The Need and Methods for Assessing the Activity of Topical Agents Against Viruses

Authored by: Shamim A. Ansari , Syed A. Sattar

Handbook of Topical Antimicrobials

Print publication date:  September  2002
Online publication date:  September  2002

Print ISBN: 9780824707880
eBook ISBN: 9780203909256
Adobe ISBN:


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Topical agents intended for the decontamination of skin have routinely been examined for their antibacterial properties, and indeed this has often been assumed to be all that is necessary. Viral contamination of skin has not been widely recognized, and, therefore, neither is the need for topical antiviral agents. While pathogenic viruses are not a part of the normal resident microflora of the body, they are shed for varying periods by those infected with them. Shedding of virus generally begins prior to the onset of clinical symptoms and lasts for several days, or occasionally weeks, after recovery. It is also important to note here that most cases of viral infections remain asymptomatic while silently shedding infectious viruses into their surroundings and can, therefore, be a source of serious disease for others.

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