Physicochemical properties of the Ljungan virus prototype virion in different environments: inactivated by heat but resistant to acidic pH, detergents and non-physiological environments such as Virkon-containing solutions

Microbiology and Immunology
Jens-Ola EkströmA Michael Lindberg


It is of great importance to know how a virus particle is affected by environmental conditions. Physicochemical properties of the virion will affect the virus viability in different environments, viral transmission between hosts, and will also be important for safe handling of the virus. The physicochemical properties of the Ljungan virus (LV) prototype, 87-012, adapted to grow in cell culture were evaluated using both LV in crude cell extracts and purified virions. Replication of LV was completely inhibited by heat. Titers of LV were unaffected by acidic pH, reduced but not completely abolished by alkaline pH, and unaffected by exposure to the detergents Triton X-100 and SDS. Surprisingly, viable LV was still detected after incubation in the acidic, oxidising and detergent-containing environment produced by the commonly used disinfectant Virkon. In conclusion, LV is resilient to extreme pH, detergents and also to oxidising environments, but is sensitive to heat treatment.


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