Endoscopes used in positive and critically ill patients are SARS-CoV-2 negative at virological assessment

Gut. 2021 Sep;70(9):1629-1631. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323577. Epub 2021 Jan 6.


The risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in endoscopy is not only between patients and endoscopy staff but is also through inadequately reprocessed endoscopes. There are no studies that could confirm the efficacy of current ways of endoscope reprocessing on the elimination of SARS-CoV-2. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the efficacy of high disinfection of endoscopes with peracetic acid on eliminating SARS-CoV-2, but surprisingly we found that the virus cannot be detected on any part of endoscopes used in critically ill patients due to SARS-CoV-2 and this was the same for all types of endoscopies and procedures. If confirmed in larger studies, these findings will probably open a new scenario in the overall understanding of the real impact of the virus.

Keywords: diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / virology*
  • Critical Illness
  • Disinfectants*
  • Disinfection*
  • Endoscopes, Gastrointestinal / virology*
  • Equipment Contamination*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peracetic Acid*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification*


  • Disinfectants
  • Peracetic Acid