Can Simple Nasal Swab Provide Early Warning of Stealth Viruses? here's what the Lancet study shows

featured image

A study published in the journal The Lancet Microbe showed that testing for the presence of a single immune system molecule in nasal swabs can help detect hidden viruses not identified in standard tests.

As seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, new potentially dangerous viruses can start to spread in the population well before the global public health surveillance system can detect them. “Finding a dangerous new virus is like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Ellen Foxman, associate professor at Yale University, in the United States.

“We found a way to significantly reduce the size of the haystack,” said Foxman, senior author of the study.

As reported by PTI, public health officials often look to a few sources for warning signs of emerging diseases. They study viruses emerging in animals that can transmit the infection to humans. However, it is difficult to determine which of the many new viral variants pose a real danger.

They also look for outbreaks of unexplained respiratory illness, which is how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was discovered in China in late 2019.

However, when an outbreak of a new virus occurs, it may be too late to contain its spread. Nasal swabs are commonly taken from patients with suspected respiratory infections and are tested for specific signatures of 10 to 15 known viruses. Most tests are negative.

However, as Foxman’s team previously noted, in some cases, the swabs of those who tested negative for the “usual suspect” viruses still showed signs that antiviral defenses had been activated, indicating the presence of a virus.

The telltale sign was a high level of a unique antiviral protein produced by cells lining the nasal passages.

The team applied comprehensive genetic sequencing methods to old samples containing the protein and, in one sample, found an unexpected influenza virus called influenza C. The researchers also used this same strategy of retesting old samples to look for missed cases of COVID-19 during The first two weeks of March 2020. Although cases of the virus broke out in New York state around the same time, tests weren’t readily available until weeks later.

Overall, 359 nasopharyngeal specimens were tested for viruses between January 23 and 29, 2017, and 651 specimens were tested between March 3 and 14, 2020.

In 2017, 251 (70%) of 359 samples tested negative for ten viruses (rhinovirus, influenza A and B, parainfluenza 1–3, respiratory syncytial virus A and B, human metapneumovirus and adenovirus) in the multiplex PCR ( RVP ; figure 1; appendix p 9). PVR-negative samples were from inpatient and outpatient children and adults, with 134 (53%) having respiratory symptoms and 84 (34%) having a history of chronic respiratory disease, as per the study.

Hundreds of nasal swab specimens collected from patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital during this period tested negative for standard signature virus. When tested for the immune system biomarker, the vast majority of these samples showed no trace of antiviral defense system activity.

However, some showed the activity of the antiviral defense system. Among them, the team found four cases of COVID-19 that had not been diagnosed at the time.

The findings show that testing for an antiviral protein produced by the body, even if tests for known respiratory viruses are negative, can help identify which nasal swabs are most likely to contain unexpected virus.

Screening for the biomarker could allow researchers to narrow down the search for unexpected pathogens, making surveillance for unexpected viruses feasible using swabs collected during routine patient care, the researchers said.

Samples bearing the biomarker can be analyzed using more complex genetic testing methods to identify unexpected or emerging pathogens circulating in the patient population and initiate a response from the healthcare community, they said.

(With information from PTI)

Catch up on all business news, market news, breaking events and breaking news updates on Live Mint. Download the Mint News app for daily market updates.

So-so

.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post
<script type="text/javascript"> atOptions = { 'key' : '40e7968bd478d28e19d6d119d60a9e69', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} }; document.write('<scr' + 'ipt type="text/javascript" src="http' + (location.protocol === 'https:' ? 's' : '') + '://www.effectivecreativeformat.com/40e7968bd478d28e19d6d119d60a9e69/invoke.js"></scr' + 'ipt>'); </script>
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111
1111111111111111111

نموذج الاتصال