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This study examined the effect of the amino acid composition of protein capsids on virus inactivation using ultraviolet (UV) irradiation and titanium dioxide photocatalysis, and physical removal via enhanced coagulation using ferric chloride. Although genomic damage is likely more extensive than protein damage for viruses treated using UV, proteins are still substantially degraded. All amino acids demonstrated significant correlations with UV susceptibility. The hydroxyl radicals produced during photocatalysis are considered nonspecific, but they likely cause greater overall damage to virus capsid proteins relative to the genome. Oxidizing chemicals, including hydroxyl radicals, preferentially degrade amino acids over nucleotides, and the amino acid tyrosine appears to strongly influence virus inactivation. Capsid composition did not correlate strongly to virus removal during physicochemical treatment, nor did virus size. Isoelectric point may play a role in virus removal, but additional factors are likely to contribute.
Mayer, Brooke K.; Yang, Yu; Gerrity, Daniel; and Abbaszadegan, Morteza A., "The Impact of Capsid Proteins on Virus Removal and Inactivation During Water Treatment Processes" (2015). Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Research and Publications. 137.