[Clinical Infectious Diseases] Surgical mask partition reduces the risk of non-contact transmission in a golden Syrian hamster model for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Clinical Infectious Diseases, 30 May 2020

Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, Shuofeng Yuan, Anna Jinxia Zhang, Vincent Kwok-Man Poon, Chris Chung-Sing Chan, Andrew Chak-Yiu Lee, Zhimeng Fan, Can Li, Ronghui Liang, Jianli Cao, Kaiming Tang, Cuiting Luo, Vincent Chi-Chung Cheng, Jian-Piao Cai, Hin Chu, Kwok-Hung Chan, Kelvin Kai-Wang To, Siddharth Sridhar, Kwok-Yung Yuen


  • We placed SARS-CoV-2-challenged index hamsters and naïve hamsters into closed system units each comprising two different cages separated by a polyvinyl chloride air porous partition with unidirectional airflow within the isolator.
  • Non-contact transmission was found in 66.7% (10/15) of exposed naïve hamsters. Surgical mask partition for challenged index or naïve hamsters significantly reduced transmission to 25% (6/24, P=0.018). Surgical mask partition for challenged index hamsters significantly reduced transmission to only 16.7% (2/12, P=0.019) of exposed naïve hamsters.
  • Unlike the severe COVID-19 manifestations of challenged hamsters, infected naïve hamsters had lower clinical scores, milder histopathological changes, and lower viral nucleocapsid antigen expression in respiratory tract tissues.

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Related news reports about this research: SCMP, RTHK, AFP , Business Insider
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