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1.
Acta sci., Health sci ; 44: e57942, Jan. 14, 2022.
Article in English | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1822482

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to analyse microbiological organisms in different locations and regions for physical activity in the city of João Pessoa, Brazil. Samples were collected on various objects used, such as: mattresses, drinking fountains, gloves, cell phones and others. The samples were collected in João Pessoa-PB, following the Standard Operating Procedure-SOP/ Microbiology of a specialized laboratory. The collection took place in the five macro-regions: North, South, East, West and Center. Foreach region samples were collected in one public place (square), a private one (gym) and one school (public or private), totaling fifteen collected sites and 450 samples. The following microorganisms were studied in all analyzed surfaces: Bacillus sp, Escherichia Coli, Klebsiella sppor Enterobacter sppand Coag. Neg. Staphylococcus.All regions had a high contamination level by some microorganism. The highest rates were found in the western, central and northern regions -96, 94 and 93% respectively. The Coag. Neg.Staphylococcus presented the highest and lowest incidence rates in the South and East regions, with 43.33 and 6.67%, respectively, as well as Klebsiella sppor Enterobacter spp, which presented high levels. It is concluded that there is a microorganisms' contamination in the most varied places and regions where physical activity practices are developed, with a predominance of Coag. Neg.Staphylococcusand Klebsiella sppor Enterobacter spp. These results lead to a warning about the hygiene importance in places for physical activity practice, especially in pandemic times (COVID-19), since almost all the evaluated surfaces were contaminated.


Subject(s)
Hygiene , Fitness Centers/supply & distribution , COVID-19/pathology , Schools/supply & distribution , Bacillus/pathogenicity , Exercise/physiology , Biological Contamination , Enterobacter/pathogenicity , Environmental Microbiology , Escherichia/pathogenicity , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Klebsiella/pathogenicity , Noxae
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(9)2020 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725594

ABSTRACT

Recently, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many guidelines and anti-contagion strategies continue to report unclear information about the persistence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the environment. This certainly generates insecurity and fear in people, with an important psychological component that is not to be underestimated at this stage of the pandemic. The purpose of this article is to highlight all the sources currently present in the literature concerning the persistence of the different coronaviruses in the environment as well as in medical and dental settings. As this was a current study, there are still not many sources in the literature, and scientific strategies are moving towards therapy and diagnosis, rather than knowing the characteristics of the virus. Such an article could be an aid to summarize virus features and formulate new guidelines and anti-spread strategies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Environmental Microbiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Dental Offices , Humans , Medical Office Buildings , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Risk , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Hazard Mater ; 405: 124043, 2021 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635125

ABSTRACT

In this review, we present the environmental perspectives of the viruses and antiviral drugs related to SARS-CoV-2. The present review paper discusses occurrence, fate, transport, susceptibility, and inactivation mechanisms of viruses in the environment as well as environmental occurrence and fate of antiviral drugs, and prospects (prevalence and occurrence) of antiviral drug resistance (both antiviral drug resistant viruses and antiviral resistance in the human). During winter, the number of viral disease cases and environmental occurrence of antiviral drug surge due to various biotic and abiotic factors such as transmission pathways, human behaviour, susceptibility, and immunity as well as cold climatic conditions. Adsorption and persistence critically determine the fate and transport of viruses in the environment. Inactivation and disinfection of virus include UV, alcohol, and other chemical-base methods but the susceptibility of virus against these methods varies. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are major reserviors of antiviral drugs and their metabolites and transformation products. Ecotoxicity of antiviral drug residues against aquatic organisms have been reported, however more threatening is the development of antiviral resistance, both in humans and in wild animal reservoirs. In particular, emergence of antiviral drug-resistant viruses via exposure of wild animals to high loads of antiviral residues during the current pandemic needs further evaluation.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Drug Resistance, Viral/drug effects , Environmental Microbiology , Environmental Pollutants , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Inactivation , Adsorption , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/toxicity , Aquatic Organisms/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/etiology , Ecotoxicology , Environmental Pollutants/chemistry , Environmental Pollutants/therapeutic use , Environmental Pollutants/toxicity , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Seasons , Virus Inactivation/drug effects , Virus Inactivation/radiation effects , Water Purification
4.
Viruses ; 14(1)2021 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580412

