Systematic Review of the Key Factors Influencing the Indoor Airborne Spread of SARS-CoV-2: Pathogens

Simon de Crane D’Heysselaer, Gianni Parisi, Maxime Lisson, Olivier Bruyère, Anne Françoise Donneau, Sebastien Fontaine, Laurent Gillet, Fabrice Bureau, Gilles Darcis, Etienne Thiry, Mariette Ducatez, Chantal J. Snoeck, Stéphan Zientara, Nadia Haddad, Marie France Humblet, Louisa F. Ludwig-Begall, Georges Daube, Damien Thiry, Benoît Misset, Bernard LambermontYacine Tandjaoui-Lambiotte, Jean Raph Zahar, Kevin Sartor, Catherine Noël, Claude Saegerman*, Eric Haubruge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic due to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been plaguing the world since late 2019/early 2020 and has changed the way we function as a society, halting both economic and social activities worldwide. Classrooms, offices, restaurants, public transport, and other enclosed spaces that typically gather large groups of people indoors, and are considered focal points for the spread of the virus. For society to be able to go “back to normal”, it is crucial to keep these places open and functioning. An understanding of the transmission modes occurring in these contexts is essential to set up effective infection control strategies. This understanding was made using a systematic review, according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses statement (PRISMA) 2020 guidelines. We analyze the different parameters influencing airborne transmission indoors, the mathematical models proposed to understand it, and discuss how we can act on these parameters. Methods to judge infection risks through the analysis of the indoor air quality are described. Various mitigation measures are listed, and their efficiency, feasibility, and acceptability are ranked by a panel of experts in the field. Thus, effective ventilation procedures controlled by CO2-monitoring, continued mask wearing, and a strategic control of room occupancy, among other measures, are put forth to enable a safe return to these essential places.

Original languageEnglish
Article number382
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2023


  • air quality
  • airborne transmission
  • CO
  • COVID-19
  • indoor
  • mitigation measures
  • SARS-CoV-2


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