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J Hosp Infect. 2004 Apr;56 Suppl 2:S49-54.

Surrogate viruses for testing virucidal efficacy of chemical disinfectants.

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Mikrolab GmbH, Norderoog 2, D-28259 Bremen, Germany.


Since important agents of viral nosocomial infections like hepatitis B and C viruses and norovirus do not replicate sufficiently in cell culture systems, disinfectants with suspected efficacy against these viruses must be evaluated by different methods. Besides molecular approaches and indirect tests, the use of surrogate viruses with similar biophysical properties and genomic structure allows the assessment of virucidal efficacy of chemical disinfectants in quantitative suspension tests. Furthermore, insights into the survival of these viruses in the environment are possible. In recent years, duck hepatitis B virus and bovine viral diarrhoea virus have been tested as surrogates for hepatitis B and C viruses. Feline calicivirus serves as a surrogate for the group of norovirus. By including these viruses in inactivation experiments, valuable data from suspension tests can be derived on the virucidal efficacy of chemical disinfectants. Even in vivo tests using fingerpads of adult volunteers can be performed with these animal viruses without risk of infection. In contrast to in vitro examinations, the results of these tests allow use recommendations of chemical disinfectants for outbreak situations and daily routine disinfection.

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