Positive Retrospective SARS-CoV-2 Testing in a Case of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome of Unknown Etiology.

Academic Article


  • In order to elucidate the cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome of unknown etiology in a pre-pandemic patient, molecular techniques were used for detection of SARS-CoV-2. We used a SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein immunofluorescence stain to retrospectively identify an individual with diffuse alveolar damage on autopsy histology who had negative respiratory virus panel results in February, 2020, in Birmingham, Alabama. In situ hybridization for SARS-CoV-2 RNA revealed evidence of widespread multiorgan SARS-CoV-2 infection. This death antecedes the first reported death of a State of Alabama resident diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 by 26 days.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Burkett A; McElwee S; Margaroli C; Bajpai P; Elkholy A; Manne U; Wille K; Benson P
  • Volume

  • 2021