There is an urgent need for evidence-based engineering controls to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Although ultraviolet (UV) light is known to inactivate coronaviruses, conventional UV lamps contain toxic mercury and emit wavelengths (254 nm) that are more hazardous to humans than krypton chlorine excimer lamps emitting 222 nm (UV222). Here we used culture and molecular assays to provide the first dose response for SARS-CoV-2 solution exposed to UV222. Culture assays (plaque infectivity to Vero host) demonstrated more than 99.99% disinfection of SARS-CoV-2 after a UV222 dose of 8 mJ/cm2 (pseudo-first order rate constant = 0.64 cm2/mJ). Immediately after UV222 treatment, RT-qPCR assays targeting the nucleocapsid (N) gene demonstrated ~ 10% contribution of N gene damage to disinfection kinetics, and an ELISA assay targeting the N protein demonstrated no contribution of N protein damage to disinfection kinetics. Molecular results suggest other gene and protein damage contributed more to disinfection. After 3 days incubation with host cells, RT-qPCR and ELISA kinetics of UV222 treated SARS-CoV-2 were similar to culture kinetics, suggesting validity of using molecular assays to measure UV disinfection without culture. These data provide quantitative disinfection kinetics which can inform implementation of UV222 for preventing transmission of COVID-19.

Fuente: Scientific Reports

Published: 25 August 2022