Evidence check

A rapid review outlining the available evidence on a discrete topic or question relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence includes grey and peer review literature. View all Evidence Checks by date of publication.

Archive Sotrovimab

Added: 6 Dec 2021
Updated: 21 Jan 2022

What is the evidence for sotrovimab as a treatment for COVID-19?
  • Sotrovimab (XEVUDY), is a monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19.
  • Sotrovimab is provisionally approved and included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).
  • Interim data from a phase 3 trial (COMET-ICE) show the risk of disease progression was reduced by 85%.

Archive Face masks in the community – evidence and international policy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Added: 29 Oct 2021
Updated: 16 Dec 2021

What is the evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in community settings for reducing influenza-like illnesses, including COVID-19?
  • Most systematic reviews report benefits in terms of reduction in incidence, hospitalisation and/or mortality.
  • The efficacy of protection against respiratory viral infections may vary according to the type of mask used.
  • Face masks are often recommended alongside other protective measures including hand hygiene and physical distancing.

Archive Monoclonal antibodies

Added: 13 Dec 2021

What is the evidence for the use of monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19?
  • Monoclonal antibodies that target surface viral proteins may be used for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved certain monoclonal antibody treatments and the Australian National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has published living guidance for use.
  • A Cochrane review concluded there was insufficient evidence regarding the effectiveness of treatment with monoclonal antibodies including reduced mortality, improved symptoms, admissions to hospital, and serious or unwanted effects.
  • Other systematic reviews have reported mixed evidence for reduced mortality, reduced hospitalisations or ICU admissions, progression to ventilation or severe disease, and risk of poor clinical outcomes or adverse events.

Archive Renal dialysis and COVID-19 vaccination

Added: 13 Dec 2021

What is the evidence for the use of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations in renal dialysis patients?
  • Generally, studies have shown SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations are safe and effective in renal dialysis patients, with a substantial humoral response for most patients after two vaccine doses.
  • However, the humoral response rate may be lower in renal dialysis patients compared to the general population. This may justify changes to the vaccination schedule for these patients.
  • SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are not contraindicated in kidney disease patients and Kidney Health Australia recommends vaccination for people with kidney disease, including patients on dialysis.

Archive Deep cleans

Added: 19 Apr 2021
Updated: 6 Dec 2021

What is the evidence for fomite transmission and deep cleaning of COVID-19?
  • In February 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) noted fomites as a potential route ofCOVID-19 transmission.1 However, in July 2020, an update noted that despite consistent evidence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on certain surfaces, there is no direct evidence of fomitetransmission.
  • Despite the low risk of fomite transmission, there continues to be significant investment in deep-cleaning and disinfection to reduce potential surface contamination . A Nature perspective in January 2021 questioned the value of this.

Archive Paediatric respiratory infections

Added: 6 Dec 2021

What is the evidence for paediatric respiratory infections after lockdown and school reopening during COVID-19?
  • Countries in both southern and northern hemispheres reported no immediate impact on the incidence of respiratory pathogens following reopening of schools and day care centres. However, some countries such as the U and China reported eran increase in intseasonal RSV activity.
  • There is a concern that due to the reduced circulation of RSV during the winter months of 2020/21, older infants and toddlers might now be at increased risk of severe RSV-associated illness since they may not have had typical levels of exposure to RSV during the past 15 months.
  • In several jurisdictions, the routine use of influenza vaccines and antiviral medications in the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections in children are recommended.

Archive Test, trace, isolate and quarantine

Added: 14 Oct 2021
Updated: 16 Nov 2021

What is the evidence for and jurisdictional policies on test, trace, isolate and quarantine strategies for COVID-19?
  • Modelling studies have found that test, trace, isolate and quarantine can prevent transmission, reduce the reproductive number, decease years of life lost and hospital bed use and reduce mortality.
  • The elements of these programs found to be effective include a strong test component. To be strong requires high testing rates, timely contact tracing, high quarantine compliance, timely self-isolation of symptomatic individuals and quarantine of their household contacts. It also means comprehensive case finding, repeated testing to minimise false diagnoses and pooled testing in resource-limited circumstances. Effective elements also include an extended quarantine period and the use of digital tools for contact tracing and self-isolation.
  • Internationally, many jurisdictions have implemented test, trace, isolate and quarantine (TTIQ)strategies. These can have differing lengths of time in isolation, testing requirements andexceptions for vaccinated people.

Archive Respiratory therapies and COVID-19

Added: 4 Nov 2021

What is the evidence for the use of respiratory therapies for the management of COVID-19?
  • Respiratory therapies may be used to provide oxygen for adults with COVID-19. Alternatives to invasive mechanical ventilation include standard oxygen delivery devices, non-invasive ventilation, including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and high flow nasal oxygen therapy.
  • Aerosol-generating procedures increase transmission risk and may result in airborne transmission of COVID-19. Many respiratory therapies are considered to be aerosol-generating procedures.
  • Prone positioning is a technique used to help patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) breathe better and may be beneficial in awake patients with COVID-19.

Daily Evidence Digest

Rapid evidence checks are based on a simplified review method and may not be entirely exhaustive, but aim to provide a balanced assessment of what is already known about a specific problem or issue. This brief has not been peer-reviewed and should not be a substitute for individual clinical judgement, nor is it an endorsed position of NSW Health. Evidence checks are archived a year after the date of publication.

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