Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airports

Niina Ikonen (Corresponding Author), Carita Savolainen-Kopra, Joanne Enstone, Ilpo Kulmala, Pertti Pasanen, Anniina Salmela, Satu Salo, Jonathan Nguyen-Van-Tam, Petri Ruutu, PANDHUB consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: International and national travelling has made the rapid spread of infectious diseases possible. Little information is available on the role of major traffic hubs, such as airports, in the transmission of respiratory infections, including seasonal influenza and a pandemic threat. We investigated the presence of respiratory viruses in the passenger environment of a major airport in order to identify risk points and guide measures to minimize transmission.
Methods: Surface and air samples were collected weekly at three different time points during the peak period of seasonal influenza in 2015 – 16 in Finland. Swabs from surface samples, and air samples were tested by real-time PCR for influenza A and B viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, rhinovirus and coronaviruses
(229E, HKU1, NL63 and OC43).
Results: Nucleic acid of at least one respiratory virus was detected in 9 out of 90 (10%) surface samples, including: a plastic toy dog in the children’s playground (2/3 swabs, 67%); hand-carried luggage trays at the security check area (4/8, 50%); the buttons of the payment terminal at the pharmacy (1/2, 50%); the handrails of stairs (1/7, 14%); and the passenger side desk and divider glass at a passport control point (1/3, 33%). Among the 10 respiratory virus findings at various sites , the viruses identified were: rhinovirus (4/10, 40%, from surfaces); coronavirus (3/10, 30%, from surfaces); adenovirus (2/10, 20%, 1 air sample, 1 surface sample); influenza A (1/10, 10%, surface sample).
Conclusions: Detection of pathogen viral nucleic acids indicates respiratory viral surface contamination at multiple sites associated with high touch rates, and suggests a potential risk in the identified airport sites. Of the surfaces tested, plastic security screening trays appeared to pose the highest potential risk, and handling these is almost inevitable for all embarking passengers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number437
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2018
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Fingerprint

Airports
Human Influenza
Viruses
Rhinovirus
Coronavirus
Air
Adenoviridae
Nucleic Acids
Plastics
Influenza B virus
Play and Playthings
Respiratory Syncytial Viruses
Influenza A virus
Touch
Pandemics
Finland
Respiratory Tract Infections
Glass
Communicable Diseases
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction

Keywords

  • Influenza virus
  • Respiratory virus
  • Surface contamination
  • Airport

Cite this

Ikonen, N., Savolainen-Kopra, C., Enstone, J., Kulmala, I., Pasanen, P., Salmela, A., ... PANDHUB consortium (2018). Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airports. BMC Infectious Diseases, 18(1), [437]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-018-3150-5
Ikonen, Niina ; Savolainen-Kopra, Carita ; Enstone, Joanne ; Kulmala, Ilpo ; Pasanen, Pertti ; Salmela, Anniina ; Salo, Satu ; Nguyen-Van-Tam, Jonathan ; Ruutu, Petri ; PANDHUB consortium. / Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airports. In: BMC Infectious Diseases. 2018 ; Vol. 18, No. 1.
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title = "Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airports",
abstract = "Background: International and national travelling has made the rapid spread of infectious diseases possible. Little information is available on the role of major traffic hubs, such as airports, in the transmission of respiratory infections, including seasonal influenza and a pandemic threat. We investigated the presence of respiratory viruses in the passenger environment of a major airport in order to identify risk points and guide measures to minimize transmission.Methods: Surface and air samples were collected weekly at three different time points during the peak period of seasonal influenza in 2015 – 16 in Finland. Swabs from surface samples, and air samples were tested by real-time PCR for influenza A and B viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, rhinovirus and coronaviruses(229E, HKU1, NL63 and OC43).Results: Nucleic acid of at least one respiratory virus was detected in 9 out of 90 (10{\%}) surface samples, including: a plastic toy dog in the children’s playground (2/3 swabs, 67{\%}); hand-carried luggage trays at the security check area (4/8, 50{\%}); the buttons of the payment terminal at the pharmacy (1/2, 50{\%}); the handrails of stairs (1/7, 14{\%}); and the passenger side desk and divider glass at a passport control point (1/3, 33{\%}). Among the 10 respiratory virus findings at various sites , the viruses identified were: rhinovirus (4/10, 40{\%}, from surfaces); coronavirus (3/10, 30{\%}, from surfaces); adenovirus (2/10, 20{\%}, 1 air sample, 1 surface sample); influenza A (1/10, 10{\%}, surface sample).Conclusions: Detection of pathogen viral nucleic acids indicates respiratory viral surface contamination at multiple sites associated with high touch rates, and suggests a potential risk in the identified airport sites. Of the surfaces tested, plastic security screening trays appeared to pose the highest potential risk, and handling these is almost inevitable for all embarking passengers.",
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author = "Niina Ikonen and Carita Savolainen-Kopra and Joanne Enstone and Ilpo Kulmala and Pertti Pasanen and Anniina Salmela and Satu Salo and Jonathan Nguyen-Van-Tam and Petri Ruutu and {PANDHUB consortium}",
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Ikonen, N, Savolainen-Kopra, C, Enstone, J, Kulmala, I, Pasanen, P, Salmela, A, Salo, S, Nguyen-Van-Tam, J, Ruutu, P & PANDHUB consortium 2018, 'Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airports', BMC Infectious Diseases, vol. 18, no. 1, 437. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-018-3150-5

Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airports. / Ikonen, Niina (Corresponding Author); Savolainen-Kopra, Carita; Enstone, Joanne; Kulmala, Ilpo; Pasanen, Pertti; Salmela, Anniina; Salo, Satu; Nguyen-Van-Tam, Jonathan; Ruutu, Petri; PANDHUB consortium.

In: BMC Infectious Diseases, Vol. 18, No. 1, 437, 29.08.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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T1 - Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airports

AU - Ikonen, Niina

AU - Savolainen-Kopra, Carita

AU - Enstone, Joanne

AU - Kulmala, Ilpo

AU - Pasanen, Pertti

AU - Salmela, Anniina

AU - Salo, Satu

AU - Nguyen-Van-Tam, Jonathan

AU - Ruutu, Petri

AU - PANDHUB consortium,

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Y1 - 2018/8/29

N2 - Background: International and national travelling has made the rapid spread of infectious diseases possible. Little information is available on the role of major traffic hubs, such as airports, in the transmission of respiratory infections, including seasonal influenza and a pandemic threat. We investigated the presence of respiratory viruses in the passenger environment of a major airport in order to identify risk points and guide measures to minimize transmission.Methods: Surface and air samples were collected weekly at three different time points during the peak period of seasonal influenza in 2015 – 16 in Finland. Swabs from surface samples, and air samples were tested by real-time PCR for influenza A and B viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, rhinovirus and coronaviruses(229E, HKU1, NL63 and OC43).Results: Nucleic acid of at least one respiratory virus was detected in 9 out of 90 (10%) surface samples, including: a plastic toy dog in the children’s playground (2/3 swabs, 67%); hand-carried luggage trays at the security check area (4/8, 50%); the buttons of the payment terminal at the pharmacy (1/2, 50%); the handrails of stairs (1/7, 14%); and the passenger side desk and divider glass at a passport control point (1/3, 33%). Among the 10 respiratory virus findings at various sites , the viruses identified were: rhinovirus (4/10, 40%, from surfaces); coronavirus (3/10, 30%, from surfaces); adenovirus (2/10, 20%, 1 air sample, 1 surface sample); influenza A (1/10, 10%, surface sample).Conclusions: Detection of pathogen viral nucleic acids indicates respiratory viral surface contamination at multiple sites associated with high touch rates, and suggests a potential risk in the identified airport sites. Of the surfaces tested, plastic security screening trays appeared to pose the highest potential risk, and handling these is almost inevitable for all embarking passengers.

AB - Background: International and national travelling has made the rapid spread of infectious diseases possible. Little information is available on the role of major traffic hubs, such as airports, in the transmission of respiratory infections, including seasonal influenza and a pandemic threat. We investigated the presence of respiratory viruses in the passenger environment of a major airport in order to identify risk points and guide measures to minimize transmission.Methods: Surface and air samples were collected weekly at three different time points during the peak period of seasonal influenza in 2015 – 16 in Finland. Swabs from surface samples, and air samples were tested by real-time PCR for influenza A and B viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, rhinovirus and coronaviruses(229E, HKU1, NL63 and OC43).Results: Nucleic acid of at least one respiratory virus was detected in 9 out of 90 (10%) surface samples, including: a plastic toy dog in the children’s playground (2/3 swabs, 67%); hand-carried luggage trays at the security check area (4/8, 50%); the buttons of the payment terminal at the pharmacy (1/2, 50%); the handrails of stairs (1/7, 14%); and the passenger side desk and divider glass at a passport control point (1/3, 33%). Among the 10 respiratory virus findings at various sites , the viruses identified were: rhinovirus (4/10, 40%, from surfaces); coronavirus (3/10, 30%, from surfaces); adenovirus (2/10, 20%, 1 air sample, 1 surface sample); influenza A (1/10, 10%, surface sample).Conclusions: Detection of pathogen viral nucleic acids indicates respiratory viral surface contamination at multiple sites associated with high touch rates, and suggests a potential risk in the identified airport sites. Of the surfaces tested, plastic security screening trays appeared to pose the highest potential risk, and handling these is almost inevitable for all embarking passengers.

KW - Influenza virus

KW - Respiratory virus

KW - Surface contamination

KW - Airport

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U2 - 10.1186/s12879-018-3150-5

DO - 10.1186/s12879-018-3150-5

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VL - 18

JO - BMC Infectious Diseases

JF - BMC Infectious Diseases

SN - 1471-2334

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