In-vivo efficacy of hand sanitisers against feline calicivirus: a surrogate for norovirus

J Hosp Infect. 2008 Feb;68(2):159-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2007.11.018. Epub 2008 Jan 18.


Hand disinfection is considered important in preventing the transmission of viruses, including norovirus. We investigated the virucidal efficacy of nine hand sanitisers (four alcohol-based sanitisers, three non-alcoholic sanitisers and two triclosan-containing antimicrobial liquid soaps) against feline calicivirus, a surrogate for norovirus, on artificially contaminated fingertips for 30 s and 2 min contact periods. Among alcohol-based sanitisers, a product containing 99.5% ethanol was more effective than those containing 62% ethanol, 70% isopropanol or 91% isopropanol. A log(10) virus reduction factor of 1.00-1.30 was achieved with 99.5% ethanol but those containing a lower alcohol concentration only achieved a log(10) reduction factor of <or=0.67. Antiseptics containing 10% povidone-iodine (equivalent to 1% available iodine) reduced virus titre by a log(10) reduction factor of 2.67 within 30s contact time. This viral reduction rate was higher than that achieved with any of the alcohol-based sanitisers, non-alcoholic sanitisers or antimicrobial soaps. The two antimicrobial soaps tested showed minimal virus reduction (a log(10) reduction factor of 0.17-0.50), which is similar to that obtained by washing hands without any soap (a log(10) reduction factor of 0.33-0.42). These results indicate that triclosan-containing antimicrobial soaps or alcohol-based hand rubs may be inadequate for preventing norovirus transmission. Further research on alternative hand sanitisers should continue for effective control of norovirus infections.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • 2-Propanol / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Calicivirus, Feline / drug effects*
  • Cats
  • Cell Line
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Ethanol / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Hand Disinfection / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norovirus / drug effects
  • Povidone-Iodine / pharmacology
  • Soaps / pharmacology
  • Triclosan / pharmacology
  • Virus Inactivation / drug effects*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Soaps
  • Ethanol
  • Triclosan
  • Povidone-Iodine
  • 2-Propanol