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Environ Sci Technol. 2013 Oct 1;47(19):11004-12. doi: 10.1021/es402285u. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Sunlight-induced inactivation of human Wa and porcine OSU rotaviruses in the presence of exogenous photosensitizers.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , 205 North Mathews, 3230 Newmark Lab, Urbana, Illinois 61801, United States.


Human rotavirus Wa and porcine rotavirus OSU solutions were irradiated with simulated solar UV and visible light in the presence of different photosensitizers dissolved in buffered solutions. For human rotavirus, the exogenous effects were greater than the endogenous effects under irradiation with full spectrum and UVA and visible light at 25 °C. For porcine rotavirus, the exogenous effects with UVA and visible light irradiation were only observed at high temperatures, >40 °C. The results from dark experiments conducted at different temperatures suggest that porcine rotavirus has higher thermostability than human rotavirus. Concentrations of 3'-MAP excited triplet states of 1.8 fM and above resulted in significant human rotavirus inactivation. The measured excited triplet state concentrations of ≤0.45 fM produced by UVA and visible light irradiation of natural dissolved organic matter solutions were likely not directly responsible for rotavirus inactivation. Instead, the linear correlation for human rotavirus inactivation rate constant (kobs) with the phenol degradation rate constant (kexp) found in both 1 mM NaHCO3 and 1 mM phosphate-buffered solutions suggested that OH radical was a major reactive species for the exogenous inactivation of rotaviruses. Linear correlations between rotavirus kobs and specific UV254 nm absorbance of two river-dissolved organic matter and two effluent organic matter isolates indicated that organic matter aromaticity may help predict formation of radicals responsible for rotavirus inactivation. The results from this study also suggested that the differences in rotavirus strains should be considered when predicting solar inactivation of rotavirus in sunlit surface waters.

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