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1 September 2003 The Effect of Various Disinfectants on Detection of Avian Influenza Virus by Real Time RT-PCR
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An avian influenza (AI) real time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) test was previously shown to be a rapid and sensitive method to identify AI virus-infected birds in live-bird markets (LBMs). The test can also be used to identify avian influenza virus (AIV) from environmental samples. Consequently, the use of RRT-PCR was being considered as a component of the influenza eradication program in the LBMs to assure that each market was properly cleaned and disinfected before allowing the markets to be restocked. However, the RRT-PCR test cannot differentiate between live and inactivated virus, particularly in environmental samples where the RRT-PCR test potentially could amplify virus that had been inactivated by commonly used disinfectants, resulting in a false positive test result. To determine whether this is a valid concern, a study was conducted in three New Jersey LBMs that were previously shown to be positive for the H7N2 AIV. Environmental samples were collected from all three markets following thorough cleaning and disinfection with a phenolic disinfectant. Influenza virus RNA was detected in at least one environmental sample from two of the three markets when tested by RRT-PCR; however, all samples were negative by virus isolation using the standard egg inoculation procedure. As a result of these findings, laboratory experiments were designed to evaluate several commonly used disinfectants for their ability to inactivate influenza as well as disrupt the RNA so that it could not be detected by the RRT-PCR test. Five disinfectants were tested: phenolic disinfectants (Tek-trol and one-stroke environ), a quaternary ammonia compound (Lysol no-rinse sanitizer), a peroxygen compound (Virkon-S), and sodium hypochlorite (household bleach). All five disinfectants were effective at inactivating AIV at the recommended concentrations, but AIV RNA in samples inactivated with phenolic and quaternary ammonia compounds could still be detected by RRT-PCR. The peroxygen and chlorine compounds were effective at some concentrations for both inactivating virus and preventing amplification by RRT-PCR. Therefore, the RRT-PCR test can potentially be used to assure proper cleaning and disinfection when certain disinfectants are used.

D. L. Suarez, E. Spackman, D. A. Senne, L. Bulaga, A. C. Welsch, and K. Froberg "The Effect of Various Disinfectants on Detection of Avian Influenza Virus by Real Time RT-PCR," Avian Diseases 47(s3), 1091-1095, (1 September 2003).
Received: 4 November 2002; Published: 1 September 2003

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