Effects of simulated solar disinfection of water on infectivity of Salmonella typhimurium

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2000 Oct;31(4):284-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1472-765x.2000.00815.x.


To determine whether cells of Salmonella typhimurium rendered nonculturable by simulated solar disinfection retain infectivity for mice. Bacteria suspended in water were exposed to UVA irradiation for up to 8 h. Culturability, determined by colony forming unit and Most Probable Number counts, fell by six log10 units, while cellular activity determined by the Kogure cell elongation test was retained by approximately 5% of the cells present after 8 h. Intraperitoneal doses of nonculturable cells and active but nonculturable (ABNC) cells exceeding the LD50 of the test organism and BALB/c mouse host, respectively, by 4 and 3 orders of magnitude failed to produce detectable infections. Culturable cells that had been irradiated for 1.5 h were less infective (virulent) than their nonirradiated counterparts. Nonculturable and ABNC cells of Salm. typhimurium produced by UVA irradiation do not retain infectivity for mice. Although ABNC cells could be produced by low cost solar disinfection systems, they do not appear to pose a potential infection hazard.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Culture Media
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / microbiology*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / pathogenicity
  • Salmonella typhimurium / physiology*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / radiation effects
  • Sunlight*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Virulence
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Purification / methods


  • Culture Media