Sunday, February 17, 2013

Recombinomics: Beta Coronavirus Hajj Testing Concerns

February 17, 2013
A cohort of 154 French Hajj pilgrims participating in the 2012 Hajj were systematically sampled using nasal swab prior to returning to France and screened for the novel HCoV-EMC coronavirus by two real-time RT-PCR assays. Despite a high rate of respiratory symptoms (83.4%) including 41.0% influenza like illness, no case of HCoV-EMC infection was detected.

The above comments from the abstract of a recent paper entitled “Lack of nasal carriage of novel coronavirus (HCoV-EMC) in French Hajj pilgrims returning from the Hajj 2012, despite high rate of respiratory symptoms” raise serious concerns that novel betacornavirus cases associated with Hajj pilgrims are being missed because screening has focused on samples collected from the upper respiratory tract, when WHO recommends testing of samples collected from the lower respiratory tract.


No comments: