Thursday, September 28, 2023

New anal swab tests deployed to fight COVID

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A video believed to have been filmed in Shijiazhuang, China, showed people walking with a waddle out of the hospital, likely after undergoing a new anal swab test for COVID-19. The Shijiazhuang Internet Report Center said the video was fake and has since been taken down, but not before millions of people viewed it.1

While the image of people waddling like penguins after an anal swab may be an exaggeration, what is not wrong is the anal swab test for COVID-19. Launched in Beijing, the test is said to be a more precise method of detecting the virus.

According to Forbes, Li Tongzeng, deputy director of the Respiratory and Infectious Diseases Department at You An Hospital in Beijing, cited research that found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, survives longer in the hospital. anus and stools than in the respiratory tract. leaflet. For this reason, an anal swab may be able to more accurately detect mild or asymptomatic cases than a nose or throat test.2

Although the tests are in only “high-risk cases”, they are said to have been administered to unsuspecting people, including travelers arriving in Beijing, people in quarantine centers and even 1,000 children and teachers exposed to the virus.3

80% of those surveyed were against the invasive testing method

In a poll on Chinese social media site Weibo, 80% of respondents said they “could not accept” the anal swab test for COVID-19.4 While the test can be done from a stool sample submitted by the patient, if this is not possible, the test involves inserting a cotton swab one to two inches into the rectum.

“If we add anal swab testing, it may increase our rate of identifying infected patients,” Tongzeng said on public news channel CCTV. “But of course, given that collecting anal swabs is not as convenient as throat swabs, at the moment only key groups such as those in quarantine are receiving both.”5

A Chinese study published in Future Medicine in August 2020 reported that in some patients, anal swabs tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 while the virus was not detected in throat or sputum swabs. . They concluded: “Anal swabs could be the optimal specimen for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 to assess hospital discharge of COVID-19 patients”,6 although the study was small in that it only involved four patients.

Another study by researchers at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, suggested that SARS-CoV-2 could be excreted from the gastrointestinal tract via the feces. They analyzed the literature to determine if the virus can persist in the stool even after a negative nasopharyngeal test.7 In a review of 12 studies, they found 107 cases in which a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 rectal, anal or in the stool was positive after a negative nasopharyngeal test.8

“Therefore,” they noted, “there is evidence for the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in bodily secretion in recovering COVID-19 patients. It should be noted that a significant proportion of these patients belong to the pediatric age group. “9

In a rapid response BMJ article, Dr. Arturo Tozzi, a pediatrician at the University of North Texas, suggested that faecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 may persist for one to 11 days after excretion in the sputum in 23% to 82% of adults. He suggested that rectal swabs could be used to test patients with symptoms of COVID-19 or known exposure to COVID-19 who test negative via throat or sputum tests. He further stated:ten

“Indeed, the available data suggests that some patients test positive on rectal swabs in the very first days of COVID-19 onset (Lescure et al., 2020).11

To give a few examples, in a review article, Tian et al. (2020)12 reported faecal positivity by PCR 2 to 5 days after sputum in 36% to 53% of patients, while Xiao et al (2020)13 found that 39/73 hospitalized patients had viral RNA in their stool from 1 to 12 days. Therefore, the occurrence of a fecal-oral route indicates the usefulness of rectal swabs early in the disease to confirm, or even diagnose, COVID-19. “

EU plans to ‘follow the science’ for COVID-19 anal test

Time will tell if anal swabs become more popular for COVID-19 testing in China and around the world. For now, this still generates chuckles among European Commission spokespersons, but when asked by a reporter if anal swabs could be implemented for EU-wide COVID testing, a spokesperson said they would “follow the science”.14

European Commission spokesperson for health, food safety and transport Stefan De Keersmaecker said: “We will go where science takes us. So if science leads us to the goal, we will think about it. But of course I don’t think I can. Add a lot to that… We do indeed rely a lot… on input from scientists, so we’re leaving it up to the scientific world to see what the best approaches are. “15

There are also reviews of the anal test. Forbes reported that Yang Zhanqiu, a pathology expert from Wuhan University, told the Chinese Global Times that swabs from the nose and throat were the most effective, adding: “There have been cases of the coronavirus tested positive in a patient’s feces, but no evidence suggested that it had been transmitted through the digestive system. “16

Dr Amesh A. Adalja, a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Maryland, also expressed concern about the nature of the test, telling Health that not only is it unclear whether anal swabs are useful in detecting contagious cases, but “I’m also worried that such messages will discourage people from getting tested. For most cases, including screening asymptomatic individuals, nasal or saliva samples are sufficient.”17

Submitting stool samples would be one way to get around the inconvenience of the test, as stool samples are already collected for a variety of other medical tests, according to Joanne Santini, professor of microbiology at University College London. She told Insider that anal swabs were “the obvious thing to do.” According to Insider:18

Santini explained that the virus attaches to the human body using a receptor called ACE2, and that there are many ACE2 receptors in the gut. Viral load – the amount of virus that is eliminated – can also be higher in the faeces, especially if someone is suffering with gastrointestinal issues caused by the coronavirus and viral shedding may last longer in the stool than in the sputum.

“Even though a common way to get infected is through breathing, I think there must be some infection going through the gut through the mouth,” she said. “SARS-CoV-2 in the stool is proven to be infectious, as are other viruses, such as norovirus and other coronaviruses.” “

Widespread problems with PCR testing

Whether COVID-19 anal testing will be successful remains to be seen, but as it stands, a positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for COVID-19 are plagued by problems. The PCR test is not intended to be used as a diagnostic tool because it cannot distinguish between inactive (non-infectious) viruses and “live” or reproductive viruses.19

Inactive and reproductive viruses are not interchangeable in terms of infectivity. If you have a non-reproductive virus in your body, you won’t get sick from it, and you won’t be able to pass it on to others. Additionally, many, if not most, laboratories amplify RNA collected far too many times, leading healthy people to test “positive” and be ordered to leave work and self-isolate for a while. two weeks.

The higher the cycle threshold (CT), that is, the number of amplification cycles used to detect RNA particles, the greater the risk of a false positive. Although any CT over 35 years old is deemed scientifically unjustifiable,20,21 the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend running PCR tests at a CT of 40.22

A test known as the Corman-Drosten paper and the tests recommended by the World Health Organization are set at 45 cycles.23,24,25 When the labs use these excessive cycle thresholds, you clearly end up with a vastly overestimated number of positive tests, so we are really dealing with ‘caseedemia’.26,27 – an epidemic of false positives.

The WHO updated its screening guidelines January 20, 2021, to admit that a positive PCR test alone does not equate to infection, and that “the PCR threshold (CT) necessary to detect the virus is inversely proportional to the patient’s viral load”. Therefore, in cases where the patient’s symptoms do not match the test result, i.e., they are asymptomatic but test positive, they should be retested using the same test or a different test.

They also noted that the PCR test should only be used as a diagnostic “aid” and should not be relied upon per se. Diagnosis should also include observation of clinical symptoms. So, to get a diagnosis of COVID-19, you now need two positive tests if the symptoms are absent, and a doctor’s judgment on whether the symptoms seem consistent with a diagnosis of COVID-19.

However, it’s unclear how many labs will adopt these tips to make their tests more accurate. Criticism against PCR testing is further reinforced by a November 20, 2020 study in Nature Communications,28 which found no viable virus in the PCR positive cases. The study evaluated data from 9,865,404 residents of Wuhan, China, who underwent PCR testing between May 14 and June 1, 2020.

A total of 300 tested positive but did not show any symptoms. Of the 34,424 people with a history of COVID-19, 107 have tested positive a second time. Yet when they cultured those 407 individuals who had tested positive (whether for the first or second time) for viruses, no live virus was found in any of them.

It is not known whether an anal swab might turn out different, but it is unlikely that most people will voluntarily submit to an anal swab during a nasal or throat test. In addition, many are now wondering if the flawed PCR test was deployed on purpose in an attempt to crush the global economy and provide cover for the implementation of the so-called Big reset.


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