Improved method for concentration of Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and poliovirus from water

Pamela M. Watt, Dana C. Johnson, Charles P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Methods for the concentration of enteric viruses and the protozoan parasites, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, from drinking water currently require the use of two different types of filters. Electropositive or electronegative microporous filters (0.2-0.45 μm nominal porosity) are used for the collection of enteroviruses, while polypropylene spun-fiber filters (1 μm porosity) and small pleated cartridge filters are used for the collection of protozoan parasites from water. Since the filter mechanically traps the protozoa by size exclusion, a microporous filter with an appropriately small nominal porosity could possibly be used for co-collection of both protozoa and enteroviruses. This study compared the concentration efficiencies of a polypropylene fiber cartridge (DPPPY) filter and two different microporous filters (Filterite and 1MDS) with poliovirus (type 1), with respect to their ability to concentrate Giardia and Cryptosporidium from water. Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts were added to 4001 of either tap water or tertiary treated wastewater and passed through the test filter. The protozoa were eluted from the polypropylene filter by hand-washing in a detergent solution. Viruses and protozoa were eluted from the microporous filter by two consecutive back-washes with a 1.5% beef extract, 0.1% Tween 80 solution. The eluent was then centrifuged to remove the parasites and the supernatant assayed for viruses. The overall efficiency was greater for the Filterite filter (40.4% for Giardia; 36.6% for Cryptosporidium) when compared to the spun fiber filter (10.1% for Giardia; 16.0% for Cryptosporidium). The Filterite filters were easier and faster to process than the polypropylene spun fiber filters. There was no significant difference in the recovery of protozoa from 1MDS and DPPPY filters. Co-collection of viruses and protozoan parasites from water onto the same filter is possible and can reduce the time and cost of routine water monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-330
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Concentration
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Detection
  • Enteric virus
  • Giardia
  • Poliovirus
  • Protozoa
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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