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Biotin- and Glycoprotein-Coated Microspheres as Surrogates


Members of the genus Cryptosporidium are waterborne protozoa of great health concern. Many studies have attempted to find appropriate surrogates for assessing Cryptosporidium filtration removal in porous media. In this study, we evaluated the filtration of Cryptosporidium parvum in granular limestone medium by the use of biotin- and glycoprotein-coated carboxylated polystyrene microspheres (CPMs) as surrogates. Column experiments were carried out with core material taken from a managed aquifer recharge site in Adelaide, Australia. For the experiments with injection of a single type of particle, we observed the total removal of the oocysts and glycoprotein-coated CPMs, a 4.6- to 6.3-log10 reduction of biotin-coated CPMs, and a 2.6-log10 reduction of unmodified CPMs. When two different types of particles were simultaneously injected, glycoprotein-coated CPMs showed a 5.3-log10 reduction, while the uncoated CPMs displayed a 3.7-log10 reduction, probably due to particle-particle interactions. Our results confirm that glycoprotein-coated CPMs are the most accurate surrogates for C. parvum; biotin-coated CPMs are slightly more conservative, while unmodified CPMs are markedly overly conservative for predicting C. parvum removal in granular limestone medium. The total removal of C. parvum observed in our study suggests that granular limestone medium is very effective for the filtration removal of C. parvum and could potentially be used for the pretreatment of drinking water and aquifer storage recovery of recycled water.

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