Bacteriophages are potentially useful models for studying the fate and transport of pathogenic enteric viruses and other biocoUoids through soil and ground water. To be useful for this purpose they must be capable of surviving for significant periods in ground water and demonstrate low adsorption to soil surfaces. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the survival of two bacteriophages which have been shown to adsorb poorly to soils, i.e. the Escherichiacoli phages MS-2 and PRD-1 which infect Salmonellatyphimurium. Samples of ground water from various regions of North America were inoculated with the test phages and incubated at temperatures near the ambient ground water temperature of the collection site. At 7°C no significant inactivation of the phages occurred over a period of 80 days. At higher temperature (10 to 23°C) PRD-1 was far more resistant to inactivation than MS-2, persisting for periods of 7 to 10 times longer in most water samples.

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