They also used diluted concentrations of the formulation, down to 10 percent of normal, and altered recipes of the formulation with similar results.
"We didn't want to test the formulations in the best-case scenario," says Cecelia Williams of Sandia. "We wanted the worst-case scenario to provide a margin of certainty that this would inactivate the SARS-causing virus under real-world conditions."
The lower concentration makes the formulation, already much less corrosive and toxic than other decontamination products such as bleach or ammonia, even more benign, she says.
Currently no disinfectant products are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) specifically for killing the SARS virus on surfaces.
Two commercially available versions of the Sandia formulation also were effective in inactivating the virus in the tests, she says.
New protocols for viral inactivation
A second significant outcome of the joint research is a set of protocols and a methodology to verify viral inactivation. A SARS workshop in October 2003 sponsored by the World Health Organization identified the standardization of test protocols as one urgent need in responding to future SARS outbreaks.
Currently very little information is available in the scientific literature regarding chemical inactivation of viruses, says team member Jill Bieker, a Sandia intern currently working on a PhD at K-State. The work at K-State was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Sanjay Kapil, a world-renowned coronavirus expert.
As part of the project, Sandia conducted experiments to develop methods of applying the formulation and to determine how inactivation can be measured and
Contact: John German
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories