Will dead coronavirus particles in human body affect test results?
New Delhi, May 01: Scientists in South Korea found that patients who remain coronavirus positive for weeks after diagnosis may harbour dead virus particles that cannot be distinguished from infectious ones in the standard tests.
It is reportedly said that SARS-CoV-2 virus dies one-to-two weeks after infecting and proliferating inside respiratory cells. Pieces of the virus's genetic material, or RNA, may remain in cells and be detected by a nucleic acid test a month or two after infection, underscoring the limitation of testing.
Peter Collignon, a professor of clinical medicine at the Australian National University Medical School in Canberra said that some patients have continued to test positive over more than a month. It is possible the virus detected in these patients is not viable or capable of causing an infection.
In an interview, Collignon said, "The finding from South Korea fits in with most of the current thinking, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the duration of infectiousness."
Earlier, the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the coronavirus may be reactivating in people who have been cured of the illness. At the time, the agency found that about 51 patients classed as having been cured tested positive again.
Myoung-don, a professor of internal medicine at Seoul National University said that there have been more than 200 reconfirmed cases, and there were discussions on how to explain them.
It can be seen that Korea is at the forefront of tracking cases, and the issue has raised particular concern in China as the country tries to prevent a second wave of the contagion.
Also, it should be noted that South Korea was one of the earliest countries to see a large-scale coronavirus outbreak. But, it has been one of the most effective in controlling the pathogen.