Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
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Here we show that N₂ gas plasma, produced by applying a short high-voltage pulse using a static induction (SI) thyristor power supply inactivates influenza virus. N₂ gas plasma treatment of influenza A and B viruses induced the degradation of viral proteins, including nucleoprotein, hemagglutinin, and neuraminidase. The injury of viral RNA genome and the inactivation of hemagglutination were also observed after N₂ gas plasma treatment. These changes were possibly due to changes in the viral envelope, because modification of the lipid content was also suggested by Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy. At least three major mechanisms of action [heat, UV-A, and oxidative stress (i.e. hydrogen peroxide-like molecules)] were found in this system. Among them, oxidative stress appeared to be the main factor in the inactivation of influenza virus. In addition, there was an increase in the nitrotyrosine content of viral proteins, suggesting that oxidative stress produced by N₂ gas plasma generation oxidized proteins. As a result, oxidation may be the most important factor in the inactivation, degradation, and modification of influenza virus by N₂ gas plasma.