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Am J Infect Control. 2011 Jun;39(5):401-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2010.08.011. Epub 2011 Jan 22.

Inactivation of surrogate coronaviruses on hard surfaces by health care germicides.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.



In the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak, finding viral nucleic acids on hospital surfaces suggested surfaces could play a role in spread in health care environments. Surface disinfection may interrupt transmission, but few data exist on the effectiveness of health care germicides against coronaviruses on surfaces.


The efficacy of health care germicides against 2 surrogate coronaviruses, mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) and transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), was tested using the quantitative carrier method on stainless steel surfaces. Germicides were o-phenylphenol/p-tertiary amylphenol) (a phenolic), 70% ethanol, 1:100 sodium hypochlorite, ortho-phthalaldehyde (OPA), instant hand sanitizer (62% ethanol), and hand sanitizing spray (71% ethanol).


After 1-minute contact time, for TGEV, there was a log(10) reduction factor of 3.2 for 70% ethanol, 2.0 for phenolic, 2.3 for OPA, 0.35 for 1:100 hypochlorite, 4.0 for 62% ethanol, and 3.5 for 71% ethanol. For MHV, log(10) reduction factors were 3.9 for 70% ethanol, 1.3 for phenolic, 1.7 for OPA, 0.62 for 1:100 hypochlorite, 2.7 for 62% ethanol, and 2.0 for 71% ethanol.


Only ethanol reduced infectivity of the 2 coronaviruses by >3-log(10) after 1 minute. Germicides must be chosen carefully to ensure they are effective against viruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

Copyright © 2011 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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