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1.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0273433, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36026512

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
2.
J Infect Dev Ctries ; 16(7): 1174-1184, 2022 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35905022

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Radiology is a technical service that provides medical imaging for all sectors of healthcare. Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) is a major challenge in radiology and this is exacerbated in contexts where the healthcare system is unable to provide adequate funding and attention to effective infection control measures. The objectives of this study were to audit current cleaning procedures through the observation of practices in a radiology department, and to determine the types and numbers of nosocomial pathogens present on selected radiology imaging equipment and accessories before and after decontamination. METHODOLOGY: In phase one we observed seven radiographers to audit cleaning procedures and practices. In phase two we collected swab samples from selected radiology imaging equipment and accessories and then cultured them for identification of microbes. RESULTS: It was observed that radiographers partially practiced infection control measures. This was due to the absence of documented protocol for infection control procedures. Our results indicated that all the selected equipment and accessories were contaminated with microorganisms pre- and post-cleaning. The identified microbes were Staphylococcus aureus, Coagulase negative Staphylococci (CoNS), Bacillus species (spp.), Shigella spp., Shigella sonnei., Klebsiella spp., Salmonella paratyphi A (S. paratyphi A), Salmonella typhi (S. typhi), Providencia rettgeri, Enterobacter spp. and Citrobacter spp. and Methicillin resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). CONCLUSIONS: The research concluded that the recommended cleaning agents did not effectively reduce the number of microorganisms making the selected equipment and accessories fomites for nosocomial pathogens.


Subject(s)
Cross Infection , Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus , Radiology , Staphylococcal Infections , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Equipment Contamination/prevention & control , Fomites , Hospitals , Humans
3.
Multimedia | Multimedia Resources | ID: multimedia-9728

ABSTRACT

O vídeo mostra como estes objetos inanimados (fômites) contribuem para a transmissão de micro-organismos patogênicos, que servem como fonte de disseminação de uma doença. O aplicativo FioLibras é um projeto do Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica em Saúde da Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Icict/Fiocruz), em parceria com o Núcleo de Estudos em Diversidade e Inclusão de Surdos da Universidade Federal Fluminense (Nuedis/UFF), e conta com financiamento do Fundo de Inovação da Fiocruz e do Ministério da Saúde, por meio do Programa Fiocruz de Fomento à Inovação (Inova Fiocruz).


Subject(s)
Fomites , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Coronavirus Infections , Information Dissemination , Sign Language , e-Accessibility
4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 10009, 2022 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35705596

ABSTRACT

Advancements in technology and communication have revolutionised the twenty-first century with the introduction of mobile phones and smartphones. These phones are known to be platforms harbouring microbes with recent research shedding light on the abundance and broad spectrum of organisms they harbour. Mobile phone use in the community and in professional sectors including health care settings is a potential source of microbial dissemination. To identify the diversity of microbial genetic signature present on mobile phones owned by hospital medical staff. Twenty-six mobile phones of health care staff were swabbed. DNA extraction for downstream next generation sequencing shotgun metagenomic microbial profiling was performed. Survey questionnaires were handed to the staff to collect information on mobile phone usage and users' behaviours. Each of the 26 mobile phones of this study was contaminated with microbes with the detection of antibiotic resistance and virulent factors. Taken together the sum of microbes and genes added together across all 26 mobile phones totalised 11,163 organisms (5714 bacteria, 675 fungi, 93 protists, 228 viruses, 4453 bacteriophages) and 2096 genes coding for antibiotic resistance and virulent factors. The survey of medical staff showed that 46% (12/26) of the participants used their mobile phones in the bathroom. Mobile phones are vectors of microbes and can contribute to microbial dissemination and nosocomial diseases worldwide. As fomites, mobile phones that are not decontaminated may pose serious risks for public health and biosecurity.


