Inactivation of replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus as SARS-CoV-2 surrogate on common surfaces by disinfectants

Zachary C. Pope, Timothy J. Kottke, Aditya Shah, Richard G. Vile, Stacey A. Rizza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surface disinfection is part of a larger mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus causing coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Research evaluating the time, nature, and extent of surface disinfection of replication-competent viruses is needed. We evaluated the efficacy of two disinfectants against a replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 surrogate on three common public surfaces. Vesicular stomatitis virus expressing green fluorescent protein (VSV-GFP) was our replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 sur-rogate. Disinfection occurred using Super Sani-Cloth Germicidal Disposable Wipes and Oxivir Tb spray per manufacturer instructions to test the efficacy at reducing the presence, viability, and later replication of VSV-GFP on stainless steel, laminate wood, and porcelain surfaces using standardized methods after recovery and toxicity testing. During the main trials, we placed 100 µL spots of VSV-GFP at viral titers of 108, 107, and 106 PFU/mL on each surface prior to disinfection. Trials were completed in triplicate and post-disinfection measurements on each surface were compared to the measurements of non-disinfected surfaces. Disinfectants were considered efficacious when ≥3-log10 reduction in the number of infectious VSV-GFP virus units was observed on a given surface during all trials. Both disinfectants produced a ≥3.23-log10 reduction in infectious VSV-GFP virus unit numbers, with all trials showing no viable, replication-competent VSV-GFP present on any tested surface. The two disinfectants eliminated the presence, viability, and later replication of VSV-GFP, our SARS-CoV-2 surrogate, on all surfaces. This information suggests that, if following manufacturer instructions, overcleaning surfaces with multiple disinfectant solutions may be unnecessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7714
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Disinfection
  • Infection control
  • Infectious diseases
  • Virology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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