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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

On-line version ISSN 1812-9528


MONTIEL, Dora et al. Association of cycle threshold (Ct) in RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 and severity of COVID-19 in patients of a referral hospital in Paraguay. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2022, vol.20, n.1, pp.53-63. ISSN 1812-9528.

Some studies have found that severity of COVID-19 is associated with a high viral load determined by the number of cycles (Ct) of SARS-CoV-2 DNA amplification. The objective was to determine the relationship between the Ct value and the severity of the SARS-COV-2 virus infection in inpatients and outpatients at a reference hospital in Paraguay between March and June 2021. Cross-sectional retrospective study of adult patients with COVID-19, ambulatory and hospitalized admitted to the National Hospital. Patients whose infection was confirmed by RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 were included, a cut off point of Ct <25 was considered. Five hundred seventeen patients between 16 and 98 years of age were studied (mean ± SD: 51.5 ± 17.5), 268 men (51.8%), age> 60 years (36.6%), hospitalized (69.8%), admitted to ward (57.1%), and admitted to intensive care (12.8%), mean time of illness 8.48 ± 4.2 days and mortality was 22.2%. A higher risk of death was found for patients with Ct <25 for both gene E (OR: 1.61; 95% CI: 1.06-2.44) and gene N2 (OR: 1.83; 95% CI: 1.19- 2.80) and with age> 60 years (OR: 3.69; 95% CI: 2.39-5.68). These two factors remained associated with death in the multivariate analysis. There was a higher risk of hospitalization and death in patients with TC <25. Ct value could be useful for predicting clinical course and prognosis of COVID-19 patients.

Keywords : SARS-CoV-2; viral load; severe disease; cycle threshold (Ct).

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