Journal of applied microbiology

Contact inactivation of orthopoxviruses by household disinfectants.

PMID 16033458


The aim of this study is to identify common household disinfectants that combine significant activity against the type orthopoxvirus, vaccinia virus with minimal impact in terms of potential toxicity and/or damage to household or personal items. Laboratory scale experiments assessed common disinfectants containing anionic and nonionic detergents, oxygen-based bleach, potassium peroxomonosulfate, chloroxylenol or halogenated phenols. Disinfectants were assessed for their ability to inactivate the virus on contact or after a short incubation period in the presence and absence of foetal bovine serum as a potential interferant. Significant differences were observed ranging from negligible effect of detergents to complete inactivation on contact with chloroxylenol. At least one chloroxylenol-based household disinfectant is available, which inactivates vaccinia virus on contact. In the event of a release or major outbreak of a pathogenic orthopoxvirus there is likely to be significant public demand for disinfectants with activity against these viruses. The identification of common household disinfectants with such activity obviates any requirement to stockpile or distribute laboratory/industrial disinfectants for this purpose.

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