Bactericidal Effect of Solar Water Disinfection under Real Sunlight Conditions

M. Boyle, C. Sichel, P Fernandez Ibanez, G. B. Arias-Quiroz, M. Iriarte-Puna, A. Mercado, E. Ubomba-Jaswa, K. G. McGuigan

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140 Citations (Scopus)


Batch solar disinfection (SODIS) inactivation kinetics are reported for suspensions in water of Campy- lobacter jejuni, Yersinia enterocolitica, enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and endo- spores of Bacillus subtilis, exposed to strong natural sunlight in Spain and Bolivia. The exposure time required for complete inactivation (at least 4-log-unit reduction and below the limit of detection, 17 CFU/ml) under conditions of strong natural sunlight (maximum global irradiance, 1,050 W m 2 10 W m 2) was as follows: C. jejuni, 20 min; S. epidermidis, 45 min; enteropathogenic E. coli, 90 min; Y. enterocolitica, 150 min. Following incomplete inactivation of B. subtilis endospores after the first day, reexposure of these samples on the following day found that 4% (standard error, 3%) of the endospores remained viable after a cumulative exposure time of 16 h of strong natural sunlight. SODIS is shown to be effective against the vegetative cells of a number of emerging waterborne pathogens; however, bacterial species which are spore forming may survive this inter- vention process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2997-3001
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 22 Apr 2008


  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Yersinia enterocolitica
  • S. epidermidis
  • and non-verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli O157


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