SARS-CoV-2 RNA and antibody dynamics in a Dutch household study with dense sampling frame

The Dutch F. F. X.-COVID-19 Research Group

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This study investigated the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection and diagnostics in 242 household members of different ages and with different symptom severity after SARS-CoV-2 exposure early in the pandemic (March–April 2020). Households with a SARS-CoV-2 confirmed positive case and at least one child in the Netherlands were followed for 6 weeks. Naso (NP)- and oropharyngeal (OP) swabs, oral fluid and feces specimens were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and serum for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. The dynamics of the presence of viral RNA and the serological response was modeled to determine the sampling time-frame and sample type with the highest sensitivity to confirm or reject a SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. In children higher viral loads compared to adults were detected at symptom onset. Early in infection, higher viral loads were detected in NP and OP specimens, while RNA in especially feces were longer detectable. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies have 90% probability of detection from 7 days (total Ig) and 18 days (IgG) since symptom onset. For highest probability of detection in SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics early in infection, RT-PCR on NP and OP specimens are more sensitive than on oral fluid and feces. For SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics late after infection, RT-PCR on feces specimens and serology are more valuable.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7937
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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