Detection of Infectious Influenza Virus in Cough Aerosols Generated in a Simulated Patient Examination Room
ABSTRACT The potential for aerosol transmission of infectious influenza virus (ie, in healthcare facilities) is controversial. We constructed a simulated patient examination room that contained coughing and breathing manikins to determine whether coughed influenza was infectious and assessed the effectiveness of an N95 respirator and surgical mask in blocking transmission.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health aerosol samplers collected size-fractionated aerosols for 60 minutes at the mouth of the breathing manikin, beside the mouth, and at 3 other locations in the room. Total recovered virus was quantitated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and infectivity was determined by the viral plaque assay and an enhanced infectivity assay.
Infectious influenza was recovered in all aerosol fractions (5.0% in >4 μm aerodynamic diameter, 75.5% in 1-4 μm, and 19.5% in <1 μm; n = 5). Tightly sealing a mask to the face blocked entry of 94.5% of total virus and 94.8% of infectious virus (n = 3). A tightly sealed respirator blocked 99.8% of total virus and 99.6% of infectious virus (n = 3). A poorly fitted respirator blocked 64.5% of total virus and 66.5% of infectious virus (n = 3). A mask documented to be loosely fitting by a PortaCount fit tester, to simulate how masks are worn by healthcare workers, blocked entry of 68.5% of total virus and 56.6% of infectious virus (n = 2).
These results support a role for aerosol transmission and represent the first reported laboratory study of the efficacy of masks and respirators in blocking inhalation of influenza in aerosols. The results indicate that a poorly fitted respirator performs no better than a loosely fitting mask.
SourceAvailable from: Piyarat Suntarattiwong[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Introduction While influenza A and B viruses can be transmitted via respiratory droplets, the importance of small droplet nuclei “aerosols” in transmission is controversial. Methods and Findings In Hong Kong and Bangkok, in 2008–11, subjects were recruited from outpatient clinics if they had recent onset of acute respiratory illness and none of their household contacts were ill. Following a positive rapid influenza diagnostic test result, subjects were randomly allocated to one of three household-based interventions: hand hygiene, hand hygiene plus face masks, and a control group. Index cases plus their household contacts were followed for 7–10 days to identify secondary infections by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing of respiratory specimens. Index cases with RT-PCR-confirmed influenza B were included in the present analyses. We used a mathematical model to make inferences on the modes of transmission, facilitated by apparent differences in clinical presentation of secondary infections resulting from aerosol transmission. We estimated that approximately 37% and 26% of influenza B virus transmission was via the aerosol mode in households in Hong Kong and Bangkok, respectively. In the fitted model, influenza B virus infections were associated with a 56%–72% risk of fever plus cough if infected via aerosol route, and a 23%–31% risk of fever plus cough if infected via the other two modes of transmission. Conclusions Aerosol transmission may be an important mode of spread of influenza B virus. The point estimates of aerosol transmission were slightly lower for influenza B virus compared to previously published estimates for influenza A virus in both Hong Kong and Bangkok. Caution should be taken in interpreting these findings because of the multiple assumptions inherent in the model, including that there is limited biological evidence to date supporting a difference in the clinical features of influenza B virus infection by different modes.PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e108850. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0108850 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This work describes and applies a methodology for estimating the impact of recirculating heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) particle filters on the control of size-resolved infectious aerosols in indoor environments using a modified version of the Wells-Riley model for predicting risks of infectious disease transmission. Estimates of risk reductions and associated operational costs of both HVAC filtration and equivalent outdoor air ventilation are modeled and compared using a case study of airborne transmission of influenza in a hypothetical office space. Overall, recirculating HVAC filtration was predicted to achieve risk reductions at lower costs of operation than equivalent levels of outdoor air ventilation, particularly for MERV 13–16 filters. Medium efficiency filtration products (MERV 7–11) are also inexpensive to operate but appear less effective in reducing infectious disease risks.Building and Environment 12/2013; 76:113-124. DOI:10.1016/j.buildenv.2013.08.025 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Influenza is one of the most contagious and rapidly spreading infectious diseases and an important global cause of hospital admissions and mortality. There are some amounts of the virus in the air constantly. These amounts is generally not enough to cause disease in people, due to infection prevention by healthy immune systems. However, at a higher concentration of the airborne virus, the risk of human infection increases dramatically. Early detection of the threshold virus concentration is essential for prevention of the spread of influenza infection. This review discusses different approaches for measuring the amount of influenza A virus particles in the air and assessing their infectiousness. Here we also discuss the data describing the relationship between the influenza virus subtypes and virus air transmission, and distribution of viral particles in aerosol drops of different sizes.Advances in Virology 08/2014; 2014:859090. DOI:10.1155/2014/859090