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Med (N Y) ; 3(6): 351-352, 2022 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1946048


Persistent fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA has remained a clinical feature of interest throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In this issue of Med, Natarajan et al. report fecal shedding dynamics of individuals diagnosed with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease and sampled longitudinally for up to 10 months1.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Shedding
Lancet Microbe ; 2(6): e259-e266, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164728


BACKGROUND: Faecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 has raised concerns about transmission through faecal microbiota transplantation procedures. Validation parameters of authorised tests for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in respiratory samples are described in product labelling, whereas the published methods for SARS-CoV-2 detection from faecal samples have not permitted a robust description of the assay parameters. We aimed to develop and validate a test specifically for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in human stool. METHODS: In this validation study, we evaluated performance characteristics of a reverse transcriptase real-time PCR (RT-rtPCR) test for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in human stool specimens by spiking stool with inactivated SARS-CoV-2 material. A modified version of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention RT-rtPCR SARS-CoV-2 test was used for detection of viral RNA. Analytical sensitivity was evaluated in freshly spiked stool by testing two-fold dilutions in replicates of 20. Masked samples were tested by a second laboratory to evaluate interlaboratory reproducibility. Short-term (7-day) stability of viral RNA in stool samples was assessed with four different stool storage buffers (phosphate-buffered saline, Cary-Blair medium, Stool Transport and Recovery [STAR] buffer, and DNA/RNA Shield) kept at -80°C, 4°C, and ambient temperature (approximately 21°C). We also tested clinical stool and anal swab specimens from patients who were SARS-CoV-2 positive by nasopharyngeal testing. FINDINGS: The lower limit of detection of the assay was found to be 3000 viral RNA copies per g of original stool sample, with 100% detection across 20 replicates assessed at this concentration. Analytical sensitivity was diminished by approximately two times after a single freeze-thaw cycle at -80°C. At 100 times the limit of detection, spiked samples were generally stable in all four stool storage buffers tested for up to 7 days, with maximum changes in mean threshold cycle values observed at -80°C storage in Cary-Blair medium (from 29·4 [SD 0·27] at baseline to 30·8 [0·17] at day 7; p<0·0001), at 4°C storage in DNA/RNA Shield (from 28·5 [0·15] to 29·8 [0·09]; p=0·0019), and at ambient temperature in STAR buffer (from 30·4 [0·24] to 32·4 [0·62]; p=0·0083). 30 contrived SARS-CoV-2 samples were tested by a second laboratory and were correctly identified as positive or negative in at least one of two rounds of testing. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected using this assay in the stool and anal swab specimens of 11 of 23 individuals known to be positive for SARS-CoV-2. INTERPRETATION: This is a sensitive and reproducible assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in human stool, with potential uses in faecal microbiota transplantation donor screening, sewage monitoring, and further research into the effects of faecal shedding on the epidemiology of the COVID-19 pandemic. FUNDING: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, US National Institutes of Health; Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
Microbiome ; 9(1): 2, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067276


The inaugural "Microbiome for Mars" virtual workshop took place on July 13, 2020. This event assembled leaders in microbiome research and development to discuss their work and how it may relate to long-duration human space travel. The conference focused on surveying current microbiome research, future endeavors, and how this growing field could broadly impact human health and space exploration. This report summarizes each speaker's presentation in the order presented at the workshop.

Astronauts , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Mars , Microbiota/physiology , Space Flight , Animals , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/physiology , Humans , Microbiota/genetics