Disinfection 101 IntroductionPathogenic organisms can be introduced into a veterinary clinic or animal housing facility through a variety of ways. For this reason, biological risk management (BRM) protocols are necessary to prevent, contain and eliminate the spread of disease. Disinfection protocols, when implemented correctly, can be a cost-effective means of reducing pathogenic organisms and are an important step in any biological risk management program. Prevention of disease is typically easier and more cost-effective than addressing an outbreak situation. Therefore, development and implementation of a step-by-step disinfection protocol for the control and prevention of infectious disease has become essential for farms and clinics. Disinfection protocols may vary depending on the need of the farm or clinic. No single disinfectant is adequate for all situations. Disinfection protocols used on a daily basis will differ from those needed to control an infectious disease outbreak. However, both have one component in common; thorough cleaning and washing prior to the application of any disinfectant is essential. The purpose of this handout is to provide 1) an overview of factors to consider when developing and implementing an effective disinfection protocol, 2) an overview of chemicals used for disinfection, their advantages and limitations, and 3) essential steps of an effective disinfection protocol. Following development of a disinfection plan, it is equally important to train personnel of the proper procedures to use and safety issues involved as well as to have the steps posted in prominent locations throughout the facility to serve as a reminder of proper disinfecting techniques.