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Radio-frequency-driven plasma jets in argon at atmospheric pressure have been shown to emit a significant amount of UV and VUV radiation. There is an increasing interest in the use of UV and VUV photons in many fields of research and in industry, in particular for life-science applications. In order to study the antimicrobial effect of plasma-emitted UV and VUV radiation, microbiological tests and plasma diagnostics are combined. In particular, quantitative values of irradiance are estimated. The VUV emission of the plasma jet is dominated by the emission of argon excimer (Ar2). The recorded spectra between 115 and 180 nm also include several atomic emission lines of nitrogen and oxygen. The UV emissions are due to molecular bands of NO, OH, and N2. The best antimicrobial effect is observed by means of direct plasma treatment. UV and VUV emissions have a lower effect, and there is no difference observed between these two components.