How often does SARS-CoV-2 be infected with other viruses?

The diagnosis of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is normally achieved by either reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay or lateral flow device testing. Many countries offer the lateral flow device for free or at a cost that is subsidised to their citizens.

Moreover the requirement for testing is enforced by various governments in order to travel internationally. This information does not contain information on the presence of severe acute respir syndrome coronavirus 2 or (SARS-CoV-2).

Researchers at Universidad de Sao Francisco are analysing data from COVID-19 patients who were examined in clinics and hospitals that also look for other diseases. These conditions could make a significant difference in certain prognoses. Their work is published in the journal Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease.

Study Other respiratory pathogens other that were not associated with SARS-CoV-2 were discovered during COVID-19 testing. Image credit magic pictures/

About the study

Researchers accessed data from a COVID-19 shared database that was developed by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation. This allows information to be shared between five health care providers in Sao Paulo. They grouped people by sex and age range.

SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed using RT-PCR, while several other infections were also screened at the same time including Influenza A viruses (-H1N1 and other subtypes), Influenza B virus, Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (HRSV), Human Parainfluenza Viruses Type I (HPIV-1), II (HPIV-2), III (HPIV-3), IV (HPIV-4), Rhinovirus/Enterovirus (RV/EV), Adenoviruses (ADVs), Human Metapneumovirus (hMPV), Human Coronavirus (HCoV)-229E, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-OC43.

Researchers also tested for four bacterial species and also tried to identify yeast in urine. Using the Pearson Chi-square test or Fisher Exact Test, the researchers analyzed the differences in proportions of respiratory infections in groups, while the associations between variables were examined using odds ratio.

In all researchers gathered information of 73,897 people around 17,000 of whom were positive for SARS-CoV-2. In addition, 8.44% of people were tested for at least one other microorganism.

The individuals were aged between 25 and 61, with approximately equal numbers of male and female. There were 850 tests performed for Influenza A virus, 728 for Influenza B virus, 780 for Influenza A-H1N1 virus, 778 for M. pneumoniae 775 for HSRV, 3,768 for C. pneumoniae 775 for HSRV 3,768 for C. pyogenes.

The most frequently detected viral group, which was found in 594 people was RV/EV. Influenza B was found in 199 individuals, whereas Influenza A-H1N1 (and other Influenza A subtypes) were found in 115,105, and 115 individuals, respectively.

S. was the most frequently recognized bacteria species. Pyogenes. It was detected in 121 people. 8 of these people were also positive for COVID-19. C. C.

M. pneumoniae was observed in 10 individuals who were positive for COVID-19. B. Four individuals were positive for pertussis One of them had COVID-19. Only 17 people were tested positive for pertussis, however this was also related to COVID-19.

The majority of people who were negative for COVID-19 also tested positive for another microorganism. The vast majority of those who were negative were between 25 and 60 years old. But, this was the largest age range by far.

There were 150 instances of detection of a different microorganism that was found to be associated with COVID-19. One of these tests was positive for 16 microorganisms, although the researchers recommend caution in this discovery and suggest it may be an error in the database.

The cases are too wide and diverse to be discussed individually; however, most individuals who were positive for an alternate respiratory virus tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. nine viruses were associated with a lower risk of contracting the disease. Researchers have suggested that this could be due to immune activation or competition between viruses for receptors on cells.

There were over 1,300 cases of COVID-19, as well as another virus. The most prevalent was RV/EV. Researchers found that yeast in urine is related to positive COVID-19 test results. This could be due to a malfunction in the immune system which allows fungal infections to grow more easily.


Researchers insist that their findings are exploratory. They believe this information could prove beneficial in the future. It could be invaluable for healthcare professionals to be aware of which other respiratory viruses and bacterial infections are likely to be dangerous for COVID-19 patients, and help in enhancing treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Journal reference:
  • Boschiero, M. N., Duarte, A., Palamim, C. V. C., et al. (2021). COVID-19 testing showed a higher rate of respiratory pathogens than SARS-CoV-2. Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease (2). doi:10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2021.115576.

Content Source:

Gemma Wilson

Gemma is a journalism graduate with keen interest in covering business news – specifically startups. She has as a keen eye for technologies and has predicted quite a few successful startups over the last couple of years.

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