METHODS: Twelve relevant manuscripts were sourced from a total of 7288 search results obtained using PubMed, Medline and Google Scholar. The search keywords used were COVID-19, nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, swabs, SARS and CoV2. Original manuscripts were obtained and analysed by all authors. The review included manuscripts which have not undergone rigorous peer-review process in view of the magnitude of the topic discussed.
RESULTS: The viral load of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the upper respiratory tract was significantly higher during the first week and peaked at 4-6 days after onset of symptoms, during which it can be potentially sampled. Nasopharyngeal swab has demonstrated higher viral load than oropharyngeal swab, where the difference in paired samples is best seen at 0-9 days after the onset of illness. Sensitivity of nasopharyngeal swab was higher than oropharyngeal swabs in COVID-19 patients. Patient self-collected throat washing has been shown to contain higher viral load than nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab, with significantly higher sensitivity when compared with paired nasopharyngeal swab.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Routine nasopharyngeal swab of suspected COVID-19 infection should take anatomy of the nasal cavity into consideration to increase patient comfort and diagnostic yield. Routine oropharyngeal swab should be replaced by throat washing which has demonstrated better diagnostic accuracy, and it is safe towards others.
OBJECTIVE: We determined the agreement of cytological diagnoses made on samples collected by women themselves (selfsampling) versus samples collected by physicians (Physician sampling).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We invited women volunteers to undergo two procedures; cervical selfsampling using the Evalyn brush and physician sampling using a Cervex brush. The women were shown a video presentation on how to take their own cervical samples before the procedure. The samples taken by physicians were taken as per routine testing (Gold Standard). All samples were subjected to Thin Prep monolayer smears. The diagnoses made were according to the Bethesda classification. The results from these two sampling methods were analysed and compared.
RESULTS: A total of 367 women were recruited into the study, ranging from 22 to 65 years age. There was a significant good agreement of the cytological diagnoses made on the samples from the two sampling methods with the Kappa value of 0.568 (p=0.040). Using the cytological smears taken by physicians as the gold standard, the sensitivity of selfsampling was 71.9% (95% CI:70.972.8), the specificity was 86.6% (95% CI:85.7 87.5), the positive predictive value was 74.2% (95% CI:73.375.1) and the negative predictive value was 85.1% (95% CI: 84.286.0). Selfsampling smears (22.9%) allowed detection of microorganisms better than physicians samples (18.5%).
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that samples taken by women themselves (selfsampling) and physicians have good diagnostic agreement. Selfsampling could be the method of choice in countries in which the coverage of women attending clinics for screening for cervical cancer is poor.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study where women aged between 20-80 years were recruited via convenient sampling from villages in Long Banga, Sarawak over a five-day outreach programme. Cervicovaginal selfsamples were obtained and screened for the presence of high-risk human papillomavirus DNA (HR-HPV) using the careHPVTM Test. A self-administered questionnaire was also administered to determine the sociodemographic and perception towards the self-sampling method.
RESULTS: The 55 women recruited consist of ethnic backgrounds of Penan (58.18%), Kenyah (25.45%), Iban (5.45%), Saban (3.64%), Kelabit (3.64%), Malay (1.82%) and Chinese (1.82%). The prevalence of HR-HPV was 1.85% (n=1/55). Nearly 80% of the women were unemployed, and more than half have had attended primary education. Nine (16.4%) have heard about HPV, and seven (13%) knew HPV infection could cause cervical cancer. Three of them had HPV vaccination, and only one (1.85%) knew the brand of the HPV vaccine. Although 40% preferred self-sampling over clinician-collection, only ten (18.2%) women have completed the self-collection perception questionnaire.
CONCLUSION: Primary HPV DNA screening using the selfsampling method can be carried out in the remote areas during the COVID-19 pandemic without compromising mobility restriction.