Journal of Virological Methods, vol.301, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2021The WHO-named Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection had become a pandemic within a short time period since it was detected in Wuhan. The outbreak required the screening of millions of samples daily and overwhelmed diagnostic laboratories worldwide. During this pandemic, the handling of patient specimens according to the universal guidelines was extremely difficult as the WHO, CDC and ECDC required cold chain compliance during transport and storage of the swab samples. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of two different storage conditions on the COVID-19 real-time PCR assay on 30 positive nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal samples stored at both ambient temperature (22 ± 2 °C) and +4 °C. The results revealed that all the samples stored at ambient temperature remain PCR positive for at least six days without any false-negative result. In conclusion, transporting and storing these types of swab samples at ambient temperature for six days under resource-limited conditions during the COVID-19 pandemics are acceptable.