Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents

This review of previously reported studies was published in March 2020, so provides a very current update on the persistence of (human and veterinary) coronaviruses (such as SARS-CoV-2) on surfaces and their inactivation with potential disinfection reagents.

The analysis of 22 studies revealed that human coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV) can persist on surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days.

However, these coronaviruses can be effectively inactivated using common disinfectants including:

  • 62–71% ethanol for 1 minute
  • 0.5% hydrogen peroxide for 1 minute
  • 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute

Other biocidal agents such as 0.05–0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02% chlorhexidine digluconate were found to be less effective.

REFERENCE:

Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S and Steinmann E (2020) Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. Journal of Hospital Infection, 104(3), 246-251.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022

Published by Stuart Khan

Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales

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