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Accumulation of MS2, GA, and Qbeta phages on high density polyethylene (HDPE) and drinking water biofilms under flow/non-flow conditions

Water Res, 46 (19), pp. 6574-6584.

Pelleieux, S., Bertrand, I., Skali-Lami, S., Mathieu, L., Francius, G., Gantzer, C.

2014

Accumulation of enteric viruses on surfaces within a drinking water distribution system was investigated in a reactor using three F-specific RNA bacteriophages (MS2, GA, and Qβ) as models of human pathogenic viruses. The influence of hydrodynamic versus hydrostatic conditions and the effect of the colonization of HDPE surfaces with two-month-old biofilms were assessed for virus accumulation on surfaces. In order to work under controlled laminar conditions and to study various wall shear stresses at the same time, a new rotating disc reactor was designed. Among the wall shear rates applied in the reactor (450 to 1640 s(-1)) no significant differences were observed concerning both the total number of bacteria, which was found to be around 1.7 × 10(7) cells/cm(2) and the virus concentrations on surfaces were about 3 × 10(4), 5 × 10(5) and 3 × 10(5) eq PFU/cm(2) for MS2, GA and Qβ phages, respectively. Comparison between static versus dynamic conditions revealed that both Brownian diffusion and convective diffusion were involved in the transport of these soft colloidal particles and an increase reaching about 1 log in virus concentrations measured on surfaces appeared when hydrodynamic conditions where applied. Our results also showed the influence of the colonization by two-month-old drinking water biofilms which led to a change in the level of virus adhesion. The implication of the physico-chemical properties was also underlined since different adhesion profiles were obtained for the three bacteriophages and MS2 phage was found to be the less adherent one whatever the conditions applied.

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