Review Paper

Food and Environmental Virology

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 24-34

First online:

Issues Concerning Survival of Viruses on Surfaces

  • P. VasickovaAffiliated withVeterinary Research Institute Email author 
  • , I. PavlikAffiliated withVeterinary Research Institute
  • , M. VeraniAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Pisa
  • , A. CarducciAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Pisa

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Viruses are the causative agents of an estimated 60% of human infections worldwide. The most common viral illnesses are produced by enteric and respiratory viruses. Transmission of these viruses from an infected person or animal to a new host can occur via several routes. Existing studies strongly suggest that contaminated fomites or surfaces play an important role in the spreading of viral diseases. The potential of viral spreading via contaminated surfaces depends particularly on the ability of the virus to maintain infectivity whilst it is in the environment. This is affected by a combination of biological, physical and chemical factors. This review summarises current knowledge about the influence of environmental factors on the survival and spread of viruses via contaminated surfaces.


Pathogenic viruses Environmental factors Surveillance Biofilms