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Destroying norovirus with copper

September 10, 2013

ROCKVILLE, MD — Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered that copper and copper alloys can rapidly destroy norovirus, according to a press release.

The study, which was designed to simulate fingertip-touch contamination of surfaces, showed norovirus was rapidly destroyed on copper and its alloys, with those containing more than 60 percent copper proving particularly effective, the release stated.

According to the release, copper alloys have previously been shown to be effective antimicrobial surfaces against a range of bacteria and fungi.

"The use of antimicrobial surfaces containing copper in clinical and community environments, such as cruise ships and care facilities, could help to reduce the spread of this highly infectious and costly pathogen," said lead author Sarah Warnes, from the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

"Copper alloys, although they provide a constant killing surface, should always be used in conjunction with regular and efficient cleaning and decontamination regimes using non-chelating reagents that could inhibit the copper ion activity," Warnes added.

Click here to read the release in its entirety.