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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306328

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread rapidly to most parts of the world, causing high numbers of deaths and significant social and economic impacts. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus with a suggested zoonotic origin and with the potential for cross-species transmission among animals. Antarctica can be considered the only continent free of SARS-CoV-2 although at the end of the 2019-2020 tourist season, at least one SARS-CoV-2 positive tourist visited the Antarctic Peninsula. Therefore, concerns have been expressed regarding the potential human introduction of this virus to the continent through the activities of research or tourism with potential effects including those related to human health, but also the potential for virus transmission to Antarctic wildlife. This reverse-zoonotic transmission risk to Antarctic wildlife is assessed considering the available information on host susceptibility, dynamics of the infection in humans, and contact interactions between humans and Antarctic wildlife. Measures to reduce the risk are proposed as well as the identification of knowledge gaps related to this issue.

3.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Preprint in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: ppcovidwho-292763

ABSTRACT

Decontamination of objects and surfaces can limit transmission of infectious agents via fomites or biological samples. It is required for the safe re-use of potentially contaminated personal protective equipment and medical and laboratory equipment. Heat treatment is widely used for the inactivation of various infectious agents, notably viruses. We show that for liquid specimens (here suspension of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture medium), virus inactivation rate under heat treatment at 70°C can vary by almost two orders of magnitude depending on the treatment procedure, from a half-life of 0.86 min (95% credible interval: [0.09, 1.77]) in closed vials in a heat block to 37.0 min ([12.65, 869.82]) in uncovered plates in a dry oven. These findings suggest a critical role of evaporation in virus inactivation using dry heat. Placing samples in open or uncovered containers may dramatically reduce the speed and efficacy of heat treatment for virus inactivation. Heating procedures must be carefully specified when reporting experimental studies to facilitate result interpretation and reproducibility, and carefully considered when designing decontamination guidelines.

4.
Nat Rev Microbiol ; 20(5): 299-314, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526083

ABSTRACT

In the past two decades, three coronaviruses with ancestral origins in bats have emerged and caused widespread outbreaks in humans, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since the first SARS epidemic in 2002-2003, the appreciation of bats as key hosts of zoonotic coronaviruses has advanced rapidly. More than 4,000 coronavirus sequences from 14 bat families have been identified, yet the true diversity of bat coronaviruses is probably much greater. Given that bats are the likely evolutionary source for several human coronaviruses, including strains that cause mild upper respiratory tract disease, their role in historic and future pandemics requires ongoing investigation. We review and integrate information on bat-coronavirus interactions at the molecular, tissue, host and population levels. We identify critical gaps in knowledge of bat coronaviruses, which relate to spillover and pandemic risk, including the pathways to zoonotic spillover, the infection dynamics within bat reservoir hosts, the role of prior adaptation in intermediate hosts for zoonotic transmission and the viral genotypes or traits that predict zoonotic capacity and pandemic potential. Filling these knowledge gaps may help prevent the next pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Animals , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
Elife ; 102021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389776

ABSTRACT

Ambient temperature and humidity strongly affect inactivation rates of enveloped viruses, but a mechanistic, quantitative theory of these effects has been elusive. We measure the stability of SARS-CoV-2 on an inert surface at nine temperature and humidity conditions and develop a mechanistic model to explain and predict how temperature and humidity alter virus inactivation. We find SARS-CoV-2 survives longest at low temperatures and extreme relative humidities (RH); median estimated virus half-life is >24 hr at 10°C and 40% RH, but ∼1.5 hr at 27°C and 65% RH. Our mechanistic model uses fundamental chemistry to explain why inactivation rate increases with increased temperature and shows a U-shaped dependence on RH. The model accurately predicts existing measurements of five different human coronaviruses, suggesting that shared mechanisms may affect stability for many viruses. The results indicate scenarios of high transmission risk, point to mitigation strategies, and advance the mechanistic study of virus transmission.


Subject(s)
Hot Temperature , Humidity , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Virus Inactivation , COVID-19 , Humans
7.
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 87(19): e0031421, 2021 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319372

ABSTRACT

Decontamination helps limit environmental transmission of infectious agents. It is required for the safe reuse of contaminated medical, laboratory, and personal protective equipment, and for the safe handling of biological samples. Heat treatment is a common decontamination method, notably used for viruses. We show that for liquid specimens (here, solution of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture medium), the virus inactivation rate under heat treatment at 70°C can vary by almost two orders of magnitude depending on the treatment procedure, from a half-life of 0.86 min (95% credible interval [CI] 0.09, 1.77) in closed vials in a heat block to 37.04 min (95% CI 12.64, 869.82) in uncovered plates in a dry oven. These findings suggest a critical role of evaporation in virus inactivation via dry heat. Placing samples in open or uncovered containers may dramatically reduce the speed and efficacy of heat treatment for virus inactivation. Given these findings, we reviewed the literature on temperature-dependent coronavirus stability and found that specimen container types, along with whether they are closed, covered, or uncovered, are rarely reported in the scientific literature. Heat-treatment procedures must be fully specified when reporting experimental studies to facilitate result interpretation and reproducibility, and must be carefully considered when developing decontamination guidelines. IMPORTANCE Heat is a powerful weapon against most infectious agents. It is widely used for decontamination of medical, laboratory, and personal protective equipment, and for biological samples. There are many methods of heat treatment, and methodological details can affect speed and efficacy of decontamination. We applied four different heat-treatment procedures to liquid specimens containing SARS-CoV-2. Our results show that the container used to store specimens during decontamination can substantially affect inactivation rate; for a given initial level of contamination, decontamination time can vary from a few minutes in closed vials to several hours in uncovered plates. Reviewing the literature, we found that container choices and heat treatment methods are only rarely reported explicitly in methods sections. Our study shows that careful consideration of heat-treatment procedure-in particular the choice of specimen container and whether it is covered-can make results more consistent across studies, improve decontamination practice, and provide insight into the mechanisms of virus inactivation.


Subject(s)
Decontamination/methods , Hot Temperature , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Specimen Handling/methods , Virus Inactivation , Decontamination/instrumentation , Reproducibility of Results , Specimen Handling/instrumentation
8.
Trends Microbiol ; 29(7): 593-605, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157752

ABSTRACT

Ecological and evolutionary processes govern the fitness, propagation, and interactions of organisms through space and time, and viruses are no exception. While coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) research has primarily emphasized virological, clinical, and epidemiological perspectives, crucial aspects of the pandemic are fundamentally ecological or evolutionary. Here, we highlight five conceptual domains of ecology and evolution - invasion, consumer-resource interactions, spatial ecology, diversity, and adaptation - that illuminate (sometimes unexpectedly) the emergence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We describe the applications of these concepts across levels of biological organization and spatial scales, including within individual hosts, host populations, and multispecies communities. Together, these perspectives illustrate the integrative power of ecological and evolutionary ideas and highlight the benefits of interdisciplinary thinking for understanding emerging viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Disease Reservoirs/veterinary , Ecology , Evolution, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chiroptera/virology , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Humans , Zoonoses/virology
9.
Sci Total Environ ; 755(Pt 2): 143352, 2021 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-915704

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This pathogen has spread rapidly across the world, causing high numbers of deaths and significant social and economic impacts. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus with a suggested zoonotic origin with the potential for cross-species transmission among animals. Antarctica can be considered the only continent free of SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, concerns have been expressed regarding the potential human introduction of this virus to the continent through the activities of research or tourism to minimise the effects on human health, and the potential for virus transmission to Antarctic wildlife. We assess the reverse-zoonotic transmission risk to Antarctic wildlife by considering the available information on host susceptibility, dynamics of the infection in humans, and contact interactions between humans and Antarctic wildlife. The environmental conditions in Antarctica seem to be favourable for the virus stability. Indoor spaces such as those at research stations, research vessels or tourist cruise ships could allow for more transmission among humans and depending on their movements between different locations the virus could be spread across the continent. Among Antarctic wildlife previous in silico analyses suggested that cetaceans are at greater risk of infection whereas seals and birds appear to be at a low infection risk. However, caution needed until further research is carried out and consequently, the precautionary principle should be applied. Field researchers handling animals are identified as the human group posing the highest risk of transmission to animals while tourists and other personnel pose a significant risk only when in close proximity (< 5 m) to Antarctic fauna. We highlight measures to reduce the risk as well as identify of knowledge gaps related to this issue.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Zoonoses , Animals , Antarctic Regions , Humans , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Zoonoses/epidemiology
10.
Elife ; 92020 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745648

ABSTRACT

Understanding and mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission hinges on antibody and viral RNA data that inform exposure and shedding, but extensive variation in assays, study group demographics and laboratory protocols across published studies confounds inference of true biological patterns. Our meta-analysis leverages 3214 datapoints from 516 individuals in 21 studies to reveal that seroconversion of both IgG and IgM occurs around 12 days post-symptom onset (range 1-40), with extensive individual variation that is not significantly associated with disease severity. IgG and IgM detection probabilities increase from roughly 10% at symptom onset to 98-100% by day 22, after which IgM wanes while IgG remains reliably detectable. RNA detection probability decreases from roughly 90% to zero by day 30, and is highest in feces and lower respiratory tract samples. Our findings provide a coherent evidence base for interpreting clinical diagnostics, and for the mathematical models and serological surveys that underpin public health policies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/isolation & purification , Immunoglobulin M/isolation & purification , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(9)2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-505770

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic has created worldwide shortages of N95 respirators. We analyzed 4 decontamination methods for effectiveness in deactivating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus and effect on respirator function. Our results indicate that N95 respirators can be decontaminated and reused, but the integrity of respirator fit and seal must be maintained.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Decontamination/methods , Equipment Reuse , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Ventilators, Mechanical/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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