Influence of estuarine sediment on virus survival under field conditions.
The survival of poliovirus 1 (LSc) and echovirus 1(Farouk) in estuarine water and sediment was studied in Galveston Bay, Texas. Viruses were suspended in estuarine water and sediment both in dialysis tubing and in chambers constructed with polycarbonate membrane walls. Virus inactivation rates in seawater were similar in both types of chambers. Virus adsorption to sediment greatly increased survival time. The time required to inactivate 99% (T-99) of poliovirus increased from 1.4 days in seawater alone to 6.0 days for virus adsorbed to sediment at a relatively nonpolluted site. At a more polluted site, poliovirus T-99 was increased from approximately 1 h to 4.25 days by virus adsorption to sediment. This study demonstrates that under field conditions virus association with estuarine sediment acts to prolong its survival in the marine environment.