Surface inactivation of the bacteriophages T, T, T, MS2, of EMC virus and Semliki Forest virus was studied, exposing the viruses to a large air/water interface by aeration or by rotating the fluid in a spherical flask. EMC virus in 1 -NaCl was not sensitive to this treatment, phage T and T were only little affected, but the phages T and MS2 and Semliki Forest virus were rapidly inactivated by bubbling air or nitrogen gas through the suspension. In salt solutions at rest no inactivation of these viruses was observed. Inactivation by aeration was prevented by addition of peptone, by apolar carboxylic acids and by the surface active agent OED. If a large solution/glass interface is present, some loss of virus occurs by adsorption to the glass surface. Phenylalanine protected against adsorption to the glass surface, but protected less effectively against inactivation by aeration. The rate of surface inactivation was strongly dependent on the salt concentration in the medium. At low NaCl concentration (0.01 ) nearly no inactivation was found for phage T and MS2 and phage T was not sensitive to aeration in 1 -NaCl but was rapidly inactivated in 2.6 -NaCl. The rate of inactivation decreased with time of shaking and in the case of phage T a nearly completely resistant fraction of 10 of the original particles remained. The resistance against surface inactivation was a non-heritable property. Resistance against thermal inactivation was not correlated with resistance to surface inactivation, suggesting that the mechanism of inactivation differs in these processes.


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