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1.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 84(11): 1028-1037, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699812

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect countries worldwide. To inhibit the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), testing of patients, contact tracing, and quarantine of their close contacts have been used as major nonpharmaceutical interventions. The advantages of antigen tests, such as low cost and rapid turnaround, may allow for the rapid identification of larger numbers of infectious persons. This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Biomed Central databases from inception to January 2, 2021. Studies evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of antigen testing for SARS-CoV-2 with reference standards were included. We included studies that provided sufficient data to construct a 2 × 2 table on a per-patient basis. Only articles in English were reviewed. Summary sensitivity and specificity for antigen tests were generated using a random-effects model. RESULTS: Fourteen studies with 8624 participants were included. The meta-analysis for antigen testing generated a pooled sensitivity of 79% (95% CI, 66%-88%; 14 studies, 8624 patients) and a pooled specificity of 100% (95% CI, 99%-100%; 14 studies, 8624 patients). The subgroup analysis of studies that reported specimen collection within 7 days after symptom onset showed a pooled sensitivity of 95% (95% CI, 78%-99%; four studies, 1342 patients) and pooled specificity of 100% (95% CI, 97%-100%; four studies, 1342 patients). Regarding the applicability, the patient selection, index tests, and reference standards of studies in our meta-analysis matched the review title. CONCLUSION: Antigen tests have moderate sensitivity and high specificity for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Antigen tests might have a higher sensitivity in detecting SARS-CoV-2 within 7 days after symptom onset. Based on our findings, antigen testing might be an effective method for identifying contagious individuals to block SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 84(11): 1028-1037, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447662

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect countries worldwide. To inhibit the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), testing of patients, contact tracing, and quarantine of their close contacts have been used as major nonpharmaceutical interventions. The advantages of antigen tests, such as low cost and rapid turnaround, may allow for the rapid identification of larger numbers of infectious persons. This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Biomed Central databases from inception to January 2, 2021. Studies evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of antigen testing for SARS-CoV-2 with reference standards were included. We included studies that provided sufficient data to construct a 2 × 2 table on a per-patient basis. Only articles in English were reviewed. Summary sensitivity and specificity for antigen tests were generated using a random-effects model. RESULTS: Fourteen studies with 8624 participants were included. The meta-analysis for antigen testing generated a pooled sensitivity of 79% (95% CI, 66%-88%; 14 studies, 8624 patients) and a pooled specificity of 100% (95% CI, 99%-100%; 14 studies, 8624 patients). The subgroup analysis of studies that reported specimen collection within 7 days after symptom onset showed a pooled sensitivity of 95% (95% CI, 78%-99%; four studies, 1342 patients) and pooled specificity of 100% (95% CI, 97%-100%; four studies, 1342 patients). Regarding the applicability, the patient selection, index tests, and reference standards of studies in our meta-analysis matched the review title. CONCLUSION: Antigen tests have moderate sensitivity and high specificity for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Antigen tests might have a higher sensitivity in detecting SARS-CoV-2 within 7 days after symptom onset. Based on our findings, antigen testing might be an effective method for identifying contagious individuals to block SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 84(9): 827-832, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320351

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to the normal operation of the healthcare system. On a worldwide scale, hospitals suspended nonurgent surgeries and outpatient visits to downsize clinical loadings to redistribute manpower to counteract the pandemic's impact. So far, there is no evidence-based guideline defining a clear line between urgent and nonurgent indications of intravitreal injections (IVI). Herein, we aimed to summarize IVI algorithm modifications and discuss the patient prioritization according to medical needs in the hostile environment in the COVID crisis. Assessing current literature, we found that neovascular age-related macular degeneration is considered the utmost priority among conditions that require IVI. Other conditions assigned with a high priority include monocular or quasi-monocular patients (only one eye > 20/40), neovascular glaucoma, and new patients with significant vision loss. Although patients with central retinal vein occlusion and proliferative diabetic retinopathy are not advised to delay treatments, we found no consistent evidence that correlated with a worse outcome. Diabetic macular edema and branch retinal vein occlusion patients undertaking treatment delay should be regularly followed up every 2 to 3 months. Serving as the principle of management behind the algorithm modifications, the reduction of both patient visit and IVI therapy counts should be reckoned together with the risk of permanent visual loss and COVID infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Intravitreal Injections/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Algorithms , Humans , Hygiene , Patient Safety
4.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 84(9): 821-826, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317943

