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    SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious and poses a great threat to epidemic control and prevention. The possibility of fecal-oral transmission has attracted increasing concern. However, viral shedding in feces has not been completely investigated. This study retrospectively reviewed 97 confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients hospitalized at the First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, from January 19 to February 17, 2020. SARS-CoV-2 RNA in samples of sputum, nasopharyngeal or throat swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage and feces was detected by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Clinical characteristics and parameters were compared between groups to determine whether fecal RNA was positive. Thirty-four (35.1%) of the patients showed detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA in feces, and 63 (64.9%) had negative detection results. The median time of viral shedding in feces was approximately 25 days, with the maximum time reaching 33 days. Prolonged fecal-shedding patients showed longer hospital stays. Those patients for whom fecal viral positivity persisted longer than 3 weeks also had lower plasma B-cell counts than those patients in the non-prolonged group [70.5 (47.3-121.5) per μL vs. 186.5 (129.3-376.0) per μL, P = 0.023]. Correlation analysis found that the duration of fecal shedding was positively related to the duration of respiratory viral shedding (R = 0.70, P < 0.001) and negatively related to peripheral B-cell counts (R = -0.44, P < 0.05). COVID-19 patients who shed SARS-CoV-2 RNA in feces presented similar clinical characteristics and outcomes as those who did not shed SARS-CoV-2 RNA in feces. The prolonged presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids in feces was highly correlated with the prolonged shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the respiratory tract and with lower plasma B-cell counts. Copyright © 2022 Wu, Shi, Zhu, Xie, Xu, Chen, Wu and Li.

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    Wenrui Wu, Ding Shi, Xueling Zhu, Jiaojiao Xie, Xinyi Xu, Yanfei Chen, Jingjing Wu, Lanjuan Li. Characteristics of COVID-19 Patients With SARS-CoV-2 Positivity in Feces. Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology. 2022;12:853212

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    PMID: 35493744

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