Tag Archives: antigen

Switzerland- Zurich Airport is expanding its Covid-19 testing service | Instant News


(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Passengers departing from Zurich airport will have access to the Covid-19 antigen test as well as the swab test (PCR), starting March 1.

This content is published on 26 February 2021 – 13:08 February 26 2021 – 13:08 Keystone-SDA / jc View in other languages: 2

The airport’s testing center will also be open from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. compared with the current 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., airport handling company Swissport announced in a press release on Friday. The airport testing center is located at the former Card and ID Office at Check-in 2 on Level 1.

At CHF80 ($ 88), Swissport says the antigen test will be cheaper than the PCR test, which costs CHF195, and the results will be available in 15-20 minutes. This is much faster than the PCR test, which has to be sent to an external laboratory.

Airport screening services are offered by Swissport Checkport subsidiary and Swiss start-up Ender Diagnostics. It is aimed specifically at symptom-free people who need a negative test to travel.

The pandemic reduced the number of air passengers traveling in and out of Switzerland from 42 million in 2019 to 16.5 million last year – a decline of 72%. Many countries now require negative coronavirus tests and travelers arriving in Switzerland must also show a clean bill of health since February 8.

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Hospitalizations for Food Anaphylaxis Threefold, But Deaths Decreased | Instant News


UK hospital admission rates for food-induced anaphylaxis more than tripled over the 20 years from 1998 to 2018, but the case fatality rate fell by more than half, the researchers report in BMJ.

“Cow’s milk is increasingly being identified as an allergen to fatal food reactions, and is now the most common cause of fatal anaphylaxis in children,” writes Alessia Baseggio Conrado, PhD, a biochemist from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, United States. Kingdom, and colleagues. “Further education is needed to highlight the specific risks that cow’s milk poses to allergic people to raise awareness among the food business.”

While recognition of the risks posed by peanut allergies has increased, people think dairy allergies are mild, says senior author Paul. J. Turner, BM BCh, PhD, allergist / immunologist at Imperial College. “This often occurs in very young children, but school-age children who still have a milk allergy tend to have a larger allergy profile, often with other allergies, including asthma, “Said Turner Medscape Medical News. “Additionally, milk is very common in our diet, and you don’t need a lot of milk to reach a decent dose of allergens.”

During the study period, 101,891 people were hospitalized for anaphylaxis; 30,700 cases (30%) were coded as being triggered by food.

This food-related income showed an increase from 1.23 to 4.04 per 100,000 population per year, with an annual increase of 5.7% (95% CI, 5.5 – 5.9; P. <0.001), write the authors.

The greatest jump was among children under 15, whose enrollment increased from 2.1 to 9.2 per 100,000 population per year, an annual increase of 6.6% (95% CI, 6.3 – 7.0) . The annual increase was 5.9% (95% CI, 5.6 – 6.2) among people aged 15 to 59 years and 2.1% (95% CI, 1.8 – 3.1) among people those aged 60 years and over.

Researchers used data from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to track temporal trends and age and sex distribution for admissions to hospital admissions whose primary diagnosis was anaphylaxis due to food and non-food triggers. These data are compared with nationally reported deaths.

Over a 20 year period, 152 deaths were associated with possible food-induced anaphylaxis. During that time, the case fatality rate for confirmed fatal food anaphylaxis fell from 0.7% to 0.19% (rate ratio, 0.931; 95% CI, 0.904 – 0.959; P. <0.001) and fell to 0.30% for suspected fatal food anaphylaxis (rate ratio, 0.970; 95% CI, 945 - 0.996; P. = 0.024).

Between 1992 and 2018, at least 46% of all anaphylactic deaths were thought to be triggered by peanuts or tree nuts. Among school-aged children, 26% of deaths from anaphylaxis are caused by cow’s milk.

Not surprisingly, during the study period, there was a 336% increase in prescriptions for adrenaline autoinjectors. Such prescriptions increase by 11% per year.

Global Trends

The data extends the findings of Turner and colleagues reported for England and Wales in 2014 about the entire population of England and in line with epidemiological trends in hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in the United States and Australia.

The investigators say better recognition and management of anaphylaxis could partially explain the reduction in mortality, but the increase in hospitalizations remains confusing. “Whether an actual increase in the prevalence of anaphylaxis has occurred (rather than a decrease in the threshold for admitting patients with anaphylaxis) is unclear due to a lack of evidence for an increase in the prevalence of food allergy in the UK (and elsewhere) over the same time period,” they wrote.

Ronna L. Campbell, MD, PhD, an emergency doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has noted a similar trend in the United States. “Perhaps the introduction and diagnosis of anaphylaxis has increased, so the drug administration is earlier epinephrine, “Said Campbell Medscape Medical News. “So, as cases increased, earlier recognition and treatment resulted in reduced mortality.” He is not aware of any new guidelines recommending increased hospitalizations that would explain the confusing increase in admissions.

According to the study authors, the clinical criteria used to diagnose anaphylaxis in the UK did not change during the study period. Although national guidelines recommend that hospitalization of children under 16 years of age suspected of having anaphylaxis were introduced in 2011 and may have increased patient admissions, the year-over-year rate of increase has persisted since 2014. “Therefore the increase over the past five years cannot associated with the impact of the guide, “they wrote.

The study was funded by grants from the UK Medical Research Council and the UK Food Standards Agency. Two co-authors have disclosed financial links to industry outside of the jobs that are sent. Conrado did not disclose the relevant financial relationships.

BMJ. Published online February 17, 2021. Full text

Diana Swift is a medical journalist based in Toronto.

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Age 40+ With Diabetes Should Be a Priority for the COVID-19 Vaccine | Instant News


People with type 2 diabetes as young as 40 face a disproportionately increased risk of dying from COVID-19 infection, suggesting a British analysis of three large-scale data sets highlighting the need to prioritize vaccination in younger groups of vulnerable patients.

Research it published February 8 in the journal Diabetology.

Most European countries have prioritized COVID-19 vaccination for people with type 2 diabetes, but usually only age 50 and over. However, data from the current study suggest that this age limit should be lowered.

“It is important to remember that the risk of dying from COVID-19 in middle-aged people with diabetes is very low in absolute terms compared to the elderly,” said lead researcher Andrew P. McGovern, MD, of Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Exeter. , United Kingdom, in a press release from its agency.

However, he said that “strategies for determining priority groups for vaccination must take into account the disproportionate relative risk of COVID-19 death in middle-aged people with type 2 diabetes whose risk of COVID-19 has already increased with their age.”

McGovern informed Medscape Medical News that the magnitude of the effect of type 2 diabetes on deaths from COVID-19 is “absolutely shocking” about the new findings, and “not what you expected.”

Therefore, he said it was imperative that diabetics be put “in line” to get the vaccine “in the right place, and clearly in countries where vaccine rollout will be slower, it is more important.”

Bridget Turner, director of policy and improvement campaigns at Diabetes UK, which funded the study, said the results provide “important new insights into how much type 2 diabetes adds to the overall risk of dying from coronavirus at different ages, particularly the additional risk of that condition. increases in middle age. “

“The UK has made good progress in prioritizing those most vulnerable for vaccination, which includes all adults with diabetes,” he added in a press release, “but we need to continue to work with pace to identify and protect those people at a greater level. high risk. “

The Relationship Between COVID-19 Death and Diabetes Is Complex

The authors note that the association between COVID-19-related death and type 2 diabetes is not only a “co-effect of diabetes and age-related risk” but appears to be a “more complex” relationship, with “a disproportionately higher relative risk of excess relative risk.” death in young people with diabetes. “

To investigate this, they examined data from two UK population-based studies that previously reported age-specific hazard ratios for diabetes-related COVID-19 deaths:

  • Open safely, which includes 17.2 million people, 8.8% of whom have diabetes, and has an overall 90-day mortality rate of 0.06%.

  • QCOVID, comprising 6 million people, of whom 7% had diabetes, and had an overall 97-day mortality rate of 0.07%.

The team also looked at data from type 2 diabetes patients with severe COVID-19 from the COVID-19 Hospitalization in England Surveillance System (CHESS), which contained 19,256 patients were admitted to critical care in the UK, 18.3% of whom had diabetes.

The 30-day hospital mortality rate in this study was 26.4%.

They translated the death hazard ratio associated with COVID-19 infection in diabetics to “COVID-19 age,” which equates to additional years of “risk of death” added to the individual’s chronological age if diabetes is present.

