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
Antibody (Ig) ELISAs are used to detect historical BVDV infection; these tests have been validated in serum, milk and bulk milk samples. Ig ELISAs do not diagnose active infection but detect the presence of antibodies produced by the animal in response to viral infection. Vaccination also induces an antibody response, which can result in false positive results, therefore it is important to know the vaccination status of the herd or individual when interpreting results. A standard test to assess whether virus has been circulating recently is to perform an Ig ELISA on blood from 5–10 young stock that have not been vaccinated, aged between 9 and 18 months. A positive result indicates exposure to BVDV, but also that any positive animals are very unlikely to be PI animals themselves. A positive result in a pregnant female indicates that she has previously been either vaccinated or infected with BVDV and could possibly be carrying a PI fetus, so antigen testing of the newborn is vital to rule this out. A negative antibody result, at the discretion of the responsible veterinarian, may require further confirmation that the animal is not in fact a PI.
At a herd level, a positive Ig result suggests that BVD virus has been circulating or the herd is vaccinated. Negative results suggest that a PI is unlikely however this naïve herd is in danger of severe consequences should an infected animal be introduced. Antibodies from wild infection or vaccination persist for several years therefore Ig ELISA testing is more valuable when used as a surveillance tool in seronegative herds.
Antigen ELISA and rtPCR are currently the most frequently performed tests to detect virus or viral antigen. Individual testing of ear tissue tag samples or serum samples is performed. It is vital that repeat testing is performed on positive samples to distinguish between acute, transiently infected cattle and PIs. A second positive result, acquired at least three weeks after the primary result, indicates a PI animal. rtPCR can also be used on bulk tank milk (BTM) samples to detect any PI cows contributing to the tank. It is reported that the maximum number of contributing cows from which a PI can be detected is 300.
Chikungunya is diagnosed on the basis of clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory criteria. Clinically, acute onset of high fever and severe joint pain would lead to suspicion of chikungunya. Epidemiological criteria consist of whether the individual has traveled to or spent time in an area in which chikungunya is present within the last twelve days (i.e.) the potential incubation period). Laboratory criteria include a decreased lymphocyte count consistent with viremia. However a definitive laboratory diagnosis can be accomplished through viral isolation, RT-PCR, or serological diagnosis.
The differential diagnosis may include infection with other mosquito-borne viruses, such as dengue or malaria, and infection with influenza. Chronic recurrent polyarthralgia occurs in at least 20% of chikungunya patients one year after infection, whereas such symptoms are uncommon in dengue.
Virus isolation provides the most definitive diagnosis, but takes one to two weeks for completion and must be carried out in biosafety level III laboratories. The technique involves exposing specific cell lines to samples from whole blood and identifying chikungunya virus-specific responses. RT-PCR using nested primer pairs is used to amplify several chikungunya-specific genes from whole blood, generating thousands to millions of copies of the genes in order to identify them. RT-PCR can also be used to quantify the viral load in the blood. Using RT-PCR, diagnostic results can be available in one to two days. Serological diagnosis requires a larger amount of blood than the other methods, and uses an ELISA assay to measure chikungunya-specific IgM levels in the blood serum. One advantage offered by serological diagnosis is that serum IgM is detectable from 5 days to months after the onset of symptoms, but drawbacks are that results may require two to three days, and false positives can occur with infection due to other related viruses, such as o'nyong'nyong virus and Semliki Forest virus.
Presently, there is no specific way to test for chronic signs and symptoms associated with Chikungunya fever although nonspecific laboratory findings such as C reactive protein and elevated cytokines can correlate with disease activity.
The above signs, especially fever, respiratory signs, neurological signs, and thickened footpads occurring in unvaccinated dogs strongly indicate canine distemper. However, several febrile diseases match many of the signs of the disease and only recently has distinguishing between canine hepatitis, herpes virus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis been possible. Thus, finding the virus by various methods in the dog's conjunctival cells or foot pads gives a definitive diagnosis. In older dogs that develop distemper encephalomyelitis, diagnosis may be more difficult, since many of these dogs have an adequate vaccination history.
An additional test to confirm distemper is a brush border slide of the bladder transitional epithelium of the inside lining from the bladder, stained with Dif-Quick. These infected cells have inclusions which stain a carmine red color, found in the paranuclear cytoplasm readability. About 90% of the bladder cells will be positive for inclusions in the early stages of distemper.
