Efficacy of Commonly Used Disinfectants for Inactivation of Human Noroviruses and their Surrogates
Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are the most common cause of acute viral gastroenteritis worldwide and are a leading cause of foodborne disease. Their environmental persistence and purported resistance to disinfection undoubtedly contribute to their success as foodborne disease agents.
The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of three commonly used disinfectant active ingredients against representative HuNoV strains and cultivable surrogates. Ethanol (50, 70, and 90%), sodium hypochlorite (5, 75, 250, 500, and 1,000 ppm), and a quaternary ammonium compound blend (at 0.1×, 1.0×, and 10× concentrations) were evaluated against two norovirus (NoV) genogroup II strains (GII.2 and GII.4) and two surrogates (feline calicivirus [FCV] and murine norovirus [MNV-1]).
Virucidal suspension assays (30-s exposure) were conducted in accordance with ASTM International standard E-1052. Virus inactivation was quantified using reverse transcription quantitative PCR targeting the ORFI-ORFII junction (HuNoV), the RNA polymerase region (MNV-1), or the ORFI region (FCV); infectivity assays were also performed for MNV-1 and FCV. The two HuNoV strains and FCV were relatively resistant to ethanol (<0.5 log inactivation) irrespective of concentration, but MNV-1 was much more susceptible (log inactivation, ∼2.0 log at higher ethanol concentrations). Both HuNoV strains were more resistant to hypochlorite than were either of the animal surrogates, with the human strains requiring ≥500 ppm of hypochlorite to achieve statistically significant reduction (≥3.0 log) in virus concentration. All four viruses were resistant to inactivation (<0.5-log reduction) using the quaternary ammonium compound formulation at all concentrations tested.
This study is novel in that it clearly demonstrates the relative ineffectiveness of common active disinfectant ingredients against HuNoV and highlights the fact that the cultivable surrogates do not always mimic HuNoV strains.
Citation: J Food Prot. 2013 Jul;76(7):1210-7. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-12-532
Publication Type: Journal article
Publisher: Journal of Food Protection