Peroxygenic acid, under the brand name Virkon®, has unleashed great debate following contradictory reports of its efficacy and spectrum of activity. The aim of this study was to test the biocidal activity of the compound against 10 different micro-organisms, following standard in-vitro test procedures. Bactericidal, fungicidal and sporicidal activities were determined using quantitative suspension and germ carrier tests and virucidal activity was assessed using a simple dilution suspension test, following the Association Francaise de Normalisation (AFNOR) guidelines. One percent Virkon® demonstrated bactericidal activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus hirae and Mycobacterium smegmatis in the suspension test and against P aeruginosa, E. coli, S. aureus and E. hirae in the carrier test. One percent Virkon® showed virucldal activity against poliovirus in the suspension test. However, this concentration did not comply with sporicidal and fungicidal activity guidelines. In conclusion, 1% Virkon® is effective only against vegetative bacteria, yeasts and viruses, and should therefore be considered a low-level disinfectant. (C) 2000 The Hospital Infection Society.
- Biocidal activity
- Peroxygenic acid