In Singapore, scientists have unearthed a new method of detecting the virus that causes Covid-19. This makes it possible to identify the presence of SARS-CoV-2 directly in the air.
It will be two years since the coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan. And the pandemic is still relevant around the world. Faced with the crisis, research has been legion. On vaccines, remedies but also on solutions to more effectively detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. In this regard, a study shows that dogs are very competent in this area.
Scientists in Singapore have developed a very promising new detection method. This allows the virus to be detected directly in the air circulating inside a building. Although wastewater testing is a reliable indicator of the presence of viruses, it is, however, a retrospective approach preventing preventive action. Hence the interest of an airborne surveillance system capable of monitoring the spread of the virus in closed places welcoming many people.
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Detecting Covid-19 in the air: promising results
Here is how the study was carried out. The researchers installed air sample collectors in two hospital wards. The goal is to extract the virus’s RNA from air samples. In parallel, they also used the surface swab method. This makes it possible to detect the presence of the virus on surfaces liable to be contaminated.
Of the samples taken by the aerial collectors, 72% contained traces of airborne SARS-CoV-2 RNA. For comparison, surface swab samples only had a positive rate of 9.6%. “These results highlight the potential of air sampling as a tool to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the environment” , stressed the scientists.
In the future, researchers will need to test this promising device outside of hospital environments. It will thus be a question of testing its effectiveness in closed places where many people transit. In case of conclusive tests, aerial collectors would appear to be major assets in the preventive fight against Covid-19.