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Comparison of the Activity of Alcohol-Based Handrubs Against Human Noroviruses Using the Fingerpad Method and Quantitative Real-Time PCR

Noroviruses (NoV) are the most common cause of acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis in the United States, and human hands play an important role in their transmission.  Little is known about the efficacy of hand hygiene agents against these highly infectious pathogens.

We investigated the activity of seven commercially available hand hygiene products against human noroviruses by in vivo fingerpad tests. The in vivo activity of alcohol-based handrubs ranged from 0.10 to 3.74 log reduction and was not solely dependent on alcohol concentration. A handrub (VF481) based on 70% ethanol and a blend of other skin care ingredients reduced Norwalk virus (NV) by 3.74 log in 15 s and provided significantly greater NV reduction than all the other products tested (P\0.001).

Furthermore, VF481 was the most effective product tested against the NoV genogroup II strains Snow Mountain virus (GII.2) and a GII.4 strain. These results demonstrate that alcohol by itself is not effective against NoV, but effective formulation of alcohol-based handrubs can achieve significant reduction of norovirus RNA on fingers.

Author: Liu P, Macinga DR, Fernandez ML, Zapka C, Hsiao HM, Berger B, Arbogast JW, Moe CL

Citation: Food Environ Virol (2011) 3:35–42, DOI 10.1007/s12560-011-9053-x

Published: 16/02/2011

Publication Type: Journal article