In a series of tests conducted at Kansas State on Bovine coronavirus (BCV), the internationally accepted surrogate for the SARS coronavirus, Sandia-modified versions of its DF-200 formulation fully inactivated BCV samples in one minute or less.
The team now is pursuing funding to conduct similar tests on the SARS coronavirus and hopes to test other emerging viruses such as the avian influenza virus (bird flu).
Recent research suggests that the SARS virus can remain active on contaminated surfaces for days, and health officials speculate that places where infected people congregate, such as airports and hospital wards, might have served as "superspreaders" during the SARS outbreak.
The Sandia/K-State researchers believe that cleaning facilities with chemicals proven to inactivate the virus might significantly blunt an outbreak and possibly prevent regional epidemics from becoming worldwide epidemics.
Margin of certainty
The Sandia decontamination formulations are designed to be less harsh and easier to use than other chemicals currently used for decontamination of biological agents. Tailored formulations have been under development at Sandia for military and homeland security uses since 1996.
In 2001 the earliest version of the commercially licensed foam were among products used in cleanup efforts at facilities contaminated with anthrax in New York and Washington, D.C.
To give the researchers enough scientific confidence that the formulation would reliably stamp out SARS regardless of the circumstances, the Sandia/K-State team tested the f
Contact: John German
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories