Molecular Mechanisms of Viral Inactivation by Water Disinfectants

R. B. Thurman, C. P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Hepatitis, gastroenteritis, and other diseases may be transmitted when viruses evade filtration and pass through water treatment plants. Treatment is required to ensure that those viruses, which successfully pass through the filtration process, become inactivated. The inactivation of bacteria is usually more easily accomplished than the inactivation of viruses. This may be because of the complexity of bacteria and the interaction between a bacterium and its environment. The complex interaction of viruses and disinfectants varies from one type of virus to another making the mode of inactivation unclear. The chapter discusses two-stage disinfection, which offers an efficient means of inactivation of viruses. In the two-stage approach to disinfection, an initial attack of capsid proteins alters the structural integrity of the virus. Second-stage disinfectants, which normally would be unable to diffuse across the intact viral capsid, are then able to reach their target sites easily and inactivate the RNA, thus reducing the likelihood of multiplicity reactivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-105
Number of pages31
JournalAdvances in Applied Microbiology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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