Journal article

Cross-resistance of UV- or chlorine dioxide-resistant echovirus 11 to other disinfectants

The emergence of waterborne viruses with resistance to disinfection has been demonstrated in the laboratory and in the environment. Yet, the implications of such resistance for virus control remain obscure. In this study we investigate if viruses with resistance to a given disinfection method exhibit cross-resistance to other disinfectants. Chlorine dioxide (ClO2)- or UV-resistant populations of echovirus 11 were exposed to five inactivating treatments (free chlorine, ClO2, UV radiation, sunlight and heat), and the extent of cross-resistance was determined. The ClO2-resistant population exhibited cross-resistance to free chlorine, but to none of the other inactivating treatments tested. We furthermore demonstrated that ClO2 and free chlorine act by a similar mechanism, in that they mainly inhibit the binding of echovirus 11 to its host cell. As such, viruses with host binding mechanisms that can withstand ClO2 treatment were also better able to withstand oxidation by free chlorine. Conversely, the UV-resistant population was not significantly cross-resistant to any other disinfection treatment. Overall, our results indicate that viruses with resistance to multiple disinfectants exist, but that they can be controlled by inactivating methods that operate by a distinctly different mechanism. We therefore suggest to utilize two disinfection barriers that act by different mechanisms in order to control disinfection-resistant viruses.

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