Q-212. Comparison of PLC/PRF/5 and BGM Cell Lines for the Detection of Adenoviruses and Enteroviruses in Biosolids

N. M. Patel, N. Castro, P. Gundy, C. P. Gerba, I. L. Pepper;
Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

Sewage sludge or biosolids is the solid material left after modern activated sludge sewage treatment. Millions of tons of this material are generated each year in the United States, which must be disposed or recycled. In Arizona, 95% of the biosolids generated are recycled through land application on farmland. Class B Biosolids are of particular interest because they may contain pathogens. To ensure the safety of this material the concentration of human pathogens must be determined. No quantitative information on the occurrence of human adenoviruses in biosolids is currently available. Human adenoviruses cause a wide range of diseases in man including respiratory infections, gastroenteritis, eye infections and obesity. The goal of this project is to assess the occurrence and concentration of human adenoviruses in biosolids so that the risks can be assessed after land application. Class B biosolids (mesophilic anaerobic digestion) were obtained from more than 20 sewage treatment plants across the United States. The samples were processed using a 10% pH 7.0 beef extract solution to recover the virus associated with the solids and concentrate the virus. The concentrates were assayed on both Primary Liver Carcinoma (sensitive to both adenoviruses and enteroviruses) and BGM cell lines. The cells were observed for 14 days for viral cytopathogenic effects (CPE) and then passed onto fresh cell monolayer for a second passage for another 10 to 14 days. Viral CPE was confirmed by a third passage on fresh cell monolayers and use of polymerase chain reaction using specific group primers. Thus far, nine of the 14 samples (64%) demonstrated positive cytopathogenic effects for viruses on the primary liver carcinoma (PLC/PRF/5) cells, whereas only six of the 14 samples (43%) were positive on the BGM cell line. Adenoviruses were identified more often than enteroviruses.