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J Hosp Infect. 2005 Jun;60(2):144-9.

Efficacy of three ethanol-based hand rubs against feline calicivirus, a surrogate virus for norovirus.

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  • 1Bode Chemie GmbH & Co., Scientific Affairs, Melanchthonstr. 27, 22525 Hamburg, Germany.


We investigated the efficacy of three ethanol-based hand rubs (Sterillium Virugard, 95% ethanol; Sterillium Rub, 80% ethanol; Desderman N, 75.1% ethanol) against feline calicivirus (FCV), the surrogate virus for norovirus, on artificially contaminated hands of healthy volunteers. The ASTM E 1838-02 standard was used. Experiments were controlled with 70% ethanol and 70% propan-1-ol which were previously found to have maximal efficacy against FCV. In the first step, three different organic loads (5% fetal bovine serum, 5% faecal suspension and the tripartite ASTM load) were compared. A significant influence of the type of organic load was found (P<0.001, ANOVA). In the second step, the hand rubs were investigated with a 5% faecal suspension as a challenging organic load. The hand rub based on 95% ethanol was more effective than those based on 70% ethanol (mean log10 reduction factor: 2.17 vs. 1.56; P=0.17) and 70% propan-1-ol (mean RF: 1.63 vs. 0.95; P=0.0003). The hand rub based on 80% ethanol was also more effective than those based on 70% ethanol (mean RF: 1.25 vs. 1.03: P=0.20) and 70% propan-1-ol (mean RF: 1.43 vs. 1.09; P=0.03). The hand rub based on 75.1% ethanol was less effective than those based on 70% ethanol (mean RF: 1.07 vs. 1.27; P=0.47) and 70% propan-1-ol (mean RF: 0.78 vs. 0.97; P=0.35). Based on our data, ethanol has superior efficacy against FCV than propan-1-ol. In addition, a higher ethanol concentration in three commercially available hand rubs was associated with better efficacy against FCV.

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