Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 124
Filter
1.
J Appl Microbiol ; 133(6): 3719-3727, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291808

ABSTRACT

AIMS: This study aimed to determine the extent of Phi6 (Φ6) transfer between skin and surfaces relevant to consumer-facing environments based on inoculum matrix, surface type and contact time. METHODS AND RESULTS: Φ6 transfer rates were determined from skin-to-fomite and fomite-to-skin influenced by inoculum matrix (artificial saliva and tripartite), surface type (aluminium, plastic, stainless steel, touchscreen, vinyl and wood) and contact time (5 and 10 s). Significant differences in estimated means were observed based on surface type (both transfer directions), inoculum matrix (skin-to-fomite) and contact time (both transfer directions). During a sequential transfer experiment from fomite-to-skin, the maximum number of consecutive transfer events observed was 3.33 ± 1.19, 2.33 ± 1.20 and 1.67 ± 1.21 for plastic, touchscreen and vinyl, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Contact time significantly impacted Φ6 transfer rates, which may be attributed to skin absorption dynamics. Surface type should be considered for assessing Φ6 transfer rates. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Although the persistence of Φ6 on fomites has been characterized, limited data are available regarding the transfer of Φ6 among skin and fomites. Determining Φ6 transfer rates for surfaces in consumer-facing environments based on these factors is needed to better inform future virus transmission mitigation strategies.


Subject(s)
Bacteriophages , Humans , Fomites , Stainless Steel , Plastics
2.
Food Environ Virol ; 15(2): 107-115, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2306046

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to investigate the effect of different environmental disinfection methods on reducing contaminated surfaces (CSs) by the Omicron BA.2.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the fever clinic between March 20 and May 30, 2022, and to analyze the influences and related factors of CSs. This study includes survey data from 389 positive patients (SPPs) and 204 CSs in the fever clinic, including the CS type, disinfection method, length of time spent in the clinic, cycle threshold (CT) value, name, age, weight, mask type, mask-wearing compliance, hand-mouth touch frequency and sex. Associations between study variables and specified outcomes were explored using univariate regression analyses. Mask-wearing compliance had a significant negative correlation with CSs (r = - 0.446, P = 0.037). Among the 389 SPPs, 22 SPPs (CRP, 5.66%) caused CSs in the separate isolation room. A total of 219 SPPs (56.30%) were male. The mean age of SPPs was 4.34 ± 3.92 years old, and the mean CT value was 12.44 ± 5.11. In total, 9952 samples with exposure history were taken, including 204 (2.05%) CSs. Among the CSs, the positive rate of flat surfaces was the highest in public areas (2.52%) and separate isolation rooms (4.75%). Disinfection methods of ultraviolet radiation + chemical irradiation significantly reduced the CSs in both the public area (0% vs. 4.56%) and the separate isolation room (0.76% vs. 2.64%) compared with the chemical method alone (P < 0.05). Compared with ordinary SPPs, CRPs were older (6.04 year vs. 4.23 year), and the male proportion was higher (72.73% vs. 55.31%). In particular, it was found that SPPs contaminated their surroundings and therefore imposed risks on other people. Environmental disinfection with ultraviolet radiation + chemical treatment should be emphasized. The findings may be useful to guide infection control practices for the Omicron BA.2.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Male , Infant , Child, Preschool , Child , Female , Disinfection , Fomites , Ultraviolet Rays , China
3.
Lancet Microbe ; 4(6): e380-e381, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2303720
4.
J Infect Public Health ; 16(5): 736-740, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2279561

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Although the potential role of inanimate surfaces in SARS-CoV-2 transmission has yet to be adequately assessed, it is still routine practice to apply deep and expensive environmental disinfection protocols. The aim of this study was to verify the presence of viable virus on different surfaces exposed to droplets released by coughing in SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive patients. METHODS: Patients admitted to hospital with a positive SARS-CoV-2 real-time (RT)-PCR swab were asked to cough on steel, cardboard, plastic and their hands. Surfaces were tested at baseline (T0) and at different timepoints thereafter using swabs dipped in medium, and quickly seeded on VERO E6 cells that were checked every other day for cytopathic effect (CPE). Laboratory-propagated SARS-CoV-2 strains were examined at the same time points and on identical materials. RESULTS: Ten RNA-positive patients were enrolled into the study. The median cycle threshold value was 20.7 (range 13-28.3). Nasopharyngeal swabs from 3 of the patients yielded viable virus 2-10 days post-inoculation. However, in none of the patients was it possible to isolate viable SARS-CoV-2 from sputum under identical experimental conditions. A CPE was instead already visible using laboratory-propagated SARS-CoV-2 strains at 20', 60', 180' while an effect at 24 h required a 6-day incubation. CONCLUSION: The evidence emerging from this real-life study suggests that droplets delivered by SARS-CoV-2 infected patients on common inanimate surfaces did not contain viable virus. In contrast, and in line with several laboratory-based experiments, in vitro adapted viruses could survive and grow on the same fomites.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Fomites , Hospitals
5.
Lett Appl Microbiol ; 76(2)2023 Feb 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2257042

