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The Journal of hospital infection

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

J Hosp Infect. March 2020;104(3):246-251.
G Kampf1, D Todt2, S Pfaender3, E Steinmann4
1 University Medicine Greifswald, Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Straße, 17475 Greifswald, Germany. Electronic address:; 2 Department of Molecular and Medical Virology, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 50, 44801 Bochum, Germany.; 3 Department of Molecular and Medical Virology, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 50, 44801 Bochum, Germany.; 4 Department of Molecular and Medical Virology, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 50, 44801 Bochum, Germany.
Copyright © 2020 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Currently, the emergence of a novel human coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has become a global health concern causing severe respiratory tract infections in humans. Human-to-human transmissions have been described with incubation times between 2-10 days, facilitating its spread via droplets, contaminated hands or surfaces. We therefore reviewed the literature on all available information about the persistence of human and veterinary coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces as well as inactivation strategies with biocidal agents used for chemical disinfection, e.g. in healthcare facilities. The analysis of 22 studies reveals that human coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV) can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days, but can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute. Other biocidal agents such as 0.05-0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02% chlorhexidine digluconate are less effective. As no specific therapies are available for SARS-CoV-2, early containment and prevention of further spread will be crucial to stop the ongoing outbreak and to control this novel infectious thread.

biocidal agents; chemical inactivation; coronavirus; disinfection; inanimate surfaces; persistence;

Biocidal agents; Chemical inactivation; Coronavirus; Disinfection; Inanimate surfaces; Persistence;

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Comment In J Hosp Infect. 2020 Jun;105(2):350
Comment In J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 Jul;83(1):279-280
Comment In J Hosp Infect. 2020 Jun;105(2):379-380
Erratum In J Hosp Infect. 2020 Jun 17;:

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