Poo test picks up COVID cases missed in swabs
Exclusive: Nasal and throat swabs could be missing cases of COVID-19 with new evidence some infections occur in the gut and poo testing may also be needed.
Leading Australian gut specialist Professor Thomas Borody who helped discover the treatment for stomach ulcers has published a new study which shows some patients who tested negative for COVID on a nasal swab, tested positive for COVID via a poo test.
It suggests that some infections may be transmitted via bodily waste when a person does not wash their hands properly after going to the toilet.
A number of recent studies have also found some patients who were declared recovered from COVID-19 after they tested negative on a nasal swab were still testing positive in their faecal samples.
"Theoretically it could be transmitted through the gut," Professor Borody told News Corp.
Unlike the nasal swab which detects a fragment of the genetic code of the virus that causes COVID-19 poo testing extracts the entire code, Professor Borody said.
"You get a much tighter diagnosis".
However, he said poo testing was much more expensive costing $US850 per test.
The virus that causes COVID-19 takes hold in the human body by latching on to ACE2 receptors which are found in the nasal passage but these receptors are also present in the human gut, he said.
"Stool testing suggests that since large numbers of COVID-19 reside on the numerous gut ACE2 receptors, the infection in the GI tract has a pivotal role in the disease progression along with the cytokine-driven symptoms," he said.
The study also performed genetic testing on the COVID-19 samples and identified 33 genetic mutations.
The study of 14 people has not yet been peer reviewed but has been published on website Research Square.
Professor Borody is trialling a promising triple therapy for COVID-19 that includes head lice tablet ivermectin.
The protocol is available to registered doctors at GP@CDD.com.au.
All three medications are FDA and TGA approved.
Small international studies have found a 100 per cent cure rate.
Professor Borody is currently testing the treatment on Australian patients with results due in coming weeks.
People given this triple therapy tested negative for the virus that causes COVID-19 in their stools within two days, he said.
"We've had failed hydroxychloroquine patients who tested negative in a throat swab but still had it in their stools," he said.
Originally published as Poo test picks up COVID cases missed in swabs