COVID-19: Prolonged virus shedding even after seroconversion

COVID-19:  Prolonged virus shedding even after seroconversion. Jefferson T Heneghan C.

Published on August 11, 2020

Reference Liu W-D, Chang S-Y, Wang J-T, Tsai M-J, Hung C-C, Hsu C-L, et al. Prolonged virus shedding even after seroconversion in a patient with COVID-19. J Infect. 2020;81(2):318-56. 2020
Study type
Country Taiwan (traveller from Wuhan)
Setting Community
Funding Details Non reported
Transmission mode Droplets
Exposures Travel

Bottom Line

A 50 year old woman continued to shed live virus until day 18 and non viable virus until day 63 from symptom onset.

Evidence Summary

The study is a letter to the editor reporting the case of a 50 year old woman traveller from Wuhan to Taipei who became symptomatic after 2 days, excreted live virus in sputum for 18 subsequent days and non viable viruses until day 63. 

Serial RT-PCR results in this case highlight the importance of the clinical specimens sampled from lower respiratory tract for detecting SARS-CoV-2 virus.

What did they do?

The study is case report undated.

Study reliability

A single case report requires replication.

Clearly defined setting Demographic characteristics described Follow-up length was sufficient Transmission outcomes assessed Main biases are taken into consideration
Unclear Yes Yes Yes No

What else should I consider?

This case report requires replication. Although culture was performed viral load (ct) was not quantified.

About the authors

Carl Heneghan

Carl is Professor of EBM & Director of CEBM at the University of Oxford. He is also a GP and tweets @carlheneghan. He has an active interest in discovering the truth behind health research findings

Tom Jefferson

Tom Jefferson, epidemiologist.