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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2020 Aug 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729112

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Waning immunity occurs in patients who have recovered from COVID-19. However, it remains unclear whether true re-infection occurs. METHODS: Whole genome sequencing was performed directly on respiratory specimens collected during two episodes of COVID-19 in a patient. Comparative genome analysis was conducted to differentiate re-infection from persistent viral shedding. Laboratory results, including RT-PCR Ct values and serum SARS-CoV-2 IgG, were analyzed. RESULTS: The second episode of asymptomatic infection occurred 142 days after the first symptomatic episode in an apparently immunocompetent patient. During the second episode, there was serological evidence of elevated C-reactive protein and SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroconversion. Viral genomes from first and second episodes belong to different clades/lineages. Compared to viral genomes in GISAID, the first virus genome has a stop codon at position 64 of orf8 leading to a truncation of 58 amino acids, and was phylogenetically closely related to strains collected in March/April 2020, while the second virus genome was closely related to strains collected in July/August 2020. Another 23 nucleotide and 13 amino acid differences located in 9 different proteins, including positions of B and T cell epitopes, were found between viruses from the first and second episodes. CONCLUSIONS: Epidemiological, clinical, serological and genomic analyses confirmed that the patient had re-infection instead of persistent viral shedding from first infection. Our results suggest SARS-CoV-2 may continue to circulate among the human populations despite herd immunity due to natural infection or vaccination. Further studies of patients with re-infection will shed light on protective correlates important for vaccine design.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2020 Aug 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694735

ABSTRACT

After two months of relative quiescence, a large COVID-19 outbreak occurred in Hong Kong in July 2020 after gradual relaxation of social distancing policy. Two unique SARS-CoV-2 phylogenetic clusters have been identified among locally-acquired cases, with most genomes belonging to cluster HK1 which is phylogenetically related to SARS-CoV-2 reported overseas.

3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(15)2020 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693630

ABSTRACT

To control the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent its resurgence in areas preparing for a return of economic activities, a method for a rapid, simple, and inexpensive point-of-care diagnosis and mass screening is urgently needed. We developed and evaluated a one-step colorimetric reverse-transcriptional loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay (COVID-19-LAMP) for detection of SARS-CoV-2, using SARS-CoV-2 isolate and respiratory samples from patients with COVID-19 (n = 223) and other respiratory virus infections (n = 143). The assay involves simple equipment and techniques and low cost, without the need for expensive qPCR machines, and the result, indicated by color change, is easily interpreted by naked eyes. COVID-19-LAMP can detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA with detection limit of 42 copies/reaction. Of 223 respiratory samples positive for SARS-CoV-2 by qRT-PCR, 212 and 219 were positive by COVID-19-LAMP at 60 and 90 min (sensitivities of 95.07% and 98.21%) respectively, with the highest sensitivities among nasopharyngeal swabs (96.88% and 98.96%), compared to sputum/deep throat saliva samples (94.03% and 97.02%), and throat swab samples (93.33% and 98.33%). None of the 143 samples with other respiratory viruses were positive by COVID-19-LAMP, showing 100% specificity. Samples with higher viral load showed shorter detection time, some as early as 30 min. This inexpensive, highly sensitive and specific COVID-19-LAMP assay can be useful for rapid deployment as mobile diagnostic units to resource-limiting areas for point-of-care diagnosis, and for unlimited high-throughput mass screening at borders to reduce cross-regional transmission.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Colorimetry/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Mass Screening/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/analysis , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Colorimetry/economics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nasopharynx/virology , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Viral Load
5.
BMJ Open ; 10(7): e038555, 2020 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-662505

