Real-Time Environmental Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. (Photo Credit: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS)

The Nature Communications Journal (Puthussery J. V., et al.) 07.10.2023, published “Real-Time Environmental Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols.”  This study focuses on the use of virus aerosol detection to test the air to detect the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which is spread through droplets in the air, expelled from people when they cough, sneeze, breathe, and speak.

The study points out the unavailability of quick infection protocols for the public. There are currently different offline air sampling detection methods in use to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the air by taking samples and sending them to a lab, which is important to detect the virus as soon as possible to help control the spread of the virus. But these offline methods can take anywhere from 1-24 hours and therefore do not always provide real time virus detection.

The study aims to solve the lack of commercially available automated real-time airborne SARS-CoV-2 detection devices by presenting a “pathogen Air Quality (pAQ) monitor” that takes from previous sampling techniques and uses a biosensor to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the air in 5 minutes to get real-time detection. The use of this type of technology could greatly help with preventing the spread of the virus.

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Read the article on the Nature Communications website.