Isolation of infectious SARS-CoV-2 from urine of a COVID-19 patient

Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020 Dec;9(1):991-993. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2020.1760144.


SARS-CoV-2 caused a major outbreak of severe pneumonia (COVID-19) in humans. Viral RNA was detected in multiple organs in COVID-19 patients. However, infectious SARS-CoV-2 was only isolated from respiratory specimens. Here, infectious SARS-CoV-2 was successfully isolated from urine of a COVID-19 patient. The virus isolated could infect new susceptible cells and was recognized by its' own patient sera. Appropriate precautions should be taken to avoid transmission from urine.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; transmission; urine; virus isolation.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • COVID-19
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Coronavirus Infections / urine*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Genome, Viral / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Pneumonia, Viral / urine*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vero Cells

Grant support

This study was approved by the Health Commission of Guangdong Province to use patient’s specimen for this study. This study was funded by grants from The National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC1200100), National Science and Technology Major Project (2018ZX10301403), the emergency grants for prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 of Ministry of Science and Technology (2020YFC0841400) and Guangdong province (2020B111108001, 2018B020207013).