Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Quinn Vega

Committee Member

Sandra D. Adams

Committee Member

Lee H. Lee


The 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infected over 8,000 people and killed 784 leaving many questions concerning the effectiveness of common household disinfectants and antiseptics at preventing viral transmission. In order to determine how well standard disinfectants and detergents were at eliminating viral particles from surfaces, the antiviral action of triclosan, pine oil, bleach, chloroxylenol and quaternary ammonium compound/ethanol based products were assayed against Murine Hepatitis Virus (MHV), a virus genetically similar to SARS. Using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for the virucidal assay, it was determined that alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium saccharinate in 79% ethanol (Lysol Disinfectant Spray®), chloroxylenol (Dettol Liquid Antiseptic -Disinfectant®), sodium hypochlorite (household bleach), triclosan (Clean & Smooth Soap®) and pine oil (Pine- Sol®) were effective against MHV when used at the recommended concentrations. Products were then diluted outside of the recommended range and were assayed to determine the efficacy of these products when used incorrectly. Three of these products, alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium saccharinate in 79% ethanol (Lysol Disinfectant Spray®), triclosan (Clean & Smooth Soap®), and sodium hypochlorite (household bleach), when used incorrectly, did not demonstrate complete inactivation of MHV and the presence of MHV infection was detectable after product treatment.

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Biology Commons