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Video: Scientists Confirm Fecal-oral Transmission Of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Is Possible
Scientists confirm fecal-oral transmission of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is possible
Scientists have found that coronaviruses in the feces of infected people are viable. This suggests that COVID-19 can be transmitted through them. But it is not yet known how important this path of spread is for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
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Reports of the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in human feces have repeatedly appeared in the media and scientific journals. In a new study, scientists have proven that viruses that are secreted in this way remain viable. Scientific work published in Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The polymerase chain reaction, by which the RNA of a virus is detected, does not provide information about whether the detected viruses are alive. Therefore, early reports of the detection of coronavirus in feces did not indicate that the coronavirus can be transmitted by the fecal-oral route.
Scientists have proven that coronavirus can infect human intestinal cells
Scientists conducted experiments on intestines, which were grown in a laboratory, and also isolated coronavirus from the patient's feces.
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In the new study, scientists not only found coronavirus in feces, but also proved its viability. Its authors collected stool samples from 28 people, 12 of whom were confirmed by COVID-19 using PCR. Three patients managed to isolate coronavirus from feces, and in two cases, scientists were able to cultivate it in laboratory conditions.
The results of the study indicate that "a viable virus in feces is a frequent manifestation of COVID-19," scientists say. Despite this, it remains unknown whether this route of transmission is significant.
The scientists also reported that there is a possibility that the concentration of viral particles in the stool may be higher than the concentration in the exhaled air. If subsequent research confirms this, the risk of infection in public toilets may be higher than the risk in other public places.
The transmission of severe coronavirus infections has previously been linked to faeces. For example, an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in an apartment building in Hong Kong in 2003 is believed to have occurred after the pathogen spread through faulty sewers. Then more than 300 people were infected, the causative agent of this disease is the SARS-CoV coronavirus.
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