third of these cases die, and many survivors suffer permanent brain damage.
There is a vaccine for FHV-1 available (ATCvet code: , plus various combination vaccines), but although it limits or weakens the severity of the disease and may reduce viral shedding, it does not prevent infection with FVR. Studies have shown a duration of immunity of this vaccine to be at least three years. The use of serology to demonstrate circulating antibodies to FHV-1 has been shown to have a positive predictive value for indicating protection from this disease.
The disease can be prevented in horses with the use of vaccinations. These vaccinations are usually given together with vaccinations for other diseases, most commonly WEE, VEE, and tetanus. Most vaccinations for EEE consist of the killed virus. For humans there is no vaccine for EEE so prevention involves reducing the risk of exposure. Using repellent, wearing protective clothing, and reducing the amount of standing water is the best means for prevention
Although no specific treatment for acute infection with SuHV1 is available, vaccination can alleviate clinical signs in pigs of certain ages. Typically, mass vaccination of all pigs on the farm with a modified live virus vaccine is recommended. Intranasal vaccination of sows and neonatal piglets one to seven days old, followed by intramuscular (IM) vaccination of all other swine on the premises, helps reduce viral shedding and improve survival. The modified live virus replicates at the site of injection and in regional lymph nodes. Vaccine virus is shed in such low levels, mucous transmission to other animals is minimal. In gene-deleted vaccines, the thymidine kinase gene has also been deleted; thus, the virus cannot infect and replicate in neurons. Breeding herds are recommended to be vaccinated quarterly, and finisher pigs should be vaccinated after levels of maternal antibody decrease. Regular vaccination results in excellent control of the disease. Concurrent antibiotic therapy via feed and IM injection is recommended for controlling secondary bacterial pathogens.
Modern vaccination programmes aim not only to provide a high level of protection from clinical disease for the dam, but, crucially, to protect against viraemia and prevent the production of PIs. While the immune mechanisms involved are the same, the level of immune protection required for foetal protection is much higher than for prevention of clinical disease.
While challenge studies indicate that killed, as well as live, vaccines prevent foetal infection under experimental conditions, the efficacy of vaccines under field conditions has been questioned. The birth of PI calves into vaccinated herds suggests that killed vaccines do not stand up to the challenge presented by the viral load excreted by a PI in the field.
The mainstay of eradication is the identification and removal of persistently infected animals. Re-infection is then prevented by vaccination and high levels of biosecurity, supported by continuing surveillance. PIs act as viral reservoirs and are the principal source of viral infection but transiently infected animals and contaminated fomites also play a significant role in transmission.
Leading the way in BVD eradication, almost 20 years ago, were the Scandinavian countries. Despite different conditions at the start of the projects in terms of legal support, and regardless of initial prevalence of herds with PI animals, it took all countries approximately 10 years to reach their final stages.
Once proven that BVD eradication could be achieved in a cost efficient way, a number of regional programmes followed in Europe, some of which have developed into national schemes.
Vaccination is an essential part of both control and eradication. While BVD virus is still circulating within the national herd, breeding cattle are at risk of producing PI neonates and the economic consequences of BVD are still relevant. Once eradication has been achieved, unvaccinated animals will represent a naïve and susceptible herd. Infection from imported animals or contaminated fomites brought into the farm, or via transiently infected in-contacts will have devastating consequences.
A number of topical antivirals are effective for herpes labialis, including acyclovir, penciclovir, and docosanol.
Docosanol, a saturated fatty alcohol, is a safe and effective topical application that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for herpes labialis in adults with properly functioning immune systems. It is comparable in effectiveness to prescription topical antiviral agents. Due to its mechanism of action, there is little risk of drug resistance. The duration of symptoms can be shortened a bit if an antiviral, anesthetic, zinc oxide or zinc sulfate cream is applied soon after it starts.
Effective antiviral medications include acyclovir and penciclovir, which can speed healing by as much as 10%. Famciclovir or valacyclovir, taken in pill form, can be effective using a single day, high-dose application and is more cost effective and convenient than the traditional treatment of lower doses for 5–7 days.
Neonatal infection treatment is typically started before the diagnosis of the cause can be confirmed.
Neonatal infection can be prophylactically treated with antibiotics. Maternal treatment with antibiotics is primarily used to protect against group B streptococcus.
