How can we determine whether someone who has COVID-19 can transmit the virus to other people? Tests in routine clinical use, such as reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests, are designed to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 is present or not, but many people have proposed that these tests be used to determine whether a patient is infectious. Furthermore, tests for SARS-CoV-2 that are not routinely used in clinical laboratories, such as viral culture and detection of sub-genomic viral RNAs, have also been discussed as indicators of infectivity. But how accurate are any of these tests for determining whether someone is infectious?
Dr. Matthew Binnicker, Director of Clinical Virology and Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic. Twitter: @DrMattBinnicker
Can Testing Predict SARS-CoV-2 Infectivity? The Potential for Certain Methods to be a Surrogate for Replication-Competent Virus https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/JCM.00469-21
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