• environmental/recreational water;
  • viruses;
  • water


Since the beginning of environmental virology in the mid-twentieth century, a key challenge to scientists in the environmental field has been how to collect, isolate and detect pathogenic viruses from water that is used for drinking and/or recreational purposes. Early studies investigated different types of membrane filters, with more sophisticated technologies being developed more recently. The purpose of this study was to look at the current state of the science of methods for the concentration of viruses from water. Several technologies were reviewed, and associated data were included in a meta-analysis which showed that electronegative filters, electropositive filters and ultrafilters are comparable in performance and that significant differences in recovery are due to virus type rather than filter type, water matrix or sample volume. This information is useful, as it will help to determine which method(s) should be used, particularly if there is a specific viral type being targeted for a particular study. In addition, it will be helpful when sampling different environmental water matrices and/or when budget allowance must be taken into consideration. Taken together, this will be useful in performing viral occurrence studies, which ultimately can help ensure safer water for both humans and the environment.