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Title: Sewage, Salt, Silica, and SARS-CoV-2 (4S): An Economical Kit-Free Method for Direct Capture of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from Wastewater
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Environmental Science & Technology
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
4880 to 4888
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Sugden, Bill (Ed.)
    The scientific community is focused on developing antiviral therapies to mitigate the impacts of the ongoing novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. This will be facilitated by improved understanding of viral dynamics within infected hosts. Here, using a mathematical model in combination with published viral load data, we compare within-host viral dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 with analogous dynamics of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. Our quantitative analyses using a mathematical model revealed that the within-host reproduction number at symptom onset of SARS-CoV-2 was statistically significantly larger than that of MERS-CoV and similar to that of SARS-CoV. In addition, the time from symptom onset to the viral load peak for SARS-CoV-2 infection was shorter than those of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. These findings suggest the difficulty of controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection by antivirals. We further used the viral dynamics model to predict the efficacy of potential antiviral drugs that have different modes of action. The efficacy was measured by the reduction in the viral load area under the curve (AUC). Our results indicate that therapies that block de novo infection or virus production are likely to be effective if and only if initiated before the viral load peak (which appears 2–3 days after symptom onset), butmore »therapies that promote cytotoxicity of infected cells are likely to have effects with less sensitivity to the timing of treatment initiation. Furthermore, combining a therapy that promotes cytotoxicity and one that blocks de novo infection or virus production synergistically reduces the AUC with early treatment. Our unique modeling approach provides insights into the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and may be useful for development of antiviral therapies.« less
  2. Linkov, Igor (Ed.)
    Risk-cost-benefit analysis requires the enumeration of decision alternatives, their associated outcomes, and the quantification of uncertainty. Public and private decision-making surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic must contend with uncertainty about the probability of infection during activities involving groups of people, in order to decide whether that activity is worth undertaking. We propose a model of SARS-CoV-2 infection probability that can produce estimates of relative risk of infection for diverse activities, so long as those activities meet a list of assumptions, including that they do not last longer than one day (e.g., sporting events, flights, concerts), and that the probability of infection among possible routes of infection (i.e., droplet, aerosol, fomite, and direct contact) are independent. We show how the model can be used to inform decisions facing governments and industry, such as opening stadiums or flying on airplanes; in particular, it allows for estimating the ranking of the constituent components of activities (e.g., going through a turnstile, sitting in one’s seat) by their relative risk of infection, even when the probability of infection is unknown or uncertain. We prove that the model is a good approximation of a more refined model in which we assume infections come from a series ofmore »independent risks. A linearity assumption governing several potentially modifiable risks factors—such as duration of the activity, density of participants, and infectiousness of the attendees—makes interpreting and using the model straightforward, and we argue that it does so without significantly diminishing the reliability of the model.« less
  3. Background Limited data are available regarding the balance of risks and benefits from human milk and/or breastfeeding during and following maternal infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Objective To investigate whether SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in milk and on the breast after maternal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnosis; and characterize concentrations of milk immunoglobulin (Ig) A specific to the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein receptor binding domain (RBD) during the 2 months after onset of symptoms or positive diagnostic test. Methods Using a longitudinal study design, we collected milk and breast skin swabs one to seven times from 64 lactating women with COVID-19 over a 2-month period, beginning as early as the week of diagnosis. Milk and breast swabs were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and milk was tested for anti-RBD IgA. Results SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in any milk sample or on 71% of breast swabs. Twenty-seven out of 29 (93%) breast swabs collected after breast washing tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 on the breast was associated with maternal coughing and other household COVID-19. Most (75%; 95% CI, 70-79%; n=316) milk samples contained anti-RBD IgA, and concentrations increased ( P =.02) during the first two weeks followingmore »onset of COVID-19 symptoms or positive test. Milk-borne anti-RBD IgA persisted for at least two months in 77% of women. Conclusion Milk produced by women with COVID-19 does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and is likely a lasting source of passive immunity via anti-RBD IgA. These results support recommendations encouraging lactating women to continue breastfeeding during and after COVID-19 illness.« less