About    |    History    |    Properties    |    Law & Safety    |    Generation    |    Reactions    |    Effect on Pathogens    |    Solubility    |    Benefits    |    Measures & Conversions    |    Media

Ozone Action

Ozone is a world that still has a lot to explore, discover its effects on pathogens.

So, ozone is a naturally occurring gas created from oxygen atoms. The oxygen molecule is made up of 2 oxygen atoms. These oxygen molecules are broken and single oxygen atoms cannot exist alone without regrouping back into di-atomic oxygen molecules. During this recombination stage some atoms will regroup into loosely bonded tri-atomic oxygen. This new molecule is called Ozone.

Ozone is a very strong oxidant, an ideal chemical-free purification and also a disinfecting agent. Learn more about ozone effects on pathogens below!

How does it work?

Disinfection by tri-atomic oxygen (Ozone) occurs through the rupture of the cell wall. So, this is a more efficient method than Chlorine, which depends upon diffusion into the cell protoplasm and inactivation of the enzymes. So, its killing action upon bacteria, viruses, fungi, and in many species of protozoa, serves as the basis for its increasing use in disinfecting municipal water supplies in cities worldwide.

Ozone is:

  • 10 times more effective than chlorine;

  • 25 times more effective than Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl);

  • 2.500 times more effective than Hypochlorite (OCl);

  • 3.000 times faster to purify water than chlorine;

  • 5.000 times more effective than Chloramine (NH2Cl).

Drawing of an ozone atom with labeled angles of connections

Ozone Effects on Pathogens


As can be seen, bacteria are member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms which have cell walls but lack organelles and also an organized nucleus, including some that can cause disease. Bacteria often attach to surfaces and form dense aggregations called biofilms, and larger formations known as microbial mats. By other words we can say that Bacteria are microscopically small, single-cell creatures having a primitive structure. They take up foodstuffs and release metabolic products, and multiply by division. The bacteria body is sealed by a relatively solid-cell membrane. Their vital processes are controlled by a complex enzymatic system.

Ozone is exceptionally good at tackling harmful bacteria and killing them, because it has highly reactive properties, which means that it simply reacts with the bacteria and destroys it. Ozone interferes with bacterial cell metabolism by inhibiting the enzymatic control system. When an ozone molecule meets a bacterial cell, it starts to break it down by making a hole in the bacterium’s cell wall. This is what holds the cell together, and without it the bacteria will begin to fall apart. Most important, this will happen countless times, ozone molecules coming into contact with the bacteria, making the same holes and rapidly eradicating the bacteria. A sufficient amount of ozone breaks through the cell membrane, destroying the bacteria.

