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SARS-CoV-2 viability after exposure to titanium dioxide coated tiles

Citation

Gupta, Ravindra; Mlcochova, Petra (2021), SARS-CoV-2 viability after exposure to titanium dioxide coated tiles , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4j0zpc89z

Abstract

Background

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission occurs via airborne droplets and surface contamination. Droplets or other body fluids from infected individuals can contaminate surfaces and viable virus has been detected on such surfaces, including surgical masks, for hours, even days depending on different factors including humidity, temperature and type of surface. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) coating of surfaces is a promising infection control measure, though to date has not been tested against SARS-CoV-2.

Methods

Virus stability was evaluated on the following surfaces: sterile untreated Sterilin standard Petri dish; TiO2- and TiO2–Ag (Ti:Ag atomic ratio 1:0.04)-coated 45 x 45 mm ceramic tiles. After coating the tiles were stored for 2–4 months before use. Surfaces were exposed (610 lx, ambient laboratory light) for 1 h before the start of each experiment to ensure a steady state of radical generation. We tested the stability of both SARS-CoV-2 Spike pseudotyped virions based on a lentiviral system, as well as fully infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus (SARS-CoV-2/human/Liverpool/REMRQ0001/2020). For the former, tile surfaces were inoculated with 105RLU of SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped HIV-1 luciferase virus at time t = 0 and illuminated for up to 6 h. At intervals virus was recovered from surfaces with DMEM complete followed by infection of ACE-2/TMPRSS2-expressing 293T cells. For live virus,  after illuminating tiles for 0–300 min virus was recovered from surfaces followed by infection of Vero E6 cells. % of infected cells was determined by flow cytometry detecting SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein 24 h post-infection. 

Results

After 1 h illumination the pseudotyped viral titre was decreased by four orders of magnitude. There was no significant difference between the TiO2 and TiO2–Ag coatings. Light alone had no significant effect on viral viability. For live SARS-CoV-2, virus was already significantly inactivated on the TiO2 surfaces after 20 min illumination. After 5 h no detectable active virus remained. Significantly, SARS-CoV-2 on the untreated surface was still fully infectious at 5 h post-addition of virus. Overall, tiles coated with TiO2 120 days previously were able to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 under ambient indoor lighting with 87% reduction in titres at 1h and complete loss by 5h exposure.

Conclusions

In the context of emerging viral variants with increased transmissibility, TiO2 coatings could be an important tool in containing SARS-CoV-2, particularly in health care facilities where nosocomial infection rates are high.


Methods

Surface inoculation and sampling

SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped virus inactivation

Tile surfaces were inoculated with 105 RLU of SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped HIV-1 luciferase virus at time t = 0 and illuminated for up to 6 h. At intervals virus was recovered from surfaces with DMEM complete followed by infection of ACE-2/TMPRSS2-expressing 293T cells. Luminescence was measured using Steady-Glo Luciferase assay system (Promega) 48 h post-infection.

 

SARS-CoV-2 live virus inactivation

6x106 IU/ml of SARS-CoV-2 virus was added onto the surface of the tiles at a dosage of 2 μl over 5 x 5 mm. After illuminating for 0–300 min virus was recovered from surfaces with DMEM complete followed by infection of Vero E6 cells. % of infected cells was determined by flow cytometry detecting SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein 24 h post-infection.

Funding

Wellcome, Award: WT108082AIA