Show your support of CIRI with the 'CIRI Supporter' logo, available for display on your Web site upon joining CIRI.
Join today and help CIRI advance the cause of cleaner, more productive, and healthier indoor environments through scientific research!
The Problem of Biofilms
"Pseudomonas [the bacterium that causes cystic fibrosis pneumonia] ... [in a biofilm can] survive in bottled iodine solution for up to 15 months."
Science News Magazine
By Julie Jean, Maryline Girard, Solange Ngazoa, Kirsten Mattison
Some 40% of commercial disinfectants used to clean surfaces are believed to be ineffective in eliminating noroviruses, a group of viruses responsible for more than half of all foodborne gastroenteritis outbreaks. According to a recent study published by Université Laval researchers in the Journal of Food Protection, only bleach-based disinfectants drastically reduce the concentration of these viruses.
Noroviruses spread directly via contact with infected persons or indirectly through contaminated objects, foods, or surfaces. The effectiveness of disinfectants used to clean surfaces at home or at businesses in the food sector is therefore crucial for limiting the spread of these viruses, which affect over 21 million people every year in the United States alone.
The team of researchers led by Julie Jean, professor at the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, tested the efficacy of three major categories of household disinfectants in eliminating noroviruses: bleach-based products, alcohol-based products, and quaternary ammonium–based products.
Lab tests showed that five minutes of contact with a bleach-based disinfectant reduced the concentration of noroviruses on a stainless steel surface by a factor of 1,000. Alcohol- and quaternary ammonium-based products proved 100 times less effective.
“Our results are of particular concern considering that some 40% of the commercial surface disinfectants on the market are alcohol or ammonium based,” stressed Professor Jean, who is also a researcher at the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF).
Julie Jean’s team also discovered that it takes only ten minutes for human noroviruses to firmly latch on to a stainless steel surface. “Once attached, these viruses can survive for weeks and potentially contaminate anyone who touches them. And it’s highly probable that our findings on stainless steel surfaces also apply to other materials,” concluded Professor Jean.
In addition to Julie Jean, this study was co-authored by Maryline Girard and Solange Ngazoa from INAF, and Kirsten Mattison from Health Canada.
Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences
418 656-2131 ext. 13849
The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) is a 501.c.3 not-for-profit scientific, educational and research organization that applies science to the practice and improvement of cleaning and maintenance.
This abstract/brief is presented under the recognized "fair use" doctrine with respect to article copyright and intellectual property. Readers are encouraged to secure the full article from the originating publication source. Articles also may be obtained through a librarian, an information specialist or inter-library loan. In cases where payment is required under copyright it can be processed through a reference library or the Copyright Clearance Center at www.copyright.com.
CIRI provides no warranty, expressed or implied, and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information disclosed on its site. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of CIRI principals, executives, science advisors or affiliates.