Investigation of Viral Load Cycle Threshold Values in Patients with SARS-CoV-2 Associated Pneumonia with Real-Time PCR Method

  • Ayfer Bakir University of Health Sciences, Gulhane Training and Research Hospital, Department of Medical Microbiology, Ankara, Turkey
  • Tugrul Hosbul University of Health Sciences, Gulhane Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology, Ankara, Turkey
  • Ferhat Cuce University of Health Sciences, Gulhane Training and Research Hospital, Department of Radiology, Ankara, Turkey
  • Cumhur Artuk University of Health Sciences, Gulhane Faculty of Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Ankara, Turkey
  • Gurhan Taskin University of Health Sciences, Gulhane Faculty of Medicine, Department of Critical Care, Ankara, Turkey
  • Murat Caglayan Ankara Provincial Health Directorate, Ministry of Health, Republic of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey
  • Mustafa Guney University of Health Sciences, Gulhane Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology, Ankara, Turkey
  • Muhammed Furkan Kurkcu University of Health Sciences, Gulhane Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology, Ankara, Turkey
  • Fatime Yildiz University of Health Sciences, Gulhane Training and Research Hospital, Department of Medical Microbiology, Ankara, Turkey
  • Harun Erdal University of Health Sciences, Gulhane Training and Research Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, Ankara, Turkey
  • Gul Erdem University of Health Sciences, Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital, Department of Medical Microbiology, Ankara, Turkey
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, pneumonia, viral load, real-time PCR, rt-PCR

Abstract

Introduction: In this study, we aimed investigate the relationship of SARS-CoV-2 viral load cycle threshold (Ct) values with pneumonia.

Methodology: A total of 158 patients in whom SARS-CoV-2 was confirmed in upper respiratory tract (URT) samples with molecular method and who had computed tomography (CT) of the chest, between April 2020 and June 2020 were included in this retrospective cross-sectional study.

Results: Mean age of 158 PCR positive patients was 45.22 ± 17.89 and 60.8% of them were male. Pneumonia was detected in 40.5% of the patients on their chest CT. A weak but significant correlation was found between SARS-CoV-2 Ct value detected with PCR in analysis of oropharyngeal/ nasopharyngeal (OP/NP) samples and chest CT score (Pearson’s r: 0.197, p = 0.01). No correlation was found between the first detected viral load Ct value and age, gender and mortality. There was no significant correlation between chest CT score and mortality. While the areas remaining under ROC curve for Ct value in analysis of OP/NP samples in prediction of chest CT score ≥ 1, ≥ 5 and ≥ 10 were 0.564, 0.640 and 0.703 respectively.

Conclusions: We found that the amount of SARS-CoV-2 viral load (inverse relationship with Ct) detected in OP/NP samples of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia did not reflect the increasing severity of pulmonary lesions on chest CT. Although primary target of SARS-CoV-2 is all epithelial cells of the respiratory tract we believe studies comparing viral loads in lower respiratory tract samples are needed to determine the severity of pulmonary disease.

Published
2021-10-31
How to Cite
1.
Bakir A, Hosbul T, Cuce F, Artuk C, Taskin G, Caglayan M, Guney M, Kurkcu MF, Yildiz F, Erdal H, Erdem G (2021) Investigation of Viral Load Cycle Threshold Values in Patients with SARS-CoV-2 Associated Pneumonia with Real-Time PCR Method. J Infect Dev Ctries 15:1408-1414. doi: 10.3855/jidc.14281
Section
Coronavirus Pandemic