SARS-CoV-2 in serum, urine, and stool specimens of COVID-19 patients from the Republic of Korea.
SARS-CoV-2 in serum, urine, and stool specimens of COVID-19 patients from the Republic of Korea. Spencer EA, Heneghan C.
Published on July 8, 2020
Transmission Dynamics of COVID-19
||Kim J-M, Kim H-M, Lee E-J, et al. Detection and isolation of SARS-CoV-2 in serum, urine, and stool specimens of COVID-19 patients from the Republic of Korea. Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(3):112-117. Published online May 8, 2020 2020
SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in serum, urine or stool samples in 20% of patients hospitalised with COVID-19. However, the virus could not be isolated from these samples and therefore the risk of transmission via these media is not established.
Serum, urine and stool samples were collected (non-periodically) from 74 hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 15 of 74 participants’ serum, urine, or stool samples.
- serum of six patients;
- urine samples of two patients; and
- stool samples of eight patients.
The virus detection rate in the serum, urine, and stool samples were 2.8% (9/323), 0.8% (2/247), and 10% (13/129).
The mean viral load in positive samples was:
- Serum 1,210 ± 1,861 copy/µL,
- Urine 79 ± 30 copy/µL, and
- Stool 3,176 ± 7,208 copy/µL.
In three cases, the virus was not detected in respiratory samples, although it was present in stool samples.
SARS-CoV-2 was not isolated by the culture method from the samples that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 gene. So, it is not clear how viable any virus within these samples would be.
SARS-CoV-2 was detectable in the respiratory samples of COVID-19 patients for several days after hospitalization. Its detection in the serum, urine, and stool samples was intermittent.
What did they do?
The study aimed to determine the rate and probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from COVID-19 cases via non-respiratory routes. Serum, urine, and stool samples were collected non-periodically from 74 hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19, based on detection of SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory samples.
The SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome was extracted from each specimen and real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction performed. CaCo-2 cells were inoculated with the specimens containing the SARS-COV-2 genome and subcultured for virus isolation. After culturing, viral replication in the cell supernatant was assessed.
This study was moderately small and performed over a short period of time. Replication is needed to establish the reliability of the findings.
|Clearly defined setting
||Demographic characteristics described
||Follow-up length was sufficient
||Transmission outcomes assessed
||Main biases are taken into consideration
What else should I consider?
We are not currently aware of previous reports of SARS-CoV-2 presence in the serum.
About the authors