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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2021, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (1): 36-41.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2020.10.002

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Tanreqing Capsule on the negative conversion time of nucleic acid in patients with COVID-19: A retrospective cohort study

Xing Zhanga,1, YanXuea,1, Xuan Chena, Jia-min,Wua, Zi-jian Sua, Meng Suna, Lu-jiong Liua, Yi-bao Zhanga, Yi-le Zhanga, Gui-hua Xua, Miao-yan Shia, Xiu-ming Songa, Yun-fei Lub, Xiao-rong Chenb, Wei Zhanga, Qi Chena   

  1. a Department of Respiratory Disease, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
    b Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Shanghai 201508, China
  • Received:2020-06-21 Accepted:2020-08-07 Online:2021-01-12 Published:2020-10-09
  • About author:1 Xing Zhang and Yan Xue contributed equally to this work.
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by Emergency Scientific Research Project of Shanghai Health Committee and Shanghai Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (No. 2020YJ01), Shanghai Key Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Clinical Medicine (No. 14DZ2273200) and Shanghai Key Clinical Specialty (No. SHSLCZDZK05101).

Objective
Traditional Chinese medicine plays a significant role in the treatment of the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Tanreqing Capsule (TRQC) was used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center. This study aimed to investigate the clinical efficacy of TRQC in the treatment of COVID-19.

Methods
A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 82 patients who had laboratory-confirmed mild and moderate COVID-19; patients were treated with TRQC in one designated hospital. The treatment and control groups consisted of 25 and 57 cases, respectively. The treatment group was given TRQC orally three times a day, three pills each time, in addition to conventional Western medicine treatments which were also administered to the control group. The clinical efficacy indicators, such as the negative conversion time of pharyngeal swab nucleic acid, the negative conversion time of fecal nucleic acid, the duration of negative conversion of pharyngeal-fecal nucleic acid, and the improvement in the level of immune indicators such as T-cell subsets (CD3, CD4 and CD45) were monitored.

Results
COVID-19 patients in the treatment group, compared to the control group, had a shorter negative conversion time of fecal nucleic acid (4 vs. 9 days, P = 0.047) and a shorter interval of negative conversion of pharyngeal-fecal nucleic acid (0 vs. 2 days, P = 0.042). The level of CD3+ T cells increased in the treatment group compared to the control group ([317.09 ± 274.39] vs. [175.02 ± 239.95] counts/μL, P = 0.030). No statistically significant differences were detected in the median improvement in levels of CD4+ T cells (173 vs. 107 counts/μL, P = 0.208) and CD45+ T cells (366 vs. 141 counts/μL, P = 0.117) between the treatment and control groups.

Conclusion
Significant reductions in the negative conversion time of fecal nucleic acid and the duration of negative conversion of pharyngeal-fecal nucleic acid were identified in the treatment group as compared to the control group, illustrating the potential therapeutic benefits of using TRQC as a complement to conventional medicine in patients with mild and moderate COVID-19. The underlying mechanism may be related to the improved levels of the immune indicator CD3+ T cells.

Key words: Tanreqing Capsule, Coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19 diagnostic testing, Negative conversion rate

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