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Volume 10, Number 9—September 2004

Research

Viral Loads in Clinical Specimens and SARS Manifestations

I.F.N. Hung*, V.C.C. Cheng*, A.K.L. Wu†, B.S.F. Tang*, K.H. Chan*, C.M. Chu‡, M.M.L. Wong§, W.T. Hui*, L.L.M. Poon*, D.M.W. Tse§, K.S. Chan‡, P.C.Y. Woo*, S.K.P. Lau*, J.S.M. Peiris*, and K.Y. Yuen*Comments to Author 
Author affiliations: *Queen Mary Hospital at the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), People’s Republic of China; †Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China; ‡United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China; §Caritas Medical Centre, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China

Main Article

Table 3

Correlation of RT-qPCR of clinical specimens taken during days 10 to 15, and clinical manifestations in 154 patients with SARSa

Specimen Diarrhea
O2 desaturation
Mechanical ventilation
Death
Y N p value; OR 
(CI) Y N p value; OR (CI) Y N p value; OR (CI) Y N p value; OR 
(CI)
NPA (n = 142)
  RT-qPCR (+) (n = 60) 37 23 < 0.01; 2.5 
(1.3–5.0) 37 23 < 0.01; 3.1 (1.6–6.2) 22 38 < 0.01; 11.3 (3.6–35.1) 24 36 < 0.01; 54 
(7.1–415.0)
  RT-qPCR (–) (n = 82) 32 50 28 54 4 78 1 81
  Median viral load (log10 copies/mL) 3.2 0 0.02 4.5 0 < 0.01 6.4 0 < 0.01 6.5 0 < 0.01
Serum (n = 53)
  RT-qPCR (+) (n = 22) 12 10 0.4 13 9 < 0.01; 5 
(1.5–16.4) 7 15 < 0.01; 1.5 
(1.1–2.0) 8 14 < 0.01; 17.1 (2.0–151.0)
  RT-qPCR (–) (n = 31) 13 18 7 24 0 31 0 31
  Median viral load 
(log10 copies/mL) 0 0 0.5 2.3 0 < 0.01 2.6 0 < 0.01 2.6 0 < 0.01
Stool (n = 94)
  RT-qPCR (+) (n = 82) 46 36 < 0.01; 14.1 (1.7–114.0) 39 43 0.5 16 66 1 17 65 0.5
  RT-qPCR (–) (n = 12) 1 11 4 8 2 10 1 11
  Median viral load 
(log10 copies/mL) 7.5 5 < 0.01 7.2 5 0.1 8 7 0.05 8.3 6.9 < 0.01
Urine (n = 111)
  RT-qPCR (+) (n = 32) 23 9 < 0.01; 3.8 
(1.5–9.2) 15 17 0.8 7 25 0.4 7 25 0.4
  RT-qPCR (–) (n = 79) 32 47 34 45 12 67 11 68
  Median viral load 
(log10 copies/mL) 0 0 < 0.01 0 0 0.7 0 0 0.3 0 0 0.4

aRT-qPCR, quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction; SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome; Y, yes; N, no; OR, odds ratio; CI, 95% confidence interval; NPA, nasopharyngeal aspirates

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