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1.
Usefulness of rapid antigen testing for SARS-CoV-2 screening of healthcare workers : ǂa ǂpilot study
Anja Šterbenc, Viktorija Tomič, Urška Bidovec, Katja Vrankar, Aleš Rozman, Mihaela Zidarn, 2021

Abstract: Background. Identification of infected healthcare workers (HCWs) is an important step in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission control. Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are considered an important addition to molecular tests in diagnosing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), mainly because of their fast turnaround time, easier analytical procedure and lower price. However, real-life studies on the usefulness of such testing for screening of HCWs are limited. Methods. Physicians, nurses and hospital attendants currently working at the University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases Golnik were invited to participate in the pilot study. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained three times per week for two consecutive weeks and tested with a point-of-care RAT and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Serum samples were obtained at the beginning of the study and 2 weeks after the last swab was collected to evaluate the serological status. Results. A total of 191 nasopharyngeal swabs from 36 HCWs were obtained. None of the samples tested was positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antigen, whereas two HCWs tested positive on RT-PCR. Of these, one HCW had a newly identified SARS-CoV-2 infection, whereas RT-PCR probably detected a previous but recent infection in the other HCW. Conclusio.n Based on the results of this pilot study, it is unlikely that RAT will reliably detect novel SARS-CoV-2 infections among asymptomatic HCWs despite serial sampling. Although RT-PCR-based screening of HCWs may not be feasible due to high sample volume, molecular methods may identify SARS-CoV-2-infected HCWs already during the presymptomatic stage.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, health personnel, COVID-19 serological testing, real-time polymerase chain reaction, rapid antigen test, screening
DiRROS - Published: 28.05.2021; Views: 512; Downloads: 110

2.
COVID-19 pandemic impact on cytopathology practice in the post-lockdown period : an international, multicenter study
Elena Vigliar, Pasquale Pisapia, Filippo Dello Iacovo, Izidor Kern, William C. Faquin, Martha Bishop Pitman, 2022

Abstract: Background. In a previous worldwide survey, the authors showed a drastic reduction in the number of cytological specimens processed during the coronavirus disease 2019 “lockdown” period along with an increase in malignancy rates. To assess the continued impact of the pandemic on cytological practices around the world, they undertook a second follow-up worldwide survey collecting data from the post-lockdown period (2020). Methods. Participants were asked to provide data regarding their cytopathology activity during the first 12 weeks of their respective national post-lockdown period (2020), which ranged from April 4 to October 31. Differences between the post-lockdown period and the corresponding 2019 period were evaluated, and the authors specifically focused on rates of malignant diagnoses. Results. A total of 29 respondents from 17 countries worldwide joined the survey. Overall, a lower number of cytological specimens (n = 236,352) were processed in comparison with the same period in 2019 (n = 321,466) for a relative reduction of 26.5%. The overall malignancy rate showed a statistically significant increase (12,442 [5.26%] vs 12,882 [4.01%]; P < .001) during the same time period. Similar results were obtained if both malignancy and suspicious for malignancy rates were considered together (15,759 [6.58%] vs 16,011 [4.98%]; P < .001). Conclusions. The data showed a persistent reduction in the cytological specimen volume during the post-lockdown period (2020). However, the relative increase in the cytological workload in the late part of the post-lockdown is a promising finding of a slow return to normality.
Keywords: covid-19, neoplasms, early detection of cancer, lung -- pathology -- cytology, diagnostic screening programs, fine-needle biopsy, cytopathology, fine-needle aspiration, malignancy rate
DiRROS - Published: 07.02.2022; Views: 137; Downloads: 29

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