The Association of Viral load and Disease Severity in Children with COVID-19.

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Aykac K., Cura Yayla B. C. , Ozsurekci Y. , Evren K., Oygar P. D. , Gurlevik S. L. , ...More

Journal of medical virology, vol.93, pp.3077-3083, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 93
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jmv.26853
  • Title of Journal : Journal of medical virology
  • Page Numbers: pp.3077-3083
  • Keywords: children, COVID-19, cycle threshold, PCR, SARS-CoV-2, viral load, INFECTIONS


It is still not fully understood how to predict the future prognosis of patients at the diagnosis coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to the wide clinical range of the disease. We aimed to evaluate whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load could predict the clinical course of pediatric patients. This study was conducted retrospectively with medical records of pediatric patients who were tested for SARS-CoV2 between April 12 and October 25, 2020 in the University of Health Sciences, Ankara Educating and Training Hospital and Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine. We evaluated 518 pediatric patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and classified according to severity as asymptomatic (16.2%), mild (59.6%), moderate (20.2%), and critical/severe (3.9%) cases. We analyzed patients in four groups in terms of ages: <4, 5-9, 10-14, and 15-17 years. There was no statistically significant difference in terms of increment C-t value among age groups, different gender and the existence of underlying diseases in each disease course. The increment C-t values were relatively lower in the first 2 days of symptoms than after days in all groups. Our study has indicated that children with COVID-19 have similar amount of viral load in all disease courses irrespective of the age and underlying disease. It should be taken into account that, regardless of the severity of the disease, pediatric patients may have a role in the transmission chain.