How accurate is chest imaging for diagnosing COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating challenges for diagnosis of the disease, as well as for its treatment and the rapid reviews being prepared by Cochrane are covering both of these areas. We asked the lead author of the September 2020 review of the evidence on using imaging tests to diagnose the condition, Jean-Paul Salameh from The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in Canada, to describe their findings in this podcast.

Salameh  J-P, Leeflang  MMG, Hooft  L, Islam  N, McGrath  TA, Pol  CB, Frank  RA, Prager  R, Hare  SS, Dennie  C, Spijker  R, Deeks  JJ, Dinnes  J, Jenniskens  K, Korevaar  DA, Cohen  JF, Van den Bruel  A, Takwoingi  Y, de Wijgert  J, Damen  JAAG, Wang  J, McInnes  MDF.  

Podcast published September 2020

Can symptoms and medical examination accurately diagnose COVID-19 disease?

COVID-19 has spread quickly throughout the world, and Cochrane is producing a series of rapid reviews to help decision makers deal with the pandemic and its impact. One of these reviews, published in June 2020, examines the accuracy of using signs and symptoms to diagnose whether someone has the disease. We asked the lead author, Thomas Struyf from the KU Leuven in Belgium, to tell us why the review is needed and what they found.

Struyf  T, Deeks  JJ, Dinnes  J, Takwoingi  Y, Davenport  C, Leeflang  MMG, Spijker  R, Hooft  L, Emperador  D, Dittrich  S, Domen  J, Horn  SR A, Van den Bruel  A

Podcast published July 2020

Does cleaning hands with ash stop or reduce the spread of viral and bacterial infections compared with soap or other materials? 

Coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, has spread quickly throughout the world, and Cochrane is producing a series of rapid reviews of the evidence to help decision makers respond to the pandemic. In April 2020,  a rapid review was published on the effects of using ash for cleaning hands when soap and water are not available. In this podcast, Lars Jørgensen from the Nordic Cochrane Centre spoke to his colleague, Asger Paludan-Müller, about the review.

Paludan-Müller  AS, Boesen  K, Klerings  I, Jørgensen  KJ, Munkholm  K

Podcast published April 2020

Factors that influence whether healthcare workers follow infection prevention and control guidelines for respiratory  infectious diseases 

COVID-19 has spread quickly, and Cochrane is producing a series of rapid reviews of relevant evidence to help decision makers. One of these looks at the views of healthcare workers on infection prevention and control guidelines, and we asked lead author, Catherine Houghton from the National University of Ireland in Galway to describe the key findings, published in April 2020.

Houghton  C, Meskell  P, Delaney  H, Smalle  M, Glenton  C, Booth  A, Chan  XHS, Devane  D, Biesty  LM

Podcast published April 2020

How effective is quarantine alone or combined with other public health measures to control coronavirus (COVID-2019)?

Coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, has spread quickly throughout the world, and Cochrane is producing a series of rapid reviews of the evidence to help decision makers respond to the pandemic. In this podcast, lead author, Barbara Nussbaumer-Streit from Danube University Krems in Austria outlines the findings of their  review on the effectiveness of quarantine, which was requested by the World Health Organization and published in early April 2020.

Nussbaumer-Streit B, Mayr V, Dobrescu Alulia, Chapman A, Persad E, Klerings I, Wagner G, Siebert U, Christof C, Zachariah C, Gartlehner G

Podcast published April 2020

Xpert MTB/RIF and Xpert Ultra for diagnosing pulmonary tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance in adults

Most Cochrane Reviews look at the effects of interventions on health, but a growing number provide evidence on how to diagnose a disease. In June 2019, one of these, on a test used to detect tuberculosis, was updated. The lead author, David Horne from the University of Washington in Seattle in the USA, sets the scene and tells us what the review found.

