Electrostatics research in the news

29 April 2015

Cold Plasma & Human Norovirus .

‘Cold plasma’ can inactivate norovirus. The human norovirus (NoV), which is sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug (though it may be caught at any time of year), is highly contagious and the most frequent cause of gastroenteritis in the world. Epidemic outbreaks can arise in various settings including: communities, cruise ships, military barracks, mass catering environments and hospitals. Research by Ahlfelda et al. (2015) suggests NoV can be inactivated through exposure to cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAPP), with 20- to 50-fold reduction in virus particle numbers being indicated as a result of treatment. Those authors suggest CAPP treatment of surfaces may prove an effective strategy to reduce NoV transmission in crowded areas.

The full research paper, ‘Inactivation of a Foodborne Norovirus Outbreak Strain with Nonthermal Atmospheric Pressure Plasma’, can be accessed at: http://mbio.asm.org/content/6/1/e02300-14.full