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J Virol Methods. 2013 Feb;187(2):333-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2012.10.009. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

Susceptibility of monkeypox virus aerosol suspensions in a rotating chamber.

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Infectious Disease Aerobiology, Division of Microbiology, Tulane National Primate Research Center, Covington, LA, United States.


Viral aerosols can have a major impact on public health and on the dynamics of infection. Once aerosolized, viruses are subjected to various stress factors and their integrity and potential of infectivity can be altered. Empirical characterization is needed in order to predict more accurately the fate of these bioaerosols both for short term and long term suspension in the air. Here the susceptibility to aerosolization of the monkeypox virus (MPXV), associated with emerging zoonotic diseases, was studied using a 10.7 L rotating chamber. This chamber was built to fit inside a Class three biological safety cabinet, specifically for studying airborne biosafety level three (BSL3) microorganisms. Airborne viruses were detected by culture and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) after up to 90 h of aging. Viral concentrations detected dropped by two logs for culture analysis and by one log for qPCR analysis within the first 18 h of aging; viral concentrations were stable between 18 and 90 h, suggesting a potential for the MPXV to retain infectivity in aerosols for more than 90 h. The rotating chamber used in this study maintained viral particles airborne successfully for prolonged periods and could be used to study the susceptibility of other BSL3 microorganisms.

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