Papillomavirus is resistant to desiccation

Richard B.S. Roden, Douglas R. Lowy, John T. Schiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


There is strong epidemiologic evidence for sexual transmission of high- risk genital human papillomavirus (HPV) types. However, it is unclear if infection may also be transmitted indirectly via fomites. To assess this possibility, the in vitro infectivity after desiccation was compared for pseudotype HPV-16 virions, a model for high-risk type genital HPV, and bovine papillomavirus type 1 (BPV-1), a papillomavirus known to be transmitted via fomites. The 2 viruses had similar resistance to desiccation in cell extracts, retaining ~100%, 50%, and 30% of infectivity when dehydrated for 1, 3, and 7 days, respectively, at room temperature. Pseudotype HPV-16 and BPV in cell extracts were completely inactivated by autoclave treatment and susceptible to 70% ethanol but were resistant to EDTA or incubation at 56°C for 1 h. The data suggest that further study of nonsexual spread of high- risk genital HPV via fomites is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1079
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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