Long term persistence of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, a case of a long-term persistence of SARS-CoV-2 infection (from March 26 to May 20, 2020) was identified at a private hospital in São Paulo, SP, Brazil. The long-term positivity for SARS-CoV-2 in reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction tests of a patient diagnosed with COVID-19 suggests, at least part of patients who recovered, may still carry and transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This fact emphasizes the importance of having at least two negative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test results for SARS-CoV-2. Serological assays were not particularly helpful in the case described, since the patient had very low antibodies titers at the end of the follow-up period. Low viral loads may not be detected by current molecular methods, leading to wrong conclusions regarding viral clearance.




Pinho, J. R. R., Oliveira, K. G. de, Sitnik, R., Maluf, M. M., Rodrigues, P. H. S., Santana, R. A. F., … Irony, O. (2021). Long term persistence of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection. Einstein (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 19, eRC6369. https://doi.org/10.31744/einstein_journal/2021RC6369

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