Commentary Open Access
Volume 3 | Issue 3 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.33696/immunology.3.093

Duration of SARS-CoV-2 Infectivity

  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Hospital Favoriten, Vienna, Austria
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Corresponding Author

Tamara Seitz, tamara.seitz@gesundheitsverbund.at

Received Date: February 23, 2020

Accepted Date: April 29, 2021


After infection with SARS-CoV-2 prolonged SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding was reported for several weeks. However, the duration of actual infectivity depends on the severity of disease and the immune status of the affected individual. Infectivity is highly unlikely nine days after symptom onset in immunocompetent individuals with a mild course of COVID-19. In patients with critical COVID-19 viable virus was detected in an upper respiratory sample 20 days after symptom onset, in patients with profound immunosuppression (e.g. ongoing chemotherapy) even up to 61 days. The three vaccines licensed in Europe and the US (BNT162b2 by Pfizer-BioNTech, mRNA-1273 by Moderna and the AZD1222 by Oxford-AstraZeneca) have been shown to be effective against risk of transmission and symptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2 wildtype. First studies showed less efficiency against new virus variants, like P.1 or B.1.351. As a result, an individual approach is needed regarding hygiene measurements and isolation.

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