Inactivation of coronaviruses and phage Phi6 from irradiation across UVC wavelengths

Ben Ma, Yarrow S. Linden, Patricia M. Gundy, Charles P. Gerba, Mark D. Sobsey, Karl G. Linden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Ultraviolet (UV) devices emitting UVC irradiation (200-280 nm) have proven to be effective for virus disinfection, especially on surfaces and in air, due to their rapid effectiveness and limited to no material corrosion. Numerous studies of UV-induced inactivation focused on nonenveloped viruses. Little is known about UVC action on enveloped viruses across UVC wavelengths. In this study, we determined inactivation efficiencies of two coronaviruses (ssRNA) and an enveloped dsRNA bacteriophage surrogate in buffered aqueous solution (pH 7.4) using five commonly available UVC devices that uniquely emit light at different wavelengths spanning 222 nm emitting krypton chloride (KrCl∗) excimers to 282 nm emitting UVC LEDs. Our results show that enveloped viruses can be effectively inactivated using UVC devices, among which the KrCl∗ excimer had the best disinfection performance (i.e., highest inactivation rate) for all three enveloped viruses. The coronaviruses exhibited similar sensitivities to UV irradiation across the UVC range, whereas the bacteriophage surrogate was much more resistant and exhibited significantly higher sensitivity to the Far UVC (<230 nm) irradiation. This study provides necessary information and guidance for using UVC devices for enveloped virus disinfection, which may help control virus transmission in public spaces during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-430
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 11 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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