PMID: 39508Jul 1, 1979

Influence of pH, salinity, and organic matter on the adsorption of enteric viruses to estuarine sediment

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
R L LaBelle, C P Gerba


This study was designed to determine the degree of adsorption of enteric viruses to marine sediment and factors controlling this association. Adsorption and elution characteristics of several enteroviruses and one rotavirus to estuarine sediments were studied under varying conditions of pH, salinity, and presence of soluble organics. Greater than 99% of the added poliovirus type 1 (LSc), coxsackievirus type B3 (Nancy), echovirus type 7 (Wallace), and rotavirus (SA-11) adsorbed to sediment. Echovirus 1 (Farouk) and a recent isolate typed as coxsackievirus B4 adsorbed significantly less than poliovirus 1 under similar conditions of varying salinity and pH. The presence of soluble organic matter, in the form of secondary sewage effluent or humic acid, did not affect these patterns of adsorption. Only echovirus 1 (Farouk) desorbed when the pH or salinity was altered and then only to a small extent. Three recent isolates of echovirus 1 and echovirus 29 (strain JV-10) also demonstrated varying amounts of adsorption to sediment. These data indicate that enteric viruses can become readily associated with sediment in the estuarine environment and that this association may play a major role in their hydrotransportation and survival.


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