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J Hosp Infect. 2006 Jun;63(2):205-10. Epub 2006 Apr 5.

Disinfection of fabrics and carpets artificially contaminated with calicivirus: relevance in institutional and healthcare centres.

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Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.


Fabrics and carpets are used widely as surface coverings or linens in healthcare settings and are prone to contamination with infectious agents such as noroviruses (NoVs). Laundering, water cleaning and vacuuming are considered to be adequate for routine cleaning of these materials, but no standard procedure for their disinfection is available in case of contamination. Testing disinfectants for their efficacy against NoVs is difficult because these viruses cannot be cultivated in vitro. Therefore, feline calicivirus (FCV) has gained acceptance as a surrogate model for NoVs in disinfectant efficacy testing. The present study evaluated five disinfectants against FCV on various fabrics or carpets. FCV was dried on fabrics and carpets, followed by treatment with a given disinfectant for a defined contact time of 1, 5 or 10 min. The surviving virus was then eluted and titrated in Crandell-Reese feline kidney cells to determine virus inactivation. A disinfectant was considered to be effective if it inactivated at least 99% of the applied virus. Metricide, an activated dialdehyde-based product, was found to be the most effective disinfectant on all types of fabric and carpet, inactivating more than 99.99% of the virus in 1-10 min. In general, effectiveness of disinfectants increased with an increase in exposure time from 1 to 10 min. The disinfection of carpets was more difficult than the disinfection of fabrics; 100% polyester was the least amenable to disinfection. Only Metricide and Microbac-II (a phenolic compound) were able to inactivate 99% of FCV on 100% polyester. In summary, activated dialdehyde was found to be uniformly active against FCV on all types of material tested.

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