• Concentration of norovirus during wastewater treatment and its impact on oyster contamination

      Flannery, John; Keaveney, Sinéad; Rajko-Nenow, Paulina; O’Flaherty, Vincent; Doré, William (American Society for Microbiology, 2012)
      Concentrations of E. coli, FRNA bacteriophage, norovirus genogroup I (NoV GI) and II (NoV GII) in wastewater were monitored weekly over a one-year period at a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) providing secondary treatment. A total of 49 samples of influent, primary and secondary-treated wastewater were analyzed. Using a real-time RT-qPCR, mean NoV GI and NoV GII concentrations detected in effluent wastewater were 2.53 and 2.63 log10 virus genome copies 100 ml-1 respectively. Mean NoV concentrations in wastewater during the winter period (January to March inclusive) (n=12) were 0.82 (NoV GI) and 1.41 (NoV GII) log units greater than mean concentrations for the rest of the year (n=37). The mean reduction of NoV GI and GII during treatment was 0.80 and 0.92 log units respectively with no significant difference detected in the extent of NoV reductions due to season. No seasonal trend was detected in the concentrations of E. coli or FRNA bacteriophage in wastewater influent and showed mean reductions of 1.49 and 2.13 log units respectively. Mean concentrations of 3.56 and 3.72 log10 virus genome copies 100 ml-1 for NoV GI and GII respectively were detected in oysters sampled adjacent to the WWTP discharge. A strong seasonal trend was observed and concentrations of NoV GI and GII detected in oyster were correlated with concentrations detected in the wastewater effluent. No seasonal difference was detected in concentrations of E. coli or FRNA bacteriophage detected in oysters.