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School of Engineering

Preventing emerging infectious disease transmission

Friday, November 16, 2018
A group of Tufts researchers studied the efficacy of disinfectants in preventing transmission of Ebola Virus Disease.
Two hands washing in a sink

Associate Professor Daniele Lantagne and doctoral candidates Marlene Wolfe and Karin Gallandat worked with Melissa Opryszko of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (United States Agency for International Development) on a paper recently published in the journal Water. 

The paper, titled "Determining the Efficacy, Safety and Suitability of Disinfectants to Prevent Emerging Infectious Disease Transmission," focused on the inconsistencies in international guidelines for disinfecting hands and surfaces in infectious disease environments. Lantagne and the other researchers conducted research in three distinct areas:

  1. impacts of chlorine chemistry
  2. efficacy of surface cleaning recommendations
  3. safety and efficacy of handwashing recommendations

At Tufts, the researchers conducted laboratory, field, and policy research. They analyzed their findings as compared to the guidelines given by organizations like Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The group recommended the establishment of more partnerships between responders, donors, and researchers in the area of disease transmission prevention. These partnerships could provide more streamlined and coordinated processes for disinfection, to reduce the burden of infectious diseases.