Project Number # 2044
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The use of this surrogate in challenge tests presents some disadvantages to industry including considerable costs which can be in excess of $25,000 per test, and long analysis times. Alternative challenge tests for the MS2 test include the use of nanoparticles as virus surrogates. These nanoparticles are typically in the size range 20 to 100 nm and are usually fluorescent latex particles or those made from silver and gold. The use of these non-microbial surrogates presents further problems such as high particle costs, low detection sensitivity, and in some cases the need for off-line, indirect quantification. In addition, metallic nanoparticles such as silver are known to be soluble in water and frequently complex with naturally occurring water-borne ions such as chloride or sulfide, complicating their down-stream detection. Moreover, the fate of these nanomaterials in the environment is relatively unknown so the widespread use of these as challenge species could be problematic.