Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA contamination of inanimate surfaces and virus viability in a health care emergency unit

M. Colaneri, E. Seminari, S. Novati, E. Asperges, S. Biscarini, A. Piralla, E. Percivalle, I. Cassaniti, F. Baldanti, R. Bruno, M. U. Mondelli, E. Brunetti, A. Di Matteo, L. Maiocchi, V. Zuccaro, L. Pagnucco, S. Ludovisi, R. Lissandrin, A. Parisi, P. SacchiS. F.A. Patruno, G. Michelone, R. Gulminetti, D. Zanaboni, R. Maserati, P. Orsolini, M. Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To detect possible severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA contamination of inanimate surfaces in areas at high risk of aerosol formation by patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: Sampling was performed in the emergency unit and the sub-intensive care ward. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was extracted from swabbed surfaces and objects and subjected to real-time RT-PCR targeting RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and E genes. Virus isolation from positive samples was attempted in vitro on Vero E6 cells. Results: Twenty-six samples were collected and only two were positive for low-level SARS-CoV-2 RNA, both collected on the external surface of continuous positive airway pressure helmets. All transport media were inoculated onto susceptible cells, but none induced a cytopathic effect on day 7 of culture. Conclusions: Even though daily contact with inanimate surfaces and patient fomites in contaminated areas may be a medium of infection, our data obtained in real-life conditions suggest that it might be less extensive than hitherto recognized.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Coronavirus disease 2019
  • Environmental contamination
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2
  • Surfaces
  • Vero E6 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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