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Abstract

The mechanism of bacteriophage photoinactivation by methylene blue and light (MB+L) involves genomic RNA damage. In this study, two RNA viruses, Sindbis virus (SINV) and hepatitis C virus were treated by MB+L and their nucleic acids were amplified to show that RNA lesions occurred during inactivation. During MB+L inactivation, the viral load of both viruses was significantly reduced as MB+L exposure increased. The nucleic acid amplification of treated viral RNA was inhibited in a time-dependent manner and the percentage inhibition of amplification reached about 99% after 30 min of treatment. Furthermore, as compared to SINV viral infectivity detected by quantification of the 50% tissue culture infective dose (TCID50), the inhibition of SINV RNA amplification strongly correlated with a decrease in in vitro infectivity (R2 > 0.94), suggesting that RNA serves as the main target during MB+L inactivation.