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J Hosp Infect. 2015 Jul;90(3):226-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2015.02.019. Epub 2015 Apr 10.

Reducing viral contamination from finger pads: handwashing is more effective than alcohol-based hand disinfectants.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands; Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Screening, Center for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
2
Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: Wilma.Hazeleger@wur.nl.
3
Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Screening, Center for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands; Department of Virology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
5
Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Screening, Center for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hand hygiene is important for interrupting transmission of viruses through hands. Effectiveness of alcohol-based hand disinfectant has been shown for bacteria but their effectiveness in reducing transmission of viruses is ambiguous.

AIM:

To test efficacy of alcohol hand disinfectant against human enteric and respiratory viruses and to compare efficacy of an alcohol-based hand disinfectant and handwashing with soap and water against norovirus.

METHODS:

Efficacies of a propanol and an ethanol-based hand disinfectant against human enteric and respiratory viruses were tested in carrier tests. Efficacy of an alcohol-based hand disinfectant and handwashing with soap and water against noroviruses GI.4, GII.4, and MNV1 were tested using finger pad tests.

FINDINGS:

The alcohol-based hand disinfectant reduced the infectivity of rotavirus and influenza A virus completely within 30s whereas poliovirus Sabin 1, adenovirus type 5, parechovirus 1, and MNV1 infectivity were reduced <3 log10 within 3 min. MNV1 infectivity reduction by washing hands with soap and water for 30s (>3.0 ± 0.4 log10) was significantly higher than treating hands with alcohol (2.8 ± 1.5 log10). Washing with soap and water for 30s removed genomic copies of MNV1 (>5 log10), noroviruses GI.4 (>6 log10), and GII.4 (4 log10) completely from all finger pads. Treating hands with propanol-based hand disinfectant showed little or no reduction to complete reduction with mean genomic copy reduction of noroviruses GI.4, GII.4, and MNV1 being >2.6, >3.3, and >1.2 log10 polymerase chain reaction units respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Washing hands with soap and water is better than using alcohol-based hand disinfectants in removing noroviruses from hands.

KEYWORDS:

Carrier test; Enteric virus; Finger pad test; Foodborne viruses; Hand disinfection; Norovirus; Respiratory viruses

PMID:
25936671
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhin.2015.02.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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