A realistic transfer method reveals low risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via contaminated euro coins and banknotes
D Todt, TL Meister, B Tamele, J Howes, D Paulmann, B Becker, FHH Brill, M Wind, J Schijven, N Heinen, V Kinast, B Mhlekude, C Goffinet, A Krawczyk, J Steinmann, S Pfaender, Y Brüggermann, E Steinmann
A realistic transfer method reveals low risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via contaminated euro coins and banknotes, ISCIENCE (2021), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.102908.
The current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has created a significant threat to global health. While respiratory aerosols or droplets are considered as the main route of human-to-human transmission, secretions expelled by infected individuals can also contaminate surfaces and objects, potentially creating the risk of fomite-based transmission. Consequently, frequently touched objects such as paper currency and coins have been suspected as potential transmission vehicle. To assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by banknotes and coins, we examined the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and bovine coronavirus (BCoV), as surrogate with lower biosafety restrictions, on these different means of payment and developed a touch transfer method to examine transfer efficiency from contaminated surfaces to fingertips. Although we observed prolonged virus stability, our results indicate that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via contaminated coins and banknotes is unlikely and requires high viral loads and a timely order of specific events.