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J Clin Virol ; 152: 105167, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814678


BACKGROUND: Knowing how long SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals can remain infective is crucial for the design of infection prevention and control strategies. Viral culture is the gold standard for detecting an active-replicative virus and evaluating its infectious potential. OBJECTIVE: To assess the correlation of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity with the number of days from symptom onset and the Ct value, using culture as a reference method. Also, to describe a detailed protocol for SARS-CoV-2 culture and immunofluorescence confirmation based on our experience with other respiratory viruses. STUDY DESIGN: 100 consecutive respiratory samples positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR from different subjects were inoculated into VERO E6 cells. RESULTS: Viral isolation was successful in 58% of samples. The median number of days from symptom onset for culture-positive samples was 2, and 15 for culture-negative samples. Six positive cultures were obtained in patients ≥14 days after symptom onset, all of whom were immunocompromised or with severe COVID-19. The mean Ct value was 12.64 units higher in culture-negative than in culture-positive samples. The probability of successfully isolating SARS-CoV-2 in samples with a Ct value <22 was 100%, decreasing to 3.1% when >27. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show a significant positive correlation between the probability of isolating SARS-CoV-2 in culture, fewer days of symptoms and a lower RT-PCR Ct value. SARS-CoV-2 infectivity lasts no more than 14 days from symptom onset in immunocompetent individuals. In contrast, in immunocompromised patients or those with severe COVID-19 infectivity may remain after 14 days. Ct value <22 always indicates infectivity.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Fluorescent Antibody Technique , Humans , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(4): 756-766, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691547


BACKGROUND: Few long-term reports have been published on the epidemiology of respiratory viruses despite their frequent involvement in extremely common infections. The aim here was to determine the frequency and distribution of respiratory viruses in a temperate climate area (Barcelona, Spain) throughout a 24-year period. METHODS: We collected data on all respiratory viruses detected from 1997 to 2020 in our institution. Clinical specimens were analyzed mainly by conventional techniques, and molecular techniques were also used. RESULTS: Of the 59,579 specimens analyzed, 21,382 (35.9%) were positive for at least one virus. The number of positive samples during cold months was significantly higher than in warm months. Respiratory virus infections were detected in patients of all ages, above all in children under 3 years of age, who were most frequently infected with the respiratory syncytial virus, whereas Influenza A virus predominated in the other groups, especially in adults. A clear demographic and seasonal pattern was established for some viruses. Circulation of other respiratory viruses during the FLUAV H1N1pdm09 and SARS-CoV-2 pandemics was observed. CONCLUSIONS: This long-term study provides new knowledge about the prevalence of respiratory viruses in a Mediterranean region. Throughout the study period, the frequency of some viruses remained constant, whereas others varied with the year. A clear demographic and seasonal pattern was established for some viruses. Patients suffering from severe respiratory infections should be examined for a range of respiratory viruses regardless of gender, age, or season.

COVID-19 , Influenza A virus , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Respiratory Tract Infections , Virus Diseases , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Infant , Prevalence , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , Virus Diseases/epidemiology