(searched for: doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146133)
Hygiene, Volume 1, pp 24-40; doi:10.3390/hygiene1010003
Contaminated surfaces have been discussed as a possible source of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Under experimental conditions, SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for several days. However, the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 detection on surfaces in healthcare settings and the public is currently not known. A systematic literature review was performed. On surfaces around COVID-19 cases in healthcare settings (42 studies), the SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection rates mostly were between 0% and 27% (Ct values mostly > 30). Detection of infectious SARS-CoV-2 was only successful in one of seven studies in 9.2% of 76 samples. Most of the positive samples were obtained next to a patient with frequent sputum spitting during sampling. Eight studies were found with data from public surfaces and RNA detection rates between 0% and 22.1% (Ct values mostly > 30). Detection of infectious virus was not attempted. Similar results were found in samples from surfaces around confirmed COVID-19 cases in non-healthcare settings (7 studies) and from personal protective equipment (10 studies). Therefore, it seems plausible to assume that inanimate surfaces are not a relevant source for transmission of SARS-CoV-2. In public settings, the associated risks of regular surface disinfection probably outweigh the expectable health benefits.