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February 05 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report

Understanding the Pathology

· This review from Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark examines the cytotoxic effect of SARS-CoV-2 on capillary function and the subsequent hypoxemia which initiates a cycle of hypoxia-driven endothelial damage that may explain long-term complaints of patients recovering from COVID-19. The authors investigate angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors, pericyte integrity, endothelial surface lining by glycocalyx, neutrophil migration, and microthrombosis in relation to systemic hypoxia secondary to COVID-19. The authors conclude with a discussion on long-term hypoxia, serotonin synthesis and mood disorders and emphasize a need for biomarkers of capillary function in order to quantify the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on capillary function.

R&D: Diagnosis & Treatments

· A prospective cohort study from emergency physicians in Argentina found that self-collected saliva samples may be an accurate alternative to the nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) in detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results demonstrated that 63 out of 174 symptomatic patients in the emergency room tested positive via the gold standard NPS, with saliva samples detecting SARS-CoV-2 in 61/63 (98%) of these patients. The authors conclude that self-collected saliva sampling for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 could be an accurate, less invasive way to test certain populations while conserving PPE and exposing fewer healthcare workers to SARS-CoV-2.

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