Monitoring for airborne respiratory viruses in a general pediatric ward in Singapore

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  • Su Yadana
    Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.
  • Kristen Kelli Coleman, PhD
    Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.
    http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0024-3400
  • Tham Thi Nguyen
    Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.
  • Christophe Hansen-Estruch
    Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, United States.
  • Shirin Kalimuddin
    Department of Infectious Diseases, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.
  • Koh Cheng Thoon
    Department of Pediatrics, Infectious Disease Service, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore.
  • Jenny Guek Hong Low
    Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School; Department of Infectious Diseases, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.
  • Gregory Charles Gray
    Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore; Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine and Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA; Global Health Research Center, Duke Kunshan University, Kunshan, China.

ABSTRACT

There is an increasing body of evidence suggesting that transmission of respiratory viruses occurs through the inhalation of virus-laden particles. Our study describes the use of an aerosol sampling system to monitor the prevalence of airborne viruses in a hospital setting. Using SKC AirCheck Touch pumps, with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) bioaerosol samplers and SKC filter cassette blanks, 28 aerosol samples were collected in a hospital ward in Singapore. Following DNA/RNA extraction, real-time RT-PCR/PCR was used for the detection of influenza A, B and D viruses, coronaviruses, enteroviruses, and adenoviruses. Airborne virus was detected in nine (32%) of 28 samples. Among the nine positive samples, eight were PCR-positive for adenovirus and one for influenza A virus. Our data suggest that bioaerosol sampling could be valuable in monitoring for airborne respiratory viruses in clinical environments to better understand the risk of infection during a hospital visit.

 

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