A new method developed by researchers at the Technical University of Denmark can detect pathogenic human viruses on surfaces such as tabletops and furniture.
Viruses cause a major proportion of human infections. Indirect transmission between humans via surfaces such as tabletops and furniture may play a role in infections, but methods to investigate this have been sparse. The new method enables hospitals, nursing homes, daycare centers, and food businesses to test the occurrence of pathogenic human viruses on the environment’s surfaces. Using this knowledge, it is possible to target the cleaning and desinfection towards the areas that pose the biggest contamination risks.
The method uses a simple polyester swab and a direct lysis elution, and can be used on a series of different viruses including Noro virus, which is the most common cause of stomach flu. Noro virus is contagious from just a few virus particles and can survive for several days at room temperature.
The method has been documented and published in the Journal of Hospital Infection. An abstract is available here