DOI: 10.1093/jambio/lxad181 ISSN:

In situ generation of cold atmospheric plasma-activated mist and its biocidal activity against surrogate viruses for COVID-19

Aditya Upadrasta, Stephen Daniels, Thomas Philip Thompson, Brendan Gilmore, Hilary Humphreys
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • General Medicine
  • Biotechnology



To provide an alternative to ultra violet light and vapourized hydrogen peroxide to enhance decontamination of surfaces as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods and results

We developed an indirect method for in situ delivery of cold plasma and evaluated the anti-viral activity of plasma-activated mist (PAM) using bacteriophages phi6, MS2, and phiX174, surrogates for SARS-CoV-2. Exposure to ambient air atmospheric pressure derived PAM caused a 1.71 log10 PFU ml−1 reduction in phi6 titer within 5 min and a 7.4 log10 PFU ml−1 reduction after 10 min when the the PAM source was at 5 and 10 cm. With MS2 and phiX174, a 3.1 and 1.26 log10 PFU ml−1 reduction was achieved, respectively, after 30 min. The rate of killing was increased with longer exposure times but decreased when the PAM source was further away. Trace amounts of reactive species, hydrogen peroxide and nitrite were produced in the PAM, and the anti-viral activity was probably attributable to these and their secondary reactive species.


PAM exhibits virucidal activity against surrogate viruses for COVID-19, which is time and distance from the plasma source dependent.

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