, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 344-349
Date: 12 May 2010

Maintenance of influenza virus infectivity on the surfaces of personal protective equipment and clothing used in healthcare settings

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Abstract

Objectives

The maintenance of infectivity of influenza viruses on the surfaces of personal protective equipment and clothing is an important factor in terms of controlling viral cross-infection in the environment and preventing contact infection. The aim of this study was to determine if laboratory-grown influenza A (H1N1) virus maintained infectivity on the surfaces of personal protective equipment and clothing used in healthcare settings.

Methods

Influenza A virus (0.5 mL) was deposited on the surface of a rubber glove, an N95 particulate respirator, a surgical mask made of non-woven fabric, a gown made of Dupont Tyvek, a coated wooden desk, and stainless steel. Each sample was left for 1, 8, and 24 h, and hemagglutination (HA) and 50% tissue culture infective dose (TCID50)/mL were measured.

Results

The HA titer of this influenza A virus did not decrease in any of the materials tested even after 24 h. The infectivity of influenza A virus measured by TCID50 was maintained for 8 h on the surface of all materials, with the exception of the rubber glove for which virus infectivity was maintained for 24 h.

Conclusions

Our results indicate that the replacement/renewal of personal protective equipment and clothing by healthcare professionals in cases of exposure to secretions and droplets containing viruses spread by patients is an appropriate procedure to prevent cross-infection.