Infectious Disease

Higher respiratory viral load may establish excessive danger sufferers with COVID-19

January 19, 2021

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The upper respiratory tract viral load could be used to identify patients with COVID-19 who are at higher risk of serious consequences, according to a study conducted in Greece.

“Our aim was to identify factors associated with severe morbidity – defined as ICU admission or intubation – or fatal outcome in order to help doctors and health care researchers make decisions at the time of diagnosis.” Helena C. Maltese, MD, PhD, YOU, Healio, an infectious disease specialist with the Hellenic National Public Health Organization in Athens, said. “In addition, we wanted to examine the relationship between comorbidities and viral load in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients.”

Helena C. Maltese

Maltezou and colleagues studied 1,122 patients who were diagnosed with the first epidemic wave of COVID-19 in Greece using PCR between February 26 and May 3. According to the study, upper respiratory tract viral load (URT) as measured by the PCR cycle threshold was rated as high, moderate, or low for the study.

Of all patients included, 309 (27.5%) had a high viral load, 316 (28.2%) a moderate one, and 497 (44.3%) a low one. According to the study, there were 336 (29.9%) patients with comorbidities. Patients with chronic cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, immunosuppression, obesity, and chronic neurological diseases were more likely to have high viral loads (P <0.05).

An analysis showed that compared to patients with moderate or low URT viral load, patients with high URT viral load were more likely to develop COVID-19 (P <0.001), be intubated (P = 0.05), and die (P = 0.03 ). reported the researchers. In addition, patients with high viral load had longer stays in the intensive care unit and longer intubation times compared to patients with low viral load (P <0.05).

“The takeaway message is that viral load – rated high, medium, or low based on Ct values ​​- can be used to identify patients at higher risk for morbidity or severe outcome,” Maltezou said.

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