Viral load of SARS‐CoV‐2 in stool samples

 Viral load of SARS‐CoV‐2 in stool samples. Heneghan C

Published on July 30, 2020

Reference Pan Y, Zhang D, Yang P et al. Viral load of SARS‐CoV‐2 in clinical samples.  Lancet Infect Dis 2020; 20: 411–2.
Study type
Country China
Setting Hospital
Funding Details Theme-based Research Scheme (UGC, Hong Kong).
Transmission mode Orofecal

Bottom Line

Stool samples from 9/17 confirmed patients (53%) were positive on RT-PCR analysis.

Evidence Summary

From 17 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection with available data (days 0–13 after onset), stool samples from nine (53%; days 0–11 after onset) were positive on RT-PCR analysis. Viral loads were less than those of respiratory samples (range 550 copies per mL to 1·21 × 105 copies per mL).

What did they do?

Serial samples (throat swabs, sputum, urine, and stool) from two patients in Beijing were collected daily after their hospitalisation (patient 1, days 3–12 post-onset; patient 2, days 4–15 post-onset).

Respiratory samples (nasal [n=1], throat swabs [n=67], and sputum [n=42]) were  collected from 80 individuals at different stages of infection.

Study reliability

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

What else should I consider?

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