BMC Res Notes 2019 Apr 11;12(1):223. Epub 2019 Apr 11.
Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, University of Maryland School of Public Health, School of Public Health Building (255), 4200 Valley Drive, Room 2234P, College Park, MD, 20742, USA.
Objective: Zero-valent iron sand filtration can remove multiple contaminants, including some types of pathogenic bacteria, from contaminated water. However, its efficacy at removing complex viral populations, such as those found in reclaimed water used for agricultural irrigation, has not been fully evaluated. Therefore, this study utilized metagenomic sequencing and epifluorescent microscopy to enumerate and characterize viral populations found in reclaimed water and zero-valent iron-sand filtered reclaimed water sampled three times during a larger greenhouse study.
Results: Zero-valent iron-sand filtered reclaimed water samples had significantly less virus-like particles than reclaimed water samples at all collection dates, with the reclaimed water averaging between 10 and 10 and the zero-valent iron-sand filtered reclaimed water averaging between 10 and 10 virus-like particles per mL. In addition, for both sample types, viral metagenomes (viromes) were dominated by bacteriophages of the order Caudovirales, largely Siphoviridae, and genes related to DNA metabolism. However, the proportion of sequences homologous to bacteria, as well as the abundance of genes possibly originating from a bacterial host, was higher in the viromes of zero-valent iron-sand filtered reclaimed water samples. Overall, zero-valent iron-sand filtered reclaimed water had a lower total concentration of virus-like particles and a different virome community composition compared to unfiltered reclaimed water.