Subject(s)
Cell Phone , Cross Infection , Biosecurity , Cross Infection/microbiology , Fomites/microbiology , Humans , Public Health
5.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0265565, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35333886

ABSTRACT

The ubiquitous use of public touchscreen user interfaces for commercial applications has created a credible risk for fomite-mediated disease transmission. This paper presents results from a stochastic simulation designed to assess this risk. The model incorporates a queueing network to simulate people flow and touchscreen interactions. It also describes an updated model for microbial transmission using an asymmetric gradient transfer assumption that incorporates literature reviewed empirical data concerning touch-transfer efficiency between fingers and surfaces. In addition to natural decay/die-off, pathogens are removed from the system by simulated cleaning / disinfection and personal-touching rates (e.g. face, dermal, hair and clothing). The dose response is implemented with an exponential moving average filter to model the temporal dynamics of exposure. Public touchscreens were shown to pose a considerable infection risk (∼3%) using plausible default simulation parameters. Sensitivity of key model parameters, including the rate of surface disinfection is examined and discussed. A distinctive and important advancement of this simulation was its ability to distinguish between infection risk from a primary contaminated source and that due to the re-deposition of pathogens onto secondary, initially uncontaminated touchscreens from sequential use. The simulator is easily configurable and readily adapted to more general fomite-mediated transmission modelling and may provide a valuable framework for future research.


Subject(s)
Fomites , Touch Perception , Disinfection/methods , Fingers , Humans , Risk Assessment
6.
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 88(7): e0233821, 2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35285254

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
7.
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 88(7): e0255221, 2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35285710

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
8.
STAR Protoc ; 3(2): 101188, 2022 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35317333

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
9.
Math Biosci Eng ; 19(4): 3564-3590, 2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35341264

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
10.
Indoor Air ; 32(2): e12976, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35133673

ABSTRACT

We propose the Transmission of Virus in Carriages (TVC) model, a computational model which simulates the potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 for passengers traveling in a subway rail system train. This model considers exposure through three different routes: fomites via contact with contaminated surfaces; close-range exposure, which accounts for aerosol and droplet transmission within 2 m of the infectious source; and airborne exposure via small aerosols which does not rely on being within 2 m distance from the infectious source. Simulations are based on typical subway parameters and the aim of the study is to consider the relative effect of environmental and behavioral factors including prevalence of the virus in the population, number of people traveling, ventilation rate, and mask wearing as well as the effect of model assumptions such as emission rates. Results simulate generally low exposures in most of the scenarios considered, especially under low virus prevalence. Social distancing through reduced loading and high mask-wearing adherence is predicted to have a noticeable effect on reducing exposure through all routes. The highest predicted doses happen through close-range exposure, while the fomite route cannot be neglected; exposure through both routes relies on infrequent events involving relatively few individuals. Simulated exposure through the airborne route is more homogeneous across passengers, but is generally lower due to the typically short duration of the trips, mask wearing, and the high ventilation rate within the carriage. The infection risk resulting from exposure is challenging to estimate as it will be influenced by factors such as virus variant and vaccination rates.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Railroads , Aerosols , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/transmission , Fomites/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(5): 910-916, 2022 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35218181

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
12.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0263025, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35077511

ABSTRACT

The highly contagious nature of SARS-CoV-2 has led to several studies on the transmission of the virus. A little studied potential fomite of great concern in the community is currency, which has been shown to harbor microbial pathogens in several studies. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses in the United States have limited the use of banknotes in favor of credit cards. However, SARS-CoV-2 has shown greater stability on plastic in several studies. Herein, the stability of SARS-CoV-2 at room temperature on banknotes, money cards and coins was investigated. In vitro studies with live virus suggested SARS-CoV-2 was highly unstable on banknotes, showing an initial rapid reduction in viable virus and no viral detection by 24 hours. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 displayed increased stability on money cards with live virus detected after 48 hours. Environmental swabbing of currency and money cards on and near the campus of Brigham Young University supported these results, with no detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on banknotes, and a low level on money cards. However, no viable virus was detected on either. These preliminary results suggest that the use of money cards over banknotes in order to slow the spread of this virus may be ill-advised. These findings should be investigated further through larger environmental studies involving more locations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Fomites/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Paper , Plastics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Utah , Vero Cells
13.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261365, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35061676

