The effect of climbing chalk powder on the infectivity of human coronavirus OC43

Date

2021-02-22

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

0266-8254

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

There does not appear to be any studies in the published literature on the stability of SARS-CoV-2 within climbing chalk powder (magnesium carbonate and/or calcium carbonate), which has been hypothesized to pose a potential risk of fomite transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) within climbing gyms. The aim of this study was to determine the infectivity of a model human coronavirus HCoV-OC43 in the presence of climbing chalk powder on a dry plastic surface. The stability of HCoV-OC43 on a plastic surface dusted with climbing chalk powders (magnesium carbonate, calcium carbonate or a blended chalk) was determined by titration on BHK-21 fibroblast cells. No chalk and no virus controls were included. HCoV-OC43 was stable on the plastic surface for 48 h. The stability of HCoV-OC43 was significantly (P≤0.05) reduced in the presence of magnesium carbonate, calcium carbonate and the chalk blend; the infectivity was reduced by ≥2.29 log10 50% tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) immediately upon on contact and by ≥2.46 log10 TCID50 within 1 h of contact. These findings suggest that the infectivity of coronaviruses is reduced by climbing chalk, limiting the risk of potential fomite transmission.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Open access article.

Keywords

human coronavirus OC43, calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, climbing chalk, infectivity, TCID50

Citation

Owen, L., Laird, K. and Shivkumar, M. (2021) The effect of climbing chalk powder on the infectivity of human coronavirus OC43. Letters in Applied Microbiology.

Rights

Research Institute

Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)