Factors that determine how long the new coronavirus keeps infectivity in the air are revealed

One of the major routes of transmission of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is aerosol infection by inhaling airborne virus-containing particles. Research at the University of Bristol, England, has revealed what factors determine how long the virus contained in this aerosol survives and maintains infectivity.

Scientists discover critical factors that determine the survival of airborne viruses | News and features | University of Bristol


Scientists discover critical factors that determine the survival of airborne viruses


A research team led by Dr. Allen Hudrel of the University of Bristol Graduate School of Chemistry has developed next-generation bioaerosol technology. Airborne particles mimicking exhaled aerosols were created, and environmental factors such as temperature, particle composition, and the presence of acidic vapors such as nitric acid were observed in low-humidity (40% humidity) and high-humidity (90% humidity) environments. It was measured for 40 minutes to see how it affects the infectivity of the virus.

As a result, both mutants were about 55% less infectious in the first 5 seconds in a low-humidity environment. In addition, it was found that after 40 minutes, all mutant strains lost more than 95% of the infectivity regardless of humidity.

The study also found that when the acid vapor was removed, the rate of infectivity decay increased dramatically, with 90% of infectivity lost after 2 minutes. Addition of nitric acid vapor improved infectivity.

Dr. Hudrel said, ``The results of this study show that exhaled high pH (alkaline) aerosols promote the loss of virus infectivity. That is, it affects the pH (hydrogen ion concentration) of the aerosol. gases such as bleach also affect how well viruses remain infective in the air: acidic vapors help viruses stay infective, alkaline vapors The ammonia it produces can have the opposite effect.'

Professor Jonathan Reed, who was involved in the study, said: 'Our findings broaden our understanding of how environmental factors affect the airborne stability of COVID-19 and other viruses, as well as improve safety to reduce transmission. We will further explore the role of carbon dioxide on COVID-19 infection risk and the role of pH.'

in Science, Posted by logc_nt