Factors affecting stability and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2

Link to article at PubMed

Chan KH, et al. J Hosp Infect 2020.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In late 2019, a novel human coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, emerged in Wuhan, China. This virus has caused a global pandemic involving more than 200 countries. SARS-CoV-2 is highly adapted to humans and readily transmits from person-to-person.

AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 under various environmental factors, disinfectants and different pH conditions. The efficacy of a variety of laboratory virus inactivation methods and home disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2 were investigated.

METHODS: The residual virus in dried form or in solution was titrated on Vero E6 cell line at day 0, 1, 3, 5, and 7 after incubation at different temperatures. The viability of virus was determined after treatment with different disinfectants and pH solutions at room temperature (20∼25oC).

FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2 was able to retain viability for 3-5 days in dried form or 7 days in solution at room temperature. SARS-CoV-2 could be detected under a wide range of pH conditions from pH4 to pH11 for several days and 1 to 2 days in stool at room temperature but lost 5 logs of infectivity. A variety of commonly used disinfectants and laboratory inactivation procedures were found to reduce viral viability effectively.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the stability of SARS-CoV-2 on environmental surfaces and raises the possibility of faecal-oral transmission. Commonly used fixatives, nucleic acid extraction methods and heat inactivation were found to significantly reduce viral infectivity that could ensure hospital and laboratory safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PMID:32652214 | DOI:10.1016/j.jhin.2020.07.009

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