Home > Latest News > Environmental Health > Public Health >

Scientists Discover New Approach to Prevent Norovirus Outbreaks

February 2, 2015
Public Health

A team of researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover have discovered that treating surfaces with cold atmosphere pressure plasma (CAPP) can significantly reduce the risk of transmitting norovirus. Up until now scientists have struggled to find a way of killing the virus which has proved resistant to several chemical based disinfectants.

In a study presented in the journal mBio CAPP treatment led to a 20 to 50 fold reduction in the number of virus particles on surfaces. Senior study author Günter Klein thinks the method could be a major step in combating the illness that produces over 2 million cases in the UK each year. “CAPP is an environmentally friendly, low energy method that decreases the microbial load on surfaces,” Klein said. “The technology is effective against viruses with a high tenacity, like noroviruses. Its successful application in medical therapy should be transferred to other areas.”

CAPP has been successfully used by doctors in wound healing and other clinical applications. Currently treatment with bleach has been the most effective method of dealing with outbreaks. The use of CAPP which is produced by applying an electric field to ambient air could lead to the development of handheld technology which can be used by catering staff.

The study team are continuing their work looking at CAPP’s application to additional surfaces and types of norovirus as well as examining the structure of the virus before and after treatment.

You can view a copy of the study Here