Assessment and management of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection: A systematic review

Joshuan Jordano Barboza Meca, Christoper Alexander Alarcon Ruiz, Diego Chambergo-Michilot, Mariana Velasquez-Sotomayor, Christian Silva-Rengifo, Carlos Diaz-Arocutipa, Jose Caballero-Alvarado, Franko O. Garcia-Solorzano, Leonardo Albitres-Flores, German Malaga, Patricia Schlagenhauf, Alfonso J. Rodriguez-Morales*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: COVID-19 can be asymptomatic in a substantial proportion of patients. The assessment and management of these patients constitute a key element to stop dissemination. Aim: To describe the assessment and treatment of asymptomatic infection in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Methods: We searched five databases and search engines for preprints/preproofs, up to August 22, 2020. We included cohort, cross-sectional, and case series studies, reporting the assessment and management of asymptomatic individuals. We extracted data on total discharges with negative PCR, length of hospitalization, treatment, and number of patients who remained asymptomatic. A random-effects model with inverse variance method was used to calculate the pooled prevalence. Results: 41 studies (nine cross-sectional studies, five retrospective studies and 27 reports/case series; 647 asymptomatic individuals), were included, of which 47% were male (233/501). The age of patients was between 1month and 73 years. In patients who became symptomatic, length of hospitalization mean was 13.6 days (SD 6.4). Studies used lopinavir/ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine plus ritonavir/lopinavir, hydroxychloroquine with and without azithromycin, ribavirin plus interferon and interferon alfa. The proportion of individuals who remained asymptomatic was 91% (463/588 patients; 95%CI: 78.3%–98.7%); and asymptomatic individuals discharged with negative PCR was 86% (102/124 individuals; 95%CI: 58.4%–100%). Conclusions: There is no standard treatment for asymptomatic COVID-19 individuals. There are no studies of adequate design to make this decision. It has been shown that most asymptomatic individuals who were followed have recovered, but this cannot be attributed to standard treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102058
Pages (from-to)102058
JournalTravel Medicine and Infectious Disease
StatePublished - 11 Apr 2021


  • Asymptomatic
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Systematic review


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