Journal Article

Virucidal hand treatments for prevention of rhinovirus infection

Ronald B. Turner and J. Owen Hendley

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 56, issue 5, pages 805-807
Published in print November 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Virucidal hand treatments for prevention of rhinovirus infection

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  • Medical Oncology
  • Critical Care


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Rhinovirus infections are associated with substantial morbidity and economic cost. The available common cold remedies are of limited utility and specific antiviral approaches have been unsuccessful. Viral contamination of the hands appears to play an important role in the transmission of rhinovirus from person-to-person. Interruption of this step in transmission presents a potential target for intervention. Initial studies demonstrated that the common cold could be prevented by treatment of hands with iodine. Inactivation of the rhinoviruses by acid is well known and a survey of organic acids considered safe for consumer use revealed that salicylic acid and pyroglutamic acid have potent virucidal activity for the rhinoviruses that persists for several hours after application to the hands. A subsequent evaluation in human volunteers confirmed the prevention of rhinovirus infections by these acids and suggested that these agents have promise as cosmetically acceptable virucidal agents for interruption of the transmission of these infections.

Keywords: common cold; hand disinfection; antiviral

Journal Article.  2012 words. 

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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