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Assessment of two types of passive sampler for the efficient recovery of SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses from wastewater

Kevill, J.L., Lambert-Slosarska, K., Pellett, C., Woodhall, N., Richardson-O'Neill, I., Pântea, I., Alex-Sanders, N., Farkas, K. and Jones, D.L. (2022) Assessment of two types of passive sampler for the efficient recovery of SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses from wastewater. Science of The Total Environment, 838 (Pt. 4). Art. 156580.

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Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has proven to be a useful surveillance tool during the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and has driven research into evaluating the most reliable and cost-effective techniques for obtaining a representative sample of wastewater. When liquid samples cannot be taken efficiently, passive sampling approaches have been used, however, insufficient data exists on their usefulness for multi-virus capture and recovery. In this study, we compared the virus-binding capacity of two passive samplers (cotton-based tampons and ion exchange filter papers) in two different water types (deionised water and wastewater). Here we focused on the capture of wastewater-associated viruses including Influenza A and B (Flu-A & B), SARS-CoV-2, human adenovirus (AdV), norovirus GII (NoVGII), measles virus (MeV), pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV), the faecal marker crAssphage and the process control virus Pseudomonas virus phi6. After deployment, we evaluated four different methods to recover viruses from the passive samplers namely, (i) phosphate buffered saline (PBS) elution followed by polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation, (ii) beef extract (BE) elution followed by PEG precipitation, (iii) no-elution into PEG precipitation, and (iv) direct extraction. We found that the tampon-based passive samplers had higher viral recoveries in comparison to the filter paper. Overall, the preferred viral recovery method from the tampon passive samplers was the no-elution/PEG precipitation method. Furthermore, we evidenced that non-enveloped viruses had higher percent recoveries from the passive samplers than enveloped viruses. This is the first study of its kind to assess passive sampler and viral recovery methods amongst a plethora of viruses commonly found in wastewater or used as a viral surrogate in wastewater studies.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Food Futures Institute
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
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