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Room-temperature, atmospheric-pressure plasma needle treatment is used to effectively minimize the adenovirus (AdV) infectivity as quantified by the dramatic reduction of its gene expression in HEK 293A primary human embryonic kidney cells studied by green fluorescent protein imaging. The AdV titer is reduced by two orders of magnitude within only 8 min of the plasma exposure. This effect is due to longer lifetimes and higher interaction efficacy of the plasma-generated reactive species in confined space exposed to the plasma rather than thermal effects commonly utilized in pathogen inactivation. This generic approach is promising for the next-generation anti-viral treatments and imunotherapies.