Identifier

etd-031509-151117

Abstract

To protect public health, drinking water systems are monitored for indicator organisms that correlate with fecal contamination and suggest the presence of human pathogens. Total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and E. coli are the most commonly used indicator organisms. These bacteria generally colocate with fecal pollution, but some limitations exist. In particular, the ability of indicator bacteria to predict the presence of enteric viruses is questionable because of distinct transport and survival characteristics of bacteria and viruses. Although viral indicators of enteric viruses have been proposed, none have been implemented into the current regulatory framework. In this thesis, the correlation of bacteria and viruses in drinking water sources and treatment systems is reviewed, and the potential of Torque Teno virus (TTV) to qualify as an indicator virus is discussed. TTV is unique among enteric viruses as it infects approximately 80% of healthy individuals worldwide, is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, causes no observable illness, and lacks seasonal fluctuations.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

MS

Department

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Project Type

Thesis

Date Accepted

2009-03-15

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

cell culture, PCR, coliphage, coliform, fecal indicator, enteric virus, waterborne disease outbreak, TTV, torque teno virus

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