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Occurrence and persistence of bacterial and viral faecal indicators in wastewater biofilms

Abstract : Biofilms within wastewater treatment plants can capture enteric microorganisms initially present in the water phase immobilising them either definitively or temporarily. Consequently, fates of microorganisms may totally change depending on whether they interact or not with biofilms. In this study, we assessed the stability of wastewater biofilms comparing the evolution of the concentrations of bacteria (heterotrophic plate count [HPC], thermotolerant coliforms [TC]) and viral (somatic coliphages [SC] and F-specific phages [F+]) indicators in the biofilms and in the corresponding wastewaters at 4 and 20 °C. Additionally, we assessed the monthly occurrence of these bacterial and viral indicators as well as of pathogenic protozoa (Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts) in three native wastewater biofilms for four months. Our results show that viral indicators (SC and F+) persist longer in biofilms than in the corresponding wastewaters at 4 °C as well as at 20 °C. In contrast, persistence of bacterial indicators (TC and HPC) depends on both the temperature and the matrix. Differences between viral and bacterial persistence are discussed. Monthly analysis of native wastewater biofilms shows that bacterial and viral indicators, as well as Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts, attach to wastewater biofilms to a concentration that remains stable in time, probably as a result of a dynamic equilibrium between attachment and detachment processes.
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Contributor : Christophe Gantzer <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 8, 2018 - 8:45:34 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 26, 2021 - 2:42:02 PM




S. Skraber, K. Helmi, R. Willame, M. Ferréol, C. Gantzer, et al.. Occurrence and persistence of bacterial and viral faecal indicators in wastewater biofilms. Water Science and Technology, IWA Publishing, 2007, 55 (8-9), pp.377 - 385. ⟨10.2166/wst.2007.280⟩. ⟨hal-01890713⟩



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