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Relationships between Viral Load and the Clinical Course of COVID-19

Gunma Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environmental Sciences, Maebashi-shi, Gunma 371-0052, Japan
Department of Health Science, Gunma Paz University Graduate School of Health Sciences, Takasaki-shi, Gunma 370-0006, Japan
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Kyorin University School of Medicine, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-8611, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis Martinez-Sobrido
Viruses 2021, 13(2), 304;
Received: 27 January 2021 / Revised: 6 February 2021 / Accepted: 13 February 2021 / Published: 15 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
To predict the clinical outcome of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), we examined relationships among epidemiological data, viral load, and disease severity. We examined viral loads of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in fatal (15 cases), symptomatic/survived (133 cases), and asymptomatic cases (138 cases) using reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). We examined 5768 nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) and attempted to detect the SARS-CoV-2 genome using RT-qPCR. Among them, the viral genome was detected using the method for the 370 NPS samples with a positive rate of 6.4%. A comparison of each age showed that the fatal case was higher than the survived case and asymptomatic patients. Survived cases were older than asymptomatic patients. Notably, the viral load in the fatal cases was significantly higher than in symptomatic or asymptomatic cases (p < 0.05). These results suggested that a high viral load of the SARS-CoV-2 in elderly patients at an early stage of the disease results in a poor outcome. We should, therefore, intervene early to prevent a severe stage of the disease in such cases. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19); viral load; clinical course coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19); viral load; clinical course
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tsukagoshi, H.; Shinoda, D.; Saito, M.; Okayama, K.; Sada, M.; Kimura, H.; Saruki, N. Relationships between Viral Load and the Clinical Course of COVID-19. Viruses 2021, 13, 304.

AMA Style

Tsukagoshi H, Shinoda D, Saito M, Okayama K, Sada M, Kimura H, Saruki N. Relationships between Viral Load and the Clinical Course of COVID-19. Viruses. 2021; 13(2):304.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tsukagoshi, Hiroyuki, Daisuke Shinoda, Mariko Saito, Kaori Okayama, Mitsuru Sada, Hirokazu Kimura, and Nobuhiro Saruki. 2021. "Relationships between Viral Load and the Clinical Course of COVID-19" Viruses 13, no. 2: 304.

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