Viral cultures for COVID-19 infectivity assessment. Systematic review

  title={Viral cultures for COVID-19 infectivity assessment. Systematic review},
  author={Tom Jefferson and Elizabeth A. Spencer and Jon Brassey and Carl J. Heneghan},
We report the results of a review of the evidence from studies comparing SARS-CoV-2 culture with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR), as viral culture represents the best indicator of current infection and infectiousness of the isolate. We identified fourteen studies succeeding in culturing or observing tissue invasion by SARS-CoV in sputum, naso or oropharyngeal, urine, stool and environmental samples from patients diagnosed with Covid-19. The data are suggestive of a… 
Determining the communicable period of SARS-CoV-2: A rapid review of the literature, March to September 2020
  • Mina Park, C. Pawliuk, M. Dawes
  • Medicine, Biology
    Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin
  • 2021
Findings from this review support a minimum 10-day period of isolation but certain cases where virus was isolated after 10 days were identified, and future research should ensure standard reporting of RT-PCR protocols and results to help inform testing policies aimed at clearance from isolation.
Antigen testing and non-infectious shedding of SARS-COV-2
The authors agree with the authors that a rapid test with a high sensitivity and specificity for SARS-CoV-2 infection and infectivity would benefit public and occupational health policies, as well as and infection control guidelines.
The duration of infectiousness of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2
Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Testing or Alternatives for Diagnosis of Symptomatic COVID-19
It is estimated that speed of diagnosis with antigen testing is likely to outweigh its lower accuracy compared to PCR wherever PCR turnaround time is 2 days or longer, and this advantage may be even greater if antigen tests are also less expensive.
Prolonged detection of complete viral genomes demonstrated by SARS-CoV-2 sequencing of serial respiratory specimens.
It is concluded that reduced viral transmission at this late disease stage may result from the low quantities of complete viral sequences and not solely from transcription favoring the N gene.
Corrigendum to: Correlation Between 3790 Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction–Positives Samples and Positive Cell Cultures, Including 1941 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Isolates
  • R. Jaafar, S. Aherfi, B. La Scola
  • Medicine
    Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
  • 2021
The correlation between the scanner values and the positivity of the culture allows us to observe that the image obtained with 10 times more isolates than in the preliminary work does not change significantly and it can be observed that at Ct = 25, up to 70% of patients remain positive in culture and that atCt = 30 this value drops to 20%.
The Value of Rapid Antigen Tests to Identify Carriers of Viable SARS-CoV-2
For tasks of identifying viable SARS-CoV-2 during screening of conditionally healthy people, as well as monitoring those quarantined, rapid tests show significantly better results.


Culture-Based Virus Isolation To Evaluate Potential Infectivity of Clinical Specimens Tested for COVID-19
Results indicate that in addition to the copy number, the integrity of the viral genome should be considered when evaluating the infectivity of clinical SARS-CoV-2 specimens.
Repeat COVID-19 Molecular Testing: Correlation with Recovery of Infectious Virus, Molecular Assay Cycle Thresholds, and Analytical Sensitivity
Prolonged viral RNA shedding was associated with recovery of infectious virus in specimens collected up to 20 days after the first positive result in patients who were symptomatic at the time of specimen collection, providing a more accurate assessment of the potential for infectious virus shedding.
Cell-based culture of SARS-CoV-2 informs infectivity and safe de-isolation assessments during COVID-19
SARS-CoV-2 culture may be used as a surrogate marker for infectivity and inform de-isolation protocols and in samples with lower Ctsample values.
Viable SARS-CoV-2 in various specimens from COVID-19 patients
SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected in blood samples from patients with COVID-19 is not associated with infectious virus
Background: Laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (the cause of COVID-19) uses PCR to detect viral RNA (vRNA) in respiratory samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has also been detected in other sample
Clinical and virologic characteristics of the first 12 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States
Although infectiousness is unclear, highest viral RNA levels were identified in the first week of illness and lowest real-time PCR with reverse transcription cycle threshold values in the upper respiratory tract were often detected, providing insight into the natural history of SARS-CoV-2.
Point-Counterpoint: Is the Era of Viral Culture Over in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory?
The relevance of viral culture in the molecular age is discussed, with two individuals, Richard L. Hodinka of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a clinical virologist whose laboratory has completely eliminated viral culture, and Laurent Kaiser, head of the Virology Laboratory at the University of Geneva Hospital, who continues to be a strong advocate of viralculture.
Viral RNA load as determined by cell culture as a management tool for discharge of SARS-CoV-2 patients from infectious disease wards
Correlation between successful isolation of virus in cell culture and Ct value of quantitative RT-PCR targeting E gene suggests that patients with Ct above 33–34 using the RT- PCR system are not contagious and thus can be discharged from hospital care or strict confinement for non-hospitalized patients.
Virological assessment of hospitalized patients with COVID-2019
Detailed virological analysis of nine cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) provides proof of active replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in tissues of the upper respiratory tract.