Respiratory infections are acquired by the inhalation of airborne microorganisms. To evaluate the effect of germicidal UV-irradiation on airborne contagion, infectious clouds of influenza A/PR8/34 virus were generated and exposed to known intensities of UV. Thereafter, the airborne virus was used to infect mice wherein the pathogenesis of the viral pneumonia was evaluated. Increasing doses of UV inactivated infectious airborne virus in a dose-dependent manner and reduced the mortality rates as compared to an infectious cloud of untreated virus. When a sublethal cloud of infectious virus was used, UV-irradiation modified the viral infection, as quantitated by pulmonary virus titers, from a severe pneumonitis to a milder form of the disease. These data demonstrate the efficacy of germicidal UV-irradiation in disinfection of air by reducing the concentration of viable organisms which, in turn, reduces the severity of respiratory infection when transmitted to the susceptible host.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)