Publication date: 26/05/2020 – E&P Code: repo.epiprev.it/1702
Authors: Alberto Donzelli1, Giulia Giudicatti1
Abstract: According to an US study1 about a third of Covid-19 positive patients had gastrointestinal symptoms.
These symptoms include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, are an important feature of the disease, and suggested also a possible fecal-oral transmission of the virus that needs attention.
A systematic review with meta-analysis2 of 60 studies, comprising 4243 patients, have already showed a pooled prevalence of all gastrointestinal symptoms of 17.6%. The pooled prevalence of stool samples that were positive for virus RNA was 48.1%, and 70.3% of hose collected after loss of virus from respiratory specimens tested positive for RNA virus2, though this does not mean that the viral RNA was still infectious.
Other Authors speculate on a potential fecal–oral transmission3,4. However, a laboratory study5 showed that SARS-CoV-2 virus can enter into enterocytes, but that viruses released into the intestinal lumen were inactivated by (simulated) human colonic fluid, and infectious virus was not recovered from the stool specimens of COVID-19 patients.
According to current evidence, COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets and contact routes6. The latter can imply also the contact with contaminated surfaces. An article published in the NEJM7 analyzed the SARS-CoV-2 resistance on certain surfaces, confirming that the virus is quite stable on surfaces like stainless steel, being detected up to 48-72 hours after application.