ABSTRACT

Different dietary nutrients have distinct effects, including enhancing immune response activity and supporting mucous membrane integrity. These effects are critical in fighting against pathogenic agents, which cover coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the coronavirus disease that shuts down globally. Recent researches have shown that micronutrient deficiency is commonly associated with compromised immune responses, respiratory tract infections, or even susceptibility to COVID-19. The relationship between Vit A and infection is its role in mucosal epithelium integrity (skin and mucous membrane), the supplementation could be an option for assisted-treating the SARS-CoV-2 virus and a possible prevention of lung infection. Vit C/ascorbic acid stimulates oxygen radical scavenging activity of the skin and enhances epithelial barrier function. Ascorbic acid alone or with other natural compounds (baicalin and theaflavin) may inhibit the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme II in human small alveolar epithelial cells and limited the entry of SARS-CoV-2. Vitamin D receptors can be expressed by immune cells, and different immune cells (macrophages, monocytes, dendritic cells, T cells, and B cells) can convert Vit D into its active form 1,25-(OH)2 D. Oral vitamin D intake can be a readily way to restrict the viral infection through downregulation of ACE2 receptor and to attenuate the disease severity by decreasing the frequency of cytokine storm and pulmonary pro-inflammatory response. Vit E supports T-cell mediated functions, optimization of Th1 response, and suppression of Th2 response. Vitamin E supplementation can lower the production of superoxides and may favors the antioxidants and benefit the progress of COVID-19 treatment. Zinc plays an essential role in both innate and adaptive immune systems and cytokine production, and Zinc-dependent viral enzymes to initiate the infectious process have proved the Zinc levels are directly associated with symptoms relieved of COVID-19. Iron is an essential component of enzymes involved in the activation of immune cells, lower iron levels predispose to severe symptoms of SARS-CoV-2, and monitoring the status can predict the disease severity and mortality. Selenium participates in the adaptive immune response by supporting antibody production and development. Deficiency can reduce antibody concentration, decreased cytotoxicity of NK cells, compromised cellular immunity, and an attenuated response to vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccines including three broad categories, protein-based vaccines, gene-based vaccines (mRNA vaccines and DNA vaccines), combination of gene and protein-based vaccines. Micronutrients are involved in immunity from the virus entering the human to innate immune response and adaptive immune response. Micronutrients are indispensable in immune response of vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Immunomodulation , Micronutrients/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/immunology , Dietary Supplements , Humans , Iron/physiology , Micronutrients/administration & dosage , Selenium/physiology , Vitamins/physiology , Zinc/physiology
5.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 84(1): 3-8, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1124973

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is mainly an infectious disease of the respiratory system transmitted through air droplets, and pulmonary symptoms constitute main presentations of this disease. However, COVID-19 demonstrates a clinically diverse manifestation ranging from asymptomatic presentation to critically illness with severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory failure, or multiple organ failure. Accumulating evidences demonstrated that COVID-19 has extrapulmonary involvement, including neurological, smelling sensation, cardiovascular, digestive, hepatobiliary, renal, endocrinologic, dermatologic system, and others. Over a third of COVID-19 patients manifest a wide range of neurological symptoms involving the central/peripheral nervous system. Underlying cardiovascular comorbidities were associated with detrimental outcomes, meanwhile the occurrence of cardiovascular complications correlate to poor survival. Gastrointestinal symptoms frequently occur and have been associated with a longer period of illness. Impaired hepatic functions were associated with the severity of the disease. Higher rate of acute kidney injury was reported in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Endocrinologic presentations of COVID-19 include exacerbating hyperglycemia, euglycemic ketosis, and diabetic ketoacidosis. The most common cutaneous manifestation was acro-cutaneous (pernio or chilblain-like) lesions, and other skin lesions consist of maculopapular rash, vesicular lesions, livedoid/necrotic lesions, exanthematous rashes, and petechiae. This review article summarized the general clinical signs and symptoms, radiologic features, and disease manifestation with progression in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Disease Progression , Gastrointestinal Diseases/etiology , Humans , Skin Diseases/etiology
6.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 84(1): 9-13, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1010670

ABSTRACT

The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has brought an unprecedented impact upon the global economy and public health. Although the SARS-CoV-2 virology has been gradually investigated, measures to combat this new threat in public health are still absent. To date, no certificated drug or vaccine has been developed for the treatment or prevention of coronavirus disease Extensive researches and international coordination has been conducted to rapidly develop novel vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Several major breakthroughs have been made through the identification of the genetic sequence and structural/non-structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2, which enabled the development of RNA-, DNA-based vaccines, subunit vaccines, and attenuated viral vaccines. In this review article, we present an overview of the recent advances of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and the challenges that may be encountered in the development process, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches that may help in effectively countering COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Humans , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
7.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 84(1): 9-13, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927591

ABSTRACT

The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has brought an unprecedented impact upon the global economy and public health. Although the SARS-CoV-2 virology has been gradually investigated, measures to combat this new threat in public health are still absent. To date, no certificated drug or vaccine has been developed for the treatment or prevention of coronavirus disease Extensive researches and international coordination has been conducted to rapidly develop novel vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Several major breakthroughs have been made through the identification of the genetic sequence and structural/non-structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2, which enabled the development of RNA-, DNA-based vaccines, subunit vaccines, and attenuated viral vaccines. In this review article, we present an overview of the recent advances of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and the challenges that may be encountered in the development process, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches that may help in effectively countering COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Humans , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
8.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 83(8): 712-718, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733326

