Virucidal efficacy of hydrogen peroxide vapour disinfection

J Hosp Infect. 2012 Feb;80(2):110-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2011.10.012. Epub 2011 Dec 7.


Background: Viral contamination of surfaces is thought to be important in transmission. Chemical disinfection can be an effective means of intervention, but little is known about the virucidal efficacy of hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) against enteric and respiratory viruses.

Aim: To measure the virucidal efficacy of HPV against respiratory and enteric viruses on materials representing those found in institutions and homes.

Methods: Poliovirus, human norovirus genogroup II.4 (GII.4), murine norovirus 1, rotavirus, adenovirus and influenza A (H1N1) virus dried on to stainless steel, framing panel and gauze carriers were exposed to HPV 127 ppm for 1h at room temperature in an isolator. Poliovirus was also exposed to HPV at different locations in a room. The virucidal effect was measured by comparing recoverable viral titres against unexposed controls. Polymerase chain reaction was used to evaluate the effect of HPV on viral genome reduction.

Findings: HPV disinfection resulted in complete inactivation of all viruses tested, characterized by >4 log(10) reduction in infectious particles for poliovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus and murine norovirus on stainless steel and framing panel carriers, and >2 log(10) reduction for influenza A virus on stainless steel and framing panel carriers, and for all viruses on gauze carriers. Complete inactivation of poliovirus was demonstrated at several locations in the room. Reductions in viral genomes were minimal on framing panel and gauze carriers but significant on stainless steel carriers; human norovirus GII.4 genome was most resistant to HPV treatment.

Conclusion: HPV could be an effective virucidal against enteric and respiratory viruses contaminating in-house environments.

MeSH terms

  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Gastroenteritis / virology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Viability / drug effects*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / virology
  • Viral Load
  • Viruses / drug effects*
  • Viruses / isolation & purification
  • Volatilization


  • Disinfectants
  • Hydrogen Peroxide