Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Foodborne Transmission of Sars-Cov-2 Is More Evident Than It Has Been Before

Version 1 : Received: 15 September 2020 / Approved: 16 September 2020 / Online: 16 September 2020 (11:20:07 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 16 September 2020 / Approved: 18 September 2020 / Online: 18 September 2020 (10:35:33 CEST)

How to cite: Aboubakr, H.; Goyal, S. Foodborne Transmission of Sars-Cov-2 Is More Evident Than It Has Been Before. Preprints 2020, 2020090361 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0361.v1). Aboubakr, H.; Goyal, S. Foodborne Transmission of Sars-Cov-2 Is More Evident Than It Has Been Before. Preprints 2020, 2020090361 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202009.0361.v1).

Abstract

Background:Although highly strict social distancing and viral spread protection guidelines are in force, the reported numbers of COVID-19 cases across the world are still increasing. This indicates that we are still unable to completely understand the transmission routes of SARS-CoV-2. One of the possible routes that can play a significant role is the fecal-oral transmission since SARS-CoV-2 can replicate in the intestines as demonstrated by isolation of infectious virus from fecal samples of COVID-19 cases. Scope and approach:In this review, we compare the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 with the distinctive characteristics of enteric foodborne viruses. We also discuss and respond to the arguments given in some reports that downplay the importance of foodborne transmission route of SARS-CoV-2. Key findings and conclusions:Enteric viruses such as human noroviruses (HuNoVs) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) are known to transmit through foods such as fresh produce and berries, leading to frequent multistate foodborne disease outbreaks all over the world. SARS-CoV-2 was found to share four distinctive characteristics of foodborne viruses that allow them to transmit through foods. This similarity in characteristics, recent report of detecting SARS-CoV-2 particles from frozen food packages in China, and recent suspected foodborne COVID-19 case in New Zealand, indicate that foodborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is more evident than previously thought possible. To support or deny this route of transmission, urgent research needs to be undertaken to answer two primary questions and many secondary ones as described in this review.

Subject Areas

SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; foodborne viruses; enteric viruses; fecal-oral transmission; fresh produce, berries, fruits, hepatitis A virus, Norovirus, ready-to-eat foods.

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