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Mmwr-Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report ; 71(36):1151-1154, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2068408

ABSTRACT

What is already known about this topic? Before emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant, infectious SARS-CoV-2 was unlikely to be cultured at high cycle threshold (Ct) values. Based on this, low Ct values, which are suggestive of high RNA levels, are sometimes used as surrogate markers for infectiousness. What is added by this report? In a longitudinal study including daily nasal swabbing, although Omicron BA.1 sublineage infections exhibited higher Ct values than did pre-Omicron infections, culturable Omicron virus was still detected. Among virus-positive specimens, Ct values were higher for Omicron than for pre-Omicron specimens, especially during the first week of illness. What are the implications for public health practice? Supporting CDC guidance, these data show that Ct values likely do not provide a consistent proxy for infectiousness across SARS-CoV-2 variants.

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