Search
What are you looking for?
Start main content

Press Releases

Press Releases

https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cu-medicine-found-sars-cov2-in-infants-stool-a-coronavirus-testing-centre-is-established-for-paediatric-population-to-identify-silent-carriers
https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cu-medicine-found-sars-cov2-in-infants-stool-a-coronavirus-testing-centre-is-established-for-paediatric-population-to-identify-silent-carriers

CU Medicine Found SARS-CoV2 in Infants' Stool A Coronavirus Testing Centre Is Established for Paediatric Population to Identify Silent Carriers

Coronavirus testing centre

CUHK established a Coronavirus Testing Centre for paediatric population to identify silent carriers of COVID-19 viruses, with a target to provide up to 2,000 COVID-19 tests per day.

 

(Left) Professor Paul CHAN, Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Associate Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research; Professor Francis CHAN, Dean of CU Medicine and Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research; and Professor Siew NG, Associate Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research, at CUHK.

 

Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) found for the first time that COVID-19 patients have active and prolonged gut viral infection, even in the absence of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.  After respiratory clearance of coronavirus, the activity of viral infection and replication will still persist in the gut.  The study result has impacted the clinical management of COVID-19 patients and was published in the international medical journal GUT.

 

Considering that stool tests are safe, accurate and non-invasive, CU Medicine offered free stool test to airport arrivals from 29 March.  As of 31 August, more than 2,000 stool samples have been tested and 6 children were confirmed with COVID-19 infection, and the detection rate is 0.28%. Starting from today (7 September), CU Medicine will provide up to 2,000 COVID-19 tests per day.  This will include stool screening test provided to specific groups targeted by the Department of Health. It is hoped that this helps identify asymptomatic people carrying the COVID-19 virus as early as possible in order to stop its spread in our community.

 

Prof Francis Chan

Professor Francis CHAN states that some countries including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are currently in contact with CU Medicine for details and arrangements of stool tests for COVID-19.

 

Prof Siew Ng

Professor Siew NG highlights that the activity of viral infection and replication will still persist in the gut of COVID-19 patients even after respiratory clearance of coronavirus.  The study result has impacted the clinical management of COVID-19 patients.

 

Prof Paul Chan

Professor Paul CHAN states that stool specimens are more convenient, safe and non-invasive to collect in the paediatric population and can give accurate results. This makes stool test a better option for COVID-19 screening in babies, young children and those whose respiratory samples are difficult to collect.

 

 

Active and Prolonged GI Infection Even in the Absence of GI Symptoms and After Recovery

 

To better understand the activity and infectivity of COVID-19 virus in the GI tract during the disease’s course, researchers from CU Medicine investigated the stool samples of 15 COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong between February and April 2020.  The study provides evidence that there was active gut viral infection in 7 patients even in the absence of GI symptoms.  Three patients continued to display active viral infection up to 6 days after clearance of the virus from their respiratory samples. 

 

At the same time, it is noted that gut microbiota of patients with high SARS-CoV-2 infectivity was characterised by enrichment of pathogens and loss of “good” bacteria that are capable of producing short-chain fatty acid.

 

Professor Siew Chien NG, Associate Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research at CUHK, explained, “Active and prolonged viral activity in the gut of COVID-19 patients, even in the absence of GI manifestations and after recovery, highlights the importance of long-term coronavirus and health surveillance and the threat of potential faecal-oral viral transmissions. Therapeutics approaches including limiting gut viral activity and modulating gut microbiome composition and functionality should be explored.”

 

Successfully Identified Six COVID-19 Patients through Stool Screening Test

 

CU Medicine’s earlier studies found that the COVID-19 virus was detectable in the stool samples of all patients, regardless of the degree of illness.  Starting from March 29, CU Medicine has offered to conduct, for free, stool tests for asymptomatic children or the needy coming to Hong Kong by air to screen for possible COVID-19.  The Department of Microbiology of CU Medicine processes the stool specimens in its laboratory and provides the results to the Government the next day when the stool specimens are received.  As of 31 August, 2,128 stool tests have been conducted and 6 children were confirmed to have COVID-19 infection through the stool screening test conducted by CU Medicine, and the detection rate is 0.28%.

 

Last month a 9-month-old baby girl in Macau mistakenly swallowed a broken sampling rod when her throat swab was being collected for virus test. Professor Paul Kay Sheung CHAN, Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Associate Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research, who is in-charge of the testing service of CU Medicine, highlighted, “The viral load in the stool of infant and children is many times higher than that in adults, and could be equivalent to that of adult respiratory samples.  The activity of viral infection and replication also persist longer in the guts of infant and children.  Stool specimens are more convenient, safe and non-invasive to collect in the paediatric population and can give accurate results.  This makes stool test a better option for COVID-19 screening in babies, young children and those whose respiratory samples are difficult to collect.”

 

Providing Up to 2,000 COVID-19 Tests Per Day and Focus on the Groups that Need Stool Test

 

To enhance Hong Kong’s capacity to test for COVID-19, CU Medicine has received government support to increase laboratory manpower and equipment for testing.  Starting from today (7 September), CU Medicine can provide up to 2,000 COVID-19 tests per day.  In addition to specimens of respiratory tract, CU Medicine will continue to work with the Department of Health to focus on providing stool tests to local high-risk babies and young children, the paediatric population returning to Hong Kong from high risk areas, and those people who have difficulties in collecting specimens of sputum, nasal and throat swabs.

 

Professor Francis KL CHAN, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research at CUHK remarked, “Among the confirmed cases in the territory, we note that there is more than one COVID-19 patient who had stool test positive while tests for respiratory samples were negative.  Stool test is accurate and safe, making it suitable and more effective for COVID-19 screening for specific groups of people.  Some countries including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are currently in contact with us for details and arrangements of stool tests for COVID-19.”

 

Coronavirus Testing Centre

CU Medicine established a Coronavirus Testing Centre to enhance Hong Kong’s capacity to test for COVID-19.

More Press Releases

CU Medicine Develops a Probiotic Formula to Target Imbalance in Gut Microbiota in COVID-19

CU Medicine Develops a Probiotic Formula to Target Imbalance in Gut Microbiota in COVID-19

Research
CU Medicine Offers Free Stool Screening Test for COVID-19 in Children arriving at Airport

CU Medicine Offers Free Stool Screening Test for COVID-19 in Children arriving at Airport

Clinical service
CUHK Finds that the Coronavirus Can Persist in Stool after Its Clearance in Respiratory Tract Will Conduct Stool Test for People in Quarantine Camps for Early Identification

CUHK Finds that the Coronavirus Can Persist in Stool after Its Clearance in Respiratory Tract Will Conduct Stool Test for People in Quarantine Camps for Early Identification

Research
CUHK Establishes Asia’s First Microbiota Transplantation and Research Centre Hope for New Strategies in Disease Prevention and Cure

CUHK Establishes Asia’s First Microbiota Transplantation and Research Centre Hope for New Strategies in Disease Prevention and Cure

Research
CU Medicine Recruits 3,000 Persons to Investigate Hidden Infection and Break the Obstacles in Containing COVID-19 in Hong Kong

CU Medicine Recruits 3,000 Persons to Investigate Hidden Infection and Break the Obstacles in Containing COVID-19 in Hong Kong

Research
The Helmsley Charitable Trust Funds Asian Research into Babies’ Gut Microbiota and Crohn’s Disease

The Helmsley Charitable Trust Funds Asian Research into Babies’ Gut Microbiota and Crohn’s Disease

Research
CUHK Announces World’s First Systematic Review of the Global Incidence and Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in the 21st Century Reveals Surge in Hong Kong in past 30 years

CUHK Announces World’s First Systematic Review of the Global Incidence and Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in the 21st Century Reveals Surge in Hong Kong in past 30 years

Research
Most Deaths from COVID-19 in Hong Kong are of 60 Years Old or Above CUHK Initiated International Effort in Devising Strategies to Protect Older People with Dementia amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Most Deaths from COVID-19 in Hong Kong are of 60 Years Old or Above CUHK Initiated International Effort in Devising Strategies to Protect Older People with Dementia amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Research
CU Medicine Study Shows Liver Injury is Common and Prognostic in COVID-19 Patients

CU Medicine Study Shows Liver Injury is Common and Prognostic in COVID-19 Patients

Research
CUHK Pioneers Whole Genome Sequencing for Identifying the Chromosomal Abnormalities in Couples with Recurrent Miscarriages

CUHK Pioneers Whole Genome Sequencing for Identifying the Chromosomal Abnormalities in Couples with Recurrent Miscarriages

Research
CUHK Researchers Uncover Diabetes as a Potential Risk Factor for COVID-19,  and Possible Mechanisms

CUHK Researchers Uncover Diabetes as a Potential Risk Factor for COVID-19, and Possible Mechanisms

Research
CU Medicine Survey Shows Global Urological Services have been Significantly Deferred due to COVID-19 Pandemic

CU Medicine Survey Shows Global Urological Services have been Significantly Deferred due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Research
CU Medicine Announces the Community Response Study Results During the Early Phase of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Hong Kong

CU Medicine Announces the Community Response Study Results During the Early Phase of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Hong Kong

Research
Two CUHK Scholars from the Faculty of Medicine Receive Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowships

Two CUHK Scholars from the Faculty of Medicine Receive Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowships

Awards and honors
CUHK-Designed Intervention Package Proves Effective to Increase Influenza Vaccine Uptake in Hong Kong Young Children

CUHK-Designed Intervention Package Proves Effective to Increase Influenza Vaccine Uptake in Hong Kong Young Children

Research
CUHK Establishes Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK HOPE) Multidisciplinary Efforts Across the Globe to Advance Children’s Health and Well-being

CUHK Establishes Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK HOPE) Multidisciplinary Efforts Across the Globe to Advance Children’s Health and Well-being

Health Campaign
CUHK Reveals the Key to a Successful HPV Vaccination Programme

CUHK Reveals the Key to a Successful HPV Vaccination Programme

Research
Professor Francis CHAN as the First Chinese Honoured with the American College of Gastroenterology International Leadership Award 2018

Professor Francis CHAN as the First Chinese Honoured with the American College of Gastroenterology International Leadership Award 2018

Awards and honors
CUHK Pioneers in Introducing Museum-Based Observational Skills into Medical Education

CUHK Pioneers in Introducing Museum-Based Observational Skills into Medical Education

Education
CUHK Announces World’s First Meta-analysis on Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori Infection

CUHK Announces World’s First Meta-analysis on Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori Infection

Research
CUHK Collaborates with Australian Experts to Untangle Mystery of Eastern Inflammatory Bowel Disease Gut Microbiota

CUHK Collaborates with Australian Experts to Untangle Mystery of Eastern Inflammatory Bowel Disease Gut Microbiota

Research
CUHK Proves Rotavirus Vaccine Highly Effective for HK Children

CUHK Proves Rotavirus Vaccine Highly Effective for HK Children

Research
CUHK World’s First Study Sets a New Direction on Aspirin Use after Lower Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage

CUHK World’s First Study Sets a New Direction on Aspirin Use after Lower Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage

Research
World’s First Large-scale Epidemiological Survey on Adolescents by CUHK Reveals Abuse of Methamphetamine Associated with Increased Risk of Developing Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

World’s First Large-scale Epidemiological Survey on Adolescents by CUHK Reveals Abuse of Methamphetamine Associated with Increased Risk of Developing Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

Clinical service
CUHK World’s First Study Confirms A New Colorectal Cancer High Risk Group

CUHK World’s First Study Confirms A New Colorectal Cancer High Risk Group

Research
CUHK Research Shows 1 in 5 Throat Cancer Patients in HK is HPV infected

CUHK Research Shows 1 in 5 Throat Cancer Patients in HK is HPV infected

Research
CUHK Conducts Hong Kong’s First Study on Seven Common Respiratory Viruses Revealing Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza A as Prevalent Fatal Types

CUHK Conducts Hong Kong’s First Study on Seven Common Respiratory Viruses Revealing Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza A as Prevalent Fatal Types

Research
CUHK’s New Prostatic Artery Embolization Shows 90% Success Rate in Relieving Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

CUHK’s New Prostatic Artery Embolization Shows 90% Success Rate in Relieving Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Clinical service
CUHK Screening Reveals 1 in 3 Older Adults in Community Suffer Brain Small Vessel Disease, Early Prevention Recommended

CUHK Screening Reveals 1 in 3 Older Adults in Community Suffer Brain Small Vessel Disease, Early Prevention Recommended

Clinical service
CUHK Latest Research Reveals FMT Effectiveness Triples that of Conventional Treatment

CUHK Latest Research Reveals FMT Effectiveness Triples that of Conventional Treatment

Research
CUHK Launches Vision Screening for Hong Kong Children

CUHK Launches Vision Screening for Hong Kong Children

Clinical service
CUHK and PWH Introduce Leading 3D Imaging System which Reduces Radiation Dosage by 90%

CUHK and PWH Introduce Leading 3D Imaging System which Reduces Radiation Dosage by 90%

Clinical service
Media Gathering with Prof. TC Li, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK Sharing on Recurrent Miscarriage

Media Gathering with Prof. TC Li, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK Sharing on Recurrent Miscarriage

Clinical service
CUHK Reveals Hepatitis B Prevalence Among Pregnant Women Remains High Despite More Than 25 Years of Universal Hepatitis B Vaccination

CUHK Reveals Hepatitis B Prevalence Among Pregnant Women Remains High Despite More Than 25 Years of Universal Hepatitis B Vaccination

Research
CUHK Advocates Atrial Fibrillation Screening and Drug Education to Reduce Risk of Stroke among Elderly

CUHK Advocates Atrial Fibrillation Screening and Drug Education to Reduce Risk of Stroke among Elderly

Clinical service
CUHK Conducts Asia's Largest Clinical Study on Life-threatening Infections caused by RSV and Influenza in Hong Kong Adults and Elderly

CUHK Conducts Asia's Largest Clinical Study on Life-threatening Infections caused by RSV and Influenza in Hong Kong Adults and Elderly

Research
Hong Kong and Macau Among Top Three Regions in Asia-Pacific with the Highest Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease CUHK Establishes Registry to Increase Public Awareness

Hong Kong and Macau Among Top Three Regions in Asia-Pacific with the Highest Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease CUHK Establishes Registry to Increase Public Awareness

Research
CUHK discovers that 40% of Individuals at Risk of Coronary Heart Disease have Pre-cancerous Bowel Tumors

CUHK discovers that 40% of Individuals at Risk of Coronary Heart Disease have Pre-cancerous Bowel Tumors

Research
CUHK Research Reveals New Influenza Vaccine Offers More Effective Control over Influenza in Hong Kong

CUHK Research Reveals New Influenza Vaccine Offers More Effective Control over Influenza in Hong Kong

Research

Our Expert List

Many experts under the Faculty of Medicine are available for media interview.
Please click here for the expert list or contact us.