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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1994 Oct;60(10):3704-10.

Survival of enteric viruses on environmental fomites.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Barcelona, Spain.


The survival of human enteric viruses on several porous (paper and cotton cloth) and nonporous (aluminum, china, glazed tile, latex, and polystyrene) environmental surfaces has been evaluated. Viruses persisted for extended periods on several types of materials commonly found in institutions and domestic environments. The stability of the viruses was generally influenced by environmental factors such as relative humidity (RH), temperature, and the type of surface contaminated. Overall, hepatitis A virus (HAV) and human rotavirus (HRV) were more resistant to inactivation than enteric adenovirus (ADV) and poliovirus (PV). The resistance to the desiccation step appears to be of major significance in determining the survival of a virus dried on fomites. ADV and PV showed a pronounced decrease in titer at this stage, whereas HAV and HRV displayed little decay at the desiccation step. HAV and HRV persistence was not affected by the presence of fecal material. On nonporous surfaces, PV and ADV persisted better in the presence of feces. However, on porous fomites the presence of fecal material had a negative influence on the survival of PV and ADV. Except for HRV, greater virus survival was observed at 4 degrees than at 20 degrees C. PV and HAV survival was enhanced at high RH; the survival of the latter was enhanced at least for nonporous materials. When dried on porous materials, HRV also exhibited greater persistence at high RH. The survival of ADV was not affected by RH. The validity of using bacteriophages of Bacteroides fragilis as indicators of human viruses dried on fomites was evaluated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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