We previously reported the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in different clinical samples.
1This virus can be detected on different surfaces in a contaminated site.
- Pan Y
- Zhang D
- Yang P
- Poon LLM
- Wang Q
Viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples.
Lancet Infect Dis. 2020; (published online Feb 24.)
We first measured the stability of SARS-CoV-2 at different temperatures. SARS-CoV-2 in virus transport medium (final concentration ∼6·8 log unit of 50% tissue culture infectious dose [TCID50] per mL) was incubated for up to 14 days and then tested for its infectivity (appendix p 1). The virus is highly stable at 4°C, but sensitive to heat. At 4°C, there was only around a 0·7 log-unit reduction of infectious titre on day 14. With the incubation temperature increased to 70°C, the time for virus inactivation was reduced to 5 mins.
We further investigated the stability of this virus on different surfaces. Briefly, a 5 μL droplet of virus culture (∼7·8 log unit of TCID50 per mL) was pipetted on a surface (appendix p 1; ∼cm2 per piece) and left at room temperature (22°C) with a relative humidity of around 65%. The inoculated objects retrieved at desired time-points were immediately soaked with 200 μL of virus transport medium for 30 mins to elute the virus. Therefore, this recovery of virus does not necessarily reflect the potential to pick up the virus from casual contact. No infectious virus could be recovered from printing and tissue papers after a 3-hour incubation, whereas no infectious virus could be detected from treated wood and cloth on day 2. By contrast, SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on smooth surfaces. No infectious virus could be detected from treated smooth surfaces on day 4 (glass and banknote) or day 7 (stainless steel and plastic). Strikingly, a detectable level of infectious virus could still be present on the outer layer of a surgical mask on day 7 (∼0·1% of the original inoculum). Interestingly, a biphasic decay of infectious SARS-CoV-2 could be found in samples recovered from these smooth surfaces (appendix pp 2–7). 39 representative non-infectious samples tested positive by RT-PCR
We also tested the virucidal effects of disinfectants by adding 15 μL of SARS-CoV-2 culture (∼7·8 log unit of TCID50 per mL) to 135 μL of various disinfectants at working concentration (appendix p 1). With the exception of a 5-min incubation with hand soap, no infectious virus could be detected after a 5-min incubation at room temperature (22°C). Additionally, we also found that SARS-CoV-2 is extremely stable in a wide range of pH values at room temperature (pH 3–10; appendix p 1). Overall, SARS-CoV-2 can be highly stable in a favourable environment,
This work was supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (contract HHSN272201400006C ). LLMP was supported by the Croucher Foundation. We declare no competing interests.
- Supplementary appendix
- 1.Viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples.Lancet Infect Dis. 2020; (published online Feb 24.)
- 2.Environmental contamination of the SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare premises: an urgent call for protection for healthcare workers.medRxiv. 2020; (published online March 16.) (preprint).
- 3.Molecular diagnosis of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) causing an outbreak of pneumonia.Clin Chem. 2020; (published online Jan 31.)
- 4.Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1.N Engl J Med. 2020; (published online March 17.)
Published: April 02, 2020
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.