The coronavirus can linger on surfaces for up to several hours. Surfaces coated with a particular polymer has found to exhibit remarkable antiviral properties.

Surfaces coated with a quaternary ammonium polymer might also be capable of reducing the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS-CoV-2 wherever there is an increased risk of contamination, according to the researchers at the University of Arizona.

Inanimate surfaces that might harbor respiratory pathogens and enteric human viruses are known as ‘fomites’. These surfaces can get recontaminated even after the usage of common liquid disinfectants that are usually wiped dry from surfaces. This has paved the way towards the invention of many self-disinfecting surfaces which has the ability to inactivate deposited pathogens.

The specific antiviral coating makes viruses non-infective when they come into contact with a treated surface.

The study:

The researchers recently reported on a novel continuously active antimicrobial coating which appeared promising in reducing the spread of healthcare-acquired infections in hospital settings. They now evaluated a modified coating that demonstrated a residual efficacy against viruses. They used the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) method to assess the antiviral coating performance of this coating. The efficacy of the test substance was calculated using the logarithmic reduction of infectious viral particles remaining after being exposed to the test antiviral coating during the 10-minute contact time.

The findings revealed the following:

  • The coated surfaces were found to be very effective against the human coronavirus (HCV) 229E
  • It reduced the concentration of these viruses by over 90% in just about 10 minutes
  • And within two hours of contact, the coated surfaces reduced the coronavirus concentration by over 99.9%
  • When tested in suspension, the coating formulation yielded  a greater than 99.9% reduction of HCoV 229E within just ten minutes

“This outcome presents an opportunity for controlling the transmission of COVID-19 from contaminated fomites,” said the researchers in their paper published in MedRxiv.

Antimicrobial coatings like this could provide an additional layer of protection in hampering the spread of infectious coronaviruses both indoors as well as in public places where the risk of contamination is higher.

"It has been found that the contamination of a push plate door entrance into an office building can lead to contamination of 50% of the commonly touched surfaces and hands of office workers within four hours. Interventions that employ disinfecting wipes have been shown to reduce the probability of infection in office settings," News Medical LifeSciences quoted the study authors.

doctor-5080337_1280 Coronavirus Prevention Photo: GDJ, Pixabay