Stability of Model Human Coronaviruses on a Range of Textile Fibre Types
Previous research indicates that SARS-CoV-2 persists on stainless steel and plastic for 72 hours to 7 days and appears to be less stable on porous surfaces. However, there is limited research on the stability of coronaviruses on a range of textiles, of which the composition and construction could have an effect on its persistence. Determination of the persistence of coronaviruses on textiles is required to evaluate the potential risk of fomite transmission via textiles; this is of particular importance in healthcare settings to inform laundering policies for the adequate decontamination of hospital linens and staff uniforms. The aim of this study is to determine the stability of model human coronaviruses for SARS-CoV-2 on a range of textile fibres and how best to decontaminate them. Human coronavirus (HCoV) OC43 was cultured on HCT-8 cells and HCoV-229E was cultured on MRC-5 cells. The optimal recovery method of virus from textiles was first determined by comparing the recovery efficiency of HCoV-OC43 from 100% cotton using differing diluents (cell culture media, phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and maximum recovery diluent (MRD)) and recovery methods (vortexing, stomaching and shaking by hand). The stability of HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E was then determined on 100% cotton, polyester/cotton blend, 100% polyester and calf leather up to 48 hours. A no virus (culture media only) control was included. Infectious virus was quantified by titration of the supernatant on BHK-21 cells in 96-well plates. The recovery of HCoV-OC43 from 100% cotton was comparable between PBS and culture media as diluents, whereas recovery was reduced using MRD. Shaking by hand was the most efficient recovery method used, with 98.56% of the inoculum being recovered. The stability of HCoV-OC43 was greatest on polyester, where it remained infectious for at least 6 hours. Investigations into the decontamination of model human coronaviruses under wash parameters are ongoing. Investigations on the survival of coronaviruses is required to evaluate the infection control risk of contaminated textiles and to identify laundering parameters required to adequately decontaminate linen. This study demonstrates that model coronaviruses survive on textiles, indicating that there may be a risk within the healthcare and domestic environments.
Citation : Owen, L., Shivkumar, M. and Laird, K. (2020) Stability of Model Human Coronaviruses on a Range of Textile Fibre Types. ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease, 23-25th September 2020 [online].
Research Institute : Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester School of Pharmacy