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Sci Total Environ. 2015 Jun 1;517:86-95. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.036. Epub 2015 Feb 24.

Interaction of human adenoviruses and coliphages with kaolinite and bentonite.

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Environmental Microbiology Unit, Department of Public Health, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece.
Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece.
Environmental Microbiology Unit, Department of Public Health, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece. Electronic address:
School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, 73100 Chania, Greece.


Human adenoviruses (hAdVs) are pathogenic viruses responsible for public health problems worldwide. They have also been used as viral indicators in environmental systems. Coliphages (e.g., MS2, ΦX174) have also been studied as indicators of viral pollution in fecally contaminated water. Our objective was to evaluate the distribution of three viral fecal indicators (hAdVs, MS2, and ΦΧ174), between two different phyllosilicate clays (kaolinite and bentonite) and the aqueous phase. A series of static and dynamic experiments were conducted under two different temperatures (4, 25°C) for a time period of seven days. HAdV adsorption was examined in DNase I reaction buffer (pH=7.6, and ionic strength (IS)=1.4mM), whereas coliphage adsorption in phosphate buffered saline solution (pH=7, IS=2mM). Moreover, the effect of IS on hAdV adsorption under static conditions was evaluated. The adsorption of hAdV was assessed by real-time PCR and its infectivity was tested by cultivation methods. The coliphages MS2 and ΦΧ174 were assayed by the double-layer overlay method. The experimental results have shown that coliphage adsorption onto both kaolinite and bentonite was higher for the dynamic than the static experiments; whereas hAdV adsorption was lower under dynamic conditions. The adsorption of hAdV increased with decreasing temperature, contrary to the results obtained for the coliphages. This study examines the combined effect of temperature, agitation, clay type, and IS on hAdV adsorption onto clays. The results provide useful new information on the effective removal of viral fecal indicators (MS2, ΦX174 and hAdV) from dilute aqueous solutions by adsorption onto kaolinite and bentonite. Factors enabling enteric viruses to penetrate soils, groundwater and travel long distances within aquifers are important public health issues. Because the observed adsorption behavior of surrogate coliphages MS2 and ΦΧ174 is substantially different to that of hAdV, neither MS2 nor ΦΧ174 is recommended as a suitable model for adenovirus.


Clay mineral; Coliphages; Groundwater; Pathogen adsorption; Viral stability; Viruses

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