Osong Public Health Res Perspect.  2020 May;11(3):112-117. 10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.3.02.

Detection and Isolation of SARS-CoV-2 in Serum, Urine, and Stool Specimens of COVID-19 Patients from the Republic of Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Division of Viral Diseases, Center for Laboratory Control of Infectious Diseases, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju,
  • 2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, National Medical Center, Seoul,
  • 3Division of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon,
  • 4Division of Emergency Medicine, Gyeonggi Provincial Medical Center Ansung Hospital, Ansung,
  • 5Center for Laboratory Control of Infectious Diseases, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju,

Abstract

Objectives

Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) is a respiratory infection characterized by the main symptoms of pneumonia and fever. It is caused by the novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is known to spread via respiratory droplets. We aimed to determine the rate and likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from COVID-19 patients through non-respiratory routes.

Methods

Serum, urine, and stool samples were collected from 74 hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19 based on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory samples. The SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome was extracted from each specimen and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction performed. CaCo-2 cells were inoculated with the specimens containing the SARS-COV-2 genome, and subcultured for virus isolation. After culturing, viral replication in the cell supernatant was assessed.

Results

Of the samples collected from 74 COVID-19 patients, SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 15 serum, urine, or stool samples. The virus detection rate in the serum, urine, and stool samples were 2.8% (9/323), 0.8% (2/247), and 10.1% (13/129), and the mean viral load was 1,210 ± 1,861, 79 ± 30, and 3,176 ± 7,208 copy/µL, respectively. However, the SARS-CoV-2 was not isolated by the culture method from the samples that tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 gene.

Conclusion

While the virus remained detectable in the respiratory samples of COVID-19 patients for several days after hospitalization, its detection in the serum, urine, and stool samples was intermittent. Since the virus could not be isolated from the SARS-COV-2-positive samples, the risk of viral transmission via stool and urine is expected to be low.


Keyword

COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; transmission
Full Text Links
  • OPHRP
Actions
Cited
CITED
export Copy
Close
Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2020 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr