Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Bacteria Filtration Efficiency of Different Face Masks Worn during COVID-19 Pandemic in North-Eastern Tanzania: An In Vitro Study

Version 1 : Received: 26 October 2020 / Approved: 28 October 2020 / Online: 28 October 2020 (09:43:55 CET)

How to cite: Gnanamuttupulle, M.; Ntundu, S.H.; Henke, O.; Moshi, A.A.; Msuya, D.; Chilonga, K.; Chugulu, S.G. Bacteria Filtration Efficiency of Different Face Masks Worn during COVID-19 Pandemic in North-Eastern Tanzania: An In Vitro Study. Preprints 2020, 2020100574 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0574.v1). Gnanamuttupulle, M.; Ntundu, S.H.; Henke, O.; Moshi, A.A.; Msuya, D.; Chilonga, K.; Chugulu, S.G. Bacteria Filtration Efficiency of Different Face Masks Worn during COVID-19 Pandemic in North-Eastern Tanzania: An In Vitro Study. Preprints 2020, 2020100574 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0574.v1).

Abstract

Increased demand for wearing face masks, lack of surgical masks and N95 respirators during the coronavirus pandemic created alternative needs for cloth masks. Therefore, to determine filtration efficacy, reusability and duration of wearing new and hand washed cloth masks, the bacteria filtration efficacy was tested using Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Cotton cloth masks; single layer without pleats and with pleats, double layer with canvas filter in the middle, double layer with stiff filter in the middle, double layer with pleats on both sides and locally made and imported surgical masks and N95 respirators were used. Bacterial suspension was sprayed over outer surface and swabbed from inner surface at 0hrs, 4thhr, 8thhr and 12thhr. Similar procedure was performed to hand washed and ironed cotton cloth masks. After 24 hours of incubation, single layer without pleats and with pleats had no filtration efficacy(0-100%). Double layer with stiff filter in the middle and double layer with pleats on both sides had higher filtration efficacy(99.96-100%), this filtration efficacy remained up to three occasions of hand washing with soap and water, conferring protection up to 12hours. Filtration efficacy of surgical masks made locally, imported and N95 respirators were 90-100%, 99.99-100%, and 99.99-100% respectively.

Subject Areas

SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; face masks; filtration efficiency; Tanzania

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