Shirasaki N, Matsushita T, Matsui Y, Yamashita R. Evaluation of the suitability of a plant virus, pepper mild mottle virus, as a surrogate of human enteric viruses for assessment of the efficacy of coagulation-rapid sand filtration to remove those viruses. Water Research. 2017 Nov 21;129:460-469. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.11.043.
Here, we evaluated the removal of three representative human enteric viruses – adenovirus (AdV) type 40, coxsackievirus (CV) B5, and hepatitis A virus (HAV) IB – and one surrogate of human caliciviruses – murine norovirus (MNV) type 1 – by coagulation-rapid sand filtration, using water samples from eight water sources for drinking water treatment plants in Japan. The removal ratios of a plant virus (pepper mild mottle virus; PMMoV) and two bacteriophages (MS2 and φX174) were compared with the removal ratios of human enteric viruses to assess the suitability of PMMoV, MS2, and φX174 as surrogates for human enteric viruses. The removal ratios of AdV, CV, HAV, and MNV, evaluated via the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, were 0.8-2.5-log10 when commercially available polyaluminum chloride (PACl, basicity 1.5) and virgin silica sand were used as the coagulant and filter medium, respectively. The type of coagulant affected the virus removal efficiency, but the age of silica sand used in the rapid sand filtration did not. Coagulation-rapid sand filtration with non-sulfated, high-basicity PACls (basicity 2.1 or 2.5) removed viruses more efficiently than the other aluminum-based coagulants. The removal ratios of MS2 were sometimes higher than those of the three human enteric viruses and MNV, whereas the removal ratios of φX174 tended to be smaller than those of the three human enteric viruses and MNV. In contrast, the removal ratios of PMMoV were similar to and strongly correlated with those of the three human enteric viruses and MNV. Thus, PMMoV appears to be a suitable surrogate for human enteric viruses for the assessment of the efficacy of coagulation-rapid sand filtration to remove viruses.