FDA Develops Fecal Test for COVID-19

December 15, 2020

The FDA has developed a test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in fecal matter, in an attempt to prevent COVID-19 infections from being inadvertently transmitted during fecal transplantation procedures.

Fecal microbiota transplantation is a relatively new technique in which microbes normally found in the human gut and that are part of a healthy body are transplanted into patients. Earlier this year as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, reports began to reach the agency of the coronavirus being found in patients’ stool, so it advised against fecal donations until effective screening methods are implemented.

While there is still no validated stool test, the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review has developed a “working assay” for detection in stool of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, according to Paul Carlson, principal investigator in the office’s Laboratory of Mucosal Pathogens and Cellular Immunology.

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