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International Journal of Microbiology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 412694, 4 pages
Research Article

Survival of Viral Biowarfare Agents in Disinfected Waters

1Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, U.S. Army, RDECOM, Edgewood Area, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, MD 21010, USA
2Science Applications International Corporation, P.O. Box 68, Gunpowder, Branch, Aberdeen, MD 21010, USA

Received 2 July 2010; Accepted 10 November 2010

Academic Editor: Joseph Falkinham

Copyright © 2010 Mary Margaret Wade 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.


Protecting civilian and military water supplies has received more attention since the United States began its war on terror in 2001. Both chlorine and bromine are used by branches of the U.S. military for disinfecting water supplies; however, limited data exists as to the effectiveness of these additives when used against viral biowarfare agents. The present study sought to evaluate the survival of selected viral biothreat agents in disinfected water. Disinfected water samples were spiked with vaccinia virus strain WR and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) virus strain TC-83 each separately to a final concentration of approximately PFU/mL, and survival was assessed by plaque assay. Both viruses were inactivated by 1 mg/L free available chlorine (FAC) and 2mg/L total bromine within one hour. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that both chlorine and bromine are effective disinfectants against vaccinia virus and VEE strain TC-83 at the concentrations tested.