Growth and persistence of pathogens on granular activated carbon filters


Three enteric pathogens Yersinia enterocolitica 0:8, Salmonella typhimurium, and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, were examined for their ability to colonize granular activated carbon (GAC) in pure cultures and in the presence of autochthonous river water organisms. All three organisms readily colonized sterile GAC and maintained populations of ca. 105 to 107 CFUg-1 for 14 days when suspended in sterile river water. Exposure of pathogen biofilms on GAC to unsterile river water resulted in a gradual decline in pathogens on the carbon (0.08 to 0.14 log day-1). When pathogens were introduced to sterile GAC in the presence of heterotrophic plate count organisms, they attached at levels similar to those in the pure cultures and then decreased (0.10 to 0.22 log day-1). When added with heterotrophic plate count bacteria to GAC supporting a mature biofilm of native river water bacteria, they attached at a lower level (1.0 x 104 to 4.6 x 104 CFUg-1) and decreased at a more rapid rate (0.11 to 0.70 log day-1).




Camper AK, Lechevallier MW, Broadaway SC, McFeters GA, "Growth and persistence of pathogens on granular activated carbon filters," Applied and Environmental Microbiology 1985 50(6):1378-1382
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