Original Article

Molecular Evaluation of the Novel Coronavirus Infection of Cockroaches and Flies Collected from Kamkar-Arabnia Hospital in Qom City, Central Iran: With Innovated Internal Control


Background: Due to the confirmation of the presence of the novel coronavirus in the feces and municipal sewerage system, and the feeding of domestic insects from fecal matter, as well as the ability of these insects to mechanically transmit microbes from the sewerage system. This study was aimed at molecular evaluation of the novel coronavirus infection isolated on cockroaches and flies collected from Kamkar-Arabnia Hospital in Qom City, Iran.
Methods: Totally, 18 samples; (12 samples cockroaches and 6 flies) from the external surface of cockroaches and houseflies as well as their digestive system were prepared. After designed and synthetized exogenous heterologous internal control, the RNA was extracted to investigate the contamination of these samples with the novel coronavirus. To detect the virus, the E and RdRp genes were identified.
Results: Investigation of coronavirus E gene using the multiplex one-step qPCR technique on the collected samples showed an amplification plot in CT= 35.70 related to the internal surfaces of cockroaches collected from the treatment and sick room of the hospital. Also, the design of internal control to ensure the accuracy of the extraction process was successful.
Conclusion: According to the findings of the present study regarding detecting the presence of the coronavirus infection in the digestive system of domestic insects such as American cockroaches and considering their ability to mechanically transmit viruses, it is recommended to control the domestic insects that are in close contact with humans in crowded places such as hospitals and health centers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

1. Rodriguez-Morales AJ, Cardona-Ospina JA, Gutiérrez-Ocampo E, Villamizar-Peña R, HolguinRivera Y, Escalera-Antezana J.P (2020) Clinical, laboratory and imaging features of COVID-19: A systematic review and meta- analysis. Travel Med tmaid.2020.101623
2. Su L, Ma X, Yu H, Zhang Z, Bian P, Han Y (2020) The different clinical characteristics of corona virus disease cases between children and their families in China – the character of children with COVID-19.
Emerg Microbes Infect. 9(1):706- 713. https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2020.1744483.
3. Hasheminik M, Parsaeimehr Z, Jamalinik M, Tajabadi A (2020) The challenge of transmission chain and effective hospital strategies in controlling the prevalence of covid-19. J Mil Med. 22 (2): 205-206. URL: http://militarymedj.ir/article-1-2436-en.html
4. Cui J, Li F, Shi Z (2019) Origin and evolution of pathogenic coronaviruses. Microbial. 17 (1): 181- 192. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41579-018-0118-9.
5. World Health Organization (2020) Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report-22 on 16 Aug, 2020.
https://www.who.int/docs/defaultsource/6. Saghafipour A (2020) Indirect and potential impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the public health. J Res Health Sci. 20(3): e00492. doi: 10.34172/jrhs.2020.25
7. Nikpouraghdam M, Farahani AJ, Alishiri G, Heydari S, Ebrahimnia M, Samadinia H (2020) Epidemiological characteristics of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in Iran: A single center study. J Clin Virol. 127(1): 104378. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104378
8. Chan JFW, Yuan S, Kok KH, To KKW, Chu H, Yang J (2020) A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating personto- person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet. 395(10223): 514-523. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30154-9
9. Cao Z, Li T, Liang L, Wang H, Wei F, Meng S (2020) Clinical characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 patients in Beijing, China. PLoS One. 15(6): e0234764. doi: 10.1371/journal. pone.0234764
10. Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, Ren L, Zhao J, Hu Y (2020) Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel Coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet. 395(10223): 497-506. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30183-5
11. Centers for disease control and prevention (2020) Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Accessed February 28, 2020, at https://www.cdc.gov/ Coronavirus/2019-Ncov/About/Transmission. Html)
12. Heller L, Mota CR, Greco DB (2020) COVID-19 faecal-oral transmission: Are we asking the right questions? Sci Total Environ. 729 (1): 138919. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138919
13. El-Sherbini GT (2011) The role of insects in mechanical transmission of human parasites. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 13(9): 678-679. doi: 10.5812/ kowsar.20741804.2253
14. Ghadir MR, Ebrazeh A, Khodadadi J, Zamanlu M, Shams S, Nasiri M (2020) The Covid-19 outbreak in Iran; the first patient with a definite diagnosis. Arch Iran Med. 23 (1): 503-504. doi: 10.34172/aim.2020.48
15. Corman VM, Landt O, Kaiser M, Molenkamp R, Meijer A, Chu DK (2020) Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR. Euro Surveill. 25(3): 2000045. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.3.2000045.
16. Jayaweera M, Perera H, Gunawardana B, Manatunge J (2020) Transmission of COVID-19 virus by droplets and aerosols: A critical review on the unresolved dichotomy. Environ Res. 188(1): 109819. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109819
17. Singhal T (2020) A review of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Indian J Pediatr. 87(4):281-286. doi: 10.1007/s12098-020-03263- 6
18. World Health Organization. (2014) Infec- tion Prevention and Control of Epidem- ic-and Pandemicprone Acute Respiratory Infections in Health Care. Geneva (avail- able at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/ handle/10665/112656/9789241507134_eng. nid=41AA684FB64571CE8D8A453C4F2B2096?sequence=1).
19. Khamesipour F, Lankarani KB, Honarvar B, Kwenti TE (2018) A systematic review of human pathogens carried by the housefly (Musca domestica L.). BMC Public Health. 18(1):1049. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5934-3
20. Baumholtz MA, Parish LC, Witkowski JA, Nutting WB (2008) The medical importance of cockroaches. Int J Dermatol. 36(2):90-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-4362.1997.00077.x.
21. Akbarzadeh K, Saghafipour A, Jesri N, KaramiJooshin M, Arzamani K, Hazratian T, Kordshouli RS, Afshar AA (2018) Spatial distribution of necrophagous flies of infraorder muscomorpha in Iran using geographical information system. J Med Entomol. 55(5):1071-1085. doi: 10.1093/ jme/tjy098.
22. Colton H, Ankcorn M, Yavuz M, Tovey L, Cope A, Raza M (2021) Improved sensitivity using a dual target, E and RdRp assay for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection: Experience at a large NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. J Infect. 82(1):159-198. doi:10.1016/j.jinf.2020.05.061
23. Sawicki SG, Sawicki DL, Siddell SG (2007) A contemporary view of coronavirus transcription. J Virol. 81(1):20-29. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01358-06.
24. Memona H, Manzoor F, Riaz S (2017) Species diversity and distributional pattern of cockroaches in Lahore,
Pakistan. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 11(2):249-259.
IssueVol 15 No 4 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/jad.v15i4.10500
Cockroaches Flies Hospital Novel coronavirus infection One-step qPCR Iran

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Saghafipour A, Fotouhi-Ardakani R, Kababian M, Alirezaei M, Vatandoost H. Molecular Evaluation of the Novel Coronavirus Infection of Cockroaches and Flies Collected from Kamkar-Arabnia Hospital in Qom City, Central Iran: With Innovated Internal Control. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 2022;15(4):358-365.