MGH FLARE - April 11 - Viral Load in #COVID-19
Most patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection experience rapid viral clearance. Viral load declines in concert with the development of an effective immune response. Some patients, however, have a more severe course, which begs an important question: is this more severe presentation due to failure to mount an effective immune response or to immune-mediated illness? As we consider immunomodulation therapy for COVID-19, the data on #SARS-CoV-2 from Liu and colleagues, and from a retrospective analysis of SARS-CoV-1, are an important caution that severe disease may, in fact, be due to failure to clear the virus. At this time, however, we truly do not know the answer to this crucial question.
Liu, Y., Yan, L.-M., Wan, L., Xiang, T.-X., Le, A., Liu, J.-M., Peiris, M., Poon, L.L.M., and Zhang, W. (2020). Viral dynamics in mild and severe cases of COVID-19. Lancet Infect. Dis.
Peiris, J.S.M., Chu, C.M., Cheng, V.C.C., Chan, K.S., Hung, I.F.N., Poon, L.L.M., Law, K.I., Tang, B.S.F., Hon, T.Y.W., Chan, C.S., et al. (2003). Clinical progression and viral load in a community outbreak of coronavirus-associated SARS pneumonia: a prospective study. Lancet 361, 1767–1772.