Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Evaluation of a Bioaerosol Sampler for Indoor Environmental Surveillance of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2

Version 1 : Received: 23 March 2021 / Approved: 24 March 2021 / Online: 24 March 2021 (17:29:23 CET)

How to cite: Horve, P.F.; Dietz, L.; Northcutt, D.; Stenson, J.; Van Den Wymelenberg, K.G. Evaluation of a Bioaerosol Sampler for Indoor Environmental Surveillance of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. Preprints 2021, 2021030609 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0609.v1). Horve, P.F.; Dietz, L.; Northcutt, D.; Stenson, J.; Van Den Wymelenberg, K.G. Evaluation of a Bioaerosol Sampler for Indoor Environmental Surveillance of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. Preprints 2021, 2021030609 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202103.0609.v1).

Abstract

The worldwide spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has ubiquitously impacted many aspects of life. As vaccines continue to be manufactured and administered, limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 will rely more heavily on the early identification of contagious individuals occupying reopened and increasingly populated indoor environments. In this study, we investigated the utility of an impaction-based aerosol sampling system with multiple nucleic acid collection media. Heat-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 was utilized to perform bench-scale, short-range aerosol, and room-scale aerosol experiments. Through bench-scale experiments, AerosolSense Capture Media (ACM) and nylon flocked swabs were identified as the highest utility media. In room-scale aerosol experiments, consistent detection of aerosol SARS-CoV-2 was achieved at a concentration equal to or greater than 0.089 genome copies per liter of room air (gc/L) when air was sampled for eight hours or more at less than one air change per hour (ACH). Shorter sampling periods (~75 minutes) yielded consistent detection at ~31.8 gc/L of room air and intermittent detection down to ~0.318 gc/L at (1 and 6+ ACH respectively). These results support further exploration in real-world testing scenarios and suggest the utility of indoor aerosol surveillance as an effective risk mitigation strategy in occupied buildings.

Subject Areas

SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Aerosols; Environmental Surveillance; Air Sampling

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 24 March 2021
Commenter: Vladimir Gusiatnikov
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: When comparing total copies input by the sampler with the TaqPath assay's LOD (p. 13 Discussion), it could be informative to state the overall fraction of the collected volume that ends up in a qPCR well. This ratio depends on the post-centrifugation volume and on the elution volume of the RNA extraction process, which I seem to not be able to find in the main (not Supplementary) text. This information may help the reader estimate the overall end-to-end collection efficiency of the sampler.
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