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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 694269, 7 pages
Research Article

N2 Gas Plasma Inactivates Influenza Virus by Inducing Changes in Viral Surface Morphology, Protein, and Genomic RNA

1Department of Virology, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
2Laboratory of Biometabolic Chemistry, School of Health Sciences, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0215, Japan
3NGK Insulators, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8530, Japan

Received 28 April 2013; Revised 4 July 2013; Accepted 25 August 2013

Academic Editor: Kevin M. Coombs

Copyright © 2013 Akikazu Sakudo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have recently treated with N2 gas plasma and achieved inactivation of bacteria. However, the effect of N2 gas plasma on viruses remains unclear. With the aim of developing this technique, we analyzed the virucidal effect of N2 gas plasma on influenza virus and its influence on the viral components. We treated influenza virus particles with inert N2 gas plasma (1.5 kpps; kilo pulses per second) produced by a short high-voltage pulse generated from a static induction thyristor power supply. A bioassay using chicken embryonated eggs demonstrated that N2 gas plasma inactivated influenza virus in allantoic fluid within 5 min. Immunochromatography, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and Coomassie brilliant blue staining showed that N2 gas plasma treatment of influenza A and B viruses in nasal aspirates and allantoic fluids as well as purified influenza A and B viruses induced degradation of viral proteins including nucleoprotein. Analysis using the polymerase chain reaction suggested that N2 gas plasma treatment induced changes in the viral RNA genome. Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed that aggregation and fusion of influenza viruses were induced by N2 gas plasma treatment. We believe these biochemical changes may contribute to the inactivation of influenza viruses by N2 gas plasma.