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Detection of influenza and other respiratory viruses in air sampled from a university campus: a longitudinal study

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  • Detection of influenza and other respiratory viruses in air sampled from a university campus: a longitudinal study

    Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Apr 9. pii: ciz296. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz296. [Epub ahead of print]
    Detection of influenza and other respiratory viruses in air sampled from a university campus: a longitudinal study.

    Xie C1, Lau EHY1, Yoshida T1, Yu H2, Wang X1, Wu H1, Wei J2, Cowling B1, Peiris M1, Li Y2, Yen HL1.
    Author information

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND:

    Respiratory virus-laden particles are commonly detected in the exhaled breath of symptomatic patients or in air sampled from healthcare settings. However, the temporal relationship of detecting virus-laden particles at non-healthcare locations versus surveillance data obtained by conventional means has not been fully assessed.
    METHODS:

    From October 2016 to June 2018, air was sampled weekly from a university campus in Hong Kong. Viral genomes were detected and quantified by real-time RT-PCR. Logistic regression models were fitted to examine the adjusted odds ratios (aORs) of ecological and environmental factors associated with the detection of virus-laden airborne particles.
    RESULTS:

    Influenza A (16.9%, 117/694) and B (4.6%, 31/694) viruses were detected at higher frequencies in air than rhinovirus (2.2%, 6/270), respiratory syncytial virus (0.4%, 1/270), or human coronaviruses (0%, 0/270). Multivariate analyses showed that increased crowdedness (aOR = 2.3, 95% confidence interval, 1.5 - 3.8, P < 0.001) and higher indoor temperature (1.2, 1.1 - 1.3, P < 0.001) were associated with detection of influenza airborne particles, but absolute humidity was not (0.9, 0.7 - 1.1, P = 0.213). Higher copies of influenza viral genome were detected from airborne particles > 4 μm in spring and < 1 μm in autumn. Influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B viruses that caused epidemics during the study period were detected in air prior to observing increased influenza activities in the community.
    CONCLUSIONS:

    Air sampling as a surveillance tool for monitoring influenza activity at public locations may provide early detection signals on influenza viruses that circulate in the community.
    The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


    KEYWORDS:

    airborne particles; human density; influenza and respiratory viruses; surveillance; temporal pattern; transmission

    PMID: 30963180 DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciz296
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