A systematic review of asymptomatic infections with COVID-19

J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2021 Feb;54(1):12-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jmii.2020.05.001. Epub 2020 May 15.


Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in late December 2019, it has brought significant harm and challenges to over 200 countries and regions around the world. However, there is increasing evidence that many patients with COVID-19 are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms, but they are able to transmit the virus to others. There are difficulties in screening for asymptomatic infections, which makes it more difficult for national prevention and control of this epidemic. This article reviews the characteristics, treatment, and outcomes of asymptomatic infections with COVID-19, hoping it would be helpful for early prevention and control of this severe public health threat worldwide.

Keywords: Asymptomatic infections; COVID-19; Epidemiological characteristic; Outcome; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Asymptomatic Infections* / epidemiology
  • Asymptomatic Infections* / therapy
  • COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • COVID-19* / therapy
  • COVID-19* / transmission
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2 / pathogenicity
  • Treatment Outcome