Survival on uncommon fomites of feline calicivirus, a surrogate of noroviruses

Stefanie Clay, Sunil Maherchandani, Yashpal S. Malik, Sagar M. Goyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background: Norovirus (NoV) transmission occurs mainly through food and fomites. Contaminated human fingers can transfer the virus to inanimate objects, which may then spread the virus to susceptible persons. However, no information is available on the survival of NoVs on fomites, which may be of importance in the transmission of NoVs in institutional settings such as hospitals and nursing homes. Methods: In the absence of any in vitro cultivation system for NoVs, feline calicivirus (FCV) was used as a surrogate. Several fomites such as computer mouse, keyboard keys, telephone wire, telephone receiver, telephone buttons, and brass disks representing faucets and door handle surfaces were artificially contaminated with known amounts of FCV. Samples were taken at regular time intervals, and virus was titrated in feline kidney cells to determine its survival on these surfaces. Results: Survivability of FCV varied with fomite type. The virus survived for up to 3 days on telephone buttons and receivers, for 1 or 2 days on computer mouse, and for 8 to 12 hours on keyboard keys and brass. The time for 90% virus reduction was <4 hours on computer keys, mouse, brass, and telephone wire; 4 to 8 hours on telephone receiver; and 12 to 24 hours on telephone buttons. Conclusion: The results of this study confirm that FCV (and perhaps NoV) can survive on fomites such as computers, telephones, and faucets and may be transmitted to humans using these contaminated materials. This may necessitate regular cleaning or disinfection of these items, especially in hospitals and nursing homes and after known outbreaks of NoVs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-43
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of infection control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


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