ABSTRACT

Virus survival on fomites may represent a vehicle for transmission to humans. This study was conducted to optimize and validate a recovery method for the porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV), a potential SARS-CoV-2 surrogate, from stainless steel. Coupons (1.5 × 1.5 cm) inoculated with ca. 7 logs TCID50 of PRRSV were dried for 15 min at room temperature, followed by incubation at 4°C and 35% relative humidity. After 1 h and 24 h, the coupons were processed by four different methods: vortex in DMEM media, vortex in DMEM media with beads, vortex in elution buffer, and shake in elution buffer. The rinsates were processed for titration using the TCID50 method in the MARC-145 cell line. All four methods were equally effective to recover the virus from the soiled SS surfaces (> 79% recovery). The amount of infectious virus recovered after 24 h was similar (P > 0.05) to that recovered after 1 h, indicating that the virus was stable at 4°C for up to 24 h. Using an elution buffer followed by shaking was the least labor-intensive and most economical method. Therefore, this method will be used for future experiments on PRRSV survival and transfer from food-contact surfaces.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus , Humans , Animals , Swine , SARS-CoV-2 , Stainless Steel , Fomites
6.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6): 330-332, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2240354

ABSTRACT

Systematic reviews have shown a prevalence close to 20% of gastrointestinal symptoms in COVID-19 positive patients, with nearly 40% of patients shedding viral RNA in their faeces, even if it may not be infectious, possibly because of inactivation by colonic fluid.According to current evidence, this virus is primarily transmitted by respiratory droplets and contact routes, including contaminated surfaces. The virus is quite stable on stainless steel, being detected up to 48-72 hours after application. Therefore, some individuals can be infected touching common contaminated surfaces, such as bathroom taps. Taps can be underestimated critical points in the transmission chain of the infection. Indeed, just by turning the knob, people leave germs on it, especially after coughing over their hands, sneezing, and/or blowing their nose. After handwashing with soap, user take back their germs when turning the knob. Paradoxically, the following user collects the germs back on his/her fingers by implementing a preventive measure, maybe before putting food into the mouth or wearing contact lenses.The Italian National Institute of Health recommends to clean and disinfect high-touched surfaces, but it is unrealistic and inefficient to do so after each tap use. As an alternative, new toilets should install long elbow-levers - or at least short levers - provided that people are educated to close them with the forearm or the side of the hand. This is already a standard measure in hospitals, but it is particularly important also in high-risk communities, such as retirement homes and prisons. It would be important also in schools, in workplaces, and even in families, contributing to the prevention both of orofaecal and respiratory infections.In the meantime, people should be educated to close existing knobs with disposable paper towel wipes or with toilet paper sheets.


Subject(s)
Bathroom Equipment/virology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Fomites/virology , Hand Hygiene , Health Education , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , COVID-19/transmission , Equipment Contamination , Equipment Design , Feces/virology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Touch
7.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(11): 1328-1330, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096354

ABSTRACT

Environmental surface testing was performed to search for evidence of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) environmental contamination by an asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carrier with persistently high viral loads under isolation. No evidence of environmental contamination was found. Further studies are needed to measure environmental contamination by SARS-CoV-2 carriers and to determine reasonable isolation periods.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Fomites/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Quarantine/methods , Viral Load , Adult , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patients' Rooms , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Quarantine/standards , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(11): 1258-1265, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096345

