SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus classified in the family Coronaviridae
. In this review, we summarize the literature on light-based (UV, blue, and red lights) sanitization methods for the inactivation of ssRNA viruses in different matrixes (air, liquid, and solid). The rate of inactivation of ssRNA viruses in liquid was higher than in air, whereas inactivation on solid surfaces varied with the type of surface. The efficacy of light-based inactivation was reduced by the presence of absorptive materials. Several technologies can be used to deliver light, including mercury lamp (conventional UV), excimer lamp (UV), pulsed-light, and light-emitting diode (LED). Pulsed-light technologies could inactivate viruses more quickly than conventional UV-C lamps. Large-scale use of germicidal LED is dependent on future improvements in their energy efficiency. Blue light possesses virucidal potential in the presence of exogenous photosensitizers, although femtosecond laser (ultrashort pulses) can be used to circumvent the need for photosensitizers. Red light can be combined with methylene blue for application in medical settings, especially for sanitization of blood products. Future modelling studies are required to establish clearer parameters for assessing susceptibility of viruses to light-based inactivation. There is considerable scope for improvement in the current germicidal light-based technologies and practices.
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