Relative infectiousness of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected persons compared with symptomatic individuals: a rapid scoping review

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Title: Relative infectiousness of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected persons compared with symptomatic individuals: a rapid scoping review
Authors: McEvoy, DavidMcAloon, Conor G.Collins, Áine B.Casey-Bryars, MiriamBarber, AnnGriffin, John M.Lane, ElizabethWall, Patrick G.More, Simon Johnet al.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12140
Date: May-2021
Online since: 2021-05-10T09:23:56Z
Abstract: Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the relative infectiousness of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected persons compared with symptomatic individuals based on a scoping review of available literature. Design Rapid scoping review of peer-reviewed literature from 1 January to 5 December 2020 using the LitCovid database and the Cochrane library. Setting International studies on the infectiousness of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2. Participants Studies were selected for inclusion if they defined asymptomatics as a separate cohort distinct from presymptomatics and if they provided a quantitative measure of the infectiousness of asymptomatics relative to symptomatics. Primary outcome measures PCR result (PCR studies), the rate of infection (mathematical modelling studies) and secondary attack rate (contact tracing studies) - in each case from asymptomatic in comparison with symptomatic individuals. Results There are only a limited number of published studies that report estimates of relative infectiousness of asymptomatic compared with symptomatic individuals. 12 studies were included after the screening process. Significant differences exist in the definition of infectiousness. PCR studies in general show no difference in shedding levels between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals; however, the number of study subjects is generally limited. Two modelling studies estimate relative infectiousness to be 0.43 and 0.57, but both of these were more reflective of the infectiousness of undocumented rather than asymptomatic cases. The results from contact tracing studies include estimates of relative infectiousness of 0, but with insufficient evidence to conclude that it is significantly different from 1. Conclusions There is considerable heterogeneity in estimates of relative infectiousness highlighting the need for further investigation of this important parameter. It is not possible to provide any conclusive estimate of relative infectiousness, as the estimates from the reviewed studies varied between 0 and 1.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: BMJ
Journal: BMJ Open
Volume: 11
Issue: 5
Copyright (published version): 2021 the Authors
Keywords: COVID-19CoronavirusSARS-CoV-2Asymptomatic individualsInfectiousness
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042354
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 2044-6055
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science Research Collection
Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection
Veterinary Medicine Research Collection
CVERA Research Collection

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