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Reliability of self-sampling for accurate assessment of respiratory virus viral and immunologic kinetics

By Alpana Waghmare, Elizabeth M. Krantz, Subhasish Baral, Emma Vasquez, Tillie Loeffelholz, E. Lisa Chung, Urvashi Pandey, Jane Kuypers, Elizabeth R Duke, Keith R Jerome, Alexander Greninger, Daniel B Reeves, Florian Hladik, E. Fabian Cardozo-Ojeda, Michael Boeckh, Joshua T Schiffer

Posted 06 Apr 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.03.20051706

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic demonstrates the need for accurate and convenient approaches to diagnose and therapeutically monitor respiratory viral infections. We demonstrated that self-sampling with foam swabs is well-tolerated and provides quantitative viral output concordant with flocked swabs. Using longitudinal home-based self-sampling, we demonstrate nasal cytokine levels correlate and cluster according to immune cell of origin. Periods of stable viral loads are followed by rapid elimination, which could be coupled with cytokine expansion and contraction using mathematical models. Nasal foam swab self-sampling at home provides a precise, mechanistic readout of respiratory virus shedding and local immune responses.

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