Horne  DJ, Kohli  M, Zifodya  JS, Schiller  I, Dendukuri  N, Tollefson  D, Schumacher  SG, Ochodo  EA, Pai  M, Steingart  KR

Podcast Published October 2019 

Effects of starting antiretroviral therapy within one week of diagnosis on people living with HIV 

Among the dozens of Cochrane Reviews of various treatments for people with HIV or AIDS, are some that look more at how the treatments should be used, rather than the treatments themselves. One of these examines the timing of the start of treatment, and it was published in June 2019. Lead author, Alberto Mateo from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK, tells us about the evidence base and the findings for this important question.

Mateo‐Urdiales  A, Johnson  S, Smith  R, Nachega  JB, Eshun‐Wilson  I

Podcast published September 2019

Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhoea: vaccines in use 

Rotavirus infection is a common cause of diarrhea and a variety of vaccines are used to try to prevent it. The evidence for these is examined in the fourth update of a Cochrane Review, published in March 2019 . Hanna Bergman one of the authors based in the Cochrane Response team in London UK tells us  about the problem and the latest findings.

Soares‐Weiser  K, Bergman  H, Henschke  N, Pitan  F, Cunliffe  N

Podcast published May 2019

Xpert® MTB/RIF  assay for extrapulmonary tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance 

Most Cochrane Reviews look at the effects of interventions on health, but a growing number are providing evidence on the accuracy of different ways of diagnosing a disease. These were added to in August 2018 by a new review on a test used in the management of tuberculosis. The review's first author, Mikashmi Kohli from McGill University in Montreal Canada, sets the scene and tells us what they found in this podcast.

Kohli M, Schiller I, Dendukuri N, Dheda k, Denkinger CM, Schumacher SG, Steingart KR

Podcast published October 2018

The accuracy of rapid diagnostic tests  for detecting typhoid and paratyphoid (enteric) fever

Point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests which use a small amount of blood are available for infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV, and make an important contribution to patient management. Cochrane reviews of the accuracy of such tests have influenced WHO policy and, in May 2017, they were added to with a new Cochrane Diagnostic Test Accuracy review of rapid tests for typhoid and paratyphoid fevers. Lalith Wijedoru from the Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool in UK tells us more in this podcast.

Wijedoru L, Mallett S, Parry CM

Podcast published October 2017

School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections,and pregnancy in adolescents

Mason-Jones AJ, Sinclair D, Mathews C, Kagee A, Hillman A, Lombard C

Podcast published March 2017

3ie London Evidence Week, April 2016

3ie interviewed Professor Paul Garner, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Coordinating Editor, Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group on the relevance of systematic reviews and evidence gap maps in policymaking

Directly observed therapy for treating tuberculosis

Jamlick Karumbi, Paul Garner 

Published 23 July 2015

Intermittent preventive antimalarial treatment for children with anaemia

Anke Rohwer, based at the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, describes the rationale and findings in this Evidence Podcast.

Published 20 April  2015


Drugs for treating urinary schistosomiasis 

Kramer CV, Zhang F, Sinclair D, Olliaro P

Published 6 August 2014


 LSTM Podcast April 2013

Paul Garner - Systematic reviews, Cochrane and international development

Xpert® MTB/RIF test for diagnosing pulmonary tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance in adults

Steingart KR, Schiller I, Horne DJ, Pai M, Boehme CC, Dendukuri N

Published 1 January 2013


Deworming drugs for treating soil-transmitted intestinal worms in children: effects on nutrition and school performance 

Taylor-Robinson DC, Maayan N, Soares-Weiser K, Donegan S, Garner P

Published 14 November 2012


Vaccines for preventing rotavirus diarrhoea: vaccines in use 

Soares-Weiser K, MacLehose H, Bergman H, Ben-Aharon I, Nagpal S, Goldberg E, Pitan F, Cunliffe N

Published 14 November 2012


Rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosing uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria in endemic countries

Abba  K, Deeks  JJ, Olliaro  PL, Naing  CM, Jackson  SM, Takwoingi  Y, Donegan  S, Garner  P.

Published 06 July 2011


Probiotics for treating acute infectious diarrhoea

Allen SJ, Martinez EG, Gregorio GV, Dans LF

Published 8 December 2010