Genetic material from SARS-CoV-2 detectable in the chair
Genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can be detected in human faeces. Does this mean that the virus can be transmitted through stool and are new protective measures now necessary to prevent the virus from spreading through faeces?
In the current evaluation of various studies by the research group led by E. Susan Amirian from Rice University, it was checked whether the virus SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 can be transmitted by stool. The results were published in the English-language journal “International Journal of Infectious Diseases”.
Coronavirus genetic material present in faeces
Some studies have already provided evidence of coronavirus genetic material in faeces. Here the question arose whether the disease can be transmitted with the stool. The new study therefore reviewed the literature available to date for the detection of the novel coronavirus in faeces from people with COVID-19.
Infectious viruses identified in stool samples
“Most of the studies that have been done so far deal with stool viral RNA rather than the infectious virus. However, a few studies have shown that infectious viruses can be present in stool samples, ”said study author E. Susan Amirian, epidemiologist from Rice University, in a press release.
Infectious viruses in the stool are extremely worrying
The mere presence of genetic material is less worrying, the expert explains. However, if infectious amounts of viable viruses were found in the stool in future studies, this means that fecal-oral transmission is possible.
New security measures required?
If viable viruses are found again in the stool in future research work, this could mean far-reaching effects for society, especially for people who work in the catering trade, nursing homes and day care centers, for example, explains Amirian.
More research is needed
“Ultimately, more research is needed to determine whether exposure to stool spreads this virus and worsens the pandemic. But given this opportunity, we should be more careful, especially in environments where people are at increased risk of morbidity and death from COVID-19, ”added the expert.
Observe adequate hygiene practices
There is no disadvantage if people are very careful about observing good personal hygiene practices until it is known whether exposure to stool causes the virus to spread, the study author continued. So far, however, this cannot be said with absolute certainty.
Many diseases can be transmitted through fecal contamination
There are many other diseases that are transmitted through fecal contamination, including, for example, hepatitis A and noroviruses. “A high level of caution will only help if COVID-19 can really be spread this way,” added Amirian. Until the question is clarified, however, we should pay more attention to hygiene for safety. (as)
- Can COVID-19 spread through fecal matter ?, Rice University (Published May 14, 2020), Rice University
- E. Susan Amirian: Potential fecal transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Current evidence and implications for public health, in International Journal of Infectious Diseases (published April 23, 2020), International Journal of Infectious Diseases
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.