Inactivation of laboratory animal RNA-viruses by physicochemical treatment

Y Watanabe, H Miyata, H Sato
Jikken Dobutsu. Experimental Animals 1989, 38 (4): 305-11
Eight commonly used chemical disinfectants and physical treatments (UV irradiation and heating) were applied to both enveloped RNA viruses (Sendai virus, canine distemper virus) and unenveloped RNA viruses (Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus, reo virus type 3) to inactivate infectious virus particles. According to the results, alcohols (70% ethanol, 50% isopropanol), formaldehyde (2% formalin), halogen compounds (52ppm iodophor, 100ppm sodium hypochlorite), quaternary ammonium chloride (0.05% benzalkonium chloride) and 1% saponated cresol showed virucidal effects giving more than 99.95% reduction in the infectivity of virus samples of Sendai virus and canine distemper after 10 minutes exposure. There was no significant difference in the effects on the two enveloped RNA viruses. The susceptibility of unenveloped RNA viruses to chemical disinfectants and physical treatments differed greatly from the enveloped viruses. The two unenveloped viruses showed distinct resistance to 50% isopropanol, 2% formalin, 1% saponated cresol and to physical treatments (heating at 45, 56, 60 degrees C, and UV irradiation). These results indicate that using physicochemical methods to inactivate RNA viruses in laboratory animal facilities should be considered in accordance with the characteristics of the target virus. For practical purposes in disinfecting enveloped RNA viruses, 70% ethanol, 0.05% quaternary ammonium chloride and 1% saponated cresol diluted in hot water (greater than 60 degrees C) are considered as effective as UV irradiation. For unenveloped RNA viruses, halogen compounds, more than 1,000 ppm sodium hypochlorite or 260 ppm iodophor are recommended over a period of 10 minutes for disinfecting particles, although these compounds result in an oxidation problem with many metals.

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