Tomato brown rugose fruit virus: Survival of the virus and efficacy of disinfection approaches


PE 033 - Tomato brown rugose fruit virus: Survival of the virus and efficacy of disinfection approaches

Start Date: 
Completion Date: 
Project Leader: 
Adrian Fox, Fera Science Limited
PE 033

AHDB Horticulture Cost
Total Project Value: £13,012
Summary: Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) is an emerging contact transmitted virus related to Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV). The virus was first described from tomato crops in Israel in 2014, where the virus spread in tomato greenhouses almost nationwide within the period of one year after the first outbreak reports. The virus has since been reported from Jordan, Mexico, and Italy, including the island of Sicily, and is present but under eradication in Germany following outbreaks in several glasshouses. Unlike TMV and ToMV, ToBRFV can overcome the Tm-22 resistance gene in tomatoes. The virus is thought to be robust (environmentally stable), and due to limited information current prophylactic hygiene and disinfection approaches are based on strategies to control and eradicate other contact transmissible pathogens.
The aim of this work will be to gather data in support of current best practice advice to ensure the advice is effective against ToBRFV. This includes confirming the survivability of the virus on skin and common glasshouse sufaces including tools and picking crates, as well as investigating the efficacy of a range of disinfectants in denaturing the pathogen.

Aim: The aim of this project is to provide information for industry on the efficacy of prophylactic hygiene measures and disinfection to minimise the risks posed by Tomato brown rugose fuit virus.


The survival of the virus will be investigated both as ‘untreated’ and following disinfection.

The key objectives will be to investigate:

1) Survival of the ToBRFV on skin and gloves (Nitrile)
2) Handwashing to reduce the risk of contamination in the glasshouse
3) Survival of the virus on glasshouse surfaces and tools
4) Efficacy of disinfection approaches on glasshouse surfaces and tools