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Article: Absence of Detectable Influenza RNA Transmitted via Aerosol during Various Human Respiratory Activities – Experiments from Singapore and Hong Kong

TitleAbsence of Detectable Influenza RNA Transmitted via Aerosol during Various Human Respiratory Activities – Experiments from Singapore and Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherPublic Library of Science. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.plosone.org/home.action
Citation
PLoS One, 2014, v. 9 n. 9, article no. e107338 How to Cite?
AbstractTwo independent studies by two separate research teams (from Hong Kong and Singapore) failed to detect any influenza RNA landing on, or inhaled by, a life-like, human manikin target, after exposure to naturally influenza-infected volunteers. For the Hong Kong experiments, 9 influenza-infected volunteers were recruited to breathe, talk/count and cough, from 0.1 m and 0.5 m distance, onto a mouth-breathing manikin. Aerosolised droplets exhaled from the volunteers and entering the manikin’s mouth were collected with PTFE filters and an aerosol sampler, in separate experiments. Virus detection was performed using an in-house influenza RNA reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. No influenza RNA was detected from any of the PTFE filters or air samples. For the Singapore experiments, 6 influenza-infected volunteers were asked to breathe (nasal/mouth breathing), talk (counting in English/second language), cough (from 1 m/0.1 m away) and laugh, onto a thermal, breathing manikin. The manikin’s face was swabbed at specific points (around both eyes, the nostrils and the mouth) before and after exposure to each of these respiratory activities, and was cleaned between each activity with medical grade alcohol swabs. Shadowgraph imaging was used to record the generation of these respiratory aerosols from the infected volunteers and their impact onto the target manikin. No influenza RNA was detected from any of these swabs with either team’s in-house diagnostic influenza assays. All the influenza-infected volunteers had diagnostic swabs taken at recruitment that confirmed influenza (A/H1, A/H3 or B) infection with high viral loads, ranging from 105-108 copies/mL (Hong Kong volunteers/assay) and 104–107 copies/mL influenza viral RNA (Singapore volunteers/assay). These findings suggest that influenza RNA may not be readily transmitted from naturally-infected human source to susceptible recipients via these natural respiratory activities, within these exposure time-frames. Various reasons are discussed in an attempt to explain these findings.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/205481
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 3.057
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.395
PubMed Central ID
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DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTang, JW-
dc.contributor.authorGao, CX-
dc.contributor.authorCowling, BJ-
dc.contributor.authorKoh, GC-
dc.contributor.authorChu, KW-
dc.contributor.authorHeilbronn, C-
dc.contributor.authorLloyd, B-
dc.contributor.authorPantelic, J-
dc.contributor.authorNicolle, AD-
dc.contributor.authorKlettner, CA-
dc.contributor.authorPeiris, JSM-
dc.contributor.authorSekhar, C-
dc.contributor.authorCheong, DKW-
dc.contributor.authorTham, KW-
dc.contributor.authorKoay, ESC-
dc.contributor.authorTsui, W-
dc.contributor.authorKwong, A-
dc.contributor.authorChan, K-
dc.contributor.authorLi, Y-
dc.date.accessioned2014-09-20T02:36:24Z-
dc.date.available2014-09-20T02:36:24Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationPLoS One, 2014, v. 9 n. 9, article no. e107338-
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/205481-
dc.description.abstractTwo independent studies by two separate research teams (from Hong Kong and Singapore) failed to detect any influenza RNA landing on, or inhaled by, a life-like, human manikin target, after exposure to naturally influenza-infected volunteers. For the Hong Kong experiments, 9 influenza-infected volunteers were recruited to breathe, talk/count and cough, from 0.1 m and 0.5 m distance, onto a mouth-breathing manikin. Aerosolised droplets exhaled from the volunteers and entering the manikin’s mouth were collected with PTFE filters and an aerosol sampler, in separate experiments. Virus detection was performed using an in-house influenza RNA reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. No influenza RNA was detected from any of the PTFE filters or air samples. For the Singapore experiments, 6 influenza-infected volunteers were asked to breathe (nasal/mouth breathing), talk (counting in English/second language), cough (from 1 m/0.1 m away) and laugh, onto a thermal, breathing manikin. The manikin’s face was swabbed at specific points (around both eyes, the nostrils and the mouth) before and after exposure to each of these respiratory activities, and was cleaned between each activity with medical grade alcohol swabs. Shadowgraph imaging was used to record the generation of these respiratory aerosols from the infected volunteers and their impact onto the target manikin. No influenza RNA was detected from any of these swabs with either team’s in-house diagnostic influenza assays. All the influenza-infected volunteers had diagnostic swabs taken at recruitment that confirmed influenza (A/H1, A/H3 or B) infection with high viral loads, ranging from 105-108 copies/mL (Hong Kong volunteers/assay) and 104–107 copies/mL influenza viral RNA (Singapore volunteers/assay). These findings suggest that influenza RNA may not be readily transmitted from naturally-infected human source to susceptible recipients via these natural respiratory activities, within these exposure time-frames. Various reasons are discussed in an attempt to explain these findings.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherPublic Library of Science. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.plosone.org/home.action-
dc.relation.ispartofPLoS One-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleAbsence of Detectable Influenza RNA Transmitted via Aerosol during Various Human Respiratory Activities – Experiments from Singapore and Hong Kong-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailCowling, BJ: bcowling@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.emailChu, KW: dkwchu@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.emailPeiris, JSM: malik@hkucc.hku.hk-
dc.identifier.emailLi, Y: liyg@hkucc.hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityCowling, BJ=rp01326-
dc.identifier.authorityPeiris, JSM=rp00410-
dc.identifier.authorityLi, Y=rp00151-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0107338-
dc.identifier.pmid25208000-
dc.identifier.pmcidPMC4160257-
dc.identifier.hkuros240188-
dc.identifier.hkuros254583-
dc.identifier.volume9-
dc.identifier.issue9-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000342030300075-
dc.publisher.placeUnited States-
dc.relation.projectControl of Pandemic and Inter-pandemic Influenza-
dc.relation.projectProximity effect - Exploring short-range and long-range airborne routes of expiratory exposure between people in indoor environment-

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