A simple method for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in the air of an enclosed space

Published:September 18, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2021.09.003
      Over 1 year since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, routes of transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) are still debated [
      • Greenhalgh T.
      • Jimenez J.L.
      • Prather K.A.
      • Tufekci Z.
      • Fisman D.
      • Schooley R.
      Ten scientific reasons in support of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
      ]. Most authors consider proximity droplet contamination to be the main route of transmission, with direct or indirect contact appearing to play a lesser role [
      World Health Organization
      Mask use in the context of COVID-19: interim guidance.
      ]. Airborne transmission is difficult to demonstrate, but is often suggested [
      • Allen J.G.
      • Ibrahim A.M.
      Indoor air changes and potential implications for SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
      ,
      • Lu J.
      • Gu J.
      • Li K.
      • Xu C.
      • Su W.
      • Lai Z.
      • et al.
      COVID-19 outbreak associated with air conditioning in restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020.
      ]. Recent observations of viral replication in aerosol samples provide additional evidence for this hypothesis [
      • Santarpia J.L.
      • Herrera V.L.
      • Rivera D.N.
      • Ratnesar-Shumate S.
      • Reid S.P.
      • Ackerman D.N.
      • et al.
      The size and culturability of patient-generated SARS-CoV-2 aerosol.
      ], and ensuring good ventilation of enclosed spaces is widely recommended in guidelines [
      • Tang J.W.
      • Marr L.C.
      • Li Y.
      • Dancer S.J.
      COVID-19 has redefined airborne transmission.
      ]. Detection of viral RNA in the air could be an indicator of air quality and of the risk of airborne spread of SARS-CoV-2. Devices designed specifically to detect viruses in air samples are expensive and are not generally available in hospitals. Using a bio-collector intended for detection of bacterial and fungal contamination in the air (AIR IDEAL®, bioMérieux, Marcy l’Etoile, France), a simple method of air sampling to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air in an enclosed space was developed; the preliminary results are presented here.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Hospital Infection
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Greenhalgh T.
        • Jimenez J.L.
        • Prather K.A.
        • Tufekci Z.
        • Fisman D.
        • Schooley R.
        Ten scientific reasons in support of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
        Lancet. 2021; 397: 1603-1605
        • World Health Organization
        Mask use in the context of COVID-19: interim guidance.
        WHO, Geneva2020 (Available at:) ([last accessed July 2021])
        • Allen J.G.
        • Ibrahim A.M.
        Indoor air changes and potential implications for SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
        JAMA. 2021; 325: 2112-2113
        • Lu J.
        • Gu J.
        • Li K.
        • Xu C.
        • Su W.
        • Lai Z.
        • et al.
        COVID-19 outbreak associated with air conditioning in restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2020; 26: 1628-1631
        • Santarpia J.L.
        • Herrera V.L.
        • Rivera D.N.
        • Ratnesar-Shumate S.
        • Reid S.P.
        • Ackerman D.N.
        • et al.
        The size and culturability of patient-generated SARS-CoV-2 aerosol.
        J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2021; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-021-00376-8
        • Tang J.W.
        • Marr L.C.
        • Li Y.
        • Dancer S.J.
        COVID-19 has redefined airborne transmission.
        BMJ. 2021; 373: n913
        • Edwards D.A.
        • Ausiello D.
        • Salzman J.
        • Devlin T.
        • Langer R.
        • Beddingfield B.J.
        • et al.
        Exhaled aerosol increases with COVID-19 infection, age, and obesity.
        Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2021; 118e2021830118
        • SPI-M-O
        Consensus statement on COVID-19.
        2021 (Available at:) ([last accessed August 2021])