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Table 1 Study characteristics of study design

From: At what times during infection is SARS-CoV-2 detectable and no longer detectable using RT-PCR-based tests? A systematic review of individual participant data

Ref Author year Country Location Setting Date recruited No. of participants in study No. of IPD participants Study design Inclusion criteria: reference test
[9] Cai 2020a China Wenzhou Community 18 December 2019–12 February 2020 35 34 Contact tracing, all patients visited a shopping mall (confirmed COVID-19 cases that had contact with each other) Positive RT-PCR test
[16] Chang 2020 China PLA General Hospital, Beijing Hospital 28 January 2020 to 9 February 2020 16 16 Confirmed COVID-19 patients released from the Treatment Center of PLA General Hospital Positive RT-PCR test from throat swabs
[10] Chen 2020a China Beijing Ditan Hospital, Capital Medical University Hospital 20 January to 27 February 133 22 Retrospectively identified a convenience sample of patients admitted to hospital At least 2 positive RT-PCR test pharyngeal swabs
[12] Chen 2020b China Shanghai, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center. Public Health Clinical Center 20 January 2020 to 6 February 2020 249 248 Retrospective cohort of laboratory confirmed cases Positive RT-PCR test according to WHO interim guidelines
[29] He 2020 China Guangzhou Eighth People’s Hospital, Guangzhou, China Hospital 21 January 2020 to 14 February 2020 94 19 All admitted COVID confirmed cases admitted to hospital At least one positive RT-PCR test throat sample
[24] Hu 2020a China Qingdao, Shandong Hospital 29 January 2020 to 12 March 2020 59 59 Retrospective cohort of confirmed hospital cases Positive RT-PCR test
[30] Hu 2020b China Second Hospital of Nanjing, China Hospital 28 January 2020 to 9 February 2020 24 23 Initial asymptomatic patients Positive RT-PCR test and/or positive CT
[28] Cai 2020b China Shanghai, China Hospital 19 January 2020 to 3 February 2020 10 10 10 children admitted to hospital Positive RT-PCR test nasopharyngeal or throat swab
[31] Kujawski 2020 USA Multiple sites, USA Community 20 January 2020 to 5 February 2020 12 12 First 12 patients confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive in the USA Positive RT-PCR test in ≥ 1 specimen from a patient. Confirmed by CDC
[39] Lavezzo 2020 Italy Padua, Veneto region, Italy Community 21 February 2020 to 7 March 2020 2812 80 Epidemiological study of entire population of Vo’, Italy, during complete closure of population movement Positive RT-PCR test on nasopharyngeal swab
[27] Lescure 2020 France Paris, Bordeaux Hospital 24 January 2020 to 29 January 2020 5 5 First 5 patients in France, exposed to COVID-19 in Hubei Province, China, prior to travel to France Positive RT-PCR test
[34] Li 2020 China Xuzhou Community 13 January 2020 to 17 February 2020 7 7 Asymptomatic contact tracing Positive RT-PCR test
[14] Liu 2020a China Hospital of Nanchang University Hospital 21 January 2020 to 4 February 2020 76 25 Patients admitted to the hospital Positive RT-PCR test from nasal swabs
[32] Liu 2020b China Xixi Hospital of Hangzhou Hospital 22 January 2020 to 11 February 2020 10 10 Hospital admission Two consecutive positive RT-PCR tests
[18] Lo 2020 China Centro Hospitalar Conde de Sao Januario, Macau SAR, China Hospital 21 January 2020 to 16 February 2020 10 10 Retrospective study of first 10 COVID-confirmed patients in Macau Positive RT-PCR test
[20] Lu 2020 China Nantong, Nantong Third Hospital Hospital 23 January 2020 to 6 March 2020 36 35 Retrospective analysis of clinical patients with fever, coughing, or lung inflammation Positive RT-PCR test
[19] Song 2020 China Wuhan No. 1 Hospital, Nanjing Medical University Hospital 31 January to 14 March 2020 13 13 Confirmed by CT images Positive RT-PCR test
[13] To 2020 China (Hong Kong) Public Health Lab services branch in Hong Kong Public Health Lab Not reported 12 12 12 patients who presented with fever and acute respiratory distress, or pneumonia, and travel to Wuhan 14 days before onset of symptoms Positive RT-PCR test from nasopharyngeal or sputum sample
[17] Wolfel 2020 Germany Munich, Germany Hospital Not reported 9 9 Patients that acquired infections upon known close contact to an index case (part of a larger cluster of epidemiologically linked cases that occurred after 23 January 2020 in Munich, Germany) Positive RT-PCR test from oro- or nasopharyngeal swab
[37] Wu 2020 China Zhuhai, Guangdong Hospital 16 January 2020 to 15 March 2020 74 41 Retrospective study of hospitalised patients Positive RT-PCR test in two sequential respiratory tract samples
[40] Wyllie 2020 USA New Haven, CT Community (healthcare workers) Not reported to 5 April 2020 98 (44 inpatients) 19 Study of inpatients (44) and healthcare workers (98) Positive RT-PCR test by nasopharyngeal swab or saliva
[21] Xia 2020 China Zhejiang Hospital 26 January 2020 to 9 February 2020 30 30 A prospective interventional case series study of confirmed novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) patients at hospital Positive RT-PCR test
[23] Xiao 2020 China Tongji Hospital, Huazhong, Wuhan Hospital 21 January 2020 to 12 February 2020 56 56 30 confirmed novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) patients were selected Positive RT-PCR test
[33] Xu 2020a China Changzhou Hospital 23 January 2020 to 27 February 2020 51 48 Hospital admission including 12 family clusters Confirmed COVID-19 by Chinese diagnosis and treatment guideline
[36] Xu 2020b China Guangzhou, Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center Hospital but from community surveillance 22 January 2020 to 20 February 2020 10 10 “Highly suspected” children with contact with confirmed COVID-19 person, or member of infected family group who was placed in quarantine Positive RT-PCR test from nasopharyngeal or rectal swabs
[11] Yang 2020 China Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital 11 January and 3 February 2020 213 13 COVID-19 positive hospitalised patients Positive RT-PCR test
[26] Young 2020 Singapore 4 hospitals in Singapore Hospital 23 January 2020 to 3 February 2020 18 18 Contact tracing. First hospitalised patients in Singapore Positive RT-PCR test
[22] Yuan 2020 China Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China Hospital Late January 6 6 Case series Positive RT-PCR test
[25] Zhang 2020a China Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital, CAS Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens Hospital Not reported Unclear 16 Prospective cohort patients Positive RT-PCR test from oral swab
[35] Zhang 2020b China Guangdong Hospital 30 January 2020 to 5 February 2020 7 7 Prior hospitalisation for COVID-19, discharged under quarantine and subsequently positive by RT-PCR again Positive RT-PCR test
[38] Zheng 2020 China Zheijang, China Hospital 19 January 2020 to 15 February 2020 96 96 Retrospective cohort of 96 consecutively confirmed hospital cases Positive RT-PCR test
[15] Zou 2020 China Zhuhai, Guangdong Community and hospital 7 January to 26 January 2020 18 17 2 family clusters of patients infected by SARS-CoV Positive RT-PCR test. Assay from Chinese CDC