Diagnosis of BMCF depends on a combination of history and symptoms, histopathology and detection in the blood or tissues of viral antibodies by ELISA or of viral DNA by PCR. The characteristic histologic lesions of MCF are lymphocytic arteritis with necrosis of the blood vessel wall and the presence of large T lymphocytes mixed with other cells. The similarity of MCF clinical signs to other enteric diseases, for example blue tongue, mucosal disease and foot and mouth make laboratory diagnosis of MCF important. The world organisation for animal health recognises histopathology as the definitive diagnostic test, but laboratories have adopted other approaches with recent developments in molecular virology. No vaccine has as yet been developed.
A number of vaccines against canine distemper exist for dogs (ATCvet code: and combinations) and domestic ferrets (), which in many jurisdictions are mandatory for pets. Infected animals should be quarantined from other dogs for several months owing to the length of time the animal may shed the virus. The virus is destroyed in the environment by routine cleaning with disinfectants, detergents, or drying. It does not survive in the environment for more than a few hours at room temperature (20–25 °C), but can survive for a few weeks in shady environments at temperatures slightly above freezing. It, along with other labile viruses, can also persist longer in serum and tissue debris.
Despite extensive vaccination in many regions, it remains a major disease of dogs.
To prevent canine distemper, puppies should begin vaccination at six to eight weeks of age and then continue getting the “booster shot” every two to four weeks until they are 16 weeks of age. Without the full series of shots, the vaccination will not provide protection against the virus. Since puppies are typically sold at the age of eight to ten weeks, they typically receive the first shot while still with their breeder, but the new owner often does not finish the series. These dogs are not protected against the virus and so are susceptible to canine distemper infection, continuing the downward spiral that leads to outbreaks throughout the country.
A range of laboratory investigations are performed, where possible, to diagnose the disease and assess its course and complications. The confidence of a diagnosis can be compromised by if laboratory tests are not available. One comprising factor is the number of febrile illnesses present in Africa, such as malaria or typhoid fever that could potentially exhibit similar symptoms, particularly for non-specific manifestations of Lassa fever. In cases with abdominal pain, in countries where Lassa is common, Lassa fever is often misdiagnosed as appendicitis and intussusception which delays treatment with the antiviral ribavirin. In West Africa, where Lassa is most prevalent, it is difficult for doctors to diagnose due to the absence of proper equipment to perform tests.
The FDA has yet to approve a widely validated laboratory test for Lassa, but there are tests that have been able to provide definitive proof of the presence of the LASV virus. These tests include cell cultures, PCR, ELISA antigen assays, plaque neutralization assays, and immunofluorescence essays. However, immunofluorescence essays provide less definitive proof of Lassa infection. An ELISA test for antigen and IgM antibodies give 88% sensitivity and 90% specificity for the presence of the infection. Other laboratory findings in Lassa fever include lymphopenia (low white blood cell count), thrombocytopenia (low platelets), and elevated aspartate aminotransferase levels in the blood. Lassa fever virus can also be found in cerebrospinal fluid.
A number of various diseases may present with symptoms similar to those caused by a clinical West Nile virus infection. Those causing neuroinvasive disease symptoms include the enterovirus infection and bacterial meningitis. Accounting for differential diagnoses is a crucial step in the definitive diagnosis of WNV infection. Consideration of a differential diagnosis is required when a patient presents with unexplained febrile illness, extreme headache, encephalitis or meningitis. Diagnostic and serologic laboratory testing using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and viral culture of CSF to identify the specific pathogen causing the symptoms, is the only currently available means of differentiating between causes of encephalitis and meningitis.
Preliminary diagnosis is often based on the patient's clinical symptoms, places and dates of travel (if patient is from a nonendemic country or area), activities, and epidemiologic history of the location where infection occurred. A recent history of mosquito bites and an acute febrile illness associated with neurologic signs and symptoms should cause clinical suspicion of WNV.
Diagnosis of West Nile virus infections is generally accomplished by serologic testing of blood serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is obtained via a lumbar puncture. Initial screening could be done using the ELISA technique detecting immunoglobulins in the sera of the tested individuals.
