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J Hosp Infect. 1991 Apr;17(4):279-85.

The use of bacteriophage MS2 as a model system to evaluate virucidal hand disinfectants.

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Unilever Research, Sharnbrook, Bedford, UK.


A model system which would closely reflect the resistance of poliovirus but could be easily performed in any microbiology laboratory would offer considerable advantages for rapidly screening hand decontamination products. The use of the bacteriophage MS2 as a simple model for virucidal testing has been evaluated. In suspension tests the sensitivity of MS2 to alcohols, organic acids and alkalis generally reflected that observed in studies using poliovirus. MS2 could be applied and recovered from the hands of volunteers with high efficiency. Furthermore MS2 proved to be a suitable replacement for Escherichia coli in a standard hand-decontamination test.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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