Viral loads in clinical specimens and SARS manifestations.Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Sep; 10(9):1550-7.EI
A retrospective viral load study was performed on clinical specimens from 154 patients with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS); the specimens were prospectively collected during patients' illness. Viral load in nasopharyngeal aspirates (n = 142) from day 10 to day 15 after onset of symptoms was associated with oxygen desaturation, mechanical ventilation, diarrhea, hepatic dysfunction, and death. Serum viral load (n = 53) was associated with oxygen desaturation, mechanical ventilation, and death. Stool viral load (n = 94) was associated with diarrhea, and urine viral load (n = 111) was associated with abnormal urinalysis results. Viral replications at different sites are important in the pathogenesis of clinical and laboratory abnormalities of SARS.