Western equine encephalitis virus, and RNA virus, and herpes simplex virus type 1, a DNA virus, were efficiently inactivated in less than 1 min by exposure to long-wave ultraviolet light (320 to 380 nm) in the presence of several psoralen derivatives. The psoralen photochemical reaction was chosen for study due to its known specificity for nucleic acids. Neither the light nor any of the drugs alone caused appreciable inactivation. The inactivation kinetics and dependence on light intensity and on different derivatives of psoralen were studied. The high solubility of a new aminomethyl psoralen derivative was found to be advantageous in the photochemical inactivation of the RNA virus, but was not in the case of the more easily inactivated DNA virus. Within its limited solubility range trimethylpsoralen was superior to its aminomethyl derivative on a molar basis for the inactivation of both types of viruses under most of the conditions studied.


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