In the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, pathologists can be exposed to infection handling surgical specimens. Guidelines related to safety procedures in the laboratory have been released. However, there is a lack of studies performed on biopsy and surgical resection specimens. Here we report the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples from surgical resection of tongue squamous cell carcinoma of a patient who developed COVID-19 postsurgery. RNA of SARS-CoV-2 strain was detected in the tumour and the normal submandibular gland samples using real-time PCR-based assay. No viral RNA was found in metastatic and reactive lymph nodes. We demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected in routine histopathological samples even before COVID-19 disease development. These findings may give important information on the possible sites of infection or virus reservoir, and highlight the necessity of proper handling and fixation before sample processing.
- pathology, oral
- pathology, molecular
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Handling editor Runjan Chetty.
Contributors All authors made substantial contributions to this study and this manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Obtained.
Ethics approval The study was conducted in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and later amendments.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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