Women with a history of HSV, can be treated with antiviral drugs to prevent symptomatic lesions and viral shedding that could infect the infant at birth. The antiviral medications used include acyclovir, penciclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir. Only very small amounts of the drug can be detected in the fetus. There are no increases in drug-related abnormalities in the infant that could be attributed to acyclovir. Long-term effects of antiviral medications have not been evaluated for their effects after growth and development of the child occurs. Neutropenia can be a complication of acyclovir treatment of neonatal HSV infection, but is usually transient. Treatment with immunoglobulin therapy has not been proven to be effective.
SuHV1 can be used to analyze neural circuits in the central nervous system (CNS). For this purpose the attenuated (less virulent) Bartha SuHV1 strain is commonly used and is employed as a retrograde and anterograde transneuronal tracer. In the retrograde direction, SuHV1-Bartha is transported to a neuronal cell body via its axon, where it is replicated and dispersed throughout the cytoplasm and the dendritic tree. SuHV1-Bartha released at the synapse is able to cross the synapse to infect the axon terminals of synaptically connected neurons, thereby propagating the virus; however, the extent to which non-synaptic transneuronal transport may also occur is uncertain. Using temporal studies and/or genetically engineered strains of SuHV1-Bartha, second, third, and higher order neurons may be identified in the neural network of interest.
Several antiviral drugs are effective for treating herpes, including acyclovir, valaciclovir (valacyclovir), famciclovir, and penciclovir. Acyclovir was the first discovered and is now available in generic. Valacyclovir is also available as a generic and is slightly more effective than aciclovir for reducing lesion healing time.
Evidence supports the use of acyclovir and valacyclovir in the treatment of herpes labialis as well as herpes infections in people with cancer. The evidence to support the use of acyclovir in primary herpetic gingivostomatitis is weaker.
Acute infection does not usually require treatment and most adults clear the infection spontaneously. Early antiviral treatment may be required in fewer than 1% of people, whose infection takes a very aggressive course (fulminant hepatitis) or who are immunocompromised. On the other hand, treatment of chronic infection may be necessary to reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. Chronically infected individuals with persistently elevated serum alanine aminotransferase, a marker of liver damage, and HBV DNA levels are candidates for therapy. Treatment lasts from six months to a year, depending on medication and genotype. Treatment duration when medication is taken by mouth, however, is more variable and usually longer than one year.
Although none of the available drugs can clear the infection, they can stop the virus from replicating, thus minimizing liver damage. As of 2008, there are seven medications licensed for the treatment of infection in the United States. These include antiviral drugs lamivudine (Epivir), adefovir (Hepsera), tenofovir (Viread), telbivudine (Tyzeka) and entecavir (Baraclude), and the two immune system modulators interferon alpha-2a and PEGylated interferon alpha-2a (Pegasys). In 2015 the World Health Organization recommended tenofovir or entecavir as first-line agents. Those with current cirrhosis are in most need of treatment.
The use of interferon, which requires injections daily or thrice weekly, has been supplanted by long-acting PEGylated interferon, which is injected only once weekly. However, some individuals are much more likely to respond than others, and this might be because of the genotype of the infecting virus or the person's heredity. The treatment reduces viral replication in the liver, thereby reducing the viral load (the amount of virus particles as measured in the blood). Response to treatment differs between the genotypes. Interferon treatment may produce an e antigen seroconversion rate of 37% in genotype A but only a 6% seroconversion in type D. Genotype B has similar seroconversion rates to type A while type C seroconverts only in 15% of cases. Sustained e antigen loss after treatment is ~45% in types A and B but only 25–30% in types C and D.
Most of the time, Zika fever resolves on its own in 2 to 7 days, but rarely, some people develop Guillain–Barré syndrome. The fetus of a pregnant woman who has Zika fever may die or be born with congenital central nervous system malformations, like microcephaly.
Treatment depends on the type of opportunistic infection, but usually involves different antibiotics.
The likelihood of the infection being spread can be reduced through behaviors such as avoiding touching an active outbreak site, washing hands frequently while the outbreak is occurring, not sharing items that come in contact with the mouth, and not coming into close contact with others (by avoiding kissing, oral sex, or contact sports).
Because the onset of an infection is difficult to predict, lasts a short period of time and heals rapidly, it is difficult to conduct research on cold sores. Though famciclovir improves lesion healing time, it is not effective in preventing lesions; valaciclovir and a mixture of acyclovir and hydrocortisone are similarly useful in treating outbreaks but may also help prevent them.
