Research Insights About Covid-19

We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings

Last Update on 1 December 2020

A. Medicine and Health 

March 2020

March 29, 2020

The FDA has released a FACT SHEET FOR HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL

Battelle Decontamination System for Decontaminating Compatible N95 Respirators

https://www.fda.gov/media/136530/download

March 28, 2020 (J Microbiol Biotechnol) 

Current Status of Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Therapeutics, and Vaccines for Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Ahn DG, Shin HJ, Kim MH, Lee S, Kim HS, Myoung J, Kim BT, Kim SJ.  ​

http://www.jmb.or.kr/journal/viewJournal.html?doi=10.4014/jmb.2003.03011

March 28, 2020 (MedRxiv - Preprint)

Correlation between universal BCG vaccination policy and reduced morbidity and mortality for COVID-19: an epidemiological study

Aaron Miller, Mac Josh Reandelar, Kimberly Fasciglione, Violeta Roumenova, Yan Li, Gonzalo H Otazu

https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.24.20042937

COVID-19 is a global pandemic, with varying impact amongst different countries. The authors propose that national differences in COVID-19 impact could be partially explained by the different national policies respect to Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) childhood vaccination. BCG vaccination has been reported to offer broad protection to respiratory infections.  The authors compared a large number of countries BCG vaccination policies with the morbidity and mortality for COVID-19 and found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination are more severely affected.

March 27, 2020 (Diagn Interv Radiol)

Interventional radiology and COVID-19: evidence-based measures to limit transmission

Chandy PE, Nasir MU, Srinivasan S, Klass D, Nicolaou S, Babu SB.

https://doi.org/10.5152/dir.2020.20166

The authors put forth an all-encompassing review of infection control measures that cover the dynamics of patient care and staff protocols to limit transmission of COVID-19 in an interventional radiology department.

March 26, 2020 (JAMA) 

Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejme2002387

A must-read editorial by Dr. A Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

March 25, 2020 (European Journal of Radiology) 

Diagnosis of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19): rRT-PCR or CT

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0720048X20301509

Researchers explored the diagnostic value of CT and real-time reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) for COVID-19 pneumonia

March 24, 2020 (Clinical and Translational Radiation Oncology)

COVID-19: Global radiation oncology’s targeted response for pandemic preparedness

Richard Simcock, Toms Vengaloor Thomas, Christopher Estes, Andrea R. Filippi, Matthew S. Katz, Ian J. Pereira, Hina Saeed

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctro.2020.03.009

As the global COVID-19 pandemic escalates there is a need within radiation oncology to work to support patients in the best way possible. Measures are required to reduce infection spread between patients and within the workforce. The #radonc community held an urgent online journal club on Twitter in March 2020 to discuss these issues and create some consensus on crucial next steps. This document summarises these discussions around themes of infection prevention, rationalisation of workload and working practice in the presence of infection.

March 23, 2020 (The Lancet)

Temporal profiles of viral load in posterior oropharyngeal saliva samples and serum antibody responses during infection by SARS-CoV-2: an observational cohort study

Kelvin Kai-WangTo, Owen Tak-YinTsang, Wai-Shing Leung, Anthony RaymondTam, Tak-Chiu Wu David Christopher Lung, Cyril Chik-Yan Yip, Jian-Piao Cai, …Kwok-Yung Yuen

https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30196-1

The more viral RNA detected in a person’s body, the more they excrete when coughing or sneezing. The authors say that the high levels of SARS-CoV-2 particles detected at the onset of symptoms suggest that the virus can be transmitted easily between people, even when symptoms are relatively mild. The results are consistent with another study by L. Zou et al. (shared below).

March 20, 2020 (Int. J of Inf. Diseases)

COVID-19: Four Paediatric Cases in Malaysia

K.C. See, S.M. Liew, David C.E. Ng , E.L. Chew , E.M. Khoo , C.H. Sam, D. Sheena, Z. Zahilah Filzah, S.Y. Chin, P.Y. Lee, L.P. Tan, Z. Farah Najwa et al.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.049

The authors briefly report 4 paediatric cases of confirmed COVID-19 in Malaysia. They discuss the major issues regarding the care of infected children. Firstly, the quarantine of an infected child with a parent who tested negative was an ethical dilemma. Secondly, oropharyngeal and nasal swabs in children were at risk of false negative results. These issues have implications for infection control. They conclude that there is a need for clearer guidelines for child quarantine and testing methods in the management of COVID-19 in children.

March 20, 2020 (Clinical Infectious Diseases) 

Epidemiological and clinical predictors of COVID-19

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32211755

The authors conclude that clinical and laboratory data could identify individuals at high risk of COVID-19 and enable prioritization of PCR-testing and containment efforts. Basic laboratory test results are crucial to prediction models.

March 19, 2020 (J of Reproductive Immunology)

Why are pregnant women susceptible to COVID-19? An immunological viewpoint

Hong Liu, Li-Ling Wang, Si-Jia Zhao, Joanne Kwak-Kim,  Gil Mor, Ai-Hua Liao

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jri.2020.103122

The COVID-19 may alter the maternal symmetrical and local immune responses, and affect the well-being of mothers and infants. Pregnant women are more susceptible to respiratory pathogens; hence, they may be more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 than the general population. Here, the authors focused on the immunological factor of the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19 and the potential damages to mother and fetus.

March 19, 2020 (NEJM)

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients

Lirong Zou, Feng Ruan, Mingxing Huang, Lijun Liang, Huitao HUang, Zhongsi Hong, Jianxiang Yu, Jinyu Xia, Qianfang Guo, Hui-Ling Yen, Jie Wu

https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc2001737

The authors analyse the SARS-CoV2 virus from nose and throat swabs from 18 people with COVID-19. The concentrations of viral RNA in the 17 symptomatic patients were similar to that in the one asymptomatic patient.

March 3, 2020 (Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B)

Clinical value of the emergency department in screening and diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 in China

Qin Zhang, Jian Pan, Min-xing Zhao, Yuan-qiang Lu

http://www.jzus.zju.edu.cn/iparticle.php?doi=10.1631/jzus.B2010011

The emergency department shoulders a heavy responsibility of screening COVID-19 while treating all kinds of other non-communicable acute and critical diseases. In this article, the authors retrospectively analyze four representative cases of COVID-19 that were recently screened and diagnosed in their emergency department. These cases demonstrate that the emergency department has irreplaceable clinical value in the accurate screening and diagnosis of COVID-19.

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