X-ray inactivation of RNA viruses without loss of biological characteristics

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In the event of an unpredictable viral outbreak requiring high/maximum biosafety containment facilities (i.e. BSL3 and BSL4), X-ray irradiation has the potential to relieve pressures on conventional diagnostic bottlenecks and expediate work at lower containment. Guided by Monte Carlo modelling and in vitro 1-log10 decimal-reduction value (D-value) predictions, the X-ray photon energies required for the effective inactivation of zoonotic viruses belonging to the medically important families of Flaviviridae, Nairoviridae, Phenuiviridae and Togaviridae are demonstrated. Specifically, it is shown that an optimized irradiation approach is attractive for use in a multitude of downstream detection and functional assays, as it preserves key biochemical and immunological properties. This study provides evidence that X-ray irradiation can support emergency preparedness, outbreak response and front-line diagnostics in a safe, reproducible and scalable manner pertinent to operations that are otherwise restricted to higher containment BSL3 or BSL4 laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21431
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Grant-in-Aid for New and Emerging Vector Borne and Zoonotic Disease from Public Health England. Parts of these studies involving work with RVFV was supported by an SBRI grant from Innovate UK. The findings, opinions and views expressed herein belong to the authors and do not reflect an official position of the United Kingdom Department of Health. The authors would like to acknowledge and thank Nicolás Correa for input into the production of Fig. 1c.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).


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