The survival of filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg) in liquids, on solid substrates and in a dynamic aerosol
Filoviruses are associated with high morbidity and lethality rates in humans, are capable of human-to-human transmission, via infected material such as blood, and are believed to have low infectious doses for humans. Filoviruses are able to infect via the respiratory route and are lethal at very low doses in experimental animal models, but there is minimal information on how well the filoviruses survive within aerosol particles. There is also little known about how well filoviruses survive in liquids or on solid surfaces which is important in management of patients or samples that have been exposed to filoviruses.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
Filoviruses were tested for their ability to survive in different liquids and on different solid substrates at different temperatures. The decay rates of filoviruses in a dynamic aerosol were also determined.
Our study has shown that Lake Victoria marburgvirus (MARV) and Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) can survive for long periods in different liquid media and can also be recovered from plastic and glass surfaces at low temperatures for over 3 weeks. The decay rates of ZEBOV and Reston ebolavirus (REBOV) plus MARV within a dynamic aerosol were calculated. ZEBOV and MARV had similar decay rates, whilst REBOV showed significantly better survival within an aerosol.
SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:
Data on the survival of two ebolaviruses are presented for the first time. Extended data on the survival of MARV are presented. Data from this study extend the knowledge on the survival of filoviruses under different conditions and provide a basis with which to inform risk assessments and manage exposure to filoviruses.