DNA repair and survival of pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 was investigated following exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from both low-pressure (LP) and medium-pressure (MP) lamps. This study included irradiation at UV doses used in drinking water treatment and lower doses indicative of potential treatment problems. Immediately following UV exposure, an average log inactivation of 4.5 or greater was observed following all tested doses of LP (5, 8, 20 and 40 mJ/cm2) or MP UV (5 and 8 mJ/cm2) indicating the sensitivity of E. coli O157:H7 to UV irradiation. Following conditions conducive to repair, maximum photo repair occurred rapidly within 30 minutes after low doses (5 and 8 mJ/cm2) of LP UV. The rate of repair was much higher than reported previously in non-pathogenic E. coli (which occurred within 2 hours). In contrast to LP UV, limited photo repair of E. coli O157:H7 was observed following MP UV exposure at reduced doses (5 and 8 mJ/cm2). At these lower doses, low levels of light independant repair were observed following LP UV, but not following exposure of MP UV irradiation. This study indicates that MP UV may enhance UV disinfection of E. coli O157:H7 by reducing the ability to repair following non-ideal treatment conditions. Following doses used in drinking water treatment (20 and 40 mJ/cm2), low levels of photo repair following LP UV were evident.

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