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Experimental use of molluscs to monitor SARS-CoV-2 in water

The presence and persistence of the SARS CoV-2 virus in sea water are still topics for which reliable scientific data is lacking (La Rosa G. et al., 2020). Although SARS CoV-2 spreads primarily through human-to-human transmission by means of "droplets" and direct contact, it has nevertheless been found in the feces and anal swabs of some patients (Xiao F. et al., 2020), hence why the hypothetical transmission also via fecal-oral route should be investigated.

In this webinar Dr Giuseppe Aprea outlines how the edible lamellibranch molluscs (MEL) may represent valid environmental sentinels to help understand this potential transmission route, since, in relation to their filtering capacity, they concentrate most of the microorganisms present in the waters, including viruses (Fusco G., Aprea G ., 2013). Dr Aprea also presents some of their preliminary data from their experimental study to evaluate the potential capacity of MEL (Chamelea gallina) to filter and bio-accumulate coronaviruses by using a SARS CoV-2 surrogate virus, the murine hepatitis virus (MHV).

This presentation was part of the Andor Virology Virtual Conference March 2021.

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