Study on the resistance of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus

J Virol Methods. 2005 Jun;126(1-2):171-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2005.02.005.


In this study, the persistence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was observed in feces, urine and water. In addition, the inactivation of SARS-CoV in wastewater with sodium hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide was also studied. In vitro experiments demonstrated that the virus could only persist for 2 days in hospital wastewater, domestic sewage and dechlorinated tap water, while 3 days in feces, 14 days in PBS and 17 days in urine at 20 degrees C. However, at 4 degrees C, the SARS-CoV could persist for 14 days in wastewater and at least 17 days in feces or urine. SARS-CoV is more susceptible to disinfectants than Escherichia coli and f2 phage. Free chlorine was found to inactivate SARS-CoV better than chlorine dioxide. Free residue chlorine over 0.5 mg/L for chlorine or 2.19 mg/L for chlorine dioxide in wastewater ensures complete inactivation of SARS-CoV while it does not inactivate completely E. coli and f2 phage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chlorine / pharmacology
  • Chlorine Compounds / pharmacology
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Feces / virology
  • Humans
  • Levivirus / drug effects
  • Oxides / pharmacology
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • SARS Virus / drug effects*
  • SARS Virus / genetics
  • SARS Virus / isolation & purification
  • SARS Virus / physiology*
  • Sewage / virology
  • Sodium Hypochlorite / pharmacology
  • Urine / virology
  • Virus Inactivation*
  • Water Microbiology


  • Chlorine Compounds
  • Disinfectants
  • Oxides
  • RNA, Viral
  • Sewage
  • Chlorine
  • chlorine dioxide
  • Sodium Hypochlorite