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Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana

Print version ISSN 0325-2957On-line version ISSN 1851-6114

Abstract

FISCHERMAN, Laura et al. Detección de SARS-CoV-2 en contactos estrechos asintomáticos de casos confirmados por diagnóstico molecular, provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Acta bioquím. clín. latinoam. [online]. 2021, vol.55, n.4, pp.490-500. ISSN 0325-2957.

The detection of SARS-CoV-2 and its implication in the diagnosis of COVID-19 have been highly debated in the pandemic. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost/benefit of detecting SARS-CoV-2 in asymptomatic close contacts (CC) using different molecular diagnostic tests. A total of 51 CC of people with a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by RTqPCR, classified by the cycle threshold (Ct) (<20, between 20 and 30 and >30), were studied in public hospitals in the Province of Buenos Aires. Of the total contacts studied, 15.7% were confirmed for SARS-CoV-2; there were no positive contacts of cases with Ct>30 positive. The number of positive contacts of cases with Ct<20 was significantly higher than that of cases with Ct>20. Samples with Ct<20 were associated with an estimated viral load of one to four orders of magnitude difference with Ct ranges >20. A total of 13.7% of positive close contacts were from cases with Ct<20. When studying positive samples with confirmed diagnosis by PCR, corresponding to 1 epidemiological week of 2021 (EW1), only 19.35% corresponded to samples with Ct<20 and 50.7% with Ct between 20 and 30. From these data it is shown that with the CC test only 3.7% of the cases were detected. The effort by the public health system for this strategy, with low predictive power, may have a negative effect on the fulfillment of the isolation of contacts and could generate a delay in the results of suspected cases, without contributing significantly to controlling the pandemic.

Keywords : SARS-CoV-2; Close contacts; Viral load; Public health measures; COVID-19 containment.

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