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Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0053721, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476396


UV light, more specifically UV-C light at a wavelength of 254 nm, is often used to disinfect surfaces, air, and liquids. In early 2020, at the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic, UV light was identified as an efficient means of eliminating coronaviruses; however, the variability in published sensitivity data is evidence of the need for experimental rigor to accurately quantify the effectiveness of this technique. In the current study, reliable and reproducible UV techniques have been adopted, including accurate measurement of light intensity, consideration of fluid UV absorbance, and confirmation of uniform dose delivery, including dose verification using an established biological target (T1UV bacteriophage) and a resistant recombinant virus (baculovirus). The experimental results establish the UV sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2, HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, and mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) and highlight the potential for surrogate viruses for disinfection studies. All four coronaviruses were found to be easily inactivated by 254 nm irradiation, with UV sensitivities of 1.7, 1.8, 1.7, and 1.2 mJ/cm2/log10 reduction for SARS-CoV-2, HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, and MHV, respectively. Similar UV sensitivities for these species demonstrate the capacity for HCoV-OC43, HCoV-229E, and MHV to be considered surrogates for SARS-CoV-2 in UV-inactivation studies, greatly reducing hazards and simplifying procedures for future experimental studies. IMPORTANCE Disinfection of SARS-CoV-2 is of particular importance due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. UV-C irradiation is a compelling disinfection technique because it can be applied to surfaces, air, and water and is commonly used in drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. UV inactivation depends on the dose received by an organism, regardless of the intensity of the light source or the optical properties of the medium in which it is suspended. The 254 nm irradiation sensitivity was accurately determined using benchmark methodology and a collimated beam apparatus for four coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2, HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, and MHV), a surrogate indicator organism (T1UV), and a resistant recombinant virus (baculovirus vector). Considering the light distribution across the sample surface, the attenuation of light intensity with fluid depth, the optical absorbance of the fluid, and the sample uniformity due to mixing enable accurate measurement of the fundamental inactivation kinetics and UV sensitivity.

Coronavirus 229E, Human/radiation effects , Coronavirus OC43, Human/radiation effects , Murine hepatitis virus/radiation effects , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Ultraviolet Rays , Animals , Baculoviridae/radiation effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disinfection/methods , Humans , Vero Cells