Environmental Stability of SARS-CoV-2 on Different Types of Surfaces under Indoor and Seasonal Climate Conditions

Pathogens. 2021 Feb 18;10(2):227. doi: 10.3390/pathogens10020227.


Transmission of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mainly occurs through direct contact with an infected person via droplets. A potential role of contaminated surfaces in SARS-CoV-2 transmission has been suggested since the virus has been extensively detected on environmental surfaces. These findings have driven the investigation of virus stability on surfaces under several conditions. However, it remains unclear how long the infectious virus survives on surfaces under different climate conditions, which could play a role in predicting the seasonality of SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the virus stability and its biological half-life on various types of surfaces under indoor and seasonal climate conditions. This study revealed that SARS-CoV-2 survived the longest on surfaces under winter conditions, with a survival post-contamination on most surfaces up to 21 days, followed by spring/fall conditions, with a survival up to 7 days. Infectious virus was isolated up to 4 days post-contamination under indoor conditions, whereas no infectious virus was found at 3 days post-contamination under summer conditions. Our study demonstrates the remarkable persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on many different common surfaces, especially under winter conditions, and raises awareness to the potential risk of contaminated surfaces to spread the virus.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; environmental stability; fomite; virus decay.