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: There is an outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide. As there is no effective therapy or vaccine yet, rigorous implementation of traditional public health measures such as isolation and quarantine remains the most effective tool to control the outbreak. When an asymptomatic individual with COVID-19 exposure is being quarantined, it is necessary to perform temperature and symptom surveillance. As such surveillance is intermittent in nature and highly dependent on self-discipline, it has limited effectiveness. Advances in biosensor technologies made it possible to continuously monitor physiological parameters using wearable biosensors with a variety of form factors. OBJECTIVE: To explore the potential of using wearable biosensors to continuously monitor multidimensional physiological parameters for early detection of COVID-19 clinical progression. METHOD: This randomised controlled open-labelled trial will involve 200-1000 asymptomatic subjects with close COVID-19 contact under mandatory quarantine at designated facilities in Hong Kong. Subjects will be randomised to receive a remote monitoring strategy (intervention group) or standard strategy (control group) in a 1:1 ratio during the 14 day-quarantine period. In addition to fever and symptom surveillance in the control group, subjects in the intervention group will wear wearable biosensors on their arms to continuously monitor skin temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure, pulse rate, blood oxygen saturation and daily activities. These physiological parameters will be transferred in real time to a smartphone application called Biovitals Sentinel. These data will then be processed using a cloud-based multivariate physiology analytics engine called Biovitals to detect subtle physiological changes. The results will be displayed on a web-based dashboard for clinicians' review. The primary outcome is the time to diagnosis of COVID-19. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been obtained from institutional review boards at the study sites. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Mobile Applications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Quarantine , Smartphone , Wearable Electronic Devices , Betacoronavirus , Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Cloud Computing , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Early Diagnosis , Heart Rate , Hong Kong , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Respiratory Rate , Skin Temperature , Telemedicine
6.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(9): 1051-1060, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597077

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A cruise ship is a closed-off environment that simulates the basic functioning of a city in terms of living conditions and interpersonal interactions. Thus, the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined because of an onboard outbreak of COVID-19 in February, 2020, provides an opportunity to define the shedding pattern of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and patient antibody responses before and after the onset of symptoms. METHODS: We recruited adult (≥18 years) passengers from Hong Kong who had been on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan in February, 2020. All participants had been found to be negative for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR 4 days before disembarking and were transferred to further quarantine in a public estate in Hong Kong, where they were recruited. Participants were prospectively screened by quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) of nasopharyngeal and throat swabs, and serum IgG and IgM against internal nucleoprotein and the surface spike receptor-binding protein (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 at baseline (upon entering quarantine) and on days 4, 8, and 12 of quarantine. FINDINGS: On Feb 22, 2020, 215 adults were recruited, of whom nine (4%; 95% CI 2-8) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR or serology and were hospitalised. Of these nine patients, nasopharyngeal swab RT-qPCR was positive in eight patients (89%; 57-99) at baseline. All nine patients were positive for anti-RBD IgG by day 8. Eight (89%; 57-99) were simultaneously positive for nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR and anti-RBD IgG. One patient who was positive for anti-RBD IgG and had a negative viral load had multifocal peripheral ground-glass changes on high-resolution CT that were typical of COVID-19. Five patients (56%; 27-81) with ground-glass changes on high-resolution CT were found to have higher anti-nucleoprotein-IgG OD values on day 8 and 12 and anti-RBD IgG OD value on day 12 than patients without ground-glass changes. Six (67%; 35-88) patients remained asymptomatic throughout the 14-day quarantine period. INTERPRETATION: Patients with COVID-19 can develop asymptomatic lung infection with viral shedding and those with evidence of pneumonia on imaging tend to have an increased antibody response. Positive IgG or IgM confirmed infection of COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. A combination of RT-PCR and serology should be implemented for case finding and contact tracing to facilitate early diagnosis, prompt isolation, and treatment. FUNDING: Shaw Foundation Hong Kong; Sanming-Project of Medicine (Shenzhen); High Level-Hospital Program (Guangdong Health Commission).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Seroconversion , Virus Shedding , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine , Ships , Thorax/diagnostic imaging , Viral Load , Young Adult
7.
Lancet ; 395(10238): 1695-1704, 2020 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-232479

