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
Antigen detection, polymerase chain reaction assay, virus isolation, and serology can be used to identify adenovirus infections. Adenovirus typing is usually accomplished by hemagglutination-inhibition and/or neutralization with type-specific antisera. Since adenovirus can be excreted for prolonged periods, the presence of virus does not necessarily mean it is associated with disease.
Safe and effective adenovirus vaccines were developed for adenovirus serotypes 4 and 7, but were available only for preventing ARD among US military recruits, and production stopped in 1996. Strict attention to good infection-control practices is effective for stopping transmission in hospitals of adenovirus-associated disease, such as epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. Maintaining adequate levels of chlorination is necessary for preventing swimming pool-associated outbreaks of adenovirus conjunctivitis.
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
Based on the low variability exhibited among known SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences, the strain is thought to have been detected by health authorities within weeks of its emergence among the human population in late 2019. The earliest case of infection currently known is thought to have been found on 17 November 2019. The virus subsequently spread to all provinces of China and to more than 150 other countries in Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Oceania. Human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed in all of these regions. On 30 January 2020, SARS-CoV-2 was designated a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO, and on 11 March 2020 the WHO declared it a pandemic.
The basic reproduction number (R0) of the virus has been estimated to be between 1.4 and 3.9. This means that each infection from the virus is expected to result in 1.4 to 3.9 new infections when no members of the community are immune and no preventive measures are taken. The reproduction number may be higher in densely populated conditions such as those found on cruise ships. Many forms of preventive efforts may be employed in specific circumstances in order to reduce the propagation of the virus.
There have been about 82,000 confirmed cases of infection in mainland China. While the proportion of infections that result in confirmed cases or progress to diagnosable disease remains unclear, one mathematical model estimated that on 25 January 2020 75,815 people were infected in Wuhan alone, at a time when the number of confirmed cases worldwide was only 2,015. Before 24 February 2020, over 95% of all deaths from COVID-19 worldwide had occurred in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located. As of 17 April 2020, the percentage had decreased to 2.1%.
As of 17 April 2020, there have been 2,234,109 total confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the ongoing pandemic. The total number of deaths attributed to the virus is 153,379. Many recoveries from confirmed infections go unreported, but at least 567,695 people have recovered from confirmed infections.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus strain that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness. It is colloquially known as the coronavirus, and was previously referred to by its provisional name 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus. It is contagious in humans, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Because the strain was first discovered in Wuhan, China, it is sometimes referred to as "Wuhan virus" or "Wuhan coronavirus". Since the WHO discourages the use of names based on locations such as MERS, and to avoid confusion with the disease SARS, it sometimes refers to SARS-CoV-2 as "the COVID-19 virus" in public health communications. The general public frequently calls both SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes "coronavirus", but scientists typically use more precise terminology.
Taxonomically, SARS-CoV-2 is a strain of Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV). It is believed to have zoonotic origins and has close genetic similarity to bat coronaviruses, suggesting it emerged from a bat-borne virus. An intermediate animal reservoir such as a pangolin is also thought to be involved in its introduction to humans. The virus shows little genetic diversity, indicating that the spillover event introducing SARS-CoV-2 to humans is likely to have occurred in late 2019.
Epidemiological studies estimate each infection results in 1.4 to 3.9 new ones when no members of the community are immune and no preventive measures taken. The virus is primarily spread between people through close contact and via respiratory droplets produced from coughs or sneezes. It mainly enters human cells by binding to the receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).
In 2012, the World Health Organization estimated that vaccination prevents 2.5 million deaths each year. If there is 100% immunization, and 100% efficacy of the vaccines, one out of seven deaths among young children could be prevented, mostly in developing countries, making this an important global health issue. Four diseases were responsible for 98% of vaccine-preventable deaths: measles, "Haemophilus influenzae" serotype b, pertussis, and neonatal tetanus.
The Immunization Surveillance, Assessment and Monitoring program of the WHO monitors and assesses the safety and effectiveness of programs and vaccines at reducing illness and deaths from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.
Vaccine-preventable deaths are usually caused by a failure to obtain the vaccine in a timely manner. This may be due to financial constraints or to lack of access to the vaccine. A vaccine that is generally recommended may be medically inappropriate for a small number of people due to severe allergies or a damaged immune system. In addition, a vaccine against a given disease may not be recommended for general use in a given country, or may be recommended only to certain populations, such as young children or older adults. Every country makes its own vaccination recommendations, based on the diseases that are common in its area and its healthcare priorities. If a vaccine-preventable disease is uncommon in a country, then residents of that country are unlikely to receive a vaccine against it. For example, residents of Canada and the United States do not routinely receive vaccines against yellow fever, which leaves them vulnerable to infection if travelling to areas where risk of yellow fever is highest (endemic or transitional regions).
