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Inactivation of Vaccinia Virus by Natural Sunlight and by Artificial UVB Radiation


Corresponding author email: (Jose-LuisSagripanti)


This study determined the sensitivity of vaccinia virus, an orthopox virus commonly used as a surrogate for variola virus (etiological agent of smallpox), exposed to UVB radiation emitted by a solar simulator, or to direct natural sunlight. The data obtained indicate that: (1) the virucidal effect of natural sunlight can be mimicked adequately by an artificial light source with similar spectral characteristics in the UVB, (2) viral sensitivity to UVB or to solar radiation can be correlated with experimental data previously obtained with UVC, (3) the correlation factor between virus inactivation by solar radiation (measured at 300 ± 5 nm) and by UVC (254 nm) is between 33 and 60, and (4) the sensitivity of viruses either dry on glass surfaces or in liquid suspension is similar when in the presence of similar amounts of cellular debris and growth media. The findings reported in this study should assist in estimating the threat posed by the persistence of virus during epidemics or after an accidental or intentional release.