Sunlight inactivation of ms2 coliphage in the absence of photosensitizers: Modeling the endogenous inactivation rate using a photoaction spectrum

Mi T. Nguyen, Andrea I. Silverman, Kara L. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The endogenous sunlight inactivation rates of MS2 coliphage in photosensitizer-free water were measured (kobs) under different light conditions and compared to modeled inactivation rates (kmod) computed using a previously published action spectrum. Experiments were conducted under simulated and natural sunlight there was generally good agreement between modeled and observed MS2 sunlight inactivation rates in the summer and winter, suggesting that the action spectrum can be used to predict changes in the inactivation rate caused by diurnal and seasonal changes in natural sunlight irradiance. However, we show that a major source of uncertainty in the predictions is the ability to accurately measure or model the comparatively weak and highly variable solar irradiance between 280 and 300 nm, a range to which the inactivation rate is very sensitive the action spectrum was also used to predict the endogenous inactivation rates of MS2 at different depths in a column of strongly humic-colored [i.e., solar ultraviolet (UV)-attenuating] wetland water under simulated sunlight; we observed fairly good agreement between kobs and kmod, suggesting that the action spectrum can be used to estimate the decrease in the endogenous inactivation rate caused by spectrally selective sunlight attenuation in the water column.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3891-3898
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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