People in many countries get monkeypox even if they have never traveled to areas where the virus is predominantly endemic. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern. A research team from Germany’s Ruhr University Bochum and Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf’s Department of Virology investigated whether her two disinfectants recommended by the WHO could inactivate the virus. They found that both disinfectants efficiently inactivated the virus during his 30-second application. The researchers published their findings in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on November 17, 2022.
Alcohol-based disinfectants are effective against enveloped viruses
Poxviruses can be transmitted not only through direct contact with bodily fluids, but also through contaminated hands.
Proper hand hygiene is therefore essential to prevent the spread of monkeypox. “
Dr. Toni Meister, first author
To test the effectiveness of the WHO-recommended disinfectant, researchers exposed the virus to one of the WHO-recommended formulations separately and its main ingredients, ethanol and isopropanol. After an exposure time of 30 seconds, the number of virus particles still infective was determined relative to baseline values. “Both of her WHO disinfectants were able to show that they sufficiently inactivated the virus,” said Professor Eike Steinmann.
Most commercial disinfectants also contain ethanol or isopropanol, which should also inactivate the virus. “The key factor is the concentration of the ingredients, but it’s usually listed on the package,” he says Toni Meister. “Disinfectants containing 40-60% he ethanol or 40% he isopropanol by volume are effective against monkeypox.”
WHO recommended formulation
WHO recommended disinfectant I consists of 80% by volume ethanol, 1.45% by volume glycerol, and 0.125% by volume hydrogen peroxide. Sanitizer II is composed of 75% by volume isopropanol, 1.45% by volume glycerol, and 0.125% by volume hydrogen peroxide.
This study was funded by VIRus ALLianz (VIRAL) of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (grant number 323-8.03-151826) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (project: VirBio, grant number: 01KI2106).
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