Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 17, pp 17025–17032 | Cite as

Adenovirus and rotavirus recovery from a treated effluent through an optimized skimmed-milk flocculation method

  • Andrêssa Silvino Ferreira Assis
  • Tulio Machado Fumian
  • Marize Pereira Miagostovich
  • Betânia Paiva Drumond
  • Maria Luzia da Rosa e Silva
Research Article


Sewage treatment may be insufficient for the complete removal of enteric viruses, such as human adenoviruses (HAdV) and group A rotavirus (RVA). The differences in the efficiency of the treatment methodologies used may interfere with the detection of these viruses. The objective of this study was to optimize a skimmed-milk flocculation technique for the recovery of HAdV and RVA in the samples of treated effluent. The treated effluent collected at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) was processed via four protocols including modifications in the initial centrifugation step and the final concentration of skimmed-milk. The viral load and recovery rate were determined by quantitative PCR TaqMan® System. The highest recovery rates of HAdV, RVA, and bacteriophage PP7 (internal control process) were obtained when the concentration of skimmed-milk was doubled and no centrifugation step was used for the sample clarification. The optimized protocol was assessed in a field study conducted with 24 treated effluent samples collected bi-monthly during 2015. HAdV and RVA were detected in 50.0% (12/24) and 33.3% (08/24) of the samples tested, respectively, throughout the year, without seasonal variation (p > 0.05). This study corroborates the use of the organic flocculation method for virus recovery in environmental samples with the adaptation of the protocols to different aquatic matrices.


Treated effluent Water contamination Organic flocculation Enteric virus Internal control Quantitative PCR 



The authors are grateful to CESAMA’s (Water and Sewage Sanitation Company of Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil) staff for gently providing samples of treated effluents.

Funding information

The author ASFA was a holder of a CAPES scholarship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Not required.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1873_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 14 kb)
11356_2018_1873_MOESM2_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrêssa Silvino Ferreira Assis
    • 1
  • Tulio Machado Fumian
    • 2
  • Marize Pereira Miagostovich
    • 2
  • Betânia Paiva Drumond
    • 1
    • 3
  • Maria Luzia da Rosa e Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Virology, Department of Parasitology, Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biological ScienceFederal University of Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of Comparative and Environmental VirologyOswaldo Cruz InstituteRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratory of Virus, Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biological ScienceFederal University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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