Molecular identification of SARS-CoV-2 on environmental surfaces in healthcare facilities of a public university in Brazil
Keywords:covid-19, rt-pcr , monitoring, transmission, contamination.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) decreed the pandemic of COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for more than 4.5 million deaths to date. This new reality demanded responses from the authorities and the population in order to mitigate the spread of the virus and avoid the collapse of the health system, as well as health surveillance studies, which enabled a better understanding of the mechanisms of virus transmission and made it possible to identify risk zones within cities or public environments. This study aims to identify the presence of SARS-CoV-2 within the Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, which provides health services to the local population, as well as to perform an internal control at the university's Molecular Biochemistry Laboratory (LaBioqMol), where RT-PCR tests are performed weekly. Twenty-one samples were collected from areas frequently touched by people, and the presence of viral RNA and human genetic material was identified by RT-PCR. In none of the samples was the presence of the virus detected. However, in 8 (38.1%) of the samples the RNaseP gene amplification was verified, indicating the presence of human cells. This study assists in quality control and assurance at LaBioqMol and strengthens the view that environmental contamination by SARS-CoV-2 is probably less frequent than was previously suggested at the beginning of the pandemic.