Salmonella bacteria

Salmonella Bacteria

Achromobacter Butyri NCI-9404Ozone susceptiblePhytomonas TumefaciensOzone susceptible
Aeromonas Harveyi NC-2Ozone susceptiblePenicilliumOzone susceptible. 2 ppm for 60 minutes
Aeromonas Salmonicida NC-1102Ozone susceptibleProteus VulgarisVery susceptible
BacillusDestroyed by 0.2mg/I within 30 secondsPseudomonas AeruginosaVery susceptible
Bacillus AnthracisOzone susceptible. Human pathogen that causes anthrax in sheep, sheep, cantle and pigs.Pseudomonas Fluorscens (Bioflims)Very susceptible
Bacillus Cereus99.99% destruction after 5-min at 0.12 mg/l in waterPseudomonas PutidaVery susceptible
Bacillus CoagulansVery susceptibleSalmonellaVery susceptible
Bacillus Globigii
Very susceptibleSalmonella CholeraesuisVery susceptible
Bacillus Klebs-Loffler
Destroyed by 1.5 to 2 mg/lSalmonella EnteritidisVery susceptible
Bacillus Megatherium Sp.99% destruction after 5-min at 2.3 mg/l in waterSalmonella ParatyphiVery susceptible
Bacillus Paratyphosus
Very susceptibleSalmonella Typhimurium99.99% destruction at 0.25 mg/l for 1.67 minutes in water
Bacillus Prodigiosus
Very susceptibleSalmonella TyphosaVery susceptible
Bacillus Subtilis90% reduction at 0.10-PPM for 33 minutesSarcina LuteaOzone susceptible
Bacillus StearothermophilusVery susceptibleSchistosomaVery susceptible
Clostridium Botulinum0.4 to 0.5 mg/l threshold value. Its toxin paralyzes the central nervous system, being a poison multiplying in food and mealsSeratia MarcescensOzone susceptible
Clostridium Sporogenes0.4 to 0.5 mg/l threshold valueShigella DysenteriaeVery susceptible
Clostridium TetoniOzone susceptibleShigella FlexnariaVery susceptible
CryptosporidiumOzone susceptibleShigella ParadysenteriaeVery susceptible
ColiphageOzone susceptibleSpirllum RubrumOzone susceptible
Corynebacterium DiphthriaeOzone susceptibleStaph Epidermidis90% reduction at 0.1-ppm for 1.7 min
DiphthriaeDestroyed by 1.5 to 2 mg/lStaphylococciDestroyed by 1.5 to 2.0 mg/l
Eberthella TyphosaDestroyed by 1.5 to 2 mg/lStreptococcusDestroyed by 0.2 mg/l within 30 seconds
Endamoebic CystsOzone susceptibleStreptococcus CVery susceptible
Escherichia ColiDestroyed by 0.2 mg/l within 30 seconds in airStreptococcus Faecalis99.99% at 2ppm for 23 to 26 seconds
Flavorbacterium SP A-3Ozone susceptibleStreptococcus HemolyticusVery susceptible
Legionella Pneumophila99.99% destruction at 0.32 mg/l for 20 minutes in distilled waterStreptococcus LactisVery susceptible
Leptospira CanicolaOzone susceptibleStreptococcus SalivariusVery susceptible
Listeria Monocytogenes99.99% at 2ppm for 3 to 11 secondsStreptococcus ViridansVery susceptible
Micrococcus CandidusOzone susceptible. 0.02 to 0.26 ppm for <1.67 minutesTyphus abdominalis (Eberth Bacillus)Destroyed by 1.5 to 2 mg/l
Micrococcus Caseolyticus KM-15Ozone susceptibleTorula RubraOzone susceptible
Micrococcus SpharaeroidesOzone susceptibleVibrio Alginolyticus & AngwillarumVery susceptible
Mycobacterium avium99.9% with a CT value of 0.17 in waterVibrio CholeraVery susceptible
Mycobacterium foruitum90% destruction at 0.25 mg/l for 1.6 minutes in waterVibrio CommaVery susceptible
Mycobacterium LepraeVery susceptibleVirrio ParahaemolyticusOzone susceptible
Mycobacterium TuberculosisVery susceptibleVirrio Ichthyodermis NC-407Ozone susceptible
Neisseria CatarrhalisOzone susceptible


Firstly, viruses are small, independent particles, built of crystals and macromolecules. In contrast to the bacteria, they multiply only within the host cell. Not to mention that viruses have no protections against oxidative stress. The enveloped viruses are usually more sensitive to physical and chemical challenges than the naked virus.

Ozone destroys viruses by diffusing through the protein coat into the nucleic acid core, where it damages viral RNA. At higher concentrations, by oxidation, ozone destroys the virus’ exterior protein shell so that DNA or RNA structures are affected.

For instance, numerous families of viruses including poliovirus I and 2, human rotaviruses, Norwalk virus, SARS-CoV, Parvoviruses, and Hepatitis A, B and non-AorB, among many others, are susceptible to the virucid actions of ozone.

