UV-A pp 85-106 | Cite as

Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on Microorganisms and Animal Cells

  • John A. Parrish
  • R. Rox Anderson
  • Frederick Urbach
  • Donald Pitts


The photobiologic reactions of multicellular organisms depend upon what happens to individual living cells within their organ systems, which in turn is determined by individual intracellular photochemical reactions. Ultraviolet radiation may inactivate enzymes in numerous biologic systems by producing alterations in proteins. Peptide bonds may be split, photochemical oxidations may occur, sulfide and disulfide bonds may be altered, and DNA may be photochemically changed. In order for this photochemistry to occur, radiation must be absorbed, providing the molecular activation energy to initiate photochemical reactions. All absorption of radiant energy, however, does not lead to photochemistry, because of competition by other mechanisms for dissipating the absorbed energy, such as fluorescence, phosphorescence, or nonradiative deexcitation.


Ultraviolet Radiation Photochemical Reaction Excision Repair Action Spectrum Excited Triplet State 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Parrish
    • 1
  • R. Rox Anderson
    • 1
  • Frederick Urbach
    • 2
  • Donald Pitts
    • 3
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolUSA
  2. 2.Skin and Cancer HospitalTemple University School of MedicineUSA
  3. 3.College of OptometryUniversity of HoustonUSA

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