Transport behavior of surrogate biological warfare agents in a simulated landfill: Effect of leachate recirculation and water infiltration
KAUST DepartmentWater Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
Environmental Biotechnology Research Group
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AbstractAn understanding of the transport behavior of biological warfare (BW) agents in landfills is required to evaluate the suitability of landfills for the disposal of building decontamination residue (BDR) following a bioterrorist attack on a building. Surrogate BW agents, Bacillus atrophaeus spores and Serratia marcescens, were spiked into simulated landfill reactors that were filled with synthetic building debris (SBD) and operated for 4 months with leachate recirculation or water infiltration. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) was used to monitor surrogate transport. In the leachate recirculation reactors, <10% of spiked surrogates were eluted in leachate over 4 months. In contrast, 45% and 31% of spiked S. marcescens and B. atrophaeus spores were eluted in leachate in the water infiltration reactors. At the termination of the experiment, the number of retained cells and spores in SBD was measured over the depth of the reactor. Less than 3% of the total spiked S. marcescens cells and no B. atrophaeus spores were detected in SBD. These results suggest that significant fractions of the spiked surrogates were strongly attached to SBD. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
SponsorsThis research was supported by the US EPA through the National Homeland Security Research Center, Susan Thorneloe, Senior Project Officer. The input of Susan Thorneloe and Paul Lemieux of the US EPA is gratefully acknowledged. This paper does not necessarily reflect the views of the EPA. We thank Rossana Prevost for help with assessing DNA extraction from SBD.
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)
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