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PCR test cycle thresholds are low in children with COVID-19 symptoms

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March 22, 2021

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Strutner A, et al. Abstract 27. Place of presentation: St. Jude / PIDS Pediatric Infectious Diseases Research Conference; March 4-6, 2021 (virtual conference).

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Recent studies suggest that symptomatic children infected with SARS-CoV-2 have higher viral load in the upper respiratory tract than asymptomatic children.

John Strattner, MD, MPHResidents of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and colleagues presented their findings at the St. Jude Pediatric Infectious Diseases Research Conference.

Source: Adobe Stock
Source: Adobe Stock

The researchers conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study to compare PCR cycle thresholds among 728 children who were positive for SARS-CoV-2.

The children were 0 to 18 years old and all were SARS-CoV-2 positive on reverse transcription PCR. Respiratory samples were collected during the 4 months.

According to researchers, 71.2% of children showed symptoms. The mean cycle threshold for symptomatic patients was 19.9, while the mean for asymptomatic patients was 23.5 (95% CI, 2.6-4.6).

The authors stated that the mean cycle threshold was the lowest among symptomatological children under 5 years of age.

“Understanding the viral dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 is important for evaluation Risk of infection, Manage treatment and determine the need for quarantine and protective equipment, “the author writes. “It has been pointed out that children are less severe than adults and may be less likely to be infected.”

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