Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 04 09() doi 10.1007/s11356-018-1873-x
Sewage treatment may be insufficient for the complete removal of enteric viruses, such as human adenoviruses (HAdV) and group A rotavirus (RVA). The differences in the efficiency of the treatment methodologies used may interfere with the detection of these viruses. The objective of this study was to optimize a skimmed-milk flocculation technique for the recovery of HAdV and RVA in the samples of treated effluent. The treated effluent collected at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) was processed via four protocols including modifications in the initial centrifugation step and the final concentration of skimmed-milk. The viral load and recovery rate were determined by quantitative PCR TaqMan® System. The highest recovery rates of HAdV, RVA, and bacteriophage PP7 (internal control process) were obtained when the concentration of skimmed-milk was doubled and no centrifugation step was used for the sample clarification. The optimized protocol was assessed in a field study conducted with 24 treated effluent samples collected bi-monthly during 2015. HAdV and RVA were detected in 50.0% (12/24) and 33.3% (08/24) of the samples tested, respectively, throughout the year, without seasonal variation (p > 0.05). This study corroborates the use of the organic flocculation method for virus recovery in environmental samples with the adaptation of the protocols to different aquatic matrices.