Back to Search Start Over

Presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in COVID-19 survivors with post-COVID symptoms: a systematic review of the literature.

Authors :
Fernández-de-las-Peñas, César
Torres-Macho, Juan
Macasaet, Raymart
Velasco, Jacqueline Veronica
Ver, Abbygail Therese
Culasino Carandang, Timothy Hudson David
Guerrero, Jonathan Jaime
Franco-Moreno, Ana
Chung, William
Notarte, Kin Israel
Source :
Clinical Chemistry & Laboratory Medicine. May2024, Vol. 62 Issue 6, p1044-1052. 9p.
Publication Year :


Viral persistence is one of the main hypotheses explaining the presence of post-COVID symptoms. This systematic review investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in plasma, stool, urine, and nasal/oral swab samples in individuals with post-COVID symptomatology. MEDLINE, CINAHL, PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science databases, as well as medRxiv/bioRxiv preprint servers were searched up to November 25th, 2023. Articles investigating the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in plasma, stool, urine or nasal/oral swab samples in patients with post-COVID symptoms were included. Methodological quality was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale or Cochrane's Risk of Bias (Rob) tool. From 322 studies identified, six studies met all inclusion criteria. The sample included 678 COVID-19 survivors (52 % female, aged from 29 to 66 years). The methodological quality was moderate in 88 % of the studies (n=5/6). Three papers investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in plasma, three studies in nasal/oral swabs, two studies in stool samples, one in urine and one in saliva. The follow-up was shorter than two months (<60 days after) in 66 % of the studies (n=4/6). The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA ranged from 5 to 59 % in patients with post-COVID symptoms the first two months after infection, depending on the sample tested, however, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was also identified in COVID-19 survivors without post-COVID symptoms (one study). Available evidence can suggest the presence of persistent SARS-CoV-2 RNA in post-COVID patients in the short term, although the biases within the studies do not permit us to make firm assumptions. The association between post-COVID symptoms and SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the samples tested is also conflicting. The lack of comparative group without post-COVID symptoms limits the generalizability of viral persistence in post-COVID-19 condition. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Language :
Volume :
Issue :
Database :
Academic Search Index
Journal :
Clinical Chemistry & Laboratory Medicine
Publication Type :
Academic Journal
Accession number :
Full Text :