A group of French scientists from the University of Provence found that coronavirus completely dies when exposed to heat at 92 degrees for 15 minutes. Their findings are published on the bioRxiv resource, which produces scientific materials.
During the experiment, the researchers heated the coronavirus to 60 degrees for an hour, finding that after such exposure some of its strains were still able to multiply. Hourly heating up to 60 degrees is the standard virus deactivation protocol used in most laboratories where patient analyzes are examined. At the same time, it was possible to completely deactivate the coronavirus after heating to 92 degrees for 15 minutes.
To conduct the study, scientists used African green monkey kidney cells infected with a strain of coronavirus obtained from a patient from Germany. The infected cells were placed in two test tubes: one with a clean medium, the other with proteins of animal origin, simulating real, not sterile, conditions.
After the standard heating procedure, the virus strains in a clean environment were completely deactivated, but some of them remained in non-sterile samples. The researchers suggested that a standard decontamination protocol might be enough to destroy samples with a low viral load, but this might not be enough for samples with a high virus content.
The authors of the experiment noted that the results of their study should contribute to the selection of the most appropriate virus decontamination protocol to prevent the threat of infection of the medical staff working directly with the samples.