Chemical disinfection is widely practiced as a means of controlling and preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Although disinfection of bacteria has been widely studied, much less attention has been paid to the virucidal potential of commonly used disinfectants in spite of the low infective dose of many human pathogenic viruses. This review considers what is known about the disinfection of viruses and the virucidal properties of different classes of disinfectant chemicals. It focuses on virus disinfection from a practical viewpoint and also critically evaluates the testing techniques currently used for examining the efficacy of disinfectant products.
This chapter focuses on various considerations that one has to take for working safely with infectious disease agents in research animals. Guidelines for establishing appropriate combinations of facilities, containment, practices, and procedures have been published for working with vertebrate animals used in infectious disease research. Published in the CDC/NIH publication, Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, are Agent Summary Statements that presents recommendations for the safe handling of those pathogens known to have caused laboratory-acquired infections. Recent recommendations have been published for containment facilities used for the safe housing and handling of livestock and poultry infected with pathogenic agents. Special requirements for work involving recombinant DNA molecules have also been published. If an animal is a natural host for the infectious agent, the agent may grow to high titers and become a potential source for infecting other susceptible animals. This generally will require containment and isolation of infected animals. Specific work practices will be required to minimize fomite transfer by care-givers. If the animal is known not to be susceptible to the infectious agent and the agent is non-infectious to humans, less stringent caging and housing requirements are required. The route of transmission is a salient factor in evaluating the risk. Agents spread by the aerosol route dictate more stringent facility containment requirements than agents spread by blood-to-blood contact. Isolation caging must be used, care must be taken while transferring animals from cage to cage, and respiratory-protective equipment must be worn by animal care-givers to protect against inhalation of infectious aerosols. When the agent is spread in urine or feces, special waste-handling procedures or treatment may be required to minimize exposure of other animals, humans, or the environment.