P3 Team Member featured in The New York Times.

11 Aug 2020

Pittsburgh Phage Project team member, Seema Lakadawala, PhD was featured in a New York Times article titled 'A Smoking Gun': Infectious Coronavirus Retrieved From Hospital Air published on August, 11, 2020. 

Airborne virus plays a significant role in community transmission, many experts believe. A new study fills in the missing piece: Floating virus can infect cells.

The findings should also push people to heed precautions for airborne transmission like improved ventilation, said Seema Lakdawala, a respiratory virus expert at the University of Pittsburgh.

“We all know that this virus can transmit by all these modes, but we’re only focusing on a small subset,” Dr. Lakdawala said.

She and other experts noted one strange aspect of the new study. The team reported finding just as much viral RNA as they did infectious virus, but other methods generally found about 100-fold more genetic matter.

“When you do nasal swabs or clinical samples, there is a lot more RNA than infectious virus,” Dr. Lakdawala said.

Read the full story here