M Jia et al, 2022. SARS-CoV-2 Survival in Common Non-Alcoholic and Alcoholic Beverages, Foods, Volume 11 (6).
SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, is known to be transmitted by respiratory droplets and aerosols. Since the virus is shed at high concentrations in respiratory secretions and saliva, SARS-CoV-2 would also be expected to be transmitted through activities that involve the transfer of saliva from one individual to another, such as kissing or sharing beverages. To assess the survival of infectious SARS-CoV-2 in common beverages, we quantified infectious virus by plaque assays one hour after inoculation into 18 non-alcoholic and 16 alcoholic beverages, plus saliva, and also 7 days later for 5 of these beverages. SARS-CoV-2 remains infectious with minimal reductions in several common beverages, including milk and beer. However, cocoa, coffee, tea, fruit juices, and wine contain antiviral compounds that inactivate SARS-CoV-2. Although hard liquors containing 40% alcohol immediately inactivate SARS-CoV-2, mixing with non-alcoholic beverages reduces the antiviral effects. In summary, SARS-CoV-2 can be recovered from commonly consumed beverages in a beverage type and time-dependent manner. Although aerosol or droplet transmission remains the most likely mode of transmission, our findings combined with others suggest that beverages contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 during handling, serving, or through sharing of drinks should be considered as a potential vehicle for virus transmission.
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