We demonstrated the genotype-dependent removal of human norovirus particles with a microfiltration (MF) membrane in the presence of bacteria bearing histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs). Three genotypes (GII.3, GII.4, and GII.6) of norovirus-like particles (NoVLPs) were mixed with three bacterial strains (Enterobacter sp. SENG-6, Escherichia coli O86:K61:B7, and Staphylococcus epidermidis), respectively, and the mixture was filtered with an MF membrane having a nominal pore size of 0.45 μm. All NoVLP genotypes were rejected by the MF membrane in the presence of Enterobacter sp. SENG-6, which excreted HBGAs as extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). This MF membrane removal of NoVLPs was not significant when EPS was removed from cells of Enterobacter sp. SENG-6. GII.6 NoVLP was not rejected with the MF membrane in the presence of E. coli O86:K61:B7, but the removal of EPS of E. coli O86:K61:B7 increased the removal efficiency due to the interaction of NoVLPs with the exposed B-antigen in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of E. coli O86:K61:B7. No MF membrane removal of all three genotypes was observed when S. epidermidis, an HBGA-negative strain, was mixed with NoVLPs. These results demonstrate that the location of HBGAs on bacterial cells is an important factor in determining the genotype-dependent removal efficiency of norovirus particles with the MF membrane. The presence of HBGAs in mixed liquor suspended solids from a membrane bioreactor (MBR) pilot plant was confirmed by immune-transmission electron microscopy, which implies that bacterial HBGAs can contribute to the genotype-dependent removal of human noroviruses with MBR using MF membrane.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) through Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science through Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) ( 26249075 ).
- Extracellular polymeric substance
- Histo-blood group antigen
- Human norovirus
- Membrane bioreactor