Recent Submissions

  • Evaluating Ten Commercially-Available SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Serological Tests Using the STARD (Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies) Method.

    Dortet, L; Ronat, JB; Vauloup-Fellous, C; Langendorf, C; Mendels, DA; Emeraud, C; Oueslati, S; Girlich, D; Chauvin, A; Afdjei, A; et al. (American Society for Microbiology, 2020-11-25)
    Numerous SARS-CoV-2 rapid serological tests have been developed, but their accuracy has usually been assessed using very few samples, and rigorous comparisons between these tests are scarce. In this study, we evaluated and compared 10 commercially-available SARS-CoV-2 rapid serological tests using the STARD methodology (Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies). 250 sera from 159 PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 patients (collected from 0 to 32 days after onset of symptoms) were tested with rapid serological tests. Control sera (N = 254) were retrieved from pre-COVID periods from patients with other coronavirus infections (N = 11), positive rheumatoid factors (N = 3), IgG/IgM hyperglobulinemia (N = 9), malaria (n = 5), or no documented viral infection (N = 226). All samples were tested using rapid lateral flow immunoassays (LFIA) from 10 manufacturers. Only four tests achieved ≥98% specificity, with other tests ranging from 75.7%-99.2%. Sensitivities varied by the day of sample collection, from 31.7%-55.4% (Days 0-9), 65.9%-92.9% (Days 10-14), and 81.0%-95.2% (>14 days) after the onset of symptoms, respectively. Only three tests evaluated met French Health Authorities’ thresholds for SARS-CoV-2 serological tests (≥90% sensitivity + ≥98% specificity). Overall, the performances between tests varied greatly, with only a third meeting acceptable specificity and sensitivity thresholds. Knowing the analytical performance of these tests will allow clinicians and most importantly laboratorians to use them with more confidence, could help determine the general population’s immunological status, and may help to diagnose some patients with false-negative RT-PCR results.
  • Extended use or reuse of single-use surgical masks and filtering face-piece respirators during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: A rapid systematic review.

    Toomey, E; Conway, Y; Burton, C; Smith, S; Smalle, M; Chan, X; Adisesh, A; Tanveer, S; Ross, L; Thomson, I; et al. (Cambridge University Press, 2020-10-08)
    Background: Shortages of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have led to the extended use or reuse of single-use respirators and surgical masks by frontline healthcare workers. The evidence base underpinning such practices warrants examination. Objectives: To synthesize current guidance and systematic review evidence on extended use, reuse, or reprocessing of single-use surgical masks or filtering face-piece respirators. Data sources: We used the World Health Organization, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Public Health England websites to identify guidance. We used Medline, PubMed, Epistemonikos, Cochrane Database, and preprint servers for systematic reviews. Methods: Two reviewers conducted screening and data extraction. The quality of included systematic reviews was appraised using AMSTAR-2. Findings were narratively synthesized. Results: In total, 6 guidance documents were identified. Levels of detail and consistency across documents varied. They included 4 high-quality systematic reviews: 3 focused on reprocessing (decontamination) of N95 respirators and 1 focused on reprocessing of surgical masks. Vaporized hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation were highlighted as the most promising reprocessing methods, but evidence on the relative efficacy and safety of different methods was limited. We found no well-established methods for reprocessing respirators at scale. Conclusions: Evidence on the impact of extended use and reuse of surgical masks and respirators is limited, and gaps and inconsistencies exist in current guidance. Where extended use or reuse is being practiced, healthcare organizations should ensure that policies and systems are in place to ensure these practices are carried out safely and in line with available guidance.
  • The potential public health consequences of COVID-19 on malaria in Africa.

    Sherrard-Smith, E; Hogan, AB; Hamlet, A; Watson, OJ; Whittaker, C; Winskill, P; Ali, F; Mohammad, AB; Uhomoibhi, P; Maikore, I; et al. (Nature Research, 2020-08-07)
    The burden of malaria is heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 are rising1. In response, countries are implementing societal measures aimed at curtailing transmission of SARS-CoV-22,3. Despite these measures, the COVID-19 epidemic could still result in millions of deaths as local health facilities become overwhelmed4. Advances in malaria control this century have been largely due to distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs)5, with many SSA countries having planned campaigns for 2020. In the present study, we use COVID-19 and malaria transmission models to estimate the impact of disruption of malaria prevention activities and other core health services under four different COVID-19 epidemic scenarios. If activities are halted, the malaria burden in 2020 could be more than double that of 2019. In Nigeria alone, reducing case management for 6 months and delaying LLIN campaigns could result in 81,000 (44,000-119,000) additional deaths. Mitigating these negative impacts is achievable, and LLIN distributions in particular should be prioritized alongside access to antimalarial treatments to prevent substantial malaria epidemics.
  • How COVID-19 could benefit tuberculosis and HIV services in South Africa.

    Keene, C; Mohr-Holland, E; Cassidy, T; Scott, V; Nelson, A; Furin, J; Trivino-Duran, L (Elsevier, 2020-08-03)
  • COVID-19: Exposing and addressing health disparities among ethnic minorities and migrants.

    Greenaway, C; Hargeaves, S; Barkati, S; Coyle, CM; Gobbi, F; Veizis, A; Douglas, P (Oxford University Press, 2020-07-24)
  • Responding to SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa: what can we learn from drug-resistant tuberculosis?

    Ndjeka, N; Conradie, F; Meintjes, G; Reuter, A; Hughes, J; Padanilam, X; Ismail, N; Kock, Y; Master, I; Romero, R; et al. (European Respiratory Society, 2020-07-23)
    Rapid adoption of new diagnostic tools, parallel process of research and implementation, decentralisation of services, the use of personal protective equipment, as well as strong partnership and collaboration, could strengthen the fight against COVID-19
  • Now is the time: a call for increased access to contraception and safe abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Kumar, M; Daly, M; De Plecker, E; Jamet, C; McRae, M; Markham, A; Batista, C (BMJ, 2020-07-20)
  • Providing end-of-life care in the emergency department: Early experience from Médecins Sans Frontières during the Covid-19 pandemic

    Pegg, AM; Palma, M; Roberson, C; Okonta, C; Massamba, MH; Roberts, N (Elsevier, 2020-06-01)
  • Covid-19 and refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Greece

    Kondilis, E; Puchner, K; Veizis, A; Papatheodorou, C; Benos, A (BMJ, 2020-06-01)
  • Serology for SARS-CoV-2: Apprehensions, opportunities, and the path forward

    Bryant, JE; Azman, AS; Ferrari, MJ; Arnold, BF; Boni, MF; Boum, Y; Hayford, K; Luquero, FJ; Mina, MJ; Rodriguez-Barraquer, I; et al. (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2020-05-19)
    Serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 has enormous potential to contribute to COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. However, the required performance characteristics of antibody tests will critically depend on the use case (individual-level vs. population-level).
  • Critical changes to services for TB patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Cox, V; Wilkinson, L; Grimsrud, A; Hughes, J; Reuter, A; Conradie, F; Nel, J; Boyles, T (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2020-05-01)
  • From China: hope and lessons for COVID-19 control

    Azman, AS; Luquero, FJ (Elsevier, 2020-04-03)