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This is a research letter highlighting a prospective study examining the association between SARS-CoV-2 viral load (at diagnosis) and mortality. The authors report a significant independent association between viral load and mortality in COVID-19; they found a 7% increase in hazard for each log transformed copy per mL.
This is probably the first study to report on viral load at diagnosis as an independent predictor of mortality. This information may help with earlier risk stratification.
– Morgan Soffler, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detection platforms currently report qualitative results. However, technology based on RT-PCR allows for calculation of viral load, which is associated with transmission risk and disease severity in other viral illnesses.1 Viral load in COVID-19 might correlate with infectivity, disease phenotype, morbidity, and mortality. To date, no studies have assessed the association between viral load and mortality in a large patient cohort.2, 3, 4 To our knowledge, we are the first to report on SARS-CoV-2 viral load at diagnosis as an independent predictor of mortality in a large hospitalised cohort (n=1145).