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J Microbiol Methods. 2012 Jan;88(1):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2011.11.007. Epub 2011 Nov 12.

Hollow-fiber ultrafiltration for simultaneous recovery of viruses, bacteria and parasites from reclaimed water.

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Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Hollow-fiber ultrafiltration (UF) is a technique that has been reported to be effective for recovering a diverse array of microbes from water, and may also be potentially useful for microbial monitoring of effluent from water reclamation facilities. However, few data are available to indicate the potential limitations and efficacy of the UF technique for treated wastewater. In this study, recovery efficiencies were determined for various options available for performing the tangential-flow UF technique, including hollow-fiber ultrafilter (i.e., dialyzer) type, ultrafilter pre-treatment (i.e., blocking), and elution. MS2 and ΦX174 bacteriophages, Clostridium perfringens spores, Escherichia coli, and Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts were seeded into 10-L reclaimed water samples to evaluate UF options. Then a single UF protocol was established and studied using seeded and non-seeded 100-L samples from two water reclamation facilities in Georgia, USA. Baxter Exeltra Plus 210 and Fresenius F200NR dialyzers were found to provide significantly higher microbial recovery than Minntech HPH 1400 hemoconcentrators. The selected final UF method incorporated use of a non-blocked ultrafilter for UF followed by elution using a surfactant-based solution. For 10-L samples, this method achieved recovery efficiencies of greater than 50% recovery of seeded viruses, bacteria, and parasites. There was no significant difference in overall microbial recovery efficiency when the method was applied to 10- and 100-L samples. In addition, detection levels for pathogens in seeded 100-L reclaimed water samples were 1000 PFU HAV, 10,000 GI norovirus particles, <500 Salmonella and <200 Cryptosporidium oocysts. These data demonstrate that UF can be an effective technique for recovering diverse microbes in reclaimed water to monitor and improve effluent water quality in wastewater treatment plants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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