Sequential concentration of bacteria and viruses from marine waters using a dual membrane system

A. M. Abdelzaher, H. M. Solo-Gabriele, M. E. Wright, C. J. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The ability to rapidly and effectively concentrate diverse microbes is an essential component for monitoring water quality at recreational beaches. The purpose of this study was to develop a 0.45 μm pore size dual membrane system, which can sequentially concentrate both viruses and bacteria. The top PVDF membrane was used to filter bacteria by physical straining while the bottom HA membrane retained viruses through adsorption. The recovery of this system was assessed using test organisms: enterococci and somatic coliphage. Volumes of 100 to 400 mL of unspiked and sewage-spiked beach water were filtered through both types of membranes. The PVDF membrane recovered statistically equivalent amounts of enterococci when compared to traditional membranes. All of the coliphage passed through the PVDF membrane, while 22% passed through the HA membrane. Increasing the volume from 100 to 400 mL did not significantly influence recoveries. Up to 35% of coliphage was eluted from the bottom membrane using beef extract solution. Rinsing bottom membranes with 0.5 mmol L -1 H2S04 was found to deactivate somatic coliphage. This research demonstrates the potential of using a dual membrane adsorption system for the concentration of both bacteria and viruses from recreational beaches. A proposed bi-layer filtration system can be designed for simultaneous bacteria and virus filtration. Future experiments should focus on measurements utilizing additional bacteria and viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1648-1655
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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