Plastics have been found to be colonized with pathogens and may become vectors for transmission of diseases. In this study, we evaluated the persistence of H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) on the surfaces of various plastics (PP, PE, PS, PET, PVC, PMMA) under different environmental conditions using glass and stainless steel for comparison. Our results showed that the RNA abundance of AIV on plastics was decreased over time but still detectable 14 days after AIV had been dropped on plastic surfaces. Low temperature (4 °C) was more favorable for AIV RNA preservation and infectivity maintenance. The abundance of AIV RNA was significantly greater on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) than that on glass and stainless steel at higher temperature (i.e., 25 °C and 37 °C) and lower humidity (<20% and 40-60%) (p < 0.05). Infectivity assay showed that AIV infectivity was only maintained at 4 °C after 24 h of incubation. Taken together, the persistence of AIV was more affected by environmental factors than material types. Plastics were able to preserve viral RNA more effectively in relatively high-temperature or low-humidity environments. Our study indicates that environmental factors should be taken into consideration when we evaluate the capacity of plastics to spread viruses.
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