Improving Surface and Hand Disinfection Treatments Against Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

Kashtan Nadav, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Environmental Economics and Management


There is a growing evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 survives well on various surfaces up to several days (e.g., on plastic and stainless steel). However, it is not clear if the common practice of disinfecting surfaces is optimal, effective or if it can be improved.

In many cases, when the disinfecting chemicals dry, they leave behind stable thin liquid films and tiny micro droplets (termed microscopic surface wetness), which are invisible to the naked eye and which likely impact the viruses’ survival.

In our lab we commonly study the survival of microorganisms on drying surfaces and microscopic surface wetness. We recently demonstrated that bacteria can survive in such microscopic wetness for days. It is still unknown, however, how viruses like the SARS-CoV-2 survive and remain stable on drying surfaces in particular after disinfection treatment.

To study this question, we will test viral stability and survival on several surface types (e.g., plastic, stainless steel, glass and cardboard), using suggested disinfectant treatments for SARS-CoV-2 and under various realistic environmental conditions. Then, we will work towards modifications of treatments or recommendations for post treatment steps (e.g. washing with specific agent), to improve common disinfection practices and reduce virus survival on surfaces.

Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
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