Efficacy of solar disinfection of Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella Typhimurium and Vibrio cholerae

J Appl Microbiol. 2006 Oct;101(4):828-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2006.02983.x.


Aims: To determine the efficacy of solar disinfection (SODIS) for enteric pathogens and to test applicability of the reciprocity law.

Methods and results: Resistance to sunlight at 37 degrees C based on F99 values was in the following order: Salmonella Typhimurium>Escherichia coli>Shigella flexneri>Vibrio cholerae. While F90 values of Salm. Typhimurium and E. coli were similar, F99 values differed by 60% due to different inactivation curve shapes. Efficacy seemed not to be dependent on fluence rate for E. coli stationary cells. Sensitivity to mild heat was observed above a temperature of 45 degrees C for E. coli, Salm. Typhimurium and Sh. flexneri, while V. cholerae was already susceptible above 40 degrees C.

Conclusions: Salmonella Typhimurium was the most resistant and V. cholerae the least resistant enteric strain. The reciprocity law is applicable for stationary E. coli cells irradiated with sunlight or artificial sunlight.

Significance and impact of the study: Escherichia coli might not be the appropriate indicator bacterium to test the efficacy of SODIS on enteric bacteria and the physiological response to SODIS might be different among enteric bacteria. The applicability of the reciprocity law indicates that fluence rate plays a secondary role in SODIS efficacy. Stating inactivation efficacy with T90 or F90 values without showing original data is inadequate for SODIS studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Dysentery, Bacillary / microbiology
  • Dysentery, Bacillary / prevention & control*
  • Escherichia coli / radiation effects
  • Hot Temperature
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Salmonella typhimurium / radiation effects
  • Shigella flexneri / radiation effects
  • Species Specificity
  • Sunlight*
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Vibrio cholerae / radiation effects
  • Water Microbiology
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Water Supply