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Learn About Microbiology

Virus and Virucidal Product Testing Services

Antimicrobial Test Laboratories is one of the few contract laboratories in the United States to offer fully GLP-compliant virology testing services. Dr. Luisa Ikner heads the virus testing lab and associated cell culture laboratory, which conducts studies across a broad range of antimicrobial products using a diverse group of viruses.

Viruses Tested at the Laboratory

The photos to the right were taken at the lab during the course of a virucidal efficacy study of a disinfectant product. The top photo shows a healthy cell monlayer. The photo on the bottom shows the destruction of cells that is caused by viral infection.

Virucidal Efficacy Test Methods and Services

How is Virus Testing Different from Other Testing?

Virus testing is unique within the laboratory because the presence of viruses before and after product treatment is signaled to the scientist by infection and damage to mammalian host cells, rather than growth of bacterial or fungal colonies on agar plates. When virologists analyze individual sets of cells after a study, they use a microscope to look for and count zones where the healthy cells layers become damaged. These are sometimes referred to as plaques. Generally speaking, one plaque corresponds to the presence of one infectious virus.

From the laboratory's perspective, a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work and time is required to grow and maintain the sterile cell cultures that are needed to propagate and detect viruses in antimicrobial efficacy studies.

From our customers' point of view, the cell culture requirement means that extra time must be given to the laboratory to prepare for and execute the study. Some studies take 3-4 weeks from start to finish, though most take about 1-2 weeks. The behind-the-scenes cell culture work and extraordinary expertise necessary to conduct virological assays also means that virological studies are more expensive than related bacteriological assays.

Thank you for viewing our main virology page. We'd love to help you get started on your virucidal efficacy testing project. If you are ready to place a study with us, just get a price quote here. If you have more questions, just give us a call and we will do our best to help.