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

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          Summary

          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.

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          Most cited references 18

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          The Effects of Temperature and Relative Humidity on the Viability of the SARS Coronavirus

          The main route of transmission of SARS CoV infection is presumed to be respiratory droplets. However the virus is also detectable in other body fluids and excreta. The stability of the virus at different temperatures and relative humidity on smooth surfaces were studied. The dried virus on smooth surfaces retained its viability for over 5 days at temperatures of 22–25°C and relative humidity of 40–50%, that is, typical air-conditioned environments. However, virus viability was rapidly lost (>3 log10) at higher temperatures and higher relative humidity (e.g., 38°C, and relative humidity of >95%). The better stability of SARS coronavirus at low temperature and low humidity environment may facilitate its transmission in community in subtropical area (such as Hong Kong) during the spring and in air-conditioned environments. It may also explain why some Asian countries in tropical area (such as Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand) with high temperature and high relative humidity environment did not have major community outbreaks of SARS.
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            Stability of SARS coronavirus in human specimens and environment and its sensitivity to heating and UV irradiation.

            The causal agent for SARS is considered as a novel coronavirus that has never been described both in human and animals previously. The stability of SARS coronavirus in human specimens and in environments was studied. Using a SARS coronavirus strain CoV-P9, which was isolated from pharyngeal swab of a probable SARS case in Beijing, its stability in mimic human specimens and in mimic environment including surfaces of commonly used materials or in household conditions, as well as its resistance to temperature and UV irradiation were analyzed. A total of 10(6) TCID50 viruses were placed in each tested condition, and changes of the viral infectivity in samples after treatments were measured by evaluating cytopathic effect (CPE) in cell line Vero-E6 at 48 h after infection. The results showed that SARS coronavirus in the testing condition could survive in serum, 1:20 diluted sputum and feces for at least 96 h, whereas it could remain alive in urine for at least 72 h with a low level of infectivity. The survival abilities on the surfaces of eight different materials and in water were quite comparable, revealing reduction of infectivity after 72 to 96 h exposure. Viruses stayed stable at 4 degrees C, at room temperature (20 degrees C) and at 37 degrees C for at least 2 h without remarkable change in the infectious ability in cells, but were converted to be non-infectious after 90-, 60- and 30-min exposure at 56 degrees C, at 67 degrees C and at 75 degrees C, respectively. Irradiation of UV for 60 min on the virus in culture medium resulted in the destruction of viral infectivity at an undetectable level. The survival ability of SARS coronavirus in human specimens and in environments seems to be relatively strong. Heating and UV irradiation can efficiently eliminate the viral infectivity.
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              Human Coronaviruses: Insights into Environmental Resistance and Its Influence on the Development of New Antiseptic Strategies

              The Coronaviridae family, an enveloped RNA virus family, and, more particularly, human coronaviruses (HCoV), were historically known to be responsible for a large portion of common colds and other upper respiratory tract infections. HCoV are now known to be involved in more serious respiratory diseases, i.e. bronchitis, bronchiolitis or pneumonia, especially in young children and neonates, elderly people and immunosuppressed patients. They have also been involved in nosocomial viral infections. In 2002–2003, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), due to a newly discovered coronavirus, the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV); led to a new awareness of the medical importance of the Coronaviridae family. This pathogen, responsible for an emerging disease in humans, with high risk of fatal outcome; underline the pressing need for new approaches to the management of the infection, and primarily to its prevention. Another interesting feature of coronaviruses is their potential environmental resistance, despite the accepted fragility of enveloped viruses. Indeed, several studies have described the ability of HCoVs (i.e. HCoV 229E, HCoV OC43 (also known as betacoronavirus 1), NL63, HKU1 or SARS-CoV) to survive in different environmental conditions (e.g. temperature and humidity), on different supports found in hospital settings such as aluminum, sterile sponges or latex surgical gloves or in biological fluids. Finally, taking into account the persisting lack of specific antiviral treatments (there is, in fact, no specific treatment available to fight coronaviruses infections), the Coronaviridae specificities (i.e. pathogenicity, potential environmental resistance) make them a challenging model for the development of efficient means of prevention, as an adapted antisepsis-disinfection, to prevent the environmental spread of such infective agents. This review will summarize current knowledge on the capacity of human coronaviruses to survive in the environment and the efficacy of well-known antiseptic-disinfectants against them, with particular focus on the development of new methodologies to evaluate the activity of new antiseptic-disinfectants on viruses.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                J Hosp Infect
                J. Hosp. Infect
                The Journal of Hospital Infection
                The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
                0195-6701
                1532-2939
                6 February 2020
                March 2020
                6 February 2020
                : 104
                : 3
                : 246-251
                Affiliations
                [a ]University Medicine Greifswald, Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Straße, 17475 Greifswald, Germany
                [b ]Department of Molecular and Medical Virology, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitätsstrasse 50, 44801 Bochum, Germany
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. guenter.kampf@ 123456uni-greifswald.de
                Article
                S0195-6701(20)30046-3
                10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022
                7132493
                32035997
                7b6bb887-cc3b-45f9-9ed4-e65434700067
                © 2020 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

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