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Gastrointestinal viral shedding in children with SARS-CoV-2: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
 
Gastrointestinal viral shedding in children with SARS-CoV-2: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  Sepideh Benvari, Shima Mahmoudi, Mohsen Mohammadi
 [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]   Pageviews: 834 Times
 
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has different manifestations in pediatric cases. It is assumed that they might present more gastrointestinal symptoms with a different viral shedding pattern in gastrointestinal samples. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to evaluate the viral shedding pattern in gastrointestinal specimens of children with COVID-19.
Methods: We searched all published studies in English language in PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus, up to date as of October 2021. Our search included the term "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, novel coronavirus, or coronavirus; and shed, excrete, secret, or carriage; and stool or rectal; and children or pediatrics". We included studies evaluating SARS-CoV-2 shedding in gastrointestinal specimens, including rectal swabs and stool samples of children with COVID-19 infection. We excluded duplicated data, case reports, and studies without original data.
Results: Twelve studies met the eligibility criteria for the qualitative synthesis, 10 of which were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of gastrointestinal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA in children with COVID-19 was 86% (95% confidence interval 73%¨C96%, I 2 = 62.28%). After respiratory specimen had become negative, 72% (43/60) had persistent shedding in gastrointestinal specimens. The gastrointestinal RNA had a positive test result for more than 70 days after symptoms onset.
Conclusions: Gastrointestinal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 might occur in a substantial portion of children and might persist long after negative respiratory testing. Further research is recommended to find the role of SARS-CoV-2 gastrointestinal shedding in transmission in children.
 
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World Journal of Pediatric Surgery

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