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Viral cultures, PCR Cycle threshold values and viral load estimation for COVID-19 infectious potential assessment in transplant patients: systematic review - Protocol Version 29 December 2021

By Tom Jefferson, Elizabeth A Spencer, Susanna Maltoni, Jon Brassey, IGHO ONAKPOYA, Elena Cecilia Rosca, Annette Pludderman, David Evans, John Conly, Carl Heneghan

Posted 01 Jan 2022
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.12.30.21268509

This is the protocol for a systematic review focussing on people receiving solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplants. Our research questions are as follows: What is the relationship between serial PCR Ct value or other measures of viral burden, and the likelihood and duration of the presence of infectious virus from viral culture, among transplant recipients with SARS-CoV-2 infection? What is the influence of age, sex, underlying pathologies, degree of immunosuppression, vaccination status, COVID-19 symptoms and COVID-19 disease course on viral burden and the likelihood of presence of infectious SARS-CoV-2? We will include single studies reporting serial Cts from sequential rt-PCR testing or other measures of viral burden such as RNA gene copies of respiratory samples (from nasopharyngeal specimens) along with viral culture data on the same samples, from patients about to receive a transplant or who are post transplant with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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