Hexon denaturation of human adenoviruses by different groups of biocides

J Hosp Infect. 2007 Mar;65(3):264-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2006.10.017. Epub 2007 Jan 22.


Human adenoviruses have often been used as surrogates for testing broad-spectrum virucidal efficacy of biocides. However, recent studies have shown that members of this group of viruses have quite different chemical sensitivities and only serotypes 5 and 44 can be recommended as model viruses. In this study, the hexon protein of the serotypes 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8 was exposed to biocides and subsequently detected by western blotting and the RPS Adeno Detector. Only peracetic acid (PAA) at a relatively high concentration of 0.5% led to complete denaturation of hexon protein within 60 min. This effect was uniform for all adenoviruses tested and was not observed after exposure to 0.05-2.5% povidone-iodine (PVP-I) or 0.7% formaldehyde. However, viral infectivity and genome integrity were influenced by PVP-I and formaldehyde and lower concentrations of PAA. In conclusion, the hexon protein of human adenoviruses shows an unexpectedly high and uniform resistance to chemical biocides. The different chemical sensitivities of adenoviruses cannot be explained by the sensitivity of this main structural compound, but the present findings provide new insights into the virucidal action of disinfectants.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / drug effects*
  • Adenoviridae / physiology
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Capsid / drug effects*
  • Capsid Proteins / analysis
  • Capsid Proteins / drug effects
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Formaldehyde / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Peracetic Acid / pharmacology
  • Povidone-Iodine / pharmacology


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Disinfectants
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus
  • Formaldehyde
  • Povidone-Iodine
  • Peracetic Acid