Taking the QCOVID dataset as an example, the results showed that the diabetes-related “COVID age” for someone aged 40 was 20.4 years; which would indicate that “the risk of death [for COVID-19] similar to a 60 year old without diabetes. “

The impact of diabetes on the risk of death from COVID-19 decreases with age, so that diabetic patients aged 50 have COVID-19 aged 16.4 years. This drops to 12.1 years in someone who is 60, and 8.1 years in someone who is 70, meaning the latter has the same risk of dying from COVID-19 as someone without diabetes who is 78 years old.

Similar results were obtained when the team looked at data from the OpenSAFELY study.

But when they looked at the effect of diabetes on the risk of dying from COVID-19 in the CHESS data set, it was less visible..

Just Looking At Diabetes Is Too Simple, But It’s An Easy Marker For Vaccination

The investigators acknowledge that “only considering age and diabetes status when assessing COVID-19-related risk … is an oversimplification,” because factors such as body mass index (BMI), diabetes duration, and glycemic control are also known to play an important role. authority.

However, they said consideration of these factors was “impractical for vaccine rollout at the population level.”

“The time-critical nature of the COVID-19 vaccination population requires pragmatic group level priority, which is the approach initiated by the government so far,” the team concluded.

This study was supported by Diabetes UK. Study author John M. Dennis was supported by an Independent Fellowship funded by the Research England’s Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund and by the NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility. McGovern is supported by the NIHR Exeter Clinical Research Facility.

Diabetology. Published online February 8, 2021. Full text

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SARS-cov-2 serological test for 50 cents a sample! | Instant News


Given the continued and alarming increase in both cases and deaths due COVID-19 around the world, scientists are still in search of effective tools for diagnosis of infection. One important way of testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-cov-2) – serology, but this requires a supply of high-quality recombinant viral antigens.

A recent study published in the preprints server medRxiv* in July 2020 shows that it is indeed possible. The development of this inexpensive, but reliable and sensitive test could change the face of preventive measures for COVID-19 limited resources.

Spike Antigen

SARS-coronavirus-2 spike antigen is one of the most important viral antigens, with researchers focusing on it for the production of vaccines, antivirals and serological tests. Serology is important to track cases, contacts to display, epidemiological surveillance and identification of asymptomatic patients, and identify the mechanism of antiviral immunity.

In Spike protein consists of two subunits, S1 and S2, which mediate receptor binding and membrane fusion, respectively. This allows the virus to penetrate the cell. This protein is a target for neutralizing antibodies, and the most common serological tests for SARS-cov-2 is an enzyme immunosorbent analysis (ELISA) – based protein.

This test is popular for its simplicity and cross-reactivity against the spike proteins of other coronaviruses in the current edition. Moreover, its intensity corresponds to the level of neutralizing antibodies.

Study: characterizing the low-cost IFA

This study was based on the identification of the key features that will allow you to develop an inexpensive test enzyme immunoassay, based on the immunological reaction of antibodies with protein. The goal was to produce a test that will allow large-scale screening for infection in low-income.

Researchers have focused mainly on reducing the cost of manufacturing test by developing optimum means of production of the antigen and making the necessary changes in the method of collecting antigen and sample processing. As a result, they were able to develop a test that will cost less than 50 cents per sample.

To Produce Recombinant Antigen

The researchers cultured SARS-coronavirus-2 protein is in a stable condition prior to the merge in cell culture using a method that allows protein to be expressed stably and as a constitutive feature. It was through the integration of the transgene into the genome of cells in culture.

This adaptation leads to increased scalability, and low cost recombinant proteins. They also used methods of cotransfection gene’s, as well as open source plasmid, which has a selection handle to avoid having to wait for a synthetic gene that needs to be built and sent through the pandemic-disrupted supply chain. Thus, the result is a recombinant cell line expressing high levels of protein were produced within 24 days of transfection and still shows steady expression up to 100 days.

This achievement gives the opportunity to “develop a less expensive, long lasting batch refeed or perfusion technology for cell culture,” according to researchers. They also succeeded in finding an inexpensive nutrient media to support cell growth and high level production of protein. Thus, they have developed a workflow using low-cost methods to achieve the goal of increasing the density of cells in culture with high s secretion of the protein.

