Lime as an effective disinfectant for the prevention and control of Avian Influenza


Recent outbreaks of Avian Influenza (AI) in Europe and worldwide have highlighted the difficulties in controlling this disease. The properties of the natural product Lime make it an appropriate and suitable tool for the prevention and control of avian influenza and other pathogenic diseases. Listed as an effective disinfectant in many national regulations or guidelines (Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland), lime is already commonly used as disinfectant on a regular basis and in case of epidemic outbreaks such as Foot and Mouth disease, Aujeszky Disease and African Swine Fever. Lime has also demonstrated its capacity to successfully control outbreaks of Avian Influenza in Japan (2004), Turkey (2006) and Germany (2007).


Lime has indeed been recognised and used over centuries as an efficient disinfectant, although no scientific evidence has been readily available. In view of effectively preventing and controlling avian influenza, the lime industry is committed to contributing to fight avian influenza by developing efficient disinfection solutions in collaboration with European and international bodies. In this regard, EuLA closely coordinates its actions in the field with the Japan Lime Association and the Canadian Lime Institute as well as with the International Lime Association (ILA).


To this end, the lime sector partnered with the Institut Pasteur de Lille (IPL) to conduct a scientific study (2007). The scientific research demonstrated that the H5N1 virus, which is responsible for the Avian Flue, is effectively and rapidly (within 5 minutes at 4°C) inactivated by lime. The results of the study have been presented to the scientific community at the International Conference on Avian Influenza in Bangkok on 23-25 January 2008. The abstract and poster have been included in the proceedings.


EuLA initiated the publication of comprehensive practical guidelines on the use of lime for the control and prevention of Bird Flue outbreaks, based on the information available in health protection manuals (e.g. FAO, WHO), national guidelines, scientific literature and field experience. Contributions to the guidelines are welcome and can be sent to


See also press release of 12.02.2008 (in English, French, German, Dutch).