Use of a Hand Sanitizing Wipe for Reducing Risk of Viral Illness in the Home

Akrum H Tamimi, Sarah L. Edmonds-Wilson, Charles P Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study determined whether a hand sanitizing wipe can reduce virus transmission in households, and could reduce the probability of infection by rhinovirus and rotavirus. Bacteriophage MS-2 (a marker virus) was used to assess viral transmission in five households having at least two children of ages 2–18. Hands of one female adult were inoculated with ~108 PFU MS-2 bacteriophages in each home, and after 8 h, hands of all family members and select fomites were sampled to determine baseline contamination without intervention. This sequence was repeated with the intervention, where all family members were instructed to use a quaternary ammonium compound-based sanitizing wipe at least once per day. A significant reduction of virus after the intervention occurred on inoculated hands (95.3 %; p = 0.0039), all fomites combined (74.5 %; p < 0.005), and non-inoculated hands and fomites combined (73.5 %; p < 0.005). However, viral reduction on non-inoculated hands was not significant, likely due to small sample size. Using rhinovirus and rotavirus as models it was estimated that infection risk was reduced by ~30 to 89 % with the use of sanitizing wipes once per day depending on the starting concentration of these viruses on hands of susceptible individuals. Therefore, using a hand sanitizing wipe can significantly reduce viral transmission and risk of illness in homes. Previous studies have shown other hand hygiene interventions, such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers, are even more effective for reducing risk of illness in homes; however the sanitizing wipe used in this study is appropriate to use for microbial reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-358
Number of pages5
JournalFood and Environmental Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Hand hygiene
  • Hand sanitizing wipe
  • Homes
  • Risk assessment
  • Virus transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Food Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Virology


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