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What are Coliphages? 

Coliphages are a group of bacteriophages that infect and replicate within coliform bacteria.  Male-specific coliphages infect only the E. coli bacteria that express certain physical appendages used during sexual conjugation (pili).  Somatic coliphages adsorb directly into the E. coli cell wall.  Both male-specific and somatic coliphages are used as surrogates to indicate the presence of fecal material and viral pathogens in water. 


They are excellent candidates to determine log removal by treatment process, such as wastewater treated by UV, ozone, chlorine, and filtration.  They have been suggested to be an alternative to human enteric virus testing for biosolids since they provide a more useful outcomes with quicker results and and are inexpensive to test for in relation to enteric viruses.  Coliphages are detected using either a presence-absence assay (EPA method 1601) or an enumerative assay (EPA method 1602).



Coliphage Group                Method            Sample Volume             Sample Matrix  

Male-specific coliphages    EPA 1601        100 ml /100 g          SW DW WW   BS* 

Somatic coliphages           EPA 1601        100 ml /100 g          SW DW WW   BS 

Male-specific coliphages    EPA 1602              100 ml                SW DW WW        

Somatic coliphages           EPA 1602               100 ml                SW DW WW   

Male-specific coliphages    EPA 1602             10-100L**            SW DW WW   

Somatic coliphages           EPA 1602              10-100L               SW DW WW     


*: SW-surface water

   DW-drinking water



**:  including 5” positively charged capsule filter

Please contact us for pricing and sampling instructions.

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