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Inactivation of Replication-Competent Vesicular Stomatitis Virus as SARS-CoV-2 Surrogate on Common Surfaces by Disinfectants

Abstract: Surface disinfection is part of a larger mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus causing coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Research evaluating the time, nature, and extent of surface disinfection of replication-competent viruses is needed. We evaluated the efficacy of two disinfectants against a replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 surrogate on three common public surfaces. Vesicular stomatitis virus expressing green fluorescent protein (VSV-GFP) was our replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 surrogate. Disinfection occurred using Super Sani-Cloth Germicidal Disposable Wipes and Oxivir Tb spray per manufacturer instructions to test the efficacy at reducing the presence, viability, and later replication of VSV-GFP on stainless steel, laminate wood, and porcelain surfaces using standardized methods after recovery and toxicity testing. During the main trials, we placed 100 µL spots of VSV-GFP at viral titers of 108, 107, and 106 PFU/mL on each surface prior to disinfection. Trials were completed in triplicate and post-disinfection measurements on each surface were compared to the measurements of non-disinfected surfaces. Disinfectants were considered efficacious when ≥3-log10 reduction in the number of infectious VSV-GFP virus units was observed on a given surface during all trials. Both disinfectants produced a ≥3.23-log10 reduction in infectious VSV-GFP virus unit numbers, with all trials showing no viable, replication-competent VSV-GFP present on any tested surface. The two disinfectants eliminated the presence, viability, and later replication of VSV-GFP, our SARS-CoV-2 surrogate, on all surfaces. This information suggests that, if following manufacturer instructions, overcleaning surfaces with multiple disinfectant solutions may be unnecessary.
Keywords: virology / disinfection / infection control / infectious diseases / COVID-19

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