Heterogeneity in transmissibility and shedding SARS-CoV-2 via droplets and aerosols.

ELife
Paul Z ChenFrank X Gu

Abstract

Which virological factors mediate overdispersion in the transmissibility of emerging viruses remains a long-standing question in infectious disease epidemiology. Here, we use systematic review to develop a comprehensive dataset of respiratory viral loads (rVLs) of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1 and influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. We then comparatively meta-analyze the data and model individual infectiousness by shedding viable virus via respiratory droplets and aerosols. The analyses indicate heterogeneity in rVL as an intrinsic virological factor facilitating greater overdispersion for SARS-CoV-2 in the COVID-19 pandemic than A(H1N1)pdm09 in the 2009 influenza pandemic. For COVID-19, case heterogeneity remains broad throughout the infectious period, including for pediatric and asymptomatic infections. Hence, many COVID-19 cases inherently present minimal transmission risk, whereas highly infectious individuals shed tens to thousands of SARS-CoV-2 virions/min via droplets and aerosols while breathing, talking and singing. Coughing increases the contagiousness, especially in close contact, of symptomatic cases relative to asymptomatic ones. Infectiousness tends to be elevated between 1 and 5 days post-symptom onset. Intrinsic case variation in ...Continue Reading

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Citations

Jul 3, 2021·International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health·Siew Bee AwMohd Hamdan Ahmad
Jul 14, 2021·Current Opinion in Virology·Rory D de VriesRik L de Swart

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