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cleanliness of hospital surfaces helps prevent healthcare-associated infections, but comparative evaluations of various cleaning strategies during COVID-19 pandemic surges and worker shortages are scarce. PURPOSE AND METHODS: To evaluate the effectiveness of daily, enhanced terminal, and contingency-based cleaning strategies in an acute care hospital (ACH) and a long-term care facility (LTCF), using SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assays. Daily cleaning involved light dusting and removal of visible debris while a patient is in the room. Enhanced terminal cleaning involved wet moping and surface wiping with disinfectants after a patient is permanently moved out of a room followed by ultraviolet light (UV-C), electrostatic spraying, or room fogging. Contingency-based strategies, performed only at the LTCF, involved cleaning by a commercial environmental remediation company with proprietary chemicals and room fogging. Ambient surface contamination was also assessed randomly, without regard to cleaning times. Near-patient or high-touch stationary and non-stationary environmental surfaces were sampled with pre-moistened swabs in viral transport media. RESULTS: At the ACH, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected on 66% of surfaces before cleaning and on 23% of those surfaces immediately after terminal cleaning, for a 65% post-cleaning reduction (p = 0.001). UV-C enhancement resulted in an 83% reduction (p = 0.023), while enhancement with electrostatic bleach application resulted in a 50% reduction (p = 0.010). ATP levels on RNA positive surfaces were not significantly different from those of RNA negative surfaces. LTCF contamination rates differed between the dementia, rehabilitation, and residential units (p = 0.005). 67% of surfaces had RNA after room fogging without terminal-style wiping. Fogging with wiping led to a -11% change in the proportion of positive surfaces. At the LTCF, mean ATP levels were lower after terminal cleaning (p = 0.016). CONCLUSION: Ambient surface contamination varied by type of unit and outbreak conditions, but not facility type. Removal of SARS-CoV-2 RNA varied according to cleaning strategy. IMPLICATIONS: Previous reports have shown time spent cleaning by hospital employed environmental services staff did not correlate with cleaning thoroughness. However, time spent cleaning by a commercial remediation company in this study was associated with cleaning effectiveness. These findings may be useful for optimizing allocation of cleaning resources during staffing shortages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disinfection/methods , Health Personnel/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Adenosine Triphosphate/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disinfectants , Fomites/virology , Health Facilities , Humans , New York/epidemiology , Patients' Rooms , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Ultraviolet Rays
14.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 11(1): 4, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35012659

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To establish effective infection control protocols, understanding pathogen transmission pathways is essential. Non-infectious surrogate tracers may safely explore these pathways and challenge pre-existing assumptions. We used silica nanoparticles with encapsulated DNA (SPED) for the first time in a real-life hospital setting to investigate potential transmission routes of vancomycin-resistant enterococci in the context of a prolonged outbreak. METHODS: The two study experiments took place in the 900-bed University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. A three-run 'Patient experiment' investigated pathogen transmission via toilet seats in a two-patient room with shared bathroom. First, various predetermined body and fomite sites in a two-bed patient room were probed at baseline. Then, after the first patient was contaminated with SPED at the subgluteal region, both patients sequentially performed a toilet routine. All sites were consequently swabbed again for SPED contamination. Eight hours later, further spread was tested at predefined sites in the patient room and throughout the ward. A two-run 'Mobile device experiment' explored the potential transmission by mobile phones and stethoscopes in a quasi-realistic setting. All SPED contamination statuses and levels were determined by real-time qPCR. RESULTS: Over all three runs, the 'Patient experiment' yielded SPED in 59 of 73 (80.8%) predefined body and environmental sites. Specifically, positivity rates were 100% on subgluteal skin, toilet seats, tap handles, and entertainment devices, the initially contaminated patients' hands; 83.3% on patient phones and bed controls; 80% on intravenous pumps; 75% on toilet flush plates and door handles, and 0% on the initially not contaminated patients' hands. SPED spread as far as doctor's keyboards (66.6%), staff mobile phones (33.3%) and nurses' keyboards (33.3%) after eight hours. The 'Mobile device experiment' resulted in 16 of 22 (72.7%) positive follow-up samples, and transmission to the second patient occurred in one of the two runs. CONCLUSIONS: For the first time SPED were used to investigate potential transmission pathways in a real hospital setting. The results suggest that, in the absence of targeted cleaning, toilet seats and mobile devices may result in widespread transmission of pathogens departing from one contaminated patient skin region.


