Noroviruses are the major cause for viral acute gastroenteritis in the world. Despite the existing infection prevention strategies in hospitals, the disease continues to spread and causes extensive and numerous outbreaks. Hence, there is a need to investigate the possibility of airborne transmission of norovirus. In this study, we developed an experimental setup for studies on the infectivity of aerosolized murine norovirus (MNV), a model for the human norovirus. Two aerosol generation principles were evaluated: bubble bursting, a common natural aerosolization mechanism, and nebulization, a common aerosolization technique in laboratory studies. The aerosolization setup was characterized by physical and viral dilution factors, generated aerosol particle size distributions, and the viral infectivity after aerosolization. We found a lower physical dilution factor when using the nebulization generator than with the bubble bursting generator. The viral dilution factor of the system was higher than the physical dilution; however, when comparing the physical and viral dilution factors, bubble bursting generation was more efficient. The infectivity per virus was similar using either generation principle, suggesting that the generation itself had a minor impact on MNV infectivity and that instead, the effect of drying in air could be a major reason for infectivity losses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15941
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Infectious Medicine


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