Differential Susceptibility of Bacteriophage and Viruses to Reactive Oxygen Species

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​Research & Reviews: A Journal of Microbiology and Virology

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Reactive oxygen species of superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radicals were generated by mixing xanthine, xanthine oxidase and iron citrate and incubating for 5 min at room temperature. T2 bacteriophage, encephalomyocarditis (EMC) virus, adenovirus, or vaccinia virus particles were incubated with the solution for various periods of time after reactive oxygen species were formed. Physical damage to the virus particles that affected the ability of viruses to successfully infect susceptible host cells was measured. Viruses exposed to the reactive oxygen species were serially diluted and infected into susceptible host cells. The number of plaque forming units formed was compared to controls incubated in salt solutions for the same time periods. Infectivity of T2 bacteriophage was relatively unaffected by incubation with the reactive oxygen species for as long as 40 min whereas infectivity of EMC virus and adenovirus decreased by 97.1% and 96.4%, respectively, after incubation for 10 min. Vaccinia virus was intermediately affected at 10 min of exposure decreasing its infectivity by 50.5% but 98.5% after 40 min of exposure. Damage to EMC virus particles incubated for 10 min with the reactive oxygen species solution decreased only 82.6% with superoxide dismutase and 16.8% with superoxide dismutase and catalase in the reaction mixtures. EMC virus and adenovirus are very susceptible to lethal damage by reactive oxygen species while T2 bacteriophage is very resistant to damage. Vaccinia virus is intermediately susceptible. The results suggested that superoxide, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals are all partially responsible for inactivation of susceptible virus particles.



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