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of severe respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-laden aerosols in the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains uncertain. Discordant findings of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples were noted in early reports. METHODS: Sampling of air close to 6 asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients with and without surgical masks was performed with sampling devices using sterile gelatin filters. Frequently touched environmental surfaces near 21 patients were swabbed before daily environmental disinfection. The correlation between the viral loads of patients' clinical samples and environmental samples was analyzed. RESULTS: All air samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the 6 patients singly isolated inside airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) with 12 air changes per hour. Of 377 environmental samples near 21 patients, 19 (5.0%) were positive by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, with a median viral load of 9.2 × 102 copies/mL (range, 1.1 × 102 to 9.4 × 104 copies/mL). The contamination rate was highest on patients' mobile phones (6 of 77, 7.8%), followed by bed rails (4 of 74, 5.4%) and toilet door handles (4 of 76, 5.3%). We detected a significant correlation between viral load ranges in clinical samples and positivity rate of environmental samples (P < .001). CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable by air samplers, which suggests that the airborne route is not the predominant mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Wearing a surgical mask, appropriate hand hygiene, and thorough environmental disinfection are sufficient infection control measures for COVID-19 patients isolated singly in AIIRs. However, this conclusion may not apply during aerosol-generating procedures or in cohort wards with large numbers of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Fomites/virology , Infection Control/methods , Patients' Rooms , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Aerosols , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090155

ABSTRACT

The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has raised major health policy questions. Direct transmission via respiratory droplets seems to be the dominant route of its transmission. However, indirect transmission via shared contact of contaminated objects may also occur. The contribution of each transmission route to epidemic spread might change during lock-down scenarios. Here, we simulate viral spread of an abstract epidemic considering both routes of transmission by use of a stochastic, agent-based SEIR model. We show that efficient contact tracing (CT) at a high level of incidence can stabilize daily cases independently of the transmission route long before effects of herd immunity become relevant. CT efficacy depends on the fraction of cases that do not show symptoms. Combining CT with lock-down scenarios that reduce agent mobility lowers the incidence for exclusive direct transmission scenarios and can even eradicate the epidemic. However, even for small fractions of indirect transmission, such lockdowns can impede CT efficacy and increase case numbers. These counterproductive effects can be reduced by applying measures that favor distancing over reduced mobility. In summary, we show that the efficacy of lock-downs depends on the transmission route. Our results point to the particular importance of hygiene measures during mobility lock-downs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Fomites , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Contact Tracing/methods
12.
J Hosp Infect ; 130: 63-94, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031453

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Fomites , COVID-19/diagnosis
13.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0273433, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021919

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Literature is lacking on the safety of storing contaminated PPE in paper bags for reuse, potentially increasing exposure to frontline healthcare workers (HCW) and patients. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of paper bags as a barrier for fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by storing face masks, respirators, and face shields. METHODS: This quasi-experimental study evaluated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on the interior and exterior surfaces of paper bags containing PPE that had aerosolized exposures in clinical and simulated settings. Between May and October 2020, 30 unique PPE items were collected from COVID-19 units at two urban hospitals. Exposed PPE, worn by either an infected patient or HCW during a SARS-CoV-2 aerosolizing event, were placed into an unused paper bag. Samples were tested at 30-minute and 12-hour intervals. RESULTS: A total of 177 swabs were processed from 30 PPE samples. We found a 6.8% positivity rate among all samples across both collection sites. Highest positivity rates were associated with ventilator disconnection and exposure to respiratory droplets from coughing. Positivity rates differed between hospital units. Total positivity rates were similar between 30-minute (6.7%) and 12-hour (6.9%) sample testing time intervals. Control samples exposed to inactivated SARS-CoV-2 droplets had higher total viral counts than samples exposed to nebulized aerosols. CONCLUSIONS: Data suggests paper bags are not a significant fomite risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission. However, controls demonstrated a risk with droplet exposure. Data can inform guidelines for storing and re-using PPE in situations of limited supplies during future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Personal Protective Equipment , Fomites , Health Personnel , Humans , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 43(6): 764-769, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890039

