Jan 6, 2021Paper

SARS-CoV-2 disease severity and transmission efficiency is increased for airborne but not fomite exposure in Syrian hamsters

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
J. R. PortVincent Munster


Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is driven by contact, fomite, and airborne transmission. The relative contribution of different transmission routes remains subject to debate. Here, we show Syrian hamsters are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection through intranasal, aerosol and fomite exposure. Different routes of exposure presented with distinct disease manifestations. Intranasal and aerosol inoculation caused more severe respiratory pathology, higher virus loads and increased weight loss. Fomite exposure led to milder disease manifestation characterized by an anti-inflammatory immune state and delayed shedding pattern. Whereas the overall magnitude of respiratory virus shedding was not linked to disease severity, the onset of shedding was. Early shedding was linked to an increase in disease severity. Airborne transmission was more efficient than fomite transmission and dependent on the direction of the airflow. Carefully characterized of SARS-CoV-2 transmission models will be crucial to assess potential changes in transmission and pathogenic potential in the light of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 evolution.


May 2, 2021·Applied and Environmental Microbiology·Emanuel Goldman
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