Throughout human history, people have been using plants and plant-derived products for a variety of medical applications. Recently, essential oils have received increased attention for diverse applications, many of which have not been validated by peer-reviewed research. However, some essential oils have been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Fueled by the recent pandemic, there is an increased need for disinfectants effective against SARS CoV-2. This aims of this project were to determine the ability of essential oils and oil-infused disinfectants to inactivate SARS CoV-2 on surfaces. This knowledge can provide insight into how these products might inactivate SARS CoV-2 and potentially other viruses as well. To be considered effective, high-level disinfectants must be able to effect a four log reduction of a virus dried onto a surface within a stated contact time. Three essential oils and three oil-infused disinfectants were tested for their ability to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 using a disc-based quantitative carrier test. An effective neutralizer was developed to inactivate each product after a specified contact time. These time points were chosen to create an inactivation regression line for each disinfectant, and predict the time required to cause a four -log reduction of viable viral particles. The results for each disinfectant were replicated three times, in each of three test days. Preliminary results indicate that four disinfectants were able to effect a four-log reduction between 30 seconds and 4 minutes. Two oils showed only about a one log reduction after fifteen minutes of exposure to the virus. Further trials are being performed to more accurately predict the four -log reduction times. Future research will focus on identifying the exact mechanisms of inactivation, in order to develop more effective antiviral disinfectants.
University / Institution: Brigham Young University
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Richard Robison