The use of copper to help prevent transmission of SARS-coronavirus and influenza viruses. A general review

Aaron A. Cortes*, Jorge M. Zuñiga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


The SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the COVID-19 disease, a severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Its main transmission pathway is through large respiratory droplets, as well as direct and indirect contact. Copper in different formats has been used in research and clinical settings to reduce the risk of bacterial and viral contamination. Therefore, this review aims to search for evidence about the biocidal properties of copper over the Coronaviridae family. A literature review was performed using PubMed and Ovid servers without date or language restrictions. The search was carried out on March 7, 2020, using the following search terms: [Copper] Coronavirus OR CoV OR SARS OR MERS OR Influenza. Copper destroys the replication and propagation abilities of SARS-CoV, influenza, and other respiratory viruses, having high potential disinfection in hospitals, communities, and households. Copper can eliminate pathogenic organisms such as coronavirus bacterial strains, influenza virus, HIV, and fungi after a short period of exposure. Copper seems to be an effective and low-cost complementary strategy to help reduce the transmission of several infectious diseases by limiting nosocomial infectious transmission. Copper oxide or nanocompounds may be used as filters, face masks, clothing, and hospital common surfaces to reduce viruses and bacterial incubation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115176
JournalDiagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Copper
  • Coronavirus
  • Influenza
  • Nanoparticles
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome


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