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the potential for contamination of personnel, patients, and the environment during use of contaminated N95 respirators and to compare the effectiveness of interventions to reduce contamination. DESIGN: Simulation study of patient care interactions using N95 respirators contaminated with a higher and lower inocula of the benign virus bacteriophage MS2. METHODS: In total, 12 healthcare personnel performed 3 standardized examinations of mannequins including (1) control with suboptimal respirator handling technique, (2) improved technique with glove change after each N95 contact, and (3) control with 1-minute ultraviolet-C light (UV-C) treatment prior to donning. The order of the examinations was randomized within each subject. The frequencies of contamination were compared among groups. Observations and simulations with fluorescent lotion were used to assess routes of transfer leading to contamination. RESULTS: With suboptimal respirator handling technique, bacteriophage MS2 was frequently transferred to the participants, mannequin, and environmental surfaces and fomites. Improved technique resulted in significantly reduced transfer of MS2 in the higher inoculum simulations (P < .01), whereas UV-C treatment reduced transfer in both the higher- and lower-inoculum simulations (P < .01). Observations and simulations with fluorescent lotion demonstrated multiple potential routes of transfer to participants, mannequin, and surfaces, including both direct contact with the contaminated respirator and indirect contact via contaminated gloves. CONCLUSION: Reuse of contaminated N95 respirators can result in contamination of personnel and the environment even when correct technique is used. Decontamination technologies, such as UV-C, could reduce the risk for transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , N95 Respirators , Decontamination/methods , Equipment Reuse , Fomites , Humans , Levivirus , SARS-CoV-2
15.
J Infect Dis ; 226(9): 1608-1615, 2022 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886449

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The contribution of droplet-contaminated surfaces for virus transmission has been discussed controversially in the context of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. More importantly, the risk of fomite-based transmission has not been systematically addressed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate whether confirmed hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients can contaminate stainless steel carriers by coughing or intensive moistening with saliva and to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission upon detection of viral loads and infectious virus in cell culture. METHODS: We initiated a single-center observational study including 15 COVID-19 patients with a high baseline viral load (cycle threshold value ≤25). We documented clinical and laboratory parameters and used patient samples to perform virus culture, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and virus sequencing. RESULTS: Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs of all patients were positive for viral ribonucleic acid on the day of the study. Infectious SARS-CoV-2 could be isolated from 6 patient swabs (46.2%). After coughing, no infectious virus could be recovered, however, intensive moistening with saliva resulted in successful viral recovery from steel carriers of 5 patients (38.5%). CONCLUSIONS: Transmission of infectious SARS-CoV-2 via fomites is possible upon extensive moistening, but it is unlikely to occur in real-life scenarios and from droplet-contaminated fomites.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Fomites , Pandemics , Viral Load
16.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(5): 910-916, 2022 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886375

ABSTRACT

Understanding the contribution of routes of transmission, particularly the role of fomites in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission is important in developing and implementing successful public health infection prevention and control measures. This article will look at case reports, laboratory findings, animal studies, environmental factors, the need for disinfection, and differences in settings as they relate to SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Fomites
17.
STAR Protoc ; 3(2): 101188, 2022 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747493

ABSTRACT

Transmission via fomites poses a major dissemination route for many human pathogens, particularly because of transfer via fingertips. Here, we present a protocol to investigate direct transfer of infectious agents from fomites to humans via naked fingertips. The protocol is suitable for pathogens requiring highest biosafety levels (e.g., SARS-CoV-2). We used an artificial skin to touch a defined volume of virus suspension and subsequent quantification of infectious entities allows quantitative measurement of transfer efficiency and risk assessment. For complete information on the generation and use of this manuscript, please refer to Todt et al. (2021).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viruses , Fomites , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Touch
18.
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 88(7): e0255221, 2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741573

ABSTRACT

The persistence of Phi6 (Φ6) bacteriophage on surfaces commonly encountered in consumer-facing environments was evaluated. Φ6 has been utilized as a surrogate for enveloped viruses, including SARS-CoV-2-the causative agent of COVID-19-due to structural similarities, biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) status, and ease of use. Φ6 persistence on fomites was evaluated by characterizing the impact of the inoculum matrix (artificial saliva, phosphate-buffered saline [PBS], tripartite), inoculum level (low and high), and surface type (nonporous-aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, touchscreen, vinyl; porous-wood). Φ6 was inoculated onto surfaces at low and high inoculum levels for each inoculum matrix and incubated (20.54 ± 0.48°C) for up to 168 h. Φ6 was eluted from the surface and quantified via the double agar overlay assay to determine virus survival over time. For nonporous surfaces inoculated with artificial saliva and PBS, significantly higher D values were observed with high inoculum application according to the 95% confidence intervals. In artificial saliva, D values ranged from 1.00 to 1.35 h at a low inoculum and 4.44 to 7.05 h at a high inoculum across inoculation matrices and surfaces. D values for Φ6, regardless of the inoculum level, were significantly higher in tripartite than in artificial saliva and PBS for nonporous surfaces. In contrast with artificial saliva or PBS, D values in tripartite at low inoculum (D values ranging from 45.8 to 72.8 h) were greater than those at high inoculum (D values ranging from 26.4 to 45.5 h) on nonporous surfaces. This study characterized the impact of the inoculum matrix, inoculum level, and surface type on Φ6 survival on various surfaces relevant to fomite transmission in public settings. IMPORTANCE An important consideration in virus contact transmission is the transfer rate between hands and surfaces, which is driven by several factors, including virus persistence on inanimate surfaces. This research characterized Φ6 persistence on surfaces commonly encountered in public settings based on various factors. The inoculum matrix, which simulates the route of transmission, can impact virus persistence, and three separate matrices were evaluated in this study to determine the impact on Φ6 persistence over time. The number of microorganisms has also been suggested to impact persistence, which was evaluated here to simulate real-world contamination scenarios on six surface types. Results from this study will guide future research utilizing Φ6 or other surrogates for enveloped viruses of public health concern.


