Investigations into the protective effect of estuarine sediment on virus survival

Raymond LaBelle, Charles P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


It has been shown that enteric viruses readily adsorb to estuarine sediments and that this association acts to prolong their survival in marine waters. This study sought to ascertain whether sediment protects virus from any one specific inactivating factor and to define the properties of sediment responsible for such protection. Laboratory studies demonstrated that sediment was capable of protecting poliovirus 1 (strain LSc) from the inactivating effects of microorganisms, heat and salts. An anaerobic environment did not influence virus survival. The presence of bacterial nutrients was found to enhance virus survival, possibly by virus adsorption to the resulting bacterial population; however, organic material naturally present in sediment did not enhance virus survival in sea-water. Virus adsorption to sediment appears to be the most important characteristic of the virus and sediment interaction that retards virus inactivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-478
Number of pages10
JournalWater research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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