Alan Perelson, a Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist and New Mexico Consortium affiliate, along with colleagues, recently published his study looking at the viral load dynamics in hospitalized patients with severe coronavirus disease. This work is titled: Viral Load Kinetics of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Hospitalized Individuals With Coronavirus Disease 2019.
It is important to understand the dynamics of viral load in order to better treat patients with COVID-19. Past studies have found that during a severe COVID-19 infection, SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA can be detected in both the upper and lower respiratory tracks and also in the plasma or blood. The decay of the virus can be influenced by many factors, but little is known about the differences in viral decay between respiratory and non-respiratory compartments, especially as associated with COVID-19 disease severity and mortality
This study looks at viral kinetics, the rates of viral load and how it changes, in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. In this study, the researchers quantify SARS-CoV-2 viral load in samples from the respiratory tract and blood. For each patient, longitudinal nasopharyngeal swabs, oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, and blood were collected. The study also evaluated the effect of remdesivir on viral load decay.
The results of this study show that viral loads in the blood and upper respiratory track were highest within 1 week of symptom onset, while suggesting that both viral peak and clearance in sputum were delayed compared to that of other sampling locations. The early viral load peak suggests that systemic seeding and spreading of the infection may be occurring sooner than previously recognized.
The study also found that remdesivir treatment was associated with an increased rate of viral decay. More research with larger clinical trials are necessary to further evaluate the effects of remdesivir treatment on the virus.
Read the entire publication at:
Viral Load Kinetics of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Hospitalized Individuals With Coronavirus Disease 2019. James Regan, James P Flynn, Alexandra Rosenthal, Hannah Jordan, Yijia Li, Rida Chishti, Francoise Giguel, Heather Corry, Kendyll Coxen, Jesse Fajnzylber, Elizabeth Gillespie, Daniel R Kuritzkes, Nir Hacohen, Marcia B Goldberg, Michael R Filbin, Xu G Yu, Lindsey Baden, Ruy M Ribeiro, Alan S Perelson, Jessica M Conway, Jonathan Z Li, MGH COVID-19 Collection & Processing Teams. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Volume 8, Issue 8, August 2021.