Skip to main content

Assessment of Suitable Drinking Water Technologies for Disinfection of DNA Viruses: Providing Global Safe Water

Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial


Waterborne pathogens are increasingly a worldwide concern in drinking water because of their ability to cause high levels of morbidity and mortality. Especially in developing regions, a lack of access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, and resources to implement water treatment processes contributes to the spread of these pathogens. Without adequate protection of drinking water sources, waters can become heavily contaminated by human and animal waste which contributes to the spread of a range of pathogens including viruses. Because of the high prevalence of waterborne diseases, current and emerging technologies for water disinfection are important to study in these areas. Point-of-use disinfection technologies are a viable treatment method in developing regions and implementation has showed an improvement in health and the potential for a sustainable solution; however, many systems currently used are not always completely effective in these challenging surface waters common to developing regions. Small community scale systems are also common in developing regions, but sometimes do not have adequate disinfection steps to prevent the spread of disease. Emerging pathogens are also of concern in water treatment for communities in developed regions as they can be highly resistant to certain treatment technologies. Viruses are of particular concern not only because of their virulence and ability to have high resistance to inactivation, but also because of the limited knowledge available. Viruses pathogenic to humans are not easy to study in the laboratory or in the field because of strict biosafety regulations. Additionally, human viruses typically require the use of cell cultures which are time consuming to propagate, expensive, easily contaminated, and require specific conditions for growth that can be nearly impossible to achieve in regions that have no access to electricity. Because of these challenges, there is a need to identify appropriate viral pathogen surrogates for testing the robustness of treatment technologies in the field and laboratory.

A human pathogenic DNA virus, adenovirus, is present globally in drinking water sources and can cause of a variety of human health effects. Adenovirus is known to be highly resistant to disinfection technologies such as ultraviolet (UV) light, combined chlorine, and solar disinfection (SODIS). One of the most commonly used surrogates is the single-stranded RNA bacteriophage MS2, which does not show similar inactivation to some human viruses including adenovirus. Because of its similar size, morphology, and genome replication mechanism, the DNA bacteriophage PRD1 is a promising surrogate for adenovirus. Additionally, researchers have hypothesized that the two viruses are evolutionarily related. PRD1 has numerous gramnegative bacteria host organisms including Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. This research investigates if PRD1 with appropriate host is a proper surrogate for adenovirus serotype 2 when exposed to chemical disinfectants, ultraviolet light, and sunlight, through the comparison of inactivation kinetics. Since the two viruses have such similar capsid structures, using PRD1 as a surrogate for adenovirus may help to elucidate mechanisms of inactivation of adenovirus. Elucidating the mechanism of inactivation of the virus could then lead to the development of more robust drinking water disinfection technologies and the development of sensors to detect viruses in drinking water. Identifying a surrogate would be exceptionally useful for furthering laboratory research and for improving drinking water disinfection systems globally.

Keywords: Disinfection; PRD1; adenovirus; drinking water; virus inactivation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more