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J Hosp Infect ; 130: 63-94, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031453


BACKGROUND: The role of fomites in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is unclear. AIM: To assess whether SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted through fomites, using evidence from viral culture studies. METHODS: Searches were conducted in the World Health Organization COVID-19 Database, PubMed, LitCovid, medRxiv, and Google Scholar to December 31st, 2021. Studies that investigated fomite transmission and performed viral culture to assess the cytopathic effect (CPE) of positive fomite samples and confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 as the cause of the CPE were included. The risk of bias using a checklist modified from the modified Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies - 2 (QUADAS-2) criteria was assessed. FINDINGS: Twenty-three studies were included. The overall risk of bias was moderate. Five studies demonstrated replication-competent virus from fomite cultures and three used genome sequencing to match fomite samples with human clinical specimens. The mean cycle threshold (CT) of samples with positive viral culture was significantly lower compared with cultured samples that returned negative results (standardized mean difference: -1.45; 95% confidence interval (CI): -2.00 to -0.90; I2 = 0%; P < 0.00001). The likelihood of isolating replication-competent virus was significantly greater when CT was <30 (relative risk: 3.10; 95% CI: 1.32 to 7.31; I2 = 71%; P = 0.01). Infectious specimens were mostly detected within seven days of symptom onset. One study showed possible transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from fomites to humans. CONCLUSION: The evidence from published studies suggests that replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 is present on fomites. Replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 is significantly more likely when the PCR CT for clinical specimens and fomite samples is <30. Further studies should investigate the duration of infectiousness of SARS-CoV-2 and the frequency of transmission from fomites.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Fomites , COVID-19/diagnosis
Embase; 2022.
Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-330568


This is a protocol for a systematic review to assess fomite transmission in SARS-CoV-2. Our research questions are as follows: 1. Are fomite samples infectious? 2 If so, what proportion are infectious, and what is the distance and duration of infectiousness in the air? 3. What is the relationship between fomites, infectiousness and PCR cycle threshold (Ct)? 4. Is there evidence of a chain of transmission that establishes an actual instance of fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2? We will include studies of any design (and in any setting) that investigate fomite transmission (defined as any inanimate object that, when contaminated with or exposed to infectious agents, can transfer the agent to a new host). We will only include studies that performed viral culture which assessed cytopathic effect and verification techniques to ensure the cultured virus is SARS-CoV-2. We will assess the risk of bias using a checklist modified from the QUADAS-2 criteria.