Figure. Postmortem stability of SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal mucosa. A) Correlation of SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads of the pharynx (at corpse admission to the Department of Legal Medicine) with the postmortem interval (time of death until cooling at 4°C) in 79 matched datasets. Red indicates patients in the longitudinal cohort. Spearman R = –0.07; 2-tailed p = 0.5. B) Median SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads with 95% CIs (error bars) in a series of 9 sequential pharyngeal swab samples (time points 0, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 96, and 168 hours after admission) for 11 corpses. C) sgN1 RNA loads of SARS-CoV-2 in pharyngeal tissue of 6 corpses. Negative and positive controls from SARS-CoV-2 cell cultures. Red indicates samples with successful virus isolation from pharyngeal tissue (S. Pfefferle, unpub. data, https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.10.10.334458). Negative results are reflected by Ct 50. Ct, cycle threshold; SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; sgN1 RNA, subgenomic RNA loads of the N1-gene.