Affinity purification chromatography (AC) used resin was more expensive than originally planned ultrafiltration/diafiltration filter (UF/DF), but has become necessary because of failure of the latter to remove smaller contaminants protein. However, they found that it can be used for more than 30 cycles, which reduces the cost of its use.

Then they created an ELISA to detect anti-s antibodies in human serum, plasma, and eluted whole blood samples, called s-ufrj website IFA. They set the amount of highly purified protein (from AC) needed to ensure legible results between negative and positive samples, 150 NG.

Evaluation of sensitivity and specificity

Then the website ufrj Elisa was used to test 210 is negative and positive serum samples, 66 samples from 38 symptomatic COVID-19 patients, 124 samples from the pandemic, and 20 of COVID-19 negative people. They received 122 out of 124 negative samples, the specificity 98%. In addition, the samples 53/66 were positive for IgG, to reduce the sensitivity to 80%.

For comparison, obtained from a commercial IgG rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), as approved by the Brazilian regulatory health organization, conducted by the Agency only 46% sensitivity.

Then they re-IgG-negative samples from S website ufrj ELISA IgM rapid test. They found that most samples that were negative for IgG and negative for IgM and IgG positive in the first test was IgM positive result of the proximate analysis as well. They, therefore, came to the conclusion that the two false-negative results from symptomatic patients, might have been samples collected early in the disease.

The increase in false positives with increasing duration of symptoms

When the website ufrj ELISA sample results were compared against the duration since symptom onset, they were more likely to be positive, as the duration increased, as a result of seroconversion some individuals who were PCR-positive, negative, scored on IFA for the first time, but positive for anti-s IgG antibodies for the second time. The level of seroconversion to Anti-s IgG antibodies with this test increased from 42% to 100% in direct proportion to the time of onset of symptoms, and from the tenth day, he was consistently above 90%.

An important finding was that the real test detects seroconversion earlier than the rapid test, which had a peak detection rate of 71%, even 20 days from the onset of symptoms.

They also tested the neutralizing ability COVID-19 patients with neutralization of plaque (MFN). Samples with high anti-s IgG antibodies titer was the highest titer of neutralization.

Simplify collection and storage of blood

The researchers also sought to overcome the traditional bottleneck of sample collection and processing in the clinical laboratory under refrigerated storage. They created a simple system for the collection of fingerprick blood in filter paper strips. The use of dried blood spot on filter paper showed comparable results of testing serum.

Dried blood samples (DBS) obtained by a prick of the finger with commercially available devices for piercing. 2.5 cm (W) x 7.5 cm (l) paper filter with three spots of blood from the same volunteers and a commercially available paper hole punching devices have been used DB (arrow), which eluted in the blood for ELISA testing.

The consequences

Thus, low cost of consumables, along with labor, transportation, and equipment costs, all must fit in a half dollar per test, which is approximately 200 times less than the tests currently used in the United States. Another advantage is that spots of blood in sealed plastic bags can be stored for 2 months at least, but still return accurate results serological.

Thus, this study concludes: “on the S website ufrj enzyme immunoassay, including the use of eluates from whole blood pricking her finger as samples, allows a wide serological survey of the population, irrespective of their geographical and socio-economic aspects”. It will be invaluable for the formation of public health strategies to prevent further waves of the pandemic.

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary research reports that are not reviewed and therefore should not be considered as a convincing guide to clinical practice/behavior, health-related, or be considered as reliable information.

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Advanced Prostate Cancer Still Rises in the US | Instant News


The incidence of advanced prostate cancer in the United States “continues” to increase every year for 5 years after the United States Prevention Service Task Force (USPSTF) controversially suggested in 2012 opposes prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening in men of all ages, new research shows.

But a biostatistics expert not involved in the study said the USPSTF recommendations were not entirely to blame because “you need 5 to 7 years of minimum time lag to influence PSA screening,” and suggested that other factors come into play.

In the new study, Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, from the American Cancer Society and colleagues reported that for the 2012-2016 period there was a statistically significant increase every year in the incidence of regional stage disease (with an absolute 11% per year) and in distant stage disease ( absolute 5% per year).

At the same time, there is an annual decrease in the incidence of local prostate cancer in men 50 years or more.

