Characterization of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Stability in Multiple Water Matrices.J Korean Med Sci. 2020 09 14 [Online ahead of print]JK
The advent of the global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) necessitates a thorough study of the stability and transmissibility in the environment. We characterized the stability of SARS-CoV-2 in three water matrices: fresh, tap, and seawater. The minimum infective dose of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero cells was confirmed to be 10³ PFU/mL. The stability of SARS-CoV-2 varied according to the water matrix: infective SARS-CoV-2 was undetectable after treatment with fresh water and seawater, but remained detectable for 2 days in tap water, when starting with an initial concentration of 10⁴ PFU/mL. When the starting concentration was increased to 10⁵ PFU/mL, a similar trend was observed. In addition, viral RNA persisted longer than infectious virus in all water matrices. This study was conducted in stagnant water containing a significantly high titer of virus, thus, human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the actual aquatic environment is expected to be rare.