Characterization of the effect of aluminum metal on poliovirus

Robert B. Thurman, Charles P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Metallic aluminum has been studied for possible use in conjunction with or as an alternative to conventional soluble disinfectants as applied to drinking and wastewater. Acid-washed aluminum was incubated with [35S]methionine-labeled poliovirus type 1 (LSc) and the counts per min (cpm)/plaque-forming units (pfu) ratio was determined. After 2 h, only 0.013% of the cpm remained in solution, indicating viral adsorption onto the surface of the aluminum. After 76 h, 93% of the cpm returned to solution, while infectivity dropped from 2.2×107 pfu/ml to undetectable levels. This suggests that infectious viruses were adsorbed onto the aluminum surface and released from the surface of the aluminum as non-infectious particles. Analysis by electron microscopy, cesium chloride gradient and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicates that either dissociation or destruction of the viral capsid proteins occurs during incubation with aluminum, which results in viral inactivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1988


  • Aluminum
  • Disinfection
  • Inactivation
  • Poliovirus
  • Virus
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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