A "vaccine-preventable disease" is an infectious disease for which an effective preventive vaccine exists. If a person acquires a vaccine-preventable disease and dies from it, the death is considered a vaccine-preventable death.
The most common and serious vaccine-preventable diseases tracked by the World Health Organization (WHO) are: diphtheria, "Haemophilus influenzae" serotype b infection, hepatitis B, measles, meningitis, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus, tuberculosis, and yellow fever. The WHO reports licensed vaccines being available to prevent, or contribute to the prevention and control of, 25 vaccine-preventable infections.
The disease is associated with high morbidity and mortality and mainly affects children under the age of twelve in the poorest countries of Africa. Children in Asia and some countries of South America are also affected. Most children who get the disease are between the ages of two and six years old. The WHO estimates that 500,000 people are affected, and that 140,000 new cases are reported each year. The mortality rate is approximately 90 percent.
Known in antiquity to such physicians as Hippocrates and Galen, noma was once reported around the world, including Europe and the United States. With improvements in hygiene and nutrition, noma has disappeared from industrialized countries since the 20th century, except during World War II when it was endemic to Auschwitz and Belsen concentration camps. The disease and treatments were studied by Berthold Epstein, a Czech physician and forced-labor prisoner who had recommended the study under Josef Mengele's direction.
The progression of the disease can be halted with the use of antibiotics and improved nutrition; however, its physical effects are permanent and may require oral and maxillofacial surgery or reconstructive plastic surgery to repair. Reconstruction is usually very challenging and should be delayed until full recovery (usually about one year following initial intervention).
The diagnosis is considered when a child with congenital rubella develops progressive spasticity, ataxia, mental deterioration, and seizures. Testing involves at least CSF examination and serology. Elevated CSF total protein and globulin and elevated rubella antibody titers in CSF and serum occur. CT may show ventricular enlargement due to cerebellar atrophy and white matter disease. Brain biopsy may be necessary to exclude other causes of encephalitis or encephalopathy. Rubella virus cannot usually be recovered by viral culture or immunohistologic testing.
Although no specific treatment exists, the disease can be managed with anticonvulsants, physiotherapy, etc.
Human immunodeficiency virus salivary gland disease (abbreviated to HIV-SGD, and also termed HIV-associated salivary gland disease), is swelling of the salivary glands and/or xerostomia in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus.
HIV-SGD is more prevalent in HIV positive children than HIV positive adults, at about 19% and 1% respectively. Unlike other oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS such as Kaposi sarcoma, oral hairy leukoplakia and oral candidiasis, which decreased following the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV-SGD has increased.
Many occupational cancers are preventable. Personal protective gear, workplace controls, and worker education can prevent exposure to carcinogens in the workplace. Tobacco smoking has also been shown to increase the risk of work-related cancers; decreasing or abstaining from smoking can decrease cancer risk.
Agencies like the US Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration have developed safety standards and limits for chemical and radiation exposure.
An estimated 48,000 cancers are diagnosed yearly in the US that come from occupational causes; this represents approximately 4-10% of total cancer in the United States. It is estimated that 19% of cancers globally are attributed to environmental exposures (including work-related exposures).
Diagnosis is made on the basis of history and a high index of suspicion. On examination there is tenderness to palpation on navicular head. Radiographs reveal typical changes of increased density and narrowing of the navicular bone
States that agree to the Convention align their domestic rules with the World Anti-Doping Code, which is promulgated by the World Anti-Doping Agency. This includes facilitating doping controls and supporting national testing programmes; encouraging the establishment of "best practice" in the labelling, marketing, and distribution of products that might contain prohibited substances; withholding financial support from those who engage in or support doping; taking measures against manufacturing and trafficking; encouraging the establishment of codes of conduct for professions relating to sport and anti-doping; and funding education and research on drugs in sport.
The treatment of primary immunodeficiencies depends foremost on the nature of the abnormality. Somatic treatment of primarily genetic defects is in its infancy. Most treatment is therefore passive and palliative, and falls into two modalities: managing infections and boosting the immune system.
Reduction of exposure to pathogens may be recommended, and in many situations prophylactic antibiotics or antivirals may be advised.
In the case of humoral immune deficiency, immunoglobulin replacement therapy in the form of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) or subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) may be available.
In cases of autoimmune disorders, immunosuppression therapies like corticosteroids may be prescribed.
The basic tests performed when an immunodeficiency is suspected should include a full blood count (including accurate lymphocyte and granulocyte counts) and immunoglobulin levels (the three most important types of antibodies: IgG, IgA and IgM).
Other tests are performed depending on the suspected disorder:
- Quantification of the different types of mononuclear cells in the blood (i.e. lymphocytes and monocytes): different groups of T lymphocytes (dependent on their cell surface markers, e.g. CD4+, CD8+, CD3+, TCRαβ and TCRγδ), groups of B lymphocytes (CD19, CD20, CD21 and Immunoglobulin), natural killer cells and monocytes (CD15+), as well as activation markers (HLA-DR, CD25, CD80 (B cells).
- Tests for T cell function: skin tests for delayed-type hypersensitivity, cell responses to mitogens and allogeneic cells, cytokine production by cells
- Tests for B cell function: antibodies to routine immunisations and commonly acquired infections, quantification of IgG subclasses
- Tests for phagocyte function: reduction of nitro blue tetrazolium chloride, assays of chemotaxis, bactericidal activity.
Due to the rarity of many primary immunodeficiencies, many of the above tests are highly specialised and tend to be performed in research laboratories.
Criteria for diagnosis were agreed in 1999. For instance, an antibody deficiency can be diagnosed in the presence of low immunoglobulins, recurrent infections and failure of the development of antibodies on exposure to antigens. The 1999 criteria also distinguish between "definitive", "probable" and "possible" in the diagnosis of primary immunodeficiency. "Definitive" diagnosis is made when it is likely that in 20 years, the patient has a >98% chance of the same diagnosis being made; this level of diagnosis is achievable with the detection of a genetic mutation or very specific circumstantial abnormalities. "Probable" diagnosis is made when no genetic diagnosis can be made, but the patient has all other characteristics of a particular disease; the chance of the same diagnosis being made 20 years later is estimated to be 85-97%. Finally, a "possible" diagnosis is made when the patient has only some of the characteristics of a disease are present, but not all.
PD diagnosis is based primarily on the presence and position of ulcers on the skin, as well as identifying particular protein markers in urine. To confirm the diagnosis, a blood test is required to measure prolidase activity.
Patients exhibit increased susceptibility to bacterial and viral infections, especially from common serotype human papilloma virus, resulting in warts on the hands and feet starting in childhood. Myelokathexis refers to retention (kathexis) of neutrophils in the bone marrow (myelo). In addition, lymphocytes and IgG antibody levels (gammaglobulins) are often deficient.
Infusions of immune globulin can reduce the frequency of bacterial infections, and G-CSF or GM-CSF therapy improves blood neutrophil counts.
As WHIM syndrome is a molecular disease arising from gain-of-function mutations in CXCR4, preclinical studies identified plerixafor, a specific CXCR4 antagonist, as a potential mechanism-based therapeutic for the disease. Two subsequent clinical trials involving a handful of patients with WHIM syndrome demonstrated that plerixafor could increase white blood cell counts and continues to be a promising targeted therapy.
A woman with spontaneous remission of her WHIM syndrome due to Chromothripsis in one of her blood stem cells has been identified.
In support of these studies, a 2014 phase I clinical trial treated 3 patients diagnosed with WHIM syndrome with plerixafor twice a day for 6 months. All three patients presented with multiple reoccurring infections before treatment and all had an increase in their white blood cell count post treatment. One patient (P3) had a decrease in his infections by 40% while the remaining 2 patients (P1 and P2) had no infections throughout the entirety of the treatment. Plerixafor may also proof to have anti-human papillomavirus (HPV) properties as all patients experienced a shrinkage or complete disappearance of their warts. While this treatment shows promise in treating neutropenia (decreased white blood cells), this trial showed no increase of immune globulins in the body. A phase III clinical trial has been approved to compare the infection prevention ability of plerixafor versus the current treatment of G-CSF in patients with WHIM.
The Düsseldorf score stratifies cases using four categories, giving one point for each; bone marrow blasts ≥5%, LDH >200U/L, haemoglobin ≤9g/dL and a platelet count ≤100,000/uL. A score of 0 indicates a low risk group' 1-2 indicates an intermediate risk group and 3-4 indicates a high risk group. The cumulative 2 year survival of scores 0, 1-2 and 3-4 is 91%, 52% and 9%; and risk of AML transformation is 0%, 19% and 54% respectively.
The International Convention against Doping in Sport is a multilateral UNESCO treaty by which states agree to adopt national measures to prevent and eliminate drug doping in sport.