Is SARS-CoV-2 Also an Enteric Pathogen With Potential Fecal-Oral Transmission? A COVID-19 Virological and Clinical Review
In as few as 3 months, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread and ravaged the world at an unprecedented speed in modern history, rivaling the 1918 flu pandemic. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, the culprit virus, is highly contagious and stable in the environment and transmits predominantly among humans via the respiratory route. Accumulating evidence suggest that this virus, like many of its related viruses, may also be an enteric virus that can spread via the fecal-oral route. Such a hypothesis would also contribute to the rapidity and proliferation of this pandemic. Here we briefly summarize what is known about this family of viruses and literature basis of the hypothesis that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 is capable of infecting the gastrointestinal tract and shedding in the environment for potential human-to-human transmission.