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Am J Infect Control. 1990 Feb;18(1):18-23.

Survival and disinfection of parainfluenza viruses on environmental surfaces.

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College of Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus.


Three dilutions of each of three parainfluenza strains were placed on nonabsorptive (stainless steel, laminated plastic, skin) and absorptive (hospital gown, facial tissue, laboratory coat) surfaces to assess persistence of virus recovery at 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 hours. Virus persisted longest on stainless steel. Additionally, the ability to recover virus was enhanced by increasing the initial concentration of virus in the initial inoculum. Drying of the inoculum on surfaces reduced but did not immediately eliminate the ability to recover virus. Cleaning the contaminated surface with a number of commonly available disinfectant or antiseptic agents reduced or eliminated virus with only short exposure times. It is likely that removal of contaminated material by vigorous cleaning was as important as the actual disinfecting substance. In general, all three strains of parainfluenza virus responded similarly. Persistence of all three strains of parainfluenza virus for up to 10 hours on nonabsorptive surfaces and up to 4 hours on absorptive surfaces suggests a need to consider fomites a possible source of transmission of the parainfluenza viruses inside and outside the hospital.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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