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Survival of HIV and inactivation by heat and chemical disinfectants.


Int Conf AIDS. 1992 Jul 19-24;8(2):A69 (abstract no. PoA 2401). Unique

OBJECTIVE: To establish a standardised test, applicable to clinical and non-clinical settings, to determine the survival of HIV and assess the efficacy of physical and chemical disinfection. METHODS: Survival of cell associated and/or cell free virus in suspension was measured at room temperature, after moist heat treatment and after treatment with a variety of chemical disinfectants. The test media were high and low serum concentrations and, in some instances, blood. Survival at room temperature and inactivation by alcohol were also measured after virus had been dried onto glass coverslips. Problems due to cytotoxicity and neutralization of disinfectants were addressed prior to virucidal testing. RESULTS: Survival at room temperature was found to be days when virus was dried, but weeks if kept in suspension. Moist heat inactivation at 60 degrees C and above was found to be rapid, with D values (the time taken for a one log drop in infectivity) in the order of seconds. Below this temperature the D value increased. Results with chemical disinfectants were variable. 0.2% alkaline buffered glutaraldehyde and 70% ethanol appeared effective when tested against virus in high serum concentrations. The efficacy of sodium hypochlorite was reduced considerably in the presence of blood or serum and was shown to be due to a reduction in the levels of available chlorine. A detergent and an iodophor gave a poor rate of inactivation, whilst a phenolic proved effective at the highest recommended use-concentration. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated the complex interactions between a relatively sensitive virus and the barriers to effective chemical and physical inactivation created by the presence of blood and other cellular material. Practical guidance on the disinfection method and the choice of chemical disinfectant must be based upon the awareness of their limitations.



Information in this article was accurate in December 30, 1992. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.