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Turriziani O, Sciandra I, Mazzuti L, et al. SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics in the virology laboratory of a University Hospital in Rome during the lockdown period [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 22]. J Med Virol. 2020;10.1002/jmv.26332. doi:10.1002/jmv.26332

Italy was one of the most affected nations by coronavirus disease 2019 outside China. The infections, initially limited to Northern Italy, spread to all other Italian regions. This study aims to provide a snapshot of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemiology based on a single-center laboratory experience in Rome. The study retrospectively included 6565 subjects tested for SARS-CoV-2 at the Laboratory of Virology of Sapienza University Hospital in Rome from 6 March to 4 May. A total of 9995 clinical specimens were analyzed, including nasopharyngeal swabs, bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, gargle lavages, stools, pleural fluids, and cerebrospinal fluids. Positivity to SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 8% (527/6565) of individuals, increased with age, and was higher in male patients (P < .001). The number of new confirmed cases reached a peak on 18 March and then decreased. The virus was detected in respiratory samples, in stool and in pleural fluids, while none of gargle lavage or cerebrospinal fluid samples gave a positive result. This analysis allowed to gather comprehensive information on SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology in our area, highlighting positivity variations over time and in different sex and age group and the need for a continuous surveillance of the infection, mostly because the pandemic evolution remains unknown.

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