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly transmissible RNA virus that causes COVID-19. Being aware of the presence of the virus on different types of surfaces and in different environments, and having a protocol for its detection, is important to understand the dynamics of the virus and its shedding patterns. In Ecuador, the detection of viral RNA in urban environmental samples has not been a priority. The present study analyzed samples from two densely populated neighborhoods and one public transportation system in Quito, Ecuador. Viral RNA presence was assessed using RT-LAMP. Twenty-eight out of 300 surfaces tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA (9.33%). Frequently touched surfaces, especially in indoor spaces and on public transportation, were most likely to be positive for viral RNA. Positivity rate association for the two neighborhoods and for the surface type was not found. This study found viral RNA presence on urban surfaces; this information provides an insight into viral dissemination dynamics. Monitoring environmental SARS-CoV-2 could support the public health prevention strategies in Quito, Ecuador.


Subject(s)
Environmental Microbiology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transportation , COVID-19/transmission , Cities , Ecuador , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502533

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply influenced sanitization procedures, and high-level disinfection has been massively used to prevent SARS-CoV-2 spread, with potential negative impact on the environment and on the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Aiming to overcome these concerns, yet preserving the effectiveness of sanitization against enveloped viruses, we assessed the antiviral properties of the Probiotic Cleaning Hygiene System (PCHS), an eco-sustainable probiotic-based detergent previously proven to stably abate pathogen contamination and AMR. PCHS (diluted 1:10, 1:50 and 1:100) was tested in comparison to common disinfectants (70% ethanol and 0.5% sodium hypochlorite), in suspension and carrier tests, according with the European UNI EN 14476:2019 and UNI EN 16777:2019 standards. Human alpha- and beta-coronaviruses hCoV-229E and SARS-CoV-2, human herpesvirus type 1, human and animal influenza viruses, and vaccinia virus were included in the study. The results showed that PCHS was able to inactivate 99.99% of all tested viruses within 1-2 h of contact, both in suspension and on surface. Notably, while control disinfectants became inactive within 2 h after application, the PCHS antiviral action persisted up to 24 h post-application, suggesting that its use may effectively allow a continuous prevention of virus spread via contaminated environment, without worsening environmental pollution and AMR concern.


Subject(s)
Disinfection/methods , Probiotics/pharmacology , Sanitation/methods , Virus Diseases/prevention & control , Viruses/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Disinfectants/pharmacology , Environmental Microbiology , Herpesvirus 1, Human/drug effects , Humans , Orthomyxoviridae/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vaccinia virus/drug effects , Virus Diseases/virology
6.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 106(1): 127-131, 2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497592

ABSTRACT

This article aims to understand the changes in the detection rates of H5, H7, and H9 subtypes of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) in the live poultry markets (LPMs) in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, before and after the outbreak of the COVID-19. From 2019 to 2020, we monitored the LPM and collected specimens, using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction technology to detect the nucleic acid of type A AIV in the samples. The H5, H7, and H9 subtypes of influenza viruses were further classified for positive results. We analyzed 1,959 samples before and after the outbreak and found that the positive rates of avian influenza A virus (39.69%) and H9 subtype (30.66%) after the outbreak were significantly higher than before the outbreak (26.84% and 20.90%, respectively; P < 0.001). In various LPMs, the positive rate of H9 subtypes has increased significantly (P ≤ 0.001). Positive rates of the H9 subtype in duck, fecal, daub, and sewage samples, but not chicken samples, have increased to varying degrees. This study shows that additional measures are needed to strengthen the control of AIVs now that LPMs have reopened after the relaxing of COVID-19-related restrictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Influenza A virus/isolation & purification , Influenza in Birds/epidemiology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Ducks/virology , Environmental Microbiology , Feces/virology , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H9N2 Subtype/isolation & purification , Influenza A virus/classification , Poultry , Sewage/virology
8.
Microb Biotechnol ; 14(5): 1878-1880, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416248

