Background: The outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) caused by 2019-nCoV spread rapidly, and elucidation the diagnostic accuracy of different respiratory specimens is crucial for the control and treatment of this diseases. Methods: Respiratory samples including nasal swabs, throat swabs, sputum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were collected from Guangdong CDC confirmed NCP patients, and viral RNAs were detected using a CFDA approved detection kit. Results were analyzed in combination with sample collection date and clinical information. Finding: Except for BALF, the sputum possessed the highest positive rate (74.4%~88.9%), followed by nasal swabs (53.6%~73.3%) for both severe and mild cases during the first 14 days after illness onset (d.a.o). For samples collected ≥ 15 d.a.o, sputum and nasal swabs still possessed a high positive rate ranging from 42.9%~61.1%. The positive rate of throat swabs collected ≥ 8 d.a.o was low, especially in samples from mild cases. Viral RNAs could be detected in all the lower respiratory tract of severe cases, but not the mild cases. CT scan of cases 02, 07 and 13 showed typical viral pneumonia with ground glass opacity, while no viral RNAs were detected in first three or all the upper respiratory samples. Interpretation: Sputum is most accurate for laboratory diagnosis of NCP, followed by nasal swabs. Detection of viral RNAs in BLAF is necessary for diagnosis and monitoring of viruses in severe cases. CT scan could serve as an important make up for the diagnosis of NCP. Funding National Science and Technology Major Project, Sanming Project of Medicine and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation.
### Competing Interest Statement
The authors have declared no competing interest.
### Funding Statement
This work was supported by the National Science and Technology Major Project (2017ZX10103011, 2017ZX10204401, 2018ZX10711001), Sanming Project of Medicine in Shenzhen (SZSM201412003, SZSM201512005) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2019T120147, 2019M660836).
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Yang Yang, Yang Minghui, Shen Chenguang, Wang Fuxiang, Yuan Jing, Li Jinxiu, Zhang Mingxia, Wang Zhaoqin, Xing Li, Wei Jinli, Peng Ling, Wong Gary, Zheng Haixia, Liao Mingfan, Liao Mingfeng, Feng Kai, Li Jianming, Yang Qianting, Zhao Juanjuan, Zhang Zheng, Liu Lei, Liu Yingxia. (2020). Laboratory diagnosis and monitoring the viral shedding of 2019-nCoV infections. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press