Typical findings of WNV infection include lymphocytic pleocytosis, elevated protein level, reference glucose and lactic acid levels, and no erythrocytes.
Definitive diagnosis of WNV is obtained through detection of virus-specific antibody IgM and neutralizing antibodies. Cases of West Nile virus meningitis and encephalitis that have been serologically confirmed produce similar degrees of CSF pleocytosis and are often associated with substantial CSF neutrophilia.
Specimens collected within eight days following onset of illness may not test positive for West Nile IgM, and testing should be repeated. A positive test for West Nile IgG in the absence of a positive West Nile IgM is indicative of a previous flavavirus infection and is not by itself evidence of an acute West Nile virus infection.
If cases of suspected West Nile virus infection, sera should be collected on both the acute and
convalescent phases of the illness. Convalescent specimens should be collected 2–3 weeks after acute specimens.
It is common in serologic testing for cross-reactions to occur among flaviviruses such as dengue virus (DENV) and tick-borne encephalitis virus; this necessitates caution when evaluating serologic results of flaviviral infections.
Four FDA-cleared WNV IgM ELISA kits are commercially available from different manufacturers in the U.S., each of these kits is indicated for use on serum to aid in the presumptive laboratory diagnosis of WNV infection in patients with clinical symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis. Positive WNV test results obtained via use of these kits should be confirmed by additional testing at a state health department laboratory or CDC.
In fatal cases, nucleic acid amplification, histopathology with immunohistochemistry, and virus culture of autopsy tissues can also be useful. Only a few state laboratories or other specialized laboratories, including those at CDC, are capable of doing this specialized testing.
Diagnosis of the oropouche infection is done through classic and molecular virology techniques. These include:
1. Virus isolation attempt in new born mice and cell culture (Vero Cells)
2. Serological assay methods, such as HI (hemagglutination inhibition), NT (neutralization test), and CF (complement fixation test) tests and in-house-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay for total immunoglobulin, IgM, and IgG detection using convalescent sera (this obtained from recovered patients and is rich in antibodies against the infectious agent)
3. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real time RT-PCR for genome detection in acute samples (sera, blood, and viscera of infected animals)
Clinical diagnosis of oropouche fever is hard to perform due to the nonspecific nature of the disease, in many causes it can be confused with dengue fever or other arbovirus illness.
Definitive diagnosis is usually made at a reference laboratory with advanced biocontainment capabilities. The findings of laboratory investigation vary somewhat between the viruses but in general there is a decrease in the total white cell count (particularly the lymphocytes), a decrease in the platelet count, an increase in the blood serum liver enzymes, and reduced blood clotting ability measured as an increase in both the prothrombin (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin times (PTT). The hematocrit may be elevated. The serum urea and creatine may be raised but this is dependent on the hydration status of the patient. The bleeding time tends to be prolonged.
Control of the "Mastomys" rodent population is impractical, so measures focus on keeping rodents out of homes and food supplies, encouraging effective personal hygiene, storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, and disposing of garbage far from the home to help sustain clean households . Gloves, masks, laboratory coats, and goggles are advised while in contact with an infected person, to avoid contact with blood and body fluids. These issues in many countries are monitored by a department of public health. In less developed countries, these types of organizations may not have the necessary means to effectively control outbreaks.
Researchers at the USAMRIID facility, where military biologists study infectious diseases, have a promising vaccine candidate. They have developed a replication-competent vaccine against Lassa virus based on recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vectors expressing the Lassa virus glycoprotein. After a single intramuscular injection, test primates have survived lethal challenge, while showing no clinical symptoms.
Diagnosis of infection with rotavirus normally follows diagnosis of gastroenteritis as the cause of severe diarrhoea. Most children admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis are tested for
Specific diagnosis of infection with is made by finding the virus in the child's stool by enzyme immunoassay. There are several licensed test kits on the market which are sensitive, specific and detect all serotypes of . Other methods, such as electron microscopy and PCR, are used in research laboratories. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) can detect and identify all species and serotypes of human rotavirus.
A blood test is the only way to confirm a case of Ross River Fever. Several types of blood tests may be used to examine antibody levels in the blood. Tests may either look for simply elevated antibodies (which indicate some sort of infection), or specific antibodies to the virus.