ABSTRACT

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (https://www.cbd.int/abs/), primarily designed for vascular plant and animal resources, is also extended to the use of microbial resources, but its application to the microbiological realm has raised many doubts and provoked criticisms. This is because of the particularities of microbial ecology and the technical and legal difficulties encompassed in its application.


Subject(s)
Environmental Microbiology , Animals , Biodiversity , Conservation of Natural Resources
9.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009883, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398940

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection outbreaks in minks have serious implications associated with animal health and welfare, and public health. In two naturally infected mink farms (A and B) located in Greece, we investigated the outbreaks and assessed parameters associated with virus transmission, immunity, pathology, and environmental contamination. Symptoms ranged from anorexia and mild depression to respiratory signs of varying intensity. Although the farms were at different breeding stages, mortality was similarly high (8.4% and 10.0%). The viral strains belonged to lineages B.1.1.218 and B.1.1.305, possessing the mink-specific S-Y453F substitution. Lung histopathology identified necrosis of smooth muscle and connective tissue elements of vascular walls, and vasculitis as the main early key events of the acute SARS-CoV-2-induced broncho-interstitial pneumonia. Molecular investigation in two dead minks indicated a consistently higher (0.3-1.3 log10 RNA copies/g) viral load in organs of the male mink compared to the female. In farm A, the infected farmers were responsible for the significant initial infection of 229 out of 1,000 handled minks, suggesting a very efficient human-to-mink transmission. Subsequent infections across the sheds wherein animals were being housed occurred due to airborne transmission. Based on a R0 of 2.90 and a growth rate equal to 0.293, the generation time was estimated to be 3.6 days, indicative of the massive SARS-CoV-2 dispersal among minks. After the end of the outbreaks, a similar percentage of animals were immune in the two farms (93.0% and 93.3%), preventing further virus transmission whereas, viral RNA was detected in samples collected from shed surfaces and air. Consequently, strict biosecurity is imperative during the occurrence of clinical signs. Environmental viral load monitoring, in conjunction with NGS should be adopted in mink farm surveillance. The minimum proportion of minks that need to be immunized to avoid outbreaks in farms was calculated at 65.5%, which is important for future vaccination campaigns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Mink/virology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Outbreaks/veterinary , Environmental Microbiology , Farms , Female , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Mink/genetics , Occupational Exposure , Viral Zoonoses/transmission , Viral Zoonoses/virology
10.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 22419, 2020 12 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387458

ABSTRACT

Survival of respiratory viral pathogens in expelled saliva microdroplets is central to their transmission, yet the factors that determine survival in such microdroplets are not well understood. Here we combine microscopy imaging with virus viability assays to study survival of three bacteriophages suggested as good models for respiratory pathogens: the enveloped Phi6 (a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2), and the non-enveloped PhiX174 and MS2. We measured virus viability in human saliva microdroplets, SM buffer, and water following deposition on glass surfaces at various relative humidities (RH). Saliva and water microdroplets dried out rapidly, within minutes, at all tested RH levels (23%, 43%, 57%, and 78%), while SM microdroplets remained hydrated at RH ≥ 57%. Generally, the survival of all three viruses in dry saliva microdroplets was significantly greater than those in SM buffer and water under all RH (except PhiX174 in water under 57% RH survived the best among 3 media). Thus, atmosphere RH and microdroplet hydration state are not sufficient to explain virus survival, indicating that the virus-suspended medium, and association with saliva components in particular, likely play a role in virus survival. Uncovering the exact properties and components that make saliva a favorable environment for the survival of viruses, in particular enveloped ones like Phi6, is thus of great importance for reducing transmission of viral respiratory pathogens including SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Bacteriophage phi X 174/metabolism , Levivirus/metabolism , Microbial Viability , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Saliva/virology , Bacteriophage phi 6/metabolism , COVID-19/transmission , Environmental Microbiology , Humans , Viral Plaque Assay , Virus Inactivation
12.
Virol Sin ; 35(6): 785-792, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217481

