Study Finds Live Virus In Throat Swabs Up To 15 Days After Symptom Onset
The small study was performed on just five infected patients in South Korea who were hospitalized in February and March. In other research news, scientists have developed a synthetic biosensor that could monitor lung disease patients' response to therapy.
Live COVID-19 Virus Isolated From Human Nose-Throat, Saliva Specimens
A small study published yesterday in Clinical Microbiology and Infection found live SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in one nose-throat swab and two saliva specimens of five infected hospital patients in Korea 11 to 15 days after symptom onset. Researchers collected nose-throat swabs, saliva, urine, and stool samples from the patients hospitalized from Feb 25 to Mar 5 on days 8, 11, 13, 15, and 30 after study enrollment. They performed quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA and cell culture to detect viable virus. No live virus—only viral RNA—was isolated on cell culture from five urine, two saliva, four nose-throat, and three fecal specimens. (7/23)
Scientists Are Developing Synthetic Biosensors To Monitor Lung Disease
Imagine inhaling a sensor that could monitor lung disease patients’ response to therapy, emitting a signal when they breathe out. Like a breathalyzer that recognizes alcohol, such a device could sniff out compounds released only by specific illnesses to gauge how well treatment is working. Biomedical engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a synthetic biosensor using specialized nanoparticles to detect and then report the presence of molecules indicating bacterial pneumonia or the genetic disease alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. (Cooney, 7/24)