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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008 May;74(10):3002-7. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00076-08. Epub 2008 Mar 21.

Survival of influenza virus on banknotes.

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  • 1Central Laboratory of Virology, Division of Infectious Diseases, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. yves.thomas@hcuge.ch

Abstract

Successful control of a viral disease requires knowledge of the different vectors that could promote its transmission among hosts. We assessed the survival of human influenza viruses on banknotes given that billions of these notes are exchanged daily worldwide. Banknotes were experimentally contaminated with representative influenza virus subtypes at various concentrations, and survival was tested after different time periods. Influenza A viruses tested by cell culture survived up to 3 days when they were inoculated at high concentrations. The same inoculum in the presence of respiratory mucus showed a striking increase in survival time (up to 17 days). Similarly, B/Hong Kong/335/2001 virus was still infectious after 1 day when it was mixed with respiratory mucus. When nasopharyngeal secretions of naturally infected children were used, influenza virus survived for at least 48 h in one-third of the cases. The unexpected stability of influenza virus in this nonbiological environment suggests that unusual environmental contamination should be considered in the setting of pandemic preparedness.

PMID:
18359825
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2394922
Free PMC Article
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