Ciesek and colleagues looked at the infectivity, environmental
stability, and susceptibility to chemical disinfectants of HCV
grown in laboratory cell cultures.
recently, HCV could not be grown in laboratory cultures, so
the antiviral activity of disinfectants against HCV was estimated
based on studies using the structurally similar bovine viral
diarrhea virus, the investigators noted as background. But the
recent development of an HCV infection model system has allowed
The study authors analyzed HCV RNA levels using quantitative
real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Genome stability
was determined by introducing recovered viral RNA into Huh7.5
infectivity in a liquid environment was detectable for up
to 5 months at lower temperatures.
alcohols and commercially available antiseptics reduced
HCV to undetectable levels.
hand disinfectants reduced their virucidal activity.
researchers noted that the risk of HCV infection may not be
accurately gauged by determining HCV RNA levels, since viral
infectivity and viral load copy numbers did not directly correlate.
The results, they suggested, "should be useful in defining
rigorous disinfection protocols to prevent nosocomial transmission
of HCV" in healthcare settings.
Investigator affiliations: Division of Experimental Virology,
Twincore, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research,
Joint venture between Hannover Medical School and the Helmholtz
Centre for Infection Research; Department of Gastroenterology,
Hepatology and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover,
Germany; Institute of Medical Microbiology, University Hospital
Essen, Essen, Germany; MikroLab, Bremen, Germany.
Ciesek, M Friesland, J Steinmann, and others. How stable is
the hepatitis C virus (HCV)? Environmental stability of HCV
and its susceptibility to chemical biocides. Journal of Infectious
Diseases 201(12): 1859-1866 (Abstract).
June 15, 2010.