Our study aimed to assess the accumulation of bacteriophages in sandy and clayey fresh water sediments. All of the 24 natural fresh water sediments were positive for somatic and F-specific phages, though their concentrations in the overlying water were undetectable in 1 and 11 samples, respectively, out of 24, corresponding to 4 and 46% for somatic and F-specific phages, respectively. Based on the sediment-to-water ratios, F-specific phages accumulate over 100 times more than the somatic coliphages in clayey sediments. Inactivation of bacteriophages in clayey and sandy sediments over a 1-month period at 15°C was negligible. Our data suggest that persistence of deposited viruses in fresh water sediments leads to accumulation and the findings call for additional investigations on the fate of entrapped pathogenic viruses.

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