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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

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Table 6

Correlation of RT-qPCR clinical specimens taken during days 10 to 15 and laboratory values in 40 patients with SARS who had specimens taken from all four anatomic sitesa

Lymphopenia
Hepatic dysfunction
Abnormal urinalysis results
Specimen Y N p value Y N p value Y N p value
NPA (n=40)
RT-qPCR (+) (n = 18) 15 3 0.6 10 8 0.8 16 2 0.4
RT-qPCR (–) (n = 22) 20 2 11 11 16 6
Median viral load 
 (log10 copies/mL)
2.9
0
0.9
0
0
0.9
0.8
0
0.5
Serum (n = 40)
RT-qPCR (+) (n = 18) 16 2 1 10 8 0.8 16 2 0.4
RT-qPCR (–) (n = 22) 19 3 11 11 16 6
Median viral load 
 (log10 copies/mL)
0
0
0.6
0
0
0.7
1.1
0
0.3
Stool (n = 40)
RT-qPCR (+) (n = 30) 27 3 0.6 18 12 0.3 25 5 0.2
RT-qPCR (–) (n = 10) 8 2 3 7 6 4
Median viral load 
 (log10 copies/mL)
7.9
7.2
0.8
7.8
4.7
0.04
7.8
2.6
0.1
Urine (n = 40)
RT-qPCR (+) (n = 9) 8 1 1 7 2 0.1 8 1 0.7
RT-qPCR (–) (n = 31) 27 4 14 17 23 8
Median viral load 
 (log10 copies/mL) 0 0 1 0 0 0.06 0 0 0.4

aRT-qPCR, quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction; SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome; Y, yes; N, no; NPA, nasopharyngeal aspirates.

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