Long-term SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding and its temporal association to IgG seropositivity

Vineet Agarwal, A. J. Venkatakrishnan, Arjun Puranik, Christian Kirkup, Agustin Lopez-Marquez, Douglas W. Challener, John C. O’Horo, Matthew J. Binnicker, Walter K. Kremers, William Alvis Faubion, Andrew David Badley, Amy W. Williams, Gregory J. Gores, John D. Halamka, William G. Morice, Venky Soundararajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Analysis of 851 COVID-19 patients with a SARS-CoV-2-positive PCR at follow-up shows 99 patients remained SARS-CoV-2-positive after four weeks from initial diagnosis. Surprisingly, a majority of these long-term viral RNA shedders were not hospitalized (61 of 99), with variable PCR Crossing point values over the month post diagnosis. For the 851-patient cohort, the mean lower bound of viral RNA shedding was 17.3 days (SD: 7.8), and the mean upper bound of viral RNA shedding from 668 patients transitioning to confirmed PCR-negative status was 22.7 days (SD: 11.8). Among 104 patients with an IgG test result, 90 patients were seropositive to date, with mean upper bound of time to seropositivity from initial diagnosis being 37.8 days (95%CI: 34.3-41.3). Juxtaposing IgG/PCR tests revealed that 14 of 90 patients are non-hospitalized and seropositive yet shed viral RNA. This study emphasizes the need for monitoring viral loads and neutralizing antibody titers in long-term shedders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jul 7 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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