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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(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
3.
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
4.
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
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