SARS-CoV-2 Is Not Detectable in the Vaginal Fluid of Women With Severe COVID-19 Infection

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 28;71(15):813-817. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa375.


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is spread mainly through respiratory droplets or direct contact. However, the infection condition of the genital system is unknown. Our aim in this study was to determine if SARS-CoV-2 is present in the vaginal fluid of women with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Methods: Ten women with confirmed severe COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to the Tongji Zhongfa Hospital intensive care unit from 4 February 2020 through 24 February 2020 were included. Clinical records, laboratory results, and computed tomography examinations were retrospectively reviewed. The potential for genital infection was accessed by testing for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in vaginal fluids obtained from vaginal swab samples. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was used to confirm the SARS-CoV-2 infection in vaginal fluids.

Results: The clinical characteristics of the 10 women were similar to those reported in other severe COVID-19 patients. All 10 patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2 in vaginal fluid, and all samples tested negative for the virus.

Conclusions: Findings from this small group of cases suggest that SARS-CoV-2 virus does not exist in the vaginal fluids of severe COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: COVID-19 pneumonia; SARS-CoV-2; clinical features; vaginal fluid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / genetics
  • Bodily Secretions / virology*
  • Body Fluids / virology*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology
  • Vagina / virology*