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Journal: The Journal of infectious diseases


The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic creates a significant threat to global health. Recent studies suggested the significance of throat and salivary glands as major sites of virus replication and transmission during early COVID-19 thus advocating application of oral antiseptics. However, the antiviral efficacy of oral rinsing solutions against SARS-CoV-2 has not been examined. Here, we evaluated the virucidal activity of different available oral rinses against SARS-CoV-2 under conditions mimicking nasopharyngeal secretions. Several formulations with significant SARS-CoV-2 inactivating properties in vitro support the idea that oral rinsing might reduce the viral load of saliva and could thus lower the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Previous studies have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 is stable on surfaces for extended periods under indoor conditions. In the present study, simulated sunlight rapidly inactivated SARS-CoV-2 suspended in either simulated saliva or culture media and dried on stainless steel coupons. Ninety percent of infectious virus was inactivated every 6.8 minutes in simulated saliva and every 14.3 minutes in culture media when exposed to simulated sunlight representative of the summer solstice at 40oN latitude at sea level on a clear day. Significant inactivation also occurred, albeit at a slower rate, under lower simulated sunlight levels. The present study provides the first evidence that sunlight may rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, suggesting that persistence, and subsequently exposure risk, may vary significantly between indoor and outdoor environments. Additionally, these data indicate that natural sunlight may be effective as a disinfectant for contaminated non-porous materials.


Aerosols represent a potential route of transmission of COVID-19. This study examined the effect of simulated sunlight, relative humidity, and suspension matrix on the stability of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosols. Both simulated sunlight and matrix significantly affected the decay rate of the virus. Relative humidity alone did not affect the decay rate; however, minor interactions between relative humidity and the other factors were observed. Decay rates in simulated saliva, under simulated sunlight levels representative of late winter/early fall and summer were 0.121±0.017 min-1 (90% loss: 19 minutes) and 0.379±0.072 min-1 (90% loss: 6 minutes), respectively. The mean decay rate without simulated sunlight across all relative humidity levels was 0.008±0.011 min-1 (90% loss: 125 minutes). These results suggest that the potential for aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 may be dependent on environmental conditions, particularly sunlight. These data may be useful to inform mitigation strategies to minimize the potential for aerosol transmission.


Controlled human challenge trials of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates could accelerate the testing and potential rollout of efficacious vaccines. By replacing conventional Phase 3 testing of vaccine candidates, such trials may subtract many months from the licensure process, making efficacious vaccines available more quickly. Obviously, challenging volunteers with this live virus risks inducing severe disease and possibly even death. However, we argue that such studies, by accelerating vaccine evaluation, could reduce the global burden of coronavirus-related mortality and morbidity. Volunteers in such studies could autonomously authorize the risks to themselves, and their net risk could be acceptable if participants comprise healthy young adults, who are at relatively low risk of serious disease following natural infection, they have a high baseline risk of natural infection, and during the trial they receive frequent monitoring and, following any infection, the best available care.


An ongoing outbreak of pneumonia associated with 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was reported in China. It is unclear if the infectivity exists during the incubation period, although a person-to-person transmission has been reported in previous studies. We report the epidemiological features of a familial cluster of four patients in Shanghai, of which one was 88 years old man with moving difficulties and was only exposed to his asymptomatic family members who developed symptoms later. The epidemiological evidence has shown a potential transmission of the 2019-nCoV during the incubation period.


Epidemiologic studies indicate that obesity increases the risk of severe complications and death from influenza virus infections, especially in elderly individuals. This work investigates the effect of obesity on the duration of viral shedding within household transmission studies in Managua, Nicaragua, over 3 seasons (2015-2017). Symptomatic obese adults were shown to shed influenza A virus 42% longer than nonobese adults (adjusted event time ratio [ETR], 1.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.89); no association was observed with influenza B virus shedding duration. Even among paucisymptomatic and asymptomatic adults, obesity increased the influenza A shedding duration by 104% (adjusted ETR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.35-3.09). These findings suggest that obesity may play an important role in influenza transmission.


As part of the Household Influenza Vaccine Evaluation (HIVE) study, acute respiratory infections (ARI) have been identified in children and adults over 8 years.


Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over 200 countries. Thousands of health workers have been infected and outbreaks have occurred in hospitals, aged care facilities and prisons. World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidelines for contact and droplet precautions for Healthcare Workers (HCWs) caring for suspected COVID-19 patients, whilst the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended airborne precautions. The 1 - 2 m (≈3 - 6 ft) rule of spatial separation is central to droplet precautions and assumes large droplets do not travel further than 2 m (≈6 ft). We aimed to review the evidence for horizontal distance travelled by droplets and the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), US Center for Diseases Control (CDC) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on respiratory protection for COVID-19. We found that the evidence base for current guidelines is sparse, and the available data do not support the 1 - 2 m (≈3 - 6 ft) rule of spatial separation. Of ten studies on horizontal droplet distance, eight showed droplets travel more than 2 m (≈6 ft), in some cases more than 8 meters (≈26 ft). Several studies of SARS-CoV-2 support aerosol transmission and one study documented virus at a distance of 4 meters (≈13 ft) from the patient. Moreover, evidence suggests infections cannot neatly be separated into the dichotomy of droplet versus airborne transmission routes. Available studies also show that SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in the air, 3 hours after aeroslisation. The weight of combined evidence supports airborne precautions for the occupational health and safety of health workers treating patients with COVID-19.


Public health preparedness for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is challenging in the absence of setting-specific epidemiological data. Here we describe the epidemiology of seasonal coronaviruses (sCoVs) and other cocirculating viruses in the West of Scotland, UK. We analyzed routine diagnostic data for >70,000 episodes of respiratory illness tested molecularly for multiple respiratory viruses between 2005 and 2017. Statistical associations with patient age and sex differed between CoV-229E, CoV-OC43 and CoV-NL63. Furthermore, the timing and magnitude of sCoV outbreaks did not occur concurrently and coinfections were not reported. With respect to other cocirculating respiratory viruses, we found evidence of positive, rather than negative, interactions with sCoVs. These findings highlight the importance of considering cocirculating viruses in the differential diagnosis of COVID-19. Further work is needed to establish the occurrence/degree of cross-protective immunity conferred across sCoVs and with COVID-19, as well as the role of viral coinfection in COVID-19 disease severity.


Background. Current malaria diagnostics, including microscopy and antigen-detecting rapid tests, cannot reliably detect low-density infections. Molecular methods such as PCR are highly sensitive, but remain too complex for field deployment. A new commercial molecular assay based on loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) was assessed for field use.Methods. Malaria LAMP (Eiken Chemical Co., Ltd., Japan) was evaluated in 272 outpatients at a rural Ugandan clinic, and compared with expert microscopy, nested PCR (nPCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Two technicians performed the assay after three days of training, using two alternative blood sample preparation methods and visual interpretation of results by fluorescence.Results. Compared with three-well nPCR, the sensitivity of both LAMP and single-well nPCR was 90%; microscopy sensitivity was 51%. For samples with P. falciparum qPCR titer≥2 parasites/µL, LAMP sensitivity was 97.8% (95% CI 93.7%-99.5%). Most false-negative LAMP results occurred in samples with parasitemia detectable by three-well nPCR but very low or undetectable by qPCR.Conclusions. Malaria LAMP in a remote Ugandan clinic achieved sensitivity similar to single-well nPCR in a UK reference laboratory. LAMP dramatically lowers the detection threshold achievable in endemic settings, providing a new tool for diagnosis, surveillance, and screening in elimination strategies.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Polymerase chain reaction, Molecular biology, Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Type I and type II errors, Real-time polymerase chain reaction, Laboratory techniques