Virus inactivation - alcohol

In summary, the CDC recommends frequent hand washing or the use of alcohol-based hand rubs for household members of a SARS patient. This is because alcohol can effectively denature proteins and dissolve membrane lipids, which explains why it can kill SARS but not all types of Hepatitis. The CDC likely tested and confirmed the effectiveness of alcohol in controlling diseases.
  • #1


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From the CDC website: During this 10-day period, all members of the household with a SARS patient should carefully follow recommendations for hand hygiene, such as frequent hand washing or the use of alcohol-based hand rubs.

In the lab we always have to clean the surfaces to inactivate any Hepatitis viruses with a 10% bleach solution. Alcohol doesn't work, so why does the CDC recommend it?
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  • #2
because most people don't want to look like michael jackson and I'm pretty sure alcohol kills SARS.
  • #3
Which hepatitis are you working with?

Alcohol acts on the protein by denaturing them and probably dissolve membrane lipids. Therefore the envelop and structure of the of the virus migth explain with some Hepatitis virus are not destroy by alchol whereas SRAS is destroy.

I think if the CDC says that alcohol can be used its because they probably tested. At least I hope they did, they are the one responsible for disease control.
  • #4
Originally posted by iansmith
Which hepatitis are you working with?

Alcohol acts on the protein by denaturing them and probably dissolve membrane lipids.

Viruses have lipids?
  • #5
the envelope surrounding the virus is made from membrane lipids. some have envelopes, some don't. I am not sure about hepatitis.

What is virus inactivation?

Virus inactivation is the process of rendering a virus unable to replicate or infect cells. This can be achieved through various methods, including physical or chemical treatments.

How does alcohol inactivate viruses?

Alcohol inactivates viruses by disrupting their outer membrane and protein coat, which are necessary for the virus to infect cells. This makes it more difficult for the virus to attach to and enter host cells.

Does alcohol effectively inactivate all types of viruses?

Alcohol is effective at inactivating many types of viruses, including enveloped viruses (e.g. influenza, HIV) and non-enveloped viruses (e.g. norovirus, poliovirus). However, it may not be effective against some types of viruses with a highly resistant outer protein shell.

What concentration of alcohol is needed for virus inactivation?

The optimal concentration of alcohol for virus inactivation is typically between 60-90%. Lower concentrations may not be effective, while higher concentrations can be less effective due to evaporation and protein denaturation.

Are there any safety precautions to take when using alcohol for virus inactivation?

Yes, it is important to handle alcohol carefully and in a well-ventilated area due to its flammability. It is also important to follow proper hand hygiene practices and not ingest alcohol, as it can be harmful to the body. Additionally, alcohol may not be effective for inactivating viruses on surfaces with organic material or in the presence of certain chemicals.

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