Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)
Funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Grant: 01MD19013D, Smart-MD Project, Digital Technologies
Some ways to prevent airborne diseases include washing hands, using appropriate hand disinfection, getting regular immunizations against diseases believed to be locally present, wearing a respirator and limiting time spent in the presence of any patient likely to be a source of infection.
Exposure to a patient or animal with an airborne disease does not guarantee receiving the disease. Because of the changes in host immunity and how much the host was exposed to the particles in the air makes a difference to how the disease affects the body.
Antibiotics are not prescribed for patients to control viral infections. They may however be prescribed to a flu patient for instance, to control or prevent bacterial secondary infections. They also may be used in dealing with air-borne bacterial primary infections, such as pneumonic plague.
Additionally the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has told consumers about vaccination and following careful hygiene and sanitation protocols for airborne disease prevention. Consumers also have access to preventive measures like UV Air purification devices that FDA and EPA-certified laboratory test data has verified as effective in inactivating a broad array of airborne infectious diseases. Many public health specialists recommend social distancing to reduce the transmission of airborne infections.
The WHO has published several testing protocols for the disease. The standard method of testing is real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). The test is typically done on respiratory samples obtained by a nasopharyngeal swab; however, a nasal swab or sputum sample may also be used. Results are generally available within a few hours to two days. Blood tests can be used, but these require two blood samples taken two weeks apart and the results have little immediate value. Chinese scientists were able to isolate a strain of the coronavirus and publish the genetic sequence so laboratories across the world could independently develop polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to detect infection by the virus. As of 4 April 2020, antibody tests (which may detect active infections and whether a person had been infected in the past) were in development, but not yet widely used. The Chinese experience with testing has shown the accuracy is only 60 to 70%. The FDA in the United States approved the first point-of-care test on 21 March 2020 for use at the end of that month.
Diagnostic guidelines released by Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University suggested methods for detecting infections based upon clinical features and epidemiological risk. These involved identifying people who had at least two of the following symptoms in addition to a history of travel to Wuhan or contact with other infected people: fever, imaging features of pneumonia, normal or reduced white blood cell count or reduced lymphocyte count.
A study asked hospitalized COVID-19 patients to cough into a sterile container, thus producing a saliva sample, and detected virus in eleven of twelve patients using RT-PCR. This technique has the potential of being quicker than a swab and involving less risk to health care workers (collection at home or in the car).
Along with laboratory testing, chest CT scans may be helpful to diagnose COVID-19 in individuals with a high clinical suspicion of infection but is not recommended for routine screening. Bilateral multilobar ground-glass opacities with a peripheral, asymmetric and posterior distribution are common in early infection. Subpleural dominance, crazy paving (lobular septal thickening with variable alveolar filling), and consolidation may appear as the disease progresses.
Few data are available about microscopic lesions and the pathophysiology of COVID-19. The main pathological findings at autopsy are:
- Macroscopy: pleurisy, pericarditis, lung consolidation and pulmonary oedema
- Four types of severity of viral pneumonia can be observed:
- minor pneumonia: minor serous exudation, minor fibrin exudation
- mild pneumonia: pulmonary oedema, pneumocyte hyperplasia, large atypical pneumocytes, interstitial inflammation with lymphocytic infiltration and multinucleated giant cell formation
- severe pneumonia: diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) with diffuse alveolar exudates. DAD is the cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and severe hypoxemia.
- healing pneumonia: organisation of exudates in alveolar cavities and pulmonary interstitial fibrosis
- plasmocytosis in BAL
- Blood: disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC); leukoerythroblastic reaction
- Liver: microvesicular steatosis
Dogs will typically recover from kennel cough within a few weeks. However, secondary infections could lead to complications that could do more harm than the disease itself. Several opportunistic invaders have been recovered from the respiratory tracts of dogs with kennel cough, including Streptococcus, Pasteurella, Pseudomonas, and various coliforms. These bacteria have the potential to cause pneumonia or sepsis, which drastically increase the severity of the disease. These complications are evident in thoracic radiographic examinations. Findings will be mild in animals affected only by kennel cough, while those with complications may have evidence of segmental atelectasis and other severe side effects.
An airborne disease can be caused by exposure to a source: an infected patient or animal, by being transferred from the infected person or animal’s mouth, nose, cut, or needle puncture. People receive the disease through a portal of entry: mouth, nose, cut, or needle puncture.
To increase their effectiveness, vaccines should be administered as soon as possible after a dog enters a high-risk area, such as a shelter. 10 to 14 days are required for partial immunity to develop. Administration of B. bronchiseptica and canine-parainfluenza vaccines may then be continued routinely, especially during outbreaks of kennel cough. There are several methods of administration, including parenteral and intranasal. However, the intranasal method has been recommended when exposure is imminent, due to a more rapid and localized protection. Several intranasal vaccines have been developed that contain canine adenovirus in addition to B bronchiseptica and canine-parainfluenza virus antigens. Studies have thus far not been able to determine which formula of vaccination is the most efficient. Adverse effects of vaccinations are mild, but the most common effect observed up to 30 days after administration is nasal discharge. Vaccinations are not always effective. In one study it was found that 43.3% of all dogs in the study population with respiratory disease had in fact been vaccinated.
Chest x-rays rarely demonstrate nodules or cavities in the lungs, but these images commonly demonstrate lung opacification, pleural effusions, or enlargement of lymph nodes associated with the lungs. Computed tomography scans of the chest are better able to detect these changes than chest x-rays.
Coccidioidomycosis diagnosis relies on a combination of an infected person's signs and symptoms, findings on radiographic imaging, and laboratory results.
The disease is commonly misdiagnosed as bacterial community-acquired pneumonia. The fungal infection can be demonstrated by microscopic detection of diagnostic cells in body fluids, exudates, sputum and biopsy tissue by methods of Papanicolaou or Grocott's methenamine silver staining. These stains can demonstrate spherules and surrounding inflammation.
With specific nucleotide primers, "C.immitis" DNA can be amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). It can also be detected in culture by morphological identification or by using molecular probes that hybridize with "C.immitis" RNA. "C. immitis" and "C. posadasii" cannot be distinguished on cytology or by symptoms, but only by DNA PCR.
An indirect demonstration of fungal infection can be achieved also by serologic analysis detecting fungal antigen or host IgM or IgG antibody produced against the fungus. The available tests include the tube-precipitin (TP) assays, complement fixation assays, and enzyme immunoassays. TP antibody is not found in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). TP antibody is specific and is used as a confirmatory test, whereas ELISA is sensitive and thus used for initial testing.
If the meninges are affected, CSF will show abnormally low glucose levels in CSF, an increased level of protein in the CSF, and lymphocytic pleocytosis. Rarely, CSF eosinophilia is present.
Biochemical tests used in the identification of infectious agents include the detection of metabolic or enzymatic products characteristic of a particular infectious agent. Since bacteria ferment carbohydrates in patterns characteristic of their genus and species, the detection of fermentation products is commonly used in bacterial identification. Acids, alcohols and gases are usually detected in these tests when bacteria are grown in selective liquid or solid media.
The isolation of enzymes from infected tissue can also provide the basis of a biochemical diagnosis of an infectious disease. For example, humans can make neither RNA replicases nor reverse transcriptase, and the presence of these enzymes are characteristic of specific types of viral infections. The ability of the viral protein hemagglutinin to bind red blood cells together into a detectable matrix may also be characterized as a biochemical test for viral infection, although strictly speaking hemagglutinin is not an "enzyme" and has no metabolic function.
Serological methods are highly sensitive, specific and often extremely rapid tests used to identify microorganisms. These tests are based upon the ability of an antibody to bind specifically to an antigen. The antigen, usually a protein or carbohydrate made by an infectious agent, is bound by the antibody. This binding then sets off a chain of events that can be visibly obvious in various ways, dependent upon the test. For example, "Strep throat" is often diagnosed within minutes, and is based on the appearance of antigens made by the causative agent, "S. pyogenes", that is retrieved from a patients throat with a cotton swab. Serological tests, if available, are usually the preferred route of identification, however the tests are costly to develop and the reagents used in the test often require refrigeration. Some serological methods are extremely costly, although when commonly used, such as with the "strep test", they can be inexpensive.
Complex serological techniques have been developed into what are known as Immunoassays. Immunoassays can use the basic antibody – antigen binding as the basis to produce an electro-magnetic or particle radiation signal, which can be detected by some form of instrumentation. Signal of unknowns can be compared to that of standards allowing quantitation of the target antigen. To aid in the diagnosis of infectious diseases, immunoassays can detect or measure antigens from either infectious agents or proteins generated by an infected organism in response to a foreign agent. For example, immunoassay A may detect the presence of a surface protein from a virus particle. Immunoassay B on the other hand may detect or measure antibodies produced by an organism's immune system that are made to neutralize and allow the destruction of the virus.
Instrumentation can be used to read extremely small signals created by secondary reactions linked to the antibody – antigen binding. Instrumentation can control sampling, reagent use, reaction times, signal detection, calculation of results, and data management to yield a cost effective automated process for diagnosis of infectious disease.
Diagnosis can be made in several ways, encompassing a range of multi-faceted techniques:
- Isolation and detection of the virus in cell culture.
- Detection of viral antigens directly within bodily respiratory tract secretions using immunofluorescence, enzyme immunoassays or fluroimmunoassays.
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
- Analysis of specific IgG antibodies showing a subsequent rise in titre following infection (using paired serum specimens).
Because of the similarity in terms of the antigenic profile between the viruses, hemagglutination assay (HA) or hemadsorption inhibition (HAdI) processes are often used. Both complement fixation, neutralisation and enzyme linked immunosorbent assays – ELISA, can also be used to aid in the process of distinguishing between viral serotypes.
Technologies based upon the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method will become nearly ubiquitous gold standards of diagnostics of the near future, for several reasons. First, the catalog of infectious agents has grown to the point that virtually all of the significant infectious agents of the human population have been identified. Second, an infectious agent must grow within the human body to cause disease; essentially it must amplify its own nucleic acids in order to cause a disease. This amplification of nucleic acid in infected tissue offers an opportunity to detect the infectious agent by using PCR. Third, the essential tools for directing PCR, primers, are derived from the genomes of infectious agents, and with time those genomes will be known, if they are not already.
Thus, the technological ability to detect any infectious agent rapidly and specifically are currently available. The only remaining blockades to the use of PCR as a standard tool of diagnosis are in its cost and application, neither of which is insurmountable. The diagnosis of a few diseases will not benefit from the development of PCR methods, such as some of the clostridial diseases (tetanus and botulism). These diseases are fundamentally biological poisonings by relatively small numbers of infectious bacteria that produce extremely potent neurotoxins. A significant proliferation of the infectious agent does not occur, this limits the ability of PCR to detect the presence of any bacteria.
A physician's overall impression is most effective in initially making the diagnosis. Single factors are much less useful.
Methods used in laboratory diagnosis include culturing of nasopharyngeal swabs on a nutrient medium (Bordet-Gengou medium), polymerase chain reaction (PCR), direct fluorescent antibody (DFA), and serological methods (e.g. complement fixation test). The bacteria can be recovered from the person only during the first three weeks of illness, rendering culturing and DFA useless after this period, although PCR may have some limited usefulness for an additional three weeks.
Serology may be used for adults and adolescents who have already been infected for several weeks to determine whether antibody against pertussis toxin or another virulence factor of "B. pertussis" is present at high levels in the blood of the person. By this stage, they have been contagious for some weeks and may have spread the infection to many people. Because of this, adults, who are not in great danger from pertussis, are increasingly being encouraged to be vaccinated.
A similar, milder disease is caused by "B. parapertussis".
Flavorings-related lung disease can be prevented with the use of engineering controls (e.g. exhaust hoods or closed systems), personal protective equipment, monitoring of potentially affected workers, worker education, and by not using lung-disease-causing flavorings.
The primary method of prevention for pertussis is vaccination. Evidence is insufficient to determine the effectiveness of antibiotics in those who have been exposed, but are without symptoms. Preventive antibiotics, however, are still frequently used in those who have been exposed and are at high risk of severe disease (such as infants).
As in humans, the sensitivity of testing methods for rodents contributes to the accuracy of diagnosis. LCMV is typically identified through serology. However, in an endemically infected colony, more practical methods include MAP (mouse antibody production) and PCR testing. Another means of diagnosis is introducing a known naïve adult mouse to the suspect rodent colony. The introduced mouse will seroconvert, allowing use of immunofluorescence antibody (IFA), MFIA or ELISA to detect antibodies.
Despite decades of research, no vaccines currently exist.
Recombinant technology has however been used to target the formation of vaccines for HPIV-1, -2 and -3 and has taken the form of several live-attenuated intranasal vaccines. Two vaccines in particular were found to be immunogenic and well tolerated against HPIV-3 in phase I trials. HPIV-1 and -2 vaccine candidates remain less advanced.
Vaccine techniques which have been used against HPIVs are not limited to intranasal forms, but also viruses attenuated by cold passage, host range attenuation, chimeric construct vaccines and also introducing mutations with the help of reverse genetics to achieve attenuation.
Maternal antibodies may offer some degree of protection against HPIVs during the early stages of life via the colostrum in breast milk.
Berylliosis is an occupational disease. Relevant occupations are those where beryllium is mined, processed or converted into metal alloys, or where machining of metals containing beryllium and recycling of scrap alloys occurs. It is associated with aerospace manufacturing, microwave semiconductor electronics, beryllium mining or manufacturing of fluorescent light bulbs (which once contained beryllium compounds in their internal phosphor coating). Beryllia was used in lamp manufacture because of ceramic's obvious virtues for insulation and heat resistance, and also because beryllia could be made transparent. Certain welding anodes along with other electrical contacts and even non-sparking tools are made of beryllium copper alloy and the subsequent machining of such materials would cause the disease as well.
