There is a great difficulty in virus enumeration in sewage sludge because viruses in sludge are firmly captured by sludge solids. In order to determine the precise number of viruses in sludge, an enhanced virus recovery method with a combination of an enzyme and a cation exchange resin (CER) was developed. Test viruses were seeded to a sample sludge obtained from a municipal wastewater treatment plant, and the sludge were incubated with various eluents. The quantity of eluted viruses in the liquid phase was then measured by the plaque assay technique. Using the eluent containing only water, CER, and CER with enzyme exhibited 0%, 19% and 39% of virus recovery, respectively. While the conventional USEPA method exhibited a virus recovery of 21%. Furthermore, viruses eluted by the eluent containing the CER and the lysozyme included not only surface-attached viruses but also solids-embedded viruses.
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