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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Aug 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017867

ABSTRACT

We screened 65 longitudinally-collected nasal swab samples from 31 children aged 0-16 years who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 omicron BA.1. By day 7 after onset of symptoms 48% of children remained positive by rapid antigen test. In a sample subset we found 100% correlation between antigen test results and virus culture.

2.
J Aerosol Sci ; 165: 106038, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907239

ABSTRACT

The B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2 emerged in India in October of 2020 and spread widely to over 145 countries, comprising over 99% of genome sequence-confirmed virus in COVID-19 cases of the United States (US) by September 2021. The rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant coincided with a return to in-person school attendance, straining COVID-19 mitigation plans implemented by educational institutions. Some plans required sick students to self-isolate off-campus, resulting in an unintended consequence: exposure of co-inhabitants of dwellings used by the sick person during isolation. We assessed air and surface samples collected from the bedroom of a self-isolating university student with mild COVID-19 for the presence of SARS-CoV-2. That virus' RNA was detected by real-time reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (rRT-qPCR) in air samples from both an isolation bedroom and a distal, non-isolation room of the same dwelling. SARS-CoV-2 was detected and viable virus was isolated in cell cultures from aerosol samples as well as from the surface of a mobile phone. Genomic sequencing revealed that the virus was a Delta variant SARS-CoV-2 strain. Taken together, the results of this work confirm the presence of viable SARS-CoV-2 within a residential living space of a person with COVID-19 and show potential for transportation of virus-laden aerosols beyond a designated isolation suite to other areas of a single-family home.

3.
J Med Virol ; 94(7): 3192-3202, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750405

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC) has raised questions regarding vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, transmission, and ongoing virus evolution. Twenty-three mildly symptomatic "vaccination breakthrough" infections were identified as early as January 2021 in Alachua County, Florida, among individuals fully vaccinated with either the BNT162b2 (Pfizer) or the Ad26 (Janssen/J&J) vaccines. SARS-CoV-2 genomes were successfully generated for 11 of the vaccine breakthroughs, and 878 individuals in the surrounding area and were included for reference-based phylogenetic investigation. These 11 individuals were characterized by infection with VOCs, but also low-frequency variants present within the surrounding population. Low-frequency mutations were observed, which have been more recently identified as mutations of interest owing to their location within targeted immune epitopes (P812L) and association with increased replicative capacity (L18F). We present these results to posit the nature of the efficacy of vaccines in reducing symptoms as both a blessing and a curse-as vaccination becomes more widespread and self-motivated testing reduced owing to the absence of severe symptoms, we face the challenge of early recognition of novel mutations of potential concern. This case study highlights the critical need for continued testing and monitoring of infection and transmission among individuals regardless of vaccination status.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
The Lancet Regional Health - Americas ; 11:100231, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1747710

ABSTRACT

Summary Background Simultaneous dengue virus (DENV) and West Nile virus (WNV) outbreaks in Florida, USA, in 2020 resulted in 71 dengue virus serotype 1 and 86 WNV human cases. We hypothesized that we would find a number of DENV-1 positive mosquito pools, and that the distribution of these arbovirus-positive mosquito pools would be associated with those neighborhoods for which imported DENV cases have been recently reported in 2019 and 2020. Methods We collected and screened Aedes aegypti, Ae. albopictus, Anopheles crucians, Culex coronator, Cx. nigripalpus, and Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes from Miami-Dade County (Florida) for DENV and WNV by rRT-qPCR. Spatial statistical analyses were performed to capture positive mosquito pool distribution in relation to land use, human demography, environmental variables, mosquito trap placement and reported human travel associated DENV cases to guide future mosquito control outbreak responses. Findings A rapid screen of 7,668 mosquitoes detected four DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2), nine DENV-4 and nine WNV-positive mosquito pools, which enabled swift and targeted abatement of trap sites by mosquito control. As expected, DENV-positive pools were in urban areas;however, we found WNV-positive mosquito pools in agricultural and recreational areas with no historical reports of WNV transmission. Interpretation These findings demonstrate the importance of proactive arbovirus surveillance in mosquito populations to prevent and control outbreaks, particularly when other illnesses (e.g., COVID-19), which present with similar symptoms, are circulating concurrently. Growing evidence for substantial infection prevalence of dengue in mosquitoes in the absence of local index cases suggests a higher level of dengue endemicity in Florida than previously thought. Funding This research was supported in part by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant 1U01CK000510-03, Southeastern Regional Center of Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases Gateway Program.

