Efficacy of hospital germicides against adenovirus 8, a common cause of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis in health care facilities

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006 Apr;50(4):1419-24. doi: 10.1128/AAC.50.4.1419-1424.2006.


The inactivation of virus-contaminated nonporous inanimate surfaces was investigated using adenovirus type 8, a common cause of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. A 10-microl inoculum of adenovirus was placed onto each stainless steel disk (1-cm diameter), and the inoculum was allowed to air dry for 40 min. Twenty-one different germicides (including disinfectants and antiseptics) were selected for this study based on their current uses in health care. After a 1- or 5-minute exposure to 50 microl of the germicide, the virus-germicide test mixture was neutralized and assayed for infectivity. Using an efficacy criterion of a 3-log10 reduction in the titer of virus infectivity and regardless of the virus suspending medium (i.e., hard water, sterile water, and hard water with 5% fetal calf serum), only five disinfectants proved to be effective against the test virus at 1 min: 0.55% ortho-phthalaldehyde, 2.4% glutaraldehyde, 2.65% glutaraldehyde, approximately 6,000 ppm chlorine, and approximately 1,900 ppm chlorine. Four other disinfectants showed effectiveness under four of the five testing conditions: 70% ethanol, 65% ethanol with 0.63% quaternary ammonium compound, 79.6% ethanol with 0.1% quaternary ammonium compound, and 0.2% peracetic acid. Of the germicides suitable for use as an antiseptic, 70% ethanol achieved a 3-log10 reduction under four of the five test conditions. These results emphasize the need for proper selection of germicides for use in disinfecting noncritical surfaces and semicritical medical devices, such as applanation tonometers, in order to prevent outbreaks of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / drug effects*
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Conjunctivitis, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Keratoconjunctivitis / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Disinfectants