Detecting SARS-CoV-2 in the environment

October 07, 2020

Washington, DC - October 7, 2020 - Researchers have outlined an approach to characterize and develop an effective environmental monitoring methodology for SARS CoV-2 virus, that can be used to better understand viral persistence in built environments. The investigators from 7 institutions published their research this week in mSystems, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Built environment refers to the human-made environment that provides the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings to cities and beyond.

"As we all know, SARS CoV-2 is of worldwide concern," said principal investigator of the study Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran, senior research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.

For the studies, the researchers used inactivated noninfectious virus that is viable and can be used as a surrogate. "Our group adapted the CDC-approved reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) methodology and then tested the efficacy of RT-qPCR in detecting SARS CoV-2 from various environmental surface samples," said Dr. Ceth W. Parker, one of the 3 lead study authors, a post-doctoral fellow at JPL. The researchers tested a variety of surface materials common in built environments, including bare stainless steal, painted stainless steel, plastics and reinforced fiberglass.

"We tested these surfaces by seeding inactivated noninfectious SARS CoV-2 particles and then determining how well we could actually recover them from the surfaces," said Dr. Parker. "It takes a minimum of 1,000 viral particles per 25 cm2 to effectively and reproducibly detect SARS-CoV-2 virus on the surface. We found that viral RNA can persist on surfaces for at least 8 days. We also found that inhibitory substances and debris have to be taken into account on the surfaces they are being tested on."
The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 30,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities and advocacy efforts. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

American Society for Microbiology

Related Microbiology Articles from Brightsurf:

79 Fellows elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
In January of 2015, the American Academy of Microbiology elected 79 new Fellows.

New discovery in the microbiology of serious human disease
Previously undiscovered secrets of how human cells interact with a bacterium which causes a serious human disease have been revealed in new research by microbiologists at The University of Nottingham.

4 cells turn seabed microbiology upside down
With DNA from just four cells, researchers reveal how some of the world's most abundant organisms play a key role in carbon cycling in the seabed.

87 scientists elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
Eighty-seven microbiologists have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This release includes information about these articles: Specific Bacterial Species May Initiate, Maintain Crohn's; Bacteria Involved in Sewer Pipe Corrosion Identified; Antibodies to Immune Cells Protect Eyes In Pseudomonas Infection; Dangerous Form of MRSA, Endemic In Many US Hospitals, Increasing in UK.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Upcoming articles from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology include:

Microbiology brought to life in Nottingham
Antimicrobial insect brains, mouth bacteria behaving badly and the hundreds of microbial communities that lurk in household dust are just some of the highlights at the Society for General Microbiology's autumn meeting in Nottingham next week.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

New text focuses on microbiology of historic artifacts
Historic and culturally important artifacts, like all materials, are vulnerable to microbial attack.

Read More: Microbiology News and Microbiology Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to