Risk management of viral infectious diseases in wastewater reclamation and reuse: Review

Daisuke Sano, Mohan Amarasiri, Akihiko Hata, Toru Watanabe, Hiroyuki Katayama

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Inappropriate usage of reclaimed wastewater has caused outbreaks of viral infectious diseases worldwide. International and domestic guidelines for wastewater reuse stipulate that virus infection risks are to be regulated by the multiple-barrier system, in which a wastewater treatment process composed of sequential treatment units is designed based on the pre-determined virus removal efficiency of each unit. The objectives of this review were to calculate representative values of virus removal efficiency in wastewater treatment units based on published datasets, and to identify research topics that should be further addressed for improving implementation of the multiple-barrier system. The removal efficiencies of human noroviruses, rotaviruses and enteroviruses in membrane bioreactor (MBR) and conventional activated sludge (CAS) processes were obtained by a systematic review protocol and a meta-analysis approach. The log10 reduction (LR) of norovirus GII and enterovirus in MBR were 3.35 (95% confidence interval: 2.39, 4.30) and 2.71 (1.52, 3.89), respectively. The LR values of rotavirus, norovirus GI and GII in CAS processes were 0.87 (0.20, 1.53), 1.48 (0.96, 2.00) and 1.35 (0.52, 2.18), respectively. The systematic review process eliminated a substantial number of articles about virus removal in wastewater treatment because of the lack of information required for the meta-analysis. It is recommended that future publications should explicitly describe their treatment of left-censored datasets. Indicators, surrogates and methodologies appropriate for validating virus removal performance during daily operation of wastewater reclamation systems also need to be identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-229
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironment international
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Meta-analysis
  • Multiple-barrier system
  • Viral infectious diseases
  • Virus log reduction
  • Wastewater reclamation
  • Water reuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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