Inactivation of the coronavirus that induces severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS-CoV

J Virol Methods. 2004 Oct;121(1):85-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2004.06.006.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a life-threatening disease caused by a novel coronavirus termed SARS-CoV. Due to the severity of this disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that manipulation of active viral cultures of SARS-CoV be performed in containment laboratories at biosafety level 3 (BSL3). The virus was inactivated by ultraviolet light (UV) at 254 nm, heat treatment of 65 degrees C or greater, alkaline (pH > 12) or acidic (pH < 3) conditions, formalin and glutaraldehyde treatments. We describe the kinetics of these efficient viral inactivation methods, which will allow research with SARS-CoV containing materials, that are rendered non-infectious, to be conducted at reduced safety levels.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Formaldehyde / pharmacology
  • Glutaral / pharmacology
  • Hot Temperature
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus / drug effects
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus / physiology*
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus / radiation effects
  • Time Factors
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Vero Cells
  • Virus Inactivation*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Formaldehyde
  • Glutaral