The new study is the first to report data until the end of 2016.

Two trends – an increase in advanced cancer and a decrease in early cancer – have been occurring for 10 years, more or less, but with a steady and sharp increase in advanced disease from 2010 to 2012, the findings show.

“This data illustrates the trade-off between higher screening rates and more early diagnosis of disease (possible overdiagnosis and overtreatment) and lower screening rates and more (possibly fatal) end-stage disease,” comment the authors.

That research published online today at Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Several previous studies have reported changes in the pattern of events following the USPSTF recommendations on PSA screening for men aged 75 or over in 2008 and all men in 2012, but the data is not later than 2015.

“We have seen clues about this change in recent years and now we have further confirmation,” said Ahmad Shabsigh, MD, urological oncologist at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, who were asked for independent comments.

“What is surprising is that every year,” Shabsigh said Medscape Medical NewsRefers to an increased incidence of advanced cancer.

“Seeing it clearly in this study is sad,” Shabsigh added.

The study period began in 2005, but did not cover the years after 2018, when the USPSTF recommendations changed again and suggested that “individual” screening for men 55-69, and that men aged 70 years and over should be issued.

US cancer registration data, which are the source of current research, are not yet available to assess the impact of this latest change.

End with Vision?

There has been a decline in the proportion of men who underwent PSA testing in the US in recent years, the study’s authors point out.

The rate of routine PSA testing among men aged 50 and older decreased from 40.6% in 2008 to 38.3% in 2010, and fell to 31.5% in 2013, a percentage held again in 2015, per survey data reported nationally alone.

The study authors say that the cause of the increase in advanced cancer is uncertain because of the descriptive nature of their study.

But Andrew Vickers, PhD, a biostatistician at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Memorial in New York City, said the rise in advanced cancer and the decline in early stage cancer reported in this study was “suggestive of a causal relationship” and “screening”. effect.”

Vickers argues that there are “a number of trends that appear together at the end [2000s] influence [PSA] filtering.”

For example, two randomized clinical trials for PSA screening first reported “unfavorable” results in 2009, which were during the period covered by this study, and reduced enthusiasm for screening.

European Random Screening Study for Prostate cancer (ERSPC) and US-based Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (AS) Cancer Screening Tests reported little or no effect on mortality, the main results of the trial.

It would surprise me if we had reached the lowest point …
Andrew Vickers, PhD, biostatistician at MSKCC

Medscape Medical News asking Vickers to speculate about how long the incidence of advanced prostate cancer will continue to increase in the United States.

“It will surprise me if we make it to the lowest point [and reached peak increases in advanced cancers] or if we have more time to go, “he said.” My prediction is that if nothing has changed we might see some further improvement in [the incidence of] advanced disease. “

What needs to change? Vickers marks the list of “golden rules”.

  • First, doctors need to get approval for all PSA tests.

  • Second, PSA tests should not be given to older men “who will not benefit,” such as men 75 years and older with comorbidities such as heart disease.

  • Third, PSA testing must be restricted to younger men.

  • Fourth, doctors need to be more restrictive about biopsies. “In the past if you had a high PSA, you would get a biopsy,” he said, adding that this approach produced many invasive tests in men with low-grade disease. By using additional tests such as 4Kscore or Prostate Health Index or MRI, doctors can limit biopsies in men with a higher chance of developing high-level cancer. Vickers admitted there was a conflict of interest at this point, because he was the patent holder of 4Kscore.

  • Fifth, do not treat men who are highly unlikely to benefit, especially men with Gleason grade 6 disease. Use active supervision for these people, he said. “By using our existing knowledge, I believe we can truly change the hazard-to-benefit ratio from PSA screening. We will drastically reduce overdiagnosis and overtreatment,” he said.

In addition, Vickers believes that urologists need to educate local internists and general practitioners and recognize that screening and subsequent treatment “are done wrong for a long time.” At the same time, urologists must explain that patients will not be biopsied “unless there is very good reason to believe that they have a high risk of high-level disease.”

Vickers concluded: “We can reduce the danger and maintain the benefits of screening.”

This research was supported by the American Cancer Society. Jemal and Shabsigh do not disclose relevant financial relationships. Vickers states that he is the patent holder of 4Kscore.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Published online May 20, 2020. Abstract

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