The antimicrobial activity of simulated solar disinfection (SODIS) against enteric waterborne viruses including coxsackievirus-B5, poliovirus-2 and hepatitis A virus was investigated in this study. Assays were conducted in transparent 12-well polystyrene microtitre plates containing the appropriate viral test suspension. Plates were exposed to simulated sunlight at an optical irradiance of 550 Wm−2 (watts per square metre) delivered from a SUNTEST™ CPS+ solar simulator for 6 hours. Aliquots of the viral test suspensions were taken at set time points and the level of inactivation of the viruses was determined by either culture on a HeLa cell monolayer for coxsackievirus-B5 and poliovirus-2 or by utilising a chromogenic antibody-based approach for hepatitis A virus. With coxsackievirus-B5, poliovirus-2 and hepatitis A virus, exposure to SODIS at an optical irradiance of 550 Wm−2 for 1–2 hours resulted in complete inactivation of each virus. The findings from this study suggest that under appropriate conditions SODIS may be an effective technique for the inactivation of enteric viruses in drinking water. However, further verification studies need to be performed using natural sunlight in the region where the SODIS technology is to be employed to validate our results.

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