Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) is routinely collected and analyzed in breath research. Because it contains aerosol droplets, EBC samples from SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals harbor the virus and pose the threat of infectious exposure. We report for the first time a safe and consistent method to fully inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in EBC samples and make EBC samples safe for processing and analysis. EBC samples containing infectious SARS-CoV-2 were treated with several concentrations of acetonitrile. The most commonly used 10% acetonitrile treatment for EBC processing failed to completely inactivate the virus in samples and viable virus was detected by the assay of SARS-CoV-2 infection of Vero E6 cells in a biosafety level 3 laboratory. Treatment with either 50% or 90% acetonitrile was effective to completely inactivate the virus, resulting in safe, non-infectious EBC samples that can be used for metabolomic analysis. Our study provides SARS-CoV-2 inactivation protocol for the collection and processing of EBC samples in the clinical setting and for advancing to metabolic assessments in health and disease.
- exhaled breath condensate (EBC)
- infectious material
- metabolomics analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine