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Atmospheric pressure, nonthermal plasma inactivation of MS2 bacteriophage: effect of oxygen concentration on virucidal activity




The main aim of this study was to determine the virucidal inactivation efficacy of an in-house-designed atmospheric pressure, nonthermal plasma jet operated at varying helium/oxygen feed gas concentrations against MS2 bacteriophage, widely employed as a convenient surrogate for human norovirus.

Methods and Results

The effect of variation of percentage oxygen concentration in the helium (He) carrier gas was studied and found to positively correlate with MS2 inactivation rate, indicating a role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) in viral inactivation. The inactivation rate constant increased with increasing oxygen concentrations up to 0·75% O2. 3 log10 (99·9%) reductions in MS2 viability were achieved after 3 min of exposure to the plasma source operated in a helium/oxygen (99·25% : 0·75%) gas mixture, with >7 log10 reduction after 9 min exposure.


Atmospheric pressure, nonthermal plasmas may have utility in the rapid disinfection of virally contaminated surfaces for infection control applications.

Significance and Impact of Study

The atmospheric pressure, nonthermal plasma jet employed in this study exhibits rapid virucidal activity against a norovirus surrogate virus, the MS2 bacteriophage, which is superior to previously published inactivation rates for chemical disinfectants.

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