Anti-Viral Activity of Copper

Antiviral activity of copper

Copper as an antiviral surface agent

Copper also has the ability to destroy viruses, such as influenza viruses, noroviruses or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Warnes and Keevil (2013) showed a rapid inactivation of murine norovirus (MNV-1) on copper alloy dry surfaces (65% to 99·9% Cu) at room temperature (Warnes and Keevil 2013). Similar to ‘contact killing’ of bacterial and fungal species, they demonstrated that Cu(II) and especially Cu(I) were the primary effectors of MNV-1 inactivation. Quenching superoxide and hydroxyl radicals did not provide better protection suggesting ROS (reactive oxygen species) had little effect on norovirus inactivation in this situation. Finally, they showed that the viral genome is targeted by copper, especially a gene encoding VPg (viral-genome-protein-linked, a viral protein essential for viral infectivity), by gene copy number reduction. Warnes et al. (2015) confirmed these results and reported that MNV-1 was inactivated more rapidly on alloys containing 79–89% copper than on alloys containing 70% copper (Warnes et al. 2015). These results confirm that copper concentration affects the antiviral efficiency of copper.

In addition, the inactivation of monkeypox and vaccinia viruses have also been demonstrated on copper surfaces (Bleichert et al. 2014).

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