The primary route of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, appears to be through inhalation of the virus into the respiratory systems. The virus is shed by a contagious person into the air in small liquid particles out of the mouth (while talking, coughing, yawning, etc.) and while using toilets (1). In artificial laboratory settings, the virus is known to remain infective in aerosols with half-life of approximately 1 hour (2). In fact, not only has the RNA of the virus been detected in air samples in hospital rooms with infected patients but also in hallways and bathrooms outside of the patient rooms. Surfaces that patients did not directly interact with also tested positive suggesting significant airborne diffusion (1). Studying how the SARS-CoV-2 virus travels through air will be paramount to achieving a greater understanding of disease transmission and effective mitigation strategies.
COVID-19 air sampling is particularly challenging compared to sampling for fungi and bacteria due to the variation in the size of aerosols (as small as 0.01 microns in diameter) and relative fragility of the particles. A number of COVID-19 air sampling methods exist including cyclone samplers, liquid impingers, slit samplers, and electrostatic precipitators but all of these require expensive specialized equipment for collection and analysis (3). Assured Bio Lab’s patented M-TRAP® cassette is an inexpensive and easy alternative for COVID-19 air sampling and has been independently assessed for virus capture efficiency by CDC/NIOSH and found to be equivalent to their cyclone sampler (4). Our air sampling cassette can be used on most standard indoor air quality sampling pumps at a flow rate of 15 liters per minute and can be collected for a short as 10 minutes up to as long as 24 hours. Assured Bio also provides adapters so that you’re able to use our M-TRAP® technology even if you don’t have a standard pump. Our M- TRAP® cassettes can also be used in conjunction with our patented WhisperCare® continuous monitoring system to provide scheduled testing to help prevent an outbreak.
Assured Bio Labs is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to complete your COVID-19 air sampling, and all while providing industry leading turn-around times. Along with our M-TRAP® cassettes and WhisperCare® units, we also stock all the shipping supplies you need to get your sample to our lab safely and intact, including shippable cooler packages and mylar bags. Our standard turnaround time is 48-72 hours, but for an extra fee we are able to provide results the same day. All of this information and more can be found on www.assuredbio.com/covid-19-environmental-testing-program. We hope we can provide you with all the help you need in this ever-evolving environment.
- Santarpia JL, Rivera DN, Herrera V, Morwitzer MJ, Creager H, Santarpia GW, Crown KK, Brett-Major D, Schnaubelt E, Broadhurst MJ, Lawler JV. Transmission potential of SARS-CoV-2 in viral shedding observed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. MedRxIV. 2020 Jan 1.
- Van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, Holbrook MG, Gamble A, Williamson BN, Tamin A, Harcourt JL, Thornburg NJ, Gerber SI, Lloyd-Smith JO. Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020 Apr 16;382(16):1564-7.
- Verreault D, Moineau S, Duchaine C. Methods for sampling of airborne viruses. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 2008 Sep 1;72(3):413-44.
- Assured Bio Labs. M-TRAP Virus Capture Efficiency Evaluation. https://assuredbio.com/documents/M-TRAP_Virus_Capture_Efficiency_Evaluation.pdf