Efficacy of biocidal agents and disinfectants against the monkeypox virus and other orthopoxviruses

J Hosp Infect. 2022 Sep;127:101-110. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2022.06.012. Epub 2022 Jun 28.


The number of human monkeypox virus infections is increasing in many countries. The typical mode of transmission is by direct contact. As orthopoxviruses may stay infectious on inanimate surfaces under laboratory conditions for up to 42 days, disinfection may be relevant in the surroundings of confirmed cases. The aim of this review was to evaluate published data on the antiviral efficacy of biocidal agents and disinfectants against the monkeypox virus and other orthopoxviruses. A Medline search was carried out on 5th June 2022. The terms 'monkeypox virus', 'poxvirus' and 'orthopoxvirus' were used in combination with 'disinfection'. Publications were included and results were extracted where they provided original data on any orthopoxvirus regarding its inactivation by disinfectants. Vaccinia viruses could be inactivated by at least 4 log10 in suspension tests and on artificially contaminated surfaces by 70% ethanol (≤1 min), 0.2% peracetic acid (≤10 min) and 1-10% of a probiotic cleaner (1 h), mostly shown with different types of organic load. Hydrogen peroxide (14.4%) and iodine (0.04-1%) were effective in suspension tests, sodium hypochlorite (0.25-2.5%; 1 min), 2% glutaraldehyde (10 min) and 0.55% orthophthalaldehyde (5 min) were effective on artificially contaminated surfaces. Copper (99.9%) was equally effective against vaccinia virus and monkeypox virus in 3 min. Disinfectants with efficacy data obtained in suspension tests and under practical conditions with different types of organic load resembling compounds of the blood, the respiratory tract and skin lesions are preferred for the inactivation of the monkeypox virus.

Keywords: Biocidal agent; Disinfectant; Efficacy; Monkeypox virus; Orthopoxvirus; Vaccinia virus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disinfectants* / pharmacology
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Humans
  • Monkeypox virus
  • Monkeypox* / prevention & control
  • Orthopoxvirus*
  • Viruses*


  • Disinfectants