Subject(s)
Bacteriophages , COVID-19 , Viruses , Fomites , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva, Artificial
19.
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 88(7): e0233821, 2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741572

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is mainly transmitted via droplets and aerosols. To evaluate the role of transmission by fomites, SARS-CoV-2-specific data on transfer rates from surfaces to hands and from hands to face are lacking. Here, we generated quantitatively controlled transfer rates for SARS-CoV-2 from food items (lettuce, ham, and vegetarian meat alternative [VMA]) and packaging materials (cardboard and plastic) to gloves using a wet, dry, and frozen viral inoculum and from glove to glove using a wet viral inoculum. For biosafety reasons, the transfer from surfaces to hands and hands to face was simulated by using gloves. The cumulative transfer rate was calculated by using the data from the first transfer experiment, food or packaging material to glove, and combined with the transfer rate obtained from the second transfer experiment from glove to glove. The cumulative transfer rates from lettuce (4.7%) and ham (3.4%) were not significantly different (P > 0.05) but were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that from VMA ("wet" or "frozen"). The wet cumulative transfer rate from VMA (1.3%) was significantly higher than the cumulative transfer rate from frozen VMA (0.0011%). No transfer from plastic or cardboard was observed with a dry inoculum. The plastic packaging under wet conditions provided the highest cumulative transfer rate (3.0%), while the cumulative transfer from frozen cardboard was very small (0.035%). Overall, the transfer rates determined in this study suggest a minor role of foods or food packaging materials in infection transmission. IMPORTANCE The observation of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in swab samples from frozen fish packages in China, confirmed only once by cell culture, led to the hypothesis that food contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles could be the source of an outbreak. Epidemiological evidence for fomites as infection source is scarce, but it is important for the food industry to evaluate this infection path with quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA), using measured viral transfer rates from surfaces to hands and face. The present study provides transfer data for SARS-CoV-2 from various types of foods and packaging materials using quantitative methods that take uncertainties related to the virus recovery from the different surfaces into consideration. The transfer data from this model system provide important input parameters for QMRA models to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from contaminated food items.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Fomites , Humans , Plastics , RNA, Viral
20.
Math Biosci Eng ; 19(4): 3564-3590, 2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703601

ABSTRACT

The use of the SEIR model of compartmentalized population dynamics with an added fomite term is analysed as a means of statistically quantifying the contribution of contaminated fomites to the spread of a viral epidemic. It is shown that for normally expected lifetimes of a virus on fomites, the dynamics of the populations are nearly indistinguishable from the case without fomites. With additional information, such as the change in social contacts following a lockdown, however, it is shown that, under the assumption that the reproduction number for direct infection is proportional to the number of social contacts, the population dynamics may be used to place meaningful statistical constraints on the role of fomites that are not affected by the lockdown. The case of the Spring 2020 UK lockdown in response to COVID-19 is presented as an illustration. An upper limit is found on the transmission rate by contaminated fomites of fewer than 1 in 30 per day per infectious person (95% CL) when social contact information is taken into account. Applied to postal deliveries and food packaging, the upper limit on the contaminated fomite transmission rate corresponds to a probability below 1 in 70 (95% CL) that a contaminated fomite transmits the infection. The method presented here may be helpful for guiding health policy over the contribution of some fomites to the spread of infection in other epidemics until more complete risk assessments based on mechanistic modelling or epidemiological investigations may be completed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Fomites , Humans , United Kingdom/epidemiology
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL