Aim: to understand the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 viral population in hosts during illness, in relation with the infectivity of the virus and the establishment of the humoral (antibody-based) immune response. This knowledge is important to identify trends in disease progression and help improve the treatment and post-treatment follow-up given to patients. Detailed data on the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 population in relation with disease progression, antiviral treatment and viral shedding sites will also be useful in evaluating links with disease severity and the potential failure of antiviral treatments.
The aim is to elucidate the kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 shedding in patients with Covid-19, depending on the severity of the disease, age and existing comorbidities (shedding in upper respiratory tracts – from the nose to the larynx – and lower respiratory tracts – from the windpipe to the alveoli, or at non-respiratory sites), and also to analyze the kinetics of the viral load at respiratory and non-respiratory sites in confirmed cases according to severity, age group and existing comorbidities. The project also intends to determine the correlation between the development of the viral load and infectivity, and to understand the kinetics of introducing a neutralizing humoral response (the body's production of antibodies to neutralize the virus).