Acyclovir and valacyclovir by mouth are effective in preventing recurrent herpes labialis if taken prior to the onset of any symptoms or exposure to any triggers. Evidence does not support L-lysine.
Individuals at higher risk are often prescribed prophylactic medication to prevent an infection from occurring. A patient's risk level for developing an opportunistic infection is approximated using the patient's CD4 T-cell count and sometimes other markers of susceptibility. Common prophylaxis treatments include the following:
To reduce neonatal infection, routine screening of pregnant women for HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, and rubella susceptibility is required in the UK.
Treatment with an vaginal antibiotic wash prior to birth does not prevent infection with group B streptococcus bacteria. Breast milk protects against necrotizing enterocolitis.
Because GBS bacteria can colonize the lower reproductive tract of 30% of women, typically pregnant women are tested for this pathogen from 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Before delivery treatment of the mother with antibiotics reduces the rate of neonatal infection. Prevention of the infection of the baby is done by treating the mother with penicillin. Since the adoption of this prophylatic treatment, infant mortality from GBS infection has decreased by 80%.
Mothers with symptomatic HSV and who are treated with antiviral prophylaxis are less prone to have an active, symptomatic case at the time of birth and it may be able to reduce the risk of passing on HSV during birth. Cesarean delivery reduces the risk of infection of the infant.
Some vertically transmitted infections, such as toxoplasmosis and syphilis, can be effectively treated with antibiotics if the mother is diagnosed early in her pregnancy. Many viral vertically transmitted infections have no effective treatment, but some, notably rubella and varicella-zoster, can be prevented by vaccinating the mother prior to pregnancy.
If the mother has active herpes simplex (as may be suggested by a pap test), delivery by Caesarean section can prevent the newborn from contact, and consequent infection, with this virus.
IgG antibody may play crucial role in prevention of intrauterine infections and extensive research is going on for developing IgG-based therapies for treatment and vaccination.
In assisted reproductive technology, sperm washing is not necessary for males with hepatitis B to prevent transmission, unless the female partner has not been effectively vaccinated. In females with hepatitis B, the risk of transmission from mother to child with IVF is no different from the risk in spontaneous conception.
Those at high risk of infection should be tested as there is effective treatment for those who have the disease. Groups that screening is recommended for include those who have not been vaccinated and one of the following: people from areas of the world where hepatitis B occurs in more than 2%, those with HIV, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and those who live with someone with hepatitis B.
Among the categories of bacteria most known to infect patients are the category MRSA (resistant strain of "S. aureus"), member of gram-positive bacteria and "Acinetobacter" ("A. baumannii"), which is gram-negative. While antibiotic drugs to treat diseases caused by gram-positive MRSA are available, few effective drugs are available for "Acinetobacter". "Acinetobacter" bacteria are evolving and becoming immune to existing antibiotics, so in many cases, polymyxin-type antibacterials need to be used. "In many respects it’s far worse than MRSA," said a specialist at Case Western Reserve University.
Another growing disease, especially prevalent in New York City hospitals, is the drug-resistant, gram-negative "Klebsiella pneumoniae". An estimated more than 20% of the "Klebsiella" infections in Brooklyn hospitals "are now resistant to virtually all modern antibiotics, and those supergerms are now spreading worldwide."
The bacteria, classified as gram-negative because of their reaction to the Gram stain test, can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream, and other parts of the body. Their cell structures make them more difficult to attack with antibiotics than gram-positive organisms like MRSA. In some cases, antibiotic resistance is spreading to gram-negative bacteria that can infect people outside the hospital. "For gram-positives we need better drugs; for gram-negatives we need any drugs," said Dr. Brad Spellberg, an infectious-disease specialist at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and the author of "Rising Plague", a book about drug-resistant pathogens.
One-third of nosocomial infections are considered preventable. The CDC estimates 2 million people in the United States are infected annually by hospital-acquired infections, resulting in 20,000 deaths. The most common nosocomial infections are of the urinary tract, surgical site and various pneumonias.
Mayaro virus disease is a mosquitoborne zoonotic pathogen endemic to certain humid forests of tropical South America. Infection with Mayaro virus causes an acute, self-limited dengue-like illness of 3–5 days' duration. The causative virus, abbreviated MAYV, is in the family Togaviridae, and genus Alphavirus. It is closely related to other alphaviruses that produce a dengue-like illness accompanied by long-lasting arthralgia. It is only known to circulate in tropical South America.