Surface coating to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 viruses shows promise in laboratory study
A potential route of transmission for respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 is through the transfer of infectious particles by infected individuals on to inanimate objects, which are then passed on to susceptible persons that come into contact with viable pathogens left on the object. While the significance of this transmission route (commonly called “fomite transmission”) is still under investigation, researchers from Virginia Tech in the US and HKU SPH have identified and tested a coating that is shown in the laboratory to reduce viable SARS-CoV-2 viruses that were applied on coated surfaces by 99.9% in 1 hour compared with uncoated surfaces. In their study published in Applied Materials & Interfaces, the authors tested three films made out of positively charged molecules and showed that the film that uses cuprous oxide (CuO2) as the active ingredient had the potential to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on coated glass or stainless steel. Although CuO2 is rated as a potential irritant, the authors noted that a review of literature reported minimal effects of textiles containing copper oxide on the human skin. This presents a potential method for reducing transmission via the fomite route.
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