Ozonation is often promoted as one of the most effective disinfection procedures. There are numerous reports on how ozone effectively kills bacteria and molds, and disarms viruses within seconds due to its exceptional oxidative activity and small size.

Still, there are examples of thermophilic bacteria existing in volcanoes, as well as viruses in arctic ice, so they both can adapt to extreme conditions. Are there any examples of bacteria, viruses or molds (not necessarily pathogens) that cannot be killed by ozone, or at least show significantly higher resistance to oxidation?


Bacteria resistant to ionizing radiation (e.g., Deinobacterium chartae, Deinococcus spp., Desertibacter roseus, Geodermatophilus dictyosporus, Hymenobacter actinosclerus, Kineococcus radiotolerans, Methylobacterium radiotolerans, Microbacterium radiodurans, Paenibacillus darwinianus, Pseudomonas radiora, Rubrobacter radiotolerans, Spirosoma radiotolerans, Streptomyces radiopugnans; for links to the paper describing these species, see: Bacteria I. Names), can be expected to withstand higher doses of ozone compared to bacteria sensitive to ionizing radiation.

The sensitivity to ozone of different strains of the same bacterial species can differ markedly if the strains differ in the efficiency of DNA repair mechanisms.

Brinkman et al. (1964) Radiomimetic toxicity of ozonised air. Lancet 1: 133-136.


Hamelin & Chung (1976) Rapid test for assay of ozone sensitivity in Escherichia coli. Mol Gen Genet 145: 191-194.

ozone resistance is probably involved with DNA repair mechanism



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