5.
EBioMedicine ; 77: 103926, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739672

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Current SARS-CoV-2 detection platforms lack the ability to differentiate among variants of concern (VOCs) in an efficient manner. CRISPR/Cas (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated) based detection systems have the potential to transform the landscape of COVID-19 diagnostics due to their programmability; however, most of these methods are reliant on either a multi-step process involving amplification or elaborate guide RNA designs. METHODS: Three Cas12b proteins from Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris (AacCas12b), Alicyclobacillus acidiphilus (AapCas12b), and Brevibacillus sp. SYP-B805 (BrCas12b) were expressed and purified, and their thermostability was characterised by differential scanning fluorimetry, cis-, and trans-cleavage activities over a range of temperatures. The BrCas12b was then incorporated into a reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)-based one-pot reaction system, coined CRISPR-SPADE (CRISPR Single Pot Assay for Detecting Emerging VOCs). FINDINGS: Here we describe a complete one-pot detection reaction using a thermostable Cas12b effector endonuclease from Brevibacillus sp. to overcome these challenges detecting and discriminating SARS-CoV-2 VOCs in clinical samples. CRISPR-SPADE was then applied for discriminating SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), Delta (B.1.617.2), and Omicron (B.1.1.529) and validated in 208 clinical samples. CRISPR-SPADE achieved 92·8% sensitivity, 99·4% specificity, and 96·7% accuracy within 10-30 min for discriminating the SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, in agreement with S gene sequencing, achieving a positive and negative predictive value of 99·1% and 95·1%, respectively. Interestingly, for samples with high viral load (Ct value ≤ 30), 100% accuracy and sensitivity were attained. To facilitate dissemination and global implementation of the assay, a lyophilised version of one-pot CRISPR-SPADE reagents was developed and combined with an in-house portable multiplexing device capable of interpreting two orthogonal fluorescence signals. INTERPRETATION: This technology enables real-time monitoring of RT-LAMP-mediated amplification and CRISPR-based reactions at a fraction of the cost of a qPCR system. The thermostable Brevibacillus sp. Cas12b offers relaxed primer design for accurately detecting SARS-CoV-2 VOCs in a simple and robust one-pot assay. The lyophilised reagents and simple instrumentation further enable rapid deployable point-of-care diagnostics that can be easily expanded beyond COVID-19. FUNDING: This project was funded in part by the United States-India Science & Technology Endowment Fund- COVIDI/247/2020 (P.K.J.), Florida Breast Cancer Foundation- AGR00018466 (P.K.J.), National Institutes of Health- NIAID 1R21AI156321-01 (P.K.J.), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- U01GH002338 (R.R.D., J.A.L., & P.K.J.), University of Florida, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering (P.K.J.), University of Florida Vice President Office of Research and CTSI seed funds (M.S.), and University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and Emerging Pathogens Institute (R.R.D.).


Subject(s)
Brevibacillus , COVID-19 , Brevibacillus/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , RNA, Guide , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
6.
Aerosol Air Qual Res ; 22(1)2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732365

ABSTRACT

Since mask use and physical distancing are difficult to maintain when people dine indoors, restaurants are perceived as high risk for acquiring COVID-19. The air and environmental surfaces in two restaurants in a mid-scale city located in north central Florida that followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reopening guidance were sampled three times from July 2020 to February 2021. Sixteen air samples were collected for 2 hours using air samplers, and 20 surface samples by using moistened swabs. The samples were analyzed by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA. A total of ~550 patrons dined in the restaurants during our samplings. SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA was not detected in any of the air samples. One of the 20 surface samples (5%) was positive. That sample had been collected from a plastic tablecloth immediately after guests left the restaurant. Virus was not isolated in cell cultures inoculated with aliquots of the RT-PCR-positive sample. The likelihood that patrons and staff acquire SARS-CoV-2 infections may be low in restaurants in a mid-scale city that adopt CDC restaurant reopening guidelines, such as operation at 50% capacity so that tables can be spaced at least 6 feet apart, establishment of adequate mechanical ventilation, use of a face covering except while eating or drinking, and implementation of disinfection measures.

