- Fecal samples for SARS-CoV-2 RNA remained positive for around 11,2 days after negative respiratory tract samples for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
- Precautions should be installed as fecal-oral transmission remains possible, even after a clearance in the respiratory tract is proven.
- Compared to a respiratory tract sample, a fecal sample can take longer to turn positive. Testing of a fecal sample at diagnosis is not recommended.
- Adding faecal testing to the decision algorithm for discontinuing precautions could be beneficial.
This study was done in Zhuhai in China, at the Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University. They enrolled 98 patients who were suspected of SARS-CoV-2 between Jan 16, 2020 and March 15, 2020. 74 of these patients had both respiratory and fecal samples tested during the study. They have studied the possibility of viral transmission in fecal samples and its utility for clinical decisions.
Yongjian W., Cheng G., Lantian T., Zhongsi H., Jianhui Z., Xin D., et al (March 19, 2020). Prolonged presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in faecal samples. The Lancet, gastroenterology and Hepalogy. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(20)30083-2