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Am J Epidemiol. 1982 Nov;116(5):828-33.

Transmission of experimental rhinovirus infection by contaminated surfaces.

Abstract

Transfer of experimental rhinovirus infection by an intermediary environmental surface was examined in healthy young adults, in four studies done in 1980--1981, by having recipients handle surfaces previously contaminated by infected donors. Recipients touched their nasal and conjunctival mucosa after touching the surfaces. Five (50%) of 10 recipients developed infection after exposure to virus-contaminated coffee cup handles and nine (56%) of 16 became infected after exposure to contaminated plastic tiles. Spraying of contaminated tiles with a commercially available phenol/alcohol disinfectant reduced (p = 0.003) the rate of recovery of virus from the tiles from 42% (20/47) to 8% (2/26). Similarly, the rate of detection of virus on fingers touching the tiles was reduced (p = 0.001) from 61% (28/46) with unsprayed tiles to 21% (11/53) with sprayed tiles. Fifty-six per cent (9/16) of the recipients exposed on three consecutive days to untreated tiles became infected while 35% (7/20) touching only sprayed tiles became infected with rhinovirus (p = 0.3). These studies indicate that experimental rhinovirus colds can be spread by way of contaminated environmental surfaces and suggest that disinfectant treatment of such surfaces may reduce risk of viral transmission by this route.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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