7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(11): 2057-2060, 2022 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700565

ABSTRACT

After an initial wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Haiti in summer 2020 (primarily lineage B.1), seropositivity for anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunoglobulin G (IgG) was ~40%. Variant P.1 (gamma) was introduced in February 2021, with an initially limited introduction followed by exponential local dissemination within this unvaccinated population with prior exposure to earlier SARS-CoV-2 lineages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Haiti/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
8.
Environ Res ; 208: 112496, 2022 05 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683113

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology has been used to measure SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in cities worldwide as an indicator of community health, however, few longitudinal studies have followed SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater in small communities from the start of the pandemic or evaluated the influence of tourism on viral loads. Therefore the objective of this study was to use measurements of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater to monitor viral trends and variants in a small island community over a twelve-month period beginning May 1, 2020, before the community re-opened to tourists. Wastewater samples were collected weekly and analyzed to detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2 genome copies. Sanger sequencing was used to determine genome sequences from total RNA extracted from wastewater samples positive for SARS-CoV-2. Visitor data was collected from the local Chamber of Commerce. We performed Poisson and linear regression to determine if visitors to the Cedar Key Chamber of Commerce were positively associated with SARS-CoV-2-positive wastewater samples and the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Results indicated that weekly wastewater samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 until mid-July when positive samples were recorded in four of five consecutive weeks. Additional positive results were recorded in November and December 2020, as well as January, March, and April 2021. Tourism data revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentration in wastewater increased by 1.06 Log10 genomic copies/L per 100 tourists weekly. Sequencing from six positive wastewater samples yielded two complete sequences of SARS-CoV-2, two overlapping sequences, and two low yield sequences. They show arrival of a new variant SARS-CoV-2 in January 2021. Our results demonstrate the utility of wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in a small community. Wastewater surveillance and viral genome sequencing suggest that population mobility likely plays an important role in the introduction and circulation of SARS-CoV-2 variants among communities experiencing high tourism and who have a small population size.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Prevalence , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Tourism , Waste Water
9.
Virology ; 568: 13-22, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639193

ABSTRACT

Heightened inflammatory response is a prominent feature of severe COVID-19 disease. We report that the SARS-CoV-2 ORF3a viroporin activates the NLRP3 inflammasome, the most promiscuous of known inflammasomes. Ectopically expressed ORF3a triggers IL-1ß expression via NFκB, thus priming the inflammasome. ORF3a also activates the NLRP3 inflammasome but not NLRP1 or NLRC4, resulting in maturation of IL-1ß and cleavage/activation of Gasdermin. Notably, ORF3a activates the NLRP3 inflammasome via both ASC-dependent and -independent modes. This inflammasome activation requires efflux of potassium ions and oligomerization between the kinase NEK7 and NLRP3. Importantly, infection of epithelial cells with SARS-CoV-2 similarly activates the NLRP3 inflammasome. With the NLRP3 inhibitor MCC950 and select FDA-approved oral drugs able to block ORF3a-mediated inflammasome activation, as well as key ORF3a amino acid residues needed for virus release and inflammasome activation conserved in the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 isolates across continents, ORF3a and NLRP3 present prime targets for intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Inflammasomes/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Death , Cell Line , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Models, Biological , Open Reading Frames , Potassium/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Viroporin Proteins/chemistry , Viroporin Proteins/metabolism
10.
Aerosol Air Qual Res ; 21(11)2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634623

ABSTRACT

Fitness centers are considered high risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission due to their high human occupancy and the type of activity taking place in them, especially when individuals pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic for COVID-19 exercise in the facilities. In this study, air (N=21) and surface (N=8) samples were collected at a fitness center through five sampling events from August to November 2020 after the reopening restrictions were lifted in Florida. The total attendance was ~2500 patrons during our air and environmental sampling work. Air samples were collected using stationary and personal bioaerosol samplers. Moistened flocked nylon swabs were used to collect samples from high-touch surfaces. We did not detect SARS-CoV-2 by rRT-PCR analyses in any air or surface sample. A simplified infection risk model based on the Wells-Riley equation predicts that the probability of infection in this fitness center was 1.77% following its ventilation system upgrades based on CDC guidelines, and that risk was further reduced to 0.89% when patrons used face masks. Our model also predicts that a combination of high ventilation, minimal air recirculation, air filtration, and UV sterilization of recirculated air reduced the infection risk up to 94% compared to poorly ventilated facilities. Amongst these measures, high ventilation with outdoor air is most critical in reducing the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. For buildings that cannot avoid air recirculation due to energy costs, the use of high filtration and/or air disinfection devices are alternatives to reducing the probability of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 through inhalation exposure. In contrast to the perceived ranking of high risk, the infection risk in fitness centers that follow CDC reopening guidance, including implementation of engineering and administrative controls, and use of personal protective equipment, can be low, and these facilities can offer a relatively safe venue for patrons to exercise.