ABSTRACT

Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of occupational exposure to the new pandemic human coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and are a source of nosocomial transmission in airborne infectious isolation rooms (AIIRs). Here, we performed comprehensive environmental contamination surveillance to evaluate the risk of viral transmission in AIIRs with 115 rooms in three buildings at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Shanghai, during the treatment of 334 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. The results showed that the risk of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in AIIRs was low (1.62%, 25/1544) due to the directional airflow and strong environmental hygiene procedures. However, we detected viral RNA on the surface of foot-operated openers and bathroom sinks in AIIRs (viral load: 55.00-3154.50 copies/mL). This might be a source of contamination to connecting corridors and object surfaces through the footwear and gloves used by HCWs. The risk of infection was eliminated by the use of disposable footwear covers and the application of more effective environmental and personal hygiene measures. With the help of effective infection control procedures, none of 290 HCWs was infected when working in the AIIRs at this hospital. This study has provided information pertinent for infection control in AIIRs during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Hospitals, Isolation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , China/epidemiology , Cross Infection/transmission , Environmental Microbiology , Health Personnel , Humans , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Risk Factors , Viral Load
13.
J Vis Exp ; (170)2021 04 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202279

ABSTRACT

To control community transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during the 2020 global pandemic, most countries implemented strategies based on direct human testing, face covering, and surface disinfection. Under the assumption that the main route of transmission includes aerosols and respiratory droplets, efforts to detect SARS-CoV-2 in fomites have focused on locations suspected of high prevalence (e.g., hospital wards, cruise ships, and mass transportation systems). To investigate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces in the urban environment that are rarely cleaned and seldomly disinfected, 350 citizens were enlisted from the greater San Diego County. In total, these citizen scientists collected 4,080 samples. An online platform was developed to monitor sampling kit delivery and pickup, as well as to collect sample data. The sampling kits were mostly built from supplies available in pandemic-stressed stores. Samples were processed using reagents that were easy to access despite the recurrent supply shortage. The methods used were highly sensitive and resistant to inhibitors that are commonly present in environmental samples. The proposed experimental design and processing methods were successful at engaging numerous citizen scientists who effectively gathered samples from diverse surface areas. The workflow and methods described here are relevant to survey the urban environment for other viruses, which are of public health concern and pose a threat for future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Environmental Microbiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aerosols , Disinfection , Humans , Specimen Handling
14.
J Hosp Infect ; 112: 37-41, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198173

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the potential of olanexidine gluconate as environmental disinfectant against enveloped viruses in the suspension test and three non-porous surface tests. In the suspension test, olanexidine gluconate showed immediate virucidal activity. In addition, non-porous surface tests demonstrated that, although the immediate effect of aqueous formulations was weak, the final virucidal efficacy outcompeted that of ethanol for disinfection. Furthermore, the effectiveness of olanexidine gluconate persisted even after drying on environmental surfaces. This study demonstrated the potential usage of olanexidine gluconate formulations as an environmental disinfectant in the infection control of enveloped viruses.


