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Articles in E-pub version are posted online ahead of regular printed publication.

Original Articles
The effect of photodynamic therapy using Radachlorin on biofilm-forming multidrug-resistant bacteria
Choong-Won Seo, Young-Kwon Kim, Jeong-Lib An, Jong-Sook Kim, Pil-Seung Kwon, Young-Bin Yu
Received January 21, 2022  Accepted July 25, 2022  Published online August 10, 2022  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0150    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study aimed to test the effect of photodynamic therapy (PDT) on the inhibition and removal of biofilms containing multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii.
Methods
Using multidrug-resistant A. baumannii strains, an antibiotic susceptibility test was performed using the Gram-negative identification card of the Vitek 2 system (bioMérieux Inc., France), as well as an analysis of resistance genes, the effects of treatment with a light-emitting diode (LED) array using Radachlorin (RADA-PHARMA Co., Ltd., Russia), and transmission and scanning electron microscopy to confirm the biofilm-inhibitory effect of PDT.
Results
The antibiotic susceptibility test revealed multiple resistance to the antibiotics imipenem and meropenem in the carbapenem class. A class-D–type β-lactamase was found, and OXA-23 and OXA-51 were found in 100% of 15 A. baumannii strains. After PDT using Radachlorin, morphological observations revealed an abnormal structure due to the loss of the cell membrane and extensive morphological changes, including low intracellular visibility and small vacuoles attached to the cell membrane.
Conclusion
PDT involving a combination of LED and Radachlorin significantly eliminated the biofilm of multidrug-resistant A. baumannii. Observations made using electron microscopy showed that PDT combining LED and Radachlorin was effective. Additional studies on the effective elimination of biofilms containing multidrug-resistant bacteria are necessary, and we hope that a treatment method superior to sterilization with antibiotics will be developed in the future.
Characteristics of COVID-19 outbreaks and risk factors for transmission at an army training center in South Korea from June to August 2021
U Jin Cho, Seongjin Wang, Seonju Yi, Yeon Hwa Choi, Eun-Young Kim, Jin A Kim, Sanghwan Bae, Jungyeon Yu, Jangkyu Choi, Young-Joon Park
Received May 12, 2022  Accepted June 29, 2022  Published online July 27, 2022  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0149    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
It is crucial to establish the characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks at army training centers to develop preventive measures. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the COVID-19 transmission patterns and risk factors in a sequence of outbreaks at an army training center from June to August 2021.
Methods
This study included 1,324 trainees at an army training center where outbreaks occurred from June to August 2021. The outbreak was qualitatively analyzed according to the period, attack rate, demographic characteristics, vaccination history, and living areas. An aerodynamic experiment was performed to evaluate aerosol transmission in living areas.
Results
Three outbreaks occurred at the army training center from June to August 2021. The first, second, and third outbreaks lasted for 32, 17, and 24 days, and the attack rates were 12.8%, 18.1%, and 8.9%, respectively. Confirmed cases were distributed in all age groups. Recruits and the unvaccinated were at higher risk for COVID-19. The aerodynamic experiment verified the possibility of aerosol transmission within the same living area.
Conclusion
COVID-19 transmission at army training centers should be minimized through quarantine and post-admission testing during the latency period as part of integrated measures that include facility ventilation, vaccination, indoor mask-wearing, and social distancing.
Clinical epidemiological applicability of real-time polymerase chain reaction for COVID-19
Geehyuk Kim, Jun-Kyu Kang, Jungho Kim, Jiyoung Lee, Jin Gwack
Received April 23, 2022  Accepted June 29, 2022  Published online July 27, 2022  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0135    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Real-time polymerase chain reaction is currently used as a confirmatory test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The test results are interpreted as positive, negative, or inconclusive, and are used only for a qualitative classification of patients. However, the test results can be quantitated using threshold count (Ct) values to determine the amount of virus present in the sample. Therefore, this study investigated the diagnostic usefulness of Ct results through various quantitative analyzes, along with an analysis of clinical and epidemiological characteristics.
Methods
Clinical and epidemiological data from 4,642 COVID-19 patients in April 2021 were analyzed, including the Ct values of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), envelope (E), and nucleocapsid (N) genes. Clinical and epidemiological data (sex, age, underlying diseases, and early symptoms) were collected through a structured questionnaire. A correlation analysis was used to examine the relationships between variables.
Results
All 3 genes showed statistically significant relationships with symptoms and severity levels. The Ct values of the RdRp gene decreased as the severity of the patients increased. Moreover, statistical significance was observed for the presence of underlying diseases and dyspnea.
Conclusion
Ct values were found to be related to patients’ clinical and epidemiological characteristics. In particular, since these factors are closely related to symptoms and severity, Ct values can be used as primary data for predicting patients’ disease prognosis despite the limitations of this method. Conducting follow-up studies to validate this approach might enable using the data from this study to establish policies for preventing COVID-19 infection and spread.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives