Inactivation of Viruses on Surfaces by Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation

J Occup Environ Hyg. 2007 Jun;4(6):400-5. doi: 10.1080/15459620701329012.


In many outbreaks caused by viruses, the transmission of the agents can occur through contaminated environmental surfaces. Because of the increasing incidence of viral infections, there is a need to evaluate novel engineering control methods for inactivation of viruses on surfaces. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is considered a promising method to inactivate viruses. This study evaluated UVGI effectiveness for viruses on the surface of gelatin-based medium in a UV exposure chamber. The effects of UV dose, viral nucleic acid type (single-stranded RNA, ssRNA; single-stranded DNA, ssDNA; double-stranded RNA, dsRNA; and double-stranded DNA, dsDNA), and relative humidity on the virus survival fraction were investigated. For 90% viral reduction, the UV dose was 1.32 to 3.20 mJ/cm2 for ssRNA, 2.50 to to 4.47 mJ/cm2 for ssDNA, 3.80 to 5.36 mJ/cm2 for dsRNA, and 7.70 to 8.13 mJ/cm2 for dsDNA. For all four tested viruses, the UV dose for 99% viral reduction was 2 times higher than those for 90% viral reduction. Viruses on a surface with single-stranded nucleic acid (ssRNA and ssDNA) were more susceptible to UV inactivation than viruses with double-stranded nucleic acid (dsRNA and dsDNA). For the same viral reduction, the UV dose at 85% relative humidity (RH) was higher than that at 55% RH. In summary, results showed that UVGI was an effective method for inactivation of viruses on surfaces.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage T7 / physiology
  • Bacteriophage T7 / radiation effects*
  • Bacteriophage phi 6 / physiology
  • Bacteriophage phi 6 / radiation effects*
  • Bacteriophage phi X 174 / physiology
  • Bacteriophage phi X 174 / radiation effects*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / radiation effects
  • DNA, Viral / radiation effects
  • Escherichia coli / virology
  • Humidity
  • Levivirus / physiology
  • Levivirus / radiation effects*
  • Pseudomonas syringae / virology
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / radiation effects
  • RNA, Viral / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Virus Inactivation / radiation effects


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Double-Stranded
  • RNA, Viral