Bactericidal effect of solar water disinfection under real sunlight conditions

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008 May;74(10):2997-3001. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02415-07. Epub 2008 Mar 21.


Batch solar disinfection (SODIS) inactivation kinetics are reported for suspensions in water of Campylobacter jejuni, Yersinia enterocolitica, enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and endospores of Bacillus subtilis, exposed to strong natural sunlight in Spain and Bolivia. The exposure time required for complete inactivation (at least 4-log-unit reduction and below the limit of detection, 17 CFU/ml) under conditions of strong natural sunlight (maximum global irradiance, approximately 1,050 W m(-2) +/- 10 W m(-2)) was as follows: C. jejuni, 20 min; S. epidermidis, 45 min; enteropathogenic E. coli, 90 min; Y. enterocolitica, 150 min. Following incomplete inactivation of B. subtilis endospores after the first day, reexposure of these samples on the following day found that 4% (standard error, 3%) of the endospores remained viable after a cumulative exposure time of 16 h of strong natural sunlight. SODIS is shown to be effective against the vegetative cells of a number of emerging waterborne pathogens; however, bacterial species which are spore forming may survive this intervention process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bolivia
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / radiation effects*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / radiation effects*
  • Microbial Viability
  • Spain
  • Spores, Bacterial / radiation effects
  • Sunlight*
  • Time Factors
  • Water Microbiology*