Elucidating mechanisms by which pathogenic waterborne viruses become inactivated by drinking water disinfectants would facilitate the development of sensors to detect infectious viruses and novel disinfection strategies to provide safe water. Using bacteriophages as surrogates for human pathogenic viruses could assist in elucidating these mechanisms; however, an appropriate viral surrogate for human adenovirus (HAdV), a medium-sized virus with a double-stranded DNA genome, needs to be identified. Here, we characterized the inactivation kinetics of bacteriophage PR772, a member of the Tectiviridae family with many similarities in structure and replication to HAdV. The inactivation of PR772 and HAdV by free chlorine had similar kinetics that could be represented with a model previously developed for HAdV type 2 (HAdV-2). We developed and tested a quantitative assay to analyze several steps in the PR772 replication cycle to determine if both viruses being inactivated at similar rates resulted from similar replication cycle events being inhibited. Like HAdV-2, we observed that PR772 inactivated by free chlorine still attached to host cells, and viral DNA synthesis and early and late gene transcription were inhibited. Consequently, free chlorine exposure inhibited a replication cycle event that was post-binding but took place prior to early gene synthesis for both PR772 and HAdV-2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry