Positive no-touch surfaces and undetectable SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in long-term care facilities: an attempt to understand the contributing factors and the importance of timing in air sampling campaigns

Source avec lien : American Journal of Infection Control, (Prépublication), . 10.1016/j.ajic.2021.02.004

Les établissements de soins de longue durée (ESLD) sont des environnements particulièrement favorables aux épidémies de coronavirus (SRAS-CoV-2), en raison de la population à risque qu’ils accueillent et de la proximité des résidents. Pourtant, la dynamique de transmission de la maladie dans ces établissements reste floue

Background Long-term care facilities (LTCF) are environments particularly favourable to coronavirus disease (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic outbreaks, due to the at-risk population they welcome and the close proximity of residents. Yet, the transmission dynamics of the disease in these establishments remain unclear Methods Air and no-touch surfaces of 31 rooms from 7 LTCFs were sampled and SARS-CoV-2 was quantified by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Results Air samples were negative but viral genomes were recovered from 20 of 62 surface samples at concentrations ranging from 13 to 36,612 genomes/surface. Virus isolation (culture) from surface samples (n=7) was negative. Conclusions The presence of viral RNA on non-touch surfaces is evidence of viral dissemination through air, but the lack of airborne viral particles in air samples suggests that they were not aerosolized in a significant manner during air sampling sessions. The air samples were collected 8 to 30 days after the residents’ symptom onset, which could indicate that viruses are aerosolized early in the infection process. Additional research is needed to evaluate viral viability conservation and the potential role of direct contact and aerosols in SARS-CoV-2 transmission in these institutions.

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