Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is one of the main routes of transmission, particularly in indoor environments without adequate ventilation. According to Priscilla Gomes da Silva, “detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus is not difficult, but identifying whether it is still capable of replicating, that is, whether it continues to be able to infect or not, requires a laboratory with a higher biosecurity level, which is often not available in most research institutes”.
Entitled ‘AIRCOV: SARS-CoV-2 presence and infectivity on indoor air samples’, the project distinguished by the financial mechanism promoted by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway was developed in partnership with specialists in environmental virology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Oslo, Norway).
EEA bilateral relations funds allowed student Priscilla Gomes da Silva, from the Doctoral Program in Biomedical Sciences at the Abel Salazar School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (ICBAS) from Porto University, to develop her research on the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the environment. In addition to traveling to Norway, the young researcher later continued her work in Portugal, benefiting from the knowledge gained from the partner team regarding an alternative method to assess viral viability in air samples without the need to replicate the virus in cells or animals, which excludes the need for a higher biosecurity level facility. During her stay in Norway, Priscilla Gomes da Silva also had the opportunity to teach her Norwegian colleagues the protocol used for air sampling, thus enriching the exchange of knowledge between the two countries.
The research project culminated in the publication of a study where the enzymatic pre-treatment protocol learned in Norway was applied, with another being in preparation.
As part of the finalization of the project, the final workshop will take place on 05/11/2023 at 3:00 pm at the ICBAS-UP facilities (auditorium 1), where the results obtained in this project will be presented and discussed. The workshop will take place in a hybrid model (face-to-face/videoconference).
You can participate via Zoom through this link:
Meeting ID: 798 8071 5565