Fecal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (search done on 25 March 2020)

Added August 25, 2020

Citation: Wong MC, Huang J, Lai C, et al. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in fecal specimens of patients with confirmed COVID-19: a meta-analysis. Journal of Infection. 2020 Aug 01;81(2):E31-8.

What is this? It is important to know the possible routes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, including whether it can be transmitted via fecal shedding.

In this rapid review, the authors searched for studies on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the feces of COVID-19 patients. They did not restrict their searches by language of publication and did the search on 25 March 2020. They included 17 studies, which were from China (15 studies), Singapore (1) and the USA (1).

What was found: At the time of this review, the included studies suggested that approximately half of COVID-19 patients may shed SARS-CoV-2 through their feces, with detection rates associated with disease and symptom severity.

At the time of this review, the included studies showed that fecal sampling might be a potential method for testing, particularly in those for whom respiratory testing would be difficult.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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