Evidence review confirms CDC guidance about infectivity of novel coronavirus

October 20, 2020

A review of dozens of studies by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University suggests that people may shed virus for prolonged periods, but those with mild or no symptoms may be infectious for no more than about 10 days. People who are severely ill from COVID-19 may be infectious for as long as 20 days.

That's in line with guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirming recommendations for the length of time people should isolate following infection with SARS-CoV-2.

The review published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

"Detection of viral RNA may not correlate with infectivity since available viral culture data suggests shorter durations of shedding of viable virus," the authors write. "Additional data is needed to determine the duration of shedding of viable virus and the implications for risk of transmission."

Researchers decided to conduct the review to gain more information on transmission and to help inform infection control practices, said co-author Monica Sikka, M.D., assistant professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine.

"Even though people can shed virus for a prolonged period of time, the studies we reviewed indicated that live virus, which may predict infectiousness, was only detected up to nine days in people who had mild symptoms," Sikka said.

The researchers identified 77 studies worldwide, including 59 that had been peer-reviewed, and combed through the results. All studies reported assessments of viral shedding using standard methods to identify the virus by replicating it through a process called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR.

"Although PCR positivity can be prolonged, culture data suggests that virus viability is typically shorter in duration," the authors write.
-end-
Co-authors include Jessina McGregor, Ph.D., associate professor in the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy; Angela Holly Villamagna, M.D., an instructor in infectious diseases in the OHSU School of Medicine; and Lauren Fontana, D.O., formerly of OHSU but now an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota.

Oregon Health & Science University

Related Infection Articles from Brightsurf:

Halving the risk of infection following surgery
New analysis by the University of Leeds and the University of Bern of more than 14,000 operations has found that using alcoholic chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) halves the risk of infection in certain types of surgery when compared to the more commonly used povidone-iodine (PVI).

How plants shut the door on infection
A new study by an international team including University of Maryland scientists has discovered the key calcium channel responsible for closing plant pores as an immune response to pathogen exposure.

Sensing infection, suppressing regeneration
UIC researchers describe an enzyme that blocks the ability of blood vessel cells to self-heal.

Boost to lung immunity following infection
The strength of the immune system in response to respiratory infections is constantly changing, depending on the history of previous, unrelated infections, according to new research from the Crick.

Is infection after surgery associated with increased long-term risk of infection, death?
Whether experiencing an infection within the first 30 days after surgery is associated with an increased risk of another infection and death within one year was the focus of this observational study that included about 660,000 veterans who underwent major surgery.

Revealed: How E. coli knows how to cause the worst possible infection
The discovery could one day let doctors prevent the infection by allowing E. coli to pass harmlessly through the body.

UK study shows most patients with suspected urinary tract infection and treated with antibiotics actually lack evidence of this infection
New research presented at this week's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Netherlands (April 13-16, 2019) shows that only one third of patients that enter the emergency department with suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) actually have evidence of this infection, yet almost all are treated with antibiotics, unnecessarily driving the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.

Bacteria in urine doesn't always indicate infection
Doctors should think carefully before testing patients for a urinary tract infection (UTI) to avoid over-diagnosis and unnecessary antibiotic treatment, according to updated asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Subsidies for infection control to healthcare institutions help reduce infection levels
Researchers compared three types of infection control subsidies and found that under a limited budget, a dollar-for-dollar matching subsidy, in which policymakers match hospital spending for infection control measures, was the most effective at reducing the number of hospital-acquired infections.

Dengue virus infection may cause severe outcomes following Zika virus infection during pregnancy
This study is the first to report a possible mechanism for the enhancement of Zika virus progression during pregnancy in an animal model.

Read More: Infection News and Infection Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.