Subject(s)
Biguanides/pharmacology , Disinfectants/pharmacology , Glucuronates/pharmacology , Infection Control/methods , Viral Envelope/drug effects , Viruses/drug effects , Biguanides/chemistry , Cell Line , Disinfectants/chemistry , Disinfection/standards , Environmental Microbiology , Glucuronates/chemistry , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Viruses/classification
16.
J Glob Health ; 11: 10002, 2021 Apr 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173057

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This rapid evidence review identifies and integrates evidence from epidemiology, microbiology and fluid dynamics on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor environments. METHODS: Searches were conducted in May 2020 in PubMed, medRxiv, arXiv, Scopus, WHO COVID-19 database, Compendex & Inspec. We included studies reporting data on any indoor setting except schools, any indoor activities and any potential means of transmission. Articles were screened by a single reviewer, with rejections assessed by a second reviewer. We used Joanna Briggs Institute and Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tools for evaluating epidemiological studies and developed bespoke tools for the evaluation of study types not covered by these instruments. Data extraction and quality assessment were conducted by a single reviewer. We conducted a meta-analysis of secondary attack rates in household transmission. Otherwise, data were synthesised narratively. RESULTS: We identified 1573 unique articles. After screening and quality assessment, fifty-eight articles were retained for analysis. Experimental evidence from fluid mechanics and microbiological studies demonstrates that aerosolised transmission is theoretically possible; however, we found no conclusive epidemiological evidence of this occurring. The evidence suggests that ventilation systems have the potential to decrease virus transmission near the source through dilution but to increase transmission further away from the source through dispersal. We found no evidence for faecal-oral transmission. Laboratory studies suggest that the virus survives for longer on smooth surfaces and at lower temperatures. Environmental sampling studies have recovered small amounts of viral RNA from a wide range of frequently touched objects and surfaces; however, epidemiological studies are inconclusive on the extent of fomite transmission. We found many examples of transmission in settings characterised by close and prolonged indoor contact. We estimate a pooled secondary attack rate within households of 11% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 9, 13). There were insufficient data to evaluate the transmission risks associated with specific activities. Workplace challenges related to poverty warrant further investigation as potential risk factors for workplace transmission. Fluid mechanics evidence on the physical properties of droplets generated by coughing, speaking and breathing reinforce the importance of maintaining 2 m social distance to reduce droplet transmission. CONCLUSIONS: This review provides a snap-shot of evidence on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in indoor environments from the early months of the pandemic. The overall quality of the evidence was low. As the quality and quantity of available evidence grows, it will be possible to reach firmer conclusions on the risk factors for and mechanisms of indoor transmission.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Environment, Controlled , Environmental Monitoring/statistics & numerical data , Air Pollution, Indoor/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Environmental Microbiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 5887, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135699

ABSTRACT

Based on the current knowledge of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, wearing a mask has been recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) measurements enable designing and regulating medical masks to prevent bioaerosol dissemination; however, despite the simplicity of these measurements, several scientific questions remain unanswered regarding BFE tests. Here, we investigated (1) the impact of substituting 100-mm Petri dishes with 90-mm disposable Petri dishes, (2) the impact of colony-counting methods on the bioaerosol aerodynamic size, and (3) the impact of colony-counting methods on the total viable particle counts. We demonstrated that disposable 90-mm Petri dishes can be used to replace the 100-mm dishes. We also showed that an automatic high-resolution colony counter can be used to directly count viable particles on collection substrates and to measure the bioaerosol size parameters. Our results enable possible modernization of the outdated testing methods recommended in the US and European standards for BFE measurements. Specifically, use of a modernized colony counter should be clearly regulated and permitted to avoid the counting of positive holes. The median aerodynamic diameter appears to be the most relevant parameter for characterizing bioaerosol size.


