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LANXESS's Virkon S proven to kill highly pathogenic avian influenza strains

  • Veterinary disinfectant expected to inactivate the
  • H5N8 strain, responsible for the recent bird flu outbreaks
  • Suitable for all avian influenza continuous and terminal biosecurity disinfection procedures
  • Rapidly eliminates viruses at economical dilution rates
  • Remains highly effective in cold temperatures

Virkon S, one of the world's leading veterinary disinfectants, from specialty chemicals company LANXESS, is recognized worldwide as the disinfectant of choice for the emergency disease control of avian influenza (bird flu). It is independently proven to be effective against lethal strains of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. 

Studies carried out by independent international test laboratories have proven that Virkon S inactivates highly pathogenic avian influenza strains in the face of challenging farm conditions such as heavy organic challenge, dilution by rain water and low temperatures, and the broad range of disease-causing organisms that can exist on farms. Virkon S is recommended for use at a dilution of 1:100 for preventative and continuous biosecurity measures to rapidly provide high levels of efficacy.

The highly efficacious nature of Virkon S has been demonstrated in a series of tests against members of the orthomyxoviridae virus family (including avian influenza H5N1), and would by association be expected to inactivate the H5N8 strain.

Outbreaks of avian influenza in Europe and Asia

With outbreaks of avian influenza H5N8 in Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Netherlands, Denmark, Croatia), as well as in Asia (for example South Korea, India), European veterinary experts have advised poultry producers to heighten their biosecurity vigilance to reduce the likelihood of infectious migratory wild birds from infecting the tens of millions of European birds. Whether the flocks are housed or not, vehicles may pick-up the highly infectious virus and carry the organism onto farms where workers can potentially spread the disease by touch, on their clothing and footwear.

Virkon S, unlike a number of other disinfectants, remains highly effective in cold winter temperatures, in the presence of organic challenge and across the pH spectrum, without the need to increase its concentration or surface contact time.

Global head of the disinfectants business at LANXESS Material Production Products, Igor Martin explains, “The cornerstone of emergency disease preparation must be to maintain a heightened state of vigilance against Avian Influenza. Control protocols for this highly contagious disease should be based on sound and effective continuous biosecurity measures, as described below,  using a disinfectant independently proven to be effective against highly pathogenic avian influenza virus strains. Effective emergency disease control strategies must be a priority for governments and poultry producers internationally.”

Effective biosecurity measures

Poultry producers should ensure that their biosecurity measures are vigilantly enforced and include:

  • Effective biosecurity perimeter controls
  • Transport biosecurity - wheel dips and sprays
  • Disinfectant foot dips
  • Hand washing and protective clothing
  • Avoiding stock coming into contact with wild birds
  • Thorough cleaning of poultry houses with a heavy-duty multipurpose cleanser (e.g. Biosolve Plus)
  • Most importantly, regular, thorough and effective disinfection of poultry houses as avian influenza viruses can survive well in water, so simple washing with water alone may assist in their transmission.


Material protection solutions from LANXESS

The products of the Material Protection Products business unit are used worldwide in many different applications. With its broad portfolio of antimicrobial active ingredients, preservatives and disinfectants, the business unit offers tailored solutions for customers in many industrial sectors. In addition to disinfection, these include the wood protection industry, the paint and coatings industry as well as the construction sector and the beverage industry. Material Protection Products also offers extensive technical service, regulatory support and project-specific research and development.

The LANXESS Material Protection Products business unit currently has a workforce of around 500, with production sites in Krefeld-Uerdingen and Dormagen (Germany), Sudbury (Great Britain), Memphis, Kingstown, Pittsburgh (United States), Jhagadia (India), Changzhou (China) and Singapore. It is part of the Performance Chemicals segment, which posted 2015 sales of around EUR 2.1 billion.


Detailed information is available online at and



LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.9 billion in 2015 and about 16,700 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 54 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, specialty chemicals and plastics. Through ARLANXEO, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, LANXESS is also a leading supplier of synthetic rubber. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World) and FTSE4Good.


Material Protection Products