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Article

Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Bivalve Mollusks by Droplet Digital RT-PCR (dd RT-PCR)

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Department of Food Security Coordination, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Mezzogiorno, Via Salute No. 2, 80055 Portici, Italy
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Department of Food Safety, Nutrition and Veterinary Public Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
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Centro di Referenza Nazionale per l’Analisi e Studio di Correlazione tra Ambiente, Animale e Uomo, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Mezzogiorno, Via Salute No. 2, 80055 Portici, Italy
4
Department of Environment and Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jeffrey L. Ram, William D. Shuster, Donna R. Kashian and Lance Gable
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020943
Received: 1 December 2021 / Revised: 7 January 2022 / Accepted: 10 January 2022 / Published: 14 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Collection COVID-19 Pandemic and the Environment)
Bivalve shellfish are readily contaminated by human pathogens present in waters impacted by municipal sewage, and the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in feces of infected patients and in wastewater has drawn attention to the possible presence of the virus in bivalves. The aim of this study was to collect data on SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in bivalve mollusks from harvesting areas of Campania region. A total of 179 samples were collected between September 2019 and April 2021 and were tested using droplet digital RT-PCR (dd RT-PCR) and real-time RT-PCR. Combining results obtained with different assays, SARS-CoV-2 presence was detected in 27/179 (15.1%) of samples. A median viral concentration of 1.1 × 102 and 1.4 × 102 g.c./g was obtained using either Orf1b nsp14 or RdRp/gene E, respectively. Positive results were unevenly distributed among harvesting areas and over time, positive samples being more frequent after January 2021. Partial sequencing of the spike region was achieved for five samples, one of which displaying mutations characteristic of the Alpha variant (lineage B.1.1.7). This study confirms that bivalve mollusks may bioaccumulate SARS-CoV-2 to detectable levels and that they may represent a valuable approach to track SARS-CoV-2 in water bodies and to monitor outbreak trends and viral diversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; bivalve; shellfish; PCR; variant SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; bivalve; shellfish; PCR; variant
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mancusi, A.; Capuano, F.; Girardi, S.; Di Maro, O.; Suffredini, E.; Di Concilio, D.; Vassallo, L.; Cuomo, M.C.; Tafuro, M.; Signorelli, D.; Pierri, A.; Pizzolante, A.; Cerino, P.; La Rosa, G.; Proroga, Y.T.R.; Pierri, B. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Bivalve Mollusks by Droplet Digital RT-PCR (dd RT-PCR). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 943. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020943

AMA Style

Mancusi A, Capuano F, Girardi S, Di Maro O, Suffredini E, Di Concilio D, Vassallo L, Cuomo MC, Tafuro M, Signorelli D, Pierri A, Pizzolante A, Cerino P, La Rosa G, Proroga YTR, Pierri B. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Bivalve Mollusks by Droplet Digital RT-PCR (dd RT-PCR). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(2):943. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020943

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mancusi, Andrea, Federico Capuano, Santa Girardi, Orlandina Di Maro, Elisabetta Suffredini, Denise Di Concilio, Lucia Vassallo, Maria C. Cuomo, Maria Tafuro, Daniel Signorelli, Andrea Pierri, Antonio Pizzolante, Pellegrino Cerino, Giuseppina La Rosa, Yolande T.R. Proroga, and Biancamaria Pierri. 2022. "Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Bivalve Mollusks by Droplet Digital RT-PCR (dd RT-PCR)" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 2: 943. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020943

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