This study was undertaken to assess whether SARS-CoV-2 causes a persistent central nervous system infection. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody index and SARS-CoV-2 RNA were studied in cerebrospinal fluid following COVID-19. Cerebrospinal fluid was assessed between days 1 and 30 (n = 12), between days 31 and 90 (n = 8), or later than 90 days (post-COVID-19, n = 20) after COVID-19 diagnosis. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was absent in all patients, and in none of the 20 patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome were intrathecally produced anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies detected. The absence of evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in cerebrospinal fluid argues against a persistent central nervous system infection as a cause of neurological or neuropsychiatric post-COVID-19 syndrome. ANN NEUROL 2022;91:150-157.
© 2021 The Authors. Annals of Neurology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Neurological Association.