f Some Factors Affecting the Survival of Airborne Viruses
- By J. E. Benbough
- First Published Online: 01 March 1971, Journal of General Virology 10: 209-220, doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-10-3-209
- Subject: Articles
- Issue Published:
The response of aerosolized viruses to relative humidity depended greatly on the composition of the fluid from which the viruses were sprayed. For example, the removal of salts from the spray fluid diminished the loss of infectivity of Langat virus (a group B arbovirus) at intermediate relative humidities. Salts were less toxic towards aerosolized Semliki Forest virus (a group A arbovirus) but did cause some loss of infectivity at higher relative humidities after prolonged storage of the aerosol. Polyhydroxy-compounds reversed the virucidal effects of salts on arboviruses. The removal of protein from the spray suspensions of arboviruses caused rapid loss of infectivity in the aerosol at very high relative humidities but had no detrimental effect at lower relative humidities. Poliovirus and T coliphage, which possess no structural lipid, retained high levels of infectivity following aerosolization at relative humidites of 70% or above; at lower relative humidities they were inactivated rapidly. This rapid inactivation was increased further at lower solute concentrations of the spray fluid.
The infectivities of aerosolized polioviruses and coliphages depended on the mode of rehydration during collection of the aerosols, but the infectivities of arboviruses in aerosols were unaffected by this. Atmospheric oxygen was not toxic to viruses in the aerosol state.
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