Evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 clearance period in patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Yasutaka Okita, Takayoshi Morita, Atsushi Kumanogoh

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Received date: 28th September 2020

Background: There is insufficient consensus on the viral shedding period in each background of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: We conducted a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis according to the PRISMA guidelines. PubMed and Web of Science were searched for original studies reporting the viral shedding period in patients with COVID-19. A random effects model was used to calculate the mean number of days from the onset. Subanalysis was performed focusing on age, sex, severity, locality, and treatment. Results Of 55 studies identified, 12 met the selection criteria. The viral shedding period tended to be longer in sputum (19.03 days) than in nasopharynx (14.58 days). The viral shedding period in nasopharynx tended to be longer in severe patients (23.65 days) than in nonsevere patients (12.67 days). It also tended to be longer in patients treated with steroid (21.24 days) than in patients treated without steroid (12.20 days). This period tended to be longer in Asia (16.07 days) than in Europe (12.57 days). Age, sex, and anti-viral drugs did not affect the viral shedding period. Conclusions Severity, steroid usage, and locality may affect the viral shedding period.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

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