Subject(s)
Bacteria , Filtration/standards , Masks/standards , Bacterial Load , Environmental Microbiology , Filtration/methods , Humans , Masks/microbiology , Particle Size , Porosity
18.
Int J Infect Dis ; 105: 68-74, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120800

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine the duration of SARS-CoV-2 persistence in quarantine hotel environments. METHODS: 39 Patients confirmed by RT-PCR were included. We collected clinical features, laboratory test results, smear sample information, and quarantine room information. Genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis were conducted. We analyzed the factors associated with environmental contamination. RESULT: Among 39 COVID-19 cases, 10 were asymptomatic and 37 were imported from aboard. We collected 271 swab samples from environmental surfaces related to observational patients. Eighteen swab samples from seven patients were positive. The highest contamination rates occurred on cups (100%), followed by hand sink (12.82%), toilet seat and flush (7.89%), telephone (5.56%), bedside table (5.56%), and floor drain (5.41%). The results showed that environmental surface contamination was associated with the clinical cycle threshold values for patients (P = 0.01) and the sampling interval time after the cases left their rooms (P = 0.03). The duration of environmental surface contamination was associated with the wet status of the sampling site (P = 0.01). CONCLUSION: Our findings showed that environmental contamination might be attributed to the viral load in the respiratory tracts of patients and the sampling interval time after the cases left their rooms. Moist surfaces were more vulnerable to remaining SARS-CoV-2 RNA-positive. Our study highlights the importance of implementing strict chemical disinfection strategies in quarantine rooms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Environmental Microbiology , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Disinfection/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Time Factors , Viral Load
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 4699, 2021 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1104544

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 reaffirms the vital role of superspreaders in a pandemic. We propose to broaden the research on superspreaders through integrating human mobility data and geographical factors to identify superspreading environment. Six types of popular public facilities were selected: bars, shopping centres, karaoke/cinemas, mega shopping malls, public libraries, and sports centres. A historical dataset on mobility was used to calculate the generalized activity space and space-time prism of individuals during a pre-pandemic period. Analysis of geographic interconnections of public facilities yielded locations by different classes of potential spatial risk. These risk surfaces were weighed and integrated into a "risk map of superspreading environment" (SE-risk map) at the city level. Overall, the proposed method can estimate empirical hot spots of superspreading environment with statistical accuracy. The SE-risk map of Hong Kong can pre-identify areas that overlap with the actual disease clusters of bar-related transmission. Our study presents first-of-its-kind research that combines data on facility location and human mobility to identify superspreading environment. The resultant SE-risk map steers the investigation away from pure human focus to include geographic environment, thereby enabling more differentiated non-pharmaceutical interventions and exit strategies to target some places more than others when complete city lockdown is not practicable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Environmental Microbiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Public Facilities , Restaurants , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sports and Recreational Facilities
20.
mBio ; 12(1)2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066817

ABSTRACT

Viral genome sequencing has guided our understanding of the spread and extent of genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes are usually sequenced from nasopharyngeal swabs of individual patients to track viral spread. Recently, RT-qPCR of municipal wastewater has been used to quantify the abundance of SARS-CoV-2 in several regions globally. However, metatranscriptomic sequencing of wastewater can be used to profile the viral genetic diversity across infected communities. Here, we sequenced RNA directly from sewage collected by municipal utility districts in the San Francisco Bay Area to generate complete and nearly complete SARS-CoV-2 genomes. The major consensus SARS-CoV-2 genotypes detected in the sewage were identical to clinical genomes from the region. Using a pipeline for single nucleotide variant calling in a metagenomic context, we characterized minor SARS-CoV-2 alleles in the wastewater and detected viral genotypes which were also found within clinical genomes throughout California. Observed wastewater variants were more similar to local California patient-derived genotypes than they were to those from other regions within the United States or globally. Additional variants detected in wastewater have only been identified in genomes from patients sampled outside California, indicating that wastewater sequencing can provide evidence for recent introductions of viral lineages before they are detected by local clinical sequencing. These results demonstrate that epidemiological surveillance through wastewater sequencing can aid in tracking exact viral strains in an epidemic context.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sewage/virology , Base Sequence , COVID-19/epidemiology , California/epidemiology , Environmental Microbiology , Genome, Viral , Genotype , Humans , Metagenome , Metagenomics , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Transcriptome
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