Peer-Reviewed Publications

      Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 on salt-coated surfaces: an in vitro study

      Gsell, M.; Bulliard, X.; Schorderet Weber, S.; Xiang, Y.; Constant, S.; Steiner, S.; Biselli, S.; Pugin, R.; Palmieri, M.; Hogg, A.; Peitsch, M.C.; Hoeng, J.; Stan, A.

      Jun 30, 2023

      In the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), face masks have become a very important safety measure against the main route of transmission of the virus: droplets and aerosols. Concerns that masks contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 infectious particles could be a risk for self-contamination have emerged early in the pandemic as well as solutions to mitigate this risk. The coating of masks with sodium chloride, an antiviral and non-hazardous to health chemical, could be an option for reusable masks. To assess the antiviral properties of salt coatings deposited onto common fabrics by spraying and dipping, the present study established an in vitro bioassay using three-dimensional airway epithelial cell cultures and SARS-CoV-2 virus. Virus particles were given directly on salt-coated material, collected, and added to the cell cultures. Infectious virus particles were measured by plaque forming unit assay and in parallel viral genome copies were quantified over time. Relative to noncoated material, the sodium chloride coating significantly reduced virus replication, confirming the effectiveness of the method to prevent fomite contamination with SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the lung epithelia bioassay proved to be suitable for future evaluation of novel antiviral coatings.