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.


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