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective antiviral therapy is important for tackling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We assessed the efficacy and safety of combined interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin for treating patients with COVID-19. METHODS: This was a multicentre, prospective, open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial in adults with COVID-19 who were admitted to six hospitals in Hong Kong. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to a 14-day combination of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h, ribavirin 400 mg every 12 h, and three doses of 8 million international units of interferon beta-1b on alternate days (combination group) or to 14 days of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h (control group). The primary endpoint was the time to providing a nasopharyngeal swab negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RT-PCR, and was done in the intention-to-treat population. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04276688. FINDINGS: Between Feb 10 and March 20, 2020, 127 patients were recruited; 86 were randomly assigned to the combination group and 41 were assigned to the control group. The median number of days from symptom onset to start of study treatment was 5 days (IQR 3-7). The combination group had a significantly shorter median time from start of study treatment to negative nasopharyngeal swab (7 days [IQR 5-11]) than the control group (12 days [8-15]; hazard ratio 4·37 [95% CI 1·86-10·24], p=0·0010). Adverse events included self-limited nausea and diarrhoea with no difference between the two groups. One patient in the control group discontinued lopinavir-ritonavir because of biochemical hepatitis. No patients died during the study. INTERPRETATION: Early triple antiviral therapy was safe and superior to lopinavir-ritonavir alone in alleviating symptoms and shortening the duration of viral shedding and hospital stay in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Future clinical study of a double antiviral therapy with interferon beta-1b as a backbone is warranted. FUNDING: The Shaw-Foundation, Richard and Carol Yu, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, and Sanming Project of Medicine.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interferon beta-1b/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Ribavirin/therapeutic use , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , Adult , Betacoronavirus , Drug Combinations , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hong Kong , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
8.
Lancet ; 395(10238): 1695-1704, 2020 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-209647

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective antiviral therapy is important for tackling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We assessed the efficacy and safety of combined interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin for treating patients with COVID-19. METHODS: This was a multicentre, prospective, open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial in adults with COVID-19 who were admitted to six hospitals in Hong Kong. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to a 14-day combination of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h, ribavirin 400 mg every 12 h, and three doses of 8 million international units of interferon beta-1b on alternate days (combination group) or to 14 days of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h (control group). The primary endpoint was the time to providing a nasopharyngeal swab negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RT-PCR, and was done in the intention-to-treat population. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04276688. FINDINGS: Between Feb 10 and March 20, 2020, 127 patients were recruited; 86 were randomly assigned to the combination group and 41 were assigned to the control group. The median number of days from symptom onset to start of study treatment was 5 days (IQR 3-7). The combination group had a significantly shorter median time from start of study treatment to negative nasopharyngeal swab (7 days [IQR 5-11]) than the control group (12 days [8-15]; hazard ratio 4·37 [95% CI 1·86-10·24], p=0·0010). Adverse events included self-limited nausea and diarrhoea with no difference between the two groups. One patient in the control group discontinued lopinavir-ritonavir because of biochemical hepatitis. No patients died during the study. INTERPRETATION: Early triple antiviral therapy was safe and superior to lopinavir-ritonavir alone in alleviating symptoms and shortening the duration of viral shedding and hospital stay in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Future clinical study of a double antiviral therapy with interferon beta-1b as a backbone is warranted. FUNDING: The Shaw-Foundation, Richard and Carol Yu, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, and Sanming Project of Medicine.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interferon beta-1b/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Ribavirin/therapeutic use , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , Adult , Betacoronavirus , Drug Combinations , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hong Kong , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
9.
J Clin Microbiol ; 58(5)2020 04 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-197207

ABSTRACT

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan, China. Subsequent investigations identified a novel coronavirus, now named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), from the affected patients. Highly sensitive and specific laboratory diagnostics are important for controlling the rapidly evolving SARS-CoV-2-associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic. In this study, we developed and compared the performance of three novel real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assays targeting the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp)/helicase (Hel), spike (S), and nucleocapsid (N) genes of SARS-CoV-2 with that of the reported RdRp-P2 assay, which is used in >30 European laboratories. Among the three novel assays, the COVID-19-RdRp/Hel assay had the lowest limit of detection in vitro (1.8 50% tissue culture infective doses [TCID50]/ml with genomic RNA and 11.2 RNA copies/reaction with in vitro RNA transcripts). Among 273 specimens from 15 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in Hong Kong, 77 (28.2%) were positive by both the COVID-19-RdRp/Hel and RdRp-P2 assays. The COVID-19-RdRp/Hel assay was positive for an additional 42 RdRp-P2-negative specimens (119/273 [43.6%] versus 77/273 [28.2%]; P < 0.001), including 29/120 (24.2%) respiratory tract specimens and 13/153 (8.5%) non-respiratory tract specimens. The mean viral load of these specimens was 3.21 × 104 RNA copies/ml (range, 2.21 × 102 to 4.71 × 105 RNA copies/ml). The COVID-19-RdRp/Hel assay did not cross-react with other human-pathogenic coronaviruses and respiratory pathogens in cell culture and clinical specimens, whereas the RdRp-P2 assay cross-reacted with SARS-CoV in cell culture. The highly sensitive and specific COVID-19-RdRp/Hel assay may help to improve the laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Viral Proteins/genetics , Adult , Aged , Animals , China , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/standards , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Vero Cells
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(7)2020 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-42099

ABSTRACT

The pandemic novel coronavirus infection, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has affected at least 190 countries or territories, with 465,915 confirmed cases and 21,031 deaths. In a containment-based strategy, rapid, sensitive and specific testing is important in epidemiological control and clinical management. Using 96 SARS-CoV-2 and 104 non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genomes and our in-house program, GolayMetaMiner, four specific regions longer than 50 nucleotides in the SARS-CoV-2 genome were identified. Primers were designed to target the longest and previously untargeted nsp2 region and optimized as a probe-free real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. The new COVID-19-nsp2 assay had a limit of detection (LOD) of 1.8 TCID50/mL and did not amplify other human-pathogenic coronaviruses and respiratory viruses. Assay reproducibility in terms of cycle threshold (Cp) values was satisfactory, with the total imprecision (% CV) values well below 5%. Evaluation of the new assay using 59 clinical specimens from 14 confirmed cases showed 100% concordance with our previously developed COVID-19-RdRp/Hel reference assay. A rapid, sensitive, SARS-CoV-2-specific real-time RT-PCR assay, COVID-19-nsp2, was developed.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Genome, Viral , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/analysis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Humans , Pandemics , Reproducibility of Results , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity
11.
Gastroenterology ; 159(1): 81-95, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-40729

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has been characterized by fever, respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms as well as shedding of virus RNA into feces. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published gastrointestinal symptoms and detection of virus in stool and also summarized data from a cohort of patients with COVID-19 in Hong Kong. METHODS: We collected data from the cohort of patients with COVID-19 in Hong Kong (N = 59; diagnosis from February 2 through February 29, 2020),and searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, and 3 Chinese databases through March 11, 2020, according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We analyzed pooled data on the prevalence of overall and individual gastrointestinal symptoms (loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain or discomfort) using a random effects model. RESULTS: Among the 59 patients with COVID-19 in Hong Kong, 15 patients (25.4%) had gastrointestinal symptoms, and 9 patients (15.3%) had stool that tested positive for virus RNA. Stool viral RNA was detected in 38.5% and 8.7% among those with and without diarrhea, respectively (P = .02). The median fecal viral load was 5.1 log10 copies per milliliter in patients with diarrhea vs 3.9 log10 copies per milliliter in patients without diarrhea (P = .06). In a meta-analysis of 60 studies comprising 4243 patients, the pooled prevalence of all gastrointestinal symptoms was 17.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 12.3-24.5); 11.8% of patients with nonsevere COVID-19 had gastrointestinal symptoms (95% CI, 4.1-29.1), and 17.1% of patients with severe COVID-19 had gastrointestinal symptoms (95% CI, 6.9-36.7). In the meta-analysis, the pooled prevalence of stool samples that were positive for virus RNA was 48.1% (95% CI, 38.3-57.9); of these samples, 70.3% of those collected after loss of virus from respiratory specimens tested positive for the virus (95% CI, 49.6-85.1). CONCLUSIONS: In an analysis of data from the Hong Kong cohort of patients with COVID-19 and a meta-analysis of findings from publications, we found that 17.6% of patients with COVID-19 had gastrointestinal symptoms. Virus RNA was detected in stool samples from 48.1% patients, even in stool collected after respiratory samples had negative test results. Health care workers should therefore exercise caution in collecting fecal samples or performing endoscopic procedures in patients with COVID-19, even during patient recovery.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Diarrhea/virology , Feces/virology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Viral Load , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Diarrhea/diagnosis , Diarrhea/epidemiology , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal/standards , Gastrointestinal Tract/diagnostic imaging , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Prevalence , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification
12.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(5): 565-574, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-14173

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes severe community and nosocomial outbreaks. Comprehensive data for serial respiratory viral load and serum antibody responses from patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are not yet available. Nasopharyngeal and throat swabs are usually obtained for serial viral load monitoring of respiratory infections but gathering these specimens can cause discomfort for patients and put health-care workers at risk. We aimed to ascertain the serial respiratory viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in posterior oropharyngeal (deep throat) saliva samples from patients with COVID-19, and serum antibody responses. METHODS: We did a cohort study at two hospitals in Hong Kong. We included patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. We obtained samples of blood, urine, posterior oropharyngeal saliva, and rectal swabs. Serial viral load was ascertained by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Antibody levels against the SARS-CoV-2 internal nucleoprotein (NP) and surface spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) were measured using EIA. Whole-genome sequencing was done to identify possible mutations arising during infection. FINDINGS: Between Jan 22, 2020, and Feb 12, 2020, 30 patients were screened for inclusion, of whom 23 were included (median age 62 years [range 37-75]). The median viral load in posterior oropharyngeal saliva or other respiratory specimens at presentation was 5·2 log10 copies per mL (IQR 4·1-7·0). Salivary viral load was highest during the first week after symptom onset and subsequently declined with time (slope -0·15, 95% CI -0·19 to -0·11; R2=0·71). In one patient, viral RNA was detected 25 days after symptom onset. Older age was correlated with higher viral load (Spearman's ρ=0·48, 95% CI 0·074-0·75; p=0·020). For 16 patients with serum samples available 14 days or longer after symptom onset, rates of seropositivity were 94% for anti-NP IgG (n=15), 88% for anti-NP IgM (n=14), 100% for anti-RBD IgG (n=16), and 94% for anti-RBD IgM (n=15). Anti-SARS-CoV-2-NP or anti-SARS-CoV-2-RBD IgG levels correlated with virus neutralisation titre (R2>0·9). No genome mutations were detected on serial samples. INTERPRETATION: Posterior oropharyngeal saliva samples are a non-invasive specimen more acceptable to patients and health-care workers. Unlike severe acute respiratory syndrome, patients with COVID-19 had the highest viral load near presentation, which could account for the fast-spreading nature of this epidemic. This finding emphasises the importance of stringent infection control and early use of potent antiviral agents, alone or in combination, for high-risk individuals. Serological assay can complement RT-qPCR for diagnosis. FUNDING: Richard and Carol Yu, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, The Shaw Foundation Hong Kong, Michael Tong, Marina Lee, Government Consultancy Service, and Sanming Project of Medicine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Saliva/virology , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load
13.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(15): 841-843, 2020 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724

ABSTRACT

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was detected in the self-collected saliva of 91.7% (11/12) of patients. Serial saliva viral load monitoring generally showed a declining trend. Live virus was detected in saliva by viral culture. Saliva is a promising noninvasive specimen for diagnosis, monitoring, and infection control in patients with 2019-nCoV infection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Saliva/virology , Adult , Aged , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Vero Cells , Viral Load/methods
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