The ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the upper respiratory tract ceases after 2 to 3 weeks post-symptom-onset in most patients. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in the stool of some patients for greater than 4 weeks, suggesting that stool may hold utility as an additional source for diagnosis. We validated the Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 and Hologic Panther Fusion real-time RT-PCR assays for detection of viral RNA in stool specimens and compared performance. We utilized remnant stool specimens (n =79) from 77 patients with gastrointestinal symptoms. Forty-eight patients had PCR-confirmed COVID-19, and 29 either were nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal PCR negative or presented for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 and were not tested. Positive percent agreement between the Cepheid and Hologic assays was 93% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 81.1% to 98.2%), and negative percent agreement was 96% (95% CI: 89% to 0.99%). Four discrepant specimens (Cepheid positive only, n =2; Hologic positive only, n =2) exhibited average cycle threshold (CT) values of >37 for the targets detected. Of the 48 patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19, 23 were positive by both assays (47.9%). For the negative patient group, 2/29 were positive by both assays (6.9%). The two stool PCR-positive, nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal PCR-negative patients were SARS-CoV-2 IgG positive. Our results demonstrate acceptable agreement between two commercially available molecular assays and support the use of stool PCR to confirm diagnosis when SARSCoV- 2 is undetectable in the upper respiratory tract.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Microbiology|
|State||Published - Sep 2020|
- Stool PCR
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)