The question, “Can viruses live in alkaline water?” remains a question of broad interest to scientists and virologists all over the world.
The pH range between 0-14, and values between 7-14 is considered alkaline, and this is the PH level favorable to animals like oysters, sea urchins, etc. Alkaline water, unlike other types of water, is mostly found in the sea and oceans, and it often contains a high concentration of salt. Alkaline solutions usually contain more hydroxide ions than acidic or neutral solutions. Thus, alkaline solutions contain more oxygen than other forms of solutions. It has been scientifically proven that alkaline solutions absorb more than 20x the oxygen content than acidic solutions, which makes it unfavorable to the growth of microorganisms.
According to WebMD, alkaline water has tremendous health benefits, such as improvements to metabolism, digestion, and energy. While this is debatable, it is an exciting thing to observe the world of microbes as it concerns alkaline water. While alkaline water could be of premium value to humans, it is, however, different to assume that alkaline water would be of equal benefits to microbes.
Generally, microbes thrive more in neutral PH environments and a slightly acidic habitat, However, there are some extremophilic microbes that can survive at an alkaline medium in environments ranging from 8-10 on the PH scale. With more research and discoveries, a lot of alkaliphilic microbes have been discovered.
But one major class of microorganisms that offers a high degree of economic importance are the viruses. While some viruses could have some atheistic value, others could, however, be harmful, dangerous, and destructive; Viruses have a very tiny structure of fewer than 400 nanometers with capsids and protective layers that make them impermissible. The presence of these protective layers makes it difficult for drugs and other killing agents to penetrate.
However, despite these protective features, viruses cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. In alkaline water of PH above 8, its capsid and lipid layer gradually weakens, and the viral strain is exposed to an unfavorable temperature (usually below 25 degrees Celsius). This viral strain struggles to survive in this uncomfortable temperature and unfortunately dies.
Constituents and Components of Alkaline Water
Generally, the PH for pure water is 7. However, because of some impurities and mineral components, the PH of some water is altered. The basic PH range of alkalinity is 8-14, and this is as a result of some impurities and metallic ions such as hydroxide ions, calcium ions, and carbonic ions.
When these ions come in contact with a virus, they penetrate the virus’s lipid layer and destroy the viral strain. Alkaline water is unique and offers a lot of health benefits to humans. It is used for laboratory and microbial purposes.
Viruses and pH Levels
It is no doubt that the pH level is important to the environment, and both humans and microbial organisms are solely dependent on it. And one of the active habitats for life existence is water. Since alkaline water is generally an unfriendly zone for the existence of microbes, it could serve as a significant tool in eradicating or reducing the mortality of a virus.
This observation has not been scientifically proven. However, a lot of bacteria have been known not to survive in an alkaline medium. This observation could reveal that a good number of viruses might not survive in an alkaline medium.[table “5” not found /]
Living Conditions For Viruses
Viruses can thrive in numerous habitats and ecological niches. Because of its microscopic size, it cannot be seen with human eyes, microscopes, or optical devices. It can only be seen with an electron microscope, which has a high magnification of more than 2000x. This means that it can be on surfaces, basements, foods, and even in our body without us realizing it.
Generally, viruses are much more comfortable living inside a host, where it has the luxury of food, shelter, and protection. It can live inside a host for years, feeding, and procreating.
Because of some special features, such as capsid and its lipid layer, it can live for years. Sometimes, the virus could live even longer than the host. Like in the case of facultative.
Generally, very few viruses can survive outsides its host, and even when they do, they tend to die off because of the harsh environmental conditions. But inside its host, it could procreate and live for hundreds and thousands of years.
· All Viruses dwell in a pH level habitat;
All living things from the smallest to the largest living things survive in a unique PH habitat. This is one of the unique things about the world’s ecosystem. Whether it is parasites or mammals, everything must have a unique and personal range of PH.
This PH affects our existence and the existence of things connected to us, such as food, water, and even air. At the same time, not all viruses can survive in an alkaline water medium and a lot can survive a neutral pH and even an acidic PH level.
· Not all Viruses are harmful.
While lots of microbes are known to be deadly and dangerous, some are actually essential to human life. Interestingly, most viruses are beneficial to our health. While these two-phases looms in the world of virology, it is, therefore, of prime importance that while the world’s attention is directed towards annihilating as many viruses as possible, precautious steps and research must be done to identify and preserve the helpful viruses in order to improve the quality of life.
· The healthy path of consuming alkaline water
Alkaline water has amazing benefits and is essential for our health. The alkaline water is what is used for a lot research. It is often recommended for laboratory purposes when there is an increasing pace in research and technology because alkaline water is a clean medium for research and microbial studies. Unlike acidic water, the alkaline water can be used for several lab purposes.
· Hygiene and cleanliness
Hygiene and cleanliness remain the sole factor in the fight against the virus. While viruses exists in different media and could be transported via air, water, and others, personal hygiene and cleanliness remain a pivotal tool, as most viruses would hardly strive in a clean and tidy environment. Therefore, regularly cleaning the surfaces reduces the spread of viruses. The use of antiseptics, soaps, and detergent when cleaning and bathing provides an alkaline medium, which makes it difficult for the virus to thrive and survive.