Survival of infectious prions in class B biosolids

Syreeta L. Miles, Kazue Takizawa, Charles P. Gerba, Ian L. Pepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study developed a method for extracting infectious prions from Class B biosolids and subsequently evaluated the survival of infectious prions under the influence of mesophilic (37°C) and thermophilic (60°C) temperatures in Class B biosolids. Unlike other studies, this study utilized a scrapie cell assay to determine infectivity and quantity of infectious prions. The best method for extraction was exposing the biosolids to 4Murea at 80°C for 10 minutes followed by a membrane centrifugation to reduce the concentration of urea. The recovery efficiency of the infectious prions from the biosolids for this method was 17.2%. In the survival study, a 2.43-log10reduction in prion infectivity was observed under mesophilic temperatures after 15 days and a 3.41-log10 reduction after 10 days under thermophilic conditions. The reduction of infectious prions was greater in the biosolids than the control in phosphate buffered saline, suggesting factors other than temperature were also playing a role in the loss of infectivity of the prions in the biosolids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-370
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Biosolids
  • Infectivity
  • Prions
  • Sludge
  • Survival
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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