Close-up of the SARS-CoV-2 virus particle


Adenovirus (type 7a)76% reduction at <0.01 mg/l for 10 minutes in waterHepatitis A99.5% reduction at 0.25 mg/l for 2 seconds in phosphate buffer
Bacteriophage f299.99% destruction at 0.41 mg/l for 10 seconds in waterHerpesDestroyed to zero level in less than 30 seconds with 0.1 to 0.8 mg/l
Coxsackie A995% destruction at 0.035 mg/l for 10 seconds in waterInfluenza0.4 to 0.5 mg/l
Coxsackie B3 Destroyed to zero level in less than 30 seconds by 0.1 0.8 mg/lKlebs-LofflerDestroyed by 1.5 to 2 mg/l
Coxackie B599.99% destruction at 4.1 mg/l for 2.5 minutes in sludge effluentPoliomyelitisKill of 99.999% with 0.3 to 0.4 mg/l in 3 to 4 minutes
Cryptosporidium99.9% destruction at 4.7 mg/l in 25ºC water for 1 minutePoliomyelitis (type 1)99.5% destruction at 0.25 mg/l for 1.6 minutes in water
Echovirus 1, 5 and 1299% destruction at 0.26 mg/l for 10 minutes in 20ºC waterRhabdovirusDestroyed to zero level in less than 30 seconds with 0.1 to 0.8mg/l
Echovirus 29This virus is the most sensitive to ozone. 99.999% killed after a contact time of 1 minute at 1 mg/l of ozoneRotavirus25 mg/ml decreased by 8-9 log10 TCID50/ml
EncephalomyocarditisDestroyed to zero level in less than 30 seconds with 0.1 to 0.8 mg/lSARS-CoV-2>90% - 0,05 to 0,1ppm by 10 hours (a harmless concentration for man)
Enteric Virus95% destruction at 4.1 mg/l for 29 minutes in raw wastewaterStomatitisDestroyed to zero level in less than 30 seconds with 0.1 to 0.8 mg/l
EnterovirusDestroyed to zero level in less than 30 seconds with 0.1 to 0.8 mg/lTobacco MosaicDecreased with the advance of ozonization
Feline Calicivirus99% destruction at 0.02 mg/l for in 5ºC waterVisicularDestroyed to zero level in less than 30 seconds with 0.1 to 0.8 mg/l
GD V11 VirusDestroyed to zero level in less than 30 seconds with 0.1 to 0.8 mg/l

Fungi & Mold

A fungus is a eukaryotic organism. Both yeasts, molds and mushrooms are examples of fungi. Like animals, humans and most bacteria, also all fungi are heterotrophs (this means that they get their energy by eating organic substances).

So, ozone destroys fungi and mold by diffusing through the fungal wall and into the cytoplasm, disrupting the organelles that direct cell function.

For example, fungi families inhibited and destroyed by exposure to ozone include Candida, Aspergilus, Histoplasma, Actinomycoses, and Cryptococcus. The walls of fungi are multilayered and recomposed of approximately 80% carbohydrates and 10% of proteins and glycoproteins.

Bread with mold

Bread Mold

Alternaria Solani Ozone susceptibleOspora Lactis (white) Ozone susceptible
Aspergillus Candidus Ozone susceptiblePenicillium Cyclopium Ozone susceptible
Aspergillus Flavus (yellowish-green) Ozone susceptiblePenicillium Chrysogenum Ozone susceptible
Aspergillus Glaucus (bluish-green) Ozone susceptiblePenicillium Citrinum Ozone susceptible
Aspergillus Niger (black mount)Destroyed by 1.5 to 2 mg/IPenicillium Digitatum (olive) Ozone susceptible
Aspergillus Oryzac Ozone susceptiblePenicillium Glaucum Ozone susceptible
Aspergillus Saitoi Ozone susceptiblePenicillium Expansum (olive) Ozone susceptible
Aspergillus Terreus Ozone susceptiblePenicillium Egyptiacum Ozone susceptible
Botrytis Allii Ozone susceptiblePenicillium Roqueforti (green) Ozone susceptible
Botrytis Cinerea3.8 mg/l for 2 minutesPythium Ultimum Ozone susceptible
Colletotrichum Lagenariu Ozone susceptiblePhytophthora Erythroseptica Ozone susceptible
Fusarium Oxysporum f.sp. Lycopersici1.1 mg/l for 10 minutesPhytophthora Parasitica3.8 mg/l for 2 minutes
Fusarium Oxysporum f.sp. Melonogea99.99 % destruction at 1.1 mg/l for 20 minutesRhizoctonia Solani Ozone susceptible
Grotrichum Ozone susceptibleRhizopus Nigricans (black) Ozone susceptible
Monilinia Fruiticola Ozone susceptibleRhizopus Stolonifer Ozone susceptible
Monilinia Laxa Ozone susceptibleSclerotium Rolfsii Ozone susceptible
Mucor Recomosus A & B (white-gray) Ozone susceptibleSclerotinia Sclerotiorum Ozone susceptible
Mucor Piriformis3.8 mg/l for 2 minutes

Other Pathogens

Chlorella VulgarisCryptosporidium ParvumParameciumBaker’s Yeast
ThamnidiumGiardia LambliaNematode EggsCandida Albicans (all forms)
Trichoderma VirideGiardia MurisChlorella Vulgaris (algae)Common Yeast Cake
Verticillium Albo-AtrumSaccharomyces Cerevisiae
Verticillium Dahliae
Saccharomyces Ellipsoideus
Saccharomyces sp.

Microscopic view of pathogens

Trichoderma viride conidiophores