Home\Educate\Water Reuse 101\Research Projects\Year\2014\Enhanced Disinfection of Adenoviruses with UV Irradiation

Enhanced Disinfection of Adenoviruses with UV Irradiation

Project: 06-11
Year Release: 2014
Type: Report

Program: Principal
Funding Partner: Bureau of Reclamation
Total Investment: $128,692 (Cash)

Principal Investigators: Karl Linden, Duke University and University of Colorado Boulder, and Jeanette Thurston, USDA–ARS and USDA National Institute of Food Safety


Ultraviolet technology is a tool to disinfect water.

Goals and Objectives

The project investigates the UV inactivation of adenovirus, comparing two common UV technologies—low and medium pressure lamps—and two methods of adenovirus infectivity assays—cell culture and a mouse animal model.

Research Approach

  • Study numerous types of adenoviruses
  • Evaluate UV disinfection of each type using both monochromatic UV 254 LP lamps and polychromatic MP lamps
  • Develop methods for testing a mouse-derived adenovirus using both cell culture and animal infectivity assays
  • Compare the inactivation of adenoviruses using cell culture and animal infectivity as well as LP and MP UV light.
  • Evaluate inactivation of these viruses in waters from a wastewater reuse scenario

Findings and Conclusions

The data illustrated that the polychromatic medium pressure (MP) UV lamps were much more effective than low pressure (LP) UV lamps, and the doses required for virus inactivation were much lower than those in the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) regulations. There was no difference in the inactivation of adenoviruses when assayed in a cell culture model as compared to a mouse animal model, indicating that existing cell culture data appear to be representative of in vivo infectivity models.

Important insights into the comparison of the use of cell culture infectivity and animal infectivity for assessing the effectiveness of UV for disinfection of viruses were uncovered in this research. For LP UV light at 254 nm, which mainly causes damage to the viral genome, there was almost no difference in the UV dose response of adenoviruses when assayed in cell culture or an animal model. Both models also proved once again that MP UV light was much more effective than LP UV light for inactivation of adenoviruses. What was not evident from these data is that the use of an animal model provided a different outcome or interpretation of the UV inactivation of adenoviruses compared to cell culture. Although this study was not comprehensive enough to prove specifically that animal models were similar to cell culture models for assessing infectivity of viruses, the evidence presented herein certainly points to this likelihood and provides more confidence in cell culture results as being representative of what would be expected in an animal infectivity case.

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