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The authors performed molecular testing in 15 symptomatic and 3 asymptomatic patients with COVID-19 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction of nasopharyngeal swabs and serum to evaluate the potential of bloodborne COVID-19 transmission in asymptomatic blood donors. Of the 18 patients tested, only 1 patient who developed severe clinical illness requiring mechanical ventilation tested positive for COVID-19 RNA from the serum.
Bloodborne transmission of COVID-19 appears to be unlikely, as most asymptomatic patients do not appear to develop a significant RNAemia, whereas those in whom COVID-19 is detectable from the serum suffer from severe clinical illness. Larger studies are warranted to confirm these findings.
– Curtis Lachowiez, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Oral swabs, sputum and blood samples from 18 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were examined using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing. Whereas oral swabs or sputum from the lower respiratory tract were tested RT-PCR positive in all patients, RNAemia was neither detected in 3 patients without symptoms nor in 14 patients with flu-like symptoms, fever or pneumonia. The only patient with RNAemia suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and was artificially ventilated in an intensive care unit. Risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission through blood components in asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals therefore seems negligible but further studies are needed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.