Poliovirus is inactivated rapidly in aerosols at low to moderate relative humidity (r.h.) (Hemmes, Winkler & Kool, 1960; Harper, 1961) and it is of biological and epidemiological importance to know whether the nucleic acid remains infective during this process. De Jong & Winkler (1968) have already reported that whole virus and virus RNA are inactivated in parallel.

However, during similar studies with the virus of encephalomyocarditis of mice (EMC-virus) it was found that the RNA was not inactivated in aerosols even when the infectivity of the whole virus decreased rapidly (de Jong, 1969). This difference is remarkable because of the resemblance between these viruses in structure and aerosol survival. Moreover, Dubovi (1971) showed that for the structurally related bacteriophage MS2 the infectivity of the RNA, but not the intact virus, was stable in aerosols. We have reinvestigated this problem for poliovirus.


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