Iodine hand sanitizer more effective than the strongest alcohol hand sanitizer: Academic study shows

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

In 2008 the Journal of Hospital Infection published a study investigating the virucidal efficacy of nine hand sanitisers. The target organism was Feline calicivirus (a surrogate for Norovirus). Four alcohol-based sanitisers, three non-alcohol sanitisers and two triclosan-containing antimicrobial liquid soaps were evaluated on artificially contaminated fingertips for two different time periods: 30 seconds and 2 minute contact times. Among alcohol-based sanitisers, a product containing 99.5% ethanol was more effective than those containing 62% ethanol, 70% isopropanol or 91% isopropanol. A log10 virus reduction factor of 1.00 - 1.30 was achieved with 99.5% ethanol but those containing a lower alcohol concentration only achieved a log10 reduction factor of ≤0.67. Antiseptics containing 10% povidone-iodine (equivalent to 1% available iodine) reduced virus titre by a log10 reduction factor of 2.67 within 30 s contact time. This viral reduction rate was higher than that achieved with any of the alcohol-based sanitisers, non-alcoholic sanitizers or antimicrobial soaps.

Source: Journal of Hospital Infection (2008) 68, 159-163

Article title: In-vivo efficacy of hand sanitisers against feline calicivirus: a surrogate for norovirus

S. Lages, et al.

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