Coinfections in COVID-19

Respiratory sampling

Lungs are hard to sample, some sample types are less safe as aerosol generating (bronchoscopy), there’s also been deprioritisation of general respiratory sampling which might pick up AMR bugs and secondary infections to maintain covid-19 testing capacity (see this advice from UK Royal College of Pathologists

Best sample types and strategies with minimal frontline clinical effort while maximising utility of samples?

I liked this recent paper indicating saliva was decent (possibly better than NP swabs!) for SARS-CoV-2:

Now saliva clearly has it’s issues with respect to contamination from the oral microbiome, but it’s a very easy sample type to obtain!


Anyone (especially clinicians) have a sense of what respiratory sampling is actually taking place? Papers reporting bacterial infection often say it was detected in sputum, endotracheal aspirate, or BAL, but give no indication of how many infections were diagnosed by which method.

Probably mostly sputum (easier to get), but would be very interested to hear how much BAL is being done.

1 Like