Reduction in SARS-CoV-2 Virus Infectivity in Human and Hamster Feces - Anses - Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail Access content directly
Journal Articles Viruses Year : 2022

Reduction in SARS-CoV-2 Virus Infectivity in Human and Hamster Feces

Sébastien Wurtzer
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Severine Murri
Ousmane Kébé
Laurent Moulin
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Objective: There is extensive evidence that SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the gastrointestinal tract. However, the infectivity of virions in feces is poorly documented. Although the primary mode of transmission is airborne, the risk of transmission from contaminated feces remains to be assessed. Design: The persistence of SARS-CoV-2 (infectivity and RNA) in human and animal feces was evaluated by virus isolation on cell culture and RT-qPCR, respectively. The exposure of golden Syrian hamsters to experimentally contaminated feces through intranasal inoculation has also been tested to assess the fecal-oral transmission route. Results: For periods that are compatible with average intestinal transit, the SARS-CoV-2 genome was noticeably stable in human and animal feces, contrary to the virus infectivity that was reduced in a time- and temperature-dependent manner. In human stools, this reduction was variable depending on the donors. Viral RNA was excreted in the feces of infected hamsters, but exposure of naïve hamsters to feces of infected animals did not lead to any productive infection. Conversely, hamsters could be experimentally infected following exposure to spiked fresh feces. Conclusion: Infection following exposure to naturally contaminated feces has been suspected but has not been established so far. The present work demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 rapidly lost infectivity in spiked or naturally infected feces. Although the possibility of persistent viral particles in human or animal feces cannot be fully ruled out, SARS-CoV-2 transmission after exposure to contaminated feces is unlikely.
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anses-03790195 , version 1 (28-09-2022)




Sébastien Wurtzer, Sandra Lacote, Severine Murri, Philippe Marianneau, Elodie Monchatre-Leroy, et al.. Reduction in SARS-CoV-2 Virus Infectivity in Human and Hamster Feces. Viruses, 2022, 14 (8), pp.1777. ⟨10.3390/v14081777⟩. ⟨anses-03790195⟩
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