Date of Award

Fall 12-4-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Lisa Casanova

Second Advisor

Christine Stauber


The 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak saw a substantial number of healthcare workers (HCWs) being infected, despite the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is intended to protect HCWs when caring for patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD), but PPE may play a role in the spread of Ebola in healthcare environments. Before the removal of PPE, chemical disinfection may prevent the transfer of pathogens to HCWs, but the efficacy of common disinfectants against enveloped viruses, such as Ebola, on PPE surfaces is relatively unknown. The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of two common disinfectants, chlorine bleach (Clorox® bleach) and quaternary ammonium (Micro-Chem Plus®), used in healthcare settings for inactivation of enveloped viruses on PPE. The virucidal activity of the two disinfectants were tested against bacteriophage Φ6, an enveloped, non-pathogenic surrogate for enveloped viruses, on Tyvek suit surfaces. Virus was dried onto Tyvek suit surface, exposed to the disinfectants at use-dilution for a contact time of one minute, and the surviving virus was quantified using a double agar layer (DAL) assay. The Clorox® bleach and Micro-Chem Plus® produced a >3.21 log10 reduction and >4.33 log10 reduction, respectively, in Φ6 infectivity. The results of this study suggest that chlorine bleach and quaternary ammonium are effective in the inactivation of enveloped viruses on Tyvek suit surfaces. Chemical disinfection of PPE should be considered as a viable method to reduce the spread of pathogenic, enveloped viruses to HCWs, patients, and other environmental surfaces in healthcare settings.