Pseudoviruses for the assessment of coronavirus disinfection by ozone

Ines Zucker*, Yaal Lester, Joel Alter, Michal Werbner, Yinon Yecheskel, Meital Gal-Tanamy, Moshe Dessau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted public health worldwide. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via aerosols and surfaces has highlighted the need for efficient indoor disinfection methods. For instance, the use of ozone gas as a safe and potent disinfectant against SARS-CoV-2 virus is of particular interest. Here we tested the use of pseudoviruses as a model for evaluating ozone disinfection of the coronavirus at ozone concentrations of 30, 100, and 1000 ppmv. Results show that ozone disinfection rate of pseudoviruses was similar to that of coronavirus 229E (HuCoV-229E) at short contact times, below 30 min. Viral infection decreased by 95% following ozone exposure for 20 min at 1000 ppmv, 30 min at 100 ppmv and about 40 min at 30 ppmv. This findings mean that ozone is a powerful disinfectant toward the enveloped pseudovirus even at low ozone exposure. We also showed that viral disinfection occurs on various contaminated surfaces, with a positive association between disinfection and surface hydrophilicity. Infected surfaces made of aluminum alloy, for example, were better disinfected with ozone as compared to brass, copper, and nickel surfaces. Lastly, we demonstrate the advantage of ozone over liquid disinfectants by showing similar viral disinfection on top, side, bottom, and interior surfaces. Overall, our study demonstrates the potential use of ozone gas disinfection to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1779-1785
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


FundersFunder number
Hebrew University of Jerusalem


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