Background: Noroviruses are a leading cause of gastrointestinal disease and are of particular concern in healthcare settings such as hospitals. As the virus is reported to be environmentally stable, effective decontamination following an outbreak is required to prevent recurrent outbreaks. Aim: To investigate the use of hydrogen peroxide vapour to decontaminate a number of surfaces that had been artificially contaminated with feline calicivirus (FCV), a surrogate for norovirus. The surfaces tested were representative of those found in hospital wards. Methods: FCV was used to contaminate materials representative of a hospital setting (stainless steel, glass, vinyl flooring, ceramic tile and PVC plastic cornering). The carriers were exposed to 30% (w/w) hydrogen peroxide vapour at 5-min intervals over 20. min, after which postexposure viral titres were measured. Findings: Hydrogen peroxide vapour reduced the viral titre by 4 log 10 on all surfaces tested within 20min of exposure. The reduction in viral titre took longest to achieve on stainless steel (20min), and the quickest effect was seen on vinyl flooring (10min). For glass, plastic and ceramic tile surfaces, the desired reduction in viral titre was seen within 15min of exposure. Hydrogen peroxide vapour allows for large-scale decontamination of areas following outbreaks of infectious organisms. Conclusion: Hydrogen peroxide vapour is effective against FCV and is active on a range of surfaces. Therefore, it may represent a suitable decontamination system for use following a hospital outbreak of norovirus.
- Hydrogen peroxide vapour