The world is experiencing the worst global health crisis in recent decades since December/2019 due to a new pandemic coronavirus. The COVID-19 disease, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has resulted in more than 30 million cases and 950 thousand deaths worldwide as of September 21, 2020. Determining the extent of the virus on public surfaces is critical for understanding the potential risk of infection in these areas. In this study, we investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on public surfaces in a densely populated urban area in Brazil. Forty-nine of 933 samples tested positive (5.25%) for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, including samples collected from distinct material surfaces, including metal and concrete, and distinct places, mainly around hospital care units and public squares. Our data indicated the contamination of public surfaces by SARS-CoV-2, suggesting the circulation of infected patients and the risk of infection for the population. Constant monitoring of the virus in urban areas is required as a strategy to fight the pandemic and prevent further infections.


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Abrahão, J., Sacchetto, L., Rezende, I., Rodrigues, R., Crispim, A., Moura, C., Mendonca, D., Reis, E., Souza, F., Oliveira, G., Domingos, I., de Miranda Boratto, P., Silva, P., Queiroz, V., Machado, T., Andrade, L., Lourenço, K., Silva, T., Oliveira, G., de Souza Alves, V., Alves, P., Kroon, E., de Souza Trindade, G. & Drumond, B. 2020, 'Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on public surfaces in a densely populated urban area of Brazil: a potential tool for monitoring the circulation of infected patients', Science of The Total Environment, 766, article no: 142645. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142645

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Last updated: 27 January 2023
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