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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1984 Sep;48(3):525-30.

Effect of proteins on reovirus adsorption to clay minerals.


Organic matter in sewage, soil, and aquatic systems may enhance or inhibit the infectivity of viruses associated with particulates (e.g., clay minerals, sediments). The purpose of this investigation was to identify the mechanisms whereby organic matter, in the form of defined proteins, affects the adsorption of reovirus to the clay minerals kaolinite and montmorillonite and its subsequent infectivity. Chymotrypsin and ovalbumin reduced the adsorption of reovirus to kaolinite and montmorillonite homoionic to sodium. Lysozyme did not reduce the adsorption of the virus to kaolinite, but it did reduce adsorption to montmorillonite. The proteins apparently competed with the reovirus for sites on the clay. As lysozyme does not adsorb to kaolinite by cation exchange, it did not inhibit the adsorption of reovirus to this clay. The amount of reovirus desorbed from lysozyme-coated montmorillonite was approximately 38% less (compared with the input population) than that from uncoated or chymotrypsin-coated montmorillonite after six washings with sterile distilled water. Chymotrypsin and lysozyme markedly decreased reovirus infectivity in distilled water, whereas infectivity of the virus was enhanced after recovery from an ovalbumin-distilled water-reovirus suspension (i.e., from the immiscible pelleted fraction plus supernatant). The results of these studies indicate that the persistence of reovirus in terrestrial and aquatic environments may vary with the type of organic matter and clay mineral with which the virus comes in contact.

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