ABSTRACT

Recently, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was quickly identified as the causal pathogen leading to the outbreak of SARS-like illness all over the world. As the SARS-CoV-2 infection pandemic proceeds, many efforts are being dedicated to the development of diverse treatment strategies. Increasing evidence showed potential therapeutic agents directly acting against SARS-CoV-2 virus, such as interferon, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, viral entry blockers, neuraminidase inhibitor, vaccine, antibody agent targeting the SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome, natural killer cells, and nucleocytoplasmic trafficking inhibitor. To date, several direct anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents have demonstrated promising in vitro and clinical efficacy. This article reviews the current and future development of direct acting agents against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Drug Development , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Active Transport, Cell Nucleus/drug effects , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Genome, Viral , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 29(11): 105182, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-665905

ABSTRACT

Infection with the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the development of the novel 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and associated clinical symptoms, which typically presents as an upper respiratory syndrome such as pneumonia. Growing evidence indicates an increased prevalence of neurological involvement (e.g., in the form of stroke) during virus infection. COVID-19 has been suggested to be more than a lung infection because it affects the vasculature of the lungs and other organs and increases the risk of thrombosis. Patients with stroke are vulnerable to secondary events as a result not only of their poor vascular condition but also of their lack of access to rehabilitation resources. Herein, we review current knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of COVID-19, its possible association with neurological involvement, and current drug therapies. Suggestions are also offered regarding the potential for current neurorehabilitation therapies to be taught and practiced at home.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Physical Therapy Modalities , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Secondary Prevention , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke/therapy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Psychological Distance , Quarantine , Recovery of Function , Recurrence , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/physiopathology , Treatment Outcome
10.
Front Immunol ; 11: 1022, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-478585

ABSTRACT

A sudden outbreak of COVID-19 caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in Wuhan, China in December 2019 quickly grew into a global pandemic, putting at risk not only the global healthcare system, but also the world economy. As the disease continues to spread rapidly, the development of prophylactic and therapeutic approaches is urgently required. Although some progress has been made in understanding the viral structure and invasion mechanism of coronaviruses that may cause severe cases of the syndrome, due to the limited understanding of the immune effects caused by SARS-CoV-2, it is difficult for us to prevent patients from developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pulmonary fibrosis (PF), the major complications of coronavirus infection. Therefore, any potential treatments should focus not only on direct killing of coronaviruses and prevention strategies by vaccine development, but also on keeping in check the acute immune/inflammatory responses, resulting in ARDS and PF. In addition, potential treatments currently under clinical trials focusing on killing coronaviruses or on developing vaccines preventing coronavirus infection largely ignore the host immune response. However, taking care of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients with ARDS and PF is considered to be the major difficulty. Therefore, further understanding of the host immune response to SARS-CoV-2 is extremely important for clinical resolution and saving medication cost. In addition to a breif overview of the structure, infection mechanism, and possible therapeutic approaches, we summarized and compared the hematopathologic effect and immune responses to SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. We also discussed the indirect immune response caused by SARS and direct infection, replication, and destroying of immune cells by MERS-CoV. The molecular mechanisms of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV infection-induced lymphopenia or cytokine storm may provide some hint toward fight against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus. This may provide guidance over using immune therapy as a combined treatment to prevent patients developing severe respiratory syndrome and largely reduce complications.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Virus Replication
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(7)2020 Apr 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-46057

ABSTRACT

The sudden outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV, later named SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China, which rapidly grew into a global pandemic, marked the third introduction of a virulent coronavirus into the human society, affecting not only the healthcare system, but also the global economy. Although our understanding of coronaviruses has undergone a huge leap after two precedents, the effective approaches to treatment and epidemiological control are still lacking. In this article, we present a succinct overview of the epidemiology, clinical features, and molecular characteristics of SARS-CoV-2. We summarize the current epidemiological and clinical data from the initial Wuhan studies, and emphasize several features of SARS-CoV-2, which differentiate it from SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), such as high variability of disease presentation. We systematize the current clinical trials that have been rapidly initiated after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas the trials on SARS-CoV-2 genome-based specific vaccines and therapeutic antibodies are currently being tested, this solution is more long-term, as they require thorough testing of their safety. On the other hand, the repurposing of the existing therapeutic agents previously designed for other virus infections and pathologies happens to be the only practical approach as a rapid response measure to the emergent pandemic, as most of these agents have already been tested for their safety. These agents can be divided into two broad categories, those that can directly target the virus replication cycle, and those based on immunotherapy approaches either aimed to boost innate antiviral immune responses or alleviate damage induced by dysregulated inflammatory responses. The initial clinical studies revealed the promising therapeutic potential of several of such drugs, including favipiravir, a broad-spectrum antiviral drug that interferes with the viral replication, and hydroxychloroquine, the repurposed antimalarial drug that interferes with the virus endosomal entry pathway. We speculate that the current pandemic emergency will be a trigger for more systematic drug repurposing design approaches based on big data analysis.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Viral Vaccines , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Clinical Trials as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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