COVID-19: Moroccan Study Facilitates Access to RNA of the Virus


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Rabat – A recent Moroccan study showed that the detection of the Ribonucleic acid (RNA) of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — in a patient’s serum sample, is more effective during the phase of convalescence.

Like human DNA, the RNA of a virus is essential in decoding its genes. The detection is a key step in the process of finding the vaccine; it can also help in  confirming the total recovery of patients.

A group of Moroccan scientists released the study called “COVID-19: Molecular and Serological Profile of Moroccan Patients after Clinical Recovery.” The paper reports the scientists’ findings after running a clinical study of 50 recovered COVID-19 carriers.

The study took place between March 25 and April 9, at the Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences and Hassan II University of Casablanca.

According to the study, there is a significant incoherence between the virological and the serological –after the clinical recovery– results. Its main finding is that serological results are more effective in  finding antibodies of the virus causing COVID-19.

The study also demonstrated that the serological test offers complementarity to the RNA test for pathogen-specific diagnosis, in addition to useful information to assess the adapted immune status of the patient.

The Moroccan scientists targeted COVID-19 patients who left the Cheikh Khalifa Ibn Zaid International University Hospital in Casablanca after 10 days of treatment and tested negative for COVID-19 in the 24 days that followed.

Eighteen percent of these patients did not show any symptoms of a COVID-19 infection, while 82% had obvious symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, cough, dyspnea, myalgia, chest pain, headache, or vomiting.

The study suggests that serological tests could be an interesting process in confirming the total recovery of patients, rather than the common PCR tests that fail to detect a previous infection.

Read also: Morocco Still Struggling to Reduce COVID-19 Reproduction Rate Below 1