, no approved vaccines are available. A phase-II vaccine trial used a live, attenuated virus, to develop viral resistance in 98% of those tested after 28 days and 85% still showed resistance after one year. However, 8% of people reported transient joint pain, and attenuation was found to be due to only two mutations in the E2 glycoprotein. Alternative vaccine strategies have been developed, and show efficacy in mouse models. In August 2014 researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the USA were testing an experimental vaccine which uses virus-like particles (VLPs) instead of attenuated virus. All the 25 people participated in this phase 1 trial developed strong immune responses. As of 2015, a phase 2 trial was planned, using 400 adults aged 18 to 60 and to take place at 6 locations in the Caribbean. Even with a vaccine, mosquito population control and bite prevention will be necessary to control chikungunya disease.
A Zika virus infection might be suspected if symptoms are present and an individual has traveled to an area with known Zika virus transmission. Zika virus can only be confirmed by a laboratory test of body fluids, such as urine or saliva, or by blood test.
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.
Laboratory blood tests can identify evidence of chikungunya or other similar viruses such as dengue and Zika. Blood test may confirm the presence of IgM and IgG anti-chikungunya antibodies. IgM antibodies are highest 3 to 5 weeks after the beginning of symptoms and will continue be present for about 2 months.
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.
Because FIP is an immune-mediated disease, treatment falls into two categories: direct action against the virus itself and modulation of the immune response.
With the exception of yellow fever vaccine neither vaccines nor experimental vaccines are readily available. Prophylactic (preventive) ribavirin may be effective for some bunyavirus and arenavirus infections (again, available only as IND).
VHF isolation guidelines dictate that all VHF patients (with the exception of dengue patients) should be cared for using strict contact precautions, including hand hygiene, double gloves, gowns, shoe and leg coverings, and faceshield or goggles. Lassa, CCHF, Ebola, and Marburg viruses may be particularly prone to nosocomial (hospital-based) spread. Airborne precautions should be utilized including, at a minimum, a fit-tested, HEPA filter-equipped respirator (such as an N-95 mask), a battery-powered, air-purifying respirator, or a positive pressure supplied air respirator to be worn by personnel coming within 1,8 meter (six feet) of a VHF patient. Multiple patients should be cohorted (sequestered) to a separate building or a ward with an isolated air-handling system. Environmental decontamination is typically accomplished with hypochlorite (e.g. bleach) or phenolic disinfectants.
Antiviral drugs, that target infections with RRV. Patients are usually managed with simple analgesics, anti-inflammatories, anti-pyretics and rest while the illness runs its course.
One study has focused on identifying OROV through the use of RNA extraction from reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. This study revealed that OROV caused central nervous system infections in three patients. The three patients all had meningoencephalitis and also showed signs of clear lympho-monocytic cellular pattern in CSF, high protein, and normal to slightly decreased glucose levels indicating they had viral infections. Two of the patients already had underlying infections that can effect the CNS and immune system and in particular one of these patients has HIV/AIDS and the third patient has neurocysticercosis. Two patients were infected with OROV developed meningitis and it was theorized that this is due to them being immunocompromised. Through this it was revealed that it's possible that the invasion of the central nervous system by the oropouche virus can be performed by a pervious blood-brain barrier damage.
Diagnosis of effusive FIP has become more straightforward in recent years: detection of viral RNA in a sample of the effusion, by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is diagnostic of effusive FIP. However, that does require that a sample be sent to an external veterinary laboratory. Within the veterinary hospital there are a number of tests which can rule out a diagnosis of effusive FIP within minutes:
1. Measure the total protein in the effusion: if it is less than 35g/l, FIP is extremely unlikely.
2. Measure the albumin to globulin ratio in the effusion: if it is over 0.8, FIP is ruled out, if it is less than 0.4, FIP is a possible—but not certain—diagnosis
3. Examine the cells in the effusion: if they are predominantly lymphocytes then FIP is excluded as a diagnosis.
Where mammalian tick infection is common, agricultural regulations require de-ticking farm animals before transportation or delivery for slaughter. Personal tick avoidance measures are recommended, such as use of insect repellents, adequate clothing, and body inspection for adherent ticks.
When feverish patients with evidence of bleeding require resuscitation or intensive care, body substance isolation precautions should be taken.