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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Viral Disinfection

Author
item Thurston Enriquez, Jeanette

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Disinfectants do not necessarily kill all microorganisms but are intended to reduce the number of disease-causing microorganisms to a safe level. Disinfectants used for the inactivation of viruses are termed viricides. In order to limit the transmission of pathogenic viruses in the home, childcare and health care facilities, in water and wastewater and on living surfaces, physical or chemical viricides are applied. Human pathogenic viruses may be present in an infectious state in water supplies, body fluids, food products or on inanimate objects (fomites) such as tables countertops, children's toys, etc. Thus, viricide practices include disinfection in the home, office, water and wastewater treatment plants, childcare centers, health care facilities and industry. Chemical disinfectants include chlorine and its related compounds, alcohols, detergents and phenolics. Physical disinfectants include heat, ultraviolet light and radiation. This review covers important chemical and physical disinfectants, disinfection kinetics, mechanisms of viral inactivation and factors important in disinfectant effectiveness.

Technical Abstract: Disinfectants do not necessarily kill all microorganisms but are intended to reduce the number of disease-causing microorganisms to a safe level. Disinfectants used for the inactivation of viruses are termed viricides. In order to limit the transmission of pathogenic viruses in the home, childcare and health care facilities, in water and wastewater and on living surfaces, physical or chemical viricides are applied. The action of viricides includes destruction or blocking of viral capsid proteins important for host cell attachment and/or destruction or fatal mutation of viral nucleic acid. Chemical disinfectants include chlorine and its related compounds, alcohols, detergents and phenolics. Physical disinfectants include heat, ultraviolet light and radiation. This review covers important chemical and physical disinfectants, disinfection kinetics, mechanism of viral inactivation and factors important in disinfectant effectiveness.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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