An important milestone was completed.
To estimate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to humans by surface contact, we examined the stability of the virus on variety of surfaces, typical of urban environment or patient environment. We used PCR to detect the virus, tissue culture based growth test to determine virus viability and ability to infect new host. At room temperature, SARS-CoV-2 gradually loss its viability and decay completely at day 4. The decay rate increases at higher temperatures. About 50% of the samples from the patient surrounding were PCR positive while none of them was viable (0/97), therefore, aerosol or indirect transmission from inanimate surfaces around hospitalized or quarantined COVID-19 patients is not supported by the data presented in this study. Fomite transmission may still be a possibility with heavily contaminated surfaces around patients during their most contagious stages of infection, and in closed and crowded environments.
A research collaboration between the Israel Institute for Biological Research, in Ness Ziona and the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel uncovered the coding capacity of the SARS CoV-2 virus. The researchers applied an innovative method of tracking translating ribosomes on their RNA template and converting the data into a translational-map of all the proteins being translated in the infected cells. Using this innovative method, resulted in the identification of 23 new short protein (peptide) sequences in the SARS-CoV-2 genome that can contribute in a regulatory function, but four were full-fledged proteins and might serve as new tools in diagnostic, prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
A glimpse to the story behind our article:
A panel of human neutralizing mAbs targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike at multiple epitopes
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