Chapter 23 : Detection of Viruses in Environmental Waters, Sewage, and Sewage Sludges

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This chapter describes techniques that can be used for concentrating human enteric viruses from environmental water, drinking water, raw wastewater, wastewater sludges, and wastewater effluents. The chapter presents the use of cartridge filter-based methods for concentrating viruses from environmental water, drinking water, and sewage effluent. The methods presented in this chapter for isolating viruses from raw sewage (raw wastewater) and wastewater sludges effectively utilize a process of directed adsorption and elution but differ in that they rely upon the wastewater solids to serve as an in situ adsorbent. A variety of sampling apparatuses may be needed when detecting viruses in environmental waters. The types of apparatus used for concentrating viruses from large volumes of environmental waters, drinking water, or sewage effluent by means of cartridge filtration are not standard equipment for most environmental microbiology laboratories. All of the cartridge filters described in the chapter can be presterilized within their holders by using ethylene oxide gas treatment before they are transported to the field. Objects less resistant to high heat, such as nonborosilicate glass and some polymer materials, can be surface sterilized by dousing or immersing them in commercial 95% ethanol and then igniting the alcohol with a flame. The infectivity of enteric viruses contained in environmental samples can be examined by inoculating the sample into cultures of either human or animal cells that are prepared in the laboratory as opposed to inoculating them into live animals.

Citation: Hurst C, Reynolds K. 2007. Detection of Viruses in Environmental Waters, Sewage, and Sewage Sludges, p 290-299. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch23

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Surface Water
Environmental Microbiology
Natural Environment
Chlorine Dioxide
Hydrochloric Acid
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Diagram of apparatus used for concentrating viruses by using cartridge filters.

Citation: Hurst C, Reynolds K. 2007. Detection of Viruses in Environmental Waters, Sewage, and Sewage Sludges, p 290-299. In Hurst C, Crawford R, Garland J, Lipson D, Mills A, Stetzenbach L (ed), Manual of Environmental Microbiology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815882.ch23
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