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Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is transmitted person-to-person mainly by close contact or droplets from respiratory tract. However, the actual time of viral shedding is still uncertain as well as the different routes of transmission. We aimed to characterize RNA shedding from nasopharyngeal and rectal samples in prolonged cases of mild COVID-19 in young male soldiers. Seventy patients from three different military locations were monitored after recommending to follow more strict isolation measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Then, nasopharyngeal, rectal, and blood samples were taken. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by RT-PCR and specific antibodies by chemiluminescent immunoassays. The median nucleic acid conversion time (NACT) was 60 days (IQR: 7–85 days). Rectal swabs were taken in 60 % of patients. Seven patients (10 %) were positive in nasopharyngeal and rectal swabs, and five (7.14 %) remained positive in rectal swabs, but negative in nasopharyngeal samples. Four patients (5.71 %) that had been discharged, were positive again after 15 days. No significant difference was found in nucleic acid conversion time between age groups nor clinical classification. Maintaining distancing among different positive patients is essential as a possible re-exposure to the virus could cause a longer nucleic acid conversion time in SARS-COV-2 infections.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Instituto Nacional de Salud, Colombia
    • Principle Award Recipient: NotApplicable
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The Microbiology Society waived the open access fees for this article.
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/content/journal/jmm/10.1099/jmm.0.001498
2022-01-31
2022-05-18
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