Early symptoms of EVD may be similar to those of other diseases common in Africa, including malaria and dengue fever. The symptoms are also similar to those of other viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Marburg virus disease.
The complete differential diagnosis is extensive and requires consideration of many other infectious diseases such as typhoid fever, shigellosis, rickettsial diseases, cholera, sepsis, borreliosis, EHEC enteritis, leptospirosis, scrub typhus, plague, Q fever, candidiasis, histoplasmosis, trypanosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis, measles, and viral hepatitis among others.
Non-infectious diseases that may result in symptoms similar to those of EVD include acute promyelocytic leukemia, hemolytic uremic syndrome, snake envenomation, clotting factor deficiencies/platelet disorders, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, Kawasaki disease, and warfarin poisoning.
Several diseases can present with similar signs and symptoms to pneumonia, such as: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary edema, bronchiectasis, lung cancer, and pulmonary emboli. Unlike pneumonia, asthma and COPD typically present with wheezing, pulmonary edema presents with an abnormal electrocardiogram, cancer and bronchiectasis present with a cough of longer duration, and pulmonary emboli presents with acute onset sharp chest pain and shortness of breath.
Possible non-specific laboratory indicators of EVD include a low platelet count; an initially decreased white blood cell count followed by an increased white blood cell count; elevated levels of the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST); and abnormalities in blood clotting often consistent with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) such as a prolonged prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and bleeding time. Filovirions, such as EBOV, may be identified by their unique filamentous shapes in cell cultures examined with electron microscopy, but this method cannot distinguish the various filoviruses.
The specific diagnosis of EVD is confirmed by isolating the virus, detecting its RNA or proteins, or detecting antibodies against the virus in a person's blood. Isolating the virus by cell culture, detecting the viral RNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and detecting proteins by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) are methods best used in the early stages of the disease and also for detecting the virus in human remains. Detecting antibodies against the virus is most reliable in the later stages of the disease and in those who recover. IgM antibodies are detectable two days after symptom onset and IgG antibodies can be detected 6 to 18 days after symptom onset. During an outbreak, isolation of the virus via cell culture methods is often not feasible. In field or mobile hospitals, the most common and sensitive diagnostic methods are real-time PCR and ELISA. In 2014, with new mobile testing facilities deployed in parts of Liberia, test results were obtained 3–5 hours after sample submission. In 2015 a rapid antigen test which gives results in 15 minutes was approved for use by WHO. It is able to confirm Ebola in 92% of those affected and rule it out in 85% of those not affected.
Alternatively, laboratory diagnosis of measles can be done with confirmation of positive measles IgM antibodies or isolation of measles virus RNA from respiratory specimens. For people unable to have their blood drawn, saliva can be collected for salivary measles-specific IgA testing. Positive contact with other patients known to have measles adds strong epidemiological evidence to the diagnosis. Any contact with an infected person, including semen through sex, saliva, or mucus, can cause infection.
Immunosuppressive therapy has been effective in halting the disease for laboratory animals.
In patients managed in the community, determining the causative agent is not cost-effective and typically does not alter management. For people who do not respond to treatment, sputum culture should be considered, and culture for "Mycobacterium tuberculosis" should be carried out in persons with a chronic productive cough. Testing for other specific organisms may be recommended during outbreaks, for public health reasons. In those hospitalized for severe disease, both sputum and blood cultures are recommended, as well as testing the urine for antigens to "Legionella" and "Streptococcus". Viral infections can be confirmed via detection of either the virus or its antigens with culture or polymerase chain reaction (PCR), among other techniques. The causative agent is determined in only 15% of cases with routine microbiological tests.
It is done through isolation of a bacteria from chickens suspected to have history of coryza and clinical finds from infected chickens also is used in the disease diagnosis. Polymerase chain reaction is a reliable means of diagnosis of the disease
Although no specific treatment for acute infection with SuHV1 is available, vaccination can alleviate clinical signs in pigs of certain ages. Typically, mass vaccination of all pigs on the farm with a modified live virus vaccine is recommended. Intranasal vaccination of sows and neonatal piglets one to seven days old, followed by intramuscular (IM) vaccination of all other swine on the premises, helps reduce viral shedding and improve survival. The modified live virus replicates at the site of injection and in regional lymph nodes. Vaccine virus is shed in such low levels, mucous transmission to other animals is minimal. In gene-deleted vaccines, the thymidine kinase gene has also been deleted; thus, the virus cannot infect and replicate in neurons. Breeding herds are recommended to be vaccinated quarterly, and finisher pigs should be vaccinated after levels of maternal antibody decrease. Regular vaccination results in excellent control of the disease. Concurrent antibiotic therapy via feed and IM injection is recommended for controlling secondary bacterial pathogens.