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Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(11): 1693.e1-1693.e8, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347547


OBJECTIVES: To define the status of infectious diseases (ID) as an approved specialty in Europe; to enumerate the number of specialists (in general and in relation to the overall population) and specialist trainees and describe the content, delivery and evaluation of postgraduate training in ID in different countries. METHODS: Structured web-based questionnaire surveys in March 2021 of responsible national authorities, specialist societies and individual country representatives to the Section of Infectious Diseases of the European Union for Medical Specialties. Descriptive analysis of quantitative and qualitative responses. RESULTS: In responses received from 33/35 (94.3%) countries, ID is recognized as a specialty in 24 and as a subspecialty of general internal medicine (GIM) in eight, but it is not recognized in Spain. The number of ID specialists per country varies from <5 per million inhabitants to 78 per million inhabitants. Median length of training is 5 years (interquartile range 4.0-6.0 years) with variable amounts of preceding and/or concurrent GIM. Only 21.2% of countries (7/33) provide the minimum recommended training of 6 months in microbiology and 30% cover competencies such as palliative care, team working and leadership, audit, and quality control. Training is monitored by personal logbook or e-portfolio in 75.8% (25/33) and assessed by final examinations in 69.7% (23/33) of countries, but yearly reviews with trainees only occur in 54.5% (18/33) of countries. CONCLUSIONS: There are substantial gaps in modernization of ID training in many countries to match current European training requirements. Joint training with clinical microbiology (CM) and in multidisciplinary team working should be extended. Training/monitoring trainers should find greater focus, together with regular feedback to trainees within many national training programmes.

Communicable Diseases , Education, Medical , Infectious Disease Medicine/education , Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases/therapy , Curriculum , Education, Medical/trends , Europe , Humans , Specialization , Surveys and Questionnaires
Clin Infect Pract ; 7: 100052, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893696


BACKGROUND: Syndromes of iron overload have been shown to increase the risk of severe clinical disease in viral infections. Immune dysfunction is similarly described in hereditary haemochromatosis (HH). We present here the case of a 51-year-old man who developed severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) complicated by suspected haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). He was found to have HH post-mortem and we propose a link between his iron overload and the development of severe COVID-19. CASE REPORT: The initial clinical presentation consisted of cough, shortness of breath and fever. Pancytopenia, markedly elevated ferritin and d-dimer were present. Computed tomography (CT) showed bilateral ground glass changes consistent with COVID-19, widespread lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly. A subsequent combined nose and throat swab was positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). HLH was suspected based upon the H-score and Anakinra, an IL-1 receptor antagonist, was commenced. Liver function acutely worsened and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) revealed hepatic haemosiderosis. Intense splenic and cervical lymph node uptake were seen on a positron emission tomography (PET) scan and high doses of intravenous steroids were administered due to concerns over haematological malignancy. RESULTS: Day fourteen of admission heralded the start of progressive clinical deterioration with rapid increase in oxygen demands. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) was trialled without success and the patient unfortunately died seventeen days into admission. Results returned after his death showed homozygous C282Y mutation of the HFE gene consistent with a diagnosis of HH. Post-mortem examination revealed widespread haemosiderin deposition in the liver along with lung pathology in keeping with severe COVID-19 and widespread splenic infarctions. CONCLUSION: An association between HH and COVID-19 is not currently described in the literature. What does exist, however, is an evidence base for the detrimental impacts iron overload has on viral infections in general and the negative effects of HH on the immune system. We therefore postulate that the underlying metabolic and immune disturbances seen in HH should be considered a potential risk factor for the development of severe COVID-19. This case also adds to the evidence that hyperinflammation appears to be a unique and interesting characteristic of this novel viral disease.