Concentration of coliphage from water and sewage with charge-modified filter aid

S. N. Singh, C. P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Methods of detecting and concentrating animal viruses from large volumes of water and wastewater have experienced rapid development in recent years, but only a few methods are available for the concentration of bacteriophages. The present study describes the use of a charge-modified (Zeta Plus) filter aid (AMF Cuno, Meriden, Conn.) for the concentration of coliphages from large volumes of water and sewage. Coliphages MS-2 and f2 were efficiently adsorbed from water and sewage to the positively charged filter aid. Elution was accomplished with 4% beef extract -0.5 M CaCl adjusted to pH 9.5. The recovery of f2 from 10- to 20-liter volumes of tap water ranged between 11 and 70%, and the recovery of MS-2 ranged between 43 and 70%. The efficiency of recovery of naturally occurring coliphages from secondarily treated sewage ranged between 16 and 44%. This technique appears to be promising because it requires low-cost equipment (47-mm polypropylene filter housing), is easy to handle, and can filter large volumes of water (≥20 liters) with good recoveries. Filtrations can be conducted at the ambient pH of the water, and the unit cost per filtration (i.e., the cost of filter aid) comes to less than three cents per sampling. The technique could be useful in evaluation of viral water quality, study of the ecology and occurrence of phages in natural waters, and isolation of rare phages from natural waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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