03 Sep False Negative COVID-19 Tests Relatively Common During Recovery
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Francesco Venturelli
Servizio di Epidemiologia
Direzione Sanitaria – Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia
Padiglione Ziccardi, Via Amendola
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Contact tracing and isolation for people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 are two of the main strategies to limit the viral spread and contain the current pandemic. Long persistence of viral RNA detected by RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs is commonly reported, while its correlation to virus viability is still debated.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: The study showed that in people with COVID-19, the median time between symptoms onset and viral clearance at RT-PCR was 36 days. Moreover, an overall 20% risk of “false negative” results at RT-PCR was observed, decreasing with time from diagnosis.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: In countries in which the testing strategy for the follow-up of people with COVID-19 require at least one negative test to end isolation, this evidence support the assessment of the most efficient and safe retesting timing: i.e. 30 days after disease onset.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: The results of this study clearly highlight the importance of producing evidence on the duration of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity to avoid unnecessary isolation without increasing the risk of viral spread from clinically recovered people.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? The research activity on SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 of the Azienda USL-IRCCS of Reggio Emilia, Italy, continue in many different fields to actively contribute to this international unprecedented challenge.
- Temporal profile and determinants of viral shedding and of viral clearance confirmation on nasopharyngeal swabs from SARS-CoV-2-positive subjects: a population-based prospective cohort study in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
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