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ACS Nano ; 15(9): 14915-14927, 2021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1368905


The rise in coronavirus variants has resulted in surges of the disease across the globe. The mutations in the spike protein on the surface of the virion membrane not only allow for greater transmission but also raise concerns about vaccine effectiveness. Preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, its variants, and other viruses from person to person via airborne or surface transmission requires effective inactivation of the virus. Here, we report a water-borne spray-on coating for the complete inactivation of viral particles and degradation of their RNA. Our nanoworms efficiently bind and, through subsequent large nanoscale conformational changes, rupture the viral membrane and subsequently bind and degrade its RNA. Our coating completely inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (VIC01) and an evolved SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (B.1.1.7 (alpha)), influenza A, and a surrogate capsid pseudovirus expressing the influenza A virus attachment glycoprotein, hemagglutinin. The polygalactose functionality on the nanoworms targets the conserved S2 subunit on the SARS-CoV-2 virion surface spike glycoprotein for stronger binding, and the additional attachment of guanidine groups catalyze the degradation of its RNA genome. Coating surgical masks with our nanoworms resulted in complete inactivation of VIC01 and B.1.1.7, providing a powerful control measure for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Inactivation was further observed for the influenza A and an AAV-HA capsid pseudovirus, providing broad viral inactivation when using the nanoworm system. The technology described here represents an environmentally friendly coating with a proposed nanomechanical mechanism for inactivation of both enveloped and capsid viruses. The functional nanoworms can be easily modified to target viruses in future pandemics, and is compatible with large scale manufacturing processes.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , Water
Travel Med Infect Dis ; 43: 102133, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284576


BACKGROUND: As an emerging virus, SARS-CoV-2 and the risk of transmission during air travel is of high interest. This paper is a retrospective estimate of the probability of an infectious passenger in the air travel system transmitting the SARS-CoV-2 virus to a fellow passenger. METHODS: Literature was reviewed from May-September 2020 to identify COVID-19 cases related to air travel. The studies were limited to publicly available literature for passengers; studies of flight crews were not reviewed. A novel quantitative approach was developed to estimate air travel transmission risk that considers secondary cases, the overall passenger population, and correction factors for asymptomatic transmission and underreporting. RESULTS: There were at least 2866 index infectious passengers documented to have passed through the air travel system in a 1.4 billion passenger population. Using correction factors, the global risk of transmission during air travel is estimated at 1:1.7 million; acknowledging that assumptions exist around case detection rate and mass screenings. Uncertainty in the correction factors and a 95% credible interval indicate risk ranges from 1 case for every 712,000 travelers to 1 case for every 8 million travelers. CONCLUSION: The risk of COVID-19 transmission on an aircraft is low, even with infectious persons onboard.

Air Travel , COVID-19 , Aircraft , Humans , Probability , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel