air. To determine whether the virus detected was viable ('live'), attempts were made to isolate the virus in cell cultures. Virus-induced cytopathic effects (CPE) were observed within two days post-inoculation of Vero E6 cells with collection media from air samples; however, rtRT-PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 vRNA from cell culture were negative. Instead, three other fast-growing human respiratory viruses were isolated and subsequently identified, illustrating the challenge in isolating SARS-CoV-2 when multiple viruses are present in a test sample. The complete SAR-CoV-2 genomic sequence was nevertheless determined by Sanger sequencing and most closely resembles SARS-CoV-2 genomes previously described in Georgia, USA. Results of this study illustrate the feasibility of tracking progression of the COVID-19 pandemic using environmental aerosol samples instead of human specimens. Collection of a positive sample from a distance more than 2 m away from the nearest patient traffic implies the virus was in an aerosol.
Lednicky JA, Shankar SN, Elbadry MA, Gibson JC, Alam MM, Stephenson CJ, Eiguren-Fernandez A, Morris JG, Mavian CN, Salemi M, Clugston JR, Wu CY. (2020). Collection of SARS-CoV-2 Virus from the Air of a Clinic Within a University Student Health Care Center and Analyses of the Viral Genomic Sequence. Aerosol and air quality research, 20(6)