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SARS-CoV-2 RNA stability in saliva and dry swabs for storage and transport at ambient temperature for at least 9 days: A cost efficient and practical alternative
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  • Alonzo Alfaro-Núñez,
  • Stephanie Crone,
  • Shila Mortensen,
  • Maiken Worsøe Rosenstierne,
  • Anders Fomsgaard,
  • Ellinor Marving,
  • Sofie Holdflod Nielsen,
  • Michelle Grace Pinto Jørgensen,
  • Arieh S. Cohen,
  • Claus Nielsen
Alonzo Alfaro-Núñez
Statens Serum Institut Virus og Mikrobiologisk Specialdiagnostik
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Stephanie Crone
Statens Serum Institut
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Shila Mortensen
Statens Serum Institut Virus og Mikrobiologisk Specialdiagnostik
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Maiken Worsøe Rosenstierne
Statens Serum Institut Virus og Mikrobiologisk Specialdiagnostik
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Anders Fomsgaard
Statens Serum Institut Virus og Mikrobiologisk Specialdiagnostik
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Ellinor Marving
Statens Serum Institut Virus og Mikrobiologisk Specialdiagnostik
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Sofie Holdflod Nielsen
Statens Serum Institut
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Michelle Grace Pinto Jørgensen
Statens Serum Institut
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Arieh S. Cohen
Statens Serum Institut
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Claus Nielsen
Statens Serum Institut Virus og Mikrobiologisk Specialdiagnostik
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Abstract

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, different methods have been used to evaluate patients suspected with infection of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we evaluate the longevity of saliva and dry swab samples to retain SARS-CoV-2 for storage and transport at different environmental settings. Our results show that at ambient temperature of 20°C, SARS-CoV-2 RNA remains stable for up to 9 days giving a long span of time for transport and storage without compromising clinical results. Additionally, this study demonstrates that sali­­­va and dry swabs specimens can also be stored at -20°C and +4°C for up to 26 days without affecting RT-qPCR results. Our data is relevant for low-and middle-income countries, which have limited access to rapid refrigerated transport and storage of samples representing an economical alternative. Finally, our study demonstrates that dry swabs provide clear advantages over using transport medium.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

06 May 2021Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
06 May 2021Assigned to Editor
06 May 2021Submission Checks Completed
13 May 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
30 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Jun 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major