11.
Nature ; 600(7887): 133-137, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521757

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses have caused three major epidemics since 2003, including the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In each case, the emergence of coronavirus in our species has been associated with zoonotic transmissions from animal reservoirs1,2, underscoring how prone such pathogens are to spill over and adapt to new species. Among the four recognized genera of the family Coronaviridae, human infections reported so far have been limited to alphacoronaviruses and betacoronaviruses3-5. Here we identify porcine deltacoronavirus strains in plasma samples of three Haitian children with acute undifferentiated febrile illness. Genomic and evolutionary analyses reveal that human infections were the result of at least two independent zoonoses of distinct viral lineages that acquired the same mutational signature in the genes encoding Nsp15 and the spike glycoprotein. In particular, structural analysis predicts that one of the changes in the spike S1 subunit, which contains the receptor-binding domain, may affect the flexibility of the protein and its binding to the host cell receptor. Our findings highlight the potential for evolutionary change and adaptation leading to human infections by coronaviruses outside of the previously recognized human-associated coronavirus groups, particularly in settings where there may be close human-animal contact.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Deltacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Swine/virology , Viral Zoonoses/epidemiology , Viral Zoonoses/virology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Bayes Theorem , Child , Chlorocebus aethiops , Conserved Sequence , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Deltacoronavirus/classification , Deltacoronavirus/genetics , Deltacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Female , Haiti/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Phylogeny , Vero Cells , Viral Zoonoses/blood
12.
ACS Sens ; 6(11): 4176-4184, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517597

ABSTRACT

Early and accurate detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza viruses at the point-of-care is crucial for reducing disease transmission during the current pandemic and future flu seasons. To prepare for potential cocirculation of these two viruses, we report a valve-enabled, paper-based sample preparation device integrated with isothermal amplification for their simultaneous detection. The device incorporates (1) virus lysis and RNA enrichment, enabled by ball-based valves for sequential delivery of reagents with no pipet requirement, (2) reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification, carried out in a coffee mug, and (3) colorimetric detection. We have used the device for simultaneously detecting inactivated SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A H1N1 viruses in 50 min, with limits of detection at 2 and 6 genome equivalents, respectively. The device was further demonstrated to detect both viruses in environmental samples.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493772

ABSTRACT

We isolated a novel coronavirus from a medical team member presenting with fever and malaise after travel to Haiti. The virus showed 99.4% similarity with a recombinant canine coronavirus recently identified in a pneumonia patient in Malaysia, suggesting that infection with this virus and/or recombinant variants occurs in multiple locations.

15.
JCI Insight ; 6(18)2021 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435141

ABSTRACT

Cell lines are the mainstay in understanding the biology of COVID-19 infection but do not recapitulate many of the complexities of human infection. The use of human lung tissue is one solution for the study of such novel respiratory pathogens. We hypothesized that a cryopreserved bank of human lung tissue would allow for the ex vivo study of the interindividual heterogeneity of host response to SARS-CoV-2, thus providing a bridge between studies with cell lines and studies in animal models. We generated a cryobank of tissues from 21 donors, many of whom had clinical risk factors for severe COVID-19. Cryopreserved tissues preserved 90% cell viability and contained heterogenous populations of metabolically active epithelial, endothelial, and immune cell subsets of the human lung. Samples were readily infected with HCoV-OC43 and SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrated comparable susceptibility to infection. In contrast, we observed a marked donor-dependent heterogeneity in the expression of IL6, CXCL8, and IFNB1 in response to SARS-CoV-2. Treatment of tissues with dexamethasone and the experimental drug N-hydroxycytidine suppressed viral growth in all samples, whereas chloroquine and remdesivir had no detectable effect. Metformin and sirolimus, molecules with predicted but unproven antiviral activity, each suppressed viral replication in tissues from a subset of donors. In summary, we developed a system for the ex vivo study of human SARS-CoV-2 infection using primary human lung tissue from a library of donor tissues. This model may be useful for drug screening and for understanding basic mechanisms of COVID-19 pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferons/therapeutic use , Lung/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Female , Humans , Lung/immunology , Male , Middle Aged
17.
Endosc Int Open ; 9(8): E1276-E1282, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376222

ABSTRACT

Background and study aims The clinical significance of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the stool remains unclear. We aimed to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 is detected via real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) in the gastrointestinal tracts of patients scheduled for endoscopy and if the virus obtained from these clinical specimens could be isolated in culture. Patients and methods All patients underwent symptom screening and had negative nasopharyngeal testing for SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours of their scheduled procedure. Study samples were collected via nasopharyngeal swab, rectal swab, and fluid from the upper gastrointestinal tract and/or colon based on their endoscopic procedure(s). Samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 via rRT-PCR. SARS-CoV-2 positive specimens were isolated and cultured in Vero-E6 cells. Results 243 patients (mean age 63.1 years;54.3 % men) were enrolled from July 15, 2020 to September 2, 2020. SARS-CoV-2 testing was performed from 242 (99.6 %) nasopharyngeal, 243 (100 %) rectal, 183 (75.3 %) upper gastrointestinal tract and 73 (30 %) colon samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in the nasopharynx and gastrointestinal specimens in one patient (0.4 %). After a 14-day incubation period, there was no evidence of virus growth in cells incubated with any of these specimens. Conclusions SARS-CoV-2 was rarely detected in the gastrointestinal tract of patients with negative nasopharyngeal testing prior to endoscopy. No live virus was detected by culture, further highlighting that presence of viral genome on its own is not sufficient proof of infectivity. PCR-based screening provides limited insight into virus infectivity and its results should be interpreted carefully as to avoid unnecessary delays in clinical care or inadvertent risk exposure.

18.
J Aerosol Sci ; 159: 105870, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373099

ABSTRACT

Individuals with COVID-19 are advised to self-isolate at their residences unless they require hospitalization. Persons sharing a dwelling with someone who has COVID-19 have a substantial risk of being exposed to the virus. However, environmental monitoring for the detection of virus in such settings is limited. We present a pilot study on environmental sampling for SARS-CoV-2 virions in the residential rooms of two volunteers with COVID-19 who self-quarantined. Apart from standard surface swab sampling, based on availability, four air samplers positioned 0.3-2.2 m from the volunteers were used: a VIable Virus Aerosol Sampler (VIVAS), an inline air sampler that traps particles on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filters, a NIOSH 2-stage cyclone sampler (BC-251), and a Sioutas personal cascade impactor sampler (PCIS). The latter two selectively collect particles of specific size ranges. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by real-time Reverse-Transcription quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-qPCR) analyses of particles in one air sample from the room of volunteer A and in various air and surface samples from that of volunteer B. The one positive sample collected by the NIOSH sampler from volunteer A's room had a quantitation cycle (Cq) of 38.21 for the N-gene, indicating a low amount of airborne virus [5.69E-02 SARS-CoV-2 genome equivalents (GE)/cm3 of air]. In contrast, air samples and surface samples collected off the mobile phone in volunteer B's room yielded Cq values ranging from 14.58 to 24.73 and 21.01 to 24.74, respectively, on the first day of sampling, indicating that this volunteer was actively shedding relatively high amounts of SARS-CoV-2 at that time. The SARS-CoV-2 GE/cm3 of air for the air samples collected by the PCIS was in the range 6.84E+04 to 3.04E+05 using the LED-N primer system, the highest being from the stage 4 filter, and similarly, ranged from 2.54E+03 to 1.68E+05 GE/cm3 in air collected by the NIOSH sampler. Attempts to isolate the virus in cell culture from the samples from volunteer B's room with the aforementioned Cq values were unsuccessful due to out-competition by a co-infecting Human adenovirus B3 (HAdVB3) that killed the Vero E6 cell cultures within 4 days of their inoculation, although Cq values of 34.56-37.32 were measured upon rRT-qPCR analyses of vRNA purified from the cell culture medium. The size distribution of SARS-CoV-2-laden aerosol particles collected from the air of volunteer B's room was >0.25 µm and >0.1 µm as recorded by the PCIS and the NIOSH sampler, respectively, suggesting a risk of aerosol transmission since these particles can remain suspended in air for an extended time and travel over long distances. The detection of virus in surface samples also underscores the potential for fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor settings.

19.
Int J Infect Dis ; 108: 212-216, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364082

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine if viable virus could be isolated from the air within a car driven by a patient infected with SARS-CoV-2, and to assess the size range of the infectious particles. METHODS: We used a Sioutas personal cascade impactor sampler (PCIS) to screen for SARS-CoV-2 in a car driven by a COVID-19 patient. The patient, who had only mild illness without fever or cough and was not wearing a mask, drove the car for 15 min with the air conditioning turned on and windows closed. The PCIS was clipped to the sun-visor above the front passenger seat and was retrieved from the car two hours after completion of the drive. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 was detectable at all PCIS stages by PCR and was cultured from the section of the sampler collecting particles in the 0.25-0.50 µm size range. CONCLUSIONS: Our data highlight the potential risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by minimally symptomatic persons in the closed space inside of a car and suggest that a substantial component of that risk is via aerosolized virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , Automobiles , Cough , Humans
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