An 81-year-old woman in Switzerland has tested positive for COVID-19 through a skin sample, news outlet Swissinfo reported on Saturday.
At first, the woman was tested after developing a fever and displaying symptoms similar to those caused by coronavirus. Both a nasopharyngeal swab COVID-19 test and an antibody test, which was performed six weeks later, came back negative.
Due to a skin rash, a team of dermatologists at the Department of Dermatology at the University Hospital of Basel decided to take a skin sample for coronavirus.
The results, published in the scientific magazine The Lancet, have put question marks over the current nasal swab testing, used globally as the standard for COVID-19 tests.
“This case is important because it highlights the shortcomings of currently available testing methods for SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the researchers noted, referring to the coronavirus in its scientific term.
“Although the sensitivity and specificity of currently available PCR and serology tests are high, swab samples that are taken incorrectly are known drivers of the relatively large number of false-negative tests for SARS-CoV-2,” the dermatologists added in The Lancet study.
The findings also add merit to the hypothesis that some patients do not develop antibodies for COVID-19, the researchers stipulated. However, that could be compatible with other studies stipulating T-cell immunity as a key factor in the human body's ability to overcome the virus.
Reprinted courtesy of i24NEWS