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Diagn Cytopathol ; 50(3): 93-98, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589136


BACKGROUND: COVID 19 has been rapidly spreading across the globe. As a result of alteration of the immune milieu by COVID 19 and its treatment, there has been a rise in opportunistic fungal infections particularly Mucormycosis in these patients. Delay in diagnosis of these fungal infections can be fatal. The usual diagnostic modalities used to detect Mucor include potassium hydroxide (KOH) mount, fungal culture, and histopathology. Since histopathology and fungal culture have a long turnaround time we are dependent on KOH mount for rapid results. Here we investigate the role of stained cytology smears in the rapid diagnosis of Mucormycosis. METHODS: A prospective observational study was conducted in a tertiary health care hospital on samples of patients clinically suspected to have Mucormycosis. We performed May Grunwald Giemsa (MGG) and Papanicolaou (PAP) stains on the remnant samples of nasal swabs/scrapings/biopsies after KOH test and fungal culture. We took 16 KOH positive and 16 KOH negative samples. We also examined 16 fresh samples from patients whose earlier samples were reported to be negative on KOH test. RESULTS: The 6/16 KOH positive samples were found to be positive on stained cytology smears and 2 were mixed infections wherein both Mucor and Aspergillus were seen. The 4/16 KOH negative samples were positive for Mucor with one sample having both Mucor and Aspergillus. The 3/16 repeat samples which were earlier negative on KOH test were positive for Mucor. CONCLUSION: Stained cytology smears if used in conjunction with KOH test can increase the overall sensitivity of detection of Mucormycosis and mixed infections.

COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Mucormycosis/pathology , Mucormycosis/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Biopsy/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Mucormycosis/diagnosis , Mycoses/diagnosis , Mycoses/pathology , Prospective Studies , Specimen Handling/methods , Vaginal Smears/methods
Br J Cancer ; 124(8): 1361-1365, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072147


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted cervical cancer screening services. Assuming increases to screening capacity are unrealistic, we propose two recovery strategies: one extends the screening interval by 6 months for all and the other extends the interval by 36/60 months, but only for women who have already missed being screened. METHODS: Using routine statistics from England we estimate the number of women affected by delays to screening. We used published research to estimate the proportion of screening age women with high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and progression rates to cancer. Under two recovery scenarios, we estimate the impact of COVID-19 on cervical cancer over one screening cycle (3 years at ages 25-49 and 5 years at ages 50-64 years). The duration of disruption in both scenarios is 6 months. In the first scenario, 10.7 million women have their screening interval extended by 6 months. In the second, 1.5 million women (those due to be screened during the disruption) miss one screening cycle, but most women have no delay. RESULTS: Both scenarios result in similar numbers of excess cervical cancers: 630 vs. 632 (both 4.3 per 100,000 women in the population). However, the scenario in which some women miss one screening cycle creates inequalities-they would have much higher rates of excess cancer: 41.5 per 100,000 delayed for screened women compared to those with a 6-month delay (5.9 per 100,000). CONCLUSION: To ensure equity for those affected by COVID-19 related screening delays additional screening capacity will need to be paired with prioritising the screening of overdue women.

COVID-19/diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Papillomavirus Infections/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Colposcopy/methods , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Papillomaviridae/pathogenicity , Papillomavirus Infections/complications , Papillomavirus Infections/epidemiology , Papillomavirus Infections/virology , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/complications , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/virology , Vaginal Smears/methods
BJOG ; 128(1): 97-100, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-972231


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is present in the vaginal secretions of both reproductive-aged and postmenopausal women during acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. DESIGN: Prospective study. SETTING: A single tertiary, university-affiliated medical centre in Israel. Time period, 1 June 2020 through to 31 July 2020. POPULATION: Women who were hospitalised in a single tertiary medical centre, who were diagnosed with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection by a nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test. METHODS: Women were diagnosed with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection by a nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test. Vaginal RT-PCR swabs were obtained from all study participants after a proper cleansing of the perineum. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in vaginal RT-PCR swabs. RESULTS: Vaginal and nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from 35 women, aged 21-93 years. Twenty-one women (60%) were in their reproductive years, of whom, five were in their third trimester of pregnancy. Most of the participants (57%) were healthy without any underlying medical conditions. Of the 35 patients sampled, 2 (5.7%) had a positive vaginal RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2, one was premenopausal and the other was a postmenopausal woman. Both women had mild disease. CONCLUSION: Our findings contradict most previous reports, which did not detect the presence of viral colonisation in the vagina. Although passage through the birth canal exposes neonates to the vaginal polymicrobial flora, an acquisition of pathogens does not necessarily mandate neonatal infection or clinical disease. Nevertheless, when delivering the infant of a woman with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, a clinician should consider the possibility of vaginal colonisation, even if it is uncommon. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: When delivering the infant of a woman with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, a clinician should consider the possibility of vaginal colonisation.

COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vagina/virology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Israel/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Vaginal Smears/methods , Vaginal Smears/statistics & numerical data