Subject(s)
Cross Infection/transmission , Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections/transmission , Infection Control , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Patients' Rooms , Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci/physiology , DNA , Equipment Contamination , Fomites , Hospitals , Silicon Dioxide/chemistry , Switzerland
15.
Indoor Air ; 32(1): e12968, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34862811

ABSTRACT

Despite their considerable prevalence, dynamics of hospital-associated COVID-19 are still not well understood. We assessed the nature and extent of air- and surface-borne SARS-CoV-2 contamination in hospitals to identify hazards of viral dispersal and enable more precise targeting of infection prevention and control. PubMed, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, Medrxiv, and Biorxiv were searched for relevant articles until June 1, 2021. In total, 51 observational cross-sectional studies comprising 6258 samples were included. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in one in six air and surface samples throughout the hospital and up to 7.62 m away from the nearest patients. The highest detection rates and viral concentrations were reported from patient areas. The most frequently and heavily contaminated types of surfaces comprised air outlets and hospital floors. Viable virus was recovered from the air and fomites. Among size-fractionated air samples, only fine aerosols contained viable virus. Aerosol-generating procedures significantly increased (ORair  = 2.56 (1.46-4.51); ORsurface  = 1.95 (1.27-2.99)), whereas patient masking significantly decreased air- and surface-borne SARS-CoV-2 contamination (ORair  = 0.41 (0.25-0.70); ORsurface  = 0.45 (0.34-0.61)). The nature and extent of hospital contamination indicate that SARS-CoV-2 is likely dispersed conjointly through several transmission routes, including short- and long-range aerosol, droplet, and fomite transmission.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Cross Infection/transmission , Hospitals , Air Microbiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cross-Sectional Studies , Fomites/virology , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 43(6): 764-769, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33966671

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
17.
Am J Infect Control ; 50(7): 787-791, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34793888

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Clinical use of mobile phones have increased exponentially. Whilst evidence of contamination is documented, a key factor when determining potential risks of contamination, is establishing the duration the organism remains viable on the device. If pathogens are found to persist for extended duration, healthcare mobile phones may become fomites for cross departmental transmission. AIM: Determine the duration pathogenic bacteria, Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, two Pseudomonas sp. Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis susceptible and resistant to vancomycin (VSE and VRE) Staphylococcus aureus susceptible and resistant to methicillin (MSSA and MRSA), and a coagulase negative Staphylococcus (CoNs) can remain viable on a mobile phone under controlled conditions. METHOD: Phones were inoculated with 106 - 107 of each bacterium. The duration of viability was measured from the point the inoculum had dried and CFUs retrieved at timed intervals over 28 days. RESULTS: The mean percentage of bacteria viable at each time point was significantly different (20mins, P = .004, 1 hour P = .014, 6 hours P = .006, 24 hours P = .004, 7 days P = .007, 14 days P = .003, 21 days P = .002- and 28 days P = .004). Gram-positive bacteria remained viable longer than gram-negative bacteria (P = .010). MSSA declined faster than MRSA within the first 6 hours (P = .036). CONCLUSIONS: The extended duration of bacterial viability indicates the ability for pathogens to persist on a device and remain viable long enough to be transmitted to new areas both within the hospital and out to the community. Mobile phone decontamination should occur in combination of hand hygiene.


Subject(s)
Cell Phone , Cross Infection , Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus , Anti-Bacterial Agents , Bacteria , Cross Infection/microbiology , Fomites/microbiology , Gram-Positive Bacteria , Hospitals , Humans
18.
Indoor Air ; 32(1): e12938, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34693567

ABSTRACT

Self-contamination during doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) is a concern for healthcare workers (HCW) following SARS-CoV-2-positive patient care. Staff may subconsciously become contaminated through improper glove removal; so, quantifying this exposure is critical for safe working procedures. HCW surface contact sequences on a respiratory ward were modeled using a discrete-time Markov chain for: IV-drip care, blood pressure monitoring, and doctors' rounds. Accretion of viral RNA on gloves during care was modeled using a stochastic recurrence relation. In the simulation, the HCW then doffed PPE and contaminated themselves in a fraction of cases based on increasing caseload. A parametric study was conducted to analyze the effect of: (1a) increasing patient numbers on the ward, (1b) the proportion of COVID-19 cases, (2) the length of a shift, and (3) the probability of touching contaminated PPE. The driving factors for the exposure were surface contamination and the number of surface contacts. The results simulate generally low viral exposures in most of the scenarios considered including on 100% COVID-19 positive wards, although this is where the highest self-inoculated dose is likely to occur with median 0.0305 viruses (95% CI =0-0.6 viruses). Dose correlates highly with surface contamination showing that this can be a determining factor for the exposure. The infection risk resulting from the exposure is challenging to estimate, as it will be influenced by the factors such as virus variant and vaccination rates.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Fomites , Occupational Exposure , Personal Protective Equipment , Fomites/virology , Gloves, Protective/virology , Hospitals , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment/virology , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Am J Infect Control ; 50(3): 325-329, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34756967

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on global health and the world's economies. Proliferation of virulent and deadly SARS-CoV-2 variants require effective transmission mitigation strategies. Under reasonable environmental conditions, culturable and infectious SARS-CoV-2 can survive on contaminated fomites from hours to months. In the present study we evaluated a surface-anchored polymeric quaternary ammonium antimicrobial to help reduce fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from contaminated surfaces. METHODS: Two studies were performed on antimicrobial pre-treated metal disks in March 2020 by two independent Biosafety Level III (BSL-3) equipped laboratories in April 2020. These facilities were in Belgium (the Rega Medical Research Institute) and Australia (the Peter Doherty Institute) and independently applied quantitative carrier-based methodologies using the authentic SARS-CoV-2 isolates (hCoV-19/Australia/VIC01/2020, hCoV-19/Belgium/GHB-03021/2020). RESULTS: Residual dry tests were independently conducted at both facilities and demonstrated sustained virion destruction (108.23 TCID50/carrier GHB-03021 isolate, and 103.66 TCID50/carrier VIC01 isolate) 1 hour (drying) + 10 minutes after inoculation. Reductions are further supported by degradation of RNA on antimicrobial-treated surfaces using qRT-PCR. CONCLUSIONS: Using a polymeric quaternary ammonium antimicrobial (EPA/PMRA registered) the results independently support a sustained antiviral effect via SARS-CoV-2 virion destruction and viral RNA degradation. This indicates that silane-anchored quaternary ammonium compound (SiQAC-18) treated surfaces could play an important role in mitigating the communicability and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Ammonium Compounds , COVID-19 , Fomites , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Environ Res ; 203: 111831, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34352235

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic constitutes a concerning global threat to public health and economy. In the midst of this pandemic scenario, the role of environment-to-human COVID-19 spread is still a matter of debate because mixed results have been reported concerning SARS-CoV-2 stability on high-touch surfaces in real-life scenarios. Up to now, no alternative and accessible procedures for cell culture have been applied to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 infectivity on fomites. Several strategies based on viral capsid integrity have latterly been developed using viability markers to selectively remove false-positive qPCR signals resulting from free nucleic acids and damaged viruses. These have finally allowed an estimation of viral infectivity. The present study aims to provide a rapid molecular-based protocol for detection and quantification of viable SARS-CoV-2 from fomites based on the discrimination of non-infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles by platinum chloride (IV) (PtCl4) viability RT-qPCR. An initial assessment compared two different swabbing procedures to recover inactivated SARS-CoV-2 particles from fomites coupled with two RNA extraction methods. Procedures were validated with human (E229) and porcine (PEDV) coronavirus surrogates, and compared with inactivated SARS-CoV-2 suspensions on glass, steel and plastic surfaces. The viability RT-qPCR efficiently removed the PCR amplification signals from heat and gamma-irradiated inactivated SARS-CoV-2 suspensions that had been collected from specified surfaces. This study proposes a rapid viability RT-qPCR that discriminates non-infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles on surfaces thus helping researchers to better understand the risk of contracting COVID-19 through contact with fomites and to develop more efficient epidemiological measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Fomites , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , Swine
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