Infect Disord Drug Targets. 2022 Feb 23. doi: 10.2174/1871526522666220223162445. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: In the late December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), spreads to almost all countries worldwide. The outbreak of this virus has also been confirmed since 19 February 2020 in Iran.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the time of viral RNA clearance in swab and serum samples of COVID-19 patients who received different medications. We also evaluated different factors that may be affected viral RNA persistence in patients infected by SARS-CoV-2.
METHODS: In March 2020, twenty-one hospitalized COVID-19 patients were participated in this prospective study. All patients received antiviral agents in their routine care. Throat swabs and blood samples were obtained from all patients in different intervals including day 3 or 5, day 7, day 10 and finally 14 days after the first positive real time RT-PCR (rRT-PCT) test Results: The median time from the SO to first negative rRT-PCR results for throat swabs and serum samples of COVID-19 patients were 18 and 14 days, respectively. These times were more significant in patients with lymphopenia, oxygen saturation ≤ 90% and comorbidity.
CONCLUSION: This preliminary study highlights that SASR-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable in the upper respiratory tract longer than three weeks. In addition, SARS-CoV may persist for a long period of time in the respiratory than the serum samples. This study support the idea that in the settings of limited resources the patients should cease to be tested earlier than three weeks for discharge management.