Somatic coliphages as surrogates for enteroviruses in sludge hygienization treatments

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Conventional bacterial indicators present serious drawbacks giving information about viral pathogens persistence during sludge hygienization treatments. This calls for the search of alternative viral indicators. Somatic coliphages’ (SOMCPH) ability for acting as surrogates for enteroviruses was assessed in 47 sludge samples subjected to novel treatment processes. SOMCPH, infectious enteroviruses and genome copies of enteroviruses were monitored. Only one of these groups, the bacteriophages, was present in the sludge at concentrations that allowed the evaluation of treatment's performance. An indicator/pathogen relationship of 4 log10 (PFU/g dw) was found between SOMCPH and infective enteroviruses and their detection accuracy was assessed. The obtained results and the existence of rapid and standardized methods encourage the inclusion of SOMCPH quantification in future sludge directives. In addition, an existing real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) for enteroviruses was adapted and applied.

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