Development of a quantitative method for detecting enteroviruses in estuarine sediments

C. P. Gerba, E. M. Smith, J. L. Melnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Several investigators have reported on the detection of enteric viruses in marine sediments, but none determined the efficiency of their methods and only limited volumes of sediment were sampled. The purpose of this investigation was to develop a quantitative method for detecting enteroviruses in marine sediments so that their relative proportion to viruses freely suspended in estuarine water could be more accurately determined. Poliovirus was found to adsorb readily to natural marine sediments collected along the Texas Gulf coast. A number of substances were evaluated for their ability to elute adsorbed viruses. A solution of 10% fetal calf serum adjusted to pH 10.5 and 0.05 M ethylenediaminetetraacetate (pH 11.0) were found to be the best eluents. Using ethylenediaminetetraacetate as an eluent, it was possible to elute virus from large volumes of sediment and reconcentrate the sediment eluate into an economically assayable volume (30 to 50 ml). Poliovirus could be recovered from the sediment with an overall efficiency of 50%. This method was found to be satisfactory for the recovery of naturally occurring animal viruses in estuarine sediments from the upper Texas Gulf coast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-163
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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