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High SARS-CoV-2 viral load is associated with a worse clinical outcome of COVID-19 disease

AuthorsSoria, María Eugenia; Cortón, Marta; Martínez-González, Brenda; Lobo-Vega, Rebeca; Vázquez-Sirvent, Lucía; López-Rodríguez, Rosario; Almoguera, Berta; Mahillo-Fernández, Ignacio; Mínguez, Pablo; Herrero, Antonio; Taracido, Juan Carlos; Macías-Valcayo, Alicia; Esteban, Jaime; Fernández-Roblas, Ricardo; Gadea, Ignacio; Ruíz-Hornillos, Javier; Ayuso, Carmen; Perales, Celia CSIC ORCID
Risk factors
Viral load
Issue Date21-Sep-2021
PublisherMicrobiology Society
CitationAccess Microbiology 3(9): 000259 (2021)
AbstractCOVID-19 severity and progression are determined by several host and virological factors that may influence the final outcome of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. The objective of this work was to determine a possible association between viral load, obtained from nasopharyngeal swabs, and the severity of the infection in a cohort of 448 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients from a hospital in Madrid during the first outbreak of the pandemic in Spain. To perform this, we clinically classified patients as mild, moderate and severe COVID-19 according to a number of clinical parameters such as hospitalization requirement, need of oxygen therapy, admission to intensive care units and/or death. Also, Ct values were determined using SARS-CoV-2-specific oligonucleotides directed to ORF1ab. Here we report a statistically significant association between viral load and disease severity, a high viral load being associated with worse clinical prognosis, independently of several previously identified risk factors such as age, sex, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and lung disease (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The data presented here reinforce viral load as a potential biomarker for predicting disease severity in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. It is also an important parameter in viral evolution since it relates to the numbers and types of variant genomes present in a viral population, a potential determinant of disease progression.
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Appears in Collections:(CBM) Artículos
(VICYT) Colección Especial COVID-19

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