Inactivation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 by WHO-Recommended Hand Rub Formulations and Alcohols

Annika Kratzel; Daniel Todt; Philip V'kovski; Silvio Steiner; Mitra Gultom; Tran Thi Nhu Thao; Nadine Ebert; Melle Holwerda; Jörg Steinmann; Daniela Niemeyer; Ronald Dijkman; Günter Kampf; Christian Drosten; Eike Steinmann; Volker Thiel and Stephanie Pfaender


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2020;26(7):1592-1595. 

In This Article


We found that SARS-CoV-2 was efficiently inactivated by WHO-recommended formulations, supporting their use in healthcare systems and viral outbreaks. Of note, both the original and modified formulations were able to reduce viral titers to background level within 30 s. In addition, ethanol and 2-propanol were efficient in inactivating the virus in 30 s at a concentration of ≥30% (vol/vol). Alcohol constitutes the basis for many hand rubs routinely used in healthcare settings. One caveat of this study is the defined inactivation time of exactly 30 s, which is the time recommended but not routinely performed in practice. Our findings are crucial to minimize viral transmission and maximize virus inactivation in the current SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.