Environmental sampling for SARS-CoV-2 at a reference laboratory and provincial hospital in central Viet Nam, 2020

Authors

  • Thái Hùng Đỗ Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam
  • Văn Thành Nguyễn Binh Thuan General Hospital, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam
  • Thế Hùng Đinh Binh Thuan Center for Disease Control, Binh Thuan, Vietnam
  • Xuân Huy Lê Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam
  • Quang Chiêu Nguyễn Binh Thuan General Hospital, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam
  • Văn Quân Lê Binh Thuan Center for Disease Control, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam
  • Bảo Triệu Nguyễn Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam
  • Ngọc Bích Ngân Nguyễn, Binh Thuan General Hospital, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam
  • Thị Ngọc Phúc Nguyễn Binh Thuan Center for Disease Control, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam
  • Kim Mai Huỳnh Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam
  • Hoàng Long Trịnh Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam
  • Thị Kim Trang Lê Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam
  • Thùy Dung Diệp Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam
  • Thủy Thị Thu Đỗ United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hanoi, Viet Nam
  • Hiền Thị Thu Bùi United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hanoi, Viet Nam
  • Alyssa M. Finlay United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hanoi, Viet Nam
  • Quốc Việt Nguyễn Provincial Department of Health, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam
  • Philip L Gould United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hanoi, Viet Nam

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5365/wpsar.2020.11.4.002

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether environmental surface contamination with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) occurred at a provincial hospital in Viet Nam that admitted patients with novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and at the regional reference laboratory responsible for confirmatory testing for SARS-CoV-2 in 2020.

Methods: Environmental samples were collected from patient and staff areas at the hospital and various operational and staff areas at the laboratory. Specimens from frequently touched surfaces in all rooms were collected using a moistened swab rubbed over a 25 cm2 area for each surface. The swabs were immediately transported to the laboratory for testing by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Throat specimens were collected from staff at both locations and were also tested for SARS-CoV-2 using real-time RT-PCR.

Results: During the sampling period, the laboratory tested 6607 respiratory specimens for SARS-CoV-2 from patients within the region, and the hospital admitted 9 COVID-19 cases. Regular cleaning was conducted at both sites in accordance with infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. All 750 environmental samples (300 laboratory and 450 hospital) and 30 staff specimens were negative for SARS-CoV-2.

Discussion: IPC measures at the facilities may have contributed to the negative results from the environmental samples. Other possible explanations include sampling late in a patient’s hospital stay when virus load was lower, having insufficient contact time with a surface or using insufficiently moist collection swabs. Further environmental sampling studies of SARS-CoV-2 should consider including testing for the environmental presence of viruses within laboratory settings, targeting the collection of samples to early in the course of a patient’s illness and including sampling of confirmed positive control surfaces, while maintaining appropriate biosafety measures.

Author Biographies

Thái Hùng Đỗ, Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam

MSc, Dr.  Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Viet Nam

Dr. Thai Hung Do started his career at the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang as a researcher in the Microbiology Department in 1990, having received his medical degree in 1988. He worked in the Epidemiology Department from 1994 to 2010. In 2019, he was awarded a PhD in Epidemiology from Nagasaki University, Japan and became the Director of Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang in the same year.

Văn Thành Nguyễn, Binh Thuan General Hospital, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam

Dr. Specialist level II

Thế Hùng Đinh, Binh Thuan Center for Disease Control, Binh Thuan, Vietnam

MSc. Dr

Xuân Huy Lê, Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam

MSc. Dr.

Quang Chiêu Nguyễn, Binh Thuan General Hospital, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam

Dr.

Văn Quân Lê, Binh Thuan Center for Disease Control, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam

MSc

Bảo Triệu Nguyễn, Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam

MSc

Ngọc Bích Ngân Nguyễn,, Binh Thuan General Hospital, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam

Dr.

Thị Ngọc Phúc Nguyễn, Binh Thuan Center for Disease Control, Binh Thuan, Viet Nam

MSc

Kim Mai Huỳnh, Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam

MSc

Hoàng Long Trịnh, Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam

BA

Thị Kim Trang Lê, Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam

MSc

Thùy Dung Diệp, Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, Nha Trang, Viet Nam

Technician

Thủy Thị Thu Đỗ, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hanoi, Viet Nam

COVID-19 Laboratory Team

Hiền Thị Thu Bùi, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hanoi, Viet Nam

Laboratory Team Lead, U.S. CDC VN COVID Response Team

Alyssa M. Finlay, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hanoi, Viet Nam

Infection Prevention and Control Team Lead, U.S. CDC VN COVID Response Team

Philip L Gould, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hanoi, Viet Nam

Program Director, Influenza and Animal-Human Interface
Epidemiology Team Lead, U.S. CDC VN COVID